Posts by linger

  • Speaker: Government votes not to improve…, in reply to James Caygill,

    Would you say Parliament is doing an effective job of overseeing anything at present?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Government votes not to improve…, in reply to James Caygill,

    There’s a trade-off involved, given that we have (i) a small population and (ii) a frighteningly small pool of capable individuals interested in running for public office for the good of the country rather than for their own benefit.

    Increasing the size of our Parliament would probably allow increased representativeness, but would almost certainly reduce efficiency of day-to-day running of the country. (C. Northcote Parkinson, in The Law, estimated 23±2 as a committee size limit above which it was impossible to do any productive work.)

    For any functionality beyond representativeness, you don’t need hundreds of idiots; you need a smaller number of capable people. One weakness of democracy is that there's no separate, objective quality control on candidates other than the popular party vote (and/or electoral representative vote -- for which nominations are determined also by the party's selection process). It’s pretty damn obvious that popularity of a party with voters does not entail capability of a member in the job. (And as the Greens are perhaps now discovering, there’s no guarantee of capability even in their more direct hiring process where individuals are popular with the party membership.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campbell interviewed,

    the new current affairs show called Story

    A title not necessarily prioritising fact over fiction.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Government votes not to improve…,

    Germany can have a multi-electorate lifeboat rule because they have more electorates and more MPs. New Zealand does not have that luxury. (And, as Steve points out above, there's a federal overlay to Germany's system that is missing in NZ.)

    And as for so-called “coat-tailing”: if the bigger parties can bring in friends and cronies of more popular politicians to make up their numbers as required by their popular vote (I’m looking here especially at the National party list, though Labour would have the same issue if they had managed a higher popular vote), why shouldn’t smaller parties have the same freedom? The only problem I see is the unfairness of the result compared with that for parties that fail to get over the 5% minimum – and a better resolution of that anomaly would be to reduce the minimum even further (e.g. to 1%).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Happy Days, in reply to TracyMac,

    Hence: an editor should be a "wank champion"? (Cf. esp. Herald)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campbell interviewed,

    Pffft.
    As if ratings would actually kill off 3 News.
    As if ratings were what killed off Campbell Live.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: SIBs: The reality of…, in reply to DeepRed,

    Small-(government-)minded?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: SIBs: The reality of…, in reply to DeepRed,

    red on the outside and blue on the inside

    Obvious answer: A bloody depressed former Labour voter.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Choose Wisely, Grasshopper:…,

    some thought Rodney [...] was a randomly chosen “special person”.

    Some confusion is surely understandable when the statement “I’ve been thinking!” is noteworthy enough to serve as a title…

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Meet me at Camera 2: White, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And the analogy gets muddied because all America’s Cup competitors are so privileged that it’s harder to sympathise with any of them: it’s not a bike vs. truck scenario.
    A closer aquatic analogy would be swimmer vs. motorboat.

    (Actually, I dimly recall Piers Anthony used a similar set of analogies [e.g. swimmer vs canoeist vs motorboat; pedestrian vs cyclist vs car] as part of a sorting process to separate humans from demons — the somewhat optimistic logic being that humans would identify enough with the others' positions not to attack each other/ themselves when placed in each of the three roles in turn. In Being a Green Mother, I think.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1010 posts Report Reply

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