Posts by Paul Campbell

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  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    I'm sure "arbitrary confiscation of assets from the rich" would breed all sorts of tax shelters.

    Obviously one would need to file if you wanted to file jointly - and the simplest solution ends up with a cheque at the end of the year (rather than your employer doing something subtle - and difficult - to make it come out right at the end of the year).

    I've filed jointly in the US in the past - you just drop 2 SSNs at the top of the form - no one ever asked to see my marriage cert - though if my spouse was also male I'm sure questions would have been asked.

    What's really hard for us at the moment is filing jointly in the US (for stuff we've left there) and individually in NZ and then trying to figure out how to handle the tax treaty stuff

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    see - that's usefull information about undecided voters (both that they tend to be in the McCain demographic - and that they are undecided about McCain) - of course to be meaningfull you need enough undecideds to be sampled for stats about them to be usefull (easy if they are 20%, hard if they are 1%)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    Ms Todd appears to also have had her tires slashed, presumeably by republicans

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poll Crunch,

    umm how do you hold someone down from above their head?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Standing Orders 101,

    Actually only 44% of CA voters voted for prop 13 - that was 65% of the (quite high) 69% turnout at that election - one of the differences between a vote in parliament (or similar) is that turnout tends to be 100% (unless someone's playing silly games)

    As a one time CA property tax payer who lived there after prop 13 was passed I always saw the but end of the law - owning a $220K house in Berkeley I paid 3 times the property tax (rates) the president of the company I worked for did (for his million dollar house). The idea that those who vote in a law can vote themselves a permanent tax discount at the expense of the next generation who have to pay extra instead is insane

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Standing Orders 101,

    what I was really getting at was that Standing Orders as a safeguard (to an already entrenched law or to stop entrenchment without the required number of votes) seems to be relatively easy to get around (and makes the whole idea kind of moot)

    In general I think that that sort of entrenchment is a bad idea anyway - having lived under prop13 in California (a bad law that was entrenched at 66% with a 50% vote and has hamstrung the state for a generation) I know just how bad it can get. I think that if you want to 'entrench' the Maori seats you really need to protect them constitutionally rather than just with law

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Standing Orders 101,

    how many votes does it take to change standing orders?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Don't bother voting,

    I think part of it is that there's a common assumption that whoever gets the most seats gets first try at forming a govt - doesn't help you much if say Labour and the Greens are pretty close and you made the tactical mistake of already telling Winnie to piss off

    So what happens if no one can twist enough arms and two blocks approach the GG wanting form a minority govt? first come first served? largest block? the GG makes a call on stability? or whim? ("but you've got Winston do you really think this will work?" - "If I let this go a head will you promise I'll never see him ballroom dancing again?")

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Don't bother voting,

    Tom - I kind of agree with you - but I can imagine more of a town/country businessman/farmer split in the Nats

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Don't bother voting,

    'Song for Sarah'

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2201 posts Report Reply

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