Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe,

    The economy is going ok and compared to many countries around the world we are doing very well

    In 2000, you could afford to live in Grey Lynn on an average professional's wage and a saved (as opposed to inherited) deposit.
    By 2005, it would have been Kingsland, maybe.
    Now it's the arse end of Avondale if you're lucky.

    But it's happened slowly enough that people don't care, and they think it's actually a good thing that their mouldy shack in a semi-ghetto an hour's drive from the city is worth half a mil.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe,

    How much of this dislike for Cunliffe is real and how much is generated by the media, who will simply transfer the perceived disdain across to the next leader?

    (The only way they might ease back is when they perceive that a leader is basically a National man with a red badge, and thus good insurance if the people tire of National for a couple of terms. That's how Tony Blair got elected in the UK and look what happened - three Tory parties with no opportunity to elect anything else).

    Also, Ilam. How many of the "voted Labour all their life" people are actually Labour, as opposed to Nat supporters who are bloody happy they got their cracks filled and house repainted ahead of homeless people down east.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The humanity, in reply to krothville,

    I'm pretty sure it hasn't. If they did that, it would taste like powdered milk mixed with water, not to mention having been through a lot of expensive and unnecessary processing. As Farmer Green says, there are farms that supply town milk through the winter.

    But I'd recommend Zany Zeus, which is use by most cafes around here.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Science and Democracy,

    People talk, mistakenly I think, about evidence-based policy, when really we should discuss evidence-informed policy.

    Typically, research doesn't produce a black and white answer, it produces something like a consensus that if we do X, then there is a Y% probability of Z happening.

    For instance, research could tell us: "if we continue to use current farming methods, it's likely that many rivers will have various measurable measures of poor water quality, and there'll be a chance that if you swim in one, you'll get a waterborne illness"

    It's then down to (voter) attitudes whether this is acceptable. You might believe that we should work towards all rivers being swimmable with negligible risk of infection.

    Alternatively, and this seems to be the majority view, you might believe that it doesn't matter if the rivers are so polluted they catch fire, because when we want to swim, we'll use our pool, or fly to Hawaii.

    The alternative is that you close your ears to the science and pretend that sure, the cows can poop in the creeks, the water will stay clean and we won't catch anything.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to Yamis,

    Thanks for that. That's exactly the numbers I wanted. So basically a $5.30 figure is break-even for an "average" farm and at $4 every dairy farm will be in the red.

    I'm told by a former farmer that a good farmer pays down debt in the good times so as to have a buffer, but given those figures (and the minimal tax receipts from the dairy industry) they haven't been doing that much.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts,

    It would be interesting to see what percentage of dairy farms are profitable at various levels of payout. I'm guessing there are a few for which $5.30 doesn't cover the mortgage, and a lot more at $4.

    Not to mention that with the NZD looking a bit shakier and Chinese depositors retrenching, there'll be a lot less demand to lend NZD through the carry trade, which will make mortgage refinancing harder.

    Key might have got re-elected to run into the perfect storm. Of course, he may have realised that and be planning to head off to Hawaii before his term is up.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The humanity,

    Labour should remodel its party organisation after the Greens, where it's clear that it's the membership's party and the MPs work for the party, not the other way round.

    Having the party members rank the list and requiring electorate MPs to move aside if their seat doesn't reflect their list position (e.g. if you're #30 on the list, you can't occupy a safe seat) would be a start.

    Ok, so ten or fifteen MPs would probably grump off to NZ First, but now would be an ideal time to do it when that makes no difference.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2014: The Special…, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    This is simply a fantasy.

    Absolutely. Even if your personation gang were very well informed as to people's non-voting plans, they still might be wrong maybe 10% of the time, so would show as double votes. Since there are very few double votes detected, there is very little personation.

    (Personation was a huge problem in places like the 19th century US, where the system lacked checks and there was a large pool of indigents happy to sell their votes, plus an electoral system organised by the people doing the vote buying.

    I think our current system strikes a sensible balance between security and ease of voting. In the UK, you can only make a regular vote at one allocated polling place, which is somewhat inconvenient).

    Also, if I was worried about anything, it would be registrations. Somebody could in theory get an electoral roll , match it with a list of eligible voters culled from Internal Affairs or NZIS (which would need corruption in one of those, but not at a very high level), and then file fake registrations using names that haven't registered. You'd need a large number of addresses to use, but I suppose you could use random ones.

    This would be easier with online voting, and in turn require a higher level of verification of identity, making registration and voting harder. Another good argument against online voting.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government,

    Electoral rolls are scrutinised to identify voters who have voted more than once, and to compile a list of all people who have voted (the Master Roll).

    So any double votes would be detected at that stage, and any attempts at personation would inevitably result in double votes (where the perpetrators thought somebody wasn't voting, but they did).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to BenWilson,

    All those people will have made a conscious decision at some point to be on the Maori roll - so why do that and then not vote?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

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