Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ZenTiger Matt McCarten in Mana Match

The Mana by-election is on us next week, and although a labour stronghold, there is the remote possibility that the seat falls to National.

Admittedly, unlikely, but the statement makes a great lead in to discussing Matt McCarten and is probably the most interesting part of my post. Well, the dumb-ass coconut comment coming up later might be better, but if you read past this point, don't blame me for a boring post about a boring by-election.

So Matt McCarten, staunch Unionist, is running as an independent, presumably realizing that he wont win, but may erode Labour's vote. They really have fallen low, if the Unions are fighting them. Or is it the Unions are enjoying their raised profile after beating up on the little people (I'm referring to the recent Union activism on the behalf of the bit part actors who will play hobbits, who mostly said "stop helping me")

Matt is running a campaign along the lines of rugby union match, with what I call "The First 15 Policy Scrum". He has three policies which he has 5/8ths of f*ck all chance of getting over the line, and they all play out to the left wing. They are:

1. 15% tax back (No GST)
2. $15 per hour minimum wage
3. 15 new jobs in the electorate (actually 3,000 but I've adjusted for reality).

The first I took as an obvious bribe - vote for me and I'll give you 15% cash back - especially as an independent he will have no ability to get GST cancelled. Indeed, just bringing up the issue is likely to see Key raise the GST rate to 20%.

And if there is no GST, the government will instigate a new tax, unless you have plans to cut the size of government drastically, and that would be the last thing on Matt McCarten's manifesto. So I assumed he'd want to raise income tax to somewhere between 60% to 90% on anyone earning over $130K (an MP salary), thus sending our All Blacks broke just in time for the World Cup. However, after a bit of digging around I see he is proposing the so-called RHT or Robin Hood Tax for New Zealand.

The Robin Hood Tax is a tax that targets banks and the share markets, with the idea that only rich people engage in share trading and bank activities. Of course, that's not the case, but then variations of the tax scheme include exempting mortgages and targeting just the "rich prick" activities, whilst somehow ensuring your pension fund isn't wiped out in massive taxes. I'll leave a fuller discussion of the RHT for another post, but start without me (down in the comments) if you are game.

On the basis that Matt at least has declared an alternative to the GST scheme, I'll assume he has also worked out a way that businesses in the Mana electorate will hire 3000 more people AND ensure there is not wholesale job loss in the low value work when the minimum wage goes up. Maybe he has plans to lure Weta Studio from Miramar to Cannons Creek, or to exploit the Russian Free Trade Agreement by setting up Vodka factories on the foreshore of Titahi Bay? He might also have plans to sell Eskimos to Inuits and maps of the foreshore to Iwi around New Zealand to help with their land claims. The sky is the limit when it comes to Unions creating jobs.

McCarten also points to 9,000 signatures on a petition for his minimum wage proposal, which he seems proud about, but well over a million signatures didn't make a jot of difference to John Key on the anti-smacking referendum, so he's going to need a better plan. Maybe smacking John Key, but that might be illegal.

Meanwhile, Porirua City Councilor and Labour supporter Litea Ah Hoi called Pacific consultant Liz Tanielu a 'dumb-ass coconut' for supporting the National candidate Parata. Charming. However, Litea Ah Hoi has a history of dumb-ass comments. Isn't it interesting how overt racism gets brushed aside when it's not from the mouth of a white middle aged male?

From what I've seen from Hekia Parata, she is campaigning hard and would likely make a good electorate MP. She is currently a list MP. At the end of the day though, I can't quite see Labour (Chris Faafoi) losing the seat - but thanks to Matt, it might be a close game. Voter turnout will also be a factor. Maybe they'll all be as boring as this post and stay home or go straight to the mall.

Oh, the suspense.

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