Posts by Craig Ranapia

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  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The economy’s not going that well.

    No, it's not but there's also a good number of people, I suggest, for whom it's not going badly enough to overcome a small-c conservative aversion to radical change. (And before anyone bursts a blood vessel, I'm not using "radical" as a pejorative.) It wasn't exactly days of wine and roses for the Fifth Labour Government, but "don't put it all at risk" messaging seemed to hit the target.

    I don't mean to kick Cunliffe in the slats while he's on the floor, but he kept say Labour was hearing a "mood for change" out there in the electorate. I think someone needs to be asking some hard questions about where the hell that perception was coming from, because it sure wasn't reflected in the only poll that counts.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A message from The Fabians, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack. In Lincoln’s day the telegraph was barely a thing.

    Another useful thing history does for the attentive mind is to disabuse us of the delusion that we're doing anything for the first time -- and you might want to brush up on your history there, because while the mass media as we understand it certainly didn't exist "the media pack" (and radical new technologies like the telegraph and the railways) did have an influence on opinion of not only Lincoln but the conduct of the American Civil War.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A message from The Fabians, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t have to deal with Paddy Gower demanding he account for every piss splatter in the urinal.

    No, he went into a bear bit of a convention as a rank outsider, a bitterly divided party, and a nation lurching towards civil war and still managed to not only win the election but convinced his three rivals to join the Cabinet in critical posts. So, you know… I really think we all need to reduce Gower to his proper place in the scheme of things. One useful result of reading history is getting some perspective on contemporary bullshit.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A message from The Fabians, in reply to simon g,

    It would be nice to think that there is more to Labour’s leadership contest than whether Trevor likes David or Grant likes Jacinda or another David likes some other David. Is there?

    Well, yes... especially when there's plenty of precedent for perfectly functional political entities being lead by people who very publicly didn't like each other very much at all. Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is well worth a look for a masterclass in that art.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A message from The Fabians,

    I’d totally disagree with you there

    Oh, bum. I’d totally disagree with that, because I agree with Russell’s original sentiment.

    But the beltway frenzy is outrunning the number of things to actually report, and resulting in Patrick Gower’s ridiculous series of tweets about Chris Hipkins this morning.

    Exactly -- there's about as much news value here as various commentators drawing up fantasy Cabinets a week before the return of the writ.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A message from The Fabians, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So even though I’m currently of the view that the obsessing about the predicament of the Labour Party is greatly outrunning the supply of actual news about same

    I’d totally disagree with you there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking about. Not least because, in my view, everyone should want to see a healthy opposition acting as a check and balance to the government of whatever day. I may be a Tory, but it serves my interests as a citizen much better if Labour isn't stuck playing out some political version of the Oresteia.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Science and Democracy, in reply to andin,

    Umm don’t think Treasury is a very science based dept. Could be wrong tho’. All those numbers… looks kind of sciencey.

    I really hope the departmental Chief Executives probably drafting BIMs as we speak aren’t just random weirdos picked up off the street. They can contain all the free and frank advice, impeccably reasoned and entirely worthy, in the world from people who have a sound grasp of their departments and relevant public policy issues but their Ministers are under precisely no obligation to follow any of it.

    But that’s a digression, because I was just agreeing with Bart that Humph Applebey’s sneer at Peter Gluckman was unfair. He’s an adviser, and sneering at him as some kind of National Party hack because he’s not doing a three-point flounce out of the room not only misunderstands what his job actually is, but isn’t particularly useful either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Science and Democracy, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    While like any person Professor Sir Peter Gluckman may have faults this is an extremely unfair characterisation of him.

    He is a very good scientist in his own field and as science adviser he has tried to advise without burning the delicate bridge between the adviser position and the office of the PM.

    Agreed – and to throw a reality check into the mix here, no matter what stripe the government is an “adviser” is precisely that. Free and frank expert advice is a wonderful thing, but there’s plenty of papers in the National Archives that prove you can’t make your political lords and mistresses take a blind bit of notice if they just don’t want to. (c.f. Michael Cullen’s dismissal of Treasury’s 2005 briefing to the incoming Government as the usual triennial “ideological burp.” Which, on one level is fair enough. Cullen's job was to advance a fiscal and tax agenda Labour had an electoral mandate for, not rubber stamp Treasury briefing papers.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Compulsory voting and election turnout, in reply to izogi,

    Exactly! And since I've been a financial member of a political party for almost twenty-five years, I'll put my hand up and say Team Me is part of the problem. The data don't lie, and it's a simple matter of fact that nearly a quarter of registered voters didn't vote on Saturday. (And don't even get me started on the even worse turn out for local body elections -- because I've never seen anyone complain their rates are too low.) Don't want to give anyone the impression I think that not a problem, but I'm not convinced compulsory voting would address the deeper issues here.

    That said, I'd like to thank everyone (including OPer Alex Mackenzie) for putting cogent and thoughtful arguments up in favor. You haven't changed my mind (yet), but you've made me look at the question not only deeper but from angles I'd never thought of before. That's a very good thing indeed.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Compulsory voting and election turnout, in reply to David Haywood,

    I’m now convinced that we need to (properly) implement compulsory voting to counteract the vote-discouraging strategies that are already being used in NZ.

    With all due and sincere respect to both you and Moz, aren’t you elevating form over substance? If the main “vote-discouraging strategy” is well… politicians and policies people feel don’t represent their interests in a meaningful way (*), I don’t think a 100% turnout with 23% of the ballots spoiled or otherwise invalid (or 23% of the electorate being criminalized) is any more laudable than what happened on Saturday.

    {*} And my caveat there is I don’t actually know. Nobody really does, and perhaps we need to make more of an effort to find out before going for the nuclear option.

    “Properly” meaning with the caveat that Steven Crawford (and others) have mentioned: an I don’t want to vote option and a none of the above option.

    We already have both of the above, and 23% of registered voters exercised it on Saturday by not voting. As I said up thread, perhaps we should be engaging people instead of functionally making them criminals for being disengaged from politics and the political process. Or patronizing them as mindless puppets of some vast right-wing conspiracy.

    And I’d also like someone to rebut the point Robyn made near the top of the thread. What’s the stick here that won’t disproportionately affect the poor and the young who, at least anecdotally, make up a very large chunk of that missing million we hear so much about? Checking some privilege here might be a useful exercise.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

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