Someone also suggested on Saturday at Parliament that we should commit a DOS upon the GCSB through the FOIA - keep them busy so they're too busy to spy on us - I for one am dieing to know just how many sheets of toilet paper they have used this month
Not a good idea. Quite apart from bringing the OIA into disrepute, the people handling the requests aren't going to be the people doing the spying. Better to focus your efforts on serious questions which will promote accountability.
(or on things which will simply embarass them, cause the public to hate them and view their activities as wasteful, and so enable budget cuts. So, ask about travel, expense accounts, cellphone bills, high salaries - nothing remotely classified, so they can't hide behind "national security", but which will make them look bad. If you need pointers, look at Rodney Hide's perkbusting days)
How much difference is there between the NZDF spying on Jon Stephenson and a journalist with a telephoto lens spying on a B-list celebrity?
Most papparazi don't get to steal your telephone metadata, and can't call up a drone strike on you if you offend them.
Reading that section, I was wondering if MED had even heard of the Bill of Rights Act. Its certainly a sign that it hasn't sunk as far into the policy-making process as we would like.
And they can scrap away, because (it's worth noting) the Representation Commission is a statutory body and political parties have no more standing than anyone else.
Other than guaranteed representation for the government and opposition due to s28(2)(e) of the Electoral Act
I can't see Queen Elizabeth getting her head chopped off (or the GG for that matter). The worst that might happen is that Key might resign and call a snap election, assuming he was willing to push his luck.
Constitutional Guillotine. Which means a law removing any purported right of the head of state's stooge to refuse to assent to legislation (and/or replacing such head of stage and stooge with a president, but that's strictly speaking unnecessary).
A normal formulation is to say that laws are passed when signed by the HoS, or after X days. IIRC, we used exactly this sort of provision when designing the constitutions of Niue and the Cook Islands when they became independent of us.
There is something lurking deep at the seat of all this evil.
Nothing we don't already know about: a deep-seated belief that its not the state's job to make sure that everyone gets a fair go.
As I understand it the GG is actually appointed by the queen, albeit on the PM's advice. So Key would not be able to replace him if HM refused to play ball.
They're also sacked by the queen on the PM's advice. For the monarch to refuse to act on such advice would be unthinkable, and time to roll out the constitutional guillotine.
I have lived outside NZ for a long time now so it's very possible that I've lost touch with these things, but isn't $65 million a very small amount as far as budgets go? Among the various billions listed in national budgets, roughly $40 million in savings seems like such a small amount for the government to be making such a high-risk move as suspending the normal law-making processes.
Its not trifling, but its not exactly large either.
Conceptually, I rank government policy costs like this:
$1 million: pocket change
$10 million: piddly
$100 million: your basic, bog-standard policy
$500 million: big
$1 billion: Huge (Kiwisaver, etc)
Also, when governments plead "poverty", what they are almost always saying is "we don't give a shit". Its not really about unaffordability; it is about priorities : about whether to trim some other policy, or just spend some more money (whether by raising taxes, borrowing, or when you have a Labour government, running a slightly smaller surplus). In the case of so many policies national is rejecting ATM - food in schools, extended paid parental leave, or non-discriminatory home-care for the disabled - the costs are not unaffordable. Its just that these things rank behind irrigation subsidies to farmers and low taxes on the rich in National's queue. They are therefore deeply illustrative of the difference between National's elite values, and those of the vast majority of New Zealanders.
That's not that odd. We're not a party to the optional protocols allowing complaints to UN bodies about a bunch of the international treaties to which we are party.
Its odd in that it sits badly with our supposed support for human rights and international law.
Clare Curran usually hyperventilates a bit much for my liking, but her Pundit column on Geddis, the Crown Minerals Act and various other elisions of democracy is worth reading
That would be Claire Browning.