Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Unusual Democracy

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  • Neil Morrison,

    But tellingly Conyers didn't push for overturning the election either. I think they spotted irregularities that when they added up the votes weren't going to make a difference. There's a lot that could be improved in how they run elections.

    The other thing that suggests incompetence rather than successful electoral fraud was the Republican losses in 2006. Or maybe their fraud became incompetent.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Flynn,

    "Sarah, please provide hard evidence. Easy to intimate that it was rigged, hard to prove."

    Ah yes, indeed. I have no proof at all, just a feeling (by the pricking of my thumbs...)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    Re: The "scalping being an evil thing" - can someone explain to me why, in the fabulous free market economy it is so vile?

    If I buy a 2nd hand book for 50 cents and flog it for $1000 why is this OK, while buying a Guns n Roses ticket for $100 and selling it for $200 is not? Apart from the obvious moral questions around taking advantage of the demented that is. What's the difference?

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Ah yes, indeed. I have no proof at all, just a feeling (by the pricking of my thumbs...)

    Good enough!







    THEATRE!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Re: The "scalping being an evil thing" - can someone explain to me why, in the fabulous free market economy it is so vile?

    I suppose for me there are two things:
    1. You have chosen to not participate in the culture, be it sport or thetre or music etc etc, but you have chosen to profit off the "misfortune" of others not able to get to the front of the line fast enough.

    2. You are inserting a middleman. In the free market the price of a ticket has been determined to be $X. You are selling the tickets you purchased for $X at $X+$A. The system is no longer a free market (as far as I see it).

    The artist (or whoever) doesn't get a slice of your $A profit either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But tellingly Conyers didn't push for overturning the election either. I think they spotted irregularities that when they added up the votes weren't going to make a difference.

    It wasn't a matter of overturning the election result but of stopping the 20 electoral votes from Ohio from being registered, at which point it would be too late.

    And Conyers and other Democrats, for only the third time in history, did just that.

    Inevitably, they lost in both Houses (voting was entirely along party lines) but it's simply incorrect to say the Democrats didn't challenge the conduct of the election. After they lost the action to stop the votes being registered the Conyers report was produced demanding a sweeping inquiry. I just can't see how you can imply they had a look, decided nothing much was up, and walked away.

    There were also two civil actions (one mounted by the Libertarian Party candidate) that were rendered moot when the electoral votes were confirmed.

    And don't put too much faith in recounts as practiced in the US. In the first instance, a recount means 3% of the votes in each precinct are recounted, and even that doesn't seem to have been done properly. The civil litigants cited 29 violations of electoral law in the conduct of the recount, some of which (such as using a pre-selected, rather than random, sample) could have easily affected the result, or covered up previous irregularities.

    The whole thing stank, basically. And it's incorrect to say the Democrats thought otherwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Russell Brown wrote:

    Lisa Lewis's vision of mass bikini-streaks just sounds idiotic and tedious.

    I agree.

    If only they'd make sure they were hot and hunky naked men charging across the field, i wouldn't mind so much ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...2. You are inserting a middleman. In the free market the price of a ticket has been determined to be $X. You are selling the tickets you purchased for $X at $X+$A. The system is no longer a free market (as far as I see it)..."



    To quote (I think) the odious Eddie Temple in "Layer Cake:"

    "The art of good business is being a good middleman."

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If only they'd make sure they were hot and hunky naked men charging across the field, i wouldn't mind so much ;-)

    Well, if you'll settle for semi-naked, that's basically rugby, innit? My friend Big Gay Paul enjoyed the rugby even more after he came out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    The artist (or whoever) doesn't get a slice of your $A profit either.

    Forgot to say that sometimes its a charity that misses out, like at events such as Blues, Brews and BBQs in the Bay of Plenty.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I thought streakers were supposed to be naked?

    See, that's the problem. They're not regulated, so any fly-by-nighter can come along to a sports game, take off their T-shirt and be all "OMG! Look at me!!! I'm teh streaker!!!"

    Obviously the government needs to step in and a) define exactly what a streaker is, and b) establish severe penalties for anyone who calls him/herself a streaker but who is not showing us their wobbly/jangly bits.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    1. You have chosen to not participate in the culture, be it sport or thetre or music etc etc, but you have chosen to profit off the "misfortune" of others not able to get to the front of the line fast enough.

    But when I sell the book same thing - I'm profiting off someone else's disinclination to spend time prowling round bookshops. If I were selling the ticket I might be 'charging' for the time spent sleeping on the pavement outside the ticket office. No?

    2. You are inserting a middleman. In the free market the price of a ticket has been determined to be $X. You are selling the tickets you purchased for $X at $X+$A. The system is no longer a free market (as far as I see it).

    In a free market, isn't the price of something 'whatever it can be sold for'? In a controlled market, prices are set. And in the book example I'm the middleman there too.

    The artist (or whoever) doesn't get a slice of your $A profit either.

    Yeah, but the author didn't get a slice of my $999.50 profit when I sold that book either. Do rugby players get a % of ticket sales?

    OK, call me Mrs Thicky, but I still see no difference.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    establish severe penalties for anyone who calls him/herself a streaker but who is not showing us their wobbly/jangly bits.

    Heh, jangly bits, I like that.

    Hints at a certain amount of metal embellishment.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    If only they'd make sure they were hot and hunky naked men charging across the field, i wouldn't mind so much ;-)

    So maybe we need some sort of inspection system for streakers, prior to their display? Fair Trading Commission? Consumer Affairs?

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I just wrote a big post about all thats wrong with the "Major Events Management Bill" but the system went "your webpage has expired" and ate it.

    Basically, if a promoter doesn't take advantage of the last few dollars that can be made from an event and a third party steps in and grabs those dollars, why is that a matter for the criminal law?

    Grocery stores buy food in bulk at a low price and sell it for a higher price. They don't participate in growing it. Food, unlike rugby tickets, is an essential of life. Should food retailing be criminalised?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    The whole thing stank, basically. And it's incorrect to say the Democrats thought otherwise.

    But you still have to explain Kerry's actions. Why did he not fight like they did over Florida? I just don't think that having come so close Kerry was going just going to role over for fear of looking like a sore loser. That doesn't make sense. What makes more sense is that Kerry looked at the figures and decided he lost.

    If Kerry was convinced he lost because of election fraud in Ohio I really think he would have fought that to the bitter end - he looked like a guy with that sort of principle ans ambition. It really makes no sense for the Dems to feel cheated by 2000 to then let the Reps get away with it again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Anne M: The problem is that I am in the bookstore/ticket queue etc. You're charging me for you being able to get in quicker.

    ps. In the states athletes do get a percentage of gate takings. It's used to calculate the salary cap and salary floor.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Regarding election stuff: Has anyone read Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail? To me it seemed like the same thing over again.

    Nixon screwed over the Republicans and the Democrats were like "It's ok, we'll take the next one".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Plus: why is disrupting a rugby game for a few seconds a crime on a par with beating someone up?

    And why should the owner of a building opposite Eden park not be able to advertise Tui on it? It's their building not the RFUs?

    Seems to me that our laws are being dictated by the IRB.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    Anne M: The problem is that I am in the bookstore/ticket queue etc. You're charging me for you being able to get in quicker.

    Or for being prepared to sleep on that cold, cold pavement?

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Basically, if a promoter doesn't take advantage of the last few dollars that can be made from an event and a third party steps in and grabs those dollars, why is that a matter for the criminal law?

    But when the NZRU said "we'll cancel any tickets for the Lions tour we see for sale on trade me" there was a huuuge stink.

    I suppose it's like spam. It's not illegal but we really wish it were.

    If the profits are instead going to charity, then it's still not a matter for criminal law, but its not nice either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Neiman,

    Anne: Some sports organisations have different goals that you example of the book seller who is solely profit-orientated.

    If, for example, the NZRFU wants to ensure that rugby union remains "the national game", it can't make crucial moments of national communion inaccessable to the wider nation, or eventually it would be in the same position as the regulators of polo.

    Similarly, governments may try to assist these sports administrators through the law where they see an opportunity to produce social cohension or happy national citizens.

    Sydney • Since Feb 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • James Graham,

    probably political suicide though...
    no probably about it.

    The same is said for spending on roads. I don't get why people believe either of these let alone keep repeating them like a mantra?

    As Marcus says if you can afford (and think its a good idea) to drive a gas choking 4wd to your holiday home or from your lifestyle block to Auckland's CBD you are very unlikely to be a Labour inclined voter.

    The ability to prevent negative losses from rental properties being set against a person's other income is a tax rort that needs to end. Ending tax rorts should be something that fits exactly with Labour's rationale for being.

    Tauranga • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    OK, call me Mrs Thicky, but I still see no difference.

    It goes against my sense of loony-lefty community spirit, but I have to agree with Anne M. And I reckon there are plenty of creative solutions that the ticket sellers themselves could come up with, without needing legislation to protect their fragile constitutions.

    Glastonbury tickets were (to my knowledge) the first to be stamped with name and address; purchases are restricted to two per customer, & photo id is checked at the gate. Scalping is ridiculous in the UK, I don't understand why noone thought of it earlier. Glasters didn't even have any scalping trouble to speak of before they built the fence - just people-sneaking-in trouble.

    How about promoters just withhold a few hundred tickets until two weeks before a clear sellout, and auction them off themselves? Donate the extra profits to charity, no way anyone'd bother with ol' Raymond hocking off his "accidentally purchased" back-row litter on trademe for five times their original price; but it still leaves open the chance to sell off some tickets that he genuinely bought in error & can't use.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    If the NZRFU wanted to make rugby more available the Rugby Channel would be free to air, and Super14 matches would be $25/family. They're in it for $$$

    Likewise Guns n Roses. Or is it OK to on-sell their tickets, but not rugby ones?

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

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