Posts by Kyle Matthews

  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe,

    That’s probably because Labour wanted a lot more government spending that even with higher tax rates would have required more borrowing , a higher deficit and more public debt. It was not a profitable angle from which Labour could attack National.

    Only if you can't read and follow through on a budget.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe,

    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 think the two differences between the 5th Labour govt and the current National govt in this area is:

    1. Labour got the government books on track by both reducing debt and started saving for the future with the Super Fund. National may have done as well on the economy (depending how you measure it), but the government books have been dragged well into the crap.
    2. When this is brought up National can just point at the GFC (rightly or wrongly) rather than at their tax cuts which has overwhelmingly benefited the rich over the less well off. Labour hasn't found a good way to tag them with this and make it stick - it's largely taken the economy and the government books off the table as an effective campaign strategy for them. That's somewhat nuts given that they've taken us from low government debt to reasonably high government debt, and they're running on their management of the economy and the government accounts.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Compulsory voting and election turnout,

    I prefer my arbitrary lines to have some kind of rationale. Saying “it’s easier to measure” or “the media will accept it” or, worse, “the existing voters will accept it” doesn’t seem a very sensible stance to me. Why is a 15 year old taxpayer not able to vote, but an 18 year old in prison able to? Why is someone in the final stages of dementia able to vote but someone involuntarily committed for depression not able to? Why is someone with a mental age of ten but who happens to be twenty able to vote, but not vice versa? Why is someone working for the UN in Syria not able to vote, but someone in Afghanistan for the army able to?

    I'm not sure if many of those counterpoints are accurate. If you were sentenced after December 2010 you can no longer vote from prison (source) and you can vote from Syria, as long as you've been to NZ in the past 3 years.

    The removal of prison voting rights is doubly stupid, even if you think prisoners shouldn't be able to vote. They're not denied their right to vote, they're removed from the electoral roll. So not only can they not vote, they need to re-add themselves to the roll after they get out. It's ridiculous to make electoral staff work hard to enrol people and then take people off when they'll be able to vote in the future. Sure, deny them the right to vote if you want to be a fascist, but leave them on the roll so they can easily vote when they get out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Compulsory voting and election turnout,

    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.

    It seems to me we need to know how many of those ~25% didn't vote just because they didn't. They're not opposed to voting, and if the paper was in front of them they might have had a reasonable opinion and voted in some way, but they just didn't.

    If there's a significant percentage of people that didn't vote but would if it was in front of them, then this idea has potential merit. I struggle to imagine how a quarter of the population have actual philosophical objections to voting. But then I struggle to imagine many things that turn out to be true...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts, in reply to brin murray,

    The majority of California’s energy is already provided for by solar power stations

    Not even close to that. In 2010 it was 53% Natural Gas, 14% from all renewables.

    Server farms would provide an ideal replacement for the smelter when it closes.

    We've discussed this before on the site. From memory the number of server farms that you could plant in Southland to use all the available power is so ridiculous, that it's other things that hold you back before you get close to 10% of the way to that number of farms - technical expertise, labour costs, bandwidth out of the country etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts,

    Maori, I believe, are far better represented with an independent voice/party in Parliament.

    I'm convinced at some stage that Labour is going to wake up to the great opportunity in NZ left parliamentary politics - forming a coalition with the Maori Party and leaving the Maori seats to them, and the Maori party campaigning for the electorate vote but leaving the Maori party vote to Labour.

    The right simply can't win those seats, they're just a battle between left-wing parties. Once they line up correctly it's potentially a six or seven seat overhang.

    Not only does it make sense in terms of forming governments, it can make sense in terms of the treaty as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government,

    So Edwards is just saying, “politics is U.S style” now. Our political media report on us like we are the 53rd state of America. Fox news style for the ratings. Can’t we shape our own media culture?

    Does the US have 50 or 52 states?

    Online voting - I'd like to see this made an option for people where going to the polling booth is not an option - overseas, disability or mobility issues, extreme distance from a polling booth (people that live on isolated islands etc). I like the idea of online voting but Emma points out a potential problem that we should learn more about.

    I would like to see online voting for local body elections. It would be at least as secure, but could be made more secure than posting out papers and having people return them, but also it would make vote counting under STV much easier. If people could have it as an option (like with the census) as a first step.

    In terms of Labour-Greens, I'd like to see them work together to have a common flagship policy, and a common flagship income policy to pay for it. Eg, an agreed plan to combat poverty, costing half a billion dollars per year, and an agreed CGT which would pay for it.

    This would align the two parties and make it clear their ability to work together post-election. It would also have them arguing from the same sheet when it came under attack from other parties, and make it more convincing that it wasn't fringe policy.

    I hate suggestions for no confidence and 'no vote' options. Why go to the effort of getting people in the polling booth and then having them not vote? Just don't make them go there in the first place. Voting should be a thing you do because you want to have a say.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance,

    No it isn’t. The point is this is simple math that is reported incorrectly all the time. I’m not saying National does not have a mandate, those are your words not mine. What I am saying is that repeating endlessly that National have the support of half of New Zealand is overstating the mandate they do have.

    Given that the only count we have is that National have the support of 48% (which we'll call, for simplicity's sake, "half") of people who voted, I'm not sure what evidence there is for any other conclusion. It may be that people who don't vote, don't enrol, and aren't able to enrol would be overwhelmingly opposed to national and vote for left-wing parties. But that would be wishful speculation as compared to an actual count taken as recently as a week ago. You could just as easily say that they have a mandate from more than half of the population, if you assumed that those non voters would have voted right.

    But this assumes we should want the media “to persuade” their audience about news stories. I don’t know how comfortable I am with that idea. And (some in) the media did hold those in power “to account” … see Felix’s comment above. It’s just that those to whom they must account – the people of New Zealand – didn’t follow through on their end of the bargain.

    I'm with Keith. It does indicate a bigger problem, at least as I see it. If the media feel that the current government and associated parties do things that are dirty/dodgy/corrupt, and report it as such (lets just say that's what has happened), and the public back the government anyway, something in the system is broken. It feels like 1974 and nobody decided to threaten to impeach Nixon, so he finished his term.

    In terms of fixing it - I'd like to see more of the reporting like we're currently seeing on The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight - often using politician's primary sources and statements against them. Sure that's comedy, but it's tremendously effective in conveying corruption. The US voting public as a body seems to be relatively immune to it, but I think it would impact here.

    And no more live crosses - please use all the airtime to give us the information rather than pretend your news is better because you cross live to a reporter standing outside a building that closed an hour earlier.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In Tribute: Peter Gutteridge…,

    Thanks Grant. Gaynor had work on Tuesday so couldn't make the service. Wish she'd known about the evening event - she's been feeling such a loss - Pete was her boyfriend when he was still at school.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Time to Vote,

    As for the baches. Well there’s a fair few on the market lately, In a place like Mahia where there are a lot of would be vendors right now, people are looking for about $300,000 for their baches, and if Labour had won last night, they’d have just lost $45,000 to the Government. No one with 2 properties is going to vote away a percentage of the value of that property to the Government, and no one with a dream or realisable ambition is going to forgo that dream.

    It’s not wealthy people and farmers who have these kinds of dreams, it’s middle class New Zealanders, It’s not about 70 pages of policy, it’s about having the best policy. And just because a million New Zealanders live in Auckland doesn’t mean the rest don’t, that’s the maths of it. These are the reasons why I was against this on the CGT thread.

    I do despair.

    I can't accept there being a 'comms problem' when the answer to this question is contained in the name of the tax itself.

    This is a tax on people who own and sell second homes. They are heavily weighted to middle and upper incomes. It's a flat tax that acts progressive in nature as a result. It closes a massive loophole in our tax income net - there are people who do this as their full time work and they make large amounts of money and pay no tax whatsoever. It will help ease pressure on house prices, on rental prices, and it will redirect investment towards the productive economy, while raising a pile of cash for the government.

    Even if it only does half the things it's supposed to do it'll be fantastic. That's why Labour have come back with it again this election after being spanked with it last election.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 618 Older→ First