Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Rodney's Folly

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Paul: Just as a courtesy, could you stop telling me what I do and don't know.

    Paul, I think your wee joke skipped over some people.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Has he read the Local Government Act recently? There are these things called the four wellbeings: social, environmental, cultural and economic.

    And I'm sure Rodney would be happy to dispense with three of those. Remember, "there is no such thing as society", the environment is a Comunist Plot, and culture is something that makes you reach for your revolver.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Sokolich,

    Paul: Just as a courtesy, could you stop telling me what I do and don't know.

    Easy, Craig. Take a pill.

    perhaps folks could avoid mindless allusions to mass murder for cheap points

    People are having a go at Rodders agenda (quite legitimately I might add). A little perspective might be in order. I generally like your comments and the way they drag the debate out of the fringe but sometimes you get a bit carried away.

    Since Oct 2008 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    counting.....

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There really does seem to be something about local government reform that brings out need for people to godwin comments threads...

    Oh, and slightly obscure question directed at no-one in particular - in NZ the government are the parties who have the confidence of the house, right? Or is government something different. I have someone telling in no uncertain terms that I'm wrong, and I'd like to know.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    slightly obscure question

    The shortest answer is, Yes. And that is good enough for most purposes.

    Slightly longer answer is, Government (or the Executive) is comprised of the Ministers, both inside Cabinet and outside. 27 Ministers this week. Government enjoys the confidence of the House because of agreements between parties that were hammered out post-election and before the Executive was sworn in.


    Slightly longer answer in next post.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    in NZ the government are the parties who have the confidence of the house, right?

    Well majority over 50% of members, which is why confidence and supply becomes important. I think.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Or what Phil said.:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Continuing . . .


    After the 2008 election, agreements were formed between National and three other parties, namely Act, Maori, and United Future. (PDFs are linked form the URL.)

    The outcome was that 23 National MPs became Ministers (now 22), along with 2 Act, 2 Maori, and 1 United Future. These 28 (now 27) form the Government.

    They enjoy the confidence of the House because Nats (58 MPs total) + Act (5) + Maori (5) + United (1) have a grand total of 69 MPs in a Parliament of 122.

    The agreements bind the parties in various areas but do not bind a smaller party to back National on every area: the smaller parties do vote against on areas where there is not agreement.

    Similar arrangements have followed every MMP election.

    Do you need any more?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Now, only the geeks amongst us need read on . . .

    Successive Governors-General from Michael Hardie-Boys (in 1996 immediately before the first MMP elections) onwards have delivered speeches about the G-G's role in formation and appointment of new Governments.

    The G-G's site helpfully brings these together - the link above.

    Below is an extract from just one, delivered by Anand Satyanand to the Justice of the Peace Assoc Annual Dinner on the evening of the day John Key's Government was sworn in:


    Although it is an exercise of a reserve power, the Prime Minister's appointment is based on established principle which I have talked about on two occasions this year. In speeches, first to a dinner to senior members of the Press Gallery in June, and then later to the New Zealand Law Students' Association in September, I reiterated that while the electoral system had changed, that the respective roles of the Governor-General and the leaders of the political parties in Parliament had not.

    I said, in almost identical words on both occasions as follows:

    "Whatever the electoral system that is used, the Governor-General will always appoint, as Prime Minister, the person who has been identified through the government formation process as the person who will lead the party, or group of parties, that appears able to command the confidence of the House of Representatives. I expect that there will be clear and public statements that a political agreement has been reached, and that a government can be formed that will have the support of the new Parliament. In appointing the Prime Minister, I will abide by the outcome of the political process."

    Looking at this in detail, a number of points become clear. As government formation is a political matter, it is not any part of the Governor-General's role to become involved in the negotiations, unless the process is clearly at a stalemate. Nor is it any part of the Governor-General role to "anoint" anyone—whether they are the incumbent prime minister or the leader of any other political party—to be the heir-apparent. Who emerges as the leader is a political decision for politicians to decide. To become involved in either of these two ways, would threaten the neutrality and non-partisanship of the Office of Governor-General.

    Secondly, with the exception of exercise of the reserve powers, the Governor-General acts on the advice of ministers. It is therefore my duty to ensure there is always a government in place that can advise on the discharge of my duties.

    It is also up to the politicians to decide whom they want to negotiate with. Government formation is a political decision, and there are many examples from throughout the world where Prime Ministers have come from parties other than the largest one in the legislature. As Professor Joseph also states:

    "Where there is a proliferation of parties in the House, there is no guarantee that the party with the largest number of seats will be in government. It is a matter of locating the group of parties that can command the confidence of the House and the country must await their decision on who will be the new Prime Minister."

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Phil, thanks for your enlightening replies. Just to clarify, does this mean that Melissa Lee is outside of government?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Poole,

    Phil, thanks for your enlightening replies. Just to clarify, does this mean that Melissa Lee is outside of government?

    My understanding of that is, yes. Standing orders also state that the House cannot sit without a Minister present. Melissa Lee belongs to the party that governs, but she is not in Government.

    Since Dec 2008 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    does this mean that Melissa Lee is outside of government?

    I did say 'good enough for most purposes'. And I did wonder if you were asking about the Lee scenario. Here goes . . .

    She is a list MP who is contesting the byelection for the Mt Albert electorate seat left vacant by Helen Clark's resignation from Parliament.

    She is outside Government in that she is not a Minister. But she is inside in that she is a National Party MP and the Nats are one of the parties in Government.

    As a Government backbencher, you'd expect she'd be kept in the loop by Ministers. Especially on important stuff in the by-election. It has been well traversed here and on other blogs that there was a monumental c*ck-up of the first order early in the campaign.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Off-topic, but hey, whose site is it?

    Totally bizarre ideological implosion by de facto Republican leader Rush Limbaugh:

    Boycott General Motors in protest at the government bailout.

    TPM commenters then queue up to point out what's wrong with this picture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Can anyone tell me what kind of credence Americans in general give the blackshirted chubbychops? Outside of the soured wing of the Republican Party and neoliberals/neoconnish types? I realise that this is a very broad ask but I'm interested to learn whether his audience is
    more mainstream than, say,the ANZ listeners to talkback radio-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    he has a rabid following that is apparently dwindling - he's on the radio in most radio markets - in the US almost all political talk radio (with the exception of Air-America, Pacifica and a few local stations) is far out to the right

    He has a lot of competition so there's a tendancy to try and out-flank the already edge-of-sanity competition somewhere further to the right - that's why you get people like Michael Savage being declared persona non grata in the UK

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2604 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thanks Paul. (jeeps. creepy.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Can anyone tell me what kind of credence Americans in general give the blackshirted chubbychops?

    *sigh* About as much as Paul Henry give hirsute tree-hugging man-haters? Hey, I'd rather focus on Limbaugh's estrangement from reality than engage in Godwin-ish fat jokes. (Ann Coulter is thin, blonde and fuckable -- that better? Don't think she wears a lot of black either -- so ageing, don't ya know?) Take from it what you will, but someone obviously thinks he's worth around US$400 million over the next eight years.

    that's why you get people like Michael Savage being declared persona non grata in the UK

    Oh, I thought it was because the UK wanted to protect their export racist industry. the difference between Michael Savage and Nick Griffin is that the latter leads an actual political party in a position to do real harm to real people.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Doesnt answer my queries, but thanks anyway Craig.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Doesnt answer my queries, but thanks anyway Craig.

    As far as I can gather, Limbaugh's audience is fairly consistent at around twenty million who will go out and support his advertisers. He's also a reliably outrageous rentaquote and grandmaster publicity whore, but I'll be buggered if I know how much "credence" (what?) "Americans in general" (who they?) give the man. I've got to wonder what proportion of his audience are permanently outraged liberals who find listening to the man, and reading Ann Coulter screeds with the intensity of rabinical students parsing the Talmud, because its cheaper than getting a pacemaker. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Craig Ranapia wrote:

    Ann Coulter is thin, blonde and fuckable...

    I strongly suspect that one of those three facts is wrong, Craig. I think you'll find that most of humanity has certain minimum standards.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I strongly suspect that one of those three facts is wrong, Craig. I think you'll find that most of humanity has certain minimum standards.

    The absence of a penis (despite what the more fetid corners of the leftosphere would have you believe), makes the third items absolutely untrue as far as I'm concerned. I've also seen little evidence that most of the human race has any standards whatsoever, as opposed to depending on blind chance.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and since Russell already jacked the thread. Anyone got any answers for this question, because I'm all out of ideas:

    How badly goes Gordon Brown have to fuck up, before someone shows him the door?

    Leading Labour to its worse election result in almost a century- where they lost seats to two far-right, racist fringe parties that now have a platform and serious funding to spread the hate.

    Cheers, Gordo.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Yeah, it isn't like the British Tories might want to take a long hard look in the mirror over a culture of racism & xenophobia, is it?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Kyle Matthews

    I remember as a kid in the '70s going on a special train to the Manorburn (sp?) dam to skate on the frozen dam. Skate hire was included. I remember it clearly because it was so very much better than doing so on an inside ice rink. It's strange but I feel pointless going around and around an indoor rink but no so outside on a frozen dam.

    Of course you can't do that now, not in a train anyway. Come Peak Oil tearing that track up will seem silly. At least the trackway has been preserved so it could be put back.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

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