One citizen. One dollar. One vote.

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, October 23rd, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democratic participation, International - Tags: ,

The Occupation movement in most locations seems to be staying true to its ideals. Decision making is a participatory (not a representative) democratic process. That has advantages, it’s inclusive and egalitarian. It also has disadvantages, there’s no strong leadership. The movement is often accused of having no clear goals or purpose.

Out of the confusion, however, some powerful messages emerge. The first and strongest was “We are the 99%”, stressing the obscene concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the richest 1%.  Now a second message is gaining strength: “One citizen. One dollar. One vote.” Here’s a popular summary:

“We demand that integrity be restored to our elections. One citizen. One dollar. One vote. Only citizens should make campaign contributions. Campaign contributions by citizens should not exceed $1 to any political candidate or party. Help us reclaim democracy …”

This became a slogan for the “Day of Rage”, and has been covered in various places (Google search).  Tracing it back to its source, the meme was forged by writer Dustin Slaughter:

To Liberty Plaza’s Patriots: “Change The Hearts Of The Oppressed”

Something important is happening at Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan. The encampment that began there on Saturday, September 17th, is a vocal and stark reminder of growing American youth discontent. Banks and other corporations are sitting on record profits and CEO salaries continue to climb at an unprecedented rate, while students and the average American worker face an anemic job market and growing economicdisparity. The occupation in Lower Manhattan may be the start of a sea-change in so-called American democracy. But if it is a true change (and other organizing efforts in cities like Chicago and Atlanta, including an ongoing one in San Francisco suggest that it may be), certain things must change in order for this nonviolent revolution. …

Growing a movement means bringing others from different segments of society together. It quite often starts with the radical left (intellectuals and the youth), as the Egyptian revolution this year and the student-started revolution in Poland that eventually brought down the Soviet Union show us. But in order to sustain these movements, one demand or even a short list of demands must be crafted to appeal to larger segments of society. …

So, permit me to make a suggestion: “One citizen. One dollar. One vote.” Getting special interest money out of politics changes the whole game, and addresses a myriad of concerns expressed by not just the Liberty Plaza occupiers, but an overwhelming majority of Americans.

It’s a plea to reclaim democracy from corporate entities, vested interests and shadowy money.  It’s simple and powerful idea – though the actual dollar amount would need to be adjusted for population size.  In effect it would mean, in small countries like New Zealand, the state funding of political parties, which I believe would go a long way to cleaning up politics.  So yes, bring it on.  One citizen.  One dollar.  One vote.

36 comments on “One citizen. One dollar. One vote.”

  1. Heck, I actually think thats a good idea.

  2. burt 2

    rOb

    I like the idea behind this (One citizen. One dollar. One vote.) in that it would indeed reduce the influence of big money on electoral campaigns.

    But it would only work if political parties were unable to do what they hell they want spending as much as they want claiming the rules were confusing and others were doing it too.

    If such a policy was implemented would you support harsh application of the law if parties were deemed to have breached the rules or would the red team be allowed to make up the rules as they go along because the outcome of them doing that is acceptable to your world view?

    • logie97 2.1

      burt you started well but a shame you couldn’t try for just a moment to remain balanced and impartial …

      • burt 2.1.1

        logie97

        You can have any rules you want but they mean absolutely nothing when political parties can use parliament under urgency to say they didn’t break the rules. I’m on topic – odorous as it is there is a problem in NZ with politicians not wanting to be bound by the rules they put in place for themselves.

      • burt 2.1.2

        Remember the “must declare donations over $10,000” we had… how well did that play out ?

        • logie97 2.1.2.1

          … instead of 50 plus one to pass legislation, perhaps anything requiring change should require 75 pcnt of parliament’s votes.

          • burt 2.1.2.1.1

            Would be a lot simpler to have the politicians bound by the rules they pass for themselves. See they make the rules then claim the rules were confusing, that the way they did it is the way they have always done it and the greatest childish response of all – others did it too.

            Do they ever get held to account for rules way more relaxed than $1/1 person/1 vote – NO!

            So what would be the point of making the rules even tighter when parliament are allowed to decide when parliament have or have not acted within their own rules ?

        • Ari 2.1.2.2

          It wasn’t properly enforced. It’s rather ridiculous that under that system, the Greens had the highest declared donations- mostly, because they actually declared everything.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    In the American case in particular, if political funding were so severely curtailed (effectively a maximum cap of $300m to share between all parties for an election, realistically more like $20-$50m) they would have a very difficult time actually getting their message out to the voters.

    How are voters best-served by being ignorant about what a parties policies actually are?

    I thoroughly agree with only citizens being able to donate to parties, but a $1 cap is unrealistic.

    • Rich 3.1

      They could use volunteers. If they have genuinely wide enthusiasm, this should be easy. If not, they shouldn’t be getting elected.

      • Zo @ Fix 3.1.1

        Good point Rich. Furthermore, voters are already ignorant about party policy because all you see is billboards everywhere with vague slogans. Without these citizens would actually have to do some reading and research when voting rather than basing it on gut instinct that is influenced by the number of ads they’ve seen. That said, $1 per person is pretty miniscule, but I think the slogan was mainly designed to be punchy and clear in its intention, not taken literally word for word as a policy.

        I’ve always thought there should be a central website and booklet that outlines all the policies of every party standing for election, which is run by the elections team. Each party would submit their own blurb. If you’re not online, you could collect the booklet at any postshop and before voting on election day when you go to vote.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Then let’s go to a $2 cap per citizen, matched dollar for dollar with a Federal election spending contribution.

      So up to $4 per citizen.

      And require networks to provide airtime to all political candidates at just 5% of standard rates.

  4. logie97 4

    … reinvigorate the street corners and hustings.
    Ban all media advertising and hoardings.
    Monitor closely messages on the media (including patsy interviews).
    Back to good old fashioned campaigning.

    • burt 4.1

      Good old fashion campaigning in NZ is secret trusts, undisclosed donations and parliament know better what the law was supposed to say…. We actually need to get away from that – not stay with status quo pretending that we have $1/1 person/1 vote.

  5. Nick C 5

    Seems like OWS are taking a hint from Herman Cain. Can we call this the 1-1-1 plan?

    I presume however that OWS are quite happy for individuals (or indeed organisations such as unions) to make unlimited non monetary donations of time and skills to political parties.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      And therein lies the rub. What OWS are calling for will only shift the problem from one thing to another.

      Political campaigns don’t go out and raise $100m for shits and giggles. They do it because they need to publicize their policies and (increasingly) their brand to get people to vote for them. If we cap campaign contributions at $1 per citizen, we have not actually removed the need for campaigning and advertising, we’ve just made the means by which it happens much more difficult and an alternative means will have to evolve to replace it.

      So at the moment a company might donate $1m to some political campaign. That campaign would then go out and hire a campaign manager for $100k salary and spend $900k on whatever else they need. Under the proposed rules, that same company is not allowed to donate any money, so instead they put one of their senior accomplished administrators on sabbatical for a year and ‘donate’ their time as campaign manager. I would argue that this is worse – we now have even less transparency in what is going on with the relationship between the political campaign and the company and the political campaign is no longer free to hire whoever they can get for $100k, instead they must rely on donated personnel which is going to be a much smaller pool of talent and much more open to corruption than a free market.

      Similarly, the campaign can’t spend $900k buying advertising on TV and radio. Instead, TV and radio stations that are partial to that campaign will ‘donate’ advertising time to them. So now we have Fox donating advertising to the republicans and no one else.

      I think what OWS have noticed is the increasing arms race going on in terms of campaign funding. If your opponents have raised $100m to spend on their campaign, then you damn well better match or beat that $100m or you’re going to be at quite a disadvantage for getting your message out. The only way to reasonably do that is to seek donations from companies. This in turn appears to create bias in favour of corporate interests, judging by the behaviour of these politicians once they get into office.

      The solution to this is not to pull the funding rug from underneath the campaigns, because this does nothing to change their underlying need for advertising and campaigning. Instead a better solution is to cap the total amount of money that is allowed to be spent so everyone is on more of a level playing field, like we do in NZ. This means that if you have a wide general grassroots support you can compete in fundraising terms without necessarily having to chase corporate donations.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Under the proposed rules, that same company is not allowed to donate any money, so instead they put one of their senior accomplished administrators on sabbatical for a year and ‘donate’ their time…

        Which would be seen as a donation and thus illegal.

        Similarly, the campaign can’t spend $900k buying advertising on TV and radio.

        You’re really stuck on the $1 bit aren’t you? It just has to be low enough so that everybody can afford it. And we probably need to put a time on it as well. How about a week? So that would be $1 per person per week. If we get back to the same party levels that we had in the 1970s then some parties could, quite literally, see incomes of hundreds of thousands per week (Actually, thinking about that, we’d probably need to put age limits in as well – there are rumours that some people were signing up their new born children and paying their fees). We’d still need max spending caps.

        This in turn appears to create bias in favour of corporate interests, judging by the behaviour of these politicians once they get into office.

        Judging by the actions of some politicians it doesn’t appear so – it is so. And don’t forget that trucking lobby guy who thought he was “helping” democracy by buying access to the politicians.

        Instead a better solution is to cap the total amount of money that is allowed to be spent so everyone is on more of a level playing field, like we do in NZ.

        That’s not a better solution as the funding then just comes from the corporates and they still get the influence that we’re trying to get rid of.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          “Which would be seen as a donation and thus illegal.”

          How is it a donation if a company decides to give one of their senior staff a sabbatical, and then on their own re cognisance that person now makes the personal decision to work as campaign manager for a political campaign? How is that the company donating anything to the political campaign?

          “You’re really stuck on the $1 bit aren’t you?”

          I’m not sure if you noticed but the middle part of their slogan is “One dollar”.

          “That’s not a better solution as the funding then just comes from the corporates and they still get the influence that we’re trying to get rid of.”

          No, I don’t think so. At the moment politicians are incentivised to get every single possible penny that they can, so they actively go out and canvass as many large donors as possible. That will still happen when there’s a spending cap of course, but there won’t be anywhere near as much pressure to do so.

          In no way am I saying that simply putting a level cap on all campaigns would solve the problem. No single change will completely solve all the problems with campaign funding. But as far as single changes go, I think putting a level spending cap on the campaigns will work a lot better than saying $1 per person maximum. As I said up at #3, campaigns have to get their message out, and this requires money. If you’re going to drastically cut back on the money they have to do this, the net result is a more ignorant voting base than we have now, which I don’t think is a desirable outcome.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            How is that the company donating anything to the political campaign?

            The question should be: How can it be proved? And the answer is that there will be evidence somewhere. Could write a law that says something like:
            Anybody on a sabbatical from a business must not work for a political party.
            Harsh? Yes but it’s one of those things that may need to be done to protect our democracy from undue influence.

            If you’re going to drastically cut back on the money they have to do this…

            But that’s just it – it won’t necessarily be a massive funding cut.

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “Could write a law that says something like:
              Anybody on a sabbatical from a business must not work for a political party.”

              That would likely be against the US constitution which allows for freedom of political association.

              “But that’s just it – it won’t necessarily be a massive funding cut.”

              Obama is planning to raise $1B for his re-election plan.

              $1 per citizen would cap it at $312m to be shared amongst all political campaigns. Realistically you could expect maybe 20-50m people would bother contributing under such a system.

              So yes, it would necessarily be a massive funding cut.

              Note: I’ve only been arguing this specifically in the context of the US political system, because that’s where the 1/1/1 proposal has come from and what it’s about. In NZ we already have laws about spending limits in the campaign period as I outlined above.

              • burt

                In NZ we already have laws about spending limits in the campaign period as I outlined above.

                We have laws…. and when the ref calls out that the laws have been broken the ref is denigrated as making a bad call and parliament decide if parliament followed them. If we were observing Fiji acting like this we would call it a dictatorship.

              • Draco T Bastard

                $1 per citizen would cap it at $312m to be shared amongst all political campaigns.

                So you’re sticking with the $1 per electoral period rather than going for the $1 per week option?

                Note: I’ve only been arguing this specifically in the context of the US political system…

                And yet this is a thread on a NZ board with NZers in it. Wouldn’t it be better to discuss what we can do about getting it here?

  6. Don McKenzie 7

    $1 , one citizen and one vote, in principle has much to commend. We good go further and apply Direct Democracy such as the Swiss enjoy. We nearly had it in the 1890’s. If the Swiss are any thing to go by , may be we as a nation would not have the great debt we will be grappling with after this election is done.

    • mik e 7.1

      The swiss are in debt as much as anyone else get your facts straight

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        314% of GDP in debt according to this.

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          What is their net debt?

          Still have a triple A rating.

          Mind you. If we made a democratic decision to get into debt it is our own fault.
          We can equally make a decision to reduce it.

          Or to fund it internally. Print our own zero’s instead of allowing overseas banks to do it.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            The Swiss are fine, they have a highly productive and industrialised economy, a Switzerland centric banking system and a position in the world financial markets which allows them to print their own money.

            Plus the rumour is that they still have a lot of gold stashed away. A lot.

  7. erentz 8

    The problem with something like this is, unless you make it a constitutional amendment, all that will happen is over time it’ll be eroded away and you end up in the same mess again. The US needs electoral reform to ensure fair and proportional representation.

    • burt 8.1

      The rules only get eroded when the same people who make the rules decide if they have followed the rules. How do you think the rugby tonight would go if the two opposing teams were allowed to decide if they had played within the rules ? (Oh and the winning team can make up the interpretation of the rules as they go)

      • KJT 8.1.1

        Pretty much what happens now.

        The winning team, the banks/the 1%, broke all the rules, then got them changed so we have to pay for it.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 9

    ‘ Help us reclaim democracy …”

    That is an interesting concept, bearing in mind that so-called democratic nations have never actually had democracy.

    Initially only landowners could vote. The vote was eventually extended to most males but by then corporations were starting to dominate western societies.

    By the time women were given the vote in most western nations corporations and money-lenders had gained nearly complete control of the economic and the political systems.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      That is an interesting concept, bearing in mind that so-called democratic nations have never actually had democracy.

      True, but it’s been getting better over the last couple of centuries. Now that capitalism has reached it’s final crisis it seems that the RWNJs are getting desperate to get rid of it again.

  9. Jenny 10


    How ordinary Americans, (and Kiwis) have their democracy stolen from them.

    “Why democracy only works when people are in charge”

  10. Jenny 11

    How corporate politics works.

    A sole politician who dared to stand with the people, is expelled from the Greek Socialist Party.

    The corporate politicians can tolerate, not even the slightest dissent from their rule.

    Greek lawmakers have passed a deeply resented austerity bill that has led to violent protests on the streets of Athens, despite some dissent from one Socialist lawmaker.

    The new measures include pay and staff cuts in the civil service as well as pension cuts and tax hikes for all Greeks.

    The bill passed by majority vote in the 300-member parliament.

    Former Labour Minister Louka Katseli voted against one article that scales back collective labour bargaining rights.

    She voted in favour of the overall bill, but Prime Minister George Papandreou expelled her from the party’s parliamentary group. The move whittles down his parliamentary majority to 153.

    The vote came after violent demonstrations that left one person dead and 74 injured.

    AP news

  11. Jenny 12

    Corporate History Timeline

    1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman, announcing a program for foreign technical assistance, states that self-sustaining peoples are “underdeveloped.”

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund begin operations. They extend money to poor and newly decolonized countries to foster economic growth on the model of industrialized nations.

    1972 – The U.S. ends the gold standard. Banks and corporations can now move money to and from worldwide operations with a phone call.

    1972 – Poor countries are unable to repay loans. The World Bank imposes austerity programs that eliminate health and welfare. Local currencies are devalued to facilitate investment by transnational corporations.

    1982 – Mexico, deeply in debt, agrees to World Bank austerity programs. Factories along its U.S. border increase four-fold to take advantage of weak environmental laws and wages that are 1/10 of those in the United States.

    1986 – The Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade begins in secret meetings of bankers, executives and government leaders. As a result of these secret agreements, the Mexican government agrees to break up its traditional cooperatively owned farms and signs all rights to corn production to U.S. corporations.

    1989 – Forty-seven of the top 100 economies of the world are not nations, but transnational corporations.

    1992 – Villagers in India can now be arrested for using the twigs and leaves of the sacred Neem tree. 500,000 farmers and their families protest the corporate patenting of their ancestral plants.

    1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect.

    1995 – The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade becomes the economic law of the world. The World Trade Organization begins operating. Transnational corporations now have the right to override environmental protection, worker-safety regulation, human-rights laws, or government subsidies if they are judged as barriers to trade.

    D.6 1995 – Indonesian workers get 15 cents per hour to assemble athletic shoes that Nike sells for $135.

    1996 – Because of a WTO ruling, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is forced to re-write its standards to allow dirtier gasoline to be imported and sold in the US.

    1997-1998 – Southeast Asian economies collapse. Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia go bankrupt, causing world financial markets to plunge.

    1998 – The WTO rules that U.S. laws created to protect endangered sea turtles violate WTO regulations.

    1999 – The top 200 corporations control 70% of world trade, but employ only one-half of one percent of the global work force.

    2000 – Workers in Taiwanese-owned factories in Nicaragua earn about 20 cents for making blue jeans that sell in Wal-Mart stores for around 30 dollars.

    September 11, 2001 – the World Trade Center is destroyed.

    November 2001 – The UN Human Development Report estimates that the 650 billion dollars spent on the military worldwide is 14 times greater than the amount needed to eradicate global poverty.

    February 2003 – Weeks before the U.S. invades Iraq, contracts for rebuilding the country are secretly awarded to corporations close to the Bush administration. Congress is not consulted.
    The contract awarded to Halliburton gives it control of Iraq’s oil.
    The contract awarded to Bechtel gives it control of Iraq’s water.

    May 2003 – An executive order by the U.S. president grants complete legal immunity to transnational oil companies operating in Iraq.

    2003 – In South Africa privatization of water deprives ten million people of affordable access to water.

    Before leaving Iraq, U.S. administrator Paul Bremer signs a law making it illegal for farmers to save seed.

    2004 – The U.S. and the UK collect 70 million dollars in so-called reparation payments from Iraq. Nearly 80% goes to multinationals, including Halliburton, Bechtel, Shell, Nestlé, Philip Morris, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Toys R Us.

    November 2004 – early 2005: Pennsylvania and 13 other U.S. states pass laws that make it illegal to regulate genetically engineered seed at the local level.

    January 2005 – China enters the WTO. Global quotas on the amount of textiles and apparel individual countries can ship to Europe and the United States expire, and Chinese firms are free to export as much as they like.

    January 2005 – The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund join the UN and relief agencies to coordinate relief efforts in countries devastated by the December 26 tsunami.

    Total external debts of countries hit by the tsunami is nearly $1 trillion.

    October 2005 – Thousands of low-wage Asian laborers travel to Iraq to work for U.S. military contractors in the hope of sending money home to their families. Trapped and exploited under inhuman conditions, many of them are now fleeing the country to save their lives.

    D.13 November 2005 – Sytex, a subsidiary of Lockheed, the world’s largest military contractor, has become one of the biggest recruiters of private interrogators U.S.-run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    December 2005 – Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian who grew up in childhood poverty, won the Bolivian presidential elections. He is part of a wave of predominantly native led left leaning Latin American Nationalists who are challenging the power of the multinational corporations in their countries.

    February 2006 – A Kuwait-based construction firm is now building a new 592 million dollar U.S. embassy in Baghdad – the largest, most fortified U.S. embassy in the world. The company is accused of exploiting employees and coercing low-paid laborers to work in war-torn Iraq against their will.

    May 2006 – The Tata Group, one of India’s biggest and oldest multinational corporations, has taken over tribal land to build an enormous steel plant in Orissa.

    July 2006 – The Pentagon cancelled the contract for Halliburton’s military logistics in Iraq and put it up for open bid. U.S. taxpayers have paid Halliburton 20 billion dollars for work in support of the U.S. “war on terrorism.”

    March 2008 – Tibetans protest against Chinese oppression. It is estimated that over 100 mainly peaceful protests took place throughout March and April. The protests were violently suppressed by the Communist Authorities using riot police and armed soldiers, hundreds are beaten and detained and over 1,000 “missing”.

    April 2008 – New Zealand becomes the first Western country to sign Bilateral Free Trade Agreement with Communist China at a lavish ceremony in Peking.

    December 2009 – Work begins on a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The aim being to create a mega-treaty across 9 countries to forbid any policies or laws the signatory governments might adopt at the expense of the multi-nationals.

    May 2010 – Food Bill introduced into New Zealand Parliament to make it illegal to distribute “food” without authorisation. The Bill defines “food” in such a way, that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).

    October 2011 -Anti- Corporate Occupy Wall Street protest begins in New York.

    Currently similar demonstrations are either ongoing or had been held in 70 other major U.S. cities and over 600 communities in the U.S.
    Internationally, other “Occupy” protests have modeled themselves after Occupy Wall Street, in over 900 cities worldwide.

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    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
    4 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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