What frightens me is how much the Nats are completely for sale to the highest bidder.
Is it reasonable to say that the National Party's likely to be a more enviable target for this sort of crap right now, due to its voter base? My impression's been that Labour tends to be affected much more substantially by scandal and general disgust than National.
Maybe that's because National's traditional voting base is made from people who'll always vote, and (if that's what it takes) will hold their nose and vote for what they see as the least worst option no matter how much they might despise it. A classic running-interference line through so much of late 2014 was "but they all do it!" [so it doesn't make a difference].
Traditional Labour voters, as far as I can tell, seem more likely to find another party if they feel disillusioned by Labour, and they usually have more options, or otherwise just not bother to vote at all.
Schadenfreude, a great big tub of it to scoop out and enjoy while the press hunts down some wounded politicians.
Only at a surface level, for me. I'm more disgusted when I see this stuff than amused.
There are people who get into politics for really good reasons, trying to make positive differences. We'd have so much better-a-place to live in if politics didn't keep attracting the influence of demented sociopaths who see it as their mission to take advantage of and manipulate everyone else.
The National Party deserves to be deeply embarrassed, although whatever happens to its leader I doubt it'll make a difference to polling or voter turnout even medium term. I also hope JLR gets whatever help he needs before he implodes.
List MPs votes belong not to them, but to the party they represent. It always seemed logical to me that if a list MP resigns, or is sacked by their party, the next person on the list should take their seat.
I'd counter this by saying that Parties are made up of the people whom they collectively choose to represent them in Parliament. If one or more list MP's choose to leave the others, or if they're kicked out by the executive, why is it such a foregone conclusion that the party's executive is better at representing the party's voters than the list MPs who can't continue to work with it?
Finally the criticisms of the Greens for supporting it make sense
I sort of get why the Greens might have done this. Given its principles I'm saddened that it didn't, for example, support the Bill on a condition such as requiring that serious consideration of the MMP review's recommendations be revived.
Is there something that could reasonably be done to place stronger constitutional constraints on further manipulation of the Electoral Act? Or at least certain parts of it?
In the 90s we had a big discussion and voted to switch to MMP. In 2011 we voted to keep it, on condition of a review towards making it better. That review received lots of feedback and made recommendations which, at the very least, should have been a starting point for discussion.
Since then, Judith Collins threw out the review on superficial grounds, probably because it didn't suit whatever National's short term political goals were at the time. Now Labour, NZF and the Greens are combining in government to make a major change to the rules in a way that virtually all expert input seems to argue would make our electoral system function worse.. Meanwhile ACT (well, Seymour at least) has been waving around ideas for further butchering of the system, which might genuinely become part of a future coalition agreement similar to how NZF's paranoia has, and in ways that completely contradict the principles of the system we've now voted for twice.
Every party that's presently in Parliament has played a role in messing with the public process of engagement that we've been using to set the rules we use to elect them. If it's so easy for MPs to do that when it suits them, why do we even bother with all this combination of public and expert engagement.
Awfully nice of him to use FYI
Yeah I thought so too. I like FYI because it shows people they can ask questions when they mightn't have previously known, but it doesn't tend to be popular with journos and lobbyists for good reason.
Unless he's ignorant, is there any of motivation for Miles Stratford to use FYI, where everyone can see what he's asking and what he gets back before he's even had a chance to digest it?
If you go back a generation or so, the officials provided the advice and the Ministers took the heat. The change since the turn of the millennium is palpable - officials are part of the political process, not advisors to it.
Until I read this this morning, I hadn't realised there's a new Public Service Act in the works. It could be interesting to see if it'll have any meaningful effect.
Vitamin K helps with brodifacoum poisoning, which is what they were imagining they'd been exposed to whilst protesting next to a brodi drop. ("I feel sick. It must be the brodifacoum over there which I'm protesting against!!!!", and all that.) Vets will usually give vitamin K to a dog if they suspect the dog's eaten a brodi-poisoned carcass.
It is marvel of the type, full of the simple rejection of inconvenient science through the creation from thin air of nebulous conspiracy theories.
There's a whole sub-culture of science denial and conspiracy nutters in NZ if you look in the right places. Sometimes it's politically charged, but it doesn't need to be. Modern social media helps these people to find each other and accelerates the paranoia. Without meaning to suggest there aren't sometimes legitimate concerns, it comes up a lot in arguments about pest control (on the level of DOC, OSPRI, councils, etc), which I spend a fair amount of time watching and interacting with. eg. This group, which is basically rallied through facebook, had their day in the Court of Appeal yesterday, having been more or less laughed out of the earlier courts, and are now awaiting a decision. Dave Hansford's description of their lawyer from the linked article is:
By late afternoon on the day of the drop, Brook activists were posting on Facebook that they were succumbing to poisoning: lawyer for the group, Sue Grey, complained that her "exposed skin was red and burning", and urged her compatriots: "If my health suddenly deteriorates please can someone make sure that I get an urgent injection of Vitamin K."
It behoves us to understand just what the hell is going on here, because solutions to the monumental problems we have to solve – climate change, biodiversity loss, water pollution, human health – can only be informed by science.
At the risk of sounding stupid because I haven't thought this through, maybe there's merit in some kind of independent parliamentary commissioner role who's legislatively charged with investigating, reporting on and potentially enforcing the independence of the public service? (Maybe comparable with other independent roles like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.)