The Green’s electoral law reform petition

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, March 4th, 2019 - 389 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democracy under attack, democratic participation, electoral systems, greens, labour, making shit up, Media, MMP, national, Politics, referendum, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

The Greens want to reform electoral law. One of their goals is to stop donations from foreign sources happening.

Sounds sensible.  Other jurisdictions have similar prohibitions.

It is hard to work out what the implications are.  There is a requirement to report party donations from overseas sources but only those over $1,500 are required to be reported.

The latest returns suggest that Labour received no donations that had to be reported, nor did the Greens, but National received $53,975 in total of these particular donations. They also received $150,000 from Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Limited which for electoral purposes not an overseas person. It appears that the prohibition may be easily avoided.

It is interesting that National declared total donations of $4.58 million compared to Labour’s $1.61 million.  And the Greens received $0.85 million.

The Greens’ petition also seeks to enable Māori voters to change electoral rolls more easily, to overturn the prisoner voting ban to give everyone the right to vote, and to implement the recommendations of the 2012 MMP review.

The last proposal, which seems innocent enough, has led to an eruption of dissent from the right on twitter.

Matthew Hooton thought it would lead to a civil uprising:

And he wants Labour to rule itout.

His rhetoric, “corrupt”, “dumb” and “civil uprising”, is getting pretty Trumpian on it.  Matthew can we dial the rhetoric back and debate the detail?

There are a couple of issues posed by this particular proposal, do we have to hold a referendum to reduce the MMP threshold, and will the reduction of the MMP threshold from 5% to 4% cause a civil uprising?

As to the first question well no.  Some parts of the electoral system are entrenched.  Things like provisions relating to the Representative Commission, voting methods, size of electorates, tolerances for size, age of voting and method of voting.  These require 75% of Parliamentarians to vote in support of change, or  a majority at a referendum.  There is an interesting question about if the entrenching provision is not itself entrenched and could be changed by simple Parliamentary majority but for current purposes this can be ignored.

It is pretty clear that changing the MMP level can be achieved by simple Parliamentary majority and amending legislation

Should it be done without a referendum?

The Electoral Commission report recommended that the changes should happen.

From its 2012 report:

The party vote threshold is the mechanism by which the competing objectives of proportionality, on the one hand, and effective Parliaments and stable governments, on the other, are balanced. At 5%, it is higher than it needs to be to strike the right balance. It could be lowered to 4% without any risk to effectiveness or stability and this is what we recommend be done. It could arguably be lowered to 3%, on the basis of previous MMP results, without significant risk. But this, a massive 40% reduction from the current threshold, would be a step too far at this stage. It may be in time that a 4% threshold proves to be higher than it needs to be. For this reason, the Commission proposes it be required to review and report on the new threshold after three general elections. This is an area in which New Zealand should move cautiously and incrementally.

The one electorate seat threshold should go. An exception to the party vote threshold, it is not a necessary feature of the MMP system. Whilst it does increase the proportionality of Parliament, it does so in an arbitrary and inconsistent way that would be better achieved by lowering the party vote threshold. Its effect has been to undermine the principles of fairness and equity and the primacy of the party vote in determining the overall composition of Parliament that underpin MMP. It gives voters in some electorates significantly more influence over the make-up of Parliament than voters in other electorates. It causes excessive focus to be placed on a few electorates and distorts election campaigning.

And the Commission said this about the referendum issue:

We have considered the process for implementing our recommendations, should they be accepted. Since 1956, where significant change to a defining characteristic of the electoral system has been proposed, a referendum has usually been held. For example, the term of Parliament has been the subject of referendums in 1967 and 1990, and the type of voting system in 1992, 1993 and 2011. However, important changes to aspects of the operation of our voting system (such as, in 1965, the basis for determining the number of electorate seats, or, in 1995, the form of the ballot paper) have been enacted by a broad consensus of Parliament.

While our recommendations are important and some require legislation, they do not fundamentally alter the nature of the voting system. For this reason we believe a referendum would not be required to implement them.

Will the reduction of the MMP threshold to 4% adversely affect our democratic system?

Well no.  It will improve proportionality.  If a political party can achieve 4% of the party vote why shouldn’t they be in Parliament?  The lower the figure goes, the weaker the argument becomes.  If there is too much fracturing of the vote and of support then effective Government may be difficult to achieve.  But 4% provides a fairly daunting hurdle and Rob Salmond who looked at the situation overseas found no evidence of increased instability.

And we have had this weird situation where single seats have had disproportionate effects on election results.  Epsom is the one that stands out.  It is weird that 16,000 voters in Epsom can get their vote counted but 100,000 voters for a party can watch their vote be wasted.

How much of a difference will it make and will it favour the left?

The two times that parties have achieved over 4% of the vote and have not been coat tailed into Parliament were in 1996 when the Christian Coalition just missed out and 2008 when New Zealand First did the same. So based on this history no it will not.

The loss of the potential for puppet parties will hurt the right but they adversely affect proportionality.

Were the Greens trying to pull a swifty?

This is what the petition says:

[i]mplement the recommendations of the 2012 MMP review.

And this is what the review says hidden away on the leading page:

  • The one electorate seat threshold should be abolished (and if it is, the provision for overhang seats should also be abolished);
  • The party vote threshold should be lowered from 5% to 4% (with the Commission required by law to review how the 4% threshold is working) …

I bet National is working out the implications of this change.  Its response will depend on its calculation on if the lower threshold will help Christian conservatives or its puppet Blue Green party.  Self interest will determine what its response is.

There is nothing swift or underhand about the petition.

What was underhand was back in 2013 when Judith Collins shelved the review report on the basis there was not consensus. The reality was that a couple of turkey parties were not prepared to vote for an early christmas. There was no legislation introduced, no referendum, just executive action taken to kill the report because it threatened their political interests.

I hope the petition succeeds. Overseas donations should not be part of our electoral system, the provisions relating to changing election for the Maori role are unduly difficult, the prisoner voting ban was a breach of human rights, and the changes to the threshold have been recommended by the organisation in charge of our electoral system. Perhaps a referendum should be used for the change so that it is instilled with strong constitutional underpinning and so a future National Government cannot simply reverse the changes but there is no requirement that this happens.

I hope the rhetoric gets turned down. I suspect that this will be a forlorn hope.

389 comments on “The Green’s electoral law reform petition”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    This is timely, and the right will have to try to convince NZ that overseas money is not affecting our elections and our parliament.
    After the revelations of JLR’s tapes they may struggle with that.
    Wiping out the one seat rule…. well I think most will hardly disagree with that.

    • Gosman 1.1

      How about the left try to show HOW overseas money is impacting NZ elections and our parliament first before the right has to show how it is not. Are you not aware of the concept of burden of proof?

      • KJT 1.1.1

        Ever heard of the $100 000k buys a National MP. Gosman?

        And.
        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/17/280568/follow-the-money-and-the-influence

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          Are you claiming that Trade Unions don’t expect some sort of influence in Labour for their financial support and if they do would that be wrong?

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.1

            Trade Unions are open, local, Democratic organisations.

            Unlike the CCP. Or National, come to that.

            However I am happy for trade Union donations to be banned, along with those from business associations, businesses, and big donations from wealthy individuals.

            • Sabine 1.1.1.1.1.1

              ban all donations, give each party a stipend – government funded – and that is it.

              full stop.

              btw, donations in forms of goods i.e. printing, tv time, radio time etc etc needs to equally banned.
              and if radio TV etc wants to interview politicians they have to interview all of them.

              sounds good to me.

              • patricia bremner

                Yes political advertising should be Government funded @ an amount given out in proportion of their previous vote along with tv and radio time. Use of digital media can be worked on air times. Removal after their time is up.
                There needs to be a cap on other gifts, but no cap on feet on the ground as that is part of people’s democratic right to support their party or candidate.
                Any early unofficial campaigning can be complained about to the electoral commission and deductions made from their funding.
                Official dates for campaigns should be gazetted 6 months in advance.IMO

            • BM 1.1.1.1.1.2

              How about trade union campaigning and the use of trade union resources?

              • Gosman

                Yes and using unpaid volunteers to campaign. That should be given a cost and included in any electorate spending in my view. Why should giving of ones time and labour be not included as a donation?

                • BM

                  That’s why the left doesn’t care if Union donations get banned, in the overall scheme of things, it’s small beer.

                  Having Union staff members who aren’t paid by Labour to campaign and promote Labour is where there the true value of the unions are for Labour.

                  Free labour and free resources, that’s no different to a donation, when National gets back in they should at that and change the rules.

                  • You think National should change the law to prevent people volunteering their time and effort to political campaigns? Seriously?

                    • BM

                      Volunteering? good one, I’m talking the 9-5 union workers.
                      Paid by the Union but doing campaign work for the Labour party.

                    • mickysavage

                      I wish. I dream of the day there are paid union officials working full time on election campaigns. Honest I have not seen one for decades, if ever …

                    • Gosman

                      Not prevent people from volunteering just cost up the value of their efforts and include them as part of any effort to restrict campaign donations. It would work like this. A party would have a limit of say 1 million dollars. If they have volunteer time that equates to 400 K then they will only have 600 K left for donations.

                    • mickysavage

                      Bugger that. Stop activists from working for a better world?

                      All voluntary work should be allowed. Just because it favours the left …

                    • RedLogix

                      Maybe it balances out; perhaps the right has an advantage in money terms, the left in volunteers.

                    • Gosman

                      If capital is stopped from being used to support political parties why not Labour? Why should we favour one form of human endevour over another?

                    • KJT

                      Arguing, for CGT, now, Gosman?

                      “Why should we favour one form of human endevour over another?”

                • bwaghorn

                  What about the cost of all the young nat morons that clutter face book with fucking lies and hatred at election time does that get put on the books

                  • Shadrach

                    And then there’s the cost of Labour’s electoral bribes, eg WFF and interest free student loans. And the pledge card, were police found a prima facie case for prosecution.

                    • Shadrach

                      Taking less money from people. Hardly a bribe.

                    • Dukeofurl

                      What happened when national deliberately overspent on Broadcasting money – $110K or so.
                      The money allocated was a hard limit and included GST – Joyce was warned by the agency that books ads……. but they got away with it …and didnt pay it back

                    • KJT

                      Borrowing and increasing costs for services, to give more money for National voters. Is not a bribe?

                    • McFlock

                      Labour tax rebates for the poor are “bribes”.
                      National tax cuts for the rich are not bribes.

                      lol

                    • Shadrach

                      “What happened when national deliberately overspent on Broadcasting money – $110K or so.“

                      Very naughty. But not a bribe, more in the pledge card realm, as I differentiated in my comment.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Labour tax rebates for the poor are “bribes”.
                      National tax cuts for the rich are not bribes.”
                      WFF was middle class welfare. And tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich. But then you knew that.

                    • McFlock

                      No they fucking don’t, not when national do them. But then you knew that, too.

                    • Sam

                      The Greens are going the wrong way about stopping democracy from becoming a failed state.

                    • Shadrach

                      Here are the tax changes from the 2010 cuts (https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/budget-2010-tax-reductions-detail-123294):

                      Income up to $14,000 will be taxed at 10.5%, down from 12.5%.
                      Income from $14,001 to $48,000 drops to 17.5% from 21%
                      Income from $48,001-$70,000 down to 30% from 33%
                      Income over $70,000 will be cut to 33% from 38%.

                      Every tax payer received a tax cut.

                      A person earning $48,000 per year, received a cut of around $1470 per year.

                      A person earning $70,000 per year, received a tax cut of around $2,130 per year.

                      Where do you get the idea only the ‘rich’ received a tax cut?

                    • McFlock

                      Because the rich pay a lower proportion of their income on GST than the poor.

                      A thousand bucks. A family spending $400/w over various counters would lose that in the GST grab-back.

                      A poor family that didn’t get $1k in tax “cuts” would still get the GST rise.

                    • Sam

                      Peter Dunn thought he could sail through by buddying up with business interests as well.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Because the rich pay a lower proportion of their income on GST than the poor.”
                      That is irrelevant to whether or not the ‘poor’ received a tax cut.

                      “A thousand bucks. A family spending $400/w over various counters would lose that in the GST grab-back.”
                      No. Assuming the $400 is pre GST (to be generous to you), the extra GST is around $10 per week (@ an increase from 12.5% to 15%). That compares with a net income tax benefit of $1,470 per year.

                      “A poor family that didn’t get $1k in tax “cuts” would still get the GST rise.”
                      Define ‘poor’. Or even better, use terms relating to income.

                    • Shadrach

                      McFlock you have also forgotten about the 2017 tax cuts proposed under National.

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11863043

                      “Workers are the winners in the Government’s election year Budget which delivers more cash in the hand to almost everyone, including $2 billion worth of tax cuts and boosts to Working for Families.”

                      “The centrepiece of the Budget was the Family Incomes Package’ which included a mix of tax cuts, and increases for many on Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement – a package which will cost $6.5 billion over the next four years.
                      It includes a tax cut of about $11 a week for workers on more than $22,000 and $20 for those on more than $52,000 a year.
                      That was from moving up the bottom two tax rate thresholds – the lowest threshold will lift from $14,000 to $22,000 and the second from $48,000 to $52,000.”

                      “The tax changes will apply from April next year and leave an estimated $2 billion a year in workers’ pockets once in place.”

                      Again, a National government proposing tax cuts for low income earners.

                    • Sam

                      Governments already running a stimulus programs because the previous stimulus in primary investments in Public Private Partnerships ended up with MAINZEAL getting the arse. So the government is going after secondary and tertiary investments with direct funding into small and medium sized business through the Champoin For The Regions, Shane Jones Billion dollar regional fund.

                      Your narritive got stitched up bae.

                    • McFlock

                      increasing taxes in one hand and taking away taxes from the other isn’t a tax cut.

                      All this was gone through at the time. Read some posts on the matter.

                      As for nat promises, I’ve ten bridges to sell you.

                    • Shadrach

                      “increasing taxes in one hand and taking away taxes from the other isn’t a tax cut.”

                      I used your own figures to demonstrate to you how people were better off. You own figures. I also demonstrated how the 2017 tax cuts benefitted low income people, and you can’t argue a GST rise because there wasn’t one. So on both counts you fail. And so your comment at https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590299 was complete bs.

                    • Sam

                      Stimulating the economy through tax cuts would be fine if Bill English hadn’t of done it first, borrowed to repair the budget and left $50-$100 billion in government debt. Only in your wildest dreams would a secound bite at the zombie cherry seem, desirable.

                    • McFlock

                      yawn.

                      My mistake. $400pw before any tax is roughly the break-even point between tax “cuts” and the gst rise, so only beneficiaries lose out. And of course the “pay rise” the nats gave them was offset by the fact many lost supplements paid because benefits are unrealistically low, so didn’t actually resulat in much more money being paid to people in need.

                      But someone on $100k, they got 5% back even if they paid a 2.5% higher gst rate.

                      National hate poor people.

                    • Shadrach

                      “$400pw before any tax is roughly the break-even point between tax “cuts” and the gst rise, so only beneficiaries lose out. ”
                      1. How do you work that out?

                      2. So what you’re saying is that lower income people DID get an income tax cut. And lower income people DID get a net tax gain, if they earned over $400 per week? And given that in 2017 tax cuts, everyone would have received a net benefit, what you said here https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590299 is false.

                    • Sam

                      Why would you focus on picking up about $20 a week in tax cuts when we could put that money into the economy and allow low wage workers a minimum wage rise from about $15.50 in 2017 to about $21 by 2021 which is current policy.

                      As I implied earlier. You are trying to pick up penny’s. We are picking up dollars.

                    • McFlock

                      lol you tories are a goddamn joke. Everyone’s better off if you discount the people who are most in need, and if ten-bridges had kept a promise even those people would have done ok.

                      After ten years, that’s truly aspirational lol

                    • Shadrach

                      “Everyone’s better off if you discount the people who are most in need…”

                      Good try, but you’re still on the hook. You claimed the tax cuts only benefitted the rich. You were wrong.

                      And you can’t have read this https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11863043.

                    • McFlock

                      No I didn’t. I said that the nat tax changes were for the rich. The rich get a massive benefit. The poorest million taxpayers actually lose out.

                      I didn’t say that only the rich benefitted. Just that the primary motivation was to give more money to the rich.

                    • Shadrach

                      “No I didn’t. I said that the nat tax changes were for the rich. ”

                      And you were wrong, unless you think people earning $48,000 are rich. But that isn’t all you said.

                      @ https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590294 I said:

                      “WFF was middle class welfare. And tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich.”

                      To which you responded:

                      “No they fucking don’t, not when national do them.”

                      Caught you.

                    • McFlock

                      But they do not benefit all taxpayers, because the cuts happened at the same time as GST rise. You calculate the difference for someone on $14k, and $21k. Then tell me how many taxpayers break even or are worse off (clue: about a million).

                      The tax changes did, however, provide the vast majority of tax cuts to the overly wealthy. That’s why they were made. They got the benefit of the income tax cut, and that was much larger than their increase in GST.

                    • Shadrach

                      “But they do not benefit all taxpayers, because the cuts happened at the same time as GST rise.”

                      1. That’s not what you said. You said they only benefitted the rich.
                      2. Explain to me how GST is relevant to the 2017 tax cuts (which your link goes to). Proposed by national. For all taxpayers. With NO increase in GST.

                      “You calculate the difference for someone on $14k, and $21k. ”

                      Did the read the Herald article? Clue – here is the headline “Budget 2017: Workers the winners, tax cuts”
                      And the first paragraphs:
                      “Workers are the winners in the Government’s election year Budget which delivers more cash in the hand to almost everyone, including $2 billion worth of tax cuts and boosts to Working for Families.
                      The centrepiece of the Budget was the Family Incomes Package’ which included a mix of tax cuts, and increases for many on Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement – a package which will cost $6.5 billion over the next four years.”

                      BTW, I asked you how you worked out that “$400pw before any tax is roughly the break-even point between tax “cuts” and the gst rise, so only beneficiaries lose out. ”. Do you have any workings for that?

                    • McFlock

                      1. That’s not what you said. You said they only benefitted the rich.

                      No, I disagreed with your comment that the “tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich”. They did not benefit all taxpayers, because if they had you’d be putting your math skills to work to calculate the income tax and GST effects for someone on less than $20k/yr.

                      2. Explain to me how GST is relevant to the 2017 tax cuts. Proposed by national. For all taxpayers.

                      “Proposed”, like national’s proposed bridges. And unicorn farts. People stopped believing those lies.

                    • Sam

                      You are quick to question every one else, Shaddy. Yet light on arguments of your own. What ever your total income is let’s say $72k then your total taxable income is $72k. Only people who really complain about that are people who earn over the top tax rate trying to dodge taxes. It’s becoming a national past time.

                    • Shadrach

                      “No, I disagreed with your comment that the “tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich”.”
                      And you were wrong. The 2017 tax cuts benefitted all taxpayers.

                      “ “Proposed”, like national’s proposed bridges. “
                      Because they weren’t re-elected. But that was national policy. So you got that wrong too.

                    • Sam

                      The free market system has a feedback process that gives incentives for corporations not to fuck-up too much. It’s called going out of business. That incentive holds down corporate greed somewhat. Fact is corporate greed doesn’t hold a candle to government greed! Think state house sell offs, corporations only wish they had that amount of control over the economy to screw there own workers.

                    • McFlock

                      And you were wrong. The 2017 tax cuts benefitted all taxpayers.

                      You keep saying that, but a million people found they could buy only the same amount or less food at the supermarket. Don’t piss on people and tell them it’s raining.

                      As for promised tax cuts, we’ll put them by the other nat promises regarding tax, like to not raise GST

                    • Shadrach

                      “You keep saying that, but a million people found they could buy only the same amount or less food at the supermarket.”

                      In the four quarters up to September 2017, inflation totalled 1.9%. (https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/consumers-price-index). Your comment is meaningless.

                    • McFlock

                      holy shit, did you slide from the actual tax changes in 2010 budget to the promised tax changes in 2017?

                      The make believe in 2017 benefitted as many people as their promise to not raise GST in 2008.

                      The actual tax fiddling the nats did, in reality (not their imagination), fucked poor people and gave cash to the rich.

                      National hate poor people. And you’re flopping about trying to deny that fact.

                    • Shadrach

                      “…did you slide from the actual tax changes in 2010 budget to the promised tax changes in 2017?”
                      So you weren’t reading clearly earlier? You said National’s tax cuts did not benefit all taxpayers. You were wrong.

                      “The make believe in 2017 benefitted as many people as their promise to not raise GST in 2008.”
                      Oh but they proved you were wrong though, didn’t they.

                      “National hate poor people. ”
                      A truly desperate claim. Particularly given https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11863043.

                      Repost:
                      BTW, I asked you how you worked out that “$400pw before any tax is roughly the break-even point between tax “cuts” and the gst rise, so only beneficiaries lose out. ”. Do you have any workings for that?

                    • McFlock

                      you have the tax cuts that happened in reality, you posted the link to the rates from 2010. You can work it out yourself.

                      National promised a brighter future, no increase in GST, ten bridges, and let’s not forget “whatever it takes”. National promises mean shit. The only tax “cuts” they did actually managed to hurt the poor, going by the rates in your link.

                    • Sam

                      Inflation over 1%

                      Wage inflation under 1%

                      Could cut all taxes and workers will still be worse off under the previous governments work policies.

                    • Shadrach

                      “you have the tax cuts that happened in reality, you posted the link to the rates from 2010.”
                      …and a link to the tax cuts announced in the 2017 budget.

                      “National promised a brighter future…”
                      You’re deflecting, so I’ll refocus you. You claimed that tax cuts initiated by National only benefit the rich. That was demonstrably false, as the 2017 tax changes prove.

                      “The only tax “cuts” they did actually managed to hurt the poor, going by the rates in your link.”
                      You can’t add up. The 2017 tax cuts benefitted everyone. Going by the rates in my link.

                    • McFlock

                      You claimed that tax cuts initiated by National only benefit the rich. That was demonstrably false, as the 2017 tax changes prove.

                      No, I claimed that your assertion tax cuts benefit all people was in fact false. I suspect you’ve done the math on the tax cuts that actually happened, so you know I’m correct in regards to them that happened in 2010, rather than your ethereal promises from 2017.

                      “Demonstrably”? lol. To demonstrate something, it has to actually happen. And even if the bracket change had occurred, over 350,000 of our poorest taxpayers would still have not received a tax cut because they were already receiving under $14,000p.a.

                      So even your ghost tax cuts support the proposition that National hate poor people.

                    • Shadrach

                      “No, I claimed that your assertion tax cuts benefit all people was in fact false.”
                      @ https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590294 I said:
                      “WFF was middle class welfare. And tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich.”
                      To which you responded:
                      “No they fucking don’t, not when national do them.”

                      “I suspect you’ve done the math on the tax cuts that actually happened, so you know I’m correct in regards to them that happened in 2010, rather than your ethereal promises from 2017.”
                      You made the claim. But you obviously can’t back it up.

                      “…over 350,000 of our poorest taxpayers would still have not received a tax cut because they were already receiving under $14,000p.a.”
                      You are totally disconnected from reality. How many of those tax payers are students? How many school kids? How many adults are actually earning $14,000? And what did they gain in the 2017 tax package?

                    • Sam

                      You’re a decent guy Shaddy you just need to go do something else

                    • McFlock

                      lol again, you’re trying to pretend “all taxpayers” means “only those taxpayers who aren’t the poorest ones”.

                      Who cares how many are students or unemployment beneficiaries? They’re still taxpayers. And you know they still get no assistance from the ghost-taxcut, just like they got no protection from the promise to not raise GST.

                      As for the 2010 data, I’ve had the spreadsheet at home for a couple of days. Easy enough to do. But you were quick to do specific tax calculations when you liked the math, so why so reluctant to be mathturbating now?

                    • Shadrach

                      “lol again, you’re trying to pretend “all taxpayers” means “only those taxpayers who aren’t the poorest ones”.”
                      No, I’m pointing out to you that your categorising anyone earning under $14,000 as ‘poor’ is classic leftist fiction.

                      “And you know they still get no assistance from the ghost-taxcut, just like they got no protection from the promise to not raise GST.”
                      You’re forgetting the proposed threshold lift from $14,000 to $22,000 for the lowest tax rate. In addition to increases in other benefit rates. And this:

                      “The biggest boost was for beneficiaries and those on low incomes who get the Families Tax Credit under Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement – some of whom will get more than $145 a week more. Working for Families family tax credits will rise by $9.25 a week for a first child under 16, and between $17.75 and $26.81 for other children – expected to cost about $318 million a year from 2019. It means families get the same rate for younger children as for those aged 16-18. The Budget also delivers an average boost of $35 a week for 136,000 households getting the Accommodation Supplement. Some will get up to $145 more because areas such as west and south Auckland and Christchurch have been moved into categories which get higher payments because of high rents.”
                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11863043

                      All that from that evil national government.

                      But the funny thing is you can’t even tell us how many people earning under $14,000 per year are actually ‘poor’, and how many are students from wealthy families working part time.

                      “As for the 2010 data, I’ve had the spreadsheet at home for a couple of days.”
                      Is that the same spreadsheet Phil Goff talked about calculating Labour’s proposed CGT? Show me the money, McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m also impressed that you can paste a sentence and it’s denial, and insist that the denial is for the clause that makes a grammatically incoherent paragraph rather than the one that leads naturally to the grammar style in the denial. It’s as bold as it is desperate.

                      edit – oh, we’re back:

                      No, I’m pointing out to you that your categorising anyone earning under $14,000 as ‘poor’ is classic leftist fiction.

                      “anyone” is your word. But I don’t believe the statement “noone earning under $14,000 is ‘poor’” to be a realistic claim. Therefore I believe that someone earning under $14,000 is ‘poor’, and they had no benefit from tax cuts.

                      But then of course, any $14,000 concession on your part makes your words “all taxpayers” a lie. Even with your ghost tax cuts, would anyone on under $14k been better off?

                      2010 tax con: You’ve got all the pieces, you do the math. Prove me wrong. What level of before-tax income was the point at which people actually paid less in income tax and GST?

                      And for many beneficiaries, the “increase” in benefit rates simply relabelled “supplementary benefit” to “regular benefit”, with no actual increase in funds. Another nat con.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Therefore I believe that someone earning under $14,000 is ‘poor’, and they had no benefit from tax cuts.”
                      Oh really? Do you mean you believe it is possible there is someone earning under $14,000 who is poor, or that anyone earning under $14,000 is poor?

                      “But then of course, any $14,000 concession on your part makes your words “all taxpayers” a lie. Even with your ghost tax cuts, would anyone on under $14k been better off?”
                      Well yes. Assuming they are genuinely ‘poor’ (which btw you haven’t defined) and not the children of wealthy parents.

                      “You’ve got all the pieces, you do the math. Prove me wrong. ”
                      You made the claim. You may be right. But you don’t seem to be able to support it.

                    • McFlock

                      Do you mean you believe it is possible there is someone earning under $14,000 who is poor

                      That one. I only need one person, and your wank about “all taxpayers” is wrong.

                      “Even with your ghost tax cuts, would anyone on under $14k been better off?”
                      Well yes.

                      How? Surely their taxes remain the same?

                      2010 tax “cuts” that actually happened:
                      income gst income before tax income after income tax income after GST annual diff
                      old tax rates 0.125 0.125 13999 12249.125 10717.984375 68.2451250000013
                      new rates 0.105 0.15 13999 12529.105 10649.73925

                      looks to me like someone on <$14k was $68 worse off a year after the government gaveth with one hand and tooketh with the other. Wanna keep pretending you haven’t done the math on someone earning $6900 above the $14k threshold?

                    • Shadrach

                      You’re confusing the 2010 and 2017 tax cuts. Again. There was no GST increase in the 2017 proposals. And read the link. Low income earners with real need were better off. And you still can’t tell us how many people earning under $14,000 are actually poor. Or even define poor. Your arguments are typical left wing bs.

                    • McFlock

                      lols

                      Yes, I’m talking about the tax cuts that actually happened, not a wet dream.

                      And you still haven’t explained how your wet dream of moving a tax bracket line from $14k up to $22k helps anyone earning $13k. Because you explicitly said “The 2017 tax cuts benefitted all taxpayers.”

                    • Shadrach

                      “Yes, I’m talking about the tax cuts that actually happened, not a wet dream.“
                      No, you were talking about nationals tax policies. You claimed they only benefit the rich. In the case of both the 2010 and 2017 policies, you were wrong. Very wrong.

                      “Because you explicitly said “The 2017 tax cuts benefitted all taxpayers.””
                      Well here’s the thing. If those taxpayers were struggling, they would be better off by the whole package. So I am correct. If they were children of wealthy families, I erred. But either way your premise about National and the poor is disproven. Funny that.

                    • McFlock

                      Stop sliding.

                      How are the ones on $13k better off under the tax “cut” national promised after failing to deliver for nine years?

                      It doesn’t matter if they’re kids of rich people or beneficiaries, or someone counted as “employed” even if they only work a few hours a week for fuckall.

                      I mean, the 2010 cuts already show your “And tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, not just the rich. ” to be untrue because the ones in 2010 didn’t benefit a million taxpayers on under ~$20k. It doesn’t matter if they’s poor or rich and living large on $13k – they’re taxpayers who did not get any benefit from tax cuts that happened around them.

                      And the accommodation supplement isn’t a tax package, nor is it even an indication that the nats care about poor people. The nats had nine years to address the housing shortage, and did nothing. Throwing the peasants a bone when the election looks dodgy is an old tory trick – if they win, they taketh away some other way, and if they lose their loyal suckkophants will pretend that those promises meant more than the promise to not raise GST.

                      edit: doesn’t it worry you that you have to bring a promised and slight accommodation supplement increase into a tax discussion, just to pretend that the nats care about poor people?

                    • Shadrach

                      “It doesn’t matter if they’s poor or rich and living large on $13k – they’re taxpayers who did not get any benefit from tax cuts that happened around them.“
                      Rubbish. Your argument was that National doesn’t care about the ‘poor’, and only delivered tax cuts for the rich. Are you trying to tell us that everyone earning above $15,000 pa is ‘rich’?

                      Btw it was you who widened the discussion away from tax cuts by talking about GST. So bringing in the full package is fair game.

                    • McFlock

                      To demonstrate that national hate poor people, the first step is to demonstrate that when they actually implemented tax cuts, not all taxpayers benefitted. And GST is relevant to tax changes because of what the “T” stands for.

                      Did all taxpayers benefit from the 2010 tax “cuts”? It’s an easy, yes or no question.

                    • Shadrach

                      “…the first step is to demonstrate that when they actually implemented tax cuts, not all taxpayers benefitted.”
                      No, the first step is to define ‘rich’ or ‘poor’. The next step is to actually understand that tax is paid on income, not wealth. Then you will need to explain how people earning over $14,000 are rich. Then you’d be getting somewhere.

                      “And GST is relevant to tax changes because of what the “T” stands for.”
                      And if so, then the full package is relevant. Unless you are dishonest.

                      “Did all taxpayers benefit from the 2010 tax “cuts”? It’s an easy, yes or no question.”
                      I don’t know. But I didn’t claim they did. I said they received a tax cut. Here, read it again https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590312. And if you read the article I referenced there, you will see how that budget helped low income earners and hit the ‘rich’ in a number of different ways. You claims about national are bs.

                      BTW – the 2010 budget was critical in drawing NZ out of the GFC, and a recession that in part was due to Michael Cullen’s failure to move earlier. You know, the M. Cullen now being paid $1,000 a day to defend a tax he didn’t have the courage to implement when he was MoF.

                    • McFlock

                      “Did all taxpayers benefit from the 2010 tax “cuts”? It’s an easy, yes or no question.”
                      I don’t know. But I didn’t claim they did

                      cf:

                      Every tax payer received a tax cut.

                      “And GST is relevant to tax changes because of what the “T” stands for.”
                      And if so, then the full package is relevant.

                      the full tax package is relevant to tax changes, yes.

                    • Shadrach

                      ““Did all taxpayers benefit from the 2010 tax “cuts”? It’s an easy, yes or no question.”
                      I don’t know. But I didn’t claim they did
                      cf:
                      Every tax payer received a tax cut.”
                      Yes, I was correct. Every tax payer DID receive a tax cut. But your question included the words ‘benefit from’. From past experience I know you are slippery, and so I chose to respond to you with precision. But all tax payers received a tax cut. As I said.

                      “the full tax package is relevant to tax changes, yes.”
                      Indeed. And the full package gave considerable assistance to low income people. The full National Party package. The same national party you say hate poor people. Even though you won’t define ‘poor’.

                    • McFlock

                      Every tax payer DID receive a tax cut.

                      Except the million or so taxpayers who ended up paying more tax.

                      And benefits aren’t part of a tax package.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Except the million or so taxpayers who ended up paying more tax.”
                      No, not a single one. The tax cuts were tax CUTS.

                      And remember you claimed National only cut taxes for ‘the rich’. Which is a term you can’t even define. But based on your comments, and the data from the 2017 cuts, must be anyone earning over $14,000 per year.

                    • McFlock

                      You said all taxpayers benefit from tax cuts. I showed you some of the math. People don’t benefit from tax cuts if they end up paying more tax after those “cuts”.

                      A million taxpayers on under $21k ended up paying more tax in 2010. They did not benefit from those tax cuts. Most of them would have been poor by any normal interpretation of the word.

                    • Shadrach

                      “You said all taxpayers benefit from tax cuts.”
                      That’s correct, in fact I’ll even provide the link https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590294. You will notice I said ‘tax cuts’, not ‘the tax cuts’. I was referring to the benefit all tax payers get from tax cuts. In 2010, all income earners received a tax cut on that income. Benefit 1. Then all income e arners benfitted more broadly from the positive impact on the economy that that round of cuts achieved. Benefit 2.

                      “I showed you some of the math. People don’t benefit from tax cuts if they end up paying more tax after those “cuts”.”
                      No-one did. Everyone earning income received a cut. Do the math.

                      “A million taxpayers on under $21k ended up paying more tax in 2010.”
                      No, they didn’t. Here are the rates https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/budget-2010-tax-reductions-detail-123294. That article also detailed the ‘sting’ in the budget for high income earners, making a lie of your claims that National hate the poor.

                      (Are you confusing 2010 and 2017?).

                      Now when are you going to define ‘poor’ and ‘rich’?

                    • McFlock

                      in 2010, all income earners received a tax cut on that income. Benefit 1.

                      Except the million who somehow ended up paying more tax. As per the math that you have failed to find fault in.

                      Then all income e arners benfitted more broadly from the positive impact on the economy that that round of cuts achieved. Benefit 2.

                      lol bullshit. The same bullshit that has fucked the poor for thirty years or more, a religious catechism used to make poor people say “thankyou sir, may I please have another” as the rich beat them with a stick.

                      You’ve had more than enough time to do the math yourself. You either can’t or you won’t because you don’t like the answer.

                      I think we’re done here.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Except the million who somehow ended up paying more tax.”
                      No-one can have ended up paying more tax when all rates dropped. It’s simple maths.

                      “lol bullshit. The same bullshit that has fucked the poor for thirty years or more…”
                      You mean the ‘poor’ you can’t even define? How the hell do you know anything about this group if you can’t even define them?

                      “You’ve had more than enough time to do the math yourself.”
                      And I have. It is not possible for anyone to pay more tax if all of the rates drop. It really isn’t difficult.

                    • McFlock

                      And I have. It is not possible for anyone to pay more tax if all of the rates drop

                      In 2010, one of the rates went up – GST.
                      In the 2017 wet dream, the <$14k rate would have stayed the same if the promise had been kept.

                      You are such a fucking liar.

                    • Shadrach

                      “In 2010, one of the rates went up – GST.”
                      GST? The discussion was about income tax. So if you bring in an unrelated tax, then you have to bring in all the other benefit changes. Oh and the extra penalties imposed on higher income earners and your elusive ‘rich’ people. Catch up.

                      “In the 2017 wet dream, the <$14k rate would have stayed the same if the promise had been kept."
                      So? You're confusing two different time periods, and two different sets of tax changes. But what you can't deny is that you claimed only the rich benefited. Which is a lie, unless you are arguing that people earning $14,001 are 'rich'. But as you refuse to define 'rich', maybe are that deluded.

                    • McFlock

                      I said they’re “for the rich”.

                      There is nothing for the poor. Fuckall for the badly off. A bit for the middle class. Lots for the rich. Plenty for the rich.

                      That’s where National’s priorities are: they hate poor people, but love the rich. Everything they do is for the rich. Any bones they throw to others is just to stay in power, and they throw as little as possible. Unless it’s to the rich.

                      But anyway, tax cuts involve all taxes, but not benefits. Because benefits aren’t taxes. That’s why they’re called “benefits” rather than “taxes”. To cut taxes, someone needs to pay less in tax after the cuts than they did before. And you know poor people paid more in 2010, and those are the only “cuts” that actually happened.

                    • Shadrach

                      “I said they’re “for the rich”.”
                      And if your were implying exclusivity, you were wrong. They were for all tax payers (2010) and for a great many lower income taxpayers (2017).

                      “But anyway, tax cuts involve all taxes, but not benefits.”
                      Rubbish. The conversation started here https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590219, and was specifically about income tax. If you introduce something else (like GST), expect to be called to be consistent.

                      “And you know poor people paid more in 2010, and those are the only “cuts” that actually happened.”
                      How the hell would you know? You can’t even define what ‘poor’ even is!

                    • McFlock

                      There are two possible reasons that you need someone to supply a definition for such a simple word:

                      You really are that unfamiliar with such a basic human concept, in which case a definition will not help you understand it; or

                      You know several definitions of “poor” or “poverty” that relate to income, but some of them support my claim and you are hoping that I will choose one that you can quibble and parse into nonsensicality. In which case you are discussing the topic in bad faith.

                      But then a tory would never discuss poverty in bad faith, so you must just be a bot that doesn’t understand words common to most speakers of English.

                    • Shadrach

                      It’s not complicated. You have used the terms ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ repeatedly. Your position across this discussion is that the highest polling party over the last 4 elections hates the poor, and favours the rich. You have used these terms deliberately, and I’m curious to know if you have the slightest idea what the hell you’re talking about.

                      “You know several definitions of “poor” or “poverty” that relate to income, “
                      And there is a good example of why I’m asking. Because income can actually be totally unrelated to whether or not one is ‘poor’ or ‘rich’.

                    • Sam

                      That the New Zealand Health System now has more in common with third world diseases during the wonderful years of National Party polling is reason enough to disgrace the lot of them.

                    • McFlock

                      If I didn’t know what I was talking about, you’d have corrected my math.

                      Parse whatever definition you want. The fact is that people under $21k lost out in 2010, and those in under $14k got not even the promise of a tax cut in 2017. Many of those people were “poor” by at least one of the many definitions you have to hand. Those taxpayers got no benefit from those tax “cuts” – unless you count the promise of trickle-down resulting from nat promises. You can’t eat nat promises.

                      Oh, and the tax argument started with KJT saying “tax cuts”. “specifically about income tax” is just you making shit up again.

                    • Shadrach

                      “The fact is that people under $21k lost out in 2010…”
                      Fact 1: you haven’t provided a shred of evidence to support that.
                      Fact 2: all taxpayers received a tax cut from the 2010 package.

                      “…and those in under $14k got not even the promise of a tax cut in 2017”
                      Fact 3: But everyone earning over $14,000 DID.

                      So your definition of ‘rich’ is someone earning $14,001?

                      Define ‘rich’. Define ‘poor’. Go on. Because then we can line those definitions up against your claim that National hate the poor.

                    • McFlock

                      Fact1: I showed you the exact working for how to do the math. The math you so obviously don’t like the answer to.

                      Fact 2: yes, some taxpayers ended up paying more tax after the 2010 tax “cuts”, as my math demonstrates.

                      How do you expect to debate fuzzy concepts like “rich” and “poor” if you don’t even handle basic math?

                    • Shadrach

                      “Fact1: I showed you the exact working for how to do the math. The math you so obviously don’t like the answer to.”
                      Oh so you showed me ‘how to do the math’? So you aren’t actually able to demonstrate anything to prove your own claim?

                      “Fact 2: yes, some taxpayers ended up paying more tax after the 2010 tax “cuts”, as my math demonstrates.”
                      What maths?

                      “How do you expect to debate fuzzy concepts like “rich” and “poor” if you don’t even handle basic math?”

                      I’m not suggesting we debate them. I’m suggesting you have the courage to actually define words you throw around so freely. I know why you won’t, but it would be fun to see you try.

                    • McFlock

                      “what math”

                      lol

                      poor bugger. Did your designer program you to wipe your memory evey 24hrs to stop you running the world?

                      Read the fucking thread

                    • Shadrach

                      Yeah I didn’t think you had anything.

                      Here, I’ll help you out. In 2015, Treasury performed a major piece of work on the 2010 tax changes. It is publicly available at
                      https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/wp/labour-supply-new-zealand-and-2010-tax-and-transfer-changes-wp-15-13-html.

                      Here are some findings from that report:

                      “The reforms are found to be approximately distribution neutral, in terms of the Gini inequality measure of after-tax income per adult equivalent person.”
                      Wow, there goes your ‘National hate the poor’ mantra.

                      “It is estimated that the policy changes produced a small increase in average hours of work supplied, and a small increase in participation rates. The largest increases were found for sole parents.”
                      Interesting. More work available, and an increase in participation rates for single parents. Wow National must really hate on those poor people.

                      “An analysis of the inequality of income per adult equivalent person (after allowing for income tax and benefit payments) found that the personal tax changes were approximately distribution neutral in their overall effect.”
                      Oh dear.

                    • McFlock

                      So the inequality stuff is irrelevant: you said “all taxpayers”, not an aggregate calculation. Individuals. But you raise it because you don’t like the actual math.

                      As for the trickledown stuff, it doesn’t guarantee that every taxpayer benefitted from that, does it.

                      If I were wrong, you’d simply calculate the savingings taxpayers on $20k made from the 2010 tax “cuts”, including the GSTax change that offset any benefit for the poor (who national hate).

                      You wouldn’t need to dig up margin-of-error wishful thinking in aggregate terms. You’d simply be able to point to every individual taxpayer receiving a direct benefit from the cuts.

                    • Shadrach

                      “So the inequality stuff is irrelevant:“

                      At 0.002, yeah pretty much. Nationals 2010 tax package was a huge success. It put money in people’s pockets, created more working hours for low income families, and cut their taxes. Most of all, it was part of getting the country free of the impacts of the GFC.

                      You’ll still say National hate the poor, but now we have evidence you’re spouting bs.

                    • McFlock

                      It put more money into the pockets of the already rich than it did for any poor people, and unless you can demonstrate that every single person who earned under $20k ended up in a higher-paying job, they still didn’t benefit “all taxpayers”.

                      Because people on under $20k got an overall tax hike. Because national hate poor people.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Because people on under $20k got an overall tax hike.”
                      Nope. But you know what they say about repeating a lie…

                      “Because national hate poor people.”
                      Ah, the ‘poor’. That group of people you still can’t or won’t define.

                    • McFlock

                      I showed you the numbers for <$14k. That's enough to nuke your "all taxpayers" bs. But even you used to be able to calculate the difference in income tax and gst for someone on $20k. You take their losses up to $14k (which I handily already gave you), then calculate the losses they made on the $6k they earned in the $14k-$21k bracket, and that gives you how much those taxpayers lost from the tax "cuts".

                      It really is amusing how you grow more stupid in order to avoid being wrong. I mean, you entered a debate on the nuances of taxation apparently knowing everything, but now you can't handle basic math or words that are in common usage around the country. It's like you periodically slaughter a few million brain cells when the cognitive dissonance starts breaking down.

                    • Shadrach

                      You showed nothing. You’re pulling figures out of your arse and think they trump detailed treasury analysis. And you think anyone earning $14,001 is rich.

                    • McFlock

                      And yet if they’d actually received any benefit from the tax “cuts”, you’d have corrected the numbers I showed you rather than relying on a vague hope that aggregate improvement means improvement for every individual. You know, “all taxpayers”.

                      Hell, forget “corrected” the numbers, you’d have done your own homework and be crowing that a taxpayer on $13,999 received $X/year more in the pocket after all tax changes were taken into account. But they didn’t. They lost $68.25 per year as a result of the 2010 tax changes. Some of those people might have gotten employment out of the alleged trickledown, but not all of them. Not with trickledown that weak. So not all taxpayers were better off, however you cut it.

                    • Shadrach

                      “And yet if they’d actually received any benefit from the tax “cuts”, you’d have corrected the numbers I showed you…”

                      What numbers? You haven’t quoted anything of any detail. I’ve given you a link to a comprehensive study performed for Treasury 5 years after the package was implemented. That study includes the full impact of the package, and makes a lie of your assertion that National hate poor people. Which, BTW, you still haven’t had the courage to define.

                    • McFlock

                      What numbers? Read the thread: hint about five days ago.

                      Or look for “68” in the page.

                      Bit late now, either way.

                      And I don’t feel the need to prescriptively define a term that is one of the more basic words in the english language.

                    • Sam

                      Bullshit. Given the choice The National party of New Zealand will “incentivize” the workforce by fear and brute force; outright slavery if they can. They’ll completely ignore the environment and cheerfully reduce everything around them to a cesspool of poison. And they don’t want the law to apply to them at all. Nor are they farsighted enough to care about prosperity; they will cheerfully create massive poverty & joblessness, and remain completely unwilling to admit that such poverty affects their profits in any way. Only the rich “job creators” matter, workers and customers are vermin and cattle who exist to be exploited or shoved aside; or killed, when ever they can get away with it.

                      We know, because that’s exactly what they do and have always done when they can.

                    • Shadrach

                      “What numbers? Read the thread: hint about five days ago.”

                      You haven’t provided anything beyond raw %’s. The Treasury paper makes it very clear that the package invested significantly in helping low income families. And the fact that you refuse to define ‘poor’ is telling, considering you have been using the term for most of this conversation.

                    • McFlock

                      If by “%” you mean “#”, they are all clearly labelled and you can point out which ones are incorrect.

                      As you would have immediately done if the # were wrong. And you wouldn’t have to pretend that some trickledown bullshit somehow offsets a financial loss of $68.25 a year for every single income earner on $14k.

                      But please, continue being incapable of doing simple math or understanding basic english. It is most amusing.

                    • Shadrach

                      Nothing you posted provides the full picture. The Treasury analysis did. You got it wrong. And you still won’t define ‘poor’.

                    • McFlock

                      Nothing you posted provides the full picture.

                      No, just the bits of the picture where some taxpayers lost out on the tax changes.

                      The Treasury analysis did.

                      No, it provided means and other aggregates. Nowhere does it say that every individual benefitted from the tax changes.

                      It does say that GST was part of those changes, so it contradicts you on that point. Thanks.

                      But rather than pretending that every beneficiary got an extra 20minutes work (rather than some getting jobs and others paying the extra tax without any extra income), just work out the tax paid by <$14k earners. It's really easy, and if they got a tax cut (including GST, as per your treasury link) then everyone on more than that also got a tax cut and we can settle it right here. Do the math, show me where I forgot to carry the 1 or whatever, and I'd have to admit that all taxpayers did indeed benefit from the 2010 changes.

                      It's easy math.

                    • Shadrach

                      “No, just the bits of the picture where some taxpayers lost out on the tax changes.”
                      No, you never demonstrated that. You gave some mathematical calculations that failed to account for the wider implications of the package. Which the Treasury analysis did.

                      “It does say that GST was part of those changes, so it contradicts you on that point.”
                      No, it actually makes my point. If you bring in the impacts of GST, you have to allow for the increases in transfer payments to people. The Treasury work is being consistent, you aren’t.

                      “… just work out the tax paid by <$14k earners. It's really easy, and if they got a tax cut (including GST, as per your treasury link) then everyone on more than that also got a tax cut and we can settle it right here.”
                      You’re confused. The tax cuts that benefitted all tax payers were the 2017 cuts. The 2010 package was distribution neutral. Which proves your comments about national ‘hating poor people’ are bs.

                      BTW – define ‘poor’. Go on. You can do it.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re confused. The tax cuts that benefitted all tax payers were the 2017 cuts.

                      But you said, well before 2010 or 2017 came into the picture, that “tax cuts benefit all taxpayers,”. Not “the 2017 tax cuts benefitted all taxpayers, but the 2010 tax cuts were neutral”.

                      So now you’re sliding to “not all tax cuts benefit all taxpayers, some tax cuts are merely neutral” (which raises the question “why bother?”).

                      And if you can’t do a simple tax calculation, how do you do your own taxes? Or are you one of those people who just hopes the IRD has calculated everything correctly and hasn’t missed anything?

                    • Shadrach

                      “…that “tax cuts benefit all taxpayers,””
                      Yes ‘tax cuts’, not ‘the’ tax cuts. We’ve already been here @ https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1592143. No wonder you’re confused if you can’t follow the conversation.

                      Now, McFlock, define ‘poor’.

                    • McFlock

                      So tax cuts might benefit all taxpayers, but the 2010 one didn’t and the 2017 ones didn’t happen.

                      And the only way the 2017 promised bracket-shift would benefit someone under $14k is if they got a job or pay rise resulting from the trickle-down effect, and some of them would not..

                      So, to be clear, “tax cuts benefit all taxpayers” did not apply to either of the “cuts” actioned or promised by the nats.

                    • McFlock

                      By the way, when you said “In 2010, all income earners received a tax cut on that income”, how do you know that if you can’t work out how much they got? Because income earners on under $14k lost $68 a year.

                    • Shadrach

                      You really are confused. Let me simplify:

                      You claimed:
                      1. National hates the poor (https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590483), and
                      2. tax cuts were only for the rich (https://thestandard.org.nz/the-greens-electoral-law-reform-petition/#comment-1590291).

                      You can’t or won’t define ‘poor’. Why won’t you?

                      The 2010 and 2017 tax packages included cuts for low income people. The 2010 package included direct tax cuts for all tax payers, and other payments to compensate for the GST rise (which the Treasury analysis supports). The 2017 package included tax cuts for anyone earning over $14,000 per annum. Both packages included substantial other benefits to low income earners.

                      On the evidence, both of your statements are false.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, I said National hate poor people. They have a long history of fucking over poor people, from lowering the number of state houses to cutting benefits in 1991.

                      But you are incorrect when you interpret “National tax cuts for the rich” as “2. tax cuts were only for the rich”. The people who benefitted most from the tax cuts in 2010 were the ones who received the largest PAYE cut while having the highest proportion of their income go to GST-free investment rather than spending over the counter to pay the higher rate of GST.

                      the 2010 tax changes benefitted the rich most of all, and I say that this is because the changes were made to benefit those people. Anyone else who gets a cut is incidental. People who lost out were on already low incomes, which goes to support the top paragraph.

                      The 2010 package included direct tax cuts for all tax payers, and other payments to compensate for the GST rise (which the Treasury analysis supports).

                      Except those were increases to the base rates, not the accommodation supplement. So a beneficiary’s base income goes up, their accommodation costs stay the same, so their accommodation supplement goes down. Total income stays equivalent, and they still pay more GST. Treasury didn’t look at that, did they.

                    • Shadrach

                      “ They have a long history of fucking over poor people, from lowering the number of state houses to cutting benefits in 1991.”
                      So the party who introduced the first real increases in benefits in 30 years, who provided a tax switch in 2010 and 2017 to benefit low income families, and who preserved WFF during a GFC, hate the poor’. Wow, I’d hate to think what you say about Labour.

                      “The people who benefitted most from the tax cuts in 2010…”
                      You really have no idea, because you want to categorise groups of people based on your own bias. For example, there are people on high incomes who spend a large proportion of that income on GST bearing goods and services. And there are people on low incomes who spend a large proportion of their income on outgoings that do not attract GST (e.g. mortgage payments, rent).
                      That’s why Treasury analysis trumps your anecdotes.

                      And you continue to talk about ‘rich’ and ‘poor’, when you still won’t define those groups. And you are using them in a discussion on tax, when you should be discussing incomes.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, they do.

                      And you still can’t work out basic math.

                    • Shadrach

                      And yet you can’t define ‘poor’.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t need to define poor if you can’t do math, because without math you can’t know that your explicit statement about ALL taxpayers benefitting from tax cuts (be they in general, tax cuts that actually happened, or even tax cuts that were glints in the eye of nats desperate for re-election) has any truth to it whatsoever. It’s just some lie you parrot.

                      Whereas I can look at poverty rates in NZ, read about long term problems like hungry kids that at least Labour attempted to solve and then the nats didn’t, the lowering of state house stock over the national term, and basically draw a reasonable conclusion that if you use any normal definition of the word as used in common parlance and the patois of the street, the nats hate poor people.

                    • Shadrach

                      Your ‘math’ is simply inadequate. And the reason is, at least in part, because you refuse to define what you mean by ‘poor’. You are trying to argue a political party ‘hates’ a group of people you can’t (or won’t) define. And because you can’t (or won’t) define the group, you can’t even substantiate your claim that Labour treat this group any better. Your whole position is subjective nonsense.

                    • McFlock

                      You are trying to argue a political party ‘hates’ a group of people you can’t (or won’t) define.

                      And your demand for a single definition presumes that everyone in that party also has the same definition of “poor”. People are diverse. Think of it as a venn diagram, with 50 circles of hate all not-quite-completely overlapping around a general area of people they wouldn’t have around to dinner.

                    • Sam

                      Pfft, I say fobar to the special people with special langauge and big long words that only the special seem to understand in property speculating heaven where all the fucken unicorns live.

                      In the real world there has to be a destitute payment which provides enough sustenance for a labourers diet, transport, housing, power and water. But then you have to wrap around that payment the health and education system because a destitute payment isn’t enough to cover the cost of getting sick or they may want retraining for new industries or local jobs. Every resident that gains entry in or has been living in New Zealand no mater where they come from or who they are, are entitled to this payment as part of the government right to rule. Poverty is not a feature of advanced economies.

                    • Shadrach

                      “And your demand for a single definition presumes that everyone in that party also has the same definition of “poor”.”

                      1. It is YOU who is claiming this particular group of people ‘hate’ the poor, yet you can’t or won’t define ‘poor’. If you assert they hate the ‘poor’, surely you understand what YOU mean by ‘poor’?

                      2. To shift the responsibility for that definition to the group you claim hate the other group you can’t define is, well, hilarious. Perhaps you could provide a single example of how that group defines ‘poor’.

                      3. So you are claiming this political party ‘hates’ a group of people who you cannot define, and who you have not defined how they define.

                      You position is subjective nonsense.

                    • McFlock

                      1. It is YOU who is claiming this particular group of people ‘hate’ the poor, yet you can’t or won’t define ‘poor’. If you assert they hate the ‘poor’, surely you understand what YOU mean by ‘poor’?

                      Oh, any normal definition would be largely fine.

                      2. To shift the responsibility for that definition to the group you claim hate the other group you can’t define is, well, hilarious. Perhaps you could provide a single example of how that group defines ‘poor’.

                      But I literally just made the point that there is no single definition. Venn diagrams, remember? One nat might hate people who commit crimes in which the materially-deprived poor are over-represented in offending. Another might hate beneficiaries who get money in order to offset their income poverty. Another might just not like people who maybe can’t afford the best soaps or dental treatments, or hate beggars or the homeless. No single precise definition can explain the motivations for a collective impulse, but any definition would be correct to a variable level of accuracy. But as John Oliver put it, the poverty line is a bit like the age of sexual consent: if you really feel the need to parse exactly where it is, chances are that you’re considering something very, very wrong whatever the answer is.

                      3. So you are claiming this political party ‘hates’ a group of people who you cannot define, and who you have not defined how they define.

                      You position is subjective nonsense.

                      There we have it. Your inability to deal with the diversity and lack of precision in humans. Which is quite funny given that you can’t even do the math to figure out if your claim about all taxpayers benefitting from tax cuts is correct.

                      Can’t do math, doesn’t understand people or a range of perspectives: no wonder you’re such shit at these discussions.

                    • Shadrach

                      “But I literally just made the point that there is no single definition. ”

                      Which means you can take your pick. But you won’t. And the reason is nothing to do with Venn diagrams. You have made an accusation you cannot support. All you have is subjective nonsense.

                    • McFlock

                      “But I literally just made the point that there is no single definition. ”

                      Which means you can take your pick.

                      On occasion people have asked me why I waste my time with idiots like you. This is why.

                      Because your inability to grasp the concept made me work hard to express it more simply. And the concept is this: sometimes, using words of greater precision makes the statement less correct.

                      Poor people are people living in poverty, whatever that might mean to individual nats. Anything more precise, like “people with less than 50% of the median household income after housing costs”, would be accurate for some nats (the “they need to work harder and stop doing drugs” crowd) but not others. “People living on the streets” might be despised by the upper middle class shop manager who wants bylaws to move those poor out of sight, but maybe not other nats.

                      Any individual precise definition of “poverty” is inadequate to describe the collective definitions assumed by individuals within the group that consistently mistreats poor people. I don’t choose one. I choose all the mainstream definitions of poverty.

                    • Shadrach

                      And in that response we see why I have persevered with you in this conversation.

                      Your claim was that National hates poor people. You’ve said it repeatedly. And yet your answers show you not only will not provide a definition of ‘poor’ that can be assessed, but you also acknowledge that the National Party, which is an organisation of thousands of people, does not have a single definition of poor for you to define.

                      So this is what you are claiming:

                      1. An organisation of thousands of people ‘hates’ a group of people (the ‘poor’) you can’t define.
                      2. The people within the organisation itself don’t have a single, coherent definition of ‘poor’.
                      3. Individuals within this group define ‘poor’ in varying ways, which you appear to have deduced by mental telepathy.

                      You’re off the reservation big time.

                    • McFlock

                      1. An organisation of thousands of people ‘hates’ a group of people (the ‘poor’) you can’t define.

                      1. An organisation of thousands of people ‘hates’ a group of people (the ‘poor’)

                      1b. “Poor” can be defined any number of ways. I have referred to several throughout the thread. But any single precise definition is insufficient, because “poor” in the common parlance is broad and variable depending on specific context. It is a known range of definitions, but any specific definition omits some instances that are included in other precise definitions of “poverty”. However, most people can handle fuzzy, relative terms like “poor”, “old”, “young”, “short”, or “tall”.

                      2. The people within the organisation itself don’t have a single, coherent definition of ‘poor’.

                      No, but they know what they hate.

                      3. Individuals within this group define ‘poor’ in varying ways, which you appear to have deduced by mental telepathy.

                      Does it really require telepathy to conclude that individuals within a group of people will have subtly different understandings of what a relative and, as you say, subjective term means?

                      You do blow a lot of hot air for someone who can’t even work out their own tax liability.

                    • Shadrach

                      “However, most people can handle fuzzy, relative terms like “poor”, “old”, “young”, “short”, or “tall”.”
                      No. Not when you accuse a collective group of individuals with potentially diverse opinions and personalities of ‘hate’. You have admitted that individuals within that collective may have different definitions of ‘poor’, but even those you can’t be certain of. Bold claims like yours demand greater precision.

                      “Does it really require telepathy to conclude that individuals within a group of people will have subtly different understandings of what a relative and, as you say, subjective term means?”
                      I said your argument is subjective nonsense. There are objective measures of ‘poor’, as you well know. You just don’t have the courage of your convictions.

                    • McFlock

                      There are largely arbitrary definitions of “poverty” based around quantitative indicators. They are useful for some aspects of policy planning and evaluation.

                      But the term itself is both subjective and relative. Like many aspects of humanity. You might as well ask for an objective and precise definition of “hate”. Or even a definition of “left” as opposed to “right”.

                    • Shadrach

                      “But the term itself is both subjective and relative”.
                      It doesn’t have to be. You are making it so to suit your own inability to justify your claim.

                      “Or even a definition of “left” as opposed to “right”.”
                      If I said the ‘left’ hate the rich, I would expect to be able to classify or define what I mean by ‘left’ and ‘rich’. I’m holding you to the same standard.

                    • McFlock

                      If you said the left hate the rich, your biggest problem would be defining “the left”. Because the ones who really hate the rich seem to usually hate the moderate “left” even more.

                      Whereas nats are a pretty well-defined set, no? Either voters, party members, or caucus.

                      To say Maoist communists or Stalinists hate the rich would usually be pretty accurate. Democratic socialists, probably not so much. Social democrats? Nah. Social creditors are too fixated on arguing about A plus B to think too much about it either way.

                      But everyone would have a fair, if not precise, idea of what you meant by “rich”.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Whereas nats are a pretty well-defined set, no? Either voters, party members, or caucus.”
                      Even by your own classes of ‘nats’, there is considerable diversity. I’m not and never have been a member of the National Party, but I know a lot of people who are, including people who either have very little money themselves, or who display considerable care for those with less. Amongst the wider group of ‘nat’ voters, there would be huge diversity. Just look at the numbers who voted for National between 2008 and 2017. You can’t possibly argue they all ‘hate the poor’.

                      “But everyone would have a fair, if not precise, idea of what you meant by “rich”.”
                      If anyone accused ‘the rich’ of hating ‘the poor’, I would expect that person to at least clarify what they mean by those terms. Particularly if I suspected they included me in one of those categories.

                    • McFlock

                      You can’t possibly argue they all ‘hate the poor’.

                      Nope. But I can say that the collective direction of the organisation that they choose to support is one of hating the poor.

                      “But everyone would have a fair, if not precise, idea of what you meant by “rich”.”
                      If anyone accused ‘the rich’ of hating ‘the poor’, I would expect that person to at least clarify what they mean by those terms.

                      For normal people, the terms are already clear enough to understand the sentence.

                    • Shadrach

                      Let’s agree to disagree. In the context of what has happened today in Christchurch, I’ve suddenly lost my appetite for this discussion. My apologies for cutting out.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.2

        All donations other than a modest membership fee (e.g. $50 p.a.) should be banned. Of course when people donate serious dosh to political parties, they are expecting to influence policy and outcomes – and that should not be for sale.

        In terms of burdens of proof – perhaps try thinking. How often to people send serious money in a certain direction, without expecting something back?

      • Stuart Munro 1.1.3

        I don’t think that’s required at all Gosman.

        Rather, the onus lies with you to explain what legitimate interest of NZ citizens is served by subjecting our parliament to the corrupting influence of foreign money.

        • Gosman 1.1.3.1

          no it isn’t. You’re the ones wanting to change the laws. Show what the actual risk is around this and then we can discuss it. It is not for others to show why we shouldn’t change the law otherwise we should accept the need to change the law.

          • Stuart Munro 1.1.3.1.1

            No, you have to establish how it benefits us.

            Laws do not exhaustively cover every possibility.

            Historically we’ve had relatively few foreign donations, that’s changing.

            There is no democratic benefit, therefore it is an impropriety.

            We understand the far right only survives through impropriety – but that in itself represents a democratic failure – parties as useless as ACT must be allowed to die if they cannot find sufficient popular support, not be propped up like Guaido by foreign interests. NZ government must represent local interests – no one else ever will.

            • Gosman 1.1.3.1.1.1

              No, you want to change the law, you have to make the case why the law change is needed. The default position should not be that you think the law needs changing now tell us why we shouldn’t do so.

              • Stuart Munro

                You’re trying very hard to sell your fallacy, and failing utterly of course.

                Democratic governments are driven by principle. They don’t consist merely of a collection of laws for scoundrels like you to game. The foundational principle of democracy is that of one person, one vote. Where in that equation is your sleazy foreign funder, Gosman?

                Lacking that metric entirely you of course will not be persuaded by an argument founded in ethos, so we will do what democracies do: employ democratic decision making, and let the people of NZ or their delegated MPs decide.

                If you make corrupt foreign funding a central plank of your policy, you’ll lose votes faster than Simon Bridges.

                • Shadrach

                  Gosman is correct. If you are arguing in support of a law change, you need to provide evidence that your claims are correct.

                  “We understand the far right only survives through impropriety”
                  Really? So was the Labour government ‘hard right’ when it spent huge sums of taxpayers money on straight out election bribes like WFF and interest free student loans? Or the highly dodgy pledge card? Labour governments use the resources of the state to remain in power, with some good old fashioned union muscle thrown in.

                  • KJT

                    Tax cuts are not “election bribes” of course.

                    • Shadrach

                      Tax cuts are giving people their money BACK. Labour’s bribes involved taking more tax money and giving it to a target demographic.

                    • mickysavage

                      You mean it is wrong to give families with kids some of their hard earned but paid in tax dollars back?

                    • KJT

                      It wasn’t hard working families with kids, who got the, net, tax cuts.

                    • Shadrach

                      “It wasn’t hard working families with kids, who got the, net, tax cuts.”
                      Yes, it is.

                      The Green’s electoral law reform petition

                      The Green’s electoral law reform petition

                      Both under a National Government too. Who’d a thought!

                    • KJT

                      Tax cuts. Twice as much for the well off. Percentage cuts of course.

                      Then increased costs for the rest. GST, Doctors visits, Prescription charges, petrol taxes and about 16 other taxes, from, Mr, “No more taxes”. Plus all the services downgraded or removed, which now have to be paid for by the users.
                      Add all that up.

                      National. Give with one hand, take, from the lower incomes, with the other.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Give with one hand, take, from the lower incomes, with the other.”
                      Your making shit up again. The 2017 proposed cuts had no GST increase. And the 2010 cuts were accompanied by a GST increase for everyone. This ‘only the poor got hit’ mantra is total crap.

                  • Gabby

                    How about 3 strikes shadders?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Gosman is rarely correct.

                    So, you too despise our political norms, and seek to privilege money above the civic franchise? You despicable rogue. How dare you!

                    • Shadrach

                      No, I simply ask you to support your own contentions. It would seem you can’t.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ Shadrach

                      It is for Gosman to explain how the corrupt funding of the far right is compatible with the democratic franchise.

                      If you have an argument that supports it, by all means let us see it – but seeking to offload the burden of proof is simply not persuasive.

                      You’ll have to do much better than that.

                    • Shadrach

                      “It is for Gosman to explain how the corrupt funding of the far right is compatible with the democratic franchise.”

                      The discussion is about foreign donations. You need to make your own case, starting with proving that only the ‘far right’ receive foreign donations. I look forward to you even identifying much of a ‘far right’ in NZ.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ Shadrach,

                      Here’s the thing – you don’t get to define this debate.

                      I defined it in terms of democracy.

                      Your only argument seems to be “You can’t prove a thing, copper!” (I paraphrase)

                      You shouldn’t imagine it looks any better on you than it does on Bart Simpson.

                    • Shadrach

                      “Here’s the thing – you don’t get to define this debate.”

                      I’m not attempting to. I’m simply calling you out for making a claim and then expecting everyone else to refute it. That’s not how intelligent debate happens. Your claim, your responsibility. Own it.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @ Shadrach – nonsense.

                      I’m not making a claim – I’m stating a fact – that foreign donations have no place in a democratic polity. Domestic ones can cause trouble enough.

                      Gosman – patron saint of sleaze that he is, desired that I prove negative influence. You’ll notice that he submitted no evidence of their benignity – and neither have you. Gosman’s demands for proof are invariably in bad faith – he never accepts them, nor does he ever produce any evidence of his own.

                      If you’d like to argue the merits of foreign political donations, produce a credible source or study demonstrating their benignity, and I will match it with counterexamples. They may prove to be thin on the ground however – most countries do not allow direct foreign political donations.

                    • Shadrach

                      “I’m not making a claim – I’m stating a fact – that foreign donations have no place in a democratic polity.“
                      1. That is not a fact, that is your opinion.
                      2. You are arguing for a change in the status quote. You beat the responsibility to put up a case. Gosman has no responsibility to counter an opinion you have not supported.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      No, Shadrach, it’s not my opinion.

                      Have you studied democracy? You’ll not find foreign political donations mentioned as one of its elements. Not in the consensus democracies of band cultures, not in classical or Athenian democracy, and not in the Calvinist model that became English and subsequently European parliamentary democracy, nor yet in the New World model created by the intellectual heirs of Hutcheson.

                      Foreign political donations are not part of democracy – it’s not opinion, my little cabbage, it’s fact.

                      I am not arguing for a change in the status quote (sic), but to correct an error that has allowed a corrupt influence to endanger our dearly won system of government. Democracy is one person one vote, not one dollar one vote – money simply has no rights within the system. Never has had and never will. If a little sewage seeped between the cracks of the failing Key Kleptocracy it does not become a binding precedent that all hospital walls must henceforth be filled with shit – we clean them out and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and so it is with corrupt foreign moneys.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    so roads of national significance arent bribes

                    ive lived in provincial city where they were proposed before the election- nice plans too…and after the election were withdarwn.

                    remember the ‘Bridges of Northland County’ 10 bridges as bribes, they werent even on the local roads committees list …but a by -election was coming up.
                    last election national went around offering roads, schools hospitals, ( a roundabout on the Hutt Rd even…)some have been promised over the the previous 2 elections.

                    • Shadrach

                      No RON’s benefit all users of those roads, in fact they even benefit non-users. WFF and particularly interest free student loans were cynical election bribes. Oh and so was Labour’s ‘Fees Free’ policy.

                      “It was promulgated by Labour before the last election, and it follows Helen Clark and Labour’s earlier interest-free student loans pre-election “bribe” in 2005. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern spent time at university campuses, including Otago, in the weeks before polling day, and Labour was keen to mobilise young students who often do not vote.
                      The policy resonated with students, and no doubt many parents. It is an expensive policy that won votes, and in that sense was an election bribe.”
                      https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/free-fees-failed-election-bribe

                      Labour appear to be able to waste tax-payers money with the best of them.

              • lprent

                I suggest you don’t astroturf the same or similar comment over and over again. Learn to argue. Leave the parrots in parliamentary question time.

                Or I can demonstrate what I feel about trolls.

          • McFlock 1.1.3.1.2

            The actual risk is that parties sell list places to donors, raising questions about whether those MPs represent NZers or the donors when running our country. especially when those donors might be another country – should we accept a risk that our government is run by someone with the interests of another country at heart?

            • Shadrach 1.1.3.1.2.1

              No. And that is a fair comment. However not all money coming in from overseas will necessarily have strings attached. And some local donations may have just that.

              • McFlock

                The thing about local donations is that they simply lead into the debate about whether money is “free speech” accessible to all, or simply provides an unfair advantage to the wealthy. And then do corporate bodies and unions act as opaque shields for donors’ identities, or are their motives and conflicts obvious.

                Those debates about how our democracy operates.

                But overseas donations, even the ones without obvious strings attached, will influence the recipients. And those recipients should be representing the NZ electorate, not overseas nationals or nations.

                That is a far more obvious discussion. Surely our elected officials should not have a conflict of interest about whether they serve NZ or a foreign nation? They need to be citizens to serve, but who pays their campaigning expenses?

                • Shadrach

                  Good points, although are you not assuming local interests are benign or beneficial, and overseas ones not so?

                  • McFlock

                    At least local interests are the interests of some people in the electorate – even if some of those interests might be parasitic and debilitating.

                    Overseas interests might be positive for NZ (theoretically), but the point about democracy is that we decide and debate our own interests in determining the leadership of the country. Overseas money, especially with hidden motives, should not participate in that process. It’s like buying a new outfit because the someone says it looks flattering on you, and that person is secretly an employee of the store. They might be telling the truth, but would you rely on that?

      • woodart 1.1.4

        why should anybody have to prove how overseas money is impacting NEW ZEALAND elections. it should be evident to any thinking LOYAL kiwi, that we dont need outside interference in our elections. havent you been paying attention gosboy, to the outside interference in the last u.s. and u.k. elections.? how about you prove that overseas money is good for our electoral system? awaiting that proof…………

      • peterlepaysan 1.1.5

        Er, how exactly overseas money not impacting NZ elections?
        You know?

        Please tell. You must be well informed to ask such a question.

        Burden of proof is a courtroom requirement.

        You really are an irrelevant nuisance. Come back after you have grown up.

    • Wayne 1.2

      Patricia
      You are confusing money from new immigrants with overseas money.
      Some new immigrant groups take a much more active role in politics (and have done so for around 20 years) than was once the case. Any MP in Auckland from whatever party will be well aware of this. There is an expectation of attendance at national days and cultural events, and anyone who lives in Auckland will be well aware of MP’s from all parties being on the stage and being introduced and expected to say something in the appropriate language. There is very little overt lobbying but there is certainly an expectation the MP’s will be aware of the concerns of the community. You are expected to do your “homework”, to show that you are culturally aware.
      All parties have had big donations from these groups. But it comes from people who are either citizens or permanent residents.
      Obviously some people who immigrate to NZ are wealthy, so in that sense maybe the money had an overseas origin. However in my experience most of the new immigrants invest much of their wealth in NZ, commercial buildings, import companies, etc.

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Exactly. Also a desire for community groups to get better representation in parliament should be a good thing surely? Labour does it all the time in relation to highlighting their “diversity”.

      • Dukeofurl 1.2.2

        One party in particular has been heavily favoured by large donations from Chinese donors, and based on recent evidence has been taking steps to salami slice a very large $100k donation down below the amount that identifies it to the public ( but no the party) who the donor(s) are.

        That same party jacked up the threshold from $20k to $30k which requires immediate disclosure .

        What party ?

      • Psycho Milt 1.2.3

        All parties have had big donations from these groups. But it comes from people who are either citizens or permanent residents.

        It always does, even if the people are acting on behalf of foreign governments – because politicians genereally don’t like being investigated and charged with offences, but do like big donations. Money always finds a way to get where it’s going.

        • Wayne 1.2.3.1

          What is your evidence that this is occurring. You can’t just allege it, there should be at least some evidence.

          • Dukeofurl 1.2.3.1.1

            United Front isnt a chinese government group operating in NZ then ?

          • Psycho Milt 1.2.3.1.2

            If I had evidence, it would be with the Police. It is of course possible that Anne-Marie Brady is completely wrong about the Chinese government running a “United Front” operation that uses local Chinese ex-pats in various countries to try and influence political parties. But the court of my personal opinion operates on balance of probabilities, not beyond reasonable doubt, and the probability of politicians having far too much integrity to accept such donations doesn’t strike me as particularly high.

          • Stuart Munro 1.2.3.1.3

            It seems that some Chinese emigres are buying influence and positions in the National party. While this will ultimately improve that party by diluting recurring recessive traits, the immediate interests it serves are not local.

      • patricia bremner 1.2.4

        “Patricia you are confusing money from new immigrants with overseas money”

        No I am not.

        If immigrants come here with the idea “Big” money buys influence they should be educated about our system as part of their induction.

        You are wrapping money and influence in the benign cloak of culture and diversity.

        What you are talking about is giving these rich immigrants more access to and influence over parliamentarians.

        Your whole explanation shows awareness of the intent to influence, and that if some of these new citizens have a loyalty to an overseas Government, we have a hard time sorting local and overseas money.

        Which is my point, poor immigrants should have an equal voice, but by your explanation you clearly show the wealthy groups can organise functions at which they politicise their wishes and gain access to lobby.

        Please do not “mansplain” to me again Wayne, even in a kindly manner, thank you.

      • KJT 1.2.5

        How much donation to National, will my New Zealand citizenship cost, when National is back in?

        (Asking for a friend)

  2. Gosman 2

    Pretty savage takedown of Ghahraman on Morning report today o0n this topic.

    Electoral law reform needs cross party support. It shouldn’t be pushed by a single political party via a law change such as this. If you want to avoid a brutal and nasty debate then seek consensus on this topic. The Greens have opened a Pandora’s box following this approach.

    • Pat 2.1

      “Electoral law reform needs cross party support. It shouldn’t be pushed by a single political party via a law change such as this.”

      Thats an odd take on it….shouldnt electoral law reform need public support?…after all Parliament is the peoples representative body,not the MPs plaything.

    • Electoral law reform needs cross party support. It shouldn’t be pushed by a single political party via a law change such as this.

      Political parties act out of self-interest on this subject. What it actually needs is for politicians to respect the recommendations of two different commissions which found that the threshold should be 4%, both of which commissions’ findings were subject to referenda. We have a 5% threshold due to self-interested actions of the two major parties and that should be overturned.

      • alwyn 2.2.1

        Why don’t we simply respect the decisions of the Independent Group who set up the rules in the first place?
        Why should we change them just to save the bums on the seats from the Green and New Zealand First Parties?

        • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1

          For the simple reason that Judith Collins overruled the recommendations of that group to secure an advantage for her party. Reinstating the groups recommendation kills two birds with one stone, removing Judith’s gerrymander and enacting the recommendation.

          • alwyn 2.2.1.1.1

            I am talking about the Royal Commission that worked very hard from 1984 until 1986.
            Given that Judith Collins didn’t enter Parliament until 2002 she is unlikely to have anything to do with the Royal Commission Report.
            The most you can say is that she declined to make any changes to the Royal Commission recommendations.
            That seems a perfectly reasonable decision. A Royal Commission is generally considered to be a more thorough result than an ad hoc group like the Electoral Commission.

            Ps. You clearly have no idea what a “Gerrymander” is.

            • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I used the term loosely, but it covers her failure to enact the 2012 recommendation of the Electoral Commission (to reduce thresholds to 4%), to secure an electoral advantage.

            • lprent 2.2.1.1.1.2

              The royal commission that recommended a 4% threshold. I agree. Let’s implement more of their recommendations.

              • alwyn

                Well there go the Maori seats I suppose.
                Do you think the Labour Party would vote for that recommendation from the Royal Commission?
                And there would be no Citizen initiated referenda.
                I’ll tell you what. I will support the cut to 4% if you argue for getting rid of the Maori seats.

                A summary of the Recommendation, from Wikipedia, is

                “Recommendations
                1. The Commission unanimously recommended the adoption of mixed member proportional, with a threshold of 4% and that a referendum be held before or at the 1987 election.
                2. They also recommended that the Māori seats be abolished, with Māori parties instead receiving representation if they did not pass the threshold.
                3. That the number of MPs raise to 120 (although they considered 140 would be ideal, they realised that it would receive too much public backlash).
                4. The term of Parliament be raised to four years.
                5. The Commission recommended that citizens initiated referendums not be implemented. However, they were in 1993.”

                There was a referendum that rejected the 4 year term in 1990 so I guess we could ignore that one

                • alwyn

                  Lprent has gone very quiet.
                  You suggested that we should implement more of the Royal Commission recommendations.
                  Are you still trying to come up with a reason why we should not scrap the Maori seats, as they recommended?

                  • Sacha

                    He does have a day job.

                  • lprent

                    Don’t be a stupid fuckwit.

                    I work during the day. I usually comment at lunchtime, morning or late at night after I cook and feed my partner and the cat. If I do start commenting during the day, I’m either on holiday, blocked on the code, or decide that I have to start dealing with stupid fuckwits as a moderator.

                    • alwyn

                      In that case the delay is obviously not because you were trying to avoid the question. I apologize for that assumption.
                      Now however you may have time to respond.
                      Are you in favour of their recommendation to abolish the Maori seats?

                    • Sam

                      By about 2050 the Māori population is projected to double from about 700k to 1.5 million people. At which point Māori will become the swing vote. Thus it is impossible for a small majority to pull Māori to the side of voting against there self interest.

                      Under certain condition it is possible for Māori to vote to dismantle the Māori seats, for instance because the Māori language may have been normalised across the country. What ever that may mean will take longer than 30 years to repair. It took several generations to dismantle the Māori language so it’s my guess it will take several generations to repair. If your still interested in dismantling the Māori seats by then then fill your boots.

                    • lprent

                      Are you in favour of their recommendation to abolish the Maori seats?

                      That is probably a question that you should address to the iwi, hapu and maori themselves. There is already a natural system for abolishing the seats. Māori simply don’t have to enroll for the seats. And I think that majority still don’t (otherwise we’d be looking at something like 15+ maori seats rather than 7).

                      I can’t see that it makes any particular distortions to proportionality except by the 1 seat threshold issue – and I’d abolish that first as it is a clear distortion.

                      However, your Royal Commission argument is baseless at its core anyway. The grounds the Royal Commission gave as justification for abolishing the Maori seats was quite specific.

                      When a Royal Commission proposed the adoption of the MMP electoral system in 1986, it also proposed that if the country adopted the new system, it should abolish the Māori electorates. The Commission argued that under MMP, all parties would have to pay attention to Māori voters, and that the existence of separate Māori electorates marginalised Māori concerns.

                      In that they are quite correct. The proportionality, if implemented the way that the Royal Commission recommended, would have had few disadvantages for Māori.

                      However the way that never happened. The Bolger changes to MMP did a deliberate tradeoffs.

                      That kicked the threshold up higher than was functional for our democracy. Should have been 3% or 4% – just enough to prevent the nutter fringe skew that you see in places like Israel.

                      It provided the escape loophole for winning single electorates that leads to dysfunctional puppet parties.

                      It removed the ongoing proportionality between list and electorate seats that is steadily reducing the proportionality.

                      From memory the trade off on Māori seats was a direct consequence of the tradeoff of the size of South Island seats. Which are over represented.

                      And about 15 other things – all of which entrenched the existing party systems and made it hard to get other useful working parties into parliament.

                      We don’t want a hellhole system like the one that is crippling the Israelis and driving them to their atrocity systems and acting like concentration guards on extermination camps. But we do need one that allows new functional parties to form and grow.

                      FFS have you actually read the recommendations or do you simply like looking like a ignorant fool? Try reading them.

                      And even so, I’d still give the option to Māori for disestablishment.

                      My families have been around NZ since the 1860s and earlier and we have a pretty clear vision of exactly how recent immigration over the last 100+ years has discriminated against Māori and my cousins.

                      Most of it directed by parliament and most of that from arseholes like the National party and it predecessors.

                      I simply don’t think that parliament has the moral authority to make those kinds of decisions. They are still morally stained by the guilt of their predecessors decisions. I’m not even sure that they have the legal right – certainly it’d be challengeable.

                      If they try to make those decisions, then I think that is when I’d start getting deeply interested in politics – doing Utu work. Probably via the court system and targeted at the individuals and organisations responsible.

                      Personally I’d say that when our prison population of Māori drops to just double their percentage of the population, then parliament may legitimately start getting involved in such decisions. That will take a while. In the meantime parliament should stay away from that kind of repeated abuse and leave the slow reform work started in the 1980s to keep doing what is required.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      A rant Trump would be proud of.

                    • lprent

                      Hey dead fish: I don’t think that he’d be nearly as coherent, and he’d have lied throughout most of his one.

                      But hey if that was all you took from it, then I suspect that you’re probably as ignorant and stupid as he is.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Careful now, with your dicky ticker you’ll be back up at the cardiology ward if you don’t minimise your stress.

                    • lprent

                      Yep. you are definitely quite stupid and quite ignorant.

                      FYI: it was a MI. You should learn to understand the topics that you blather on about – displaying your basic ignorance.

                      Sure it nearly killed me, but was stented early enough to reduce heart muscle damage to a pretty minimal level and didn’t cause any apparent brain damage. Apparently these were unusual after a 100% blockage in a heart artery. I still program, and learn new languages regularly. Kotlin on android is the current project I’m working on – I figure that is somewhere between my 90th and 95th language that I have learnt since I started programming.

                      Not a severe issue provided I keep take the meds to prevent further damage.

                      The main effect is that at present I find climbing 5 flights of stairs at least 3 times a day (at home and currently at work until the lift is fixed) to be an pain in the legs and makes me puff a bit – after I have been riding a bike for 3.3km. But hey, I’m nearly 60. I’d have still had sore legs and panted a bit when I was 40.

                      It certainly doesn’t cause me problems with dealing with dimwitted dickheads like you.

                • patricia bremner

                  Actually the biggest change suggested was the overseas donations issue.
                  The Maori seats should be decided by Maori.

              • Gosman

                The logic behind any threshold eludes me. What is the problem it is trying to solve?

                • Sacha

                  Fragmented government. Do some reading.

                  • alwyn

                    Yes, with no minimum size you can get a surprising number of rats and mice.

                    I just had a look at Italy.
                    They appear to have 6 major parties, who got at least 4% of the National vote, and something like 30 others who seem to have seats in the Parliament.
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Italy#Major_parties
                    With very low thresholds that sort of thing is just about inevitable.

                    Greece appears to have 8 major parties and about 10 which appear to have one member each. At least that is how I read the article.
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Greece#Parties_during_the_Third_Hellenic_Republic_(1974%E2%80%93present)

                    Greece has an interesting twist to the system. There are 300 members of whom 250 are elected by a proportional system. Then there are 50 more seats that go to the largest party.
                    Weep your hearts out National supporters. If that existed here the National Party could govern alone.

                    • Gosman

                      NZ is not Italy and does not look like turning in to Italy anytime soon.

                    • alwyn

                      @Gosman.
                      You might be surprised how many more parties we would have. Looking at the first 3 MMP elections, 1996, 1999 and 2002 we had 6, 7, and 7 parties in the House.
                      With no minimum percentage, and assuming the same number of votes for each party we would have had 8, 10 and 11 parties.

                      That is in my view a minimum. We would probably have had 1 or 2 more. The reason I say that is that once a party gets a single MP they are likely to persist. They will have, at the next election a very generous taxpayer subsidy to campaign. Just the unlimited travel for MPs is worth a lot and of course they will have somebody paid by the taxpayer who can spend nearly all their time campaigning.
                      A Party that drops out is however gone for good. All with the exception of Winston, who was reincarnated in 2011 after being dumped in 2008.
                      Someone must have driven the stake in at the wrong angle

                  • KJT

                    Not necessarily a disadvantage.

                    More diversity of ideas can be a plus.

                    • Sacha

                      If the system has the right cat-herding arrangements in place. Ours uses parties and agreements between them. Hard enough negotiating with only a few others.

                • lprent

                  Gosman: Can I suggest that you look at the Royal Commission’s logic. Or the 2012 review.

                  Then, perhaps, it’d be worth talking to you rather having you being a stupid parrot with your one line. Describe why you found their logic absurd rather than playing with your dick here.

                  So far I haven’t seen you display any signs of intelligence or understanding on the issues of MMP – try doing some study.

            • You_Fool 2.2.1.1.1.3

              The fact the first royal commission is 30 years out of date is why we needed a new review, to update our processes to the modern world.

              Personally I think all thresholds need to be removed, and then all silly buggers are stopped…

              Anyway with a 4% threshold, more likely to get a parliament with so called blue-greens, act, conservatives (new or otherwise) and a new new act party, so wins for the right if they realise it and not play games with the fact that the Greens are the ones that brought it up…

              • alwyn

                It is hardly surprising that the Green Party, after looking at their polling numbers, are thinking about their situation very hard.

                Samuel Johnson summed up their situation beautifully.
                “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

                • Stuart Munro

                  The same may be said of the Gnats, who know very well that fairly counted the majority of NZ voters will seldom or never vote for their self-serving ineptitude.

            • Dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.1.4

              It was the 2012 ‘ MMP working group’ that was set up by national that collins as justice minster overuled…

    • Formerly Ross 2.3

      Gosman

      There is consensus. You seem to be confusing consensus with unanimity where everyone agrees. Alas everyone agreeing in politics is a rare thing. The majority of political parties support the 2012 review.

      https://www.dictionary.com/browse/consensus

  3. Gosman 3

    “The loss of the potential for puppet parties will hurt the right but they adversely affect proportionality.”

    Ummm… that is not correct.

    • KJT 3.1

      I thought you would be overjoyed.

      ACT may be in with a chance.

      Though I think we will have to reduce the threshold to about 0.8.

      I am OK with that. If the loony tunes in ACT, can get their vote to point 0.8, they should have representation in Parliament, in proportion to their vote. Free speech and all that.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        Tell me how having smaller parties winning electoral seats adversely impacts proportionality

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          Mickey has already shown how that works.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            Where? All I see is that if a party wins an electorate seat and does not get more than 0.7% of the vote then that causes dis-proportionality. This is hardly massive. I think you might have ACT in the Parliament and United Future in the last one which falls in to this category. So that is 1 seat out of 120 that doesn’t possibly reflect the total among the entire electorate. Yet the Threshold impacts many more seats than this. There would have been close to 5% (if not more) votes for parties that did not get in to Parliament at the last election. Denying them a seat and reallocate the vote among other parties impacts proportionality far more.

            • KJT 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, it does. I think we agree on that.

            • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Its not dis proportionality- its coat tails , they get extra MPs without getting to 5%.

              Overhang is when more electorate MPS are won than the party vote would allow. last time was MP in 2008 with 2 overhangs , they had 5 electorate seats, then one overhang in 2010 and then 1 coat tail in 2014.
              ACT had 4 coat tails in 2008

              • Gosman

                What is wrong with coat tailing?

                • Incognito

                  It violates the most fundamental democratic principle of one person, one vote. Consequently, it skews fair representation and proportionality in Parliament. This is made worse when the threshold is set absurdly high at 5%, which happens to be exactly six times the proportional threshold with 120 seats. If the number of seats increase then this ratio goes up even further, e.g. to 7-fold with 140 seats.

                  ACT got 13,075 (0.50%) of the party votes and one seat. All other parties that didn’t make it into Parliament got a combined 121,413 votes, i.e. 4.68%.

                  Please tell me that you at least can see the problem here.

                  https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/

                • Gabby

                  What’s right with it gozzeroni?

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Yes it is. Back in 2014 UF received 5,286 votes and one seat. Overall each party required 20,217 votes per list seat.

      UF received less party votes than the Conservatives, Internet Mana and ALCP but still received a seat.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        It is not a major issue though. It impacts proportionality less than having a threshold does. For example TOP received over 2% of the vote yet received zero MP’s. They would have had 3 or 4 MP’s. The only party which may have negatively impacted proportionality is ACT with 1 MP on about 0.5% of the vote. That is hardly a massive breach of proportionality.

        If your main concern is the proportionality then promote the ditching of the threshold. Then you don’t need to worry about electorate deals at all.

        • KJT 3.2.1.1

          I agree, the threshold should be ditched.

          The reasoning behind the threshold, was avoiding fruitcakes and maintaining stability.
          Hasn’t worked anyway.

          • Gosman 3.2.1.1.1

            It’s actually had the perverse effect of making NZ more like an FPP system and has reduced diversity of opinion in parliament.

            • left_forward 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes I agree – either ditch the threshold or reduce it by 2 or 3 clicks. This will go a long way to improving proportionality in parliament.

              • Gosman

                Why this desire about keeping the threshold like we are somehow protecting ourselves from unleashing some terrible disaster? The threshold makes no sense in the NZ political context.

                Btw there is already a high bar for any political party to satisfy before even getting anywhere near trying to get elected. They need to get 500 paid up members. This isn’t easy to do.

                • Shadrach

                  In principle, I agree with you, but I do have one concern. If a lower threshold resulted in a proliferation of minor parties with 1-2 seats, that could have the effect of making forming a government more difficult, and may give disproportionate power to parties and individuals with only very low levels of support.

                  • Gosman

                    As I stated to you it is quite difficult in the NZ political context to get 500 voters willing to join a political party to enable them to be registered and get the chance to even get 1 or 2 % of the vote. If you disagree with me just look at how United Future was at risk of being de-registered a few years back.

                    If we take the last few elections if we had ditched the threshold entirely then there would only have been been 3 or 4 additional parties in parliament. I can think of Internet/Mana, TOP, the Conservatives, and possibly Legalise Cannabis party. I don’t think NZ politics would be harmed with having those parties in parliament.

                    • Sam

                      Elections have very little to do with democracy. It’s all the stuff done in between to create a democratic culture that’s important. Some lessons can be learnt by the way Tamati Coffe roled Te Ururoa in Waiariki. Te Ururoa thought he could buddy up to corporate interests. Tamati taught him the error of his way.

                    • Shadrach

                      Good points, but my concern remains that one or more of those could end up determining the government. It’s bad enough when it’s a 7% party.

                    • Sam

                      There is nothing good or bad about electoral laws designed to increase representation.

      • alwyn 3.2.2

        The only way you could have prevented United Future getting a seat in the House would be to have told the people of Ohariu that you are going to ignore their choice of MP and that they weren’t going to be allowed to have an electorate MP to represent them.
        Would you really do that?

      • Wayne 3.2.3

        mickysavage

        A false argument from you (again).

        As you well know, UF had one seat because Peter Dunne won an electorate. That is the only seat that UF had.

        Are you seriously suggesting that a person not be able to win a seat if they beat all the other contenders in that seat? Presumably not.

        Yours is an argument for no threshold, well, a threshold of one. So that if a party gets 20,000 votes they will get a seat. It would probably result in a quite few one seat parties, who would have a disproportionate leverage in parliament. Look at Aussie for an example of that. Which is why there is a decent threshold.

        Mind you a couple of one seat parties (from electorates) can have a lot of leverage.

        • You_Fool 3.2.3.1

          Exactly, having the threshold has not stopped crazy people from getting in… I mean we have had ACT, NZF, UF and National…so how much worse could it be?

          • alwyn 3.2.3.1.1

            Much, much, much worse than that.
            We ended up with a bunch of crazies from the Watermelon party.
            Screeeeeeeeeeam!

        • alwyn 3.2.3.2

          A party that got 10,000 votes would get a single MP.
          You need about a further 20,000 for each additional seat.
          Have a look at how the allocation method works.

        • Anne 3.2.3.3

          A false argument from you (again).

          As you well know, UF had one seat because Peter Dunne won an electorate. That is the only seat that UF had.

          Disingenuous of you Wayne. See link:

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11299883

          And we all know what happened.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Gosh this upset Gosman real badly today didn’t it?

    • Gosman 4.1

      Why do you assume I am upset?

      This is in fact a juicy topic that I will enjoy exploring. I am in fact the opposite of upset.

  5. cleangreen 5

    ‘yeah right’ we are not fooled by big money interests.

    I agree with the ‘greens’ on this one.

    Well founded that Koch Bros and their elitists carbal are always buying country’s policies.

    Big money is corruption in politics, – so go for it greens.

    • Gosman 5.1

      The Koch brothers did not support Trump yet he won.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        False equivalency.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          Why is it false equivalency?

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.1

            The proposition was big money effects politics.

            What the Koch brothers did or didn’t do. Doesn’t prove anything one way or the other.

            I suspect with the US super Pac’s, no one except the Koch’s, know the full extent of their donations.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1.1

              The trouble is people like you think that because there is big money in politics then it must logically follow that it has a huge influence or even a significant adverse impact. That is not necessarily the case.

              • arkie

                Then when it’s influence is removed then there will be no impact?

                If it’s of no consequence why do they donate then? If it has no value why would a business or industry group bother spending their money on something that changes nothing?

                • Gosman

                  Of course it has an impact. The question is whether it has an undue influence or negative impact. I have yet to see a serious case made for this. The default assumption seems to be ” Big money in politics is bad m’kay”.

                  • arkie

                    Why should it have any impact? The point is people don’t want the to take the risk. The default assumption is that the only influences on politicians should be the voices of their voters.
                    Just because you’ve not seen a case of negative impact we shouldn’t take the precaution of protecting democracy?

                    • Gosman

                      There are multiple ways of influencing politics unduly. If you want to eliminate these then you should look to ban such things as petitions and protests as well. Keep politics pure and simple. Only individual voters get to influence the politicians. No special interest groups or movements allowed.

                    • arkie

                      Well those things aren’t undue though are they?
                      Protest is a right, not at all undue.
                      Petitions are also part of normal political life, not undue.
                      Both of these things are in public, and their point is to be obvious.
                      Donations to politicians are not always publicly acknowledged and nor is the reason for them publicly stated.
                      So what you call ‘undue’ are the most public, and democratic parts of our political process; yet you think that opaque payments to politicians by unknown groups isn’t?

                    • Gosman

                      Your issue then is not with donations but with transparency. That is fine. I will support efforts to get more transparency in reporting on political donations.

                    • arkie

                      I think we should ban donations and publicly fund elections. Thus precluding the need for transparency in donations.

                    • Gosman

                      Then also stop people volunteering for political parties and create a department where public servants will be allocated to each party based on the same formula for funding them. Labour and National will obviously get the most help in this regard. It is only “fair” after all.

                    • arkie

                      Why? Volunteering your time is democratic, we theoretically all have equal amounts of it, therefore it’s not an ‘undue’ influence. Only the outsized influence of large donations are ‘undue’ as we don’t all have millions at our disposal. Volunteering for a party you believe in is the point of party membership.

                      Your argument is illogical, but that’s not new

                  • patricia bremner

                    A little silly Gossy!! It depends what the giver wants. If it is control of the Pacific… well it could be crucial xx

              • KJT

                There is ample evidence of adverse effects.

                We have been showing them on here for years.

                Chinese Millionaires don’t donate 100k, because they are keen on supporting “Democracy.

                Neither do US ones.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.2

        The Koch brothers did not support Trump yet he won.

        To clarify the logical fallacy involved here, consider this example:

        A: “Driving when drunk is dangerous.”

        B: “Rubbish, I drove drunk the other night and nothing happened.”

        • Gosman 5.1.2.1

          No, what the logical fallacy really is

          A: “There is lot’s of big money in politics”

          B: “Therefore big money negatively impacts politics”

          • Stuart Munro 5.1.2.1.1

            Of course you misstated it:

            A: “There’s lots of big money in US democracy.”

            B: “Therefore big money negatively impacts US democracy.”

            It’s inarguable. Politics exists with or without monied involvement, democracy is imperiled by it.

            • Gosman 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course it is arguable. I have been arguing it right here.

              • Stuart Munro

                And failing, because the matter of the argument lies in ethos, a concept that is utterly foreign to you.

                Bribery is not an issue for Gosman – it’s merely another business transaction to him.

              • left_forward

                Stuart is right Gos, you are too busy here trying to disprove what you contend is a fallacy by using another fallacy. This is circular – you can prove if you like that the world is flat using such a method, and many do of course.

                The weight of argument however is always the ethos when it relates to human interactions. This is why I often call you out as a smart arse – intent only in demonstrating your abilities in the art of the circular reference – I know it well – my late grandfather-in-law used to do the same thing,

                However, you are not objective about what side of a debate you take, and thus you are indeed influenced by the ethos, as you more often than not defend unethical positions.

                Here for example, relying on a logical fallacy, you attempt to defend big business bribes on a parliamentary process that is ethically charged with assessing the best course of action to benefit the collective of all New Zealanders.

            • Bewildered 5.1.2.1.1.2

              Stuart Your deductive arguement is invalid purely on construction by begging the question by your premis assuming the truth of your conclusion

              • Stuart Munro

                Bewildered, as usual you don’t know wtf you are talking about.

                I’m addressing the issue at the heart of the Green decision to act against the corrupting influence of foreign monies.

                Gosman is misrepresenting it because, as usual, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

                And you, in your backward fashion, are trying to troll me because I’ve wiped the floor with him.

                Grow up.

                If you think you have an argument to make in support of foreign funds enhancing or not harming democratic representation, by all means wheel it out. I’m sure we could all use the laugh.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.2.1.2

            No, what the logical fallacy really is

            A: “There is lot’s of big money in politics”

            B: “Therefore big money negatively impacts politics”

            Yep, that one’s a non sequitur. However, this version isn’t:

            A: “Political parties are highly dependent on donations.”

            B: “Therefore, people or organisations with a lot of money to donate have leverage over politicians.”

            • Bewildred 5.1.2.1.2.1

              Yours is more of an inductive arguement that can’t be valid or not valid just weak or strong based on evidence of which you provide little, thus to Gosman point I would suggest weak until proven otherwise from a nz context

          • Gabby 5.1.2.1.3

            A: “There is lots more big money in politics”
            B: Politics has got dirtier.
            C: “Therefore big money has negatively impacted politics

            How bout that El Gozzerino?

        • Hanswurst 5.1.2.2

          To clarify the logical fallacy involved here, consider this example:

          A: “Driving when drunk is dangerous.”

          B: “Rubbish, I drove drunk the other night and nothing happened.”

          It’s not even that. It’s more like this:

          A: Driving when drunk is dangerous.

          B: No it isn’t. There was a car crash last night, but that drunkard over there wasn’t even in the car!

      • cleangreen 5.1.3

        Trump won; – ???

        Doesn’t look that way to me!!!

        The Washington swamp is still well alive and the ‘Koch and elitists back that as well as their queen Hillary Clinton remember, – the one that destroyed the 30 000 emails on her phone?

        Not inquisitive? as to how she got away from being investigated by the washington swamp?

        Power is what they back.

        • left_forward 5.1.3.1

          Get over it cg FFS!

          Hillary is not queen of the so-called ‘Washington swamp’, and the emails were irrelevant but used successfully to attack her during the campaign. Compared to the mountain of unethical and illegal stuff that is currently levelled at Trump, Hillary’s supposed misdemeanours are miniscule.

          Why are you not inquisitive about how Trump has so far gotten away with all that he has done up to now?

          • Gabby 5.1.3.1.1

            You’ve got to wonder why she walked into that mess and then fought so hard to avoid walking back out of it fordy. Seeing as how it made her look like a devious conniving little shit and all. Maybe she just had an elevated sense of her own rightness, in no way fed by her fawning admirers.

      • Siobhan 5.1.4

        “Did not support Trump” or any candidate publicly The Koch network is so complicated and long winded it would be naive to say they didn’t support any one candidate or party..they simply suport themselves.

        “Asked during the 2016 campaign how he would vote, Charles Koch demurred, “If I had to vote for cancer or a heart attack, why would I vote for either?”.

        Trump is itching to invade Venezuela and will quite possibly get the Koch brothers investments back…so maybe things will come up roses for the Kochs anyway.

        Meantime…

        “The Kochs’ policy objectives that have been realized since Trump took office are legion: enactment of the $1.5 trillion tax cut; the opening of public lands to mining; the appointment of men and women with industry ties to key regulatory posts; weakened enforcement of worker safety rules; the proposed elimination or rollback of numerous environmental regulations; the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, along with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, and the appointment of judges favored by the Kochs to all levels of the federal bench.”

        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/opinion/trump-koch-brothers-alliance.html

  6. UncookedSelachimorpha 6

    In my view the minimum party vote threshold should be the percentage that equals a single seat.

    Why not? Coalitions are what adults do (sorry National).

    • Gosman 6.2

      Completely agree. the only reason we have a threshold is because that is what the Germans had in their system which we seemed to have imported lock stock and barrel. Our political climate and history is very different to Germany’s. There is far less tradition of extremism in NZ Politics.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        Agree. The threshold in Germany was to keep the neo Nazi’s out.

        My view is that it is better to keep them in plain sight, if they do gain sufficient following.
        Unlikely in New Zealand.

        • Gosman 6.2.1.1

          So if we are in agreement why is there not a move to ditch the threshold completely? It would largely solve the issue of proportionality and decrease the likelihood of electoral deals. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

          • KJT 6.2.1.1.1

            Totally.

          • KJT 6.2.1.1.2

            I’ve asked Golriz. May get a reply if she is not too busy.

            I suspect because. one. It would be attacked as self serving, if it comes from the Greens.
            Two. That big a change probably requires a referendum. Whereas 4% was recommended by the electoral commission.

            • Gosman 6.2.1.1.2.1

              ANY change to the electoral system should either have to be voted on via a referendum and/or get broad cross party support. If she is serious about this she should campaign to get cross party support for ditching the threshold.

              • KJT

                There has been a lot of changes to the electoral system without referenda.

                However I agree any big changes should be subject to referendum.

                In fact we should have Swiss style binding referendums.
                No doubt National will call that “Democracy under attack”, also.

                • Gosman

                  Swiss style binding referendums flies in the face of a Representative democracy.

                  • arkie

                    For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum). In addition, the people may present a constitutional popular initiative to introduce amendments to the federal constitution. The people also assume a role similar to the constitutional court, which does not exist, and thus act as the guardian of the rule of law.

                    They still have are representative democracy though, the people just have more voice.

                    This is a bad thing in your opinion?

                    • KJT

                      Effectively the people, act like an upper house.

                    • This is a bad thing in your opinion?

                      It certainly is in mine. Swiss law was changed to enfranchise women in 1971. See if you can figure out why it didn’t happen before then…

                    • arkie

                      @Milt

                      Yes, it was:

                      1971 at federal level, and at local canton level between 1959 in the cantons of Vaud and Neuchâtel

                      So some localities used their direct democracy to institute full enfranchisement earlier than the state as a whole.

                      I’m not sure this late adoption on a federal level can be put down to the difference between representative and direct democracy.

                      A lot of southern European states were amongst the last to enact full enfranchisement.

                    • KJT

                      Because a majority, of voters, in their conservative society, were opposed.

                      In New Zealand the public supported votes for women, and it was Parliament which held it up.

                      It is irrelevant now, because we already have a universal franchise, except for prisoners, whose voting rights were removed by about 60 people in Parliament,

                      Just because we, personally don’t like a democratic decision, is not an argument against democracy.

                      In fact you can see parallels with the opposition to the Chartists.
                      “Ordinary people cannot be trusted with power”.

                    • I’m not sure this late adoption on a federal level can be put down to the difference between representative and direct democracy.

                      You may not be, but I’m drawing a direct link between male voters being the ones polled in referenda on the subject, and women not getting the vote until 1971. NZ women were lucky we had representative democracy rather than binding referenda. The majority of eligible voters is not always right.

                    • Two more examples while I’m at it.

                      1. Suppose National had put the disenfranchisement of prison inmates to a binding referendum, rather than just passing a law. Most people don’t like prison inmates, so it would certainly have passed. As it stands, the current or any future government can re-enfranchise prisoners, but a referendum would ensured prison inmates were permanently disenfranchised.

                      2. The very subject under discussion: the 5% threshold. Most people support the two main parties, so are dismissive of smaller parties and don’t care that people on the fringes of politics have their votes discarded and effectively redistributed to the major parties at every election. Tyranny of the majority is very much A Thing.

                    • arkie

                      @ Milt

                      Yes I can see there is an issue there, but to counter; There was a a referendum on asset sales which the majority rejected, but was ignored by our ‘representatives’. So it cuts both ways. I’m not advocating for a complete direct democracy, but the one of the problems of democracy in general is the Tyranny of the Majority.

                    • KJT

                      At present we have a “Tyranny of a minority”.
                      About 60 odd people who are stupid enough to want to be MP’s.

                      How is that better?

                      And, binding referenda do get reversed, more often than some of Parliaments stupidity, in fact.

                      California’s reversal of tax cuts, for example.

                    • KJT

                      “not be, but I’m drawing a direct link between male voters being the ones polled in referenda on the subject, and women not getting the vote until 1971. NZ women were lucky we had representative democracy rather than binding referenda. The majority of eligible voters is not always right.”

                      New Zealand males were behind the women’s franchise, it was Parliament that dragged the chain.

                      So. In our case, with binding referenda, they would likely have got the vote, earlier.

                      Your arguments against binding referenda were also used against universal franchise.

                      What they basically amount too, is, “We cannot give a vote to the peasants, they may not vote the same way is us.

                      Interesting hearing the same excuses trotted out by the Aristocracy, against the Chartists in the TV, series, Victoria.
                      The excuses why people should not be allowed to decide their own destiny are as self serving now, as they were, then.

                  • KJT

                    They seem to manage it fine.

                    However, “”Representative Democracy” is long gone, when parties sign the TPPA and rush through asset sales, to give but two examples, against overwhelming public opposition.

                    • alwyn

                      “rush through asset sales”.
                      What on earth are you talking about?
                      It can’t possibly be the selling of parts of the Power Companies. After all National announced their proposal during their 2008 – 2011 term. They said that they would do it only if they won the 2011 election. Well they won and they finally sold the minority shareholding a couple of years later.

                      The Greens are trying to push through a change to the Electoral Act in order to try and save their seats in Parliament. They are absolutely petrified that they will be booted out at the next election and they will do almost anything to save their jobs.

                    • KJT

                      Oh. Yes. The idea you have a mandate for a particular policy. Because it was “your turn” to win an election.

                      That is not “Democracy”.

                      It is rotating dictatorship.

                    • alwyn

                      If Labour was to win the next election do you think that they will have a mandate to implement a CGT?
                      I would say yes, given it was something that they had spelled out clearly before the election. If however they drop it, or water it down dramatically prior to the election I would say they had no right to go the full monty afterward.

                    • KJT

                      Not if they cannot persuade a majority, in a fair debate, that it is a good idea.

                      However we do need to make sure that everyone is informed.
                      Not propagandized.

                      If you don’t like it, you can get petition numbers for a binding referendum against it. If we adopted the Swiss model.

                      Take away the party loyalist effect, where some will vote for any policy their party supports, and just vote on policies.

            • alwyn 6.2.1.1.2.2

              How did you manage to contact her?
              I have tried to contact a number of Green MPs on a number of occasions but they never reply. Far to busy going on overseas jaunts I suppose.
              The also claim to have representatives who act as “shadow” representatives for electorates but they don’t have any electorate offices and they don’t publish who the “representatives” are.

              • KJT

                Same as always. Facebook, email, or website.

                However how and who to contact are on the Green party website.

              • Robert Guyton

                “Far to busy going on overseas jaunts I suppose”
                Couldn’t contact The Greens, Alwyn?
                Perhaps they saw you coming.

                • alwyn

                  Probably they did. I didn’t come bearing pots of gold or chanting “How great thou art” while bowing down to Marama so they wouldn’t be very keen to see me.
                  I have observed that the more rabid Green enthusiasts seem to be only willing to talk to their own kind.
                  You are an exception. You are willing to discuss, even if not terribly logically, your views.

                  By the way if big money donations are corrupting I trust you will have a word with the Green Party hierarchy.
                  The biggest, and it was by far the biggest, donation received by any New Zealand Political Party in 2018 was one of $350,000 to — THE GREEN PARTY.

                  At least it was the biggest I found in a fairly cursory look. I think it is accurate though.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I will have that word, Alwyn. I understand the donation was received upon the passing-away of the donor so if somehow she’s presently pressuring The Greens to do something undemocratic, we need to sort this spooky stuff out right away!

                    • alwyn

                      I was aware where it came from Robert.
                      The Green Party should really take the concept of control the grave seriously though Robert. The concept of Gaia as being a living being seems to be quite common among Green supporters isn’t it.
                      You know the idea. If I release to much CO2 then Gaia will be hurt. That Gaia is a living being who cares about what we do.
                      Well I’m afraid I regard that as being in the same category of spookiness. Anyone who can adopt the idea of Gaia existing can equally accept the idea of life after death and Ghosts haunting us.

                      On a similar tack did you happen to hear one of the “three minute” talks on RNZ last Sunday (I think).
                      This proposed the Kauri die back was happening because the trees were sentient beings who were unhappy because the knew, somehow, that there brethren had been cut down. The die back was simply their grieving.
                      Something like that anyway. He seemed to think that if we apologized to the trees everything would get better. It was something along those lines anyway. I found listening to his tripe for even 3 minutes was to long and went off and did something useful.
                      A Green Party friend of mind assured me later that it all made sense and apologies should be made.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Alwyn – I sometimes enjoy your comments, but in this instance, your views are not terribly logical; in fact, reading the bilious things, I found myself transported back to my childhood and the stomach-turning experience of being in the kitchen whilst my father cooked tripe and onions.

              • Gabby

                Prolly just blocked your number wally.

  7. Anne 7

    Will the reduction of the MMP threshold to 4% adversely affect our democratic system?

    I imagine the main reason the Nats and their media acolytes are getting their knickers in a twist is because their strategy is to kick both NZ First and the Greens out of the equation and replace them with this new fake blue/green party.

    Can’t help being amused by the difference in reaction. When the Nats were faced with the question of changing the threshold there was none of the hollering. Sure Collins put her foot down but nobody screamed “corruption” at the Nats for considering it.

    And while on the subject of the Greens:

    What’s with this campaign against Golriz Ghahraman? Is it because she comes from a Muslim back-ground?

    • I imagine the main reason the Nats and their media acolytes are getting their knickers in a twist is because their strategy is to kick both NZ First and the Greens out of the equation and replace them with this new fake blue/green party.

      I believe so too. Hooton’s fury at this is surprising, until you take into account what a big stick it would put in the spokes of National’s political strategy.

    • Sabine 7.2

      well you go look at the No Mates Party and its members and it makes sense why they would attack a highly educated young women, who has a career out of politics waiting for her – one that is not a ‘given cushy job’ aka donor welfare, young and thus at the beginning of her career in parliament and party (!!), and you can see why the No Mates Party is spitting nails. The best they have to show is Judith Oravida, Paula Benefits, Nick No houses Smith, Simon NO Bridges, Amy Irigiation Adams and the likes.
      Its sad to be a Party without Friends, Talent, and Youth.

      • tabletennis 7.2.1

        Thank you Sabine, for the reminder of the white coats less the logos NATZ, of the company they represent

    • cleangreen 7.3

      Anything that would harm national will be rejected by those who support them, so national have to put up a front to oppose change here.

      To have new minimum party vote threshold will allow ‘diversity’ and national always loved speaking about ‘diversity’ when they held the reigns right?

      One rule for everyone not just for the rich.

    • Gosman 7.4

      Ditch the threshold and eliminate the argument.

    • Gosman 7.5

      The campaign against Ghahraman is not because she is a Muslim but because she is massively sanctimonious.

      • KJT 7.5.1

        Bull.

        It is because she is a intelligent, articulate and effective young woman.

        Whose experiences have left her with a great deal of compassion.

        The unethical and selfish don’t like having their faults highlighted.

        • Gosman 7.5.1.1

          Yeah because the right wing hates highly intelligent, articulate, and effective young women and have never promoted any such person to positions of authority. /sarc

          • KJT 7.5.1.1.1

            “Never a truer word, been spoken in jest”.

            The last one was Marilyn Waring.

            As for sanctimonious. Never heard Paula Bennett, on welfare recipients?

            • alwyn 7.5.1.1.1.1

              Marilyn. A good National Party MP, while it lasted.
              You certainly wouldn’t have had someone like that chosen as a Labour Party candidate at the time she came to the fore. For the first 2 of her 3 terms she got on very well with Rob. He wasn’t prejudiced against people of her views until very late in his time in power.

  8. Gosman 8

    Did the lefties not learn anything from the last time you tried to make unilateral changes to electoral law? Any move to do so without getting broad consensus from across the spectrum enables the other side to attack you in the most nasty and brutal manner and paint you as enemies of democracy. This is why it should be avoided unless there is a really strong case for doing so. I see no strong case being made yet.

    • KJT 8.1

      I can see a strong case for ditching the threshold, and getting rid of undue influence.

      4% not so much.

      However proposals for electoral change has always come from one party.

      The public are usually for anything, which reduces the overall power of politicians and undue influence.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        The people weren’t impressed with the last effort in this area. The Government lost the next election partially as a result.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          Nothing to do with unending propaganda and deliberate manipulation. Eh?

          “Labour tried that. The reaction from the right makes their reaction to the CGT, look mild. “Democracy under attack” headlines, for example. The NACT’s went totally ballistic over the chance that they couldn’t buy elections, and politicians.”

          “Democracy under attack” FFS.

          • Gosman 8.1.1.1.1

            Even if your narrative was correct (which it isn’t) why give ammunition to your opponents to run “unending propaganda and deliberate manipulation”?

    • KJT 8.2

      “enables the other side to attack you in the most nasty and brutal manner and paint you as enemies of democracy”.

      You got it.

      Because the National side are into lying, cheating and manipulating their way into power, helped by their millions in electoral bribes/sorry, funding from millionaires who care about democracy.

    • James 8.3

      make unilateral changes

      Unilateral changes that apparently require a 75% super-majority or a referendum?

    • Dukeofurl 8.4

      You mean these previous changes to electoral law were ok, but from now on it requires a super majority
      Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2010
      Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2011
      Electoral Amendment Act 2009
      Electoral Amendment Act 2010
      Electoral Amendment Act 2013
      Electoral Amendment Act 2014
      Electoral Amendment Act 2017
      Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010
      Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Act 2010

      Which party changed the Election law virtually every year from 2009-2017

      • Gosman 8.4.1

        How many of these changes were controversial?

        • Psycho Milt 8.4.1.1

          So, we’ve now shifted to changes to electoral law only needing clear public support or cross-party agreement if right-wingers find them controversial. What demonstrated public demand or cross-party support was there for disenfranchising prisoners, for instance?

          • Gosman 8.4.1.1.1

            I stated that changes in the electoral law need cross party support and/or to be backed by a referendum. Do you have evidence these law changes did not have cross party support?

            • Psycho Milt 8.4.1.1.1.1

              The Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 was highly controversial (because it breaches NZ’s Bill of Rights Act) and only two parties voted for it: National and ACT.

        • Dukeofurl 8.4.1.2

          This certainly was
          Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Act 2010

          So its OK if some of nationals law changes arent controversial, that overcomes the controversial ones?

          This shoots your down your fake consensus position…. its about National getting what it wants.

          They want to skip the boundaries change too- as they would be disadvantaged by it and would mostly affect rural and provincial MPs…someone would miss out in musical chairs.

          Wheres the groundswell/consensus for that change. ( electorate seats have a 5% variation in numbers so dont require super accurate census numbers)

          • Gosman 8.4.1.2.1

            116 MP’s voted for the Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Act 2010 on it’s third reading. The only people who didn’t were Act and 5 NZ First MP’s. Please tell me why this change did not have broad cross party support?

        • left_forward 8.4.1.3

          …and here goes the Gosman passive aggressive troll technique of asking a seemingly simple question while making a statement that he doesn’t have to defend. Nobody knows the answer to this without having to do the investigative work. It seems like an innocent question and Gos can reserve the possibility that he knows the answer when he obviously doesn’t.

          If Duke or anyone else makes the effort to find out, and say they show that a number of these amendments were indeed controversial, Gos will then trot out his logical fallacy routine to circularise the argument.

    • Robert Guyton 8.5

      “the other side to attack you in the most nasty and brutal manner”
      Doesn’t sound very “good faithy”, does it.

  9. Andre 9

    If the overhang provision is abolished, what happens in the case of, say, the 2008 election where the Maori Party won 5 electorates but only 2.39% of the party vote (3 seats worth) and there was an overhang of 2 seats? Does the number of seats to be allocated by the Sainte-Lague process get reduced to 118?

    For my two cents worth, I’d prefer to see the overhang kept, but the holders of overhang seats made ineligible for confidence and supply votes.

    I’m also a big fan of reducing the threshold to 0.83% – if a party wins one seat’s worth of the nationwide vote, then dammit it deserves to have its voice in Parliament.

    • Gosman 9.1

      Yes so why not get a groundswell of support for this then?

      • You_Fool 9.1.1

        Umm there was? The 2012 review included public consultation and its recommendations include what the public asked for… just because National stomped all over democracy (under attack!) doesn’t mean it wasn’t there

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          There was a groundswell of support for reducing the threshold to 0.8.3% in 2012??? I must have missed that.

    • Dukeofurl 9.2

      No .
      It cant affect seats which are electorates( overhangs) , only list Mps who arrive via someone else winning a seat.
      So the 2014 election had MP with one electorate seat and 1 coat tail seat as they were below 5%. The coattail MP wouldnt be selected in the distribution process

      • Andre 9.2.1

        I shoulda reread the Electoral Commission final report before commenting.

        1.60 The usual number of quotients to be allocated using the Sainte-Laguë formula is 120. The simplest method of abolishing overhang seats and, therefore, the Commission’s preference would be to reduce the number of quotients to be allocated by the number of overhang seats. For example, if a party were to win one more electorate seat than it was entitled to under its share of the party vote, the number of quotients to be allocated would be reduced from 120 to 119 so that the size of Parliament remained at 120. It is important to note the party would keep any electorate seats it won. This, in effect, is the same approach that would apply if an independent candidate won an electorate seat under current arrangements.

        p 21 of https://www.elections.org.nz/sites/default/files/bulk-upload/documents/Final_Report_2012_Review_of_MMP.pdf

        • Dukeofurl 9.2.1.1

          sorry , I thought you meant ‘overhang MPs’ missout , but it seems that list mps would miss out to maintain parliament at 120.

          Coat tail MPS are easy to remove, the party wouldnt be included in the distribution.

    • alwyn 9.3

      I believe that the intent was to deprive some other party, possibly on the other side of the house of some of their members. Yes, if I am right the 119 and 120 members would have missed out.
      In this case the Green Party and the National Party would have each lost a member.
      Hardly seems fair does it?

  10. Anne 10

    Not directly connected to this post but still relevant.

    Duncan Garner interviews Vernon Tava:

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/03/vernon-tava-s-plan-to-always-be-in-government.html

    The give away imo is his intention to always… go with the party which gets the most votes.

    Either he is ignorant or deceitful.

    MMP is about the division between Left and Right – not so much about individual parties. Currently the Right only has one viable party to vote for and that is National with a tiny boutique party on the side. Therefore National gets virtually all of the Right vote. The Left has two viable parties plus a centre party currently veering in their direction. Therefore the Left vote is divided up between them with a majority favouring Labour. So, based on current political party realities which don’t look like changing any time soon:

    This “Teal Party” will always go with National.

    • Wayne 10.1

      Anne,

      Not a reasonable conclusion. From what I can see, his party could go both ways. If there were two green parties in parliament and they held the balance of power, there would be a real debate within them as to which way they would go.

      At the moment, the one green party is welded to Labour, in part because there is only one green party, which is very clearly a left party. Having said that, Vernon Tava has a huge hill to climb to get to 5%, or even 4%.

    • Jess NZ 10.2

      Vernon Tava couldn’t get enough Greens to support him as co-leader, so how can anyone expect him to succeed at his own party? National donors can only help so much without bleeding their own votes which are already looking shaky against Labour.

      I think he’s both ignorant and deceitful. MMP negotiations have nothing to do with going with the party with the most votes, and IF he’s ever in a position to negotiate, I guarantee he won’t give up his voters’ power by saying “welp, that party has the most votes, no negotiations needed folks!”

  11. Jess NZ 11

    Re: the threshold: it was part of the independent recommendation, and will apply to all parties if implemented. Might benefit Greens, might not. The original recommendation was 3% and Bradbury is rather hysterically saying it ought to be even lower to be fair if the Greens rilly cared about fairness, but do you think the public would approve of really low thresholds, given how they grizzle about the party power in the Coalition even with 5%?

    Re: donations – Just like for advertising – if money didn’t make a difference, why does so much money get donated? Are all these givers just thinking ‘How can I spend my riches and make no difference at all…?’ Why have any rules or even solicit donations if money donated is meaningless?

    “The National Party received almost $4.6 million in donations in the lead up to the last election – three times more money than it was allowed to spend in the campaign.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/103655890/the-national-party-was-donated-three-times-more-money-than-labour-last-year–but-labour-won
    (criminally misleading tagline, btw – National bought more votes but Labour won the MMP negotiations with other parties)

    ‘The “demand” to buy political influence has also risen. With the increase in worldwide inequality and kleptocracy, there are more rich people for whom buying influence is the norm. Specifically in New Zealand, there has been an influx of wealthy expatriates from China, where buying influence is an accepted practice. They often retain close links to the Chinese Communist Party, which runs an authoritarian, anti-democratic and oppressive regime. It is thus not surprising that issues of donations and foreign influence are increasingly entering into domestic political debates.’

    And of course, there’s Peter Thiel, whose citizenship should by all rights be revoked.

    https://theconversation.com/new-zealand-politics-foreign-donations-and-political-influence-105489

    • Dukeofurl 11.1

      Which review said 3% ? . the 2012 one said 4%.

      I checked the 1986 Royal Commission , it too said 4% with some dispensation for maori.

      • Jess NZ 11.1.1

        Apologies for quoting Hooton, but that’s where I got the figure from – first suggesting possibly 3% in section 1.28 then adjusting to 4% for the actual recommendation. It’s deep in the thread and I’m not sure I can make a better link.

        I’m not arguing for 3%.

        • Jess NZ 11.1.1.1

          Arguing to reduce the threshold even further is mostly a cover for those hoping MMP will fail under the weight of the tiny fringe voices with nothing to lose.

  12. Henry 12

    This petition seems identical to a petition by Action Station from November 2018. What’s the connection?

  13. CHCoff 13

    I was at a water protest and there were quite a few of the Rod Donald leftwing type NZ characters there, speaking and what not.

    So a question is, how is Marama’s mandated reform of Green party internal functioning coming along?

  14. SHG 14

    Changes to electoral law should not be made without the overwhelming support of all parties in parliament.

  15. timeforacupoftea 15

    I’m surprised !
    Surely The Green Party requires heaps of donated cash to get the messages out about climate change, melting pole caps, drowning Indians in there delta area, Pacific Islands disappearing, Oil and Gas closure = the list goes on.

    Otherwise nobody will know the future grandchildren will have drowned or choked on jet fuel nasty gases etc that the Party leaders spayed over the world the last couple of years.

  16. CHCoff 16

    5% is a tough hurdle to clear for fabricated political movements.

    Anarchist media is one thing, but an anarchist representative system also, no thanks.

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    2.5% threshold.

    We would all get involved at that level, “extremists” (whoever they are) would be a bit isolated and the rest of us could get along arguing and bitching at each other as usual.

    Rule the Standard!

  18. greywarshark 18

    lprent 5/3 8.41am
    Thanks Lynn I thought that was a very good explanation of your thoughts about possible changes to electoral law. It seems that a cautious downward threshhold to 4% would be a help to better government.

    I didn’t like the personal jabs that were malicious from Stunned Mullet. I dislike the poisonous tone that these RW commenters bring. The one thing they provide perhaps is a sort of inoculation keeping our immune system going that protects against the greater level of shittiness from the stinging Gnats out there in our lovely country.

  19. Puckish Rogue 19

    ‘to overturn the prisoner voting ban to give everyone the right to vote’

    No no no no no no no, a thousands times no, a pox on the houses of anyone that even votes for this

    But seriously this is an absolute, unequivocal no, this is a very bad idea.

    • arkie 19.1

      Why?

      Most democracies give convicted criminals the same voting rights as other citizens.

      • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1

        Because people that break the law and are convicted to a custodial sentence should have no say in how laws are made, the actions they’ve taken means they’ve forfeited some of their rights and one of those is the right to vote.

        Once they’ve served their time and been deemed to have all their rights returned to them then yes they can vote but not before

        • arkie 19.1.1.1

          The big part of my problem with this idea is that it’s against our Bill of Rights.
          Also we over-incarcerate poor and brown people, so why only custodial sentences? Why not anyone convicted of a serious crime? People convicted of financial crimes are often not incarcerated but people in possession of cannabis often are. What about this discrepancy?

          • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1.1.1

            Good point, anyone on home d also loses the right to vote (if they already have it) until their sentence is served

        • Drowsy M. Kram 19.1.1.2

          My personal preference would be to restore the right of (most) prisoners to vote in NZ general elections.

          “With the enactment of the Electoral Act 1993, some prisoners were re-enfranchised. This Act only excluded prisoners sentenced to life, preventive detention or a sentence longer than three years from voting.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_of_prisoners_in_New_Zealand

          It’s not an appropriate punishment in a democracy, and particularly for those serving shorter sentences. It works against future reintegration into society. At the very least voting rights should be restored for prisoners who are serving custodial sentences of <3 years duration.

          I see no sense in the current situation in which the voting rights of those serving shortish (< 3 year) prison sentences are determined solely by the date of their incarceration.

          For example, if I’d been imprisoned in January 2015 for a period of 1 year, then I could have voted in the 2017 general election. If, however, I’d been imprisoned for the same period in January 2017, I couldn’t have voted in the 2017 general election.

        • lprent 19.1.1.3

          I tend to view it as the National party being scared shitless of Maori voters.

          As an explanation it makes more sense than your rationalization.

    • Jess NZ 19.2

      Do most of us know how recently short-term prisoners lost their vote? 2010! Gee, who was in power then? And as mentioned, the conflict with our Bill of Rights and our cute habit of overattention to the brown folks?

      ‘The 2010 Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act removed the right to vote from all serving prisoners in New Zealand. Prior to this, a ban on prisoner voting applied only to incarcerated people serving a sentence of three or more years. At the time, the removal of all prisoners’ access to the ballot was, in the opinion of then Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, “unjustifiably inconsistent with the electoral rights affirmed by s 12 of the Bill of Rights Act.”

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/03/opinion-why-prisoners-should-have-the-right-to-vote.html?ref=ves-nextauto

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New digital service to make business easy
    A new digital platform aims to make it easier for small businesses to access services from multiple government agencies, leaving them more time to focus on their own priorities. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash ...
    50 mins ago
  • Million-dollar start to gun collection events
    Million-dollar start to gun collection events  Police Minister Stuart Nash says a solid start has been made to the gun buyback and amnesty after the first weekend of community collection events. “Gun owners will walk away with more than ...
    1 day ago
  • Praise after first firearms collection event
    Police Minister Stuart Nash has praised Police and gun owners after the first firearms collection event saw a busy turnout at Riccarton Racecourse in Christchurch. “Police officers and staff have put a tremendous effort into planning and logistics for the ...
    1 day ago
  • New Police constables deployed to regions
    Seventy-eight new Police constables are heading out to the regions following today’s graduation of a new recruit wing from the Royal New Zealand Police College. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the record high number of new Police officers being recruited, ...
    1 week ago