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Open Mike 31/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 31st, 2016 - 107 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

107 comments on “Open Mike 31/12/2016 ”

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Obama is embarrassing in his last minute legacy shopping to try and appear as a strong President who finally got the nerve to stand up to Putin (and try and disrupt the international playing field for an incoming Trump Administration).

      Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats; Putin invites the families of US diplomats in Moscow to attend New Year festivities for the children in the Kremlin.

      As well as wishing the Obama and Trump families seasons greetings.

      Pretty clear who the grown up statesman is here.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        Putin countered the speculation and lies by outplaying Obama and taking the higher ground.

        Which leaves him looking like the statesman and Obama looking like the stirring provocateur.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Looks like Putin stole the strategy straight from Michelle Obama: “when they go low…”

    • I think putin has blinked and shown his weakness – never mind, he’ll have an easier time with ‘scratch my tummy’ trump.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        So your story is that Obama somehow managed to stare down Putin?

        • marty mars 1.2.1.1

          why would they eject US officials other than for tit for tat. But if the reasons for being ejected are accepted no tit for tat needed.

          putin is scared of Obama but he isn’t scared of trump, he’s good buddies with that dude and his ‘team’.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            so not only did Obama stare down Putin from retaliating, but its clear to you that Putin is actually scared of Obama?

            • marty mars 1.2.1.1.1.1

              fearful is probably the better term – putin isn’t used to people standing up to him – they don’t hang around for long – they all decide to conveniently take long walks off short piers

              putin couldn’t retaliate – he was caught and he knows it so he did the decent thing and accepted that. He knows that pretty soon trump will be begging at his feet so he’s cool, the plan worked, trump is in.

              • mauī

                That’s perfect for a commentator slot on CNN. Russia/Trump “stole the election”. Now lets use them as a scapegoat for the Democrats failings because we’ve told lies about Russia for decades anyway.

                • I don’t think the election was stolen. I don’t think the russians are scapegoats for the democratic party loss but the west has certainly told lies about russia for decades as russia has told lies about the US so 1 out of 3 ain’t bad there. Good effort C + more attention to detail please.

                  I give big ups to putin for not pretending – he’s got caught – fronted up and moved on. Obama is yesterday, Trump’s coming in now and he is where the real fun begins – he is tomorrow 🙂

      • BM 1.2.2

        Think it’s more Putin pointing out that Obama’s just an irrelevant annoyance now.

        Throw your toys, have a sulk you’ll be gone in a couple of weeks and then normal relations will resume.

      • Xanthe 1.2.3

        Oh come on marty! You are showing that you are not genuine poster at all , the word is shill!

      • The Chairman 1.2.4

        “I think putin has blinked and shown his weakness…”

        Sometimes it’s bigger and wiser to show restraint. This was one of those occasions.

      • One Two 1.2.5

        You’re one very confused individual MM

        Comments you make are an inconsistent mix of ‘preaching peace’ while low balling attempts to defuse and de-escalate political confrontation

        Predjudice blinds you

    • Putin outplays Obama

      Maybe. Or, Obama outplays Trump: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/30/obama-russia-sanctions-donald-trump-republicans

      For Obama, Russia is thus a uniquely effective wedge issue, with the potential to divide the president-elect from his party. If Trump tries to remove the new sanctions, he could face blowback from Congress; if he doesn’t, his friendly relationship with Putin could be damaged.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Outgoing Obama tries to sabotage and box in new Trump Administration?

        That sounds about right.

        • Psycho Milt 1.3.1.1

          I certainly hope it is. The Obnoxious Loudmouth in Chief and his cabinet of the 0.1% need to be sabotaged and boxed-in to whatever extent possible, for all our sakes.

      • The Chairman 1.3.2

        It won’t be the first time Trump has been at odds with his party.

        Trump praised Putin’s response, therefore it will be interesting to see whether or not he lifts the sanctions.

        Apart from the warmongers, most people would agree stronger US – Russia relations is best for everyone.

        • tinfoilhat 1.3.2.1

          “Apart from the warmongers, most people would agree stronger US – Russia relations is best for everyone.”

          Except for those that in their ‘wisdom’ the US and Russia decide to lay waste to either militarily or economically.

          • The Chairman 1.3.2.1.1

            If the US and Russia decide to lay waste to each other, there will be little hope for anyone.

            • garibaldi 1.3.2.1.1.1

              Putin has been “outperforming ” Western leaders for some time now ,and he does it with style. His press interviews are a delight to behold ,and he does it all off the cuff.

    • Macro 1.4

      Not surprising at all! I picked that he would do nothing here.

  1. Carolyn_nth 2

    Dame Valerie Adams, it is.
    And some of the lesser NZ titles to Goff and Fran Wilde.

    Goff?

    Stuff on the “honours” – those archaic things.

    Some people who made a great contribution to NZ get them, but so do some who made a dubious contribution.

    • tc 2.1

      Dubious ? Pretty straight forward, do as national ask/donate and on the list you go.

      A Former nat MP, latest boys club inductee Brian Roche who is riding nzpost into the dust, shonky flag debacle panel chair etc etc

      • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1

        I see Iain Robert Rennie also got a CNZM For services to the State

        Several people got honours for services to local government – curious as to why so many for that.

        and an Honorary award of some sort for Gad Propper For services to New Zealand-Israel relations. Propper is an Israeli businessman – on many corporate boards, and organisations, including:

        Mr. Gad Propper has been the Managing Director of Osem International Ltd. since 1991. Mr. Propper serves as the Chairman of L’Oreal-Israel Ltd. He serves as the Chairman of the Israel Federation of the Bi-National Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Honorary Consul of New Zealand in Israel. From 1993 to May, 1997, he was Chairman of the Israel-British Chamber of Commerce; and from 1987 to 1991, he was Chairman of the Israel Export Institute. He serves as a Director of LFSMD Ltd. He has been a Director of B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. since June 19, 2013. He serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of Asam investments Ltd., L’oreal Israel Ltd. and Vitania Proper Ltd. He is a member of the boards of directors of several companies, including Osem Investment Ltd. and several of it subsidiaries, Interbeauty Cosmetics Ltd. (where he is Chairman of the Board) and its subsidiaries, Pioneer, Concrete and Quarries.

        And some more at the link.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        This was leaked on the Web before today.

        But yes, NZ Post is going to shit under him.

        At least we haven’t got Sir John Key (yet).

    • mauī 2.2

      John Burrows, man who couldnt engage the public in the botched flag change process is honoured.

      http://stuff.co.nz/national/87982485/canterbury-law-professor-john-burrows-receives-second-honour

    • alwyn 2.3

      “the lesser NZ titles to ………… Fran Wilde.”
      Can you please explain the claim that Fran got a lower award than Valerie?
      You did notice , didn’t you, that they both got exactly the same award?

  2. Carolyn_nth 3

    Gordon Campbell has an interesting analysis of McCully’s role in the UN resolution against Israeli settlements. He credibly puts NZ government role in the resolution in the wider context of trade with Middle East countries, and relations with China.

    …McCully may even be able to reap some of those trade rewards in the Middle East (that fabled FTA with Saudi Arabia?) that would finally vindicate McCully personally over the Saudi sheep fiasco, and would ring down the curtain on his political career in triumph.

    Sometimes….doing what’s good for trade can happily co-incide with Doing What’s Right, even if that latter bit is very much in the eye of the beholder. The Trans Pacific Partnership – for instance – was a diplomatic manoeuvre (and the centre-piece of Obama’s ‘tilt to the Pacific’ intended to isolate and contain China) that was being disguised as a trade pact. For New Zealand, this recent UN resolution was the reverse : a trade gambit disguised as a diplomatic manoeuvre. The added diplomatic advantage being that, this time, we’re not being drawn into a ploy meant to isolate China.

    Not sure about Campbell’s qualification: Doing What’s Right, even if that latter bit is very much in the eye of the beholder.

    But the rest of Campbell’s argument does fit with McCully’s past record on trade, the ME, etc.

    • Karen 3.1

      Did you see Michael Field’s article Carolyn? Interesting South Pacific perspective.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1612/S00104/background-to-how-israel-nearly-went-to-war-with-new-zealand.htm

      • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1

        Yes. Thanks, Karen. I read it a couple of days back. But it covers a lot of ground and it is interesting to re-read it today.

        Field is pretty scathing about the inability of NZ’s MSM to cover foreign affairs.

        On the point about trade with the Middle East, and in the light of Campbell’s piece on it, Field refers to Steve Hoadley on RNZ. To me Hoadley always seems to be pro the US government, and is fairly centre right – though probably more for Obama than Trump.

        Field says:

        Radio New Zealand went to the University of Auckland go-to-guru on foreign policy, Steve Hoadley, who said New Zealand should not be worried that Israel is angry.

        He said New Zealand also trades with Arab states and was about to sign a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council: “There’s huge profits being made to export lamb and other dairy products, other food products to the Arab states,” Radio New Zealand quotes Hoadley.

        What was not reported as just how small the trade was; Statistics New Zealand says for the year to June 2016 the New Zealand-Israel two-way trade was worth $164 million.

        But his view of Murray McCully gives some implicit credence to the idea that his role in promoting the UN resolution, was indeed all about trade, though maybe the trade is small – but could still be a focus for McCully. McCully is known for micro-managing. Field says:

        The [ Shalom.kiwi] blog claims McCully did not seek cabinet approval for resolution and suggests new Prime Minister Bill English did not know what was going on.

        Amidst the hysterics of Shalom.Kiwi there is at least one issue that needs to be considered; how is New Zealand foreign policy formulated?

        As one New Zealand diplomat put it, commenting on this issue, New Zealand ” diplomacy is still conducted very much in secret, indeed much more so than in other democracies”. The diplomat added the New Zealand media didnt have the specialists to pursue international issues”. Using the Official Information Act to find out what happens is no longer effective as it had been “gamed by ministers and comprehensive PR has been a hall mark of the Key regime.”

        Field starts to roam a bit widely (wildly?) with is end comments on NZ historical relations to Israeli spy agents.

        His stuff on the relationship between Netanyahu and Bainimarama is interesting, though probably a small footnote in the overall international politicking in the Asia-Pacific region.

  3. On this last day of this arbitrarily constructed year I’d like to say thanks for their efforts and energy to the following long term contributors that we lost this year from the standard.

    te reo putake (the voice of reason)

    Red Logix

    plus I still miss the hard left comments of Murray Olsen

    I know there have been many others that each of us miss – feel free to add their names to the list.

    • BM 4.1

      What happened to Red Logix?

      Was he banned or has he decided not to post anymore?

    • tinfoilhat 4.2

      +1 Marty

      I especially miss RLs commentary, while not always agreeing with him, he was a calm and kind voice at a blog that’s become increasingly angry and tribal.

    • Bill 4.3

      Both trp and Red Logix are around in one form or another, but just not active.

      • marty mars 4.3.1

        They both said they were leaving and not coming back. I hope they both do come back personally even though I had majors with both of those opinionated, arrogant, interesting writers and contributers.

        • Andre 4.3.1.1

          Unless TRP said something I missed, he was just banned until the middle of January. Same as Lanthanide. RedLogix has put up a few comments since saying he wasn’t coming back, but not many.

        • Anne 4.3.1.2

          I hope they both do come back.

          Yes. Redlogix has an exceptional brain and trp a wonderful turn of phrase. I know they are both inclined to be hotheads at times but their contributions are sorely missed by me. trp’s posts in particular were inclined to be misunderstood by some. Redlogix’s technical perambulations were well over my head but I’m sure there were readers here who could follow them. 😉

    • Karen 4.4

      I also miss Tracey and Rosie. Weka and Sabine are voices I value and have been a lot quieter lately and Stephanie seems to have given up.

      This is my last comment for a while – although there are still some voices here whose opinions I value (marty mars, Joe90, Carolyn_nth, Robert Guyton, Mickey Savage and a few others) they have become a small minority.

      Election year next year – I will put energy into getting a Labour/Green government rather than spending time arguing with right-wingers, and spreaders of alt-right propaganda. Good luck to all of you here who are trying to make The Standard a left-wing blog.

      • marty mars 4.4.1

        I will miss you Karen and I accept your decision – I understand it only too well. When you decide to write again, I’d like to read it – kia kaha for 2017 and I too will be working to change this government.

      • Anne 4.4.2

        There are a number of commenters here whose contributions I value very much – too many to name. Some post short and to the point… others are longer and more complex… others don’t post on a regular basis… but they are all valuable in providing an over-all assessment of a situation or event. Sadly – very sadly – their contributions are being drowned out by prolific rwnjs such as wellfedweta, BM et al, whose aims I am sure are to destroy this site. It does not surprise me many of our best commenters are falling by the wayside.

        • Sabine 4.4.2.1

          frankly we don’t need the likes of BM et all to make this site and unhappening thing.
          the so called ‘left’ has enough people happy to tear each other up on their own.

          the last few month were nice window into it. if anything i can handle BM et al, but i can not support those that are happy to throw my rights and more importantly needs as a women, that are happy to throw the rights and needs of anyone not a heterosexual male, that are happy to throw the rights and needs of anyone not supporting the flavour du jour of ‘destroy it all to start over again’ under the bus.

          And these are supposedly on our side. So frankly if we call out BM, the welfedweta, fisiani and such we should also call out those on our side that would equally just cut our rights and privileges in order to promote ‘change’, especially if that ‘change’ will have no impact on their lives.

          • Karen 4.4.2.1.1

            +1 Sabine – and then I’m out. But I will leave this for the “not-my-idea-of-left” :

            Jessica Williams
            ‏@mizjwilliams
            But hey, another reckon: IF YOUR PROGRESSIVISM (or whatever) DOESN’T ADVANCE INTERESTS OF WOMEN, LGBTI, PoC ETC THEN IT IS BOLLOCKS.

      • Carolyn_nth 4.4.3

        All the best for your political activities next year (2017).

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      On this last day of this arbitrarily constructed year

      Unless you’re thinking you can switch winter and summer so that you can go snowboarding tomorrow the year is most definitely not arbitrarily constructed.

      • marty mars 4.5.1

        the dates are aren’t they – or can you please direct me to where in nature those dates are…

        the year is just numbers that don’t correspond to much – not the full moons, not the longest or shortest days – but please if you have any information to share, do so…

        • Draco T Bastard 4.5.1.1

          the year is just numbers that don’t correspond to much – not the full moons, not the longest or shortest days

          Actually, the end/beginning of the year has been the Winter Solstice in European and many other traditions since before recorded history. There is some inaccuracy in the numbers but the tradition is still there. Months are, of course, called so after the Lunar cycle and the names themselves have meaning.

          The numbers of the years are based upon the assumed birth of christ. Such birth probably didn’t exist but it’s not exactly arbitrary either. The numbers are there is so that confusion is removed from the historical record.

          Most people probably ignore the actual number of the year – I know I do – as it’s not really important but take note of the time of year and the end/beginning of the year.

          • marty mars 4.5.1.1.1

            is tonight the solstice? if not then your wordage is meaningless

            and as for your european traditions – handy for up north not so much down here in the Pacific Ocean imo

            • Draco T Bastard 4.5.1.1.1.1

              is tonight the solstice? if not then your wordage is meaningless

              Nope, still meaningful. Sure, there’s been some slippage due to political reasons and inaccuracies but it’s still the basis of the year.

              and as for your european traditions – handy for up north not so much down here in the Pacific Ocean imo

              Actually, you’d be wrong there to. It really doesn’t work if the world uses different calendars.

              • oh don’t worry stonehenge builders we’ve just had some slippage… that is how out of whack your whole comment is – not pretty.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You know, you’re argument was that the year was arbitrary. I said that it wasn’t. That it was based upon the seasons and, lo and behold, that’s exactly what it’s based upon.

                  You’re now here trying to distract from the completely stupid thing that you said.

              • Carolyn_nth

                So you agree that the choice of calendar year is one of a convenient social construction. And it is one that arose in the northern hemisphere.

                The traditional Maori New Year is in May/June – similar season to that of the northern hemisphere traditional New Year.

                I don’t have a lot of interest in celebrating New Year in January. I enjoy the summer weather that tends to get going soon after – but that’s another matter.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So you agree that the choice of calendar year is one of a convenient social construction.

                  I didn’t say that it wasn’t. What I said was that it wasn’t arbitrary, that it was based upon the physical characteristics of the year.

                  The traditional Maori New Year is in May/June – similar season to that of the northern hemisphere traditional New Year.

                  Yep. And if it had been the Māori that had had an empire that the sun never set upon then that probably would have been the calendar in use today.

                  I don’t have a lot of interest in celebrating New Year in January.

                  I don’t celebrate it at all. I also think that it’d be great having a one week holiday during Mātariki.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Glad we cleared that up then.

                    I do like good summer weather. Looking forward to some.

  4. I’m loving this – may even give it a go next year

    “Ngarino Te Waati and his wife Kura have created an online training programme that uses haka movements to help people get fit.

    “It’s got a traditional background – you’ll see many of the movements that are stemmed from the ancient days,” he said.”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2016/12/haka-gets-revamp-in-maori-fitness-programme.html

    On another note – just watched ‘The Dead Lands’ again last night – I rate this movie for at least using te reo and subtitles – so nice to hear the language in context.

    Plus there are many subtle levels to this movie I think – many levels indeed

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      Thanks for the tip. Will watch it. I don’t speak Te Reo, but want to increase my exposure to it.

      Plus it sounds like an interesting story, with an intriguing subtext/depth.

  5. Sanctuary 7

    Happy New year NZ from Los Angeles, where for one last time my old party crew is doing it’s fly in from London, Miami, Sydney, NYC, Washington DC and Santiago to see in the new year. With one baby here and one on the way plus one wedding this year and one in the new year this is going to be a bittersweet new year’s eve as I go out for possibly the last time with a crew I’ve partied with from London to LA via Miami and Vegas for twelve years.

    Where does the time go? babies? Marriage? Who could have imagined it a decade ago? Nothing lasts forever, but I wish the moments could last a little longer. Amazing. Anyway, a big thanks to the Standard and all who sail on her, and here is to the year that has gone and to the defeat of the National government in 2017!

    • seeker 7.1

      Wonderful comment Sanctuary, thank you. I concur and also wish all a more becoming New Year 2017 with a New Zealand free of a national government and finally getting on to work on child poverty, housing and poverty and environment resuscitation.

  6. Draco T Bastard 8

    18 Signs That Show We’ve Reached the Tipping Point

    It’s also a very common misconception that some of the warming is natural. However, until about 100 years ago, our climate was cooling. The planet cooled about 5 degrees F in polar regions near Greenland (half or less globally) over the last 6,000 years. This research comes from mini-icecaps on Baffin Island where easily dateable rooted plants were revealed from melt. In the last 100 years, the temperature on Baffin has warmed about 7 degrees Fahrenheit; 2 degrees warmer than at any time in the last 120,000 years. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1950s.

    The extremes we are experiencing now (temperature, rainfall, drought, etc.) will not increase at the same rate as the average temperature. The physics of thermodynamics say extremes will increase nonlinearly. Earth has lost its ability to buffer the warming. As we replace coal with non-fossil fuel alternatives, masking of warming by global cooling pollutants will also disappear, compounding the nonlinear rate of increasing extremes.

    We live on a very complicated and dangerous planet that is worthy of great respect and awe. The past year’s advances in climate science should urge us to put that respect and awe into practice, taking definitive action against global warming.

    • Kevin 8.1

      The planet will survive and recover over time as it has done plenty of times in the past. Civilisation? Probably not.

    • Macro 8.2

      An excellent summation and thanks for the link Draco.

      Interestingly – and very pertinent to the discussions we have been having wrt the effectiveness of Obama as President – I note this:

      President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which is the first policy to set a national limit on power plant-generated CO2 pollution, was one of the major developments of 2015. The CPP is almost identical to the U.S. Kyoto Protocol commitment (created in the mid-1990s) of reducing CO2 emissions but the CPP is 18 years behind Kyoto. In other words, the new regulations are no different than they were a generation ago and we have emitted almost as much additional carbon dioxide during the delay. Implementation of the CPP began in June 2015, six years after carbon dioxide was successfully declared a pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In February 2016 however, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the CCP back to Federal Appeals Court to determine if it is legal or not. This is the first time that the U.S. Supreme Court has ever blocked an EPA rule.

      Those who decry Obama should really take a step back to see just what he has been facing over his whole tenure: and not just Republican, but many centre right Democrats as well.
      The above is just another example of the entrenched conservatism in US politics. It’s almost impossible to bring about any significant change. Maybe this will be a good thing in the immediate future. I sincerely hope so.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Those who decry Obama should really take a step back to see just what he has been facing over his whole tenure: and not just Republican, but many centre right Democrats as well.

        Yep. That’s what I pulled one of the RWNJs up on the other day. The Westminster system has whips to hold the party’s MPs in line. The US system doesn’t – each representative is independent and can vote anyway that they choose. They don’t have the concept of Crossing the Floor that we have here.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        Making more water weak excuses for the corporate sponsored presidency of Barack Obama?

        Notice how Obama refused to sacrifice or leverage any of his huge popularity to get anything real done during his term?

        And one more point: the Dakota Access Pipeline could not have proceeded without co-operation from the US Army and the US Army corps of engineers.

        As Commander in Chief he could have killed that project at any stage this year, without going through Congress.

        Guess what Obama did instead? Nothing of course. Except leave the festering sore for the next Administration to deal with.

        • garibaldi 8.2.2.1

          Don’t forget his despicable drone warfare campaign either. Obama was a huge disappointment compared to his campaign rhetoric.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.1.1

            Victimisation of multiple whistleblowers. Enabling ever expanding mass surveillance. The list goes on.

            Yet the Left still rate him so highly.

            Although I do give him credit for not totally repeating the mistake of Libya in either Syria or the Ukraine.

          • Macro 8.2.2.1.2

            Oh FFS! Take a running jump the pair of you!
            You have destroyed what used to be a decent left wing blog into a diatribe of hate and scorn and yap between a few stupid “useful idiots” propagandizing for Putin – I just hope they pay you well.
            Neither of you add anything to the debate, and as for the disgraceful behaviour on the “post” of the moment, where some have rightfully called ENOUGH – nope you just go on with your biased yap caring not a wit for the sad reality that is the festering sore of Allepo.
            BTW – I’m sure the Chump will stop the Pipeline on 20th Jan 2017. Yeah Right.
            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dakota-access-pipeline-support-investments-conflct-of-interest-a7453051.html

            • Anne 8.2.2.1.2.1

              You have destroyed what used to be a decent left wing blog into a diatribe of hate and scorn and yap…

              Sadly true. And in the process this site is losing the contributions of some first class thinkers.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Totally agree with you both, Macro and Anne. Its disturbing that this has happened, and unpleasant ….. and the loss of some brilliant commentators along the way ….. doesn’t make this a blogsite to linger on any more.

            • James 8.2.2.1.2.2

              What is it with some lefties when people post things they disagree with – they jump to the “they must be paying you” meme.

              A good blog has a variety of views and commenters. If soimd like you want me echo chamber – which is sad.

              • Anne

                Use your brain James. Macro’s comment : ‘I just hope they pay you well’ was an expression of his/her frustration with two commenters. He/she knows they are not getting paid.

                • garibaldi

                  There is no debate if you claim you are on the left but also claim USA= good and Russia= bad. The USA has not been an honest broker in this world.
                  You also claim I’m a right winger. I am a Green supporter and have not trusted the labour party since Roger Douglas hijacked it. Still waiting for it to get back to being a left wing party.

                  • Anne

                    What are you talking about? I’ve never claimed you are a right winger garibaldi. Either I have said something somewhere you have misunderstood or you’ve got the wrong commenter.

  7. James Thrace 9

    I am still not sure about how I feel on the subject of the Prime Minister being a list MP

    One hand says, yes, it’s a great idea. The idea that someone winning an electorate has more status to be a Prime Minister is a bit on the nose. After all, the electorate MP ostensibly represents the electorate in Parliament. The PM certainly wouldn’t have the time or the commitment (unless they’re Helen Clark) to the role of electorate MP.

    The other hand says, no, if a person isn’t elected to Parliament by the will of their electorate, then how could they have a claim to represent 4.7 million people, if they can’t even get the support locally to represent circa 40,000 people in an electorate? Of course, that seems to just be an astroturf argument as I’m all too conscious it’s a favourite argument made ad hominem about Andrew Little.

    Perhaps we should just do away with electorates entirely (aren’t they an FPP hangover?), and just have a party vote nationwide that gives seats in parliament on a proportionate basis.

    What would it look like if this were the case using the 2014 election results? ACT and United Future would be gone. Conservatives would be in. Looks like 1% of the vote would be needed in order to gain a seat in Parliament as Internet Mana would have 2 seats in Parliament. National, Conservatives and Maori Party would likely have control of the levers so I’m not sure that this method would be any better. I used swedish rounding so under 4 it rounds down, 5 and above, it rounds up. The totals end up with a 118 seat parliament. Some years it might be more.

    Party / 2014 Party Vote / % of seats in parliament (Seats after rounding)

    National / 47.04% / 56.4 (56)
    Maori Party / 1.32% / 1.584 (2)
    Conservatives / 3.97% / 4.764 (5)

    Labour / 25.13% / 30.15 (30)
    Green / 10.70% / 12.84 (13)
    NZ First / 8.66% / 10.392 (10)

    Internet Mana / 1.42% / 1.7 (2)

    ACT / .69% / 0
    United Future / .22% / 0

    • millsy 9.1

      They have list only parliaments in some European countries.

    • alwyn 9.2

      It is a trivial point but ACT would have 1 seat. 0.69 * 1.2 = 0.828 and rounds to 1.

      After the US election everyone who was unhappy had a go at how they would change the US election system. They didn’t live there but they considered their favourite method should be used.

      Perhaps we should allow Greece to have a go at revising ours. After all their Governing party is everybody’s favourite Syriza so it must be good. Greece has a bonus system for the biggest party.
      Roughly speaking we would have a Parliament where you would get 1 seat per one percent and National as the biggest would get a bonus of 20 seats.
      National would have 67, Labour 25, Green 11, NZ First 9 and so on.

      Surely that is a better system? After all it comes from the birthplace of democracy.

    • DH 9.3

      “Perhaps we should just do away with electorates entirely (aren’t they an FPP hangover?), and just have a party vote nationwide that gives seats in parliament on a proportionate basis. ”

      I like the theory, sadly I think the reality would be a beltway of professional politicians near totally removed from the citizens of the country and at the whim of lobbyists.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.4

      The other hand says, no, if a person isn’t elected to Parliament by the will of their electorate, then how could they have a claim to represent 4.7 million people

      Because they got the support of the majority of voters in the country? You know, the main electorate that all other electorates are a subset of?

      Perhaps we should just do away with electorates entirely (aren’t they an FPP hangover?), and just have a party vote nationwide that gives seats in parliament on a proportionate basis.

      That’s what I would prefer as it allows MPs to be more accountable. As an example just look at how easy it is for a party to kick off a list MP and have them changed for a new one in comparison to how impossible it is to get rid of an electorate MP – Phillip Field comes to mind.

      I’m also thinking you’ve got you calculation wrong. The number of seats in parliament should be static.

    • Macro 9.5

      This idea has merit in that it means that the voice in Parliament is distributed proportionately and represents the will of the people in that regard. However the downside is that there are many duties that Members of Parliament perform that are not covered by Policy Platforms. The homeless, or the person struggling with central bureaucracy, and a host of other local issues that need to be dealt with or taken to central government. These tasks and responsibilities cannot be effectively handled by a list MP – they need to be the responsibility of a locally domiciled representative who ideally represents the people within that electorate. It is for this reason that local MPs hold their surgeries.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.5.1

        These tasks and responsibilities cannot be effectively handled by a list MP – they need to be the responsibility of a locally domiciled representative who ideally represents the people within that electorate.

        Of course those duties can be effectively handled by them. It may require some shifting of laws and customs but they can most certainly do it.

        If I was having housing issues I’d want to go to a some MP that in a party that’s actually going to try to address them rather than to one that’s in a party that seems more to favour making those issues worse.

        Besides, most issues taken to an electorate office are probably handled by the staff in the office rather than the MP themselves.

        • Macro 9.5.1.1

          Besides, most issues taken to an electorate office are probably handled by the staff in the office rather than the MP themselves.

          that may be true – as is a lot of things – but the MP usually signs it off
          eg David Cunliffe.
          The fact that the Dunny keeps getting elected, despite his consistent fence sitting, is primarily due to the fact that as an electorate MP he is very good. People may not vote for his party but they are quite happy to go to him with issues that concern them.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.5.1.1.1

            And how many people who vote for him actually go to his office to speak with him about issues and then see him resolve those issues?

            I suspect that it’s a lot less than who vote for him.

            And a list MP could be just as good. In fact, I’m pretty sure that there’s a number of list MPs that set up electorate offices and perform all the same duties as an electorate MP.

            And then there’s Blinglish who kept getting voted in to the Southland electorate despite living in Wellington.

  8. Morrissey 10

    Savaged by a dead duck

    Vladimir Putin must be trembling with fear at the thought of any more attacks by that world-renowned champion of democracy*, President Hopey Changey.

    * Except for Honduras, Brazil, Venezuela, Palestine….

    https://cdn-webimages.wimages.net/051aa3d4c8779045230471237317c72a6d3d47-wm.jpg?v=3

  9. Important news

    “In the wake of Trump’s election, the Internet Archive has announced it will be moving a copy of its archive to Canada. The archive is one of the world’s largest public digital libraries. Part of the site includes the Wayback Machine, which preserves old websites, allowing researchers to access pages deleted by politicians and others. We speak to the founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle.”

    https://www.democracynow.org/2016/12/29/facing_possible_threats_under_trump_internet

  10. greywarshark 12

    The eleventh day around Christmas with another Friendship quote.

    Those truly linked don’t need correspondence.
    When they meet again after many years apart,
    their friendship is as true as ever.
    Deng Ming-Dao

  11. Bill Drees 13

    Labour in Scotland to go into partnership with the Tories.

    The English Labour Party Scottish branch was reduced to one (1) seat out of the 59 in Westminster.
    It was reduced to third place and is no longer the official opposition in the Sciottish Parliament at Holyrood.
    It is now admitting that it will loose control of all its Local Councils and go into third place behind the SNP and the Tories. They have now written-off Glasgow which the controlled for 40 years.
    They are planning to allocate their resources only into those councils where they could win control jointly with Tories and LibDems. The needs of the electorate do not figure in their plans: only jobs for the (mainly and not manly) boys.
    Labour will partner with Tories to block left of centre SNP.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-final-surrender/

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14993738.Scottish_Labour_heading_for_new_electoral_iceberg_as_internal_polls_show_it_on_just_15_per_cent/

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Bill Drees
      That is a very telling move and confirms what many have been saying about modern ‘Labour’.

  12. Adrian Thornton 14

    Well in the year in which the Guardian has totally exposed itself as nothing more than just another faceless guard defending the free market establishment ideology, in the year where they shed any semblance of journalistic impartiality, it is fitting that they go out in 2016 spreading actual Fake news that is destroying and undermining the progressive left….

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of-julian-assanges-interview-went-viral-and-was-completely-false/

  13. CLEANGREEN 15

    BREAKING NEWS THIS DAY ON NEW YEARS EVE

    A GREAT DAY FOR US FREEDOM FIGHTERS. ;

    FINALLY BILDERBERG HAS BEEN HACKED & THERE IS MORE TO COME IF THEY DON’T STOP THEIR EVIL BLACK OPP’S UNDERMINING OUR SOVERIGN COUNTRIES.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/372312-bilderberg-website-hacked/

    ‘We will watch you’: Bilderberg website hacked and have been threatened to expose the whole underside of the clandestine organisation finally.

    • Carolyn_nth 15.1

      So Bilderberg members are all (heterosexual) men?

      We control your expensive connected cars, we control your connected house security devices, we control your daughter’s laptop, we control your wife’s mobile. We tape your secret meetings, we read your emails, we control your favorite escort girl’s smartwatch, we are inside your beloved banks and we are reading your assets. You won’t be safe anywhere near electricity anymore,” the hackers said.

  14. mac1 16

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  15. Sabine 17

    Happy New Year.
    May 2017 bring us a bit of joy, health, love and good fortune.

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