Posts by BenWilson

  • Hard News: Out of sight, out of mind:…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That’s an unacceptable road to go down.

    Too right, death penalties are a whole bunch of cray. Let's not.

    And in many cases, the more dangerous drugs appeared because the safer ones were forced out of the market in one way or another.

    Well they became popular, and remain popular, for that reason. They may well have been invented regardless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: And so it begins ..., in reply to Rich Lock,

    That or the piss tape.

    I dunno, he could even get a poll bounce from that.

    What happens is a party with a change mandate wins, and if it is successful then the new establishment that owes it’s positions and status to that change largely writes the history.

    There is also a general change in where the center resides in absolute terms. People have become more liberal and more accepting of welfare since the 1930s, IMHO. But there will always be a Left and Right, because some difference is going to divide the population in half. It just won't be the same differences it used to be. We're not really arguing over the rectitude of women getting the vote any more, for instance. This is 2017, our PM, Governor General and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are all women and the Right's strongest attack on that is that the PM is possibly too young. Our first female PM was from the Right, as was Britain's. In the USA, where we are all pissy about the swing Right, it is worth remembering we just came off a double term black president who managed to reform their health care system significantly, in a country touting itself as the free market ideal, and which had outright human slavery only a comparatively short time ago, well after they had a distinct Left and Right in their politics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    by the look of Kiwiblog is also struggling with multiple stages of grief and denial

    I've noticed (from Twitter) he's gone back to pretty much commenting on news articles constantly. I think that's probably more of a sign of time on his hands.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to nzlemming,

    I don’t think I’ve looked at that swamp since I read Dirty Politics

    Yes, it's been a good long while for me, too. Can't see any point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    so waka-jumping legislation is obviously necessary – to ensure that history does not repeat itself!

    I don't reckon. It's one of the few actually good things about elected representatives, that they can actually break from their party under conditions that they find compelling enough. Parties are still the shadow cast over our democratic system. MMP recognizes them, balances them. I don't see that it's MMP's job to make them more cohesive and powerful than they already are.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What we learned yesterday…, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Guess what, there’s always going to be people challenging the “legitimacy” of any Government and they’re always wrong

    No there aren't, and no they aren't. I don't recall any such challenges to the legitimacy of the last government, nothing like what we've seen in the last few days. And sometimes illegitimate governments are elected. Not in NZ from what I've seen, but it's not like democracy has never been subverted anywhere ever.

    Many did argue that the governments elected after losing the "popular vote", as happened often under FPP, were very much undermined in their legitimacy. It was one of the cornerstone arguments behind proportional representation. Which was a huge issue that was decided by referendums. Not shit-arse CIRs made by religious tools, but properly conducted referendums with public information campaigns beforehand, huge amounts of public discussion, and a clear process by which the change proposed was brought forward. Of course the politicians in charge still managed to exercise their "legislative power to legislate" to fuck with the system and have systematically ignored recommendations on it ever since. It was the ONLY process that we could trust for something as important as a constitutional change. Think on that, what it means - the other system (politicians just deciding) was literally seen as the inferior option.

    However much you think a referendum doesn't add legitimacy to decisions, there are still a lot of people who do think that. So when it's highly controversial and something of a moral issue rather than just a purely practical and technical one, AND the government is itself somewhat divided about it, the idea of a referendum is very sound.
    In this case, it probably comes down to being a referendum or nothing. I don't prefer nothing on this issue, thank you very much.

    At some point, Parliament needs to repeal the wretched Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993

    This is not going to be a CIR. It's coming from the government. It's an entirely different beast.

    It’s always amazed me how weed gets people so so politically enthusiastic.

    It's a very straightforward issue on which our political progress is nowhere near matching public opinion. There's nothing good about that. In a democracy, it's a failure. One that's been going on for far, far too long with far too many victims. I'm willing to take the throw that at least a referendum won't fail in this way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What we learned yesterday…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m just mindful of of the fact that we’ve had two select committee inquiries and a Law Commission review that have all come to roughly the same conclusion: cannabis law needs reforming. And because of the politics of drug reform, it never bloody happens.

    Quite. I'd love it if the government did it by Christmas, but doing it by 2020 is a hell of an improvement on doing it never, which is so far what's happened.

    Yes, referendums are a gamble. The same gamble that actually gave us this Ardern government in the first place. If 3 referendums on MMP had not show the overall crowd wisdom of the NZ population then we would have a National government today, and legalization would be at the whim of Bill English.

    On the bright side, if the population gets it right, it's much more of a mandate than a mere law change at the behest of a government whose legitimacy is (completely wrongfully) being challenged. It might even serve to increase the turnout of the general election.

    Sure, there's a lot of detail to discuss. There's also 3 years to do it. I don't feel confident that NZ will make the right choice, but I do feel strongly that what they choose will be a good representation of what they want, and would respect it all the more, even it went against my wishes, than I do now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change,

    Having just "finished" further tertiary, I can certainly say I benefited from it. It would be a little annoying to have bracketed my entire tertiary education into the exact period for which it was not free. I began in the year Labour introduced fees, and to finish the year before Labour scraps them would be amusing timing. I wonder if I'm still eligible for 3 free years, having never had even one? Not that I grudge the younglings, this is great news.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Leftists celebrating what seems to them a win (I share the relief & anticipation) ought to beware framing it as a victory for the left.

    I feel pretty happy calling it a win for the Left. You'd have to define the Greens and Labour as being not on the Left to not see it that way. Which, from what you've said, I think you do. If so, then the "Leftists" that you are warning here are also not the people that most people would even be calling Leftists. You're warning that subgroup of people who are to the Left of the Greens and Labour. The Leftest of Leftists.

    Which is me, btw. I would consider myself to be to the left of Labour, for the most part. And yet, I'm still very happy about this result. Why? Because of the alternative - another 3 years of National, a historically long term as a reward for services, um, cut, would have been far, far worse in the human consequences. Probably also the environmental consequences, although we shall see.

    The Greens are in government ministerial positions for the first time in NZ's history. How that could be anything short of a fantastic result for the Greens is beyond me. The Green ratification of Labour's coalition with Peters was by an overwhelming majority.

    Sure, it's Peters. We've been here before. But this time he's compromised to bring the Greens into government. I seriously doubt he did that to shaft them.

    But yes, we'll see. I'm not, however, going to fail to celebrate the occasion, and the astonishing accomplishment of Ardern here, and what it means for what I consider to be NZ's Left. It means a lot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change, in reply to Jonty,

    How his surly arrogance is ignored by his bosses at TVNZ is beyond me.

    It's not ignored. He is popular, so they play him, for ratings. I can't see it lasting, shrill outrage is not going to make his fan base giggle at the discomfort of his female co-hosts anywhere near as much as cocksure arrogance has.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

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