Nats: some of us look like youse

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, August 18th, 2008 - 141 comments
Categories: racism, same old national - Tags:

National is desperate for you to know its party list is a diverse one. It’s a diverse list alright. I mean you’ve got a woman at 7, another at 10, yet more at 17 and 20 – you’re talking up to four women in a National Cabinet! And two of them aren’t even Pakeha! OK, all 16 men in the top twenty are Pakeha but you’ve only got to look to 26 to see your first Maori man. The top 30 is only 77% Pakeha male (that’s about the same ratio as the population, eh?) and 35 to 38 is token central with a Maori woman, a Pacific Island man, an Indian man! Just imagine how influential those diverse faces will be back in the third row in Parliament.

And they’re so proud too. Like the racist who says ‘but I’ve got plenty of Maori freinds’, National proudly rattles off the non-Pakeha it has added to its list. Of course, no other party would feel the need to trumpet the fact that it has a few faces to differentiate its caucus photo from a Scots College Old Boys line-up; having candidates that are not male Paheka isn’t something extraordinary for other parties. But good on National for joining the twentieth century. I look forward to the day they move beyond tokenism but I won’t be holding my breath.

141 comments on “Nats: some of us look like youse”

  1. Monty 1

    While you obsess on the colour and sex of the make up of the Labour cabinet, National just get on with appointing the best person to a particular job. – Your patronising National for joining the 20th century is pathetic. I wonder after the election and the eviction of several members of the Labour caucus (and including resignations after the biggest defeat for Labour in recent times) what the make up of the Labour front bench in opposition will look like.

    The reality is that most people from the right (currently about 55% of the population)care more about the talents of each of the members in a caucas than they actually care about the sex or ethnic background. I think you guys should be more concerned about Labour’s lack of a policy platform for the next three years and your lack of co-alition partners.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Agreed Monty

    Not only does the post accuse the Nats of being racists and sexists it also accuses the non Pakeha members of being “Uncle Toms”

  3. I think you guys should be more concerned about Labour’s lack of a policy platform for the next three years and your lack of co-alition partners.

    OMFG!! Monty has spoken – quick everybody take down these words of wisdom! I reckon Labour should be hiring this man to do their strategy – after all who would know best for the left than an ignorant right wing bigot! I see now where we lefties have gone wrong…

    edit: HS – I don’t see any mention of uncles (Tom-like or not)… Oh no! I geddit! You’re doing that straw-man thing… Huh! What a rhetorical genius! Almost had the old ‘sod fooled into thinking you had a real argument there for a minute…

  4. Sam Martin 4

    Steve, your analysis is pathetic. How you can ignore the sheer merit of candidates like Hekia Parata and Sam Lotu-Iiga, and claim their inclusion is tokenism, staggers belief.

    Everyone on that list I’m sure is there because they believe they can make a contribution to the prosperity of New Zealand.

    But because their values align with those of the National Party, you concentrate on the colour of their skin and not the quality of their character or ability to improve our politics in general.

    Stop hating and sneering so much; you’ll feel better.

  5. Felix 5

    “most people from the right (currently about 55% of the population)”

    Nah, even the Nats know it’s “Labour Plus” voters swinging the polls. Keep up.

  6. Sam Martin – I’m guessing from the fact you jumped straight in boots and all you’re not a newbie here (even though your moniker is – maybe you’re blar???). So did you get banned?

    As for hating and sneering??? Hating is fun and you wee folk on the right do such a good job of being inferior it’s just too damn hard not to sneer!

    [lprent: Nope – wrong IP range. Not Blar (this is the second time you’ve thought that about new commentators – I think your nose is getting confused).
    Looks he has posted a few comments before back to november under a couple of monikers.
    He did get a suggestion from me on his previous comment that he should look at policy. ]

  7. vto 7

    Yes HS. It is another illustration of one part of the recent attitudes and mindset of the ‘left’ that has imo driven voters away from labour. You know a little bit.., arrogant, we-know-best, everybody else is racist, smart-arse smarmy, etc.

    I would have thought they would do better by being positive instead of negative. I would also have thought the nats are quite happy with labours current approach.

  8. higherstandard 8

    Sod

    Has Billy let you out again ?

  9. Patrick 9

    How many out queer people do they have? I can think of one. Out of a list of 76.

    Disgraceful.

  10. Felix 10

    Of course they’re racists and sexists. You’re just being silly pretending otherwise.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    There was nothing racist about IWI/KIWI, they were just saying that IWI weren’t KIWI’s because their values didn’t align with the National party. Or something. Anyway, they totally were not fishing for the racist vote, so stop saying that.

    HS The phrase ‘Uncle Tom’ has a meaning (hint, it’s nothing to do with tokenism), and it’s not present anywhere in the post. I know you are a stickler for honesty, so you might want to correct or withdraw…

  12. higherstandard 12

    PB

    ‘Uncle Tom’ is commonly used to describe black people whose political views or allegiances are considered by their critics as detrimental to blacks as a group.

    That is exactly as the poster has portrayed the non-pakeha Nat MPs in his post.

  13. Ben R 13

    “token central”

    Wasn’t this the reason Labour replaced Diane Yates with Su’a William Sio?

    It’s a bit rich accusing National of tokenism given how obvious Labour is about this.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Yep, that’s what the phrase means HS.

    Where in the post does it say, or even, imply that about National’s non white candidates?

    Quote please.

    I think you are infering things that are not suggested.

    (and just because wikipedia is web based, that doesn’t make it not plagiarism when you steal their sh*t. Just sayin)

  15. But good on National for joining the twentieth century.

    Yes. But when will they join the 21st?

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    The concern for me isn’t the in the individual rankings in the top twenty or thirty, because those are pretty useless. I’m interested to see what the composition of the likely National Caucus will be. The National Party clearly chose to protect its 43 sitting MPs by putting them in the top 50. Then it added five diversity candidates because, evidently, the Nats needed more diversity. Each of those diversity candidates looks pretty credible to me. I think SP is getting a bit over-excited by calling them “token”. How is it that Sam Lotu-Iiga is a token Samoan, but Su’a William Sio isn’t? Sam has had a very distinguished career, arguably much more so than Sio.

    Why is Melissa Lee a token candidate because she is a high-profile Korean woman, yet Louisa Wall is not a token candidate because she has been a high profile lesbian Maori woman? I personally think Louisa will be a good MP and has a lot of good skills and attributes, but please SP, don’t come up with the argument that Louisa’s sexuality, gender, and ethnicity didn’t play a factor in her list ranking.

    The Labour Party would have bent over backwards to have people like Sam Lotu-Iiga, Melissa Lee, Hekia Parata, Paul Quinn, or Kanwal Bakshi stand for them. Just as, I imagine, National would have welcomed Louisa Wall if she had made herself available.

    National will have a lot of new diverse and women MPs in Parliament. At the rate Labour is going, it probably won’t have any. The entrenched, very safe Labour seats are pretty much mostly held by white people, and most of those by white males: George Hawkins, Phil Goff, Pete Hodgson, Trevor Mallard, David Cunliffe, and Ross Robertson, to name a few. In fact, looking at the list of MPs I can’t see any non-white people who will hold safe Labour seats after the election. Since Labour lost its dominance of the Maori seats, somebody could easily make the same claim that Labour only has “token” Maori List MPs.

  17. Patrick. You mean openly gay. Two of the frontbench are publicly in the closet, although pretty open about it in their day to day lives. No prizes for guessing, obviously. I don’t understand why you would choose to be publicly in the closet and go so far as to vote against gay rights but there you have it.

    Ben R. Yates retired, Sio was next on the list, the list was decided back in 2005 – pretty long-planned tokenism you’re seeing there.

    HS. I haven’t called the non-Pakeha male candidates Uncle Toms. Withdraw that accusation.

  18. Patrick 18

    Ben R – If you do some reading about Di Yates and Sio I think you’ll find one of them is a substantially better politician, with a proven track record and very well respected by their community. The other got pushed, in my opinion it was the right move. Labour don’t always have the best track record with quality backbenchers, but at least their front bench doesn’t look like a total early 90s flashback.

  19. I/S. I was hoping someone would get that 🙂

  20. How many out queer people do they have? I can think of one. Out of a list of 76.

    I can think of quite a few more than that. But I guess suppression of truth is a quality the Nats reward…

    Hey HS – I just got sick of reading your sanctimonious claptrap.

  21. Bill 21

    sigh…in a political system designed to further the interests (business)of privileged white males before others…

    With an educational system that caters more for privileged white males than others….

    And with a business environment dominated by privileged white males…

    It should be EXPECTED that privileged white males figure large in political parties.

    Where a person is not a privileged white male then it should be expected that they reflect the mindset of them ( think Maggie Thatcher or Barak Obamma among many others).

    In short, it does not follow that an Asian will promote Asian values any more than a woman will be a feminist. Why should anyone give a monkey’s about the superficial appearance of candidates…look beyond the multi-cultural, multi- ethnicity, balanced gender, cotton candy wrapper presentation. It means NOTHING.

  22. Steve – rumour-mongering again eh? You’re better than that bro. Would it be possible for the Nats or Key to do anything that met your approval, short of spontaneous combustion?

  23. Jasper 23

    Patrick – The current caucus has one openly gay (Chris Finlayson) and 3 in the closet (not 2 as S.P comments)
    Finlayson voted against the CUB, and also the transgender bill. Obviously this is a man apart from his fellows.

    Tim Ellis: The national caucus for 2008 still looks like a 1990’s retread with only 10 new MPs. Contrast to Labours 11 old MP’s from the 90’s.

    Hardly “a lot of new diverse…” in the National camp.

  24. Robinsod said “Hey HS – I just got sick of reading your sanctimonious claptrap.”

    Gidday ‘Sod – how are you Bro’? Hey, there’s a simple answer if you don’t want to read “sanctimonious claptrap” – come to Keeping Stock instead of The Standard (-:

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    I’m not sure I follow your argument SP. So National are tokenist because they select candidates who are visibly not male and white, yet there is a further slur against them because they do not publicly tokenise the sexuality of all their MPs? Which of National’s candidates do you believe would not have made it into the 2008 Parliament on merit?

  26. vto 26

    oh god Bill, who on earth would be a privileged white male ay? Such venom pointed at them. You would have to forgive people for thinking they have been more responsible for the creation of our society today than any other group….

    terrible

    terrible

  27. Ben R 27

    Bill,

    “sigh in a political system designed to further the interests (business)of privileged white males before others ”

    Female PM since 1999, and before that Shipley from 1998.

    “with an educational system that caters more for privileged white males than others .”

    Actually Asian students outperform others. And if you break it down by gender, females are more likely to gain University entrance than males.

  28. Tim. My comment about the gay MPs was simply I find it odd that they pretend not to be gay in their political lives, I imagine that’s a personal decision.

    vto. your comments confirm how skin deep the Tory’s belief in equality really is – us staight white males, we’re just carrying the rest, eh?

  29. Bill. I agree and that’s why you find parties other than National aren’t hung up about saying ‘oh, we’ve got one of X group’.. parties of the Left have a support base that transcends ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, so it’s not surprising people from the spectrum of those groups turn up on their lists… they’re not chosen for those qualites, whereas (by making such a song and dance about it) National seems to be saying that ethnicity is why they chose their non-Pakeha candidates.

  30. vto 30

    hook line and sinker SP

    but seriously, if they get blamed for society’s smelly parts then surely they should equally get thanks for the rosy parts? or is that not a fair question and more reflective of just the smelly parts? I mean – are there any good things about the privileged white male (other than a brilliant ethnic group to display fine bigotry about)?

  31. Ben R 31

    “vto. your comments confirm how skin deep the Tory’s belief in equality really is – us staight white males, we’re just carrying the rest, eh?”

    If you’re going to have a go at vto, shouldn’t you also mention how silly Bill’s post was that provoked that response?

    If Bill’s right then most western liberal democracies are really terrible places because they happen to feature white males in positions of power.

  32. Daveski 32

    At least there is consistency …

    Damn them for having no policy, then damn then for having secret agendas that aren’t consistent with the policy.

    Damn them for not having “enough” diversity – whatever that means – then damn then for being tokenist when they demonstrate diversity.

    Damn them for having holidays and being rich pricks. (Does HC have holidays? Is cross country skiing a sport for rich pricks? Does having multi houses make you by definition a rich prick).

    A month or two ago, Sp was scoring some valid points with a focus on policy. Perhaps the Nats Labour lite approach has confused the natural order but SP’s posts are increasingly looking disjointed and inconsistent with his own previous comments.

    It never ceases to amaze me how quick the reverse “race” card is played by those who are so quick off the mark to damn any of those who are seen to play the race card.

  33. Phil 33

    sod,
    “Hey HS – I just got sick of reading your sanctimonious claptrap.”

    Wow… just, wow.

    I didn’t know it was possible for a pot, or a kettle, to have its head so far up it’s own arse.

  34. QoT 34

    Ben R – classic, man, classic. “We’ve have two, count ’em, TWO female PMs! Sexism must be dead! Pay no attention to all the white men behind the curtain!”

  35. vto. Your mindset is completely at odds with a progressive one, its the same mindset which is what makes haivng a few non-Pakeha candidates in National tokenism.

    Its not about certain groups having good or bad qualities, it’s saying ‘look, if you’re not prejudiced and you beleive all people are equal regardless of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, you end up with candidates that come from the spectrum of those groups becuase talented people come from across the spectrums too’..

    If, on the other hand, you have a list of which the top 30 is 77% Pakeha male (a group that is only 35% of the general population) then there’s probably a bias against selecting people from other groups

  36. Ben R 36

    “If, on the other hand, you have a list of which the top 30 is 77% Pakeha male (a group that is only 35% of the general population) then there’s probably a bias against selecting people from other groups”

    So Graham Henry is biased against Pakeha & Asians?

  37. djp 37

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!

  38. Daveski 38

    SP

    Thank goodness you’re not an All Black selector then, let alone the Warriors!

    Surely the issue is the calibre of the people selected and their ability to do the job which I’m happy to agree is to ensure ALL perspectives are considered.

    Likewise, isn’t the Nats to be applauded for ensuring a wider representation than they have in the past?

    Labour may have a wider cultural mix, but I would argue that their views are less representative of the population as a whole.

  39. Steve Pierson
    August 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm
    Bill. I agree and that’s why you find parties other than National aren’t hung up about saying ‘oh, we’ve got one of X group’.. parties of the Left have a support base that transcends ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, so it’s not surprising people from the spectrum of those groups turn up on their lists they’re not chosen for those qualites, whereas (by making such a song and dance about it) National seems to be saying that ethnicity is why they chose their non-Pakeha candidates.

    I always feel like the whole “blah blah blah you racist lefties, race is a non issue for us, its you lot making a big deal about it” partiuclarly like sam martin and montys first comments comes along a very similar line to the “these greens/communists who are being so anti capitalist are hypocrites because they are quite happy to sit here using the technology that capitalisim has provided them”.

    They do not have a moral leg to stand on so are left with no choice but to beat up side issues, shooting the messenger of sorts. The Standard is a media outlet, Steve Pierson is a journalist, the discusting racisim is nationals white mono cultral list, not the fact that it has been pointed out.

  40. Phil 40

    Steve,

    If we compare the party lists to a very crude ‘talented’ metric – say, the composition of the population with a university degree – I wonder which party would most approximate the national average?

    What I’m really getting at is this; there is a supply side dynamic to the equation. We have systemic educational underachievement from some ethnic communities – how we solve that, I dont know. What I do know is that choosing someone that fits an ethnic quota, when a more talented person who happens to be white with an X and Y chromosome is left out, is not the way to do it.

  41. I didn’t know it was possible for a pot, or a kettle, to have its head so far up it’s own arse.

    Ha! I’m a lot of nasty things but only a retard like you would mistake my style for sanctimonious! Are you sure you even know what “sanctimonious” means my little stupid friend?

    [lprent: Have you read the policy recently? ]

  42. Ben R. Let me say this slowly. Politics is not rugby.

    There are obvious physical differences (on average across populations) between ethnicities and that means that there is a greater likelihood of memebers of some ethnicities excelling at rugby. Politics is an essential human behaviour – we’re the political animal – and it’s an exercise of the mind. Now, unless you’re saying straight Paheka males are inherently more likely to have the mental attributes to succeed in politics (in which case I invite you to state the problems with other groups that you percieve, and remember, other parties ddon’t seem to have trouble getting suitable candidates), then you have to conclude that the lack of non-staight Pakeha males in National’s lineup arises from the biases of that party.

  43. ‘sod. OK, that’s pretty funny, but it’s also too abusive. Tone it down..

    Phil. How come other parties don’t have any trouble if it’s a ‘supply side’ issue?

    Maybe there’s a limited supply and they only go to the parties that don’t exhibit an institutional bias towards Pakeha males?

    And I think you’ll find a number of National MPs (and MPs of other parties) don’t have degrees.

  44. vto 44

    SP, just a bit of a poke and a jab to test and flesh out your post. The white middle class male beat-up is a bit of a pet topic of mine hence the bait.

    Re the topic true – I think you assume too much. Perhaps the fact all parties MPs don’t reflect the physical attributes of society at large is in fact due to other things such as (imo);

    1. Men have a greater lust for power etc than women.
    2. Historical demographics (takes time for changes to move thru society – see female pop stats at tertiary education today compared to 30 years ago).
    3. Immigrants have a greater reluctance to get into politics in a new land.
    4. Women take time out to give birth thereby disrupting many career paths.
    5. etc

    A bit like the so-called ‘secret agenda’, the accusation you make is supported with no evidence, just student activist type naivety.

    But it is election year I guess so the gloves are off..

  45. Tim Ellis 45

    SP your selection of the top 30 is arbitrary. If Minor Party X, which is likely to get 6 seats, trumpets itself as the Maori Party because it has six Pakeha between spots 1-6, but fifty Maori between list spots 7-60, then would you credibly say that its caucus will be made up of Maori MPs?

    I don’t think even you would try that. So why do you choose the arbitrary top 30 number, when it is evident that National will get 60+ MPs? What are the chances of these top thirty MPs being the only National MPs in Parliament?

    National is currently polling at around 51%. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, National only gets 48% of the vote. Let’s say, for argument’s sake also, that New Zealand First gets in. National would still get 60 MPs. That means 17 new MPs. A pretty high regeneration rate. Much more than Labour will see this election, in all probability, in both numerical and proportionate numbers.

    It’s fair criticism to say in the past National hasn’t had a particularly stunning proportion of female MPs. There is a big improvement on this in 2008. It’s not yet ideal, and National should be looking to improve on this in its 2011 intake. I suspect a lot of people within National will be laying that challenge down to John Key and the Party hierarchy in 2011.

    As I read it, National has set out to present a more diverse face to the electorate. Each of those candidates are of high merit. You can’t substantiate how National has chosen a policy of tokenism and ignored merit in its list selection. It looks to me like a good balance between diversity and merit. Still some way to go, but there will be more room to do that in 2011.

    This isn’t a criticism of Helen Clark, but the reality is that she doesn’t have the luxury of bringing in large numbers of new people in 2008. Labour will likely lose seats this time. It’s much harder shifting people off at the end of your third term to make room for new people, because your majority is so small and when you’re behind in the polls as much as Helen Clark is, you can’t risk upsetting people by making those hard decisions. National has the luxury of room for some 17 people at least this time, and John Key as Prime Minister in 2011 will still have the internal political capital to retire off a good ten or so National MPs in 2011.

    This is a bit unkind, but National has shown real optimism by selecting 73 candidates. I doubt Labour has either that optimism, nor can it likely find 73 names of people who are publicly willing to associate themselves with the Labour Party.

  46. higherstandard 46

    Sanctimonius claptrap ….. ouch that hurts

  47. Tim. Labour’s list was 78 last time, don’t know why it wouldn’t be as long this time. Statements like your last sentence discredit a comment that was otherwise thoughtful even if i disagree with some of the arguments.

  48. Ben R 48

    “then you have to conclude that the lack of non-staight Pakeha males in National’s lineup arises from the biases of that party.”

    Hasn’t someone above noted there are a few non-straight males in their line-up?

    I don’t agree that you can look at the skin colour & gender of the candidate make up and conclude it’s simply because of bias. As Patrick above noted about Mr Sio replacing Diane Yates, he considered Mr Sio had a better track record than Ms Yates. In other words, on the individual merits Mr Sio was a better candidate, not because he was male or Samoan.

    If there was specific bias against people based on gender how did Jenny Shipley end up as leader, or Ruth Richardson as Minister of Finance? Winston Peters was almost in a position to challenge Bolger in the early 90’s.

  49. Rob 49

    Tim. My comment about the gay MPs was simply I find it odd that they pretend not to be gay in their political lives, I imagine that’s a personal decision.

    Steve the same could be said about the Labour Women MPS who have secret gay lives behind closed doors. Do you believe they should come out of the closet to? Or they are just hiding their true sexuality because of public opinion?

    [lprent: I see that Rob is still being a dickhead and not actually looking at responses or my notes to his previous comments.

    I think at present he doesn’t contribute at all to debate – just a graffiti style troll. I want to ban the bugger – but at present he is a bit like the sod (used to be) and runs the borderline all of time, but without a sense of humour.

    Anyone want to stick up for this clown? He is borderline but is irritating me to the point I don’t want to see his comments. I’m tired of adding notes to his comments. I think even Anita has given up on him. ]

  50. Felix 50

    Tim Ellis: “It looks to me like a good balance between diversity and merit.”

    And there it is.

  51. Tim Ellis 51

    I don’t doubt that William Sio is a better candidate for parliamentary office than Dianne Yates. But you would have to be extremely partisan to proclaim that it was pure coincidence that when Phillip Field was dumped from Labour’s caucus, and Labour had no new Samoan male MPs going into the 2008 election, that it was pure coincidence that Dianne Yates decided to retire. It was probably coincidental that he was next on the list, but Labour saw it as an opportunity to get him in. Would Labour have shuffled Dianne Yates off, with the sinecure of four political appointments to government-controlled boards, if the next person on the list was not Samoan? I don’t think so.

    SP, like I said I was being unkind in my last paragraph. Realistically, though, how many new MPs do you expect Labour to bring in in 2008? At this rate, failing an announcement by a large group of the current caucus that they will be moving off, Claire Curran looks like the only probable new woman to Labour’s ranks. I can’t see any candidates of ethnic backgrounds making it in. Grant Robertson from the Rainbow faction will probably win Wellington Central, but that’s it. Not a whole lot of rejuvenation going on.

  52. Tim Ellis 52

    Felix, you conveniently omitted the part where I said that all of the new diverse faces National is presenting are of high merit. You also conveniently omitted the part where I indicated that Labour would have climbed over broken glass to have people like Sam Lotu-Iiga, Hekia Parata, Kanwal Bakshi, Paul Quinn and Melissa Lee to stand for Labour.

  53. Bill 53

    vto and Ben R.

    Capitalism is not a natural phenomena. It was imposed on the back of massive violence. The elites of the time controlled the means of violence. They were white and male.

    The subsequent systems developed under capitalism were designed to perpetuate capitalism and so, by default white male privilege. It is not necessary that a concious effort be made to safeguard the position of some white males in those systems. Their natural prejudices were reflected in the systems they developed.

    That is partly why there have been various movements based on race, gender and class. All are to some degree and at some point at odds with the social mores ( or the effects of those mores) evident in structures developed by and to service dominant interests.

    Can’t say I’m aware of there ever having been a privileged white elites rights movement. Have you?

  54. vto 54

    Bill you may have something in some of what you say. My point was the defence of said males. Nobody else seems to defend them today. They are constantly pilloried and attacked as being the cause of all evil in the world. So what about the corollary to that – the good? After all, the western world today is a result of the deeds of the power elites of yesteryear. Anything good? or not?

  55. Patrick 55

    Tim, I highly suspect that Labour will have some more “diverse” and very talented candidates in their list. Oh course, until we see that list we cannot really judge the line up (anyone know when the Labour list is due? Can’t be far off).

    I really hope that they have the courage to place some of the list talent above some of the, ahem, less well performing MPs. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s vital that this happens.

  56. Bill 56

    Sorry, that should have read….their prejudices were naturally reflected in the systems they developed.

  57. Tim Ellis 57

    Patrick as a voter of the left I would think you would hope that. As a voter for the right I would hope that National uses the opportunity in 2011 for further regeneration as well. The point is though that Labour doesn’t have that luxury now. Most of the entrenched white males are in safe electorates that have already been selected long ago. Some of the existing caucus are vulnerable. Why would Labour rock the boat, given that it can’t give them any political appointments to make up for it, by having disgruntled outgoing, forced retiring MPs going into an election? I can’t see Labour risking it.

    As for when the list will happen, I’m not sure if I’m right but I imagine Labour won’t announce the election until it’s released its list. That suggests the list must be pretty close. If I were part of Labour’s list selection process going into an election that we were probably going to lose, I wouldn’t want to tell loyal Labour backbenchers that there’s no room for them at the end of the list because we’ve had to make room for some new rejuvenation.

    I think realistically Labour’s chance for rejuvenation will be through the 2008 list, but it won’t be until 2009 that we see the rejuvenation. New List MPs will replace retiring List MPs who don’t want to face a whole term in opposition after the probable defeat in 2009. That provides the rejuvenation without having disaffected disgruntled MPs going into an election.

  58. Ben R 58

    “Their natural prejudices were reflected in the systems they developed.”

    Ok, if you had to be born into a country as a woman or ethnic minority, would you chose a secular liberal democracy, with rule of law, human rights legislation, or another system?

    “That is partly why there have been various movements based on race, gender and class.”

    And those movements have made a lot of progress, in part due to the system that allows them to take place (free speech, human rights etc). Also, in terms of civil rights you can see how the separation of powers allowed the Supreme Court under Warren allowed great progress in striking down the Jim Crow laws.

  59. roger nome 59

    “How many out queer people do they have? I can think of one. Out of a list of 76.”

    Some Labour MP in Parliament last week:

    “Come out of the closet Lockwood …. come out of the closet” …. 🙂 Damn that was funny.

  60. Daveski 60

    “Capitalism is not a natural phenomena. It was imposed on the back of massive violence. The elites of the time controlled the means of violence. They were white and male.is therefore that only people of certain ”

    LOL … what university do you teach at 🙂

    All modern societies are by natural … err, unnatural.

    Every country that has tried to stamp out capitalism has ended up having to control people by force. How many people are trying to ENTER Cuba? Which direction was the traffic going in Berlin? How many poor and dispossessed are trying to get into the US illegally??

    It is only natural for people to want to do better for themselves and their families. I’d say all the righties here would also agree that some level of control over this activity is appropriate although we disagree over what exactly is appropriate.

    So let’s get back to the topic.

    You’ve got a group of righties that has been accused in the past of being unrepresentative of the wider society. They make efforts to become more representative.

    Sounds like damned if they do and damned if they don’t to me

  61. randal 61

    they are just dammed. national has become stamped with the dominate for pleasure extort for profit brand and they can never change because having a social conscience is not on their agenda unless they haapen to personally desire to paternalistically throw a few dollars someones way to make themselves feel good for two minutes

  62. Bill 62

    vto I can’t think of an action taken by elites that would be categorised as a good.

    Ben R. Liberal democracies do not hold exclusive claims to human rights or rules of law. All societies have practised these things.

    Daveski. I made an admittedly obvious point. And I made it because I’m well aware that many people consider capitalism to be ‘natural’ and to ‘have always been there’.

    ” Every country that has tried to stamp out capitalism has ended up having to control people by force. How many people are trying to ENTER Cuba? Which direction was the traffic going in Berlin? How many poor and dispossessed are trying to get into the US illegally??”

    Capitalism controls populations by force when necessary. Too many obvious examples. Countries that have tried to develop along non-capitalist lines have had the shit bombed out of them. Too many examples for me to bother listing.

    Cuba has been impoverished due to a US embargo and the collapse of the USSR. I’d suggest a good few Hiatians and others would go there though if given the chance/choice.

    If Eastern Europe was a dungeon, then Western Europe was a prison. Of course you go west in the circumstances.

    How many of the poor and dispossessed trying to enter the US are poor and dispossessed because of the actions of US capitalism?

  63. r0b 63

    Every country that has tried to stamp out capitalism has ended up having to control people by force.

    Every country that has tried to embrace capitalism has ended up having to control people by force too. (Check out the country with the highest per capita rate of incarceration some time).

    Which is why there is today no such thing as a capitalist country. Economies these days are mixed economies, containing elements of both capitalist and socialist ideas. Yes, sorry, even America, which has minimum wage law, unions, government regulation of the economy, progressive taxation, state run education, a welfare state, state run medical programmes, and state run systems such as defence, policing and transportation.

    Pure capitalism doesn’t work in the real world any more than pure socialism does, the real world is mixed.

  64. Steve P said (@ 12.46pm) “And I think you’ll find a number of National MPs (and MPs of other parties) don’t have degrees.”

    Steve – wouldn’t it be more accurate to say “And I think youll find a number of MP’s don’t have degrees”?

    Why do you have to preface so much (notice how I avoided an absolute like “always” or “everything”) with anti-National rhetoric? Most people who comes here know how you feel about Key and National, but each time you make a comment like that, it paints you as more and more obsessive and paranoid.

    [because the thread is about the Nat list and i was responding to a comment on that topic. and why is not having a degree a bad thing? I’m not saying it is, you are. SP]

  65. Ben R 65

    “Ben R. Liberal democracies do not hold exclusive claims to human rights or rules of law. All societies have practised these things.”

    Of course, but you haven’t answered my question. If you were a woman or an ethnic minority would you choose to be born into a liberal democracy or a country with another system? If so, which country?

    I can’t think of many that have protections for women’s rights and legal protections against discrimination. Most would be far more patriarchal than western democracies. Also gay rights are protected in liberal democracies, does the same apply in non-western countries?

  66. lprent 66

    IV2:

    but each time you make a comment like that, it paints you as more and more obsessive and paranoid.

    You mean the way your blog looks like to me whenever you talk about about Helen, Labour, Winston, or the Greens?

    Of course you’re better in your posts than Whale, Clint Heines, No Minister, or the comments section of KB. Not to mention some of the contents of my mailbox.

    But sometimes your comments here look pretty damn paranoid to me. Sort of the same presumption of guilt that looks a lot like ummm most people who post political writings on blogs…..

  67. Daveski 67

    Bill

    I agree we both trying to use examples to support broader generalisations. My point is that history tends to support the view that people prefer the capitalist model (as I was trying to exemplify) over models where someone else tries to abitrarily redistribute resources.

    I would also happily agree that history also shows the problem lies not with the ideology but the implementation – the Animal Farm complex.

    You’ve depicted the advantaged white male line as a sin of capitalism where if you look at the communist model you would see it as a social issue, not an economic one.

    I’ll make the point again because you’ve avoided it again – National is trying to become more representative and if they didn’t people here would damn them. It’s as simple as that.

  68. Bill 68

    Jeez Ben R.

    After how many years of colonial conquest that has usurped/ replaced/ destroyed how many cultures/ societies/ peoples, there is what choice left in the ‘really existing’ world?

    All societies that were not ‘useful’ to capitalism were done over and either capitalist friendly dictators installed or so called liberal democratic systems imposed.

    So you got me. Thanks to the hegemony of capitalist economics and its accompanying political systems there has been no space left where alternatives could have developed.

    Does the fact that capitalism and its supporting political structures span (as far as I can figure off the top of my head) all major cultures and societies today make those things somehow desirable or good?

    No.

    Could things be worse? Yes.

    Could things be better? Yes.

    Is capitalism and its structures capable of delivering anything better? I’d say no.

  69. Bill 69

    Daveski.

    I think National are perfectly representative given the function that a party in a liberal democracy undertakes.

    As I said further up yonder somewhere, it is the correct attitude that must be reflected by candidates. The fact that a candidate is Asian, or female or gay is utterly irrelevant in the same vane that Maggie Thatchers gender or Barak Obama’s skin colour is/was of no relevance.

    Shame that voters didn’t/don’t get that and project false hopes onto such people based on their gender/race.

    In that respect I think Nationals lit of candidates is potentially less misleading than that of other parties….on the premise that voters might tend to believe that a woman will push the envelope on women’s issues for example.

  70. coge 70

    Steve. I look forward to a day when someone is judged by their character, not the colour of their skin. I’m not sure if this applies to you. Are you saying don’t vote National ‘cos they look too white?

  71. Chuck Bird 71

    [deleted]

    [lprent: That idiot didn’t last long. Usual homophobia by a frustrated dickhead. First message and didn’t bother to look at the rules of the site.
    Permanent ban – think of it as evolution in action]

  72. Ben R 72

    Bill,

    “Thanks to the hegemony of capitalist economics and its accompanying political systems there has been no space left where alternatives could have developed.”

    So patriarchal, violent cultures are all the result of capitalism?? I think you’d be interested in this Steven Pinker article on violence in human history. The kind of capitalist society you decry is actually associated with reduced violence & improved human rights.
    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/2007_03_19_New%20Republic.pdf

    What about the effect of religion in terms of patriarchy? The obvious example being honour killings, genital mutilation etc.

    As I said above, I think the political systems you’re complaining about actually allowed social progress to occur. If there wasn’t free speech, or separation of church & state, separation of powers, voting rights for women the movements you referred to would not have advanced as they did.

  73. Daveski 73

    Rob – a valid point re mixed economies and one I was rambling around as any economy that only served self interest would be total mayhem.

    However, as Ben R, points out, it’s funny that the same countries that people like Bill vilify for their “hegemony of capitalist economies” (I could have used that in a first year History paper 25 years ago :)) are the countries that do more to protect individual freedoms.

    Likewise, one has to ask does one need to be have the same cultural and other characteristics to represent someone’s views? To use but one example, is Tariana Turia less able to represent Maori because she’s only 1/2 Maori?? It’s a complete nonsense to suggest so.

    SP has craftily implied the Nats are racist by association. That is both an insult to those who are on the list by merit and a failure to recognise that the nats have obviously attempted to be more inclusive and representative.

  74. Ben R 74

    Bill,

    “So you got me. Thanks to the hegemony of capitalist economics and its accompanying political systems there has been no space left where alternatives could have developed.”

    My other post seems to be getting edited or maybe didn’t go through, so will re-post:

    – Patriarchal & violent cultures existed well before capitalism.

    – The political systems associated with capitalism, as I said above, actually helped allow for social progress. For instance protections like free speech, free press, separation of church & state, separation of powers. These all allowed the movements you mentioned to go ahead & change the culture. This resulted in further legal safeguards against discrimination.

  75. Felix 75

    Tim I didn’t ignore the rest of your commentary, in fact I found it thoughtful and interesting. Much of it I happen to agree with.

    But when you say things like “balance between diversity and merit” it shows how deep the prejudices are – we often don’t even know we carry them.

    I didn’t intend to dig at you in particular but your remark shows exactly the type of bias that exists right through society and it’s institutions, which often carry these biases in much the same way that individuals do – under the surface, subconsciously.

  76. Bill 76

    Daveski.

    You completely minced what I actually said. And in your mincing produced something that makes no sense whatsoever. I guess you failed your history paper 25 years ago?

  77. r0b 77

    I look forward to a day when someone is judged by their character, not the colour of their skin.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the National list was drawn up completely on the basis of character coge – age sex and race were irrelevant.

    So, what conclusion would you draw from the fact that the Nat list is dominated by white middle aged males? Is that demographic much smarter and more hardworking than any other? Interested in your interpretation here…

  78. Daveski 78

    Bill

    Fair cop – gotta go.

    Can I make a personal comment – the level of debate over recent weeks has IMO intensified but without a similar increase in personal attacks.

    I enjoy a robust debate too and a bit of humour and while I disagree very strongly with most/many of the comments here, I do enjoy the fact the great majority here play the ball not the man.

    It is a contact sport but still fun.

    Big ups to the mods also who seem to tolerate the righties as well 🙂

    BTW That’s a personal characteristic, not symptematic of any political beliefs!

    [lprent: That is the intent. I don’t mind robust debate, but personal attacks, repetitious comments, etc are simply too boring to keep around..

    There are nasty personal attacks – but they’re restricted to use by the moderators as we drive off the mindless hordes. ]

  79. Ben R 79

    “Thanks to the hegemony of capitalist economics and its accompanying political systems”

    Bill, what political system do you favour?

  80. Bill 80

    Ben R.

    “The political systems associated with capitalism, as I said above, actually helped allow for social progress. ”

    If true, the fact remains that they allowed a very specific/ narrow type of progress….only within the context of capitalism (obviously).

    I’ll put it this way. Social gains have been made in spite of capitalist institutions, not because of. Progressive social movements have invariably been confronted by state violence.

  81. Ben R 81

    rOb,

    “Is that demographic much smarter and more hardworking than any other?”

    How about looking at the individuals on the list & assessing their particular backgrounds? Is there someone you think who shouldn’t be there?

  82. Bill 82

    Ben R.
    I favour participatory economics (parecon)and participatory political systems…

  83. r0b 83

    How about looking at the individuals on the list & assessing their particular backgrounds?

    Good heavens I’d rather listen to Celine Dione for a week.

    So Ben R perhaps you could answer my question. If the Nat list was drawn up purely on the basis of “character”, what conclusion should we draw from the fact that it is dominated by middle aged white males? Do you have an answer?

  84. Chris S 84

    Speaking of in the closet, Cameron Slater has a post up with a challenge for you Steve.

    [lprent: Saw that there was a linkage in from Tumeke – something about going for bronze.
    Who gives a shit what that that pig-f*cker (trademark Robinsod) has to say. Not exactly a credible source – prefers bluster and bullshit to discussion, and loves making mountains out of molehills.
    ]

  85. Crank 85

    “I favour participatory economics (parecon)and participatory politics ”

    Hooray for the autonomous collective

  86. Ben R 86

    “I’ll put it this way. Social gains have been made in spite of capitalist institutions, not because of. Progressive social movements have invariably been confronted by state violence.”

    Maybe, but ultimately freedom of speech & the Courts protecting individual rights against the state have allowed people to campaign for changes. And so we’ve seen massive moral progress in western democracies.

    If you didn’t have a political system that uphelp individual rights & liberties & free press that progress could not have been made.

    Do you really think that kind of progress could have occurred in Communist Russia or China?

  87. Ben R 87

    “If the Nat list was drawn up purely on the basis of “character’, what conclusion should we draw from the fact that it is dominated by middle aged white males?”

    Presumably they were the best candidates available. I’m not sure what being middle aged has to do with it either – most politicians are middle aged.

    Are you aware of other candidates who were overlooked and had much better records?

  88. Chris S 88

    lprent, Tim meant that both The Standard and Whaleoil are competing for 3rd place in his blogosphere rankings. This has been held by Whaleoil for quite a long time, behind Kiwiblog and Public Address.

    Expect much anger and vitriol directed at you, Tim, Labour, God and a small mince pie should The Standard pass WOBH in the rankings 🙂

    Anyway, his post was basically saying to Steve he should come out and say who he was talking about (Frontbench Nats in the closet) and promising a dirt war when he does…

  89. r0b 89

    Presumably they were the best candidates available.

    So purely on the basis of “character”, white middle aged males are the best political candidates? Why?

    Are you aware of other candidates who were overlooked and had much better records?

    Don’t know enough about the internal workings of the National Party.

  90. Bill 90

    Ben R.

    What is this ‘moral progress’ you speak of?

    I’m gobsmacked! I can’t see where this ‘moral progress’ is, so can’t respond to the rest of your comment.

    The West inflicts incalculable misery on countless numbers of people through imposing neo-liberal economic programmes on countries, installing and supporting dictators for many reasons, including to protect the imposition of those neo-liberal programmes, imposing economic sanctions and of course, war.

    As for Communist Russia or China. I suspect you might believe I have some sympathy for those regimes present and past. I have none.

  91. randal 91

    modern industrial capitalism is only 200 yers old at the max. when th oil dies so will the system. all the hothouse flowers who depend on the structures of capitalism and the sweat of the workers will be blown away like a puff of dust.

  92. Ben R 92

    “Presumably they were the best candidates available.

    So purely on the basis of “character’, white middle aged males are the best political candidates? Why?”

    Again, most politicians are middle aged. I’m not sure why this is an issue.

    Why? Like you, I’m not familiar with the selection process so can’t say. I don’t know the backgrounds of those who applied & missed out. However, those on the list seem to have been quite successful in their respective careers, so I guess that resulted in their inclusion.

  93. lprent 93

    ChrisS: I’m pretty unconcerned about ratings apart from the ones that the server gives me – ie when do I have to upgrade again.

    I did have a peek at the ratings. It looks like the only reason we were not ‘3rd’ was because of estimated number of links at Technorati. I must find out why that is broken (sigh).

    Personally I can’t see how Whale gets those scores for his site based on what I can see of the site and the scores. They look a bit bloated.

    But who cares.

  94. Bill 94

    Aye, maybe so Randal. But illegitimate authorities exercised power over people before capitalism and, well, probably will afterwards too.

    So I’d reckon that wee wind that blows away the hothouse flowers will blow in a whole pile of wind borne seeds too.

    There is no spontaneous raising of conciousness going to protect us from ourselves. Might as well believe in divine intervention.

    Now, if we were to plant new seeds now, ones that didn’t mature into authoritarian weeds….

  95. Ben R 95

    “What is this ‘moral progress’ you speak of?

    I’m gobsmacked! I can’t see where this ‘moral progress’ is, so can’t respond to the rest of your comment.”

    Well, not so long ago it was legally ok to physically discipline your wife. That is no longer the case & thanks to contraception & changing attitudes women are on far better footing than previously. That’s moral progress.

    Also, same s8x relationships were prohibited. That’s no longer the case, so again you’ve got moral progress.

    Slavery has been abolished, inter-racial relationships are no longer taboo & anti-discrimination laws apply in most western countries.

    In NZ and many other countries anti-smacking legislation is being implemented.

    Laws preventing cruelty to animals apply in most western countries.

    That’s the moral progress I’m referring to.

  96. Tim Ellis 96

    Understood Felix, but I disagree, and still think you have taken it out of context.

    Let’s say Party A has two candidates to choose from. Candidate X has the same qualifications and experience as Candidate Y. Candidate X is a middle-aged white male. Candidate Y is a middle-aged Asian female. Let’s say Party A hasn’t done well in appealing to middle-aged Asian females in the past, and that Asian females are a significant demographic that Party A wants to appeal to. Meanwhile, Party A already has a large number of middle-aged white males with similar qualifications and experience as Candidate Y.

    Any political party would probably select Candidate X.

    The issue for political parties is whether their candidates are of merit, and how they appeal to particular demographics whose votes they need. National already has a very high percentage of middle-aged, male votes. They haven’t historically done well in attracting female votes, or voters from some ethnic groups. That puts pressure on National to find candidates of merit who particularly appeal to those groups of people. National seems to have done a pretty good job of achieving that with this List. Yes, in the past, National’s candidate profiles have been pretty narrow. They are much, much broader now.

    It’s fair to say that Labour’s candidate lists in the past have been almost exclusively made up of academics, teachers, civil servants, and unionists. They have hardly represented a broad spectrum of society. I would put money on National bringing a much more diverse group of meritorious new people to Parliament this election than Labour will, by a wide margin.

  97. r0b 97

    Why? Like you, I’m not familiar with the selection process so can’t say.

    You’re afraid to give the obvious answer Ben R. If Nat candidates are selected purely on the basis of “character”, then obviously middle aged white males are smarter or harder working or in some other way better suited to be politicians than other demographics. Why are you afraid to state the obvious?

    But I don’t think for a moment that the above is true, because I don’t agree with the premise of the question, that Nat selections are made purely on the basis of “character”. I think Nat selections (and most other parties too) are significantly influenced by race and gender.

    Or in other words, re coge’s claim that – “I look forward to a day when someone is judged by their character, not the colour of their skin” – that happy day clearly has not arrived in the National Party (unless you want to come to the conclusion in my first paragraph).

    I’ll leave you with a thought from Colin James after last year’s conferences:
    http://www.colinjames.co.nz/herald/Herald_2007/Herald_column_07Nov20.htm

    “A Martian visitor knowing the two main parties only by their annual conferences would have rated Labour well ahead. Labour’s was big, energetically explored issues and policies and sprouted young people and national diversity. National’s was tight, white and slight on debate.’

  98. Bill 98

    But Ben.

    Husbands still beat their wives and still see them as a possession.

    Homophobia is common.

    Slavery exists…and we are all wage slaves. Perfectly legal and even ‘proper’ it seems.

    Kids are still bashed.

    We slaughter animals ten to the dozen.

    Some of the laws are designed to combat or contain problems that are arguably brought about by market dynamics. eg poverty and its social consequences.

    A law is not necessarily indicative of moral progress and could be indicative of the opposite

  99. Ben R 99

    “Husbands still beat their wives and still see them as a possession.

    Homophobia is common.

    Kids are still bashed.”

    But at least with legal protections against these things you have to admit that progress has been made.

    “Slavery exists and we are all wage slaves. Perfectly legal and even ‘proper’ it seems.”

    Can you point to a time in history where people haven’t had to work in some form to survive (other than feudal rulers & royalty etc)?

    “We slaughter animals ten to the dozen.”

    Granted, but at least there are now laws preventing unnecessary cruelty to animals. For instance dog-fighting used to be popular in Europe, but is now outlawed.

    “Some of the laws are designed to combat or contain problems that are arguably brought about by market dynamics. eg poverty and its social consequences”

    Yes, but communities have always struggled with distributing resources fairly. Poverty isn’t a new thing. At least you’ve got less chance now of meeting a violent demise through a tribal squabble.

  100. lprent 100

    Ben R:

    I’m gobsmacked!

    No you aren’t – haven’t seen gobsmacked around here today. 😉

  101. Pascal's bookie 101

    I can see where both Ben and Bill are coming from, and agree with both to a degree.

    I think it’s a mistake to conflate liberal democracy and it’s attendant warm fuzziness with capitalism, (not that I’m saying either of the B’s are doing so).

    Within the liberal democratic mansion there are many rooms. Let’s label two wings, left and right.

    One of those wings is a strong proponent of capitalism (which is an economic rather than a political system). That same wing has resisted minority and gender rights and is quick to relinquish other rights should capitalism come under real or perceived threat. ref: the modern GOP, union bashing, watergate, church committee, dawn raids, death penalty, etc and so on.

    This is not to say that other wing is perfect on those issues, just a little less bad.

    So if we want to congratulate western liberal white males for advancing freedoms for their fellow citizens, let’s be mindful that one wing of the western mansion has opposed those advancements every step of the way, and remember which wing it was.

    If someone wants to argue that the minority and gender rights we have developed over the last 50 years are a product of the more capitalist wing of the western family home, I’m all ears.

    If that wing is now seeing the error of its ways, clap. clap.

  102. Ben R 102

    “If Nat candidates are selected purely on the basis of “character’, then obviously middle aged white males are smarter or harder working or in some other way better suited to be politicians than other demographics. Why are you afraid to state the obvious?”

    Because the fact that individual candidates are white or male does not mean you can extropolate & say that group is ‘better’ than another group.

    The problem is you are looking at people as groups, rather than individuals. Not all white males are the same, just as not all Maori or woman are the same.

  103. Bill 103

    If our systems of governance had been constructed by reptiles to serve their own interests and the structures were therfore reflective of reptilian values and morals and a rabbit stood as a candidate would you expect that the rabbit had assimilated the values and morals of the reptiles or that it was going to peddle fluff?

    I say the former as the institution (not the individual party) will more or less ‘demand’ that be the case.

    But it appears that even on this blog, most are happy with face value impressions.

    Given the propensity for people to mislead themselves based on appearance and project false hopes on this basis, it has to be said (again) that National’s list is more ‘honest’ than some other lists might be.

    The rabbit is not representative of rabbits. It reflects reptilian characteristics and values. As a party concious of the fact that rabbit voters will no doubt be suckered by those doe eyes and shiny coat, I’m getting as many of those bunnys on my list as I can.

    So, in an odd way, National ought to be congratulated on being more up front.

  104. Anita 104

    To repeat an argument I have made in other threads…

    Let us assume that women are just as able politicians as men, and Māori as Pakeha, and so on.

    Therefore if a party were to choose the best possible politicians for its list it would choose a list that was roughly proportionally equal to the population – rouhgly half women, and so on.

    But that is not true in the National or Labour lists. Is the assumption wrong? Or is there something else at work? If so, what?

    I would argue that both major parties contain institutionalised bias and choose from a population of candidates which has been affected by societal bias, which the parties chose to not adjust for.

    What is your argument?

  105. Ben R 105

    “Therefore if a party were to choose the best possible politicians for its list it would choose a list that was roughly proportionally equal to the population – rouhgly half women, and so on.”

    Because in a liberal democracy individual rights are respected. So if an individual applies for a job, or political party, their race or gender shouldn’t be a factor.

  106. Bill 106

    Ben. The race and gender etc are very much factors because the playing field was constructed by and for a particular race and gender!

    Other races, genders etc can be successful insofar as their values and perceptions mimic the dominant race and gender’s values and perspectives.

    Why does that seem so hard to grasp for some?

  107. r0b 107

    The problem is you are looking at people as groups

    No the problem is Ben R, that you don’t want to acknowledge the bleeding obvious, that National’s selections are heavily influenced by race and gender. As are most parties to varying degrees – Anita has it pretty well nailed at 5:14pm above.

    Bye for now…

  108. Anita 108

    Ben R,

    Because in a liberal democracy individual rights are respected. So if an individual applies for a job, or political party, their race or gender shouldn’t be a factor.

    Yep, I wasn’t saying the parties should be choosing based on gender and ethnicity. I was saying that, if everything else was equal, and they did choose gender and ethnicity blind, one would expect that the lists (which are quite big) should contain proportions roughly equal to those in society.

    Why don’t they?

    (Am I the only person thinking of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?)

  109. lprent said “You mean the way your blog looks like to me whenever you talk about about Helen, Labour, Winston, or the Greens?”

    At least I share my paranoia around Lynn!!

  110. Tim Ellis 110

    Anita said: “Therefore if a party were to choose the best possible politicians for its list it would choose a list that was roughly proportionally equal to the population – rouhgly half women, and so on.”

    I disagree Anita. Parties choose candidates from their activist base, which is based on their membership base, which is based on their support base. It’s no great secret that in the past National’s voters were middle-aged, white males. So too were a large proportion of its members and activists.

    Likewise Labour’s activist base has been mainly unionists, teachers, and academics.

    National has taken the decision that it wants to be more representative of a more diverse group of people than white male middle-aged urban professionals, and white male middle-aged farmers. This list shows a much more concerted attempt to diversify its candidates, activists, members and supporters.

    I don’t see similar efforts from Labour to go more widely than its union/teacher/academic/Rainbow factions.

  111. Ben R 111

    rOb,

    “that National’s selections are heavily influenced by race and gender.”

    Again, can you point to any candidates who missed out who should have been included? Unless you know who actually applied I’m not sure you can say that.

    Anita,

    “I was saying that, if everything else was equal, and they did choose gender and ethnicity blind, one would expect that the lists (which are quite big) should contain proportions roughly equal to those in society.

    Why don’t they?”

    Because everything else is not equal. As discussed in another thread (I think the pay equity one), there are numerous reasons why women aren’t as well represented in various industries.

  112. Anita 112

    lprent writes about Rob:

    Anyone want to stick up for this clown? He is borderline but is irritating me to the point I don’t want to see his comments. I’m tired of adding notes to his comments. I think even Anita has given up on him.

    I gave up on discussion with him a long time ago, it didn’t ever seem to get anywhere. I haven’t given up point out that he just makes stuff up yesterday, for example, he said that the weekend’s polls were the second to talk group before the election.

    I think I haven’t had to point out as many unreferenced inaccurate facts so much recently because he’s stopped putting in facts and now just rants generically. I, personally, consider this a step forward from the phase where he said “I heard it on talkback radio” as evidence for inaccuracies 🙂

    That said, repeating a homophobic whispering campaign isn’t exactly a step forward.

    To step away from discussing Rob in particular, what is it about people who don’t fact check or just make shit up?!

  113. Anita 113

    Ben R,

    Because everything else is not equal. As discussed in another thread (I think the pay equity one), there are numerous reasons why women aren’t as well represented in various industries.

    Ok, so why are women poorly represented in the National and Labour parties?

    I agree that they are, I agree that not everything is equal, but I’m not sure we agree about why, or what should be done about it 🙂

    P.S. To my previous comment – I appear to have given up knowing how to type, and The Standard has given up letting me fix it 🙂

  114. Ben R 114

    “I agree that they are, I agree that not everything is equal, but I?m not sure we agree about why, or what should be done about it”

    Maybe women are smart enough to avoid politics?

    Maybe men are more likely to be narcissists?

  115. lprent 115

    Anita:

    To step away from discussing Rob in particular, what is it about people who don’t fact check or just make shit up?!

    Beats me.

    There is a certain amount of blue sky thinking aka brainstorming that goes on in my industry (software development). It is what you do when you’re doing design phases and want to generate at a least a couple of other alternate approaches. But relatively quickly you hit the point where you start trying to break the ideas. Which you do with facts, RTFM, thought experimentation and actual coding tests. You use those to look for gotcha’s.

    There is a school of thought in the marketing side about generating ‘buzz’ or ‘hype’ or usually what programmers refer to as ‘vapourware’. My general opinion is that people like Rob prefer this approach. It usually starts with a repetition of labels and proceeds to bullet points, and then usually fails. Someone who knows what they’re talking about usually refuses to buy it or to implement it.

    Incidentally when it isn’t challenged – well I’ve seen some incredibly expensive software development that went nowhere.

    The Standard has given up letting me fix it

    Operating system and browser versions?

    I’ll see if it is reproducible. Usually completely shutting the browser and reopening will fix it.

  116. lprent 116

    IV2:

    At least I share my paranoia around Lynn!!

    Well – really what is there to post about on the right(ish) at present apart from the Nat’s. They have swallowed effectively all of the right vote.

    Act is looking like they’ll come out of the election as too small to count – a 1 seat party. Ditto United Future. There have been a few posts on them in the past. But it is a bit pointless at present.

    We can’t help it if the vote gobbler on the right makes itself such a prime target. It is just too hard to miss.

  117. Anita 117

    lprent,

    re: inability to edit

    Operating system and browser versions?

    Mac OS 10.5.4., Safari 3.1.2 (5525.20.1)

    It only happens occasionally, I click on a post marked as editable, with a happy count down timer, and it goes red and I can’t edit it. It won’t happen for days at a time, then suddenly I’ll have a batch of them. Restarting the browser doesn’t seem to matter, but it’s hard to know because it’s not consistent 🙂

    Is the edit function using AJAX? I could grovel round in my java version stuff if that’d help?

  118. Anita 118

    Ben R,

    Maybe women are smart enough to avoid politics?

    What is it that they are avoiding? Would we be better off if we got rid of that and made politics more acceptable to good women candidates?

    Maybe men are more likely to be narcissists?

    Is being a narcissist a good thing? Should political parties have a selection process that selects narcissists over others?

    Finally, why do you think the Greens’ List has a gender balance so much closer to society’s?

  119. mike 119

    “I find it odd that they pretend not to be gay in their political lives, I imagine that’s a personal decision.”

    What a pathetic statement. If labour gays think they will get more votes from the rainbow faction speaking like Julian Cleary then good them but I don’t really care. Obviously you have issues with people not sticking to their sexual stereotype Steve?

  120. Anita 120

    mike,

    There is a (huge) difference between not conforming to sexual orientation (or gender or ethnicity) stereotypes and pretending to be a different sexual orientation (or gender or ethnicity).

    Why do you think queer politicians might pretend to be straight?

  121. Whats wrong with being a pakeha male? Im pretty [and modest? SP] if a party had all Maori woman in it, you wouldnt complain, perhaps National put in the people they thought would be best for the country, unlike Labour.

  122. Brett Dale. Nothing at all is wrong with being Pakeha male, but all things being equal you wouldn’t expect them to be twice over represented on the National list… you would expect a list reflect the diversity of NZ simply because there are quality people in every community, yet that isn’t the case with National… other parties don’t seem to only be able to find suitable candidates amongst the traditional ruling class.

  123. Tim Ellis 123

    SP you continue to use an arbitrary and convenient figure to make your claim of 77%. You haven’t explained why you stopped at 30 MPs. What is the probability that National will only have 30 MPs? Very, very low. That’s like me picking an arbitrary number, let’s say six, and saying that zero percent of Labour’s top six MPs are Maori, so therefore Labour shows no commitment to representing Maori. You’re taking a number that happens to suit your argument, rather than forming your argument on the basis of a reasonable sample to start with. That’s the difference between propaganda and statistics.

    There is a high probability that National will have between 57-65 MPs. So if you’re going to run an honest argument you should take your sample on that more honest figure. If National gets 57 MPs then the composition will be:

    * 17 female MPs (29%)
    * 11 MPs under 40 (19%)
    * 6 Maori MPs (10%)
    * 1 Pacific MP
    * 3 Asian MPs

    Source: DPF at KB. That is a far more diverse list than National has ever presented to the electorate. Given that Labour will probably at best have only one new female in Parliament, and National probably 14-17, it’s salient that a big proportion of those new MPs will be from diverse backgrounds.

  124. Anita 124

    Tim Ellis,

    So why, if National isn’t displaying a gender bias, would only 29% of their MPs be women?

    And why, if National isn’t displaying a gender bias, would that proportion be lower amongst higher ranked MPs?

  125. Gooner 125

    Anita – lists should be decided on merit not quotas or tokenism. Maybe National’s is, who knows.

  126. Anita 126

    Gooner,

    Read my comment at 5:14pm.

    The short version: if the list was decided on merit (which I believe it should be) surely it would be roughly reflective of our society – the proportions would be roughly equal.

    Why aren’t they?

  127. Tim Ellis 127

    Anita, see my comment at 5:41pm. As for why there’s a low proportion of women MPs on National’s front bench, there is a similarly low proportion of women MPs on Labour’s front bench. That’s a function of political cycles that will probably take a generation to change. Parties tend to use lists to create ethnic and gender balance. When a party takes a big hit in the polls, as National did in 2002, then you lose that ethnic and gender balance. When that hit takes place every nine years or so, as it does for major parties, then it is difficult for people from diverse backgrounds to establish themselves into safe positions in the party, i.e., on the front bench.

    Labour will have that problem this year.

    National has about the same proportion of women in safely-held, long-term National seats as Labour does in safely-held, long-term Labour seats. In both parties that proportion is pretty pitiful. If parties are going to change, rather than just applying the rhetoric of change, then we will have to start seeing more women selected by both major parties for safe seats.

    Labour will have a chance to do this in 2011 when it sees a number of retirements after a long period of opposition. There will probably be seven or eight safe Labour seats coming up. Hopefully there’s a good balance of gender coming through that.

  128. r0b 128

    Labour will have a chance to do this in 2011 when it sees a number of retirements after a long period of opposition.

    Say Tim, you don’t mind if we have an election first before declaring Labour the opposition do you? A quaint old custom I know, but some of us are rather fond of them.

  129. Kevyn 129

    Well at least the Nats have equality for the Mainland. Which is more than can be said for Labour. Which explains the appalling transfer of wealth from the South Island to the North Island. 40% of the South’s roading revenue diverted to the North for a minimum of ten years with no guarantee of the flow being reversed after that. In the 80 years that we have had the petrol tax there have only been two period when substantial funds have been moved between the two islands. On both occasions the flow went north then back south, the reverse flow wasn’t immediate and was slower but the amounts involved were hundreds of millions rather than the billions at stake now. With peak oil looming and widespread misrepresentation of the impact of Auckland’s congestion on the national economy (see MED’s assessment for some honesty on the subject) it looks like Labour simply expects every Mainlander to fork out $1,000 to keep Auckland voters voting Labour (and Wellington voters too).

    There is just one problem with the above assessment. The rest of the North Island is also subsidising these to metropolitan regions. Waikato in particular. Not merely through losing at least a third of their petrol taxes but also because some of the projects the money is being spent on in the Waikato benefits Aucklanders more than the locals. 60% of the people killed on SH2 in the last five years were Aucklanders yet Aucklanders aren’t paying 60% of the cost although Waikato residents are paying far more than the 2% of Auckland’s congestion costs that trickle down to the Waikato.

  130. vto 130

    there is a lower proportion of women because men have a greater lust for power

  131. Scribe 131

    Jasper (about 100 comments ago)

    The current caucus has one openly gay (Chris Finlayson) . . .

    Finlayson voted against the CUB, and also the transgender bill. Obviously this is a man apart from his fellows

    I’ll assume you are just wrong, rather than trying to be maliciously misleading. Finlayson is in his first term, so wasn’t in Parliament for the CUB vote. (Not sure when the transgender bill was voted on, but I think last term as well.)

  132. Bill 132

    If social democratic parliaments were focussed on social aspect of society then it would be reasonable to expect the make up of society mirrored in parliament.

    But the function of government is to grease the wheels of commerce. So expect the business community to be mirrored in parliament.

    ie a majority comprising white privileged males

  133. Anita 133

    vto,

    there is a lower proportion of women because men have a greater lust for power

    1) Then why is the balance more even in the Greens?

    2) Do people with a lust for power make the best politicians?

  134. Robinsod 134

    2) Do people with a lust for power make the best politicians?

    Jeez Anita – don’t undermine vto’s Nietzschean fantasies – he’s been saving up for a superman suit for months!

  135. Ben R 135

    “Is being a narcissist a good thing? Should political parties have a selection process that selects narcissists over others?”

    No, being a narcissist is not a good thing (although politics does tend to attract this personality type). This article in relation to John Edwards admitting he’s a narcissist:

    “Miami-based psychotherapist Samuel Lopez De Victoria describes narcissists as people who get a high from getting attention and who often are unaware of the chance that they might get caught misbehaving.

    “There is a euphoria attached to the relentless feeding of the ego,” he said. “The grandiosity in their own mind tends to make them so vain that an illusion of invincibility is created.”

    In turn, De Victoria said, not only does a narcissist become unable to consider the effect his actions could have on his own career or personal life, but it also inhibits him from considering the feelings of those around him.

    “[Narcissism] creates an over-amplification of who someone thinks they are, and it creates self-deception,” he said.”

  136. Ben R 136

    “Then why is the balance more even in the Greens?”

    I don’t know if its a coincidence, but pretty much all the Green voters I know are female & vegetarian. I just think there are a lot of women who like what they stand for so that’s reflected in the candidate pool.

  137. Anita 137

    Ben R,

    I think that in your first comment directly above you’ve implied that as long as National and Labour continue to have markedly higher proportions of male candidates we can assume that they’re selecting for narcissism.

    I think that in your second comment directly above you’ve implied that if National and Labour continue to have markedly higher proportions of male candidates it reflects the fact that they stand for think that men like more than women.

    Did I get that wrong? 🙂

  138. Jasper 138

    Scribe – I stand corrected. I was sure that Finlayson was there when the CUB and Transgender bills were put through.

  139. Phil 139

    2) Do people with a lust for power make the best politicians?

    According to Socrates and Palto; no
    According to Machiavelli; yes

    I tend to side with Machiavelli – by definition, those who do hold the power must be the best politicians on offer, as they have been most successful in bending the electoral to their will/ideals.

  140. Michael 140

    Chris Findlayson is also a practising Catholic – would you expect that other practising left-footer Bill English to vote for transgender and Civil Unions? Of course not!

    It might surprise you all but there is an informal gay Nats group in Wellington – ‘Camp Nats’. Gay people are just as diverse, and hold as many different views as straight people.

  141. daffodil gal 141

    We are viewing this in the wrong way! 90% or more of nat MPs are wankers because 90% or more of nat voters have same characteristic. Therefore, is actually quite representative.

    Peace.

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