in today’s mail my wife and I received a personally addressed, tidy and colourful letter signed by John Key on behalf of the National Party. It makes a big deal about National’s success with (1) free GP visits & prescriptions for under 13s, (2) jobs & higher incomes, (3) “better education”, (4) “helping children living in hardship”, (5) warmer, drier & healthier homes, (6) breakfasts in schools, (7) grants for first-home buyers, (8) “more paid parental leave”, (9) improved mmunisation, and (10) more money in your pocket.
That's brilliant advertising. Attack your enemies strengths - it doesn't matter that you're doing token amounts in any one of these areas, because the opposition is left with few options other than to say that you're not doing enough. That looks churlish.
The central achievement of this government has been to maintain a narrative about 'economic credibility', while shutting down criticism areas in which they are demonstrably weak. That fails when the gap between expectation and reality is large and uncontestable, as it is with poor quality housing. But give the government six months or a year and they will have developed a strategy that puts small amounts of money into that or any other problem, which will be followed with consistent messaging about how this is part of a comprehensive fix.
Also, the public still – inexplicably – loves them; remember, National won the party vote in every electorate bar three last year.
A plurality, perhaps. In Wellington Central and Rongotai the Greens and Labour both carved off about 30% of the vote each, with National and other parties splitting the remaining 40%.
That Pew graph is also from before the Supreme Court decision. Presumably support will get a bump of several points among independents and Democrats, and a slight boost among Republicans. But a majority of Republicans will still oppose marriage equality, particularly the activist base. A very difficult position to be in.
I suspect any successful candidate will seek to put this on the sidelines.
It’s been a little irksome seeing some queer activists dismissing marriage equality. It’s something people have struggled for for decades, something that seemed wild and unreachable for a lot of that time. It should be okay to celebrate a win and then look ahead.
Quite. This makes a whole bunch of things they’re fighting for more likely.
Even if a rainbow picture is the ultimate in slacktivism, it’s that person saying – ‘your rights are ones that I endorse’. And that support (weak or not) means that progress is less difficult. I don't think that this is a mass exercise in self-congratulation by well-meaning straight people, but I could be wrong.
There’s a really good illustration of how quickly this change has occurred (source with code), and the tipping point seems to have come in 2013.
I’d like to think about what all of this means for a country which thinks of itself as “liberal” and “progressive”, but which sometimes stutters towards progress.
A saturation of saturation? I'm glad that repetition is a key element of electronic music.
I love what Bic & Kody mean. They seem to float warmly above the surface of the earth, occasionally making contact. All the leaves are green, and the sky is blue...
Gosh, what a saturation of electronically-saturated goodness.
In other news, Disclosure have decided that their new album is also a film. I'd watch it.
I’m happy for at some point the medical system may step in and say “no, an abortion is not appropriate anymore”. So long as all the way up to that point the mother is choosing a legal act that is, under law, her decision. Even at that point there must be no suggestion that the mother is a criminal.
Such a state would make abortion legal (with exceptions).
I think that's going to be the consensus position. There are clearly differences between 6, 16, and 36 weeks.
There are two questions being asked here:
What is politically acceptable. (Being something that will be endorsed by a majority of the population and their representatives.)
What is right.
I think that most of us have a more permissive answer to the second of these questions than the first. But I don't think the gap between them is huge. I think we also have the opportunity to move these closer together, so that we get a solution that is passable (to answer Lamia's questions) and also provides the great majority of women who want and need abortions with free and easy access to them.
Even if you decide that at some point a fetus is “human” you are asking, no forcing, another human to risk their life and health for that fetus.
Childbirth is not easy, and nor is it completely safe. In every 100,000 live births, 15 women die.
Because at that point the fetus has sufficient character to be considered human.