Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #6: Afternoons with Jim Mora

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  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Geoff Pritchard,

    The argument that “MMP needs 120 MPs” is based on the assertion that the maximum practicable size for an electorate is 1/70th of the population. Thus, the current 70 electorates are already as large as they could possibly be.

    That strikes me as unlikely, given that we've had an MMP system with 60 general electorates. We've also had as few as 24 electorates under FPP (electing 37 Members). And even if we have 60/63/70 electorates, you'll also need to explain why we need 60/57/50 list seats.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    So the National Party says that National Radio doesn’t have a right wing bias, and we must believe them.

    No. That's why I invited others to disagree with the categorisation.

    And you’ll notice that Farrar’s analysis doesn’t look at the time people got, just the fact that they appeared.

    No. It was a list of people who appeared over a month. There were a little under 40 names. At 10 a week, there might be a few double-ups, but most would have appeared only once.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    if we upset them, they'll go off and form an independent federal state with Tasmania

    and take all their frozen lamb and gold with them.
    Oh, wrong century.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    But less than a third of the whole list are women and I still bet none of the regulars are non pakeha and/or under 40.

    I don't believe Scott Yorke is 40. Nor Matt Nippert?

    And I've no idea whether Chris Wikaira is a regular, but profiling would suggest some level of non-pakeha-ness, and google (http://brg.co.nz/people/wikaraC.htm) suggests "Chris Wikaira’s tribal affiliations are Ngati Maniapoto, Nga Puhi and Pakeha." If you're taking issue with that, non-pakeha may be a tough criterion to defeat.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    This doesn't show the proportion per show (particularly of late) or of how each issue is dealt with- the way a host backs an opinion or frames a topic.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Here is October's List, which I extracted from the website thanks to regular URLs. I'm not on Facebook, so can't easily look up peoples demographic info. This list has them seperately for each appearance so accounts for frequency. There was a little copy/pasting so there might be a manual error, but the total seems accurate:
    Anna Chin
    Anna Chinn
    Barry Corbett
    Bomber Bradbury
    Brian Edwards
    Brian Edwards
    Chris Trotter
    Chris Wikaira
    David Farrar
    David Slack
    Duncan Webb
    Finlay MacDonald
    Finlay MacDonald
    Garry Moore
    Garry Moore
    Gary McCormick
    Irene Gardiner
    Jeremy Elwood
    Jock Anderson
    Joe Bennett
    John Bishop
    John Bishop
    John Dunne
    Jonathan Krebs
    Kevin Milne
    Mark Inglis
    Matt Nippert
    Michele A'Court
    Michelle Boag
    Michelle Boag
    Mike Williams
    Neil Miller
    Neil Miller
    Nevil Gibson
    Penny Ashton
    Raybon Kan
    Rosemary McLeod
    Scott Yorke
    Simon Pound
    Sir Bruce Slane
    Tino Pereira
    Tony Doe

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 824 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Pritchard, in reply to Sacha,

    how do you get from 70 to 120 rather than 140? Maori seats?

    MMP uses the list seats to achieve proportionality. For this to work nicely, the list seats need to be roughly 40% of the total; having 70 electorates thus implies 120 (-ish) seats in all.

    It's not a hard-and-fast requirement - the system would still work with fewer list seats, but there would be a risk of less-proportional outcomes. Since proportionality is one of the main things MMP has going for it, that would be a serious flaw.

    The Maori seats (currently 7) are included in the total of 70 electorates.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    OK two men who may be not quite 40 and one conservative Maori man. Not much a nod towards equity.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Pritchard, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The notion that electorates can't possibly be larger than 1/70th of the population isn't one I subscribe to myself.

    It's interesting to note that MMP could work just fine with a 99-seat Parliament - if we were willing to reduce the number of electorates from 70 to 60 (leaving 39 list seats to maintain proportionality with). That doesn't seem so different from the first MMP election in 1996, which had 65 electorates.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    OK two men who may be not quite 40 and one conservative Maori man. Not much a nod towards equity.

    And looking at October above:
    Raybon Kan, Simon Pound, Penny Ashton, Tino Pereira, Mark Inglis, Jeremy Elwood.
    I think.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Because I have trouble not doing extensive unasked research on topics for no reward, here is the canonical list of people who, in the period 01 Feb 2011 to 31 Oct 2011, made up 72% of panel appearances in order of frequency:
    Name (appearances)
    Neil Miller (12)
    Graham Bell (12)
    David Farrar (12)
    Finlay MacDonald (11)
    David Slack (10)
    Tony Doe (9)
    Bomber Bradbury (9)
    Rosemary McLeod (9)
    Michelle Boag (9)
    Gary McCormick (9)
    Chris Trotter (9)
    Brian Edwards (8)
    Mark Inglis (8)
    John Bishop (8)
    Bernard Hickey (8)
    Irene Gardiner (8)
    Sue Wells (7)
    Stephen Franks (7)
    Simon Pound (7)
    Barry Corbett (7)
    Matt Nippert (7)
    Jock Anderson (7)
    Jane Clifton (7)
    Islay Mcleod (7)
    Tim Watkin (6)
    Duncan Webb (6)
    Sir Bruce Slane (6)
    Raybon Kan (6)
    Penny Ashton (6)
    Ali Jones (6)
    Michelle A'Court (6)
    Julia Hartley-Moore (6)
    Jonathan Krebs (6)

    Regardless of how baby-boom complacency the panel is weighted, I wish to point out the afternoon show it replaced had a regular spot for homeopathic pet treatments.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 824 posts Report Reply

  • peterpeasant,

    Leaving aside the tower of Pisa discussion (which way it tilts depends on where one stands), the MMP system was dreamt up by victorious Allied forces after WW2 and foisted on Germany.to block any future German power blocs setting off another major war.

    Within the context of the 1940's it made sense from the Allies point of view, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" etc.

    Whether this idea holds up in a non militaristic sense is questionable. Germany is certainly calling the shots financially within the EC. An irony I find deeply amusing.

    Nevertheless MMP tends to preclude powerful lobby groups allying with certain parties to overwhelm the rest of us.

    The NAZIS came in via a preferential system.

    MMP has its minor irritations but it is the best system for a truly democratic pluralistic society..

    It would be salutary for all of us to go back to the original recommendations.

    What we have is not quite what was in the original report.

    new zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to David Hood,

    Pryer engagement….

    Because I have trouble not doing extensive unasked
    research on topics for no reward

    There must be a suitable name for that wonderful condition…
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4199 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to David Hood,

    How about age, ethnicity, socio-economic decile and voting record while you are at it?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to peterpeasant,

    The NAZIS came in via a preferential system.

    Nope. Proportional. The change after the war was to introduce electorates (and the new threshold, I think).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I live in the south island, I don’t care if we have 16, 15, 14 etc MPs. Just as long as we get a fair number based on how many of us there are.

    To be fair, if there were fewer (general) seats in the South Island, they would start to be hilariously unmanageably large.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    like the Maori electorates, you mean?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Pretty much. There's a real problem with the size of the Maori seats and some of the Southern general seats. It is really problematic that if someone living in Blenheim is on the Maori Roll, then it is almost always half a day's travel to meet the MP, or even see their office.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1251 posts Report Reply

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It's a variant of Helium Hand Syndrome.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 59 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It is really problematic that if someone living in Blenheim is on the Maori Roll, then it is almost always half a day’s travel to meet the MP, or even see their office.

    The Maori MPs are given much greater funding for travel around their electorate and locally based support staff, to help address this problem. It doesn't solve it; still much harder than driving across Mangere, but it's a decent compromise.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Arguing about the the makeup of the panel’s guests isn’t the half of it. The panel frequently has Mora inviting on and interviewing hard-right commentators, to whom Mora then proceeds to lob gentle tennis ball questions.

    Mora’s loaded guest list and questioning technique was perfectly illustrated by his patsy interview with Jordan Williams. For example, Mora asked Williams about his “vote for change” front-group and Williams was allowed to say his organisation is “…a membership-driven, grassroots campaign…” without challenge. Mora simply let William’s statement sit as fact for his audience. This is despite the astroturfing nature of William’s/Shirtcliffe organisation being well documented and remarked on in the media – as for example here and here and here – and any two minute Google search would have revealed that. Any journalist worth his or her salt should surely have at least raised this question, and asked about Peter Shirtcliffe’s involvement with the vote for change organisation as well. Failing to do so raises serious questions about Mora’s partiality, since he is a smart and well informed guy and he must have known Williams was basically lying. The other option is Jim Mora is simply an incompetent journalist not fit to run his afternoon show.

    This isn’t an isolated example of Mora’s style of right wing loaded “journalism”, just the most recent to hand. He does it all the time. having Brian Edwards and Michelle Boag on your panel may maintain a veneer of “balance”, but the truth is Mora seems to carefully screen his subject matter experts to present an often very right wing view against which his “left wing” panel member is frequently reduced to playing the role of token opponent to a hegemonistic conservative world view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Major arguments for 120 MPs were the hope that any governing body of MPs (be it one party or many) would have a sufficient number of people in it to provide enough competent people to populate any Cabinet…and also a large enough backbench that the executive might have their chain yanked if they became too dictatorial. People who recommended 120 MPs had the Muldoon cabinets very much in mind where the Cabinet was almost the larger part of the governing National Party caucus….and with the usual complement of dead wood, time-servers and faithful retainers.

    I’d prefer 150.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Withers,

    greater numbers were also meant to better power Select Committee work, I recall

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The myth of the hard working minister must be maintained, 19 hours a day 7 days a week you know.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

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