Posts by tussock

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special…,

    There's some fairly new science to it, Curia runs it for National, turns out you can just say certain things and get a fair chunk of people to change their opinion. You test a bunch of things to say, on people of one opinion, and count how many of them change that opinion, and for most things you can find a short phrase to tip people over on any subject.

    Most of the population isn't vulnerable to it, but enough are that if you figure out what to say and just keep saying it, there's like a three-week window where you can shift a vote or whatever.

    The Brexit thing was so many or other hundred billion pounds extra for the health system if you vote yes on Brexit, and it swung about 5% on that and they won. Completely unconnected with reality, but that's not important. The MSM largely tried to not push it, they had to run cars with loudspeakers and stuff, but it still works.

    For the Nats here it was, in a few different ways of saying it, that Labour was either under-selling how much tax they'd put on or over-selling how much they'd deliver with government spending, that the two didn't match up, it couldn't really be that easy, and they jumped a good 5% on that.

    It works, and it will always work forever now that people know how to do it reliably. Trump in the US hammered on the Clinton emails, because that dropped Clinton a couple %, and that was enough.

    The only thing you can do against it is find something to say to change them back. Not the truth, not policy, none of that shit matters for people who are persuadable by short phrases unconnected with reality. Research your own magic words and just repeat them ad nauseam, and make sure the delivery doesn't put off your more stable voters.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    Mana party got in under a sitting Māori party MP, though he won a by-election first when he switched to Mana.

    Greens had sitting MPs from the Alliance, and won a seat their first time on their own, though only just on special votes. They also trace back to the Values party that used to split the left vote in the 70's, and has had seats on and off for a rather long time. Bloody splitters.

    I liked Gareth Morgan's comment that people vote on self-interest, in that 1: no they don't (it's complicated), and 2: that is how it's supposed to work, if your policies won't help most people, maybe just fuck off.

    But vanity parties that go nowhere will always be a thing because rich people aren't especially smart. It's obviously cheaper to just buy policy off the National party.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special…,

    So, roughly, Greens will need ...
    2 - 6% of specials to hold at 7.
    7 - 11% of specials to gain an 8th. <- expected.
    12 - 17% of specials to gain a 9th too. <- hmm.
    18% of specials to make 10 seats.

    Labour will need ...
    34 - 39% of specials to hold at 45.
    40 - 44% of specials to gain a 46th. <- expected.
    45% of specials to gain a 47th too.

    Labour-Green are somewhat inversely correlated, so it's hard to see +3 seats between them unless first time voter turnout was way up.

    National needs ...
    30 - 34% of specials to scrape 55. <- hmm.
    35 - 39% of specials to stop on 56. <- expected.
    40 - 44% of specials to manage 57.
    45% of specials to hold at 58. <- No.

    And for completeness ...

    NZF needs ...
    3 - 7% of specials to hold 9. <- Yes.
    8% of specials to get a 10th. <- No.

    ACT needs ...
    0 - 5% of specials to hold 1. <- Yes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    And because there's no better place for it, my tri-annual, stop stealing people's seats and giving them to the big parties, you bastards, post.

    First divisor 1.4, no threshold, from the night's results.

    National 56 (-2)
    Labour 44 (-1)
    NZF 9
    Greens 7
    TOP 3 (+3)
    Māori 1 (+1)
    ACT 1 (-1, +1 overhang).

    Which is the same, except tens of thousands more people have a voice in parliament, and ACT could just die instead of the Nats giving them that lifeboat just in case anyone votes for them again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?,

    Polling averages made it Winston's choice, almost certainly so, and late polls were pretty much on the spot for what he'd be looking at for a choice, give or take the specials (go go magic late enrolment swing!).

    Well done the pollsters again. Good old math and sampling doing it's thing again, second-guessing the people who understand the math about as useful as betting against the met-service these days it seems.

    538 says don't trust the polls just because they're right a couple times, because the margin of error is real and undecided voters really do swing hard very late, but yeah, they were right again, eh. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A thundering clash of,

    The people grieving Metiria's harsh exit see journalists as pursuing the poor, brown solo mum she was 20-odd years ago.

    Hi. Yes.

    It's the default assumption of so much of the media attention that Metiria must have ripped the system off for tens of thousands of dollars. Who the fuck thinks beneficiaries could take tens of thousands of dollars? How distant from reality do you have to be? And yet that's the story they chased.

    And when she said, publicly, that she didn't want her family dragged into this, the media seems to have delighted in hunting around the relatives to try and find what else she was "hiding".

    Local newspaper, 10th, day after retirement announced, front page.

    'Scrutiny' too much for Turei
    Poll shows Green vote collapsing

    So that's the national framing, right, that everything the brown woman says is a lie, and every rumour against her needs digging into for the real story.


    The real story here is the one Matiria told. That benefits are stupidly hard to live on and most people get lots of help from family and aren't completely forthcoming about every single thing with WINZ. If the media had investigated that for a second they'd find people living on the fucking street right outside their buildings. They probably fucking well pass them on the way into work each morning. That could be some questions worth asking maybe, is some of this "massive increase in freedom camping" thing that folk go on about actually a symptom of impossibly grinding poverty in this country.

    Then again, the last time I saw an investigation into living in poverty on the TV, the reporter ran out of money half way through the week, and had enough convenient assets and stores in the house to get by for the last few days anyway. Which is just colossally vacant, that's nothing like being poor, there are no backups, there are no convenient low-cost assets to fall back on, and the extended family is often not that well off to help out much.

    But still you'll never get it right
    'Cause when you're laid in bed at night
    Watching 'roaches climb the wall
    If you called your dad he could stop it all.

    You'll never live like common people

    I don't think people get it at all. I had support, I had wealthy enough family nearby to solve my problems if I asked or sometimes if I didn't, and thus I am not homeless today, but it was still impossible. The system is cruel, it assumes you are cheating and forces you to constantly beg for what the law says you must have, and to prove your innocence. Even if you're in a fucking wheelchair now they want you to prove you can't walk to a doctor on a regular basis, just in case your spinal injury went away while no one was looking.

    It's like that for everything, all the time, on top of there not being enough money for anything at all. People have to walk around collecting signatures now, to stay on the dole, and if you're one short they cut you off. How fucking terrifying that must be.

    It was quite a relief, you know, for me, getting kicked off the dole each time, because it meant a few weeks or months of being cold and hungry and bored out of my skull with nothing to do, but I didn't have to go into WINZ any more, not for a while, not if I stretched things out a bit. That was my early 90's. Life might've gone a lot better if I'd just lied to them all the time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem,

    So, Bill English gets a government subsidy to rent his own fucking house, and we slap a coat of paint on that law to make it go away and now he's Prime Minister without anyone even getting to vote on it.

    Because that was a very confusing law about how you hide your assets in trusts to avoid taxes and get extra government payouts.

    But I guess he is a rich old white man to be revered, and not a poor young brown woman to be ousted, and it's not like any single mums were hiding their spare houses in trusts under the name of their spouse, so it's not even comparable.

    This country really gives me the shits sometimes. So deeply fucking corrupt and what does the media go after but those at the bottom of the heap.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to steven crawford,

    One of the complications with using the historic benefit fraud as a political gimmick, which it is (even when the outcome is intended to feed the poor), is that life on a benefit twenty fives years ago isn’t the same thing as it is now.

    In a lot of ways it was worse, early on at least, the recession was very strong, the thing that forced in the rent subsidies was the Meningitis outbreaks spreading from the rather common issues around three families living in a garage, in Auckland.

    We didn’t have the same housing shortages then, as we now do. In the mid nineties, it was possible to rent heathy accommodation in Auckland, and have a healthy diat, and do tertiary education whilst on a benefit.

    If you had family or friends who could chuck you an extra $20-$50 a week, or you never had to buy yourself clothes or shoes, had someone to drive you around, or someone to provide you with free childcare or whatever else. I studied on a benefit in the early 90's and part of me dropping out was I couldn't afford to feed myself after having the benefit occasionally cut and none of the regular bills stopping. Depression is fun like that, but of course getting diagnosed was impossible while I was still studying.

    I accept your anecdote that you knew people who did fine in those circles, maybe it was better where you lived, but it was pretty shit in my social circles, and it's not like I saw much of other beneficiaries given how rarely leaving the house was an option.

    And the thing is, it has gotten much worse again under National. The requirements they've put on people, the options they've taken away, it's resulted in a lot more people getting their benefits terminated. That's people with no money for weeks at a time and the bills still rolling in.

    I lived that at one point, it is not in any way pleasant, life just gets harder and harder every time that happens, and it's not like you could afford shoes anyway.

    Servival is what people who live on the street with mental illness do.

    That is of course, part of the conversation about how it's all too easy to get kicked off a benefit in NZ, even when you're obviously mentally ill and incapable of finding work or looking after yourself properly.

    But there's a lot of people living in cars now. It's not just the housing shortage, it's way more people than that. People who've had their benefits cut.

    It’s just going to feed the benefit bashing trolls.

    Fuck the haters, man, they are irrelevant to the conversation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem,

    Is it perhaps worth noting again that the NZ benefit levels are set 20% below minimum survival costs, that no one who is on a benefit doesn't cheat the system somehow in order to survive, because it's impossible by design to survive on a benefit.

    It's been like this for twenty years now. Obviously we're going to have younger people who've been on benefits at some point who cheated a bit on their benefit applications. Once the rent subsidies came in and all the rents went up to capture them, obviously everyone on a benefit had to cheat those too, or go live in a fucking car or something.

    But I guess freedom camping's just a lifestyle choice, right.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Meth Perception,

    1.5 µg, per 100cm^2, of wall, that didn't come off with a quick wipe.

    Therapeutic doses are 10-25 mg per day, or 10000 to 25000 µg per day. Illicit use is higher still up over 60 mg per day for heavy users, or 60000 µg.

    So to get any affect, off that, you'd want to lick 66 m^2 of wall, and to really bug out you'd be up over 500 m^2 of wall. In some way that magically attracted meth and also replaced it so you could do it again tomorrow.

    It really seems like numbers under 10 µg per 100 cm^2 are just being, uh, greedy might be a word. If meth doesn't actually stick to skin much better than wall, any numbers under 100 µg don't even make sense, but of course you'd never be able to find that much meth anywhere, so meth cleaning companies wouldn't need to exist.

    Try a cloth.

    Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

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