Meet the new EFA same as the old EFA

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, November 23rd, 2010 - 64 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, dpf, election funding, national - Tags:

Remember 2008 and the Electoral Finance Act? Remember “Democracy Under Attack!”? Remember the hate filled comparisons of Helen Clark to Hitler? Remember David Farrar’s shameful series of billboards comparing Clark to various violent dictators? Yeah, me too.

And then National became the government and decided to keep most of the EFA. While the Act itself was repealed in February 2009, the interim legislation that replaced it kept the EFA’s rules around disclosure (which the Nats voted against while in opposition). To develop a permanent replacement National began a consultation process (and full credit to them for handling this much better than Labour handled their reform), with a discussion document and then a proposal document in September 2009. Legal academic and constitutional expert Andrew Geddis commented:

Electoral finance reform: back to the future?

Stage two of National’s electoral finance reform proposals is out—and it looks oddly familiar

The revelation that National is still considering limits on third party (sorry, “parallel campaigner”) expenditure attracted no more than a pro-forma “tsk tsk” from the Herald’s (regular) editorial slot. …

We may even end up with an “EFA-lite”, which would be a supreme irony given the wailing and gnashing of teeth that took place from late 2007 through 2008.

The right wing bloggers went ballistic: “National Socialists Sell Out Again!”, and “National to reintroduce EFA-lite”, and so on. In February 2010 the actual proposals were released, to strangely muted reaction. Andrew Geddis again:

The Government has announced what it plans to do with the law on electoral financing. Not all that much, actually.

First of all, the Government actually doesn’t propose very much reform at all to the existing law on election financing. …

The proposals have since been turned into various electoral bills which which are making their way through bowels of Parliament. One of these Bills — the “Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill” — passed an interesting milestone yesterday when the select committee reported back:

The Government will limit what lobby groups can spend on election campaigning in its redraft of election finance laws despite strongly objecting to such a limit in 2008.

Interesting isn’t it how the responsibilities of government mean that the Nats have to repudiate so much of their irresponsible opposition rhetoric! Kudos to National for retaining limits, albeit set too high. But some of National’s spinsters — less cynical and more crazy than the MPs themselves — are taking this latest development badly. Here’s DPF:

Return of the EFA

God I am pissed off. The Electoral (Finance and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill has been reported back, and National and Labour have voted for introducing a cap on third party spending.

I really wonder sometimes why we bother changing Governments, when the new Government adopts so many politics of the old Government – especially a policy that was a big part of why they got thrown out. …

I think many of those who protested against the EFA will feel a sense of betrayal with this bill. National has put the desire to be bipartisan with electoral law (which is commendable) ahead of doing what is right.

DPF’s problem is that he actually believed the batshit crazy anti EFA propaganda that served the Nats electoral purposes in 2008. The party itself is much more “pragmatic”, and has dropped that posturing like a hot rock, the same way they dropped their Iwi/Kiwi racist tactics and their reluctance to deal with Winston Peters. While I applaud the more pragmatic perspective on the responsibilities of government, I abhor the cynical propaganda that got them there.

So, meet the new EFA, same as the old EFA. And next time the Nats unleash a tirade of self-serving propaganda on some topic, if we the people remember how expediently they change their tune when it suits them, perhaps we Won’t get fooled again.

64 comments on “Meet the new EFA same as the old EFA”

  1. burt 1

    rOb

    It’s a disgrace isn’t it. Imagine the angst all the Labour team are having right now. Having defended this horrible law when it was going to serve Labour you lot then worked out how bad it really was once in opposition. That feeling of relief when it was killed off now must be very worrying. Imagine the powerful weapon you supported to be used on your opposition has now been wheeled back in to be used against you. What a laugh.

    Oh, it’s still a shocking law and I’ll be there beside you fighting it – but the whole time I’ll be reminding you that you supported a more restrictive version for your own team when it suited you.

    • Eddie 1.1

      I don’t think you read r0b’s post. And I don’t think you understand the issue.

      If you’re against this new law it’s for the opposite reasons that some the Left might have concerns about it. This is essentially the EFA with higher (too high) limits and a too-short campaign period.

      • burt 1.1.1

        I did read rOb’s post, especially this bit where he was talking about Labour supporters;

        “if we the people remember how expediently they change their tune when it suits them,”

    • lprent 1.2

      I’m not going to fight it. I don’t think that r0b will either. Perhaps you should read his last paragraph again (actually just keep reading it for a while to up the skull penetration).

      It is pretty much the same as the old law with the higher spending limits that the Nats want. I can live with the new EFA limits even if I think that they’re too high. Restrictions on people with money attempting to buy elections is a sensible idea.

      The only thing that I find irritating is the loss of the longer election period. The 2005 election showed us that the effective election period is a damn sight longer than 6 months. 2008 was pretty much the same at more than 10 months.

      • r0b 1.2.1

        Eddie, lprent, when it comes to politics I don’t think that burt has ever understood anything that he didn’t read on Kiwiblog first. Thus like DPF he is stuck (forever?) in 2008 propaganda, while outside the bubble the Nats have moved on…

        • burt 1.2.1.1

          rOb

          So since I don’t understand anything other than what I read on Kiwiblog perhaps you could clarify for me where you stand today;

          Do you, like before the 2008 election, support the EFA?
          Do you, like after the 2008 election, want to see it scrapped ?

          Is it good law, bad law or are you waiting for the talking points to be issued so you know where you stand ?

          • r0b 1.2.1.1.1

            Do you, like before the 2008 election, support the EFA?

            Yes. The new EFA (like the old EFA) is far from perfect, but it’s OK. There need to be limits to the kind of tactics that the Nats used in 2005 (when the public reaction subsequently forced the resignation of their leader Don Brash). So, I’m not a legal / constitutional expert, and I await the analysis of those who are, but in the mean time I support the new EFA, warts and all.

            Do you, like after the 2008 election, want to see it scrapped ?

            No, I want to see it refined.

            Is it good law, bad law or are you waiting for the talking points to be issued so you know where you stand ?

            It appears to be adequate law, and I’m waiting for proper analysis by experts. You should try that open mind burt, instead of coming here vomiting Kiwiblog 2008 all the time.

          • lprent 1.2.1.1.2

            Want to point out where r0b said that he wanted a EFA scrapped?

            What I’ll bet you find is somewhere where he said it was a political problem for Labour, while still supporting the idea. But I can see how that subtle a distinction might confuse your synapses.

            Update: I see that r0b has already answered. Pretty much what I was thinking. It will be interesting to see how many procedural loopholes there are in it. The 1993 act was pretty damn awful for those.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        I think the loss of the longer election period is all that National really wanted. They’ll start their campaigning in January or February next year. They upped the limits that can be donated anonymously as having their benefactors hidden so that they can’t be held to account is also high on their wish list.

        • lprent 1.2.2.1

          Yeah I’m aware of that. The problem that they have is that it isn’t as pleasant an environment for them now that they’re in government. They have to campaign largely on their record and that is pretty shite.

          Somehow I don’t think that billboards attacking Labour will work this time, so the money side doesn’t help that much. Means that a lot of the campaigning has to be done with people, which is Nationals weakest point. Paid canvassers are pretty useless generally and they don’t have the tactical stuff to exploit the info. So they’re restricted to the MSM, blogs and whatever their MP’s do. All while trying to run a government.

          I’d expect that they’ll try the electoral bribery route, but the kitty is pretty damn empty.

  2. Oh the irony. Reading kiwiblog and that other blog that cannot be named for spam reasons is suddenly enjoyable.

    It seems to be dawning on the RWNJs that their government is not one of principle but one of carefully measured soundbite and pseudo anger at any issue they can raise a backlash over.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah, I’ll devote some of my limited post writing to add some salt to the wounds.

    • burt 2.2

      You will need to dance on the head of a pin to avoid painting yourself and your team as muppets lprent; good luck with that.

      • lprent 2.2.1

        I’ve been absolutely consistent. Having a EFA restricting money buying elections is a good idea.

        This bill is inadequate for the task, but so was the last one. I can live with any EFA that clearly defines the spending limits and election time periods. I’ll expend effort to make those limits more reasonable (ie smaller) and the election period longer to reflect reality.

        Both of those will improve democracy here. Your moronic ideas that you never seem to actually articulate won’t.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    The disgrace is the hippocracy that you and the Nats show Burt.

    Did you read the post!

    Their should be limits on third party spending and thats what National have finally acknowledged, which is not what they were saying when they whipped up a whole lot of simple RWNJ into a frenzy about how this was anti democratic, turns out it wasn’t anti democratic. Get it Burt you were sucked in, National played you like a fiddle.

    • burt 3.1

      You missed a key point, I don’t think you can talk about the need for spending limits and support retrospective validations of misused tax payers money spent on electioneering, as rOb has done repeatedly. Well not without looking like a partisan hack.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.1

        which would make them sound like you burt.. albeit with a brain..

        • burt 3.1.1.1

          So filtering out the personal attack, you seem to be agreeing with me that claiming we need to limit uncontrolled spending on electioneering and supporting retrospective validations of an unknown amount of money over 14 years spent on electioneering – is an untenable position for a reasonable person.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            You still going on about that burt? Sheesh, you’ve had it explained to you numerous times and you still refuse to listen. If it hadn’t been done then all the legislation and court decisions of the previous 14 years would have had to be rolled back because every single government in that time frame would have been illegal as they all used those funds that way.

            • burt 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Well Draco, if it hadn’t been for David Henry’s written warning that the pledge card spending would be deemed electioneering the Labour party might have had grounds to play the “rules were confusing”, “others were doing it too” card(s).

              They ignored the warning and got pulled up – they didn’t like being pulled up so they validated under urgency. Tell me again why the govt of the day should be allowed to decide how they intrepret the law rather than the courts.

              Sure it would have been problematic to deal with the arrogant self serving theft of tax payers money – but there is a reason why we have laws constraining uncontrolled govt spending in it’s own best interest… It’s kind of so we can say we are a democracy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The written warning itself made it necessary to put the retrospective legislation through because it retrospectively made all those governments illegal. As I told you before – it wasn’t Labours fault that the AG changed the rules.

              • burt

                The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules… The AG changed the rules…

                I’m not believing it yet, how many times did you need to say it before you started thinking it was true?

                • lprent

                  Say it 14 times. From memory the AG’s audit annually… So that is the number of times that various AG’s could have looked at this issue..

                  You’ve said it too many times

  4. ianmac 4

    Does the “new” EFA prevent anyone from donating say $500,000 to the Waitamata (?) Trust who then pass it on to the National Party thus by-passing the limit?

  5. felix 5

    Poor burt. Getting all flustered about a post that isn’t there.

    Any comment on the one r0b actually wrote, burtie?

  6. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 6

    The big difference this time is that it was done with cross-party support. Labour’s bill was hastily and poorly drafted and allowed Labour’s detractors to believe that it was drafted to suit the government.

    • burt 6.1

      Passing it under urgency also helped create that perception.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        It was not passed under urgency. It went through a full select committee process.

        And because Labour is being responsible and National was not makes it right this time and wrong last time?

        • burt 6.1.1.1

          Are you sure it wasn’t passed under urgency ? Perhaps you should check that.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            The third reading was passed under urgency so that it could be in place by the beginning of the election period. The first two readings went through all the proper process.

          • burt 6.1.1.1.2

            Close, there was no second round of consultation and there were litterally hundreds of amendments rushed through for the final reading that was passed under urgency.

            Hardly proper process….

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Frack…you don’t want to see a list of legislation passed under urgency by this NACT govt then do you?

              • burt

                Yes I do actually. Urgency for the benefit of getting something rammed through is always a concern. Sure emergencies are sometimes real but impending xmas holidays are not justification for passing constitutional level changes in a hurry – by either/any team.

  7. Hamish Gray 7

    Wait so the Nats are going to pursue a law that you support, Rob, and instead of congratulating them you go for the “look they can’t be trusted, they change their mind on a dime” angle? Wow, real constructive stuff – even when they do something you like, you’re so blinkered that you can’t acknowledge it. Even DPF, as much of a spinmeister as he is, has the courtesy of posting when he agrees/sympathises with the Left’s position on something.

    [lprent: You look like you’re getting perilously close to trying to put words in an authors writing. I ban for that because I regard it as a type of trolling. Argue about what is in the post – don’t make crap up. If you want to push your own argument, then use OpenMike where I’m more lenient. ]

    • r0b 7.1

      even when they do something you like, you’re so blinkered that you can’t acknowledge it

      Blah blah blah. Try actually reading the post Hamish.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.1

        I dont think Hamish and Burt can comprehend, they read but have no understanding of what they read. This trait is often seen by teachers with Kids who read a book but ask them why things happened in the story or what happened next, total blank response ah ah. Reading level age 12 comprehension level 8 year old.

  8. SHG 8

    I lambasted Labour and the Greens for the EFA back in 08. I decided to vote National in the last election almost solely because of the EFA and Labour’s justifications for it.

    So today I’m feeling rather silly.

    Did I say silly?

    I MEANT FUCKING FURIOUS.

    • r0b 8.1

      There is a lot like you on the right wing blogs I’m sure.

      Sorry, but I think you’ve all been used in a cynical propaganda exercise that the Nats themselves never believed. Yeah, I’d be angry too.

      Keeping that in mind, why not go back and re-evaluate Labour’s record objectively when it comes time to vote again in 2011.

  9. ak 9

    My God this is hilarious. After rising from the floor solely on the back of Brash’s racism – only to receive F&S Mk II for all their faux-sincere shrieking – and then two whole years of grinning along under an inane and incompetent smack-ban”Labour-lite” before finally having the most obscenely contrived instance of their very own hysteria-mongering thrust back in their faces, our erstwhile tory moronity is now genuinely outraged!

    Puts Monty Python way in the shade – talk about bring on the clowns, look- there’s even wee burt with his retrospectively validateds!! Come on Slater, gis some porn with Grinny’s head on it, go on granny, wheel out the Lenin pix!

    It’s our new export opportunity: comedy – with our very own Bush impersonator. These from just the last few days:
    Sometimes winning is losing, and this is one of those
    Nothing’s changed in NZ; actually we think it’s better
    I think they voted with their feet on Saturday…..they voted for the National Government

    The Farce of the South Pacific.

  10. Tanz 10

    This site should embrace National and it’s undemocratic, lying, BS policies, yes, some of us voted National and we got Labour, except with a grinning idiot up front. National/Labour, no bloody difference. What a pack of blue-blooded liers. Giving the finger to the public once again. No wonder people in general are either cynical or not interested in NZ (corrupt) poliircs, eh what.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The grinning idiot upfront has a very short political life expectancy.

      • Tanz 10.1.1

        Hope so. Such dishonesty. Where is the Herald on this one. Come on, granny. Can we have Helen back now? All is forgiven.

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          Nah, you don’t want her back. Don’t you remember? She was a childless lesbian who wanted to ban showers. Or something.

          That’s why you wanted a change, right? You get that 50 bucks a week?

          • Tanz 10.1.1.1.1

            How judgmental. She is married, so how could she be a lesbian. I don’t care about her being childless, that’s her choice, but I do care about childless people telling parents how best to raise their kids, especially when most parents do their utmost to be good parents. The real child abuse meanwhile carries on, pretty much unabated, and often unreported, royal weddings are given much more importance and coverage, gossip, etc.

            Bill English is more a carbon copy of Clark, Key is just a smiling poster boy who loves and craves the media attention. Oh well, we’re stuck with him for some time yet…unless Goff can pull a rabbit out of a magic hat…Key has lots of luck, I reckon.

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1.1.1

              “She is married, so how could she be a lesbian.”

              Why dontcha ask your mate Wishart?

              • Tanz

                So, you do read his books, then? I try to take a fair point of view, from both sides of the fence.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I’ve read plenty of his work, but what’s that got to with anything?

                  • Tanz

                    Because you mentioned his name. At least I know you’ve read his books, before judging them and him, that’s all.

                    • felix

                      Who’s judging, Tanz?

                      Pb just implied that Wishart thinks Hulun is a lezza is all.

                      Which ain’t judging, ‘cos it’s just saying what Wishart says an that.

                • felix

                  Tanz are you single? I’d like to hook you up with my mate Brett Dale.

                  • Tanz

                    Yep, single, Like Queen Elizabeth 1, single.

                    • felix

                      What’s that mean, single and German? Single and into ruffles? I don’t know all the dating scene lingo – you want to meet my mate Brett or not?

                      I reckon you’d get on like a house fire, albeit a slowburning one.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      What a pack of blue-blooded liers.

      I don’t know why you’re surprised – some of us have been saying for years that NACT are a bunch of psychopathic liars.

      National/Labour, no bloody difference.

      There’s a difference. Labour are no where near as right-wing as National nor as authoritarian.

      • lprent 10.2.1

        Half of the problem I suspect is that many of the people complaining about National now (and who voted for them at the last general election) weren’t old enough to savor the full hypocritical stench of a National government after the last time they gained the treasury benches. It was 20 years ago.

        Basically National will promise anything to get into power. They will then renege on all of the important things once in office.

        The easiest way to describe people surprised by this long established behavior is that they are born suckers. Time to suck up the experience and learn.

        Labour generally is somewhat better after winding up doing some of the same during the 80’s. At least they had a relevant reason, had a rather strong division inside the party fighting it (hard to see any shame amongst the Nats), and eventually exported the people who thought that lying to the public to get elected was a good idea to Act.

        Helen largely achieved or tried to achieve what was in her pledge cards, and so will Phil. National doesn’t even really try unless it is so minor that it is irrelevant.

        • Tanz 10.2.1.1

          Or that will get Key a front-page photo op. Oh, the angst! This govt is wasting their time in office being really dumb. Yes, I feel pretty silly too, you just can’t trust the Nats. This is worse than the Shipley years, because she had least had gumption. I hope that National sink in the polls. Perhaps the PM will chose early retirement, maybe he’s tired of it all, because this is strange stuff, indeed. Drats.!

        • felix 10.2.1.2

          Yep Lynn, I’ve noted that too. If you were under 30 in 2008 you hadn’t really seen much of National in power as a voting age adult.

          You can also add to that a large group of people who have immigrated to NZ during the last 10 years or so.

          It adds up to a decent chunk of voters who, politically speaking, were simply born yesterday.

        • Rex Widerstrom 10.2.1.3

          The easiest way to describe people surprised by this long established behavior is that they are born suckers. Time to suck up the experience and learn.

          Or born in the 80s (when they’d have been shielded from most of it by childhood) or even the 90s.

          These people can’t help when they were born, and thus their complete lack of historical reference or perspective.

          The problem arises when their very youthfulness is what gets them hired as news reporters and presenters, promoted immediately to the Gallery, and unsupervised by anyone who didn’t grow up surgically attached to a game console.

          I learned a hell of a lot about what Labour was, could and should be like by listening at length to a man who used to write speeches for Peter Fraser and Walter Nash. I learned a lot about politics and how to report it from reporters who’d covered Holyoake onwards when I started out a decade later, after observing politics closely since Marshall and then dabbling in part time reporting. And I still floundered for context and some wisdom to impart for around another ten years.

          You don’t know what you don’t know, as they say. And there’s no shame in that… unless others are reliant upon you to tell them what they don’t know.

  11. The party itself is much more “pragmatic”, and has dropped that posturing like a hot rock, the same way they dropped their Iwi/Kiwi racist tactics and their reluctance to deal with Winston Peters. While I applaud the more pragmatic perspective on the responsibilities of government, I abhor the cynical propaganda that got them there.

    Try as I might, I can’t find a thesaurus anywhere that shows “pragmatic” as being interchangeable with “unprincipled”, “gutless” and “willing to do anything to regain or retain power”.

    Perhaps I’ll go look under “Quislings”…

    • r0b 11.1

      The “scare quotes” help with the translation…

      • I was referencing the second, unquoted, use of the term. But I know we disagree on this r0b as we’ve had the debate before. You, along with many others, seem to see reversal of fundamental principle and dealing with abhorrent political forces as pragmatic governance. I see it as a total lack of integrity.

        Because I happen to believe that many of the National MPs who spoke against the original EFA (DPF has somne examples here) believed what they were saying and still believe it. But they’ll allow their vote in favour of EFA Mk II to be cast in favour, like good little troopers, so as not to interfere with their personal preferment.

        I accept there are perfectly logical reasons for supporting the provisions of the EFA. What I don’t accept, however, is opposing something yet voting for it.

        Yes, it’s virtually the basis of party politics and “stable” government. It is not, however, good government because it is inevitably a tyranny of the minority (usually the Executive, or more commonly nowadays a select subset thereof). That is the very anithesis of the operation of a Parliamentary democracy, and we need to keep reminding ourselves that when praising compromise, pragmatism, or any other terms used (inaccurately, IMO) to describe the process.

        • r0b 11.1.1.1

          You, along with many others, seem to see reversal of fundamental principle and dealing with abhorrent political forces as pragmatic governance. I see it as a total lack of integrity.

          It is both. But the sin arises not from being pragmatic now, but from the original sin of the hysterical attacks in 2008.

        • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.2

          I happen to believe that many of the National MPs who spoke against the original EFA (DPF has somne examples here) believed what they were saying and still believe it

          But why believe that they were being honest back then. I think, and thought back then, that were being as precisely honest about this as they were being about:

          lightbulbs,
          shower heads,
          Maaaaris stopping good kiwi battlers having barbies on the beach,
          ‘Communism by stealth’,
          ‘breeding for a business’,
          the sanctity of marriage,

          …all of which got cranked up to 11, and all of which was cynical bullshit. So why would you think they meant their allegedly heart felt rhetoric on the EFA when the rhetoric around the other issues was just as strident?

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    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    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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