Posts by Alex Coleman

  • Polity: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball,

    My position remains that Labour should burn down Winston's fence.

    Guessing what he'll do, trying to assign probabilities, maintain relations, and all that jazz is useless. I don't think even he knows what he will do until after the election. Until the election he will make that clear. This attracts voters from both 'sides', if you like.

    I suspect, and you'd know more than I, that a good chunk of his base don't like National, but don't want the Greens. Others don't really care between Lab and Nat and just like Winston.

    For voters who do have a pref between Lab and Nat, the risk of voting for Winston needs to be made explicit. Labour sidling up to NZF and playing nice diminishes that message and makes voting NZF seem safe for voters who don't like National. Make them choose between their dislike of the Greens and their dislike of National by saying a vote for NZF is probably a vote for National.

    That message, if sent strongly and consistently, should see (if I'm right) some small shift from NZF to LAB. And possibly a shift from NAT to NZF if they can be seen as a less risky vote for NATS. Which would be a nice dynamic to have.

    Winston's fence delenda est

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: An Orwellian Alice in Wonderland,

    I don't understand why Key being away stops this being an issue. There will be an acting PM, and a Minister of FA&Trade.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    My guess, is probably not.

    I'm wondering if Paddy Gower is following this. 'You told me this, but Oh Noes', is pretty much his brand.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: So who exactly placed conditions…, in reply to Dave Patrick,

    People wave it at sports events, it’s on the gravestones of soldiers overseas, people will be excited about it and want to own it (with an aside about how New Zealanders are patriotic but don’t show it, but if we had a nice new flag with a fern on it, then everyone would want to wave one all the time).

    This seems to be the spiel, I saw someone tweeting this morning that he was making similar noises at some event or other.

    Hooton makes a similar argument about Ferns flying at rugby games and I think I've seen a DPF post along similar lines. They recall that at the last world cup plenty of kiwis flew the fern and think that it's because we are embarrassed by our flag, or something like that.

    I think a more obvious explanation is that we fly the fern at All Blacks matches because we are attending as rugby mad All Blacks fans. Being a NZer is part of that, it's related for sure, but the fern isn't a substitute for the national flag at test matches; it's the All Blacks symbol. We fly it for that reason. And that sponsors usually give versions away free at the gate.

    And the thing about putting the new flag on all our products if it's a fern is similar. I'm not convinced that many people will ditch their own fern designs to put the national flag on their goods. It's just odd thinking. Not the oddest thing I've seen this week, but only coz I just watched a Republican primary debate.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: So who exactly placed conditions…, in reply to SteveH,

    I think the first referendum shouldn't have any flags at all on it. Just ask if we should change. Make it clear that the question is about investigating change.

    If yes, *then* have the panel and start discussing alternatives. I don;t really care about the saving money from the referendums. I don't mind if there's three referendums.

    But we have what we have, and it's a mess, I don't think it's salvageable from here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: So who exactly placed conditions…,

    I think the whole debate has become completely stuffed, mostly because of the process, which shaped the debate in weird ways.

    The order of the questions matter in ways that go beyond 'fairness', and fairness is stupid anyway. The order they are in now introduces a cognitive bias towards the flag design you select as your favorite option for change. Not a huge one maybe, but still enough of a one that it is used as a sales technique.

    The alternative order is maybe biased towards not changing the flag, but why is that a bad thing? Shouldn't there be hurdle to clear? Shouldn't we be sure? What the fuck has fair got to do with it?

    And if fair is the metric, why the hell do people who don't want a fern have to rank one as their second best option? What's so bloody fair about that? It's fair that people who really want a fern should have one to pick, but three to choose from? That's just fucked.

    If the first debate was 'should we change the flag', instead of 'what should we maybe change it too?', we would be debating whether or not the current flag works, and what flags ought to do, does our flag do it, and what sort of flag would do it better.

    But the process set it up assuming that the current flag doesn't do the job, Key said as much when launching it, so that whole conversation has been missed. We haven't thought about flags and what they ought to do before being asked to decide between tweedle blah and tweedle nah.

    I'm thinking now it would best for Red Peak to not be on the ballot, so that after a 'no change' vote this time, it can have a decent crack at next time around, and the Lockwood's will be the 'already rejected Lockwood designs'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The problem is Serco, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Hit the wrong reply button there, soz. Should have been at 'Tinakori'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The problem is Serco, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The disappointing thing about the performance of Serco is that it is all too similar to the work of the Department of Corrections. They were supposed to be better.

    Wasn't the model of contracts and incentives supposed to, via common sense and magical laws of the universe, ensure that they were better?

    I get that you're just being cute, but the point for the model isn't that Serco sucked, it's that the model didn't work as advertised. It would be good to see some serious grappling, from the model's fans, with the 'whys' of that beyond 'Oh just Serco actually'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Meet the middle, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    First, the actual arguments parties run aren’t generally about whether “dole = bludger” or not.

    I get that.

    That’s just the opinion poll question.


    For me, the poll gives us how relatively receptive centrists are to left / right arguments about the morality of welfare and personal responsibility. And to my eye, it says they’re more receptive to right arguments than left ones on that issue.

    This is the part don't understand

    To my eye it looks a like a large majority of the left, a slim majority of the centre, and a slim minority of the right agree withe each other, and together form an outright majority population wide.

    I get that the Q itself is a proxy for whole bunch of other things, but doesn't the data (which we are using for a proxy) suggest that slightly over half of the centre, and slightly under half of the right, agree with the left here?

    I don't get how you see it as meaning 'the centre' agrees with the slight majority of the right.

    Both of those two groups are split down the middle on how they view it, aren't they?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

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