Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    And reductio ad absurdum is the best coup de grace to that modus operandi. But aegrescit medendo, and optimi natatores saepius submerguntur. So pax melior est quam iustissimum bellum.

    Vestri mileage variari

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • Australopithecus, in reply to BenWilson,

    Wouldn't the wiping of their student loans by Internet/mana interest them? It is certainly compelling for our under 18 year old sons.

    Te Pahu • Since Apr 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Yes to all the above – though the Asian student population would presumably mostly be here on student visas and therefore not be eligible to vote

    It's probably true in this case, but I like the way that the Electoral Act is quite flexible for whom it considers a permenent resident with voting eligibility. Basically anyone who's not required to leave at a specific time unless they're not in NZ lawfully to begin with, and non-specifically inclusive of Australians in NZ for more than a year as they're not required to leave within a specified time.

    I have some sympathy on the non-voting side for people who don't feel they relate to NZ, though, whether it's transience or other reasons. When I was in Australia for 2.5 years, it just seemed wrong being pounced on and forced to vote in a place which I didn't think I understood well nor had a big stake in (I have dual citizenship through inheritance). I permanently left Australia about a week before their Federal election and so only had to vote in a single local body election in the end. I really did try to understand the local issues and 29 candidates for the municipal rectangle of suburbia where I spent most of my time asleep, but in the end I still ended up ranking the 29 candidates with a 1,2,3 donkey vote from top to bottom. It seemed the fairest thing to do. I think it would have been even more fair not to have voted at all, but that would have been illegal.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Could you cast an invalid vote?
    I have a fair idea how you feel though. I didn't vote in the UK when I was there, even though I'm a citizen and entitled to, because I didn't think it would be ethical: I didn't have a real sense of what the issues were, and more importantly, since I wasn't there for the long term, the outcome wasn't going to affect me at all. Ditto the European Union Elections which I could have voted in from New Zealand because I'd been living in the UK within the requisite period.
    'Course, if I'd been legally required to vote I would have, but I'm glad I wasn't.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    There were a little over 2 years between the Watergate break-ins and the resignation of Tricky Dick. How much faster would the Internet make things happen?

    I'm pretty sure the vast bulk of people are aware of Dirty Politics and it's probably safe bet that news of it has disseminated a lot faster than would have occurred 40 years ago.

    But from my reading of Watergate history, it was the tapes that provided the proof that made Nixon's erstwhile supporters jump ship and thus forcing his resignation. These were the trigger.

    If there is proof that Key has been complicit in the OIA debacle that could be the trigger here. That may depend entirely on what the IG-IS investigation discovers and releases.

    So yeah I think this may come to a head a lot sooner than 2 years but I'm not sure that the Internet's existence would be the driving force.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to nzlemming,

    "Can we move the discussion on rather than get bogged down in futile, point scoring semantics?"

    The ugly truth is that this is Ugly Truth’s modus operandi

    Says the legal eagle who defended the state's fictional description of the common law, but can't explain why Blackstone would contradict his position.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    There were a little over 2 years between the Watergate break-ins and the resignation of Tricky Dick, and all sorts of denials, cover-ups and obstructions of justice in between. How much faster would the Internet make things happen?

    And what really moved the process beyond rumours reported by journalists was the realisation by mid-level employees at CRP or the White House that they were facing jail and potential ruin for doing what those further up the chain told them to do (or broadly hinted at what they needed doing) while the President's closest advisors (particularly Erlichman and Halderman) could deny all knowledge. Once John Dean realised he was in the firing line he went to US attorneys and the Grand Jury.

    It helped that investigations were being run by independent journalists, the FBI, Justice Dept and Congress into the allegations, oh that we had such equivalents here!


    Oh, and I highly recommend Vonnegut's novel Jailbird, the story of Walter F Starbuck, the least celebrated of the Watergate conspirators.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Could you cast an invalid vote?

    I probably could have, but when I checked out the electoral law (as far as I was able to), I couldn’t find any specific info to say it was even legal for me to rank fewer than the 29 candidates on the presented list, let alone spoil my voting paper. So I gave them what they seemed to be demanding of me. It felt a bit silly, though.

    It's no wonder so many people apparently just rank other candidates in the way that their favourite candidate tells them to.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to BenWilson,

    I could hardly think of a better way to alienate them than to say that, which comes across as a put-down. But don’t worry, I’ll find a more diplomatic way to say something along those lines.

    You could show them this pic from yesterday's Sideswipe

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis, in reply to BenWilson,

    But there is something for them, even if they don't think there is. All of the indirect benefits.

    A better off society benefits all members, if there are more jobs, then there is more money flowing around, and more niche industries can operate (ie more chances of finding forefilling employment). If salaries are higher they are both getting more money to spend, and there is more money flowing around that they get paid from.

    If everyone has affordable housing over their heads, they have more money with which to buy goods and services, and the flow on from there, is more jobs, more products and more things to do.

    Since Aug 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Paul Rowe,

    Hearing about is different to actually hearing the message. When you believe something - such as that a celebrity politician you like has integrity and cares about you - it is really challenging to be confronted with evidence that that might not be true. The transition to a new belief system can be long and painful.

    As I have probably mentioned upthread there are parallels with the Unfortunate experiment article in 1986 and the subsequent Cartwright inquiry 1988. It took several more years to make policy changes to implement ethics processes and patients right legislation and 25 years later the original evidence can still be challenged and get a lot of public support. But who would now go back to an era before the Health and Disabilty Commissioner, a code of patients rights, public ethics committee processes etc?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to izogi,

    Could you cast an invalid vote? ... I probably could have, but when I checked out the electoral law (as far as I was able to), I couldn’t find any specific info to say it was even legal

    It's definitely legal (AEC offenses list), and if you read the law even more carefully you actually are only required to turn up, get marked off, accept the voting papers and put something into the ballot box. You may not even be required to do the last two except by specific direction of the returning officer (should that be given), I have not looked that deeply into it. I suspect defacing is legal but some version of altering is not (you can't wipe your bum with them sort of thing). It's very common, in the sense that every time I've scruted there's been a bunch of penises, the occasional rude remark and a couple of times a written objection to compulsory voting or the existance of politicians.

    If you want to be a complete and utter bastard about it removing the voting papers rather than depositing them will drive the returning officers insane. Losing a ballot is a very serious problem. They do watch though, so you would need to put something in the envelope and deposit it, and removing ballot papers is an offence.

    I took completely the opposite position to you, in that I got citizenship largely so I can vote. Sod paying taxes and having politicians thrust themselves into my life if I don't have any say on who gets elected. Not to mention being able to vote for decent politicians and against the ... um... "others". So my knowledge of how to skirt the mandatory voting rules is incidental.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Went a protest for Clean Politics at parliament today. A full time mother (her description) called Millinda who hadn't been involved in politics before read Dirty Politics and was inspired to act. Called this protest and there were about 100 people there. Lots of people had their say about why they were there at the microphone. Millinda said she organised it because she wants children and young people to have good role models in politics and a clean political system. Another woman there was part of the Actionstation protest that is planning a full page ad in the NZ Herald.

    This grass roots democracy stuff just what will counter the Dirty Politics narrative.

    A lot has happened in the last 4 weeks!

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Moz,

    It’s definitely legal (AEC offenses list), and if you read the law even more carefully you actually are only required to turn up, get marked off, accept the voting papers and put something into the ballot box.

    I’ll take your word for it, and it's possible that the law itself might say something different. This specific election was a Victoria Local Council Election, and the official guidance which I can find right now definitely says both that voting is compulsory, and also that to vote correctly "you must number every box on the ballot paper in the order of your choice" .. exception, in some cases, being if you’re given a short-cut method of deferring to the rankings supplied by your favourite candidate. I guess there’s also no specific statement that you have to vote “correctly”, only that you have to vote.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I know it is horribly pedantic thing to point out, but... the Hannah Playhouse was called that from when it was built. From memory it replaced Downstage Theatre, but names being what they are everyone kept calling it Downstage, or was it the company that was called Downstage?
    I was taking drama classes at the time and went along to the opening of the Hannah Playhouse in 197? My favourite memory is being baaa'd at by Lloyd Scott as a sheep in Candide. The stage and audience were mingled so it was a very personal baaa.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Australopithecus,

    Wouldn’t the wiping of their student loans by Internet/mana interest them? It is certainly compelling for our under 18 year old sons.

    For those with loans, I think it might.

    I guess there’s also no specific statement that you have to vote “correctly”, only that you have to vote.

    Yup, I've heard of elderly Australians who have written something about their objection to the process and then donkey voted every time for their whole lives, and never received so much as a warning for it. But my wife got fined for forgetting to cast her vote for the Frankston local body after living here for 5 years, and basically not giving the slightest toss about Frankston's local government.

    I think compulsory voting is probably a good idea, but I'm not sure I would extend that to local body, when you're abroad. You're still an Australian and should let your wishes be known about the direction of the country (even if those wishes are that you don't care). But being forced to decide how to rank 30 unknown people who happen to preside over your last official Australian address, which is very unlikely to be your new address if/when you come home? Not so much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Dinah Dunavan,

    Downstage as a company using the building closed last year. Very sad. The notice about the Nicky Hager meeting called the building the Hannah Playhouse.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    A lot has happened in the last 4 weeks!

    yup, and we need to keep the pressure on, there's no way forward unless the dirt is cleaned out. But the Ad and protest are both good signs. Let's hope it doesn't take too long, 'cause it has to happen.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    I think compulsory voting is probably a good idea, but I'm not sure I would extend that to local body

    The Oztrayns are actually pretty good about not fining people who are not in the country. Much better than the merkins, who have compulsory taxation of ex-pats and will apparently arrest you at the border if you fail to comply. I know which I'd prefer, put it that way.

    I'm simultaneously in awe of NZ for allowing almost any legal resident to vote, and annoyed that I have to actually visit the country in order to vote. I am interested and want to vote, but not so much that I'm willing to fly over just for the privilege. This election I donated instead, which may or may not be legal (isn't there some restriction on forn influence now?)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    When you say "actually have to visit the country in order to vote", I assume you're referring to the need to have visited New Zealand in the last 3 years (if a citizen) or the last 12 months (if a permanent resident)?
    Just in case you're not - you don't have to be in New Zealand to vote: you can vote from overseas, instructions here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to UglyTruth,

    Copying data is not unlawful.

    Technically the internet couldn't work without copying data, every time a document is cached it is copied, peering works by holding local copies, every time you visit a web page your computer makes a copy to memory.
    So, if copying were illegal then the internet would be illegal.
    QED..... annat.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dinah Dunavan,

    I know it is horribly pedantic thing to point out, but… the Hannah Playhouse was called that from when it was built. From memory it replaced Downstage Theatre, but names being what they are everyone kept calling it Downstage, or was it the company that was called Downstage?

    It has always been the Hannah Playhouse. Downstage used to use the coffee house that previously stood there for performances, and the Playhouse was built for them to be the principal tenant. They never owned it - it has always been owned by a trust. There's a good, concise history on Venueweb.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2931 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Moz,

    The Oztrayns are actually pretty good about not fining people who are not in the country.

    When I returned to NZ (and without much interest in voting in the Federal thing), I was very quick to locate and send back the form to be officially exempted by being overseas. It was a long time (months) before I received any acknowledgement that it’d been processed, though.

    I’m simultaneously in awe of NZ for allowing almost any legal resident to vote, and annoyed that I have to actually visit the country in order to vote. I am interested and want to vote, but not so much that I’m willing to fly over just for the privilege.

    I’m not really bothered by the three year rule, personally. To me it’s just a different way of setting constitutional priorities for how the government’s chosen. If some places focus on citizens choosing the government, New Zealand focuses on people who specifically live in the country being the ones to choose the government, even if they’re not citizens. If a citizen overseas wants to have a say, then I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to expect them to get back within an electoral cycle to demonstrate they’re interested in the country and aware of current local issues which the election will affect.

    People in New Zealand have to live with the government that’s elected, yet without the 3 year rule there could be up to 600,000 people who aren’t actually living in the country being given an abillity in deciding the fate of locals.... and while I sympathise with the driving forces behind something like the Expat Party, it also looked to me like it was basically a one-issue party that was interested in attracting votes from people who didn't necessarily have much recent interest NZ at all, yet (without that rule) could take up valuable seats in NZ's parliament to achieve its goals.

    It’s not the only way to design a democratic system, but I don’t think there’s anything especially wrong with it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Such a common story in Wellington. Such a culture of fear in the public service these days. The minister is your first and only client. Don't let anything upset them.

    Nicky Hager says public servants used to do their day job loyally, go home for tea and then go out in the evening to do their civil society work. They were skilled at the civil society work and everyone and democracy benefited. That civil society work is no longer allowed. Someone will tell on you and there will be consequences.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/254178/protection-of-public-servants-questioned

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Conspiracy theorists could make something of Key's closing remarks in the TV3 leaders' debate, when he said he wanted to keep NZ as a "multinational country".

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

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