Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Quite the Two-Step

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  • BenWilson,

    How did you manage to get dual citizenship for the US? I thought that was not allowed?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    As I understand the rules, it's allowed if you're a citizen of both countries by birth/descent: with a Cajun father and a mother from Invercargill, I can legally have both. Dual citizenship is only a no-no if you, as a US citizen, 'swear allegiance' to another country. So my husband, born and raised in Texas, could not become a NZ passport-holder without renouncing his US citizenship.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I'm not sure that's true any more, Danielle- I think there was a supreme court case in the 80s relating to draft-dodger who took out Canadian citizenship, and then successfully sued to get his US citizenship rights as well.
    But I'm too lazy to find out for sure.
    Voting for Pres in Texas is the same waste of time as my voting in Vermont.... just from the other direction.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    According to Wikipedia you used to lose US citizenship if you were naturalized in another state, but that had no legal basis and doesn't happen any more.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    . So my husband, born and raised in Texas, could not become a NZ passport-holder without renouncing his US citizenship.

    Aaah.. off the top of my head,NZ doesn't ask that one renounces any previously held citizenship when getting NZ citizenship. The Americans may see it differently.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Are you saying, Rob, that the man in the US Consulate in Auckland lied to me? I feel so betrayed.

    The tubes are helpful: I see that the Department of State has a wishy-washy policy on deliberate dual citizenship: you don't necessarily lose your US citizenship unless you show that you 'intend' to renounce it, but they don't 'encourage' dual citizenship either, in case you have a greater allegiance to the new country. Wacky. And what is 'intent to renounce'? It can apparently not only be a formal renounciation, but can also 'be shown by the person's statements or conduct.' Hmmm. So if my husband was very critical of US foreign policy, for example - which he is - perhaps someone might consider that citizenship-renouncing conduct.

    The US is so weird. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Testcard,

    One question:

    Will Iowa ♥s Huckabee replace Howard's End as the pun-crazed sub-editor's headline of choice?

    Since Nov 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Testcard,

    Hmmm. Doesn't look much like a heart.

    Since Nov 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm not sure if your vote being worth next to nothing is any different in Texas to anywhere else. I vote more because I feel obliged to than because I think it matters. The other 99.999% of your life when you are not voting surely counts towards your political influence a great deal, particularly if you voice your opinions. The main thing we get on election night is a nasty taste of how ineffective our political system is at delivering what opinion polls have been showing us we want on so many issues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Conrad Black gets six and a half years in prison. Good.

    Nice to see that some jurisdictions take massive fraud seriously.

    I mean, 12 months home detention with allowances for working? Isn't that pretty much normality for, say, any law-abiding person with a young family?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I'd say the man at the consulate told you exactly what they told me at the embassy in Wellington, years ago. It's not the whole legal truthy thing. But then, WE don't torture anyone- do we! Actually, I think the law has moved on and most people don't know it.
    The wikipedia entry is interesting. Seems Arnie is still a citizen of Austria.
    One of the things you're supposedly explicitly NOT supposed to do is swear allegiance to another country.(Becoming a Kiwi, you have to swear allegiance to the Queen, "God" bless her). But this State Department link states quite clearly that to lose US citizenship, you have to intend to renounce it- and that there's an assumption you don't intend that in simply becoming a citizen of another country. It's the most clearly I've seen it stated- thanks Rick!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I'm not sure if your vote being worth next to nothing is any different in Texas to anywhere else. I vote more because I feel obliged to than because I think it matters.

    I do feel that my vote in New Zealand matters much more. We are a more democratic country, with a more representative system, more than two parties, and a tiny population - plus I get two votes! Voting for President in the US is a weird, almost pointless exercise if you're in a 'safe for the other party' state (I voted once under FPP here while living in a National stronghold, and had the same kind of feeling). The only reason I even bother is for statistical reasons, so you can get a better feel for the country than simplistic red state/blue state splits (I'm always spouting on about this, but did you know that Texas voted nearly 40% Democrat in the last presidential election?). Or, as my husband put it in 2004: 'I want to be on record as having voted against that bastard twice.'

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And how could we forget Ron Paul: Can't quite make up my mind whether this is charmingly nerdy or flat out weird. (Hat-tip: Andrew Sullivan)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11781 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I can offer no rational explanation, but there’s something a bit off about Obama.

    Although his message is different, there’s a bit too much of the Nerd Chic (think Key and Rudd) about him.

    Note: I make this observation very much from the armchair.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder how a primary system would work in NZ. If you're a registered Democrat, you can still vote Republican, right? What stops people registering for somebody elses party and voting for the most useless candidate. Like, I could register as a Nat and vote for Bob "Bollox" Clarkson as leader every time.

    Most NZ parties don't even poll their paying members, do they? I think the Greens do?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Romeny: The candidate who's declared a war on the secular state. It's only religious fascism when Muslims want it, I guess.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    If you're a registered Democrat, you can still vote Republican, right?

    Rich - it depends on the state.

    There are open primaries - anyone can vote in any primary.

    There are closed primaries - you can only vote with your registration.

    There are semi-closed primaries - independent/unaffiliated voters can choose, but republican/democrat registereds cannot.

    There have been blanket primaries - you can vote in both (e.g. in the republican presidential primary, but the democratic senatorial primary).

    Maybe a post over the summer break if lazing in the sun starts to get old? :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, but in all cases, American's can vote against their registration in the final Presidential election, can't they? So a moderate Republican who decided the adopted candidate was too extreme/mad/dumb could vote Democrat.

    And a registration is just that - it isn't like joining a party, being accepted and paying a subscription?

    Or am I wrong?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I do feel that my vote in New Zealand matters much more.

    It's the feeling that counts I guess. Our electorate vote is still FPP so I get the Texas experience by being in Mt Albert Electorate. The proportional thing is certainly more representative nationally, but where a Texan might be a flea on an elephant, we're fleas on a horse. Neither one feels that mighty.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    At the end of the day it's the party vote that really matters though. Labour could field candidates that were so shitty they lost most of their electorates, but if the party vote held up, then they'd get list MPs to compensate.

    And that's as it should be. We vote for a party we want represented (in government or opposition, depending on how things pan out). One should be able to find a party (amongst the 20 or so that contest elections) to match ones ideas, and if not, anyone can start their own and many do.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Rich - you're right about that. Registration is about what you vote in (e.g. which primary?), not whom you vote for.

    The US Party system is a lot less disciplined than the NZ one - they are both very broad churches. It's true that it's near impossible for, say, a US Green Party candidate to be elected to Congress, so a serious green-inclined person will probably just seek the democratic nomination...

    Of course there's nothing to require a party member in NZ to vote with their party on election day, either.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    back to the dual US citizenship thing .... (since my family is a wonderfull mixture or all of these) - the rules are weird and various:

    - if you take US citizenship you MUST renounce any other citizenships you have - some countries (NZ included) ignore you, sensibly our country imbues us with a non-revokable citizenship at birth

    - US citizens who take other country's citizenships used to re required to give up their US one - until a court case made it to the supremes in the late 70s - now they cant provided you have a reason to keep it ("want to visit family" is a good one) there's a list of evil countries you cant take citizenship of and you may not become part of another govt

    - my kids are dual citizens, they got both citizenships by descent - it's not an issue for anyone - but the NZ govt considers the 2nd class citizens - unlike the rest of us they cant pass theirs on because they were born in the US - now they've been living in NZ for long enough we can get them naturalised - then they'll be citizens twice over

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2030 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    This just in: Huckabee makes Olbermann's Worst Person in the World.

    I shall get with my submitting immediately...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4326 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One should be able to find a party (amongst the 20 or so that contest elections) to match ones ideas, and if not, anyone can start their own and many do.

    20 is better than 2, but seriously there is no party that really stands for what I believe, and no point making my own party of one. I'm only interested in the issues, not the people purporting to have some shadowy agreement with me on any particular issue, and huge disagreement on many others.

    Naturally, I'd still rather have people closer to my opinions running the shop, however bad a fit it is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Although I was personally hoping that Al Gore would run, I think that both Hillary and Obama would be good Presidents. It will be interesting to see who the winner picks as their VP.

    The strategic issues facing the Democrats can be picked up at a glance with a quick visit to http://www.electoral-vote.com/

    It was encouraging to see the Democrats make progress in some traditionally red states in the mid-terms - surely obtaining filbuster and veto proof majorities must be long term objectives. As the sea of red suggests, this means connecting with people outside the traditional Democratic bastions, and finding a way to build bridges with people with views like Huckabee. If Huckabee does not get the nomination, immigration looms as the wedge issue of 2008.

    Since Nov 2006 • 553 posts Report Reply

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