Posts by Craig Young

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…,

    That said, I am in favour of a streamlined and rationalised Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 which would eliminate 'Class C' altogether and focus attention on Classes A and B. P/crystal meth is a far greater problem in terms of magnitude and scale of its effects than pot can ever be.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…,

    And to be frank, sometimes these things have to happen in an incremental manner. Surely the important thing is to have medicinal cannabis derivatives decriminalised first and then worry about recreational cannabis later? That appears to be what happened in the United States.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election,

    It's interesting that STV is still used in so few local body elections, and only where strong centres of MMP electoral reform acivism were before 1993. As others have noted, one drawback is the perceived logistical challenge of calculating the flow of preferences and the end result. Is another the lack of substantive civil authority that New Zealand local government actually has, apart from the Auckland Council? After all, we are a fairly centralised nation, especially compared to Australia.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election,

    Graeme, does the supercity enabling legislation still block Auckland from adopting an STV electoral system if it so desired?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obama's Mana, in reply to Joe Boden,

    That was largely due to the utter stupidity of Ralph Nader, standing as a spoiler presidential candidate which split the left vote and insured that George W.Bush presided over his reign of error for the next eight years. The US Greens deserve to suffer for that, sorry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Australian election: Dust and Diesel,

    The article I wrote for Gaynz.Com was entitled STV versus MMP, and it canvassed the merits and defects of the two most proportional forms of electoral representation, as well as noting where they're used in Australia and New Zealand.

    As you may have guessed already, I was actually one of those mavericks who voted for STV in the 1992 electoral reform referendum. I think STV voters were disenfranchised by the 1993 referendum, given that STV came second in 1992. However, I then voted for MMP in 1993. I also worked for the local Campaign for MMP in 2011.

    LGBT voters are concerned about the possibility of religious social conservatives and other extremists getting into Parliament on the basis of
    (a) mere demographic concentration (STV, South Australia and New South Wales, the Australian Senate and NSW Legislative Council, Family First Party and Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party);
    (b) getting over five percent under MMP's party list only representation rules under our Election Act 1993 (United Future, 2002-2005).
    (c) MMP's sub-threshold party list top-up if a party has a bolthole constituency seat (United Future, 2005-2008: New Zealand First, 1999-2002)

    I oppose any reduction of the five percent threshold on the basis that it might let such extremist elements into our Parliament. For example, I found the Conservative Party's anti-Treaty stance and climate change denialism as reprehensible as their concealment of their stealth fundamentalist identity and political agenda. I can't stand Winston either, but happily, he's getting older.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Australian election: Dust and Diesel,

    Was that Midnight Oil reference deliberate, Rob? :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Australian election: Dust and Diesel,

    Here's a brief rundown of the various electoral systems operative within Australian federal, state and territory catchments:

    [This is ] an opportunity to compare Australia's single transferable vote electoral system with New Zealand's MMP.

    In Australia, federalism complicates the picture somewhat. However, the situation is broadly this at the level of state and territorial governments, except for Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. In Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, there are two houses of state parliament, a legislative assembly and a Legislative Council. The two are selected through two different electoral systems- the barely proportional preferential voting system elects their legislative assembly lower houses, as well as Queensland's single state parliamentary chamber, and Tasmania's Legislative Council upper house and the federal Australian House of Representatives. The more proportional Single Transferable Vote electoral system is used to elect upper houses in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, as well as Tasmania's Lower House Legislative Assembly and the Australian Capital Territory's single-chamber territorial legislative assembly. It is also used to elect the Australian federal Senate.

    As to how it works, the Single Transferable Vote electoral system provides a voter with a single vote which is initially given to their chief preferred candidate, and as the count proceeds and successive candidates are eliminated or elected, their vote is redistributed to others according to the voters stated preferences on the ballot paper in proportion to surplus or discarded votes. It's a complex process and takes somewhat longer to accomplish than MMP. Our own system relies on a fifty-fifty split of electorate results and party list allocation according to total voter share. As a result, STV election procedures may not deliver a result for several days.

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/31/article_18491.php

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Starting the cannabis…,

    Sorry, but for understandable reasons, my priority has to be directly getting gender identity into the NZ Human Rights Act. The transgender community should not have had to wait **twenty three years* for that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree...,

    Hilarious! And dead on, too. One wonders if we should launch an organised Trotters for Tea campaign (T for termination) and get someone reputable and mainstream on the media- Sue Bradford, Jane Kelsey and Nicky Hager come to mind immediately.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 435 posts Report Reply

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