Posts by Lucy Telfar Barnard

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  • Hard News: The sole party of government,

    The odd thing is that by my accounting, National’s share of the total available vote dropped.

    Warning: extreme geekdom ahead…
    In 2006 the potential voting population (i.e. NZ resident aged 18+) was 2,974,272.
    In 2013 it was 3,198,495 (Source: StatsNZ).
    If we average the population growth across the 7 years, we get a 2011 potential voting population of 3,134,431. If we assume population growth continued at the same rate, we get a 2014 potential voting population of 3,230,527.
    (I know population doesn’t increase linearly like that, but it’s the best I can do for now).
    In 2012, the prison population was 10,160. I’m going to assume that population didn’t change much, and apply it to both 2011 and 2014.

    There were also overseas voters. I’m not going to even attempt to estimate how many eligible overseas voters – too hard – so I’m just going to limit that population to those who actually voted: 21,496 in 2011. Again, I’m going to assume the same number for 2014 until the real number becomes available.

    Subtracting the prison population, and adding the overseas voters, that gives potential voting populations of 3,145,767 in 2011, and 3,241,863 in 2014.

    In 2011 National got 1,058,636 votes, or 33.7% of the available vote. In 2014 it got 1,010,464 votes, or 31.2% of the the available vote.

    I’d call that a drop in support, not a rise.

    The percentage of potential voters not voting rose – from 32.9% to 34.8%. I don’t yet know what part of the 2014 non-voters were enrolled vs non-enrolled.

    Yes, the drop was worse – much worse – for Labour than for National (from 19.6% to 16.0%), and also dropped for the Greens(from 7.9% to 6.5%) but I don’t want to see this reported as a surge in support for National, because it’s not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: "Project SPEARGUN underway",

    There’s another issue here too. If Key had declassified and released documents that showed that Speargun never went ahead, or that NZ wasn’t part of X-Keyscore, I would almost accept that as being justified rebuttal of a serious accusation, rather than simply declassification for political ends. But declassifying the Cortex papers as a misdirect IS declassification for political ends, because it doesn't rebut the accusation, it only misdirects.

    Also, if something like Speargun were to go ahead, it wouldn’t be described to Cabinet. It might go to the Intelligence and Security Committee, but more likely just to the PM, and it would certainly be classified higher than “Secret”.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: "Project SPEARGUN underway",

    Thanks Keith. Your description here was exactly what I thought as I read the Cortex papers. I thought: this is some other programme, not the one that Snowden and Greenwald are talking about. How convenient, that there was some innocuous other programme proposed at the same time, which they canned.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to nzlemming,

    Greenwald’s interview indicates that we do indeed target other countries at our partners’ “request”, particularly countries where the US feels unable to penetrate, because of diplomatic troubles.

    But there's a difference between targetting countries outside of 5 eyes at a partner's request (which one would expect to be part of any shared collection arrangement), and targetting a 5 eyes country at that country's request because it can't legally target itself.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Key denies that, with extra refutingness.

    la la la not listening ew! He talked about the length of his tongue! I can't unread that you know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to SteveH,

    That and his good looks do much for his popularity.

    Erm, which good looks would those be? I don't see it, but maybe he’s attractive to men. I mean, I’ve read that apparently he’s considered attractive to some voters, but I think they’ve confused familiarity with good looks, a common mistake.
    It’s not my political persuasion that makes Key not attractive. Simon Bridges, for example, is very good looking, despite being a National MP.
    And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say Key’s unattractive, he’s just… there. If he was in a room full of people, I wouldn’t notice him.
    ’Course, I haven’t met him. Maybe in person he has charisma. I met Bolger once and was quite shocked to discover he had charisma, because I wouldn’t have guessed it from his photos or appearances on television. But charisma’s a funny beast.
    Anyway, I think it’s the vanilla-ness of Key’s looks that work in his favour. People can project onto him whatever they want.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to nzlemming,

    It’s even more interesting than that. The Minister in charge of the SIS/GCSB is not permitted to use information gained by or about them for political purposes. Which this would obviously be. Gentlemen, start your lawyers ;-)

    If the GCSB has been accused of mass surveillance of New Zealanders, and the Minister in charge releases information to refute that acccusation, how is that using information gained about them for political purposes?
    s8D(3)(c) of the GCSB Act requires that “The Director must take all reasonable steps… to ensure that the Bureau does not take any action for the purpose of furthering or harming the interests of any political party in New Zealand,” but I don’t think refuting an allegation of improper behaviour would be furthering the interests of the National Party, but rather maitaining the status quo, since deciding NOT to release the information (if it exists) would harm the interests of the National Party.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    From reading the GCSB Act 2003, it’s pretty clear (to me at least) that if the GCSB is/was engaged in any content* spying on New Zealanders, it would have to be doing so under s8C, on behalf of the Police, the Defence Force, or the SIS. If that’s the case, then although it’s technically the GCSB doing the spying, the buck stops with whichever of those agencies requested the GCSB spy on their behalf.

    Content spying on New Zealanders, whether gathered by GCSB or its 5-eyes partners, would be illegal (s8B) unless it was gathered under s8C, in which case GCSB wouldn’t have to rely on 5-eyes partners to do it.

    John Key could also say that GCSB doesn’t carry out mass surveillance of New Zealanders by arguing that it’s not “mass” surveillance if it doesn’t include, I don’t know, Stewart Island; or by arguing that it doesn’t count as the GCSB doing it if it’s being done on behalf of another agency. “Well, at the end of the day, I think you’ll find, technuckly, that it’s eckshly the Pleece doing their job to keep ordunry kiwis safe”. Or something

    *I’m trying to distinguish between metadata and communications content. There is a difference between recording that you sent an email to someone at a particular time, and actually reading what was in the email. Metadata spying is still mass surveillance, but probably less likely to bother the John Key fanclub than content spying. i.e. metadata spying would not be the bombshell Dotcom is hoping for, but content spying would be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    The question of how countries decide who gets citizenship is a different (but still interesting) issue. My cousin wouldn't get citizenship if she were born in NZ now, because the rules have changed and you no longer get citizenship just by being born here; you need to have an NZ-citizen parent as well.

    When you extend citizenship down the generations, but don't allow citizenship by birth, you end up with some curious circumstances.
    My children have Irish citizenship because their great-grandfather was Irish and Ireland allows continuous inheritance of citizenship so long as you sign up within (18 months? 2 years?) of birth. But Ireland no longer allows citizenship by right of birth. So my children, who have spent a total of 10 days in Ireland, have the right to live and work there - and the concommitant advantages of being EU citizens - while some children who were born there don't. That seems pretty peculiar to me.
    (Neither they nor my husband have the right to vote there. Do you think they should?)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    my admiration for Key was taken as an opinion and not a reason to ridicule.

    Can't it be both?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 375 posts Report Reply

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