Posts by Brent Jackson

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  • Southerly: My Life As a Palm Tree, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    We used to do that on sand dunes. The angle of a sand dune is fairly constant at between 30 and 35 degrees. So, you run as fast as you can and leap over the edge in the most spectacular fashion. The faster you ran the further out you would go and the further you would drop, hundreds of feet it seemed at the time, then tuck into a roll as you hit then roll down to the flat

    We used to do that off the bank into the gulley at Westmere Primary school. It is an amazingly exhilarating thing to do. Almost like flying. It built up over a number of days until there were only two of us left who were willing to run full tilt at the top of this bank and launch ourselves up and out to land about 12' down rolling the remaining 3 or 4 foot to the bottom. Luckily for us we never got further than that.

    Turns out Michael Tolley wanted to be stuntman when he grew up as well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: The business end,

    Oooo ! Can we have half time scores as well ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Uniform Madness: Round one…,

    I was expecting the results to be in the form of rugby scores rather than percentages.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: It's worse than you think, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    Someone obviously likes him (or National), so what is it they like?

    The different responses that I have got from the few National supporters that I have ever encountered are :
    - "It's nothing the other lot wouldn't do if they had the chance" (arch-cynic)
    - "They are better for the economy" (head-in-the-sand)
    - "There is no other option" (Labour a bunch of muppets)
    - "The only way to keep the Greens out of power" (Greens a bunch of loonies)

    I think that there are a lot of people out there that hate the bureaucracy and OSH restrictions that have come into existence during the previous Labour government's tenure, and believe that it is all their fault so will vote National forever more. Yet not noticing that National government has introduced plenty of "nanny-state" policy of its own.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: Johnny Foreigner & the Auckland…, in reply to BenWilson,

    No one who owns property is complaining

    I have always complained when my Westmere house valuation goes up by above average amounts. Because I plan to live here for a very long time, all the increased value does is increase my rates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: In Judgement, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    At New Zealand's first Olympics in 1920 (when they weren't part of the Australasian team), the uniform was black singlets with a silver fern on the chest, styled after the reknowned rugby uniform.

    In 1893 the NZRU stipulated at its annual general meeting that the uniform would be black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers.

    So it all comes back to some suggestion at a board meeting in 1893. Little decisions can have far flung consequences.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Council Elections: STV Q&A, in reply to Steven Peters,

    It's interesting isn't it. Talking about a 3 or 4 seat threshold seems eminently reasonable. It's only when you convert to percentages that you think whoa, that might be a bit small. But I think that's because you automatically compare it to the current, and EC recommended percentages, which, IMhO are way too high. No party is effective unless it has 6 MPs ? Really ?

    Talking about number of seats is much preferable in my opinion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Council Elections: STV Q&A, in reply to Steven Peters,

    Given that the voting percentages are variable to seats proportioned, I would have thought the EC would have proposed a minimum ‘seat threshold’ to enter parliament, instead of a ‘vote threshold’. Why not a a ‘5 seat’ threshold, which is a little under their favored 4% party vote threshold. Why, in your view, did they not take, or at least mention, this option?

    I favour a minimum seat threshold of 3. I'm not sure why people always talk of thresholds as percentages. Perhaps it is to make it independent of the number of seats ? But if the threshold is suppose to solve the "problems" of too many small parties in parliament, and small parties being ineffectual, then choosing a number that makes a party effectual makes more sense than a percentage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Council Elections: STV Q&A, in reply to Steven Peters,

    But maybe that is its real purpose.

    Its real purpose is to provide a good voting system, where "good" is defined as meeting the fairness criteria of voting systems.

    Note that Arrow's_impossibility_theorem proves that no voting system can meet all the criteria, so every voting system will have advantages and disadvantages depending on which voting criteria are deemed more important.

    Interestingly, the criteria used by the Royal Commission on the Electoral System were quite far removed from the theoretical "fairness" criteria. Also, none of the 5 recommendations of the Commission were actually implemented.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Council Elections: STV Q&A, in reply to Christopher Nimmo,

    Not to mention that voting for Judith Aitken is just about the worst possible use of your vote even if you really like her – so many other people vote her #1 that by voting for her you are really just giving up 45% of your voting power (on 2010 results) so that other people can give up a tiny fraction more of theirs!

    Good point - though I had to read it a few times to work out what you meant. Hence, to maximise the effect of your own vote, you shouldn't rank anyone who is easily going to get in, above anyone else who you would like to see elected. Because, as you pointed out, that just means part of your vote goes towards electing them, and only the rest carries over to your next candidate.

    It is interesting how the entire vote of failed candidates get carried over to your next choice, but only a fraction of overly successful candidates gets transferred. Also, after each step the calculation has to be re-done both because drop-outs (who didn't rank enough candidates) means the quotas get lower, and because re-allocations to people already elected, require that the proportions carried forward be re-calculated.

    I do like STV. Although complicated, it does seem so much fairer than any other system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 343 posts Report Reply

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