Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Rethinking the EFA

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  • mark taslov,

    still some way to go on editing front. Apologies to those concerned. the 'yo' should read 'if you'. 'to correlating the election season and domestic violence.' should be' 'correlating the election season with instances of domestic violence.'

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Sorry, perhaps the lack of punctuation wasn't accounted for by the grammar, rendering whole thing incoherent to some readers.

    1. What I mean to say is, I think it's particularly presumptuous of the government to assume that all members of a household are going to vote in unison

    2. It's particularly presumptuous to assume a more public knowledge of people's personal political leanings isn't going to produce the same conflict and discord inside the household, as it does in the media, on the message boards, on the street and in the very government that deems this policy a worthy protection of individuals democratic rights.

    Sure. Under NZ law, it's ok to make copies of the music you've bought for members of your household, and maybe you'll all enjoy it, but that doesn't necessarily lead to the assumption that the entire household will vote along the same lines.

    There will be some families, where one or both partners become privvy to the other members voting record. I think it's better to decrease that, rather than enhance the magnification.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Sorry, it probably sounded racist.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But the two could be linked. I've long believed (off the top of my head) that when ppl feel 'their team' is going to lose they don't go out and vote. In that way they're absolved of feeling like 'a loser'. Illogical I know, but if they don't vote then they don't have to worry about being aligned with the losing team.

    So, any empirical, peer-reviewed data to back that up? Look, I can pull theories out of my arse too: In Auckland, it was a damn nice day. How many people decided to go to the beach, catch up on some gardening or so forth? Buggered if I know.

    As for polls -- and blaming 'biased' media in general (I find it amusing how bias, like beauty, is always in the eye of the beholder) -- that's a rather contentious question about how much influence they really have on voting behaviour.

    Finally, while party partisans will beg to differ, perhaps many people didn't actually see last Saturday as the a Manichean battle between absolute good and unspeakable evil for the soul of mankind. While I/S may believe Key's triumph is based on making people think politics - and him - are irrelevant, perhaps Labour (in particular) needs to take a good hard look at whether it made too many people think politics is a rather squalid snuff movie, and they don't want a bar of it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "I was duly impressed. In retrospect, it seems a fully Nandor thing to happen. He's a natural leader."

    You get the leaders you deserve(?)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    NZ is not the kind of place where people break each others windows for their political ideas

    Given the vile nature of some grassroots political supports, I personally wouldn't be making a statement like that with such unalloyed confidence.

    A lot of signs got vandalised round our way in the run-up to election day. A lot. Nearly (but not all) Green and Labour ones.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    NZ is not the kind of place where people break each others windows for their political ideas

    Move to a small NZ town or locality and you will find that people do break windows if they don't like what you stand for. Or poison your dogs, or smack you round a bit. Just for having an opinion on a contentious issue that doesn't fit with theirs. Sometimes I hear the banjos playing as drive through ...

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 170 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    And there's always the odd seditionist.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    NZ is not the kind of place where people break each others windows for their political ideas

    Tell that to Helen Clark's electoral office window, which has been attacked by an axe, and been broken by a stone earlier this year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Seconded, but what can be done about it?

    I don't we should forget about the proposal which was floated some time back, to set up some sort of funding mechanism for independent/freelance journalism. I am still willing to put $$ towards this--and if I ever win Lotto, a heap of $$$ (another option would be to buy up Investigate magazine, and have a nice bonfire!!!)

    We should revive our conversation about this.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2265 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    __But the two could be linked. I've long believed (off the top of my head) that when ppl feel 'their team' is going to lose they don't go out and vote. In that way they're absolved of feeling like 'a loser'. Illogical I know, but if they don't vote then they don't have to worry about being aligned with the losing team.__

    So, any empirical, peer-reviewed data to back that up? Look, I can pull theories out of my arse too: In Auckland, it was a damn nice day. How many people decided to go to the beach, catch up on some gardening or so forth? Buggered if I know.

    Hey, lets not dismiss the validity of new thinking based on experience, even personal experience, Craig. I'm every bit the empiricist but you can't adduce empirical evidence for everthing and there's a place for intelligent speculation.

    I think there's something in the notion that people could have stayed away feeling it was pointless to vote Labour. It's never been my mode of operation, but most people aren't nearly as engaged in politics as you or anyone here. The low turnout needs more analysis to make out this idea, but there's enough of a decline to suggest it's worth considering.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    proposal which was floated some time back, to set up some sort of funding mechanism for independent/freelance journalism

    Someone told me APN were going to sell The Listener. Let's get a consortium together to buy it. I miss The Listener. Not the rag that goes by it's name but the one I used to subscribe to.

    I've got a list of the first redundancies I'll make already drafted.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 170 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Diack,

    Russell Brown:

    “The Electoral Commission wrote to Mr Hide on Monday, saying that under the act the jacket might be an "election advertisement" and therefore required an authorising statement.”

    Hadn’t see the story but it sort of says it all really.

    Yes given Mr Hide’s strong attachment to and fondness of that jacket, it would have been wise for young Mr Moore to have advised Rodney Hide of the complaint prior to making it.

    But the young are the young we must be generous with them – you should try it Mr Brown.

    And much I am sure can be forgiven in the fresh flush of victory.

    The serious point remains: the only way to get guidance from the Electoral Commission is via a formal compliant.

    Given their decision, Mr Moore has perhaps unwittingly done the ACT Party a service.

    He has certainly again demonstrated the point that Labour’s Law is an Ass.


    Grassed Up:

    You are “sort of” right. The Chief Returning Officer is issuing advice on electoral law matters without the need for a compliant. It’s an open issue about how persuasive this advice might be in any litigation. At any rate, the views of the Chief Returning Officer do not bind the Electoral Commission which is taking a more conservative approach in only considering and determining actual complaints lodged. In a nutshell, in any judicial review, the Courts are likely to defer to the Commission on findings of fact. Dean Knight has some good writing on the administrative law aspects of this here: www.laws179.co.nz

    In the case of the jacket it’s the presence of the logo that might make it an electoral expense. The logo and slogan with no entreaty to vote for Mr Hide point to it being a party electoral advertisement rather than a candidate electoral advertisement. That’s why the first port-of-call is the Electoral Commission.

    However, because of the poor quality of the law, ACT might be safest to apportion whatever value is arrived at for the jacket across both the Party and candidate returns.

    Russell Brown:

    “The Onehunga house story reminds me of the scorched earth Prebble's Act-olytes left in Auckland Central in 1992, after Prebble was defeated there It speaks of greed and poor character”

    Again Mr Brown proves he knows little.

    The major weakness of many in the New Zealand left is that they personalize their politics. It’s a fatal flaw that Clark for most part held in check much to her credit.

    When she didn’t it just deepened Labour’s demise.

    Mr Brown wants to speculate about my personal greediness and poor character as a contribution to considering what electoral law arrangements should replace the EFA and Labour’s desire to play a role (positive) in that. I understand he is passing through the grieving process which I guess includes a ‘foaming at the mouth’ stage.

    On the substantive issue, it would be wise for the National led Government to seek as broader Parliamentary agreement about electoral law as is possible. That means substantial buy in from a Goff led Labour Party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I understand he is passing through the grieving process which I guess includes a ‘foaming at the mouth’ stage.

    Oh, I'm rabid, me ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18507 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    The major weakness of many in the New Zealand left is that they personalize their politics

    I understand he is passing through the grieving process which I guess includes a ‘foaming at the mouth’ stage.

    Let it not be said that one can't preach one thing and do something completely different within the space of a few paragraphs. Or is it the case that this is one of those weaknesses that some on the right share with the "the New Zealand left"?

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The serious point remains: the only way to get guidance from the Electoral Commission is via a formal compliant.

    Actually, I think the serious point was that you said:

    On Mr Hide's jacket (apart from making the law look ridiculous) ACT needs to know how the Electoral Commission will view it for the purposes of its electoral returns in Epsom and for the Party. The only way to get this is to make the issue 'live' before the Electoral Commission by way of a complaint.

    And then Russell pointed out:

    Mr Hide today said he was embarrassed and pissed off at Mr Moore.

    If Act wanted the Electoral Commission to rule on Hide's jacket, then Rodney Hide would have both known about it, and approved it, as the leader of the party.

    What you suggested is clearly false, since he didn't know about it, and is embarrassed by it.

    Mr Moore might have done it for those purposes by himself without Rodney Hide's agreement, but the story that you put forward that Act was doing it to get a ruling, is clearly crap.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm not quite sure why Rodney could not have just added a little tag to his jacket with "authorized by blah...".

    The objections I've seen here to the EFA seem to be addressable by:
    - people would rather have a phone number/email address/PO box instead of a street address.
    - clothes (not worn for consideration) should be exempted
    - personal websites should be exempted, even if they aren't blogs
    - there could be a de-mnimus rule where the breach of the act is considered to be immaterial in persuading any voters
    - the Electoral Commission could offer rulings that would protect anyone from subsequent prosecution

    If that's all people want, then it hardly seems to be the corrupt and chilling attack on freedom of expression that our new government press claims.

    Or is the real agenda for ultra-wealthy people to be able to spend as much money as they like to try and get their preferred party elected?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    The major weakness of many in the New Zealand left is that they personalize their politics.

    We can all be grateful that, during these last nine years, no-one on the Right has made an issue of a Government Minister's sexuality or speculated about private lives.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    my objection is not the street address, it's the lack of anonymity RoO. Why not just publish everyone's votes in the newspapers? Why shouldn't citizens be able to protest controversial legislation in election year, providing absolutely no contact information. Aren't our voices substantial enough? and what of the homeless? why must a protest placard be validated by anything more than the message it reads?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    my objection is not the street address, it's the lack of anonymity RoO.

    Because what you want is people spending money anonymously on elections? Great...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I want people safe to follow their political ideals without risking any of the complications that personal identification could bring.

    but to your point Kyle. what is the issue with peope spending money on elections? they have more advertising? and people are so blinded by the bigger advertisers that they can't make informed decisions based on policy?

    to me that seems like something to be addresed by the education system. anonymous donations are as easily handled as a briefcase in a parking lot switch. Regardless of whatever legislation is in place.

    furthermore, imposing caps on political action, merely reinforces the abject notion that the advertising should be taken heed of. That it is somehow dangerous, which brings us back to education.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If you allow anonymous advertising, you basically have a spending free-for-all.

    Which obviously works for you, but I can't see it going down well with most politicians, or the electorate.

    And money does not equate to political action. You could run a campaign for zero dollars if you spent all your time talking to people. Limits on spending only limits some types of political action - typically the ones where you can spend vast amounts of money and get an advantage.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Diack,

    Russell Brown:

    “Oh, I'm rabid, me ...”

    This too shall pass.

    HenryB:

    I never said it was exclusively a weakness of Labour boosters alone or indeed all Labour boosters. But it often emerges in relation to ACT. Of course ACT has both Labour Party and National Party ancestry. I think that some on the left would prefer it if ACT were an immaculate conception. Trying to frighten voters with the bogey man Roger Douglas is immature and actually didn’t work for Labour anyway. The low turn out suggests that some Labour voters were not that afraid of a change of Government and probably thought that their own Party in power was looking tired.

    Kyle Matthews:

    I stand by the statement ACT needs to know whether the 'Mello Yellow' is a party electoral advertisement and should be in their return.

    Rich of Observationz:

    Good starting point however you ruin your contribution with this prejudice:

    “Or is the real agenda for ultra-wealthy people to be able to spend as much money as they like to try and get their preferred party elected?”

    You mean like President-Elect Obama who raised half of his US$600 million spend by traditional means (bundlers and big donors).

    The biggest single donation ever given in New Zealand by arguably our richest citizen was received by Labour.

    Paul Litterick:

    This stuff doesn't belong in the public discourse. But again it's not the exclusive domain of the political right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The issue isn't about how much money was donated by whom to which party, but about how transparent or not the donations were. Could it be that fear of consumer vigilantism is a major factor for certain donors remaining anonymous?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    s/attribution/registration

    And s/$1000/$12000, unless you're campaigning against a particular electorate candidate.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

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