Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, May 14th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, electoral commission, greens, john key, Judith Collins, Metiria Turei, MMP, national/act government, referendum - Tags:

Today Green MP Holly Walker dragged out of Judith Collins that the NAct government will not be implementing the recommendations of the Electoral Commission on MMP.  Then Collins goes on to defend her position with reference to the lack of  “consensus”, clearly associating this with the need for  “unanimous” agreement on the changes by all political parties.

The Greens may be hair splitting when they say Collins is confusing 2 different terms.  However, they nail it when claiming that NAct don’t want to get rid of the Epsom coat tail effect because it may damage their chances of being re-elected.

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I believe that Dr Holly Walker was correct on this matter when she wrote: “There is a tradition of legislation making changes to the electoral system being passed unanimously in Parliament, and it would be great if all parties were able to put aside their own short-term political interests and build a consensus around the Electoral Commission’s report.” Dr Walker wrote that on 6 November last year in a little-read blog called Frogblog, and I agree with her.

Holly Walker: Thank you for the promotion—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Would the member like to start her question again.

Holly Walker: Thanks for the promotion, Minister. Which party or parties have blocked consensus in Parliament on the recommendations of the MMP review?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Actually, no party has been able to reach consensus, because consensus actually requires all parties to agree.

In a later press release, Holly Walker argues that the government did not live up to the promise of improving the MMP system following a review:

“The review was carried out in a timely manner with a robust public submission process, a high degree of engagement and a clear steer from the public on what they’d like to see changed.

“National has undermined this process by ignoring the wishes of the New Zealand public, in particular to abolish the one electorate seat threshold.

“It is weak of the Minister to hide behind the excuse of needing cross-party consensus.

“Consensus is always great to aim for but with the self-interest of the National, ACT and United Future parties always likely to derail this process, the responsible thing for the Government to do was to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission as a package in time for the next election.

“The Minister wants to gerrymander the system so that National don’t lose their coalition partners and can rely on ACT and United Future at the next election.

Tonight on Checkpoint on RNZ, Metiria Turei says that Collins is confusing “consensus” with “unanimous” support for all the changes.  Further she argues that there would never be a “unanimous” agreement on the recommended changes.  Turei said the Greens don’t agree with all the recommended changes, but will support them.  Key did promise a review, holding out the carrot of possible changes.

http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20130514-1709-green_party_reacts_to_mmp_changes_being_pulled-048.mp3

I did get the impression that many people voted to keep MMP, with the idea in mind that important changes could be made to some of the undemocratic elements, such as the Epsom fiddle.  It’s interesting that we learn that changes won’t happen soon after John Banks has said he will stand for Epsom again.

68 comments on “Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy”

  1. Nordy 1

    Thanks Carol – yes, an issue that has been ‘flying under the radar’ of late, and the NACT govt are happy with that.

    Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her. As I said elsewhere, ‘the tail wagging the dog’.

    The difficulty with this and other important issues (e.g the constitutional conversation) is that in reality NACT don’t want to engage on the issues as they don’t really have a position or view based on principles or anything close to democracy. It suits them nicely to distract and divert on anything but the issues – the reason of course they have that ‘nice man Mr Key’ front and centre – just ‘smile and wave’…….

    • Anne 1.1

      Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her.

      Ms Collins is a dangerous woman. She would not hesitate to use her thugs Slater and Lusk et al… to ‘put down’ anyone who dared to stand up to her. God help us if she ever became prime minister. She would make Thatcher look like a harmless kitten.

      The numbers have been done. NAct can’t afford to lose Banks and Dunne, so to hell with principle and keeping their promise to the proletariat – you know, those pesky peasants (us) whom our forefathers were stupid enough to allow to have a vote.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        And Collins is a possible future PM.

      • Anne 1.1.2

        And here’s the video…

        http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/18499

        Collins left her broomstick at the Chamber door.

      • veutoviper 1.1.3

        Well said, Anne.

        • IrishBill 1.1.3.1

          Collins is despised by many in the National party. She has her uses but she’ll never be leader. You only have to look at how close her henchmen came to seriously damaging National over the Gilmore affair, and Key’s subsequent dismissal of Lusk to see that.

          If Gilmore had decided to use his statement to open the can of worms that is the Nat’s dirty tricks machine (and I understand he came very close to doing so) then any opportunity for National to run a negative lead-in to the 2014 campaign would have been done and dusted. Put simply, Collins’ fools came very close to costing National a 2014 win.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.4

        In this scenario it’s actually best to keep Banks as head of ACT and standing and winning in Epsom, then they will go nowhere.

  2. Northshoreguynz 2

    Looking forward to the MSMs take on this.

  3. ianmac 3

    By the Collins standard that consensus = unanimous, it would be impossible to EVER get this through. John Banks would NEVER agree to lose his cup of tea.
    Consensus usually means a general informal acceptance of a plan. Usually a significant majority.
    Lucky this Government does not need a “Collins Consensus” to pass all its Bills!

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Andrew Geddis is going to have something to say about this:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/running-down-the-clock-on-electoral-reform

    The third future, however, is the worst of all. In it, the Government lets the clock run out on being able to make changes for 2014, while announcing that the lack of consensus amongst the political parties in Parliament means that it intends taking no further action on the Commission’s recommendations.

    I really hope this isn’t a future that the Government plans to visit on us. But if it is, I already have planned a post of Old Testament fury that will make Samuel L. Jackson’s quotation from Ezekiel look like a lullaby to a sleepy child. So, let’s see what the future holds

    • QoT 4.1

      Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

      • Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

        What is this – 2006?

        Actually, I went down the restrained smouldering and sarcastic tweaking of the NZ Herald route. Sorry for over-promising and under-delivering.

  5. vto 5

    .
    John Key

    John Banks

    John Key

    John Banks

    John Banks

    John Key

    John John Key John Banks John Banks Key

    Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key

    John Banks Key

    • toad 5.1

      I doubt that even the good voters of Epsom would elect someone so demonstrably corrupt at the next election.

      Goldsmith likely to be the next MP for Epsom, despite the Nats’ undemocratic machinations.

  6. Tamati 6

    To be fair, the voters of New Zealand didn’t get a chance to vote on whether they wished to remove the coattail provision and lower the threshold to 4%. The best thing to do would be have another referendum at the next election, where voters can decide on these two issues. I imagine they support removing “coat tailing” but would reject lowering the threshold.

    • karol 6.1

      All voters got the opportunity to make submissions to the review. Only a small proportion took it up as usual.

      • Tamati 6.1.1

        And all voters should have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made to the electoral system, in a referendum.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          I can see the value in that, Tamati. I’m not sure how well it would go down right now. Also, the government would get to choose the wording of the questions, compared with a Citizen initiated referendum, which would require a petition.

          My feeling is that most kiwis would choose to end the coat tail requirement.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.1.1

            Indeed.

            Having said that, I imagine a majority of New Zealanders would also vote to remove the Maori seats if given the option. The majority will of the Mob is often not always the best long term decision.

            A link for any classical scholars out there,
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mytilenian_Debate

            • KJT 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The minority will of parliament is almost always not the best long term decision.

              Fixed it for you.

              If you do not trust in the will of the majority, why have voting at all!

              • Tamati

                Read my above post on the Mytilenian Debate.

                A simple majority of Parliament could of course change the electoral system, if it chose to.

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.2

          Yes, there’s a case for having the 2014 election under the current rules and a simultaneous referendum (“Do you support the Electoral Commission’s proposed changes?” or whatever).

          That solves the whole “consensus” question, which is why Collins/Key don’t want to do it. They prefer an excuse (however hollow) to do nothing at all, until the system starts to go against National. It’s blatantly self-serving.

          Let’s hope Colin Craig gets 4% at the next election and National lose, and start whining “it’s not fair!!”. That would be so funny.

        • Arfamo 6.1.1.3

          Yes. Great idea. Which party will push it?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Neither major party will. Not in their interests to have more small party competitors stealing what they see as votes belonging to them/

        • QoT 6.1.1.4

          Well … we did have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made, when we had a referendum on MMP vs other systems with the understanding that if MMP was triumphant its current implementation would be reviewed.

          I must say it’s going to be an eternal black mark against NZ First for popularizing the idea of screaming “BUT WE NEED A REFERENDUM” every time changes are happening that we don’t like. Representative democracy: learn you some.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.4.1

            Referendums and horrible things, just ask a Californian!

          • KJT 6.1.1.4.2

            Representative democracy is an oxymoron.

            Getting to change the seats in the dictatorship every three years, IS NOT DEMOCRACY!

            • Tamati 6.1.1.4.2.1

              So we should run our nation like New Zealand idol?

              Text into vote whether to amend the habeas corpus Act?

              • Colonial Viper

                Works for Switzerland

                • Tamati

                  Banning Minarets?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A decision by the people, for the people.

                    • Tamati

                      The majority effectively legitimizing racial discrimination against a minority.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, that’s right. But Switzerland also voted to increase taxes on executive super salaries, and increased the minimum wage to around $50,000

                    • KJT

                      Why is banning minarets discrimination?
                      We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago. Same thing.
                      Don’t think having amplified calls to prayer at 6 am would be too popular here either.

                      I havn’t noticed “representative democracy being too hot on minority rights.
                      Unless it is protecting the rights of the extremely wealthy to the detriment of all the rest of us, especially Maori.

                    • stargazer

                      “We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago.”

                      but they haven’t banned church steeples. you can have minarets as a design feature without any noise coming out of them. just like we do in nz.

                      the swiss decision is straight discrimination.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        Not surprising. Most New Zealanders have given up on our political process.

        As we are all ignored by our dictators, who do whatever they choose, except for a few bones on election year.

  7. From National’s PoV, it was worthwhile going with the review because there was always the possibility it would recommend changing to Supplementary Member, or even scrapping proportional representation altogether. It hasn’t, so now it has to be ignored as quietly as possible. Good on the Greens for putting a stick in their spokes.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Er, the review was specifically set up to follow the first referendum. They can’t have recommended swapping to SM or ditching proportionality, because the public voted for MMP.

      If the public had voted for some other form, then the review would have scoped out how that was to be implemented.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.1

        The review of MMP involves a referendum and a commission. The commission’s had no point ever since the referendum returned the “wrong” answer.

        • Andrew Geddis 7.1.1.1

          No.

          The Commission’s review ONLY kicked in if the voters decided to retain MMP … so (under this analysis) the Commission’s review had no point at all. Which turned out to be the case, but it would have been nice to hear this before everyone wasted their time taking part in it.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The Greens score a major headline by asking a direct, simple, clear question.

    For the past 4 years many of us have been begging Labour MPs to do this. But of course they know better (and never read blogs, they tell us), so they persist with “Does he stand by his statements?”, which nearly always leads nowhere.

    They are either too stupid to learn from Winston and the Greens, or too complacent to care.

  9. ianmac 9

    1.Scrapping the provision that allows MPs who win electorate seats to bring others in on their party’s list even if they did not reach the 5 per cent threshold.
    2. Lowering that threshold to 4 or 3 per cent to compensate for any loss of proportionality from that.

    I would ask each party if they agree with 1. Yes or No
    I would ask each party if they agree with 2. Yes or No.
    Then it might become clear just who is denying Consensus.

  10. veutoviper 10

    Well done to the Greens – again – on asking the direct question. As Gobsmacked says at 8, when will Labour ever learn to do the same instead of the useless “Does the … stand by all his/her statements?” AND Supplementary Questions with two parts thereby allowing the Minister to answer only one part.

    We now know that National are going to do nothing – but that should not be surprising considering the consistent attempts by them and their spin doctors (eg Boag) over the last two weeks to blame the Gilmore situation on MMP. They want a return to FPP.

    Interestingly, I/S at NRT presents a different viewpoint on National’s decision/admission that the review recommendations will not be implemented.

    “As someone who thinks that the Electoral Commission’s recommendations are worse than what we have at present, I’m not exactly broken up about this.

    MMP needs to be tweaked, but those tweaks must enhance representation, not diminish it. The changes proposed by the Electoral Commission on their own assessment give us a less representative Parliament than we have at present, and thus it is better that they are dumped. National is acting out of pure venality, but I think its a better result for our democracy than if they’d implemented everything. But it is kindof spitting in the face on everyone who contributed to the review. And having done this, National is inviting future governments to make changes without consensus, which could be even worse.

    It also raises the question of what our political parties could reach consensus on, and why at least those changes are not going to be implemented. And if the answer is “none”, then it suggests that consensus is simply too high a bar, and that the government set up the review to fail all along.”

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/the-mmp-review-is-dead.html

    • Tamati 10.1

      I think this whole issue reinforces the importance of the constitutional review. You simply can’t have politicians drawing up their own rules.

      I disagree with I/S about trying to make parliament more representative though. Already we have seven parties represented in parliaments, with a broad spectrum of ideologies and policies. TBH the only group who aren’t really represented are christian conservatives and I’m not really missing them! Israel has a highly representative system, and it’s safe to say comes up with pretty disastrous results. Extremists and single issue politicians rule the roost, moderation and consensus has long been abandoned.

  11. Alanz 11

    Wow! Sharp, intelligent interview responses from Meteria.
    I have never voted Greens but after hearing that, Meteria has my two ticks on the ballot paper.

    • vto 11.1

      clear as a bell and resonating

    • karol 11.2

      Yes, I’m glad she is fronting more for the party this year. I have long been impressed by Turei’s clear and sharp thinking and talking.

  12. mikesh 12

    It was perfectly reasonable for minor parties such as UF, ACT and Mana to oppose the commission’s recommendations. After all if any of them happened to score, say, 3% support, which would entitle them to 4 seats, then in a proportional representation system they should be allowed their 4 seats. But, equally, a party like the Conservatives can argue that if they are not allowed list seats because they didn’t reach the threshold then other parties that did not reach the the threshold should not be allowed, on the basis of winning an electorate seat, list seats either.

    It seems to me that the only solution which would keep all contenders happy would be to get rid of the threshold altogether. The fact that this solution would be fair to all parties overrides, in my opinion, the main objection viz that it could lead to a proliferation of small parties.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      No orphan single MP parties unless they represent an electorate.

      • mikesh 12.1.1

        We have three ‘orphan” single parties in parliament at present. What diffderence does it make to the parliament whether they represent an electorate or not? But in any case “orphan” parties would, I think, be a small price to pay in return for a system which gives all parties represenentation in proportion to their support.

    • felix 12.2

      And anyway, what’s the matter with a proliferation of small parties? It’s not as if the large ones are demonstrating a commitment to mind-blowingly high standards.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Would the people have voted in a referendum to:

    Lower taxes for the rich?
    Approve TPPA?
    Destroy local government in Auckland?
    Make Gerry Brownlee Czar of Christchurch?
    Approve Labour’s Seabed and Foreskin bill?
    Allow casinos?
    Allow all our major banks to be sold to foreigners?
    Allow party drugs (legal highs)?
    Have GST. Raise GST from 10% to 12 1/2 % and now 15%?
    Sell off Mighty River Power?
    Reject changes to MMP?
    Approve the Sky Casino deal?
    Give GCSB more power?
    Allow the appointment of Susan de Void?
    Treat our military like serfs.
    Destroy unions?
    Cut industrial safety inspection?
    Allow foreign companies to plunder our fishing grounds?

    Etc., etc., etc.

    We (the overwhelming majority of us) have a very low opinion of MPs of ALL parties.

    Why do we let people we don’t trust and consider incompetent run our country?

    Our political system is dysfunctional. The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.

    • ianmac 13.1

      The “Collins Consensus” (actually = Unanimous) would stop any Bill from being presented let alone passed -ever. Unless it was a Bill doubling MP Salaries.

      • karol 13.1.1

        I laughed at Collins on RNZ this morning saying that the majority of parties do not agree with the electoral commission’s recommendations: she referred to something like 5 parties not agreeing. So that would include 2 one-man parties (UF, ACT), National & 2 other small parties?

    • Ugly Truth 13.2

      “The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.”

      Sovereign. A person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; a chief ruler with supreme power; a king or other ruler with limited power.

      Sovereignty. The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; …

      Black’s dictionary of law, 5th edition.

      Sovereignty is vested in a state, it is not assumed. Sovereignty is a purely abstract concept, in reality no sovereign state has absolute and uncontrollable power. Sovereignty embodies the concept of being at the top of the hierarchy, but just because a group has a hierarchical structure with a single member at the top, it does not mean that the power of that group is supreme, absolute, or uncontrollable.

      As for the sovereignty of a people, this maxim of the common law is relevant.

      Derativa potestas non potest esse major primitiva. The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.

      It’s meaningless to talk of the sovereignty of a people unless the source of power is understood.
      The common law describes this source of power, but the civil state denies both denies the existence of the source and claims the benefits arising from it.

  14. fambo 14

    Best to let sleeping dogs lie. Any changes National made would only make matters worse

  15. tracey 15

    Only two days ago Joyce was railing att eh Greens for undermining democracy with their stance on the casino deala nd compensation… He and Collins obviously never talk!

  16. Tanz 16

    maybe Labour shouild push the recommended changes to MMP as in promising to make the changes if they win next years election. What a loss for democracy though, with Key once again, holding all the trump cards. He will do anything to win votes and stay in power, no matter how unprincipled.

  17. freedom 17

    Consensus comes from consultation. Which as we have heard today, was not exactly forthcoming from Judith Collins, and now we hear that is not “actually” her job.

    Well sorry Judith, but it is “actually”
    You even “actually” said so yourself “actually”.
    ““The Government will now carefully consider the Commission’s recommendations and will be consulting with other parties in Parliament for their views,” Ms Collins said.”

    http://www.judithcollins.co.nz/index.php?/categories/1-News/P9.html

  18. the pigman 18

    I thought the best bit of all this was Collins as quoted in an earlier stuff.co.nz article:

    She said it was not her role to “do deals” on MMP reform.

    “I’m actually not a party leader, I’m the Minister of Justice”, she said.

    “But I will be soon”, she could be heard muttering under her breath. Even from here, I can almost hear the echoes of her dark incantations over a cauldron somewhere in Nu Zihl.

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    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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