Talking Points

Talking Points

…he answered questions instead of reverting to points

What debate were you watching? Let's start with:


1:39, the question is: "Do you want to give students the chances previous generations had?". Key launches into his irrelevant talking point about education standards.

5:30, the question is: "If education is free, why do parents have to pay?". Key launches into his irrelevant talking point about bureaucrats. Sainsbury presses him to answer the question: does that mean he plans to get rid of compulsory donations by cutting red tape in Wellington? Nope: "Of course they'll have to pay" — apparently Key thinks that's a good thing as long as parents can afford it.


4:38, the question is: "Are you calling Dr. Sharples a liar?". Key doesn't directly answer, saying "I've never given that assurance". Taurima presses: "Who's telling the truth here?". John ignores him, and launches into an irrelevant talking point about how he is able to work with minor parties. After the third question ("Can we clear this up?…Did you or didn't you?"), Key finally gives an explanation.

12:15, the question is: "Are you willing to do anything [to win this election]?". Key doesn't answer, and launches into a talking point: "New Zealand needs to change".


There's more to it that just these few instances. The worst was probably when Key was given a question about low to middle income families, and then started talking about the independent earner rebate. Hello? There's a reason it's called the independent earner rebate, and Key's response was blatant question-dodging.

Bad Statistics

There was Key using wrong figures for Kiwisaver membership. A quarter, he said. BZZT. The maths is simple. 812,018 members, 2,126,200 people employed. That's 38%. Clark corrected him: she said a third.

Clark was pretty bad in this department too. She mentioned the average household wage in the context of tax cuts; tax is computed on a per-income basis, so household wage figures are misleading. Given that Labour's tax cuts are so much better than National's for low to middle income earners, I would have thought she'd have been more careful.


I don't think the debate was good for Key or Clark. Head to head means interesting television, sure. But I think it means bad manners and squabbling. With a few more people, there's a danger of someone taking the high road, so everyone is more restrained.



Yeah; plenty of room on that stage for others. Both argued for head to head but I hardly think either'd be willing to go at it one-on-one in this kind of forum with anyone except the other.

I loved Key: just to go back to the youtube question; this is an election about change; it's ridiculous to have eight people up here.
"Of course they'll have to pay" and this means Key is against free education? Wow, I hope you took that leap of logic with a parachute on.

It is everybody's dream that we have free education - it would be a wonderful thing. However, with the state of funding in this country - mother of god I wish I had my BOT stuff with me right now - operational grants are minimalistic. Schools don't get the money they need. Instead they get to deal with a hundred different people in Wellington all telling them a different story about where the money is. His point is valid; get rid of bureaucrats and put that money back into parent's pockets so that the money they do have to cough up for education isn't astronomically hard to find.

I loved Clark's blow to schools' budgets though: "Its a donation, nobody has to pay it" - wow, that's really going to help schools, Helen.
"the money they do have to cough up for education"

So, he is against free education?
No, that is the practical reality of education in this country. There is not enough money to make it free and so in order to subsidise the basic costs of running a school, they ask for a donation.

He wants free education but realises that it is not a financial reality anytime soon.

There is a difference between wanting something and being able to have it.
Whoever is in government is in position to make education free, but is not in position to stop schools asking for donations. That's why we have our current system: free education, with morally dubious donation requests.

Somebody who says "school donations are optional, and parents needn't pay them" is for free education. Somebody who says "school donations are a good thing, and parents will always have to pay them" is not.
How about, "his point is valid; get rid of the bureaucrats and put that money into the schools"? I know that if I were sending kids to school I would be no less indignant at being simultaneously assured the kids would have a free education and then harassed for a donation by the school, no matter how much extra money I might have due to a lighter tax.
You could definitely put the money into schools, if the way it was given out was done on a fairer basis. The more students a school has proportionate to their decile rating means they get less money.

So, schools like the Westlakes who have 2000+ students (closer to 2500 in WGHS' case) but are decile 10 schools get proportionately less funding because it is deemed that the community has more to contribute financially.

However, because public schooling is "free", the money that appears to be there because of the decile rating is not actually getting channeled into schools.

Harassed is damn right - WBHS sends out invoices.
Re: The Economy...

How about Key's blow at 3:20ish? He called it five years before the Clark government even did anything about it!! You wanna talk about being onto things in the past - screw the Tour, I want the person in charge who was on the frontline of the economic crisis.
(The leadership video, for those following along)

Are you kidding?

Key's comments either show he doesn't understand the current crisis (unlikely), or that he's trying to fit in a talking point.

The CDS market didn't take off until after 2005 ($13.9 trillion EOY 2005 to $62.2 trillion in just three years). And while the subprime crisis has roots going back to the '70s (oh, is that too long ago to talk about?), when mortgage backed securities were first put together, the crisis has absolutely nothing to do with the credit ratings of New Zealand finance companies.
Re: 12:15 - she doesn't answer either! And, more importantly she didn't answer when put to the screws about 1/2 of all Maori boys leaving school without any sort of qualification. She was specifically asked if her government had failed them and she talked about apprenticeships. NCEA has been an appalling failure in terms of literacy and numeracy standards and that has bled into university with entrance requirements dropping and courses being made open entry because otherwise they couldn't get enough students. NCEA has been a failure in this area - students survive in spite of it - and she could have at the very least admitted it needs some work.
My official position, if it interests you, is that they were both awful, and that I won't vote for either of them.

I don't actually think he was awful. I think he could have been, but he held his own.

I think, as I said in my post, that the fault of the debate lies with a lack of moderation.

I am suprised, having seen her debate, that she fell prey to some of the petty things she did - personal attacks aren't on in any sort of debate and ESPECIALLY not in one between the two political leaders of the country.