Posts by Keir Leslie

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny,

    I would be curious to see whether a ward of 500,000 would pass the community of interest test under the Local Electoral Act.

    My gut feeling is that it would struggle to, although the LGC did approve a ward of ~100,000 in Dunedin. Will be interesting to see where the LGC comes down on the proposal to abolish wards entirely in Dunedin this year.

    The LGC said in 2010 that “we have concluded that, for Auckland, wards larger than those electing two members are undesirable.”

    There is a weirdness here in that the voting system is determined by the Council or referendum, but the electoral map will almost certainly be determined by the Local Government Commission.

    Putting aside perfect electoral system design concerns, next term’s representation review for the Auckland Council will be amazing to watch – hugely complex, politicised, and consequential.

    [ETA: ps: the Auckland right will have to deal with the loss of the Franklin/Rodney distortion embedded in the original Act - those wards will have to drastically change unless LGC uses a different path to allow a variance greater then +/- 10%, which would be very debatable.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Art with a job to do,

    (from Wired:) "architect Kyle Lockwood" -- that's libelling architects there! He's an architectural designer...

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Victoria Crone and what…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    (a) people emmeshed in those networks are way more likely to vote, and (b) parties don't just build relationships in that way, they do that and a bunch of other stuff.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball,

    Insider trading is the point of prediction markets of this kind in many ways -- for instance, it's not entirely clear why an oil company employee betting on petrol price movements is doing anything unethical (except in terms of possibly misusing their employer's confidential information).

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Message,

    I doubt the voters of Mt Roskill care where in the strange world of Labour factions Goff sits (and it's not entirely clear he is "right" these days, his manifesto in 2011 will probably be the most left-wing manifesto for twenty years either side) but I suspect they do care about the fact Goff is a hard working and effective local MP.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Message, in reply to Julie Fairey,

    Yes! This is a minor point of annoyance for me - because local government in Auckland and Christchurch is FPP, it makes sense for the left to contest elections together to avoid vote splitting, and if you look at the rise of formations like City Vision and Christchurch 2021 they follow on from the fracturing of the left in the late 80's / early 90s.

    (Sure, some of it is about being "Labour in drag" but the need to co-ordinate a broad left front is an important and under-discussed factor.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: After Len,

    STV would create very large wards in Auckland, which would tend to favour the rich and infamous.

    It’s also not entirely clear that “proportionality” is a particularly coherent concept in a not-very-partisan environment like the Auckland council.

    And you can’t compare L/R on the council now with L/R if the Mayor was indirectly elected, as the Len Brown For Mayor campaign would have focussed on turning out marginal council votes instead of mayoral votes, and I think could have swung at least one if not more council wards left if that resource had been redirected.

    [I do think mayors should be elected by the Council, and probably shouldn't also chair the council meeting - or, possibly, should, and a new office of Leader of the Council be created for the political head of the council.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: The pantheon of sporting dominance,

    Merckx was definitely doping, but probably just speed or variants of, which are unlikely to have made any real difference to his performance. Certainly he wasn't doping in the way Armstrong was, and it was part of the peloton culture at the time.

    But it's difficult to compare Merckx's dominance with the All Blacks given the sports are just so different. Merckx dominated across a range of formats - time trials, hilly classics, cobbled classics, sprinters' classics, stage races, grand tours, the Hour Record. And he rode in a culture where even as someone notorious for winning everything he was still socially obliged to give away victories to his underlings - he never won Paris-Tours because he sat up in the sprint to let a teammate win in '68, for instance.

    Professional cyclists race far more frequently than international rugby teams play, and many races are just not that important - same is true of most domestic teams in any sport, and many international teams in sports with global international reach.

    (There is, of course, substantial reason to think that many rugby internationals were played under the influence of various things we'd now see as performance enhancing.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Canada voted,

    It may well be be that Mulcair's decision to go hawkish the deficit was bad, but it's also possible that if he'd stayed dovish we'd now be talking about how he was always going to lose because Canadians couldn't trust him on government finances.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: TPP, eh?,

    I think the analogies with real property are a bit misleading because there's very different taxation and policy considerations involved there. (Although cf the prohibition on perpetuities, and death duties.)

    It's better - I think - to analogise copyrights to a weird bond with a variable term and variable interest. And we are quite ok with bonds having a finite term, and that doesn't seem strange to us.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1439 posts Report Reply

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