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Interview the leaders

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, March 28th, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: activism, election 2008, interview, progressives - Tags: , , ,


We’re going to interview the leader of each party but we’d like to give you the chance to ask the questions.

Starting next week we’ll submit two questions to a leader each Monday, one of which will be the same for each of them to allow you to compare those answers; the second question will be ‘leader specific’.

Each leader’s reply will be posted the following Monday and the questions for the next leader will be emailed. This process will continue until we’ve talked to them all.

We’ll choose the questions from your suggestions posted in the comments section of this post.

This is your chance to ask the political leaders questions you would never hear on the evening news. Keep them above the belt but make them tough.

First cab off the rank is Jim Anderton from the Progressive Party. Ask away!


48 comments on “Interview the leaders”

  1. James Kearney 1

    Jim. Why did you take my nos away?

    (Captcha: vice Committee)

  2. I’d like to know what changes Anderton thinks he’s made as progressives leader that he couldn’t have done if he’d folded back into Labour.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    Johnny K: What is your position on the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights?

  4. Tane 4

    Hey Sam, cheers but this thread’s just questions for Anderton. You’ll get your turn with Johnny K later.

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    General Question (for all the leaders):

    New Zealand elections have been reduced, in the eyes of many, to a popularity and soundbite contest.

    What will you and your Party do to return to robust debate on issues and government policy that will affect New Zealanders, as opposed to point-scoring type electioneering?

  6. Sam Dixon 6

    ah. ok.

    Jim: why are you trying to strike a balance between sustainabiltiy and commerical intersts when setting fishing quotas? The sustainable level is the sustainable level, anything more means the stocks will be exhausted

  7. Daveo 7

    Why should left-leaning NZers vote Progressive rather than Labour or Green?

  8. Billy 8

    Jim: Was the government’s assistance to Sovereign Yachts a good use of taxpayers’ money?

  9. r0b 9

    What a most excellent idea!

    I’m not at all interested in the Progressives as a party, but I am interested in Jim’s long term experience and perspective.

    (1) MMP seems to be working. What do you think motivates calls for another referendum? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0803/S00297.htm

    (2) Should political parties be state funded? Why, or why not?

    (3) Is politics getting dirtier, or does it just seem that way?

    (4) Is there any room for idealism in politics?

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    Mr Anderton(we’ve been expecting you *hugo weaving voice*): Now that I can’t buy BZP, do you know where a good, reputable dealer is? Prefer Newtown area, non-gang affiliated, located near snack foods and bus routes.


    (sounds like I’m with James Kearney there too…)

  11. BeShakey 11

    Jim: assuming you win Wigram, the key issue will be if you get enough party votes to bring in a second MP. For someone weighing up giveing their party vote to Progressives or Labour, what substantive difference would their be between having a second Progressive MP compared to another Labour MP?

  12. outofbed 12

    Jim could you do a deal with Labour to stand a high profile progressive candidate in a safe labour seat?
    There for getting more seats because of the overhang?

  13. Wat Tyler 13

    For the general question, how about: What is your proudest achievement in politics?

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    How can an achievement be proud? 😉

  15. Wat Tyler 15

    yeah yeah.

    “which of your achievements in politics are you most proud of?’

    that met with your approval Mr Pilott? Doesn’t have the same ring to it though.

  16. MikeE 16

    a) Do you wish to reduce drug harm in New Zealand

    b) Will you resign from parliament if the consumption and supply of Pure Methamphetamine increases due to the Ban on BZP?

    c) Will you resign if the harm from BZP increases due to its use and supply now being criminalised?

    d) Why is New Zealand’s most harmful drug, alcohol being left out of the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    e) Why do you continually refer to BZP being Cattle drench, even though their is no recorded instance of BZP ever being used as an animal wormer*. Surely this is gross misrepresentation of the facts for the Associate Minister for Health and unofffical “drug tzar” to be making?

    *Although other piprazines have been tested as wormers in the 50s, not a single ingredient in party pills has bee.

  17. Billy 17

    Or, so as not to end the sentence with a preposition:

    “Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud?”

  18. Stephen 18

    Why would anyone go from BZP to THE hardest drug on the market??

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Wat, Billy – maybe The Standard can use you guys as drafters for the final questions 🙂

    MikeE, in the same vein, are you willing to offer your congratulations to Mr Anderton given that P use is actually decreasing in NZ at present (which, FTR, is in no way related to BZP use)?

    How would you show a direct causal link between a BZP ban and an increase in P supply and consumption?

    Are you aware piperazines were developed and tested as cattle drench (and does it matter a whit? gross misrepresentation – I daresay there are more important points at hand that what the stuff is called)?

    Those points aside I’m not thoroughly disagreeing with you, though, but perhaps I don’t imagine that the effects will be as bad. However, I considered BZP a good tool in harm minimisation.

    As for “d” – alcohol isn’t classified as a drug is it? genuine point here – could it be included in the review at all given that?

  20. G 20

    All leaders: Do you think the Standard will provide a balanced view of all Leader’s answers?

    IrishBill says: We will be publishing responses verbatim and are looking for good, smart questions to pitch to each leader. We’ll also expect good smart answers. We have a robust and smart readership and leaders are aware of this and comments will be open on each post.

  21. IrishBill 21

    I’m disappointed by the failure of our resident right-wingers to provide any searching questions.

    Personally I don’t have much I’d want to challenge Jim on because I don’t disagree with his general political direction (except on drugs but that’s not really a strong political issue for me).

    We are hoping to get some well thought-out and well researched questions from the right that we could pitch to Jim but so far you people just don’t seem to be trying. I know you all pride yourselves on your political literacy so let’s see it.

  22. Robert Cowan 22

    How is the government planning to monitor human rights in China?
    Will the free trade agreement, once in place, be abondoned if it is discovered that the Chinese government is not adhering and not enforcing human rights?

  23. Occasional Observer 23

    IrishBill says: Dull OO. Very dull. Last warning and then a month ban

  24. higherstandard 24

    I’d be interested to know how his work in the catholic youth and diocese in Auckland influenced his political views and also his views on how local body politics and bureaucracy has changed since his days at Manukau City Council.

  25. Draco TB 25

    General question to all parties.
    With the probability that Peak Oil is already here and the price of oil reaching record heights in real terms what policies does {Party} have to maintain our economy and living standards in the face of increasing energy shortages?

    For J. Anderton
    As Minister of Agriculture what are you doing to encourage farmers to clean up their farms so as to minimize environmental damage?

  26. 1.Jim- what have you done to reduce complanice costs for farmers, especially sheep and beef farmers?

    2.Why did you vote for farm dog microchipping?

  27. insider 27

    MAybe the righties view Anderton as completely irrelevant and so not worth the bother.

    My question: How many jobs did your machine create (if any), can you prove it, how much did they cost to create, was it worth it?

  28. MikeE 28

    I’m glad I don’t count as right wing.

    Then gain Jacqui Dean did refer to me as left wing.

  29. Ah yes, she of ban-water infamy…

    Oh, and playschool. Goddamn I used to watch that when I was a kid – I still worry about the metanarratives that ratbag may have planted in my psyche…

  30. Mr Anderton how would you rate your achievements inside Parliament during the last 6 years, compared to the achievements of Laila Harre outside Parliament during the same time frame?

  31. Roark 31

    I’d like to know why Anderton thinks the government is better at picking winners that the market is and I’d like to see some clear proof from him that companies backed by his Ministry of Economic Development had produced better results than non-subsidised businesses.

  32. Fuck off Roark.

    Oh, and I just want to say it’s a fuckin coup to have leaders commenting on your blog – it shows how important the sphere is getting in politics.

    [lprent: RS: language is excessive]

  33. r0b 33

    OK, it took me a while, but I have got the question that I would like to hear answered by each of the leaders:

    “What are the challenges facing NZ in the next 20 years, and what is the evidence (historical, national and international) that your party’s policies are the best way of addressing those challenges?”

  34. Julie 34

    Well it’s quite a facetious question, but what I’d really like to ask Jim A is when he’s going to retire and what his plans are to make sure the Progressives survive his retirement as a vital and influential political party? Yes my tongue is a bit in my check (with the last bit), but I think an honest answer would be quite interesting nonetheless!

    Great idea by The Standard – I hope you get lots of timely replies from the leaders.

  35. Policy Parrot 35

    If Roger Douglas is elected as an ACT MP this election, what will be your first words to him across the debating chamber?

    (captcha: Miriam Street – good guess)

  36. Gobbler 36

    Mar 28th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Fuck off Roark.”

    I can only assume that you are referring to Roark’s post above yours Sod?

    Unless I missed something I believe that it is a relevant question –

    Jim: Can you demonstrate that Government investment in initiatives such as the ‘jobs machine’ the Ministry of Economic Development or New Zealand Trade and Enterprise generates a greater return to ‘NZ inc’ than say Government investment in a national fibre optic network and additonal overseas fibre optic cabling? – Just as one example…

  37. Yeah, fair enough Gobbler – It’s just Roark’s said some pretty nasty stuff here in the past but that was a fair comment. I retract my remark and apologise.

  38. r0b 38

    Well spoken ‘Sod.

  39. Ari 39

    Congrats on landing interviews with the party leaders, guys. I’m especially looking forward to John Key. :>

    Okay, questions for Jim Anderton:

    Why do you support raising the legal age for Alcohol when the law has only started to be taken seriously and rigorously enforced since that age has been lowered to 18? Don’t you think it makes people more likely to binge drink if they have not been exposed to alcohol in a moderated environment at a younger age? How do you answer general claims about more liberal legislation surrounding alcohol and other soft drugs leading to reduced harm, given your position on this issue?

  40. Ari 40

    Actually, perhaps I should clarify that last question:

    How do you answer claims that criminalising soft drugs like alcohol or BZP is harmful, by leading to them being sold by the black market, outside of regulation and safety guidelines? How can criminalisation and age restriction avoid people determined to subvert the rules without causing even more harm?

  41. Murray 41

    Prime Minister: [deleted – defaming spouses]

    You have just caught my attention.

    I’ve scanned back on the comments and it appears you don’t contribute anything of any value. Amongst other attributes I see that you have cut and pasted comments across threads. I also see that the moderators have warned you previously.

    If you want to do things in the toilet, take it elsewhere. Around here you will act in a moderately civilised manner.

    This is your first warning. From me, that also means your final warning.

  42. Murray 42

    Your wrong about the cut and paste, I have never done that, I don’t know how. As for not contributing anything of value, that’s a matter of opinion. In my honest opinion the moderators are wankers.
    And for the record compared to Robson I think I am bloody civilised.

  43. lprent 43

    “Your wrong about the cut and paste”

    Yes – apologies for that. It is two in the same thread
    Looks like you got caught by recaptcha.

    I don’t read the comments by post, just all comments in date time order. I’m looking for behaviour and getting rid of the spam comments that sneak through the filters.

  44. I would like to ask Mr. Anderson the following: Rio Tinto last year bought the NZ mining company that had the consent for prospecting for metals in the black sands of our seabeds from Auckland to Taranaki, which is also the Maui dolphin habitat. New Zealand is one of the few countries that still allow deep sea bottom trawling and as such is responsible for the destruction of huge areas of valuable habitat and the fragile ecosystem that should be preserved since it supports our fishery. Is the fact that you have not banned all forms of deep sea bottom trawling indicative for your stance on seabed mining and would you be in favour of seabed mining? Also would the fact that the profits of such a venture would now be going abroad and as such would not be benefiting the New Zealand people be of influence on your position?

    As a general question I would propose the following:

    Why is the war in Afghanistan, which so far has done nothing for liberating the Afghan people, rehabilitate the position of women and has caused the opium harvest this year to be the biggest in recorded history causing a huge rise in the availability of heroine on the streets of every major city in the western and the eastern world, not on this election agenda?
    While we are at it: Why does none of our leaders seem even remotely interested in the fact that what should have been a short intervention to catch Osama bin Laden and his marry band of terrorists, and while we were there the liberation of the oppressed people who would welcome us with open arms and reinstate democracy give their women freedom and equality has now entered it’s seventh year with no end in sight and with young men who should be with their families here in NZ instead of in some god forsaken ford in the deserts of Afghanistan has changed into a brutal occupation with a puppet government, supportive of the Big oil interest that wanted this war in the first place?
    When are our leaders going to ask questions about our involvement in the misbegotten illegal wars of aggression the US has gotten us into as the result of the events of 911?

  45. To Mr Anderton and other New Zealand politicians who are against the Canadian Pension Fund buying into Auckland International Airport.

    My Question is…

    “Don’t you think its wrong to say, that the Airport belongs to all New Zealanders, when in fact it actually belongs to the share holders, the people who had the courage to invest in it, the people who built it up, to what it is? and what right have you got to say who I can and can not sell my shares to?

    Follow up Question…

    If a group from the Pacific Islands had decided to buy into the Airport, is it fair to say that Labour, The Greens and the Maori party wouldn’t oppose it, because that could affect their voting base, and it borders on being bigoted to try and stop it, because its a group of North Americans that have tried to buy into the airport?

  46. Gooner 46

    My question:

    Jim – it may transpire this election that the Labour Party needs not only the Progressives to govern but also possibly Act. That could mean policy concessions both from the Progs to Act and of course vice versa.

    Could your party engage with Act in constructive dialogue to allow a government to be formed?

    BTW – this is a good idea guys/gals. Well done.

  47. ak 47

    (Aye, top idea standardistas)

    Jim: Congratulations on your long and successful career and on achieving the almost unique status of an NZ MP who has never compromised on base principles.
    Having been round the traps longer and more successfully than most, what is your opinion on the possibility of National doing a deal with the Maori Party to form the next Government? (eg offering to repeal Foreshore and Seabed in exchange for abstinence/support on supply and demand)

  48. Jim:
    What are the indespensible characteristics of an effective PM?
    What characteristics are valuable but not essential?
    Which of these characteristics can be learnt and which cannot?

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