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The best of The Spinoff this week: the election dissection – plus cake!

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Hayden Donnell: All the people I’m extremely mad at after the election

There’s been a lot of sober, informative analysis following Saturday’s election. Spinoff public transport tsar Simon Wilson explained the things we learned from the vote, and the delicate dance of democracy both major parties are about to embark on with Winston Peters. Graeme Edgeler wrote about the possible impact of the special votes on the final result. Newsroom’s Bernard Hickey argued Labour lost votes because it raised the spectre of a Capital Gains Tax.

Meanwhile many people on the losing side have been responding to the loss by trying to find ways to make New Zealand a better place. They’ve shown maturity in the face of defeat.

To both the objective commentators and the magnanimous losers I say, screw that! Screw it to hell! I’m mad as a bat! It’s time for some rage and recrimination! The only thing that will make this divided nation stronger is anger and blame! These are the people I’m mad at! Get ready!

Stephen Beban: A better visual breakdown of the 2017 election results

The usual way electoral results maps are presented can be deceiving, overemphasising the relative importance of large but sparsely populated rural areas. Stephen Beban shares his map that more accurately reflects the results of Election 2017.

 

Chris McDowall: Interactive: mapping every booth’s votes from the 2017 general election

Chris McDowall has created an extraordinary interactive data-visualisation which shows the party vote results of every single one of the hundreds of voting places in the 2017 general election. He explains his work here, and you can explore it below. Now featuring TOP! Happy now?

Simon Wilson: 10 things we learned last night

As the youth wing of The Spinoff drank beer, ate cheese and yelled at the TV coverage of Election 2017, Simon Wilson was out there in the thick of it, making the rounds of the party campaign parties. Here are his reckons.

Georgia Munn: The beautiful horror of the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book

“Although I’ve come to think of this as the cookbook that defined a generation, there is very little actual cooking instruction in this book. Some brief instruction sets the reader up for making butter cake, Vienna cream and ‘fluffy frosting’, and then launches into the most important part: the decorating.

This is essentially a craft book where all the materials just happen to be edible.

You’re expected to be a licorice artisan, dye desiccated coconut every colour of the rainbow, pipe decorations with expert accuracy and fashion delicate flowers from marshmallows. Many of the cakes require complex diagrams to take the reader from a square butter cake to castle, duck or dump truck. However, many of the cakes in the book have a charmingly sloppy devil-may-care look about them, offering some solace to frazzled parents everywhere.”

Duncan Greive: The sad fate of the Māori party shows the Greens what awaits pragmatists

“Perhaps the most affecting scene of the election was watching Te Ururoa Flavell interviewed by Paddy Gowerthe morning after the election. Gower asked him what was going through his mind. Flavell blinked, stared hard then walked away from the cameras, overwhelmed. It was left for his co-leader Marama Fox to reply.

“I’ll tell you what goes through his mind,” Ms Fox said. “He’s given everything.” Later she described him as someone who has been “a soldier for our people his entire life”. Hours earlier he had announced his resignation as Māori party co-leader in the wake of his loss of the Waiariki electorate, which also signalled the end of the party’s 12 year run in parliament. While a resurgent Labour is undoubtedly a large part of the reason why, so too is the fact the party has spent three terms in government alongside National, with seats dwindling at every subsequent election. For all they’ve achieved, the prize is oblivion.”

Wayne Mapp: Four reasons why Labour could be better off in opposition

Gasp, shock, horror; former National cabinet minister reckons the smart choice for Labour might be to bow out of coalition negotiations and resign themselves to three more years in opposition. Does he have a point?

Branko Marcetic:  What will Winston do? The lessons of ’96 tell us he might go with Ardern

“For the third time now in his career, Winston Peters is going to decide which party will govern New Zealand for the next three years. From just about every every indication, it appears he’d be crazy to choose National.

Consider the facts. Among the party’s rank-and-file, there is a visceral dislike for and mistrust of the party of John Key and Bill English. A number of his party’s policies, such as writing off student loans for graduates who remain in New Zealand a certain number of years, would be non-starters under a National government. There’s also the fact that, as with previous elections, Peters has spent this year savaging the “neoliberal experiment” of 1984, the foremost proponents of which today are National. And at this year’s New Zealand First party conference, he used his speech to rail about how National’s policies had left the poor and middle class behind, and proceeded to personally insult virtually every National MP in Cabinet by name.

Choosing National would make little sense. Right?”

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern addresses supporters at the Labour Party Election party in Auckland on Sep 23, 2017. (Photo by Shirley Kwok/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Simon Wilson: The good news and the bad news for Labour

“Election night was a surprise. It sounded like she believed there wasn’t much she could do to form a government. She didn’t sound like a winner; she barely sounded like a player. Bill English and James Shaw both projected confidence and hope. We’ve got a majority of the votes, said Shaw, referring to Labour, NZ First and the Greens, so let’s do this. Ardern didn’t say that at all.

This is the bad news for Labour. Jacinda Ardern, facing the first big hurdle of the post-election contest, didn’t jump the barrier but ran straight into it.

Why? Is it because she and her advisers didn’t know what was required? You don’t give up, you don’t give in. That’s the rule. It’s Politics 101. It unlikely they didn’t know that.

Is it because they don’t want to win? Why would that be?”

Laila Harré:  Why the left must seize this moment

“For all of us, there is something slightly unnerving about being this close to the possibility of a real political shift. One thing’s certain. It’s a shift that can start now if, and only if, Winston Peters and NZ First work out a deal with Jacinda Ardern and Labour. That deal must have the wholehearted endorsement of James Shaw and the Greens, most obviously achieved with a full partnership. Both Jacinda and James have demonstrated exceptional personal qualities in a campaign that neither expected to be leading two months ago. Both have been on a steep learning curve. In this way, Winston Peters is lucky. For the first time in his long career he has a shot at influencing the direction of a government, and not simply scoring a list of discrete policy wins.”

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