Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: The Northland by-election; or The so-called Tizard Effect

90 Responses

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  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I do get your point on the fact we can't choose candidates' places on that list. I've been present for an election in Peru where people could write in the name of a preferred candidate to bump that candidate up the list; and seen other places where you get to rank the whole list if you like.

    The difficulty with that approach is that when you cast your party vote you're not really sure what you're voting for. You might think you're voting for a Party party that has Tigger and Ernie from Sesame St, and other characters who really know how to party, only to discover that thanks for other Party party voters' preferences, you've ended up with Eeyore and Burt, who really don't know how to party at all. If you'd known you were going to get them, you wouldn't have voted for the Party party at all.

    The solution for ensuring the list is how you want it is meant to be to involve yourself with the party of your choice before the election: join a party, contribute, and have your say (if the party allows it) in who should rank where on the list - or change the party's system if they don't allow it. That way you get input, and people get to know who they're voting for.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to sean mahoney,

    I don’t think they need to stand 130 candidates or even that the greens need to stand any. I think the Greens in 2002 and 2005 only ran candidates to ensure there was momentum to get the vote out ..they don’t try and “win"them so to speak..

    Of course they need 130-ish candidates if dual candidacy (list and electorate) is forbidden, so that they can contest every electorate and also fill their party list. Those are the rules you want. Not contesting a seat is pretty much unthinkable for the two big parties, both for appearance's sake and also so that new candidates can get the experience of contesting an election in an unwinnable seat; character-building for them, and also useful for the party apparatus to judge the candidate's mettle before potentially standing them in a more-winnable seat.

    As for the Greens, they stand electorate candidates every time but only ever pitch for the party vote. They put them up in key seats, mostly, for party profile and also so they can try and swing the vote away from (lately) National; Epsom, Ohariu, etc. That's been their habit for at least the last five elections.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    useful for the party apparatus to judge the candidate’s mettle before potentially standing them in a more-winnable seat

    Interestingly, with National’s last three train-crashes (Mike Sabin, Aaron Gilmore and Claudette Hauiti) this process did not take place.

    This would be worse if you had a ban on dual-candidacy. You’d get the main parties 30 or 40 best candidates (along with various seat-warming has-beens) in electorate seats, then the next 30 or so on the list, then a tail of trainees in marginal and unwinnable seats.

    I’d expect a trail of by-elections as Brian Boofhead and Betty Bunny-Boiler won (through their high public profile as a sportsman or shock-jock) election for marginal seats and then fell foul of a conviction for spectacular misdeeds.

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

  • simon g, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I do get your point on the fact we can’t choose candidates’ places on that list. I’ve been present for an election in Peru where people could write in the name of a preferred candidate to bump that candidate up the list; and seen other places where you get to rank the whole list if you like.

    And that brings us to the core issue, which politicians don't like to discuss because nobody wins votes by telling the voters it's their own fault. But actually, it is.

    We have chosen a system that rates simplicity above participation. Every three years we only have to - in fact, only can - tick a name and a logo. We can't rank people, we can't rank parties, we can't do anything except the bare minimum. Most other democracies require a bit more from their citizens. In some American states you can spend half the day going through all the options in the booth. In other jurisdictions there are tasks (hardly onerous) such as STV ranking.

    We could have a lot more say if we demanded it. But we don't. (We did, back in the late 80s and early 90s, and we got a better voting system as a result).

    The question of why we are so disengaged is not easy to answer: after all, people are not slow to voice their opinions across a range of platforms (social media, text voting etc) on the issues of the day. But ultimately, we don't seem to care enough about our Parliamentary elections, except to grumble in some ill-focused way ("Bloody list MPs!", "By-elections waste taxpayers' money!").

    So the parties retain the power of selection, mainly because we don't seem to want it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to simon g,

    after all, people are not slow to voice their opinions across a range of platforms (social media, text voting etc)

    It's called "lazy". Social media ,text opinions are at hand. Cell phs are every where. Actually getting off your arse to go on a protest on the other hand.... actually putting a face to the opinions,....actually understanding what you say instead of repetitive mantra, requires engaging the brain. Sheeple don't require any engagement. which is why if you can dumb down the masses you can manipulate your people far easier than a society that is engaged . We don't need no........

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    One thing to note as well. Of 6 people the other night who have the right to vote this By Election, 5 knew and were happy Winston was here and were going to vote. One who "just didn't vote" mentioned that "nothing ever changes for him, no matter who's in" My effort to explain a few things may just get him out there and that said to me that misunderstanding a few issues can make a lot of difference in the decisions made. So tomorrow, I'm going to chat a bit more to him. I think Winston's message about Northland being ignored for too long may resonate with some voters. I hope so. What day is it today? ;)

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

  • william blake,

    We spent a week in te tai tokerau in January, it was heaven on earth. We lived on avocados, watermelon and sweet corn. Little brown dog allowed in the campsite, perfect surf.

    Swerve left at Kiataia through Coopers beach, Kerikeri, Paihia. Dirty water and cruise ships, flash houses and exotic cars. Signs up saying ,'no dogs, your dog may be impounded and destroyed', culture shock and rapid departure. Why do beautiful parts of NZ attract such unpleasantness ?

    Local MP resigns in disgrace, we were not surprised. I know there will be another bastard lined up to take his place. That's democracy, you get what you vote for.

    Since Mar 2010 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    (In UK politics, where there are more MPs and five year terms, by-elections have more importance in that a government with a small majority will tend to have it eroded by subsequent by-elections which tend to go against the party in power. This happened to the 74-79 Labour government).

    Also the fact they still use the FPP system.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    3 News poll puts Peters ahead.

    What day is it today? ;)

    The Quickening. There can be only one....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • john_metz, in reply to simon g,

    Its called MMP !

    Northland • Since Mar 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    Winston Peters and other (except National's) Candidates meeting

    2 pm Sunday
    Swamp Palace
    Oruru (10 minute drive for some ;)

    Winston Peters

    Wednesday evening Taipa Tavern
    Taipa (15 min drive for some ;)

    Winston Peters

    back of the Bus
    "Follow Me"

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

  • simon g,

    Ever wonder why the PM acts like a 5 year old? Perhaps it's because there are 5 year olds in the press gallery.

    Patrick Gower says Labour's position in Northland is a "rort". Now, it could be debatably described with various words - "tactically muddled", for instance.

    But there can't be any debate about "rort", provided you have access to an English dictionary. It isn't a "rort" any more than it's a "badger" or a "condiment" or a "shuttlecock". You only need to look it up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    Labour’s position in Northland is a “rort”

    Labour's position is ah, fraught...?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    or routed?
    Gower taking a salary as a journalist, now that’s a rort.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Fancy a few new bridges in your area? Elect a crim as an MP, and after their downfall, the government will hand out the bribes at the resulting by-election.

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

  • andin,

    Ever wonder why the PM acts like a 5 year old? Perhaps it’s because there are 5 year olds in the press gallery.

    Funny how those who think they're all grown up, arent!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It's not a bribe. This is the long game. It's wee Simon positioning himself for a tilt at the leadership and the 2017 election. It's establishing a platform that can rolled out across the country. You can see the T shirts, you can see the billboards, you can see the newspaper ads. Bridges For Everyone

    Crosby Textor will be all over it like a cheap suit.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to James Francis,

    Despite their imagery for the last election demonstrating
    that National don't need no steenking bridges?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to James Francis,

    Bridges For Everyone

    You mean Simon has a few bridges for sale?

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to James Francis,

    Pontoon anyone?

    Bridges For Everyone

    aka throwing a 'spanner' (or two) in the works?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Playing the 'f'ear' way...
    Without wishing to sound alarmist, but this Infant formula 'eco-terrorism' threat is awfully useful to Mr Key and his 'spread-the-fear' publicity drive so close to this Northland 'buy' election - I don't suppose they brought forward the release of information about it for reasons other than public safety (having sat on it since November). The end of March was the cut off time for any threat to be acted on, but the by-election is on the 28th so now we hear about it...
    Super John to the rescue!
    ..and next he'll be saying, gee sorry, but we'll have to surveil kiwis at home now - because of one bad apple (as it were)

    and what about poor wee Mr Seymour - looking well out of his depth after obviously being told by his 'partners' to threaten legal action against Winston Peters, the muppet show continues...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    The timing is stunning. The media focus has shifted. An extremely effective strategic spin machine is doing its job superbly.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Meanwhile our friends the French have have implanted artificial (and false) memories in sleeping mice - see how they run!

    To test this theory, Professor Benchenane's group watched place neurons replay in sleeping mice. When a specific neuron, linked to a specific point in space, fired, the team would use another implanted electrode to stimulate the brain's reward system at the same time.
    "That meant that that particular point in space was then associated with a particular [good] feeling," said Australian neuroscientist Oliver Baumann, who was not involved in the research.
    When the mice woke up the next day, they spent four to five times longer at the specific location linked to the reward.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Just a thought but is the 60 odd million dollars that National has released to bribe the people of Northland to be counted as an election expense?
    If so then surely that exceeds the spending limit.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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