Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    I think UK (now pretty much just Anglo-Welsh) Labour need to get over their confrontational attitude to the SNP and Scottish nationalism in general.

    It's not in the tradition of the party that granted India and many other countries independence last century. They need to accept that the degree of independence Scotland wants is a matter for the people of Scotland and that it's for England to work constructively to maintain an appropriate and friendly relationship through the transition period.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    The big problem for this as far as I'm concerned is that the proletards and toryscum are quite likely to take away my EU citizenship.

    The EU ought to provide a refugee option for UK citizens to renounce that and become citizens of the EU, with a resettlement grant paid for by a tax on British exports, such as they are.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    Call me cynical, but I think the troll may be back.
    - General cadence of the name, c.f. "fredster jones", "stamper stamp"
    - All lowercase (sorry simon)
    - Appears from nowhere in a puff of blue bullshit

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    Australia uses approximately 20 variations on preferential voting, all of which can be called STV

    IANAPS but I think that single-electorate instant-run-off voting (as used for the Australian lower house, or the Wellington mayor, isn't strictly STV.

    With STV you have multi-member electorates, and the effect is that the number of elected members tends to proportionality as the electorates get larger (absent various confounding factors like tactical voting).

    With single member electorates (for an assembly), that isn't the case. You could have a situation where party A has 51% of final preference votes in every electorate and hence wins all the seats, leaving the other parties unrepresented, even though they had 49% of the votes.

    Even STV for a single office-holder (like the mayor of Wellington) isn't very representative (no system of direct voting for an office holder can be) as it subsumes everyone's vote into final support for one of two candidates. We should elect our councils by an MMP type to elect councillors followed by the indirect election of a mayor by a majority in council (as the PM is "elected" by a majority in parliament).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    I couldn't understand the problem the UK media and parties have with a hung parliament, but I think it's roughly like this:

    In normal countries, when there is an election with an inconclusive result, there is a round of multi-party discussions to arrive at a grouping of parties that can come to an agreement and hold 50%+ of the seats. If this doesn't happen in a couple of months, there is another election.

    The UK has a couple of things impacting this process:

    Tripartite dislike

    = Labour are hostile to the SNP because they feel (wrongly) that an England & Wales state minus Scotland would be eternally Tory.
    = The SNP are hostile to Labour as their main opponent in Scotland and because of their anti-independence stance
    = The Tories are hostile to the SNP because of a visceral (well, since the early 20th century) attachment to a Greater UK
    = The SNP and Labour are hostile to the Tories, for obvious reasons

    Hence it is hard for any two of the (probable) largest parties to come to an agreement

    Lack of clarity and good faith
    The Tories believe they are born to rule and have form for throwing their toys out of the pram if denied (see the Asquith government).

    They may well try to block an opposition majority from taking office. The only way they can do this without a majority is to hang on and refuse to concede. Eventually (I suppose, though I'm not sure how long they can obfuscate for) a Parliament will have to sit and there will be a vote of confidence.

    The Tories aim would be to break any Labour-led coalition (e.g. by persuading MPs that a government not led by the largest party is illegitimate) and win this vote. If they then lose, they will try and prevent Labour and their allies from taking office by pushing for a fresh election, preferably delayed.

    I actually think that none of this will happen, Labour will be a few seats short of a majority, the Tories will be way short and will concede, and there will be a majority government with no formal agreement, as happened in early 1974*

    * when the Tories actually abstained on a confidence matter, presumably as the alternative would have been a fresh election, the resumption of the miners strike, or both.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So the words "I am" in French are now under a designated tapu, not to be used for any purpose the prefects consider less than sacred.

    #JeSuisUnconvinced

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad, in reply to Matthew L,

    What's your definition of gone?

    I mean, they won't ever shut it down such that only the insured get treated, but you can see charges for same-month GP visits, waiting lists that last until after you die, most services provided by for-profit corporations, etc.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Will the grown-ups ever…, in reply to steven crawford,

    Unregistered boats are not alowed to fly any national flags

    Reference please: http://legislation.govt.nz/????

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad,

    I am qualified to vote in the UK election, nominally, but didn’t this time.

    The reasons:
    - one needs to register to vote every year, which involves filling out a paper form, having it it witnessed by another Brit (I’m surprised they don’t require a member of the Ancient And Royal Order of Scriveners to apply a wax seal) and mailing it to one’s old local council
    - having done so, the council will then send you, by mail, a voting paper to arrive about a week before election day
    - you then have to get this back to the UK inside the week (the alternative is that you nominate a resident Brit to vote for you as a proxy. Nah).
    - the Tory candidate in my constituency has a majority of 15,000 (out of 50,000). The lowest it’s ever been was about 8,000 when the MP was under investigation for corruption.
    - the alternative is the Lib Dem, who have spent the last 5 years cravenly propping up the Tories
    - the only candidate I would consider voting for is the Green, for whom any votes are basically ignored (unless you come from Brighton)

    I don’t really see any reason to dignify this “democracy theatre” with my vote.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Anzac Day II, in reply to nzlemming,

    Attachment

    Notice two facts from this otherwise uninteresting document.

    - the royals have given up any pretence to have real jobs. No “pilot”, or “soldier” or “interior designer” here.
    - the words “of the United Kingdom”. Clearly any other places they might be Prince and Princess of don’t rate.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4702 posts Report Reply

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