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An emerging threat to MMP?

Written By: - Date published: 5:36 pm, January 24th, 2008 - 100 comments
Categories: MMP, same old national - Tags: , , , , , ,

After Brash and the extreme right were exposed in The Hollow Men the Nats changed their leader hoping for a fresh start.

What’s becoming apparent is that National’s shady backers haven’t changed. The policy and the cash are coming from the same people they always have – people like Peter Shirtcliffe who’s evidently now helping to finance National Party activists David Farrar and Cameron Slater in their campaign against the Electoral Finance Act.

Shirtcliffe’s been around a while. In 1993 he launched the “Campaign for Better Government” – a right-wing business lobby group opposing the introduction of MMP.

Rod Donald had this to say about Shirtcliffe and his aggressive campaign:

On ANZAC day 1993 a full page advertisement appeared in the major Sunday paper attacking MMP. Inserted by Peter Shirtcliffe, chairman of Telecom, New Zealand’s largest company, it marked the beginning of a David and Goliath battle that went to the wire… he announced the formation of his Campaign for Better Government (CBG), the opening of an office and the appointment of paid staff.

CBG’s campaign strategy eclipsed the [Electoral Reform Coalition’s]. They conducted market research, used direct mail and paid for radio talkback programmes. A confidential report from their market research company somehow made it on to the front page of a weekly business paper. It was a blueprint for an anti-MMP advertising campaign targeting “the least educated and most gullible” sectors of the electorate by providing “easily digestible, alarming material” warning electors of the consequences of MMP [my emphasis].

In the clip below you can see the kind of material that Shirtcliffe and his mates favoured – complete with crying babies, grainy black and white and staticy sound effects.

With Shirtcliffe back in on the act and the Nats dreaming of governing alone you have to wonder how long it’ll be before the next assault on MMP.

100 comments on “An emerging threat to MMP? ”

  1. Hollow talking points from hollow Labour sponsored bloggers.

    Come clean on your anonymous backers.

  2. You really should tell Heather to go a little easier what your credibility in tatters right now. Just pop your head up and see if she is free, huh base?

    Still pumping out the Labour sponsored talking points though, still on message despite the little credibility problem of being sponsored by Labour.

  3. Daveo 3

    The big story for me is why Peter Shirtcliffe’s so keen on funding the campaign against the EFA. What’s he got to lose? He talked in the video about his MMP campaign being out of fear of losing the ‘last four years of [neoliberal] progress’.

  4. roger nome 4

    Whoa – Whale clearly didn’t like that little expose hey? Look he’s obviously getting a little emotional. Maybe you guys should lay off the “free-speech coalition”, their wacky billboards, and their “born-to-rule” business round table financial backers. This little silver-spoon-fed tory boy clearly can’t handle it when he has his soft under-belly exposed for the public to see. I reckon he’s about to lose it.

  5. Daveo 5

    Cameron if you weren’t willing to front up and take responsibility for Shirtcliff you shouldn’t have taken his money.

    Your faux outrage over the standard borrowing some server space for a few weeks looks silly when your creepy campaign is being funded by the Hollow Men like Shirtcliff, Brash and Roger Kerr. No wonder you had to run to your mate Bill English to try and get this site shut down.

    Are you still stalking John Minto and photoshopping 15 year old kids’ heads onto porn? And does Bill English know what you’ve been up to?

  6. Phil 6

    So, Pete’s a bad guy because he was able to run the anti-MMP campaign in a more savvy manner than ERC ran theirs?

    And, shock horror! – they conducted market research!

    They also targeted “the least educated and most gullible” …
    (It should be noted that “least educated” and “most gullible” are as unlikely to be correlated as “most educated” is to “less gullible”)
    Last time I checked, intelligence wasn’t a pre-requisite for voting so the ‘gullible’ are fair game for all sides.

    Sorry, but I don’t see how any of that is any worse than, for example, a pledge card of broken promises, or a silly DVD.

  7. roger nome 7

    ” And does Bill English know what you’ve been up to?”

    hmmmm…. maybe I’ll send an email to English’s office with a link to some of Whale’s more offensive “political porn”. Should be interesting! Poor we Whale, just can’t help himself.

  8. Phil 8

    Oh, I forgot to add;

    I bet the Pete and the CBG we’re mighty pleased with all that extra money they spent, and how it won them the referendum. After all, big money always wins, and thats why we have the EFB… right?

  9. James Kearney 9

    I’ve heard the Free Speech Coalition crowd have repeatedly invoked Rod Donald’s name against the EFB at their rallies. If that’s true and they’re now accepting major funding from Peter Shirtcliffe that’s truly disgusting.

  10. roger nome 10

    This one should do the trick hey whale?

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=8660

  11. James Kearney 11

    After all, big money always wins, and thats why we have the EFB… right?

    Phil you saw the poll in the clip – it almost worked. No one says big money always wins but it has a huge and distorting influence.

  12. roger nome 12

    James, I was about to point that out as well. Clearly this “Phil” fellow isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably one those “kiwiblog-right” stalwarts.

  13. Phil 13

    James, your perception of big money influence simply doesn’t stack up with reality. The main problem is that you’re assuming correlation and cause-and-effect are the same thing. They’re not, and the literature (hunt down a copy of “freakonomics” for an explanation) shows it to be so

  14. AncientGeek 14

    I remember that campaign – it was pretty ugly. Sort of a Dancing Cossack campaign running on emotion rather than any form of rational approach.

    It was like the anti section 59. While I originally couldn’t see the need for it, the anti campaign convinced me it needed supporting. The reasons propounded for opposing it, and some of the people opposing it made me wish they could never get near children.

    What I was definitely for was to get away from having governments voted in with less than 1/3rd of the TOTAL potential vote (and I include in there the people that didn’t bother to vote). It led to either never having any change, or too much change in too short a time.

    You have to change – the world and society keeps moving. But long periods of very little change, eg the much of the 50’s and all of the 60’s lead inevitably to the chaos of change that happened after the twin shocks of the UK joining the EU and the oil shocks on the 70’s.

    That was what a large chunk of my early working life was like. Carless days, wage and price freeze, think stupid (lets do something we should have done in the 50’s – but doesn’t work now) etc were just stupid. Dropping tariff barriers, dropping state ownership of non-strategic assets, etc were stuff that should have been done for the previous 30 years. Doing them in a hurry was extremely painful.

    I’m always surprised at young people who seem to think that NZ is changing too fast now. They should have lived through the late 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. Change now is gradual by comparison.

    I was a skeptic about MMP, and preferred STV. But However STV still allowed marginal electorate campaigns – as we’ve just seen in aussie. The main thing that Shirtcliffe and Campaign for Better Government supporters did was convince me that they’d never change. They either wanted to have no change or radical change (in the same coalition!).

    As far as I’m concerned MMP has worked out pretty well.

  15. Phil 15

    Sorry Roger, but I must have missed the bit where Bill English endorses the activities of Whale… care to point me in the right direction for re-education?

  16. Dean 16

    Roger, have you managed to work out the difference between before tax and after tax income yet?

  17. all_your_base 17

    James, you’re quite right about the FSC using Rod’s name. Check out Stephen Franks in this clip from the rally around the 1:38 mark…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=a-YSFmRFuPo

  18. At least we know who is financing us we are transparent about our donors.

    The same can’t be said about the Standard who when confronted with some rather uncomfortable facts chose to lie, and obfuscate and lie again. Not one of their stories stacked up and not one their stories matched the next persons.

    So do we know who the shadowy hollow people are behind the Standard or who is funding them and Labour. Who pays the wages of the people like all_your_base to sit at a desk and post Labour Party ad hominem attack lines against citizens who have the legal and moral right to spend their money exactly as they damn well please?

    To be attacked by anonymous or pseudonymous cowards is really beyond the pale. You guys don’t even have the courage to stand by your own postings.

    Hollow, cowardly, shadowy, apt words for describing the people behind and supporting the Standard.

  19. Gee Heather must be cracking the whip tonight huh all_your_base? Are you the Labour Duty Blogger?

  20. Benodic 20

    That Whaleoil sure is an emotional character isn’t he? I suggest he finds himself a corner and has a good cry. Let it all out Whale, just let it all out…

  21. Benodic 21

    Rog – to be fair Phil’s actually a pretty decent sort. He argues the point and doesn’t veer off into personal abuse or pettiness, and unlike Whale he can control his emotions in public.

  22. Phil 22

    Thanks Benodic – you’re making me blush.

    By way of clarification for Roger, I’m not part one of the Kiwiblog-right… I’d rather be here and maybe learn a thing or two (know your enemy, and all that)
    🙂

  23. Great stuff – immediately after pointing out how much dosh Shirtcliffe and his pals were throwing at their campaign, they cut to the ERC woman saying that they had little money but lots of people. Democracy was the winner on the day alright.

  24. Santi 24

    C’mon “honest and principled” Tane. Where is the disclosure that says you’re a Labour Party activist (aka stooge)?

    It appear you know no shame but that was expected after mingling for too long with Michael Porton, also known as robinsond.

  25. AncientGeek 25

    DPF had a discussion going on the topic of anonymous or pseudonymous comments. While a lot would probably not mind having their name public, I think that most people in that discussion would prefer that, at best, only the sysop knew it.

    Whale seems to be in a miniscule minority… Probably because he appears to be exactly the type of person that would use it for persecution. Talks like a classic school yard bully.

    One comment in that discussion on kb did amuse me, by gd.

    “Im with wellbelly on this And I note it is almost always the left wingnuts who ruin it for the rest They are spoilers just like their so called leaders who then bring in rules and laws to command and control the good people for the behaviour of the bad.”

    Here of course it is pretty much the opposite – the right wing trolls get up my nose. However I’d really prefer that the trolls without something useful to say – like Whale, Dad4.., would disappear. Recently IP, Robinsod, and a few others seem to have gone a bit loopy as well.

  26. Kimble 26

    Yet another front page post without a response to the arse-kicking you guys have been getting over being funded by Labour and then lying about it.

    On topic, isn’t it nice to know who is donating to the FSC? Isn’t that sort of transparency just spiffing? Isnt it helping to protect our democracy?

    Gosh, I wish other political activists would disclose who their supporters are. Then again, I wish political activists would disclose who THEY are.

    Yup, I’m a dreamer.

  27. g 27

    Pot calling the kettle black… that’s all this site is doing.

  28. James Kearney 28

    Santi – this blog has been clear all along that it involves labour party members. What made you think it didn’t? And correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure Tane said he votes green.

    Kimble – I don’t see any lying. I do see you commenting on every post like with smears and innuendo.

    Whale – I’m with Ben, go have a cry. Farrar has been quite sensible lately; you’ve just lost the plot.

    Base – Clicked through to the Franks clip from EFB rally. Thanks for that- what a creep.

  29. Name 29

    Note to the Standard-
    Change the record…but don’t take off your tinfoil hats!
    I’m waiting for the John Key on the grassy knoll story (and your disclosure statement)

  30. Phil 30

    James,
    I/we don’t care whether or not the standard is populated by Labour party members – that much, as you point out, is obvious. The problem is when the status of those bloggers changes from simple supporter/member to something altogether more professional or organised in nature.

    (Captcha; Asian Thing – we’ll that’s not very nice… they’re people too)

  31. Name 31

    PS James Kearney, last time I looked, being trite and hypocritical at the same time isn’t anything special. Give it a rest.

  32. Monty 32

    Is all this outrage that some people are prepared to contribute their own money to the FSC? Or is it jealously that Labour are incapable of raising a single dollar (no one wats to back a loser)

    I am pleased that people such as Don Brash, Peter Shirtcliffe have donated to this campaign. I am honoured to be able to donate $100 along side them. (Donation is now several months old)

    I wish Labour were are transperant and declared who their major donors were for the $800k they repaid to the people (after being caught out stealing it.

    You are beating this up – but listen you silly socialists- no one cares – you want to make a story out of this be my guest – but all it really demonstrates is how pathetic and desperate the left has become –

    Is that why all the Labour MPs and Staffers are walking around parliament in a foul mood as if the end of the world is neigh?

  33. Benodic 33

    Good on you Monty, but the rest of us are interested to see what agendas these people have. Shirtcliffe has a history of fearmongering and chequebook politics – I find it rather concerning that he’s back on board with the Nats and is a major funder of the FSC’s tasteless campaign.

  34. milo 34

    So a publicly declared $5000 donation is somehow a threat to democracy? That is weird shit. What planet are you guys from? What drugs are you on? For paranoid double standard conspiracy theories, this takes the cake.

    Or to put it another way, it looks like you simply want to shout down anybody with opposing views. If all you can do is vilify your opponents on flimsy pretexts, it becomes hard to take anything you say seriously.

  35. burt 35

    all_your_base

    you have to wonder how long it’ll be before the next assault on MMP.

    I’m picking the next assault on MMP will be election 2008 when (the same as 2005, 2002 & 1999) Labour campaign Two ticks Labour”.

    National might want to govern alone, no argument with that – but clearly so do Labour. So thanks for reminding us that Labour are just as bad as National and neither party should get any ticks from anybody who isn’t wanting a return to FPP.

  36. Pascal's bookie 36

    Well the righties all seem to be upset. Update at 10 I’m sure.

    Meanwhile, this looks like a good book..

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/rickperlstein/

  37. Anita 37

    Hmpf, my comment seems to have vanished 🙁 I assume snafu.

    One can reasonably draw inferences about someone from the campaigns they support.

    And about campaigns from the people who support them.

    Knowing who funds the FSC gives us useful information, similarly knowing who funds the Labour Party and so on.

    That’s exactly why we need the EFA, it tells us who is pulling the strings.

  38. milo 38

    Pascal’s Bookie: Are you saying I’m a rightie? If so, what does that mean? Does it define my views? My personality? The colour of my skin? My lack of belief in democracy?

    Or are you just trying to turn it into a generic term of abuse for anybody you disagree with?

  39. lprent 39

    phil: “The problem is when the status of those bloggers changes from simple supporter/member to something altogether more professional or organised in nature.”

    Some of the others may have met, but personally I’ve only met two other people from the tech & moderators. Believe it if you want or not (I don’t really care if you or that grandstander bill english does), this site was organised via e-mails in a classic “they’d probably help” linkage working around a good idea. A classic net system – look at open source projects for instance.

    All of us work as far as I know, and that limits the time that any of us have here – it limits the number of posts. Which is why I find it weird the time that some of the critics of this site can spend blogging on this site.

    It runs on the recollection of the small of an oily rag substained by voluntary work, a dedication to community effort, and skills. Thats why I find the ‘work’ of the FSC so farcical. The contrast is priceless.

    Hopefully we will get more professional and organised – but it is more likely to be on the open source model than microsofts…

    Lynn Prentice

  40. burt 40

    Two Ticks Labour – we want to govern alone….

    It’s all the same guys, look at the real issues and open your eye’s. Voting based on a party name while pointing at other parties and accusing them of doing the same things that your own party is doing makes you look incredibly thick and partisan.

    Until such time as the two major parties are no longer major parties we are stuck with a two horse race – aka FPP.

    If you like MMP – don’t vote for a major party – there will be enough donkey’s voting for them to ensure they survive while you can cast your vote to force MMP onto them irrespective of their anti MMP “Two ticks [party-name-here]” approach.

  41. Santi 41

    “It runs on the recollection of the small of an oily rag substained by voluntary work….. Thats why I find the ‘work’ of the FSC so farcical.”

    It’s clear Lynn that you detest money and the wealthy. However, that does not give you the right to call the FSC “farcical”. The FSC supporters have the same right than you to advocate their ideas by whatever means, shock horror, even paying for it.

    I’d call yours the policies of envy at work. It’s also known as socialism.

  42. milo 42

    Donations are to be valued at retail cost, not out of pocket cost. Or does that only cover Tauranga billboards, and not Auckland blogs?

    This blog supported the EFA as strongly as it possibly could. Were you actually only supporting its application to your opponents?

  43. burt 43

    Milo

    I think you make a very valid point. A donation received by a political party must be assigned a value, how else would it be accounted for?

    Thus the ‘passed on donation’ has a value, how else can it be accounted for?

    A new standard of openness and accountability would publish that value. In the spirit of the EFA we would be entitled to know the full names and residential addresses of the people who used it to promote or dissuade voting against any political parties.

    Lets see how the standard scratches up to the new standard of openness and accountability they insisted we needed to keep elections fair in NZ.

  44. lprent 44

    Santi – I have absolutely no problem with people pursuing money, I have been known to do it in the past myself. I quite often assist people who have that as their main focus. But I really don’t have the time to do that these days – there are so many interesting skills that I haven’t pursued yet.

    What I was referring to was the contrast between throwing money at a project and applying skills at it. I see it all of the time in IT, and I really haven’t noticed a high success rate with the money only approach.

    BTW: it was with great amusement that I read Bill English’s press release today..

    “If it was all kosher, why are technical experts today saying this covert web-site has been relocated?”

    It got relocated because I felt like it, and no-one else objected. It was quite amusing to think of Bill getting wound up about it, and I want to try out some parts of the system on linux. Which I will be doing tommorrow. I’m sure that someone somewhere has been telling Bill that moving a site is hard – but it took about an hour, and that was only because I screwed up a script.

    I believe that I did mention I like stirring somewhere …..

    Lynn Prentice

  45. burt 45

    Lynn Prentice

    So have we got this correct. The hits on the standard are going up fast, the blog has been featured on TVNZ news and you decide to move the server… because you felt like it.

    Add ‘most risky server administrator’ to your CV. You are unbelievable. Fess up – the standard was slap bang on a Labour party server chewing up Labour party bandwidth and after the publicity it had to be moved. It’s not rocket science.

  46. burt 46

    Lynn Prentice

    Seriously, you should stop telling people so much about the changes going on, it informs the debate for some although it may distract it for others.

    Trying it out on linux, possibly as quickly as tomorrow. OK – Excellent, it’s been running on a Microsoft server somewhere and it still is somewhere else now. A switch is desired… are Microsoft licenses not legit? If they are why the rush to change?

    If it’s for fun sake then by god what a time to impose your sense of adventure on a blog that is rapidly gaining attention.

    The next thing that stems from that is; are the anonymous authors of the standard not wanting to pay the license costs to continue with the current platform? And if so, how can they (or you – who apparently isn’t wanting to spend it either) call the ‘gift’ they have received from Labour insignificant?

  47. Benodic 47

    Pure comedy gold burt. Now go get yourself another whisky you old drunk.

  48. Robinsod 48

    Hey Burt – I see you’re still giving it your best go. And with your disability too. Well done mate you’re an inspiration to all of us.

  49. lprent 49

    burt: “Add ‘most risky server administrator’ to your CV”.

    I do this type of support for fun – I get paid to be a programmer. This stuff isn’t on my CV except in the interests area. You have to play with code and systems thoroughly before you understand them fully. You figure out your best algorithms after looking at the style with which other programmers solved their coding problems. The best way to play is to do it on your own time.

    I think that every bit of software I use these days is legit including the OS’es. I stopped hacking NOP’s and replacing JMPNE’s with JMP in binaries a long time ago – it was good training for bottom level debugging – but got tedious.

    This probably doesn’t fit your conspiracy theories listed above, but that is the way I do things.

  50. lprent 50

    Beside in this level of system admin, it is easy to leave a couple of tested fallback positions in place. It isn’t like bootstrapping a coding project.

  51. sonic 51

    Whaleoil
    Jan 24th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    “Hollow talking points from hollow Labour sponsored bloggers.

    Come clean on your anonymous backers.”

    Any chance you could come clean on the odd features in your sitemeter?

    Considering that if you are hacking the system, and then getting advertisers to pay rates based on fraudulent reader figures, the cops will not need the EFB to put you in jail Mr Oil.

    I raised these questions on DPF’s site, you ignored them there,

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/01/the_battle_for_botany.html#comments

    So lets try again here.

    “BTW has anyone else noticed weird stuff going on with Mr Oil’s site stats?

    It seems to fail to ever log any referrals

    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s10Whaleoil&r=11

    And the world map is skewed rather weirdly (look at Scandinavia, while Churchill Canada (a hole in the ground in the frozen north) is one of his bigegst visitors.

    http://www2.clustrmaps.com/counter/maps.php?url=http://www.whaleoil.co.nz

    Normally I wouldn’t bring such things up, but as our whole day has been taken up with the weekly standard and it’s hosting, I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this electronic mystery?”

    You normally would be screaming “leftist smear!!” Mr Oil for what I am suggesting, yet you stay silent hoping this issue goes away.

    I await your response with interest.

    xxx

    S

  52. Daveo 52

    Look who wants to ditch MMP – it’s Free Speech Coalition donor Don Brash!

    http://www.nzcpr.com/guest71.htm

    And who’s this supporing him/ Surely not FSC co-founder David Farrar?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/10/a_referendum_on_mmp.html

    There are some remarkable similarities bewteen the anti-EFB campaign and the anti-MMP campaign, and the deeper you dig the more those similarities become apparent.

  53. sonic 53

    Another weird thing about Whaleys sitemeter

    Out clicks, where people leave your site

    if you look at my out clicks

    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s11harmonia&r=93&v=21

    You see where people have left too (in some cases)

    But in our whaleoil’s case

    http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s10Whaleoil&r=93&v=1

    Not a single out click

    It’s all very odd, but I assume there is a rational explanation.

    Over to you Whaley

  54. Camryn 54

    MMP isn’t actually very good though. How about some sweet sweet STV?

  55. PM 55

    Lynn Prentice – that’s an absolute copout.

    Don’t make your position worse by lying. It’s obvious Labour kicked you off their server resulting in you whacking the standard up on your garage PC running over ADSL.

    And now your “team of admins” setting up your redundant server cluster has turned into “well actually I’m a code monkey and like to fuck around with servers”?

    This place really is a joke. Unfortunately nobody’s laughing.

  56. Santi 56

    “There are some remarkable similarities bewteen the anti-EFB campaign and the anti-MMP campaign”

    Impeccable logic and powers of deduction.

    daveo, are you “Einstein” Michael Porton, aka robinsond, in drag? Who is the tallest intellectual pygmy between you two?

  57. Simeon 57

    “After Brash and the extreme right were exposed in The Hollow Men the Nats changed their leader hoping for a fresh start.”

    What about these hollow men???

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/?q=content/tvnz-labour-hosted-website-double-standard

  58. The Prophet 58

    Lets see –

    Attack book, supposedly based on some stolen information that no one seems to have seen except the author.

    or

    Labour attack blog proven to have been secretly funded by NZ Labour party and staffed by anon Union workers.

    Who are the real Hollow men?

    Pretty obvious really, isn’t it?

  59. Robinsod 59

    MMP isn’t actually very good though. How about some sweet sweet STV?

    Yeah STV is pretty good but it requires much more political awareness from the electorate to work. Otherwise voters can be alienated by it.

    Prophet – You’re really gonna have to get over this obsession eh? Oh and I’ll be doing a lite expose on the “stolen” emails some time over on newzblog if you’re interested…

  60. Simeon 60

    Robinsod,

    “Yeah STV is pretty good but it requires much more political awareness from the electorate to work. Otherwise voters can be alienated by it.’

    So the electorate is dumb?? They can’t learn??

    Please withdraw that statement.

  61. James Kearney 61

    Simeon – kids need role models but you should look elsewhere. Cameron Slater’s a moron and he’s famous for photoshopping James Sleep’s face onto gay porn. As a good Christian conservative you’d be best to steer clear of his influence.

    On another note the Whale has drafted a letter to the Electoral Commission complaining about the standard appearing to encourage people to vote for Labour or against National. What’s really funny is all his links point to articles written before January 1 when the EFA came into force.

    Santi – found anything useful to say yet or is it just abuse again from you?

  62. James Kearney 62

    So the electorate is dumb?? They can’t learn??

    Please withdraw that statement.

    That’s a dumb statement Simeon. It’s a fact complex electoral systems reduce voter turnout or increase the number of spoiled votes. Shouldn’t you be in school at the moment?

  63. Robinsod 63

    So the electorate is dumb?? They can’t learn??

    No mate the electorate is disengaged with politics. Advertising like Farrar’s doesn’t help re-engage them.

  64. Simeon 64

    Has MMP got people more engaged with politics???

  65. Simeon 65

    77% turnout for the general election in 2002.

    It doesn’t seem as if MMP is helping to engage people in politics

  66. The Prophet 66

    Haven’t got much interest in the infantile crap you write Sod.

    Interesting to note that the only blog that would give you a writing gig is run by a 16 year old and his friends.

  67. Graeme Edgeler 67

    With Shirtcliffe back in on the act and the Nats dreaming of governing alone you have to wonder how long it’ll be before the next assault on MMP.

    The existence of MMP (or at least a dual party/electorate vote) is entrenched.

  68. Robinsod 68

    I’m not saying they’re disengaged because of the electoral system. I suspect they are disengaged because politics has become a series of trivial backbiting PR wars and ostensibly stopped being about policy and the wider view of how our country is governed.

    National’s attack-dog style over substance MO and Labour’s “values framing” have added to this. As has a media that will always run conflict over analysis. I believe we need to find ways to bring the debate back to a proper discussion of policies. Perhaps introducing civics into our schools would be a good start.

  69. Simeon 69

    Robinsod you are wrong.

    If Helen and co listened to the people of NZ then people would be more engaged with politics.

    A few binding referendums would be a good start to engaging the people.

  70. Robinsod 70

    I don’t think I am wrong but fair enough it’s just my opinion. What do you base your opinion on?

  71. Brownie 71

    AYB

    Interesting that you need to go back 15 years to find something to attack on.

    You can’t keep living in the past (mind you the last 8 years have done us bugger all good – even your mate Winston Bauble looks poised to jump the Waka if yesterdays press release is anything to go by).

  72. Simeon 72

    Robinsod,

    Just look at the voting trend since MMP came in in 1996.

    There has only been 2 CIR’s since 1996 both were rejected by the current GOVT.

    The people don’t feel they have any power. So they stop voting. This is why I say that a few binding Referedums would be a start to fixing the problem.

  73. Billy 73

    “I believe we need to find ways to bring the debate back to a proper discussion of policies.”

    Is this you personal contribution to that?

    http://newzblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/pig-fucking/#comments

  74. targeting “the least educated and most gullible”

    and the Hollowmen know the electorate can’t count on the 4th Estate to educate or inform the electorate elsewise.

  75. Robinsod 75

    Billy – if you read that post you’ll see that it is about analysing and busting spin. But thanks for reminding me about that – I’ll add to my earlier comment that I believe people also need to be made aware of how spin is constructed and how to decode it.

    So anyway Billy, just what is it about that post that upsets you?

  76. The Prophet 76

    oh dear

  77. Billy 77

    Nothing upsets me about it. It just seems a bit rich for you of all people to be lecturing about the standard of debate. It’s like James Sleep lecturing on spelling or the bean on humour.

    While we’re on Johnson, my favourite story (before I heard the pig fucker one) was the story about Johnson insisting that his secretary of soemthing (state?) brief him while Johnson was taking a dump.

  78. Benodic 78

    Prophet – I doubt anyone’s concerned about Cameron Slater crying to the electoral commission. He’s a threat to no one but himself and the national party.

    Billy – I’ve heard a similar story involving Mike Moore and a visiting ambassador. The man’s a good laugh but he could be a right pig at the best of times. Best not tell IP though 🙂

  79. Robinsod 79

    Billy – I certainly get involved in the shit-slinging on the blogs but I also try to occasionally add to the debate. I figure that post did so in that it used rather blue hyperbole to deconstruct the flawed argument that was being thrown around by IP and other righties.

    Now I could have done it in a more moderate way but bro, it’s been very well read according to our stats and I’d say that’s because of its shock value and the fact that so many of you have posted and reposted it with (transparent) faux-outrage. I trust my readers to be smart enough to see the point I’m making. You righties seem to think they are stupid enough to get stuck on the expletives and be outraged by it. That’s why you post it and that’s why it’s being well read. Thanks.

  80. merl 80

    This is off topic, but then again, this thread seems to have been completely lost to the trolls.

    Standard peoples, have you considered doing a post or series of posts on Disaster Capitalism?

    http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

  81. Billy 81

    I do not remember expressing outrage, faux or otherwise. That’s only because I am not outraged. Sorry to disappoint.

    I do not have a problem with you “shit-slinging on the blogs”. I find it quite fun. Nor do I have a problem with IP and others who can sting a sentence together doing so.

    It just seems a little inconsistent to then turn around and say we need a higher level of debate.

  82. Michele Cabiling 82

    James Kearney attacks WhaleOil in the following terms:

    “Cameron Slater’s a moron and he’s famous for photoshopping James Sleep’s face onto gay porn.”

    Like apprentice pillow biter James Sleep didn’t deserve to be “outed” …

  83. Michele Cabiling 83

    MMP stands for “More Marxists in Parliament.”

    Since this retarded electoral system was adopted (remembering it was sold to the public that there would be a further referendum on whether it would be continued after a trial period), we have seen a raft of unregenerate Communists enter Parliament on party lists.

    None of these people would stand an icicle’s hope in hell of getting elected to an electorate seat under their own banners: Sue Bradford (Workers Communist League), Keith Locke (CPNZ and Socialist Action League), Matt Robson (Socialist Action League) being the most readily identifiable.

    Imagine the outcry if a National or ACT MP were revealed to have been a member of a Neo-Nazi organisation during their student days. And yet a raft of Commies on the other side of the House are given a free pass, probably because many of our media contingent were cheerleaders for that self-same ideology during their student days.

    As well, a raft of unelectable (under FPP)union hacks (many of them Communists too) have made it into Parliament on the Liarbour Party list.

    A bare majority (53.4% of New Zealanders) supporting MMP would never been achieved if the public hadn’t believed it would later have the chance to vote it out. Nor would New Zealanders have voted for MMP if they’d had advance warning of the political backgrounds of many of the MPs that would be on party lists.

  84. Matthew Pilott 84

    Michele, “New Zealanders” don’t share your pathological and irrational hatred of people with communist or socialist backgrounds or ideologies; stop assuming as such and you’ll lend yourself a smidgen of credibility. I had a shot for you:

    None of these people would stand an icicle’s hope in hell of getting votes for an electorate seat from the extreme right under their own banners: Sue Bradford (Workers Communist League), Keith Locke (CPNZ and Socialist Action League), Matt Robson (Socialist Action League) being the most readily identifiable.

    As well, a raft of unelectable (in the eyes of the average RWNJ) union hacks (many of them Communists too) have made it into Parliament on the Liarbour Party list.

    Nor would the extreme right have voted for MMP if they’d had advance warning of the political backgrounds of many of the MPs that would be on party lists.

    See, not that hard to make your comments true and readable!

    🙂 No, no need to thank me.

    Seriously though, when you mention that schools have brainwashed every one apart from the Select Few, such as yourself (someting of a Master Race I assume), it’s then completely illigocal to assume someone with your views can express an opinion and assume that it speaks for “New Zealanders”.

    Maybe one in a thousand; I hope it’s far fewer.

  85. Santi 85

    And two of the above (Bradford, Robson) continue supporting socialist Labour in its attempts to re-engineer society.

    Robson publishes “research” on the web that is resembles red propaganda more than any thing. What can be add to Bradford’s list of demerits? From bludger to MP, enough said.

  86. Sam Dixon 86

    Re: commnets about STV being better than MMP.

    Prbolems with STV are that it doesn’t guarantee proprtionality, in fact there is little evidence that results are different under STV than they are under FPP.

    Moreover, STV results in high levels of informal voting around 10% – any voting system that will result in one in ten voters attempting to vote but being unable to because their vote doesn’t satisfy the formal requirements of a vote is problematic.

  87. Robinsod 87

    What can be add to Bradford’s list of demerits? From bludger to MP, enough said.

    You’ve really got no idea of Bradford’s background have you? Hint: she was educated at Marsden Girls. Moron.

  88. chris 88

    Michele Cabiling, congratulations. you’ve shown yourself to be nothing more than a poisonous little trollop with your bagging of Hone Tuwhare in todays dompost.

  89. Graeme Edgeler 89

    Since this retarded electoral system was adopted (remembering it was sold to the public that there would be a further referendum on whether it would be continued after a trial period)

    No. I don’t remember that. Care to enlighten?

  90. Michele Cabiling 90

    Matthew Pillock re-writes my earlier post in the following terms:

    “None of these people would stand an icicle’s hope in hell of getting votes for an electorate seat from the extreme right under their own banners: Sue Bradford (Workers Communist League), Keith Locke (CPNZ and Socialist Action League), Matt Robson (Socialist Action League) being the most readily identifiable.”

    When Matt Robson stood in the 1975 General Election under the banner of the Socialist Action League, he received less than 100 votes. Oh, I get it, all those blue collar workers were brainwashed by the hegemonic forces of capitalism into voting against their class interests.

    “As well, a raft of unelectable (in the eyes of the average RWNZ) union hacks (many of them Communists too) have made it into Parliament on the Liarbour Party list.”

    More hegemonic brainwashing, right?

    “Nor would the extreme right have voted for MMP if they’d had advance warning of the political backgrounds of many of the MPs that would be on party lists.”

    Funny how leftards are big time supporters of democracy when it throw up outcomes they agree with, and implacably opposed to it when it doesn’t.

    Even the workers distrust authoritarian socialism and have never supported it. The average working man is too busy accumulating capital and getting on with life to allow himself to be used as cannon fodder in a bloody socialist revolution.

    Socialism has only ever exercised the tiny minds of academics. Truly “the opiate of the intellectuals.”

  91. Matthew Pilott 91

    Right Michele, and you only support an electoral system if it supports your desired outcomes.

    If Robson was unelectable, the Alliance party vote would have dropped markedly when he was put fairly high up on the Alliance list in 1999 right?

    I mean if there’s no way he’d win an electorate seat, people sure as hell would think twice about voting for his party, when he was virtually assured of a seat, right?

    Or are you saying the public is too stupid to look at a party list when deciding which party to vote for?

    Funny how leftards are big time supporters of democracy when it throw up outcomes they agree with, and implacably opposed to it when it doesn’t.

    More substance less bullshit please.

    Even the workers distrust authoritarian socialism and have never supported it. The average working man is too busy accumulating capital and getting on with life to allow himself to be used as cannon fodder in a bloody socialist revolution.

    As I pointed out earlier, your extremist views are very rarely encountered, no small blessing might I add, but it’s deeply cynical for you to pretend you know what the “average working man” supports.

    You wouldn’t know a socialist revolution if it Nationalised your means of production, created a classless society, and set fire to your sock puppet.

  92. merl 92

    Wow, michelle, you’ve really dropped any pretense at debate and put on the flame-resistant armour haven’t you?

    Why do you even post here?

    Is it just to be a troll?

  93. Michele Cabiling 93

    Matthew Pillock repeats my statement:

    “Even the workers distrust authoritarian socialism and have never supported it. The average working man is too busy accumulating capital and getting on with life to allow himself to be used as cannon fodder in a bloody socialist revolution.”

    then calls my views “extremist.”

    Repeat after me ding-bat, “a label is not an argument.”

    I’m merely reporting the collective views of Western workers. Why do you think openly Communist candidates have never been elected to a New Zealand Parliament? Why do you think there has never been a Communist revolution?

    With respect to the fact that the Alliance (with a number of undeclared Communists on its party list) cracked the MMP threshhold, MP says “[A]re you saying the public is too stupid to look at a party list when deciding which party to vote for?”

    No, I’m not saying that, but had the political antecedents of prominent Alliance and Green Party list MPs had been more widely known, I suggest that MMP election results may well have proved quite different.

  94. Matthew Pilott 94

    repeat after me, my ray of sunshine, “a label is not an argument.”

    Even the workers (label 1 – worker) distrust authoritarian socialism (label 2 – authoritarian socialism) and have never supported it. The average working man (label 3 – average working man) is too busy accumulating capital and getting on with life to allow himself to be used as cannon fodder (label 4 – cannon fodder) in a bloody socialist (label 5 – socialist) revolution.

    What a stunning load of generalisms and half-arsed assumptions.

    Authoritarian socialism now exists only in your mind and a few pariah states. Ask the “average working man” if they support the concept of state housing for people on lower incomes, a public health and education system, a social welfare system, national insurance and nationalised assets of national importance, and you’ll get your answer.

    I like your referral to a bloody socualist revolution though, reminds me of my school and early uni days, before I grew out of it.

    Why do I think there has never been a communist revolution or candidates elected on a Communiust Party ticket in New Zealand? Open your eyes Michele! An extremist view needn’t represent the whole – and I’m not talking about your views of limitedd government. You fail to take the step beyond the failed socialist revolutions that led to the Cold War, and see how the ideas can be implemented without the entire subversion of the Government, State and People.

    That failing is yours alone.

  95. Draco TB 95

    Just look at the voting trend since MMP came in in 1996.

    There has only been 2 CIR’s since 1996 both were rejected by the current GOVT.

    The people don’t feel they have any power. So they stop voting. This is why I say that a few binding Referedums would be a start to fixing the problem.

    Ok, lets look at voting patterns.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/draco1337/voting.jpg
    Source: Jack Vowles, NZ Government & Politics, pg 319 (sorry for the poor quality – the scanner is seeing through the page, I’ve marked 1993 onwards for clarity)

    Overall voting turnout has decreased since 1949. There was an upsurge from 1978 through 1984. This can easily be explained by the economic stress that the country was going through at the time. That surge was completely lost by 1990. 1993 saw a small return of voters. 1996 (The first MMP election) saw a small upsurge which was lost again in 1999 with a further fall in 2002. 2005 saw what was lost in 2002 regained.

    1984 was the election of the 4th Labour government and the beginning of the unpopular neo-liberal reforms. The government not listening to the people could easily account for the drop in voter turnout in 1987 and 1990. The people certainly wouldn’t have been feeling any power as first the 4th Labour government and then the 4th National government paid them no heed. The first MMP election saw a small upturn as hope of the government listening to the people returned. This hope was smashed on the farce that was the National/NZ First government. 1999 saw the election of the Labout/Alliance government which saw small changes in policy which could be more likened to reefing the sails against the storm of popular opinion rather than a change in tack. Voter turnout continued it’s decline in 2002. 2005 saw another surge taking voter turnout above the 1999 turnout. This latest upsurge could be a result a expectation that the government needs to listen to the people and that people are feeling a return of power or it could just be a generational glitch.

    At the moment I would say that it is far to early to even guess at what difference that MMP has had on voter turnout.

  96. RANDAL 96

    mmp has offered the best defence against the rights attempts to disband all government scocial costs and annihilate all social netwrks except their own. Its a bit like religion or rock music accounting or diving entrails. ‘it aint like it used to be but it’ll do’…the old man in the last scene of the ‘wild bunch’.

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