Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Punk'd?

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  • James Francis,

    It particularly concerns me when there is so little attention being paid to the policies of National's first-cab-off-the-rank for coalition talks, Act.

    Sample of one. I tend to do the "head in the sand" thing with Act's policies because I just cannot conceive of them ever being implemented. The memories of Roger Douglas et al are too fresh; there'd be rioting in the streets (metaphorically if not actually) if we went down this path again.

    But...

    It's a good point, Julie.

    Rodney's going to be bargaining no less than the Maori Party. He'll have a bottom line and we only have John Key's word that he wouldn't have Roger in his Cabinet. In not interrogating Act's policies we seem to be happy to accept Mr Key's word.

    Which raises a certain dissonance.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 117 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    reading I/S's blog today I realised that in order to get the Maori seats entrenched they need a 75% vote in parliament - that means both the Nats and Labour need to vote 'yes' - if they do a deal with Labour the Nats will almost certainly vote 'no', but if they do a deal with the Nats Labour might still support such a vote

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Shouldn't it be "H-bomb", anyhow?

    I think the N-bomb is favored in politics because it only kills people but leaves buildings standing. Of course 'hand grenade' might be closer to the actual levels of devastation caused by any political scandal, but politicians think of themselves as Titans.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    the odds of *zero* people voting are longer than lotto.

    I have this recurring nightmare in which I'm the only person who ends up votig, but I made some weird tactical decision with the list vote and NZ First ends up getting 100%.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    What I would like to see running the country is a democratic collective, with representation from the diversity that is NZ (including vulnerable populations such as disabled people). They would have to reach consensus on issues, as good governance should do, so there would only be be well considered, evidence-based policy. I think NZ is moving towards this, if not this election then as the MMP evolves.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2169 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Labour might still support such a vote

    No way that would happen, Clark has already said she sees no need for them to be entrenched

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 361 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's annoying but not particularly alarming that National publishes so little policy. I don't think that they have a massive stockpile of secret policy documents they aren't releasing. More likely they are just realistic about the fact that all governments just make it up as they go along. Which is how it has to be - what would be the point of human representatives if we were actually voting on policy documents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I have this recurring nightmare in which I'm the only person who ends up votig

    well... voting is voluntary. even if zero citizens voted you can guarantee the candidates and their families will.

    you could end up with an nzl government, as you indicate

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Which is how it has to be - what would be the point of human representatives if we were actually voting on policy documents.

    jesus... i'm genuinely shocked at that.

    policies are a manifesto of what you can expect from that government. without it you might as well just vote for the candidate you think is best at working on the fly.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    They would have to reach consensus on issues, as good governance should do, so there would only be be well considered, evidence-based policy.

    Heh, or no policy more like. But I agree, except about the consensus part. That's too high a standard for any group of more than a few dozen people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's annoying but not particularly alarming that National publishes so little policy.

    Why bother? As often as not, it doesn't get covered in any depth and Labour is doing quite well releasing what they would do if only the global economy wasn't going down the crapper. Which is rather endearing, in a post-modern meta-fictional kind of way. :)

    What alarms me is the way both main political parties have been allowed to make spending promises like a drunken sailors in a tittie bar, and with a few honourable exceptions the fundamental reality check of "how the hell is this one being paid for?" has been conspicuous by its absence.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    No way that would happen, Clark has already said she sees no need for them to be entrenched

    If National/Maori do a deal and this legislation is pending from a National government the wishes of ex-PM, ex-Labour leader Helen Clark will be of little or no importance. We would be reliant on Phil Goff (?) and a new caucus to decide.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Derham,

    I have this recurring nightmare in which I'm the only person who ends up votig, but I made some weird tactical decision with the list vote and NZ First ends up getting 100%.

    If you gave your electorate vote to someone else NZ First would end up with a mere 99.17%.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    policies are a manifesto of what you can expect from that government. without it you might as well just vote for the candidate you think is best at working on the fly.

    They're also bloody vague, and seldom followed. I know they're how it should work, but they just never are. Which in some ways is a good thing - being locked in to a document when times change can actually be a bad thing a lot of the time. I dare anyone to write a prescription for what the Reserve Bank should do for the next 6 months, for instance. It will look really silly really fast.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    They're also bloody vague, and seldom followed. I know they're how it should work, but they just never are.

    untrue. a nzl academic recently published(? was heard on na.trad) something demonstrating that up to 90% of "promises" made by "politicans" are kept.

    the remaining promises were things like "everyone gets a pony".

    i agree that the policies are often adapted to sit circumstances, or watered down. but they're still followed.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One observation: it is a little ironic that some of the people most up in arms this morning about the "smearing" of John Key are the same people who spent weeks masturbating over Ian Wishart's despicable book about Helen Clark's supposed secret life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    ummm.. could a moderator please ask russell to not use a sentence like that last one?

    i think i was just a little sick in my mouth.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    i agree that the policies are often adapted to sit circumstances, or watered down. but they're still followed.

    It's the ones that aren't even mentioned which form the other 99% of what government does that I'm thinking of, Che. I think of such instances as "I'll add heaps of cops" which was true but omitted "I'll disband the traffic police to do it". Or "No student will be unable to afford their fees" which translated to "Every student will be allowed to borrow the money".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    One observation: it is a little ironic that some of the people most up in arms this morning about the "smearing" of John Key are the same people who spent weeks masturbating over Ian Wishart's despicable book about Helen Clark's supposed secret life.

    True, but was any taxpayer $$ spent by Wishart producing his tome ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 361 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @ben, those are examples of policy implementation though, regardless of the outcomes.

    if you have an example of election policy not being implemented, i'd love to hear them.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    True, but was any taxpayer $$ spent by Wishart producing his tome ?

    No, but Mike Williams isn't under our employ either.

    I wasn't seeking to directly compare the two -- whatever National's sins, it had nothing to do with Wishart's book -- so much as note the selective outrage applied with respet to political smears in some quarters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    No way that would happen, Clark has already said she sees no need for them to be entrenched

    And more recently, that she has no problem with them being entrenched...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One observation: it is a little ironic that some of the people most up in arms this morning about the "smearing" of John Key are the same people who spent weeks masturbating over Ian Wishart's despicable book about Helen Clark's supposed secret life.

    *cough* You're just asking to be told in great detail, over lunch at Prego you're paying for, exactly what I do wank off over. And Helen Clark isn't even in the building.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    No, but Mike Williams isn't under our employ either.

    No, the but the Labour Party Research unit is isn't it ? According the Holmes this morning they were sent to Oz to search thru the 13,000 documents with Williams

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 361 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    This morning Catherine did a good interview with John Key on Nine to Noon. She asked good questions but Johns answers were wordy and rather unhelpful to me. I was left with only a hazy idea of what we would have with a change of Govt. John has repeatedly blamed Labour for the "smear" but the funny thing is that I have read or heard very little from Labour. The bulk of the running has been John Key and the Herald. All that Helen has said is that there is every right for questions to be asked of our leaders.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

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