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The right’s fear of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 pm, March 13th, 2013 - 174 comments
Categories: democratic participation - Tags:

Four hundred thousand people don’t want asset sales. In fact they don’t just not want asset sales they want every voter in New Zealand to have the chance to cast a vote for or against asset sales. And National wants to discredit them. In fact it’s vital that National discredits them because the referendum looms as a huge political threat to them.

How big a threat? Well think about it. The referendum process and the referendum itself will take weeks, perhaps even months and every time it comes up in a story voters will be reminded that the government is flogging their assets and that they are willing to ignore the wishes of the electorate to do so. That’s the core of a narrative of a government that is out of touch. And that is one of the most damaging brands a government can have in a democracy.

So how scared are they? Well National are throwing every narrative they can at it in a desperate attempt to get something to stick. They’ve tried “it’s a waste of time because we’re selling anyway”, but that didn’t work, in fact it just made them look (heh) out of touch, so they tried claiming the signatures were dodgy, but the problem with that is that the petition will be officially endorsed as reaching the limit so that just looks a bit disingenuous. Oh, and they tried claiming the election was a mandate because Labour made it such a big issue, but nobody’s buying that because everyone know labour didn’t lose because of assets they lost because their campaign sucked and they had Phil Goff as a leader.

Which leaves them with nothing but the old national-party-research-unit-via-third-party smear campaign. “Look” they get their proxies to cry, “look at these leaked documents showing public money being spent on this referendum, oh and unions! boo!”.

Of course the problem with this is that the money spent by the Greens and Labour on this petition would have been spent by them on this kind of thing anyway. In fact I’d suggest that spending dollars on helping get Kiwis a say on their assets is more acceptable to the electorate than a party spending that money on, say, regular polling by a guy who also runs a blog that (and now we’re full circle) roll out smear campaigns against democratic processes. As an aside, I note David Farrar has described this as “The taxpayer purchased referendum”. The Greens have been very open about how they are spending parliamentary funds on this. Perhaps David would like to follow their example of transparency and let us know how much parliamentary funding he has been paid over the years. (Perhaps he could title the post “The taxpayer purchased blogger).

But back to the document in question. I have no doubt that someone in Labour’s top team would be stupid enough to leak something like this for some cleverdick tactical reason (just wait for Trevor or Phil to start whispering that it’s Cunliffe – despite the fact this is a document that only the leadership team would have), but it looks like a work of fiction to me. Or perhaps the work of a junior staffer playing out some masters of the universe fantasy. If only because no experienced Labour hack would have made such a ridiculous assertion about pressuring the unions. Simply because the unions would have told them to fuck off. And they know it.

But that’s all by the by because, unfortunately for National, everyone sees through this kind of behaviour to their motivation. And that motivation is their fear of democracy.

174 comments on “The right’s fear of democracy”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Seen that same fear from some of those on the left as well. Just look at how many of them rail against using binding referendums regularly to decide policy.

  2. Matthew Hooton 2

    I think this is a bit of a silly post. The right doesn’t fear democracy on this issue. I am sure the referendum will be held within a year as required by law. And in fact the right doesn’t fear democracy (at the present time) generally. Who would win a snap election held in a month’s time?

    • IrishBill 2.1

      Nobody cares what you think Matthew. Because it doesn’t matter.

      • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1

        Ha! Great Post Irish; loved “the tax-payer purchased blogger”

        • Tigger 2.1.1.1

          Of course the right fears democracy on this issue. It fears democracy. Always.

          Great post IB. If Hooten’s calling it ‘silly’ you hit a nerve.

    • xtasy 2.2

      Matthew – you are right!

      The right does not fear democracy, it simply does not give a damn about democracy! Hence they will let the referendum be held, ridicule it as a waste of tax payer money, ignore or ridicule the outcome (low numbers, all just typical lefties, bla, bla) and move on with whatever their agenda is – disregarding.

      When the Mixed Ownership Bill was before Select Committee, they ignored the fact that almost all submitters opposed the law change and proposed partial asset sales. They did not care and moved ahead.

      John Key will also not give a damn about what the public may think about letting Sky City build a convention centre for so many extra pokies and tables, same as he does not give a damn about so much else.

      NZ is a farcical “shambolocracy” rather than a true democracy, also due to a virtually non-esistent 4th estate, that is by and large blind on one eye.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      Who would win a snap election held in a month’s time?

      Not the Maori Party and not Act. The Hair, probably. And also likely the Greens.

    • bad12 2.4

      Speak oh organ grinders monkey, does the scrapping of the Canterbury regional council and the threats to Auckland City Council over land availability/housing issues make this Slippery lead National Governments record on democracy something proud to hold befor the people of New Zealand,

      Pffftt, a snap election, was it painful to have dragged that little gem out from deep in your anal cavity, Slippery and Bill wouldn’t go anywhere near a snap election and only a tosser would suggest they would…

    • North 2.5

      Have a lovely mind’s eye picture of you as you made your “bit of a silly…..” response Mr Hooton.

      Much like the Key visage when faced with something which rings true. Lips pursed into a semi-effete quarter-smile, deny, belittle, move on.

      He and you must have been bastards of children around the state house kitchen table. Had your mothers on librium I daresay.

      Interesting that you do not exclude the right embracing fear of democracy at some point.

    • muzza 2.6

      And in fact the right doesn’t fear democracy (at the present time) generally

      Thats a rather interesting comment Matthew!

      Could you mean *the right* does not fear democracy presently, because the sick joke , is that we have nothing even close to democracy in NZ, and as a sold out member of the media, you know that!

      Makes you feel warm, to be involved the way you are eh Matthew!

      • TheContrarian 2.6.1

        ” is that we have nothing even close to democracy in NZ”

        Utter bullshit. NZ has a fully participatory democracy. Representative but not direct democracy granted.

      • TheContrarian 2.6.2

        Due to lack of edit button I’ll re-edit here:

        Utter bullshit. NZ has a participatory democracy though representative and not direct democracy granted.

        To see we ‘have nothing close to democracy’ is complete horseshit.

      • Matthew Hooton 2.6.3

        The right definitely feared democracy in 1999, just as the Helen Clark regime feared it in 2008, and Muldoon feared it in 1984. John Key doesn’t fear it now. That was my point.

        • framu 2.6.3.1

          either fear or utter contempt – theyre sure doing a lot to pull it apart and weaken it though.

        • xtasy 2.6.3.2

          Key seems to fear the OIA though, as his government is not keen on taking on board suggestions by the Law Commission, to reform that Act. The OIA requests have increasingly been treated with contempt by many government agencies over many years now, and this shows, they do not like transparency and accountability. They do not like the people to know what government and the executive are doing.

          Hence the Ombudsman’s Office is being overwhelmed with complaints and requests.

          Also the Health and Disability Commissioner does not seem to be too keen to address many issues, hence fewer and fewer investigations there also.

          Legal Aid is being tightened, so fewer can claim aid to pursue civil claims also, against government agencies and departments not doing their job, or doing it wrongly or not at all.

          There is a pattern of neglect, of cover ups and of restrictions of rights of citizens, and this government is silently quite happy with it.

          So that tells me the Nats and Key are introducing a “Soft Dictatorship” by stealth, and that shows their dim view of democracy!

    • ianmac 2.7

      Matthew. I don’t agree with some of your politics but I think what you say is reasonable and worth considering. It would be silly if we ridicule your position without thinking.
      I think that if he continues to denigrate the Referendum it might just cause some people to believe that he disrespects the people and their opinions. Could be corrosive.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.8

      The right doesn’t fear democracy on this issue.

      You’re right, they don’t – they just do everything in their power to circumvent it, ignore and generally to render it powerless. If they didn’t then there wouldn’t rich people anymore as we’d actually end up with a rational economy that looked after everybody rather than giving all the wealth to the few.

    • Mary 2.9

      The right do fear democracy. It’s just that they’ve masked that fear in its attempt at a tough response to the 400k odd signatures by saying the asset sales will go ahead regardless of the referendum result “because they’re not binding”. If the right did not fear democracy it wouldn’t be scared to act on the referendum result. You’re confusing listening properly to what the people say and being prepared to act on that, with “letting the people have a bleat because this silly law says that we have to so the sooner we get it out of the way the sooner we can get on with the job of ignoring it”. The latter isn’t democracy. But it is how the right have responded to the 400k signatures.

      • Wayne 2.9.1

        This the kind of post that makes me laugh. Why on earth does the Left ( or at least those who post here) keep thinking they are the only true guardians of democracy, but that the Right are a group of proto totalitarians.

        In truth the ideals of democracy are embedded right across the full spectrum of NZ society, except the most extreme fringes, and you never see them in Parliament.

        An interminable argument about whether or not there is an electoral mandate for assets sales kind of proves the point. Both sides of the argument beleive they have democracy on their side.

        • TheContrarian 2.9.1.1

          And both sides claim the other to be totalitarian monsters

        • Draco T Bastard 2.9.1.2

          Why on earth does the Left ( or at least those who post here) keep thinking they are the only true guardians of democracy, but that the Right are a group of proto totalitarians.

          Because that’s what the research tells us.

          In truth the ideals of democracy are embedded right across the full spectrum of NZ society, except the most extreme fringes, and you never see them in Parliament.

          Except when National are in power – Firing of ECAN and the removal of democracy for Canterbury, their new attack on the Auckland SuperCity, Muldoon, etc, etc.

          An interminable argument about whether or not there is an electoral mandate for assets sales kind of proves the point. Both sides of the argument beleive they have democracy on their side.

          And one side is wrong. It happens to be the political right which is reverting to dictatorial type and selling the infrastructure against the will of the people.

        • Mary 2.9.1.3

          And it always makes me laugh that whenever someone decides that the left has got it wrong they’ll very rarely address the precise points made preferring instead to make broad generalisations about some group that for the purposes of the discussion exist only in their head.

    • rob 2.10

      You are right because they have the devine right to rule
      Don’t they

  3. karol 3

    Irish: But back to the document in question. I have no doubt that someone in Labour’s top team would be stupid enough to leak something like this for some cleverdick tactical reason (just wait for Trevor or Phil to start whispering that it’s Cunliffe – despite the fact this is a document that only the leadership team would have), but it looks like a work of fiction to me.

    Irish, I’m confused. What documents are you referring to? The link in the post just defaults to The Standard mainpage.

    I agree, though n the NAct fear of democracy and attempts to smear the referendum process.

  4. Bill 4

    That link to whatever piece about leaked documents links back to the top of the post IB.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      I’ve fixed it now. You’d think after six years of this even I’d figure out how to get a link to work properly the first time.

  5. Phaedrus 5

    There’s a small matter of the $1million plus being spent to advertise the assets. Obviously that’s OK to the pro-sales brigade.

    • TightyRighty 5.1

      It’s to advertise how to buy them. Similar to te millions spent by labour on advertising WFF. So you wouldn’t spend money on a trademe listing but your cool with putting a big neon sign above your house saying “burgle me”?

  6. thor42 6

    The right’s “fear of democracy”?

    What nonsense.

    There has already been a referendum on asset sales – it was called the 2011 election.

    Gee – even *Phil Goff* the Labour leader at that time – said that the election “would be a referendum on asset sales”.
    How “inconvenient” for you guys that I point that out.

    National campaigned on asset sales, the election came along, and National won. End of story. THAT is “democracy”. It’s too late now to whine about the election result.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      *laugh*

      Here comes good old thor42, friend of Breivik.

      You know what else was endorsed in the last election? The Nats deal with the Maori Party and the constitutional convention that your idiotic mate Ansell is all waily waily about.

      • thor42 6.1.1

        Uh – the “convention” hasn’t been finalised yet, in case you hadn’t heard.

        By the way – do you have anything else to offer other than abuse? Uh…. “reasoned argument”, perhaps?

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          An analogy is a form of argument Thor.

          You claimed that the election settled everything because the National party is a part of the government that has the confidence of the house.

          By the same argument, the maori Party is a part of the government.

        • IrishBill 6.1.1.2

          Phil sucked. And the fact he’s still a key strategic advisor is why Labour still suck. Act campaigned exclusively on free market principles and get tough on crime and were decimated – I assume you now accept that both of these outlooks are invalid?

        • bad12 6.1.1.3

          Denigration for you is always deserved, reasoned argument is reserved for internal debate, for you dipped in s**t is an absolute necessity just to better aquaint you with your position in the great scheme of things…

    • bad12 6.2

      Got a link to that assertion that Phill Goff said the 2011 election was a referendum on asset sales, 2014 is going to be the report card on this Slippery National Governments FAILURE to among other things abide by the upcoming referendum’s vote of NO to asset sales,

      At that point it is bye bye National for another 9 in the sin-bin…

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          Somebody saying that somebody said isn’t somebody saying, if you follow.

            • Jackal 6.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s not evidence that Phil Goff said the election “would be a referendum on asset sales”. What he did say was:

              Mr Goff said Prime Minister John Key had made this year’s election a referendum on whether New Zealanders wanted to see their most important strategic assets sold.

              John Key did in fact say the election would be a referendum on asset sales, and National has continued that line assertion ever since. Goff acknowledging that fact is not an implicit agreement that the last election was all that was required to give National a mandate for partial privatisation.

              A referendum on the issue would give the government a clear indication of whether the National had a mandate or not, and National is intent on dismissing the petition and ignoring the referendum because they know it won’t go their way.

              So, while knowing the majority of the public doesn’t want asset sales, National is going ahead with them anyway, and spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in order to undertake their dictatorial policy.

              In my opinion, anybody who accepts such undemocratic process needs their heads read.

    • gobsmacked 6.3

      I’d like to thank all right-wingers for constantly saying “Labour won, end of story” during 9 years of Helen Clark’s government.

      Being a silly democrat, I’d say that being engaged in the debate and campaigning for change is thoroughly democratic, at any time. But you guys don’t think that, so you said nothing critical at all, for nine long years. End of story (as in, fiction).

    • framu 6.4

      ” the election came along, and National won. End of story. THAT is “democracy””

      no – thats not democracy. Thats an election result

      which is also different to a referendum

      and national didnt win, the got below 50%.

      —————————————————–

      For christs sake we arent a FPP democracy anymore! There isnt even a law that states the party with the most seats gets to form the coalition – its merely a social nicety that we follow.

      ALL national did was be the first to from a coalition that had a majority of votes in parliament – yes their election result gave them the muscle to be the most likely to do it, but thats all it was.

      All an election under MMP does is give an allocation of seats, once the ruling coalition is formed the coalition then have the mandate to govern – the coalition (usually led by the biggest party in that coalition), not the biggest party in and of itself.

      And putting all of that aside – democracy ISNT ticking a box once every three years and then shutting up. As someone lower down mentioned, thats a revolving dictatorship.

    • Don't worry be happy 6.5

      Last election, Phil Goff was the alleged Labour ‘leader’…just like the the current apology for a man.

      By definition a leader must be out in front…either literally or metaphorically.

      Neither of these ‘leaders’ could win a raffle let alone an election.

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    More Labour MPs are not the solution. Labour MPs are part of the problem.

    ALL MPs hate democracy. If they win the treasury benches they expect to wield absolute power.

    I have asked EVERY top Labour MP from David Lange to the present. Each scoffs at any changes that will restrain parliament’s power.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      More Labour MPs are not the solution. Labour MPs are part of the problem.

      ALL MPs hate democracy. If they win the treasury benches they expect to wield absolute power.

      QFT

      And it’s time we, as the people of this country, put some restraints on parliamentary power and sought to hold parliament accountable and we won’t get that voting either of the main two parties.

      • AmaKiwi 7.1.1

        As one who has put in the hard yards for Labour over many years, I am sorry to say I am coming to the same conclusion.

  8. thor42 8

    Will Labour buy back the 49% of the assets sold?
    Yes or no?

    If yes – why?

    The government will *still have control* of all assets by keeping *51%* of them.

    What would be gained by buying back the other 49%? Not “control” – they already have it!

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      What do you think people are buying them for Thor?

      This sort of brain power demonstrates the, err, intellectual depth of the cultural conservative movement. I think you’d be more comfortable over at crusader rabbits place, hiding from the moslem hordes mate. But watch out for the SIS.

      • thor42 8.1.1

        They are buying them for PROFIT, my dear “Pascal’s bookie”.

        Ooooooh… “profit”. Dirty word – must wash my mouth out…..

        Oh, and btw – my dislike of Islam is exactly the same as the dislike that the *apostates* from Islam have of it.

        Are they lying, dear P.B.? Do you know something that they do not?

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          I’m actually not in favour of buying them back. I want to see them regulated to massively reduce the price of electricity to Kiwi consumers. A rate akin to that enjoyed by the Australians or the Yanks would be a good start.

          • Lew 8.1.1.1.1

            I like the blitzkrieg cunning of Patrick Reynolds’ idea that a future left government should sell the other half and use the revenue to fund distributed solar generation, and mandate feed-in tariffs so individual households can undercut the value of hydro.

            L

            • Jackal 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Amusing! However that would most benefit people who already own property. Better to retain the assets and use their profits to once again subsidize things the public needs like solar installations… Over time more solar would be able to be installed, because the SOEs dividends were greater even during the recession than the reduced interest payments on government debt that Treasury has predicted.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.2

          Well there’s your answer then thor. #derp

          Your dislike of Islam led you to say that the mass murder of liberal western democrats by a ‘cultural conservative’ was inevitable, among other things. And yet you lecture others about democracy?

          Piss off.

          • thor42 8.1.1.2.1

            Dear P.B. – you really should enlighten yourself on what is happening in Europe. The Swedish parliament, for example.

            The parties in power in Sweden refuse to work with the Swedish Democrats party because they are anti-immigration (and they see that, in the usual twisted lefty logic, as being “racist”).

            So – when people have VALID concerns about immigration and they are ignored (and even *disenfranchised*, as we see in Sweden) – then is it *really* a surprise that such things happen?

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.2.1.1

              How are people disenfranchised if they can elect people to parliament thor?

              How does that even make sense?

              The Swedish Democrats campaign on their cultural conservative issue, the elections come along, and they lose. End of story. THAT is “democracy”. It’s too late now to whine about the election result.

              Are you saying that because they lose then it makes sense that obviously those losers are going to tool up and murder a bunch of teenagers from their political opponent’s party?

  9. thor42 9

    *Laugh* – here comes Pascal’s bookie – friend of Lenin.

    So – your mate Phil Goff was LYING then when he said that the election would be “a referendum on asset sales”?

    Yes or no? Put up or shut up.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Can’t even work out how threads work. *laughs MOAR*

    • bad12 9.2

      Are you t**lling, where are your facts, have you got a link to this assertion that Phill goff said the 2011 election was a referendum on asset sales…

        • Bill 9.2.1.1

          Posted a response above, but here we go again. There is no quote from Phil Goff in that link saying the election would be a referendum on asset sales.

          • thor42 9.2.1.1.1

            In the document at that link –

            “Mr Goff said Prime Minister John Key had made this year’s election a referendum on whether New Zealanders wanted to see their most important strategic assets sold”.

            • thor42 9.2.1.1.1.1

              As you can see – Goff said that Key had made it a referendum, so (taking the former Labour leader at his word), I guess it *was* a referendum.

            • Bill 9.2.1.1.1.2

              And where is the quote of Phil Goff saying such a thing? There isn’t one. Whoever wrote the report claims that Phil Goff said that John Key said. That isn’t a quote. And that makes it a big fat nothing. It’s a ‘he said she said’ thing – hearsay. Bollox in other words

              • alwyn

                I tried putting this link to Phil saying the election WAS a referendum a bit further down but my fingers weren’t typing properly and the edit function wasn’t working so I couldn’t fix it.
                Anyway here is a transcript of a talkback Phil took part in where he directly said that the election was a referendum on Asset sales. The relevant comment is at 6.55

                http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php?option=com_altcaster&task=viewaltcast&altcast_code=f677a55387&ipod=y

                “This election is a referendum on whether we should sale(sic) assets …”.
                It would appear it isn’t hearsay and it isn’t Bollox .

                Please God let the link work this time.

        • Murray Olsen 9.2.1.2

          WhaleSpew is not a valid reference. It is more akin to a collection of data by someone researching the relationship between Tory hate politics and mental retardation.
          Phil Goff is not my friend. I don’t care what he said.
          Why do Kiwis pay 3 or 4 times as much for power as Queenslanders? I expect that power prices will rise in both, due to privatisations, but that the differential will remain about the same.
          What’s wrong with Muslims?

  10. Anne 10

    Having read the document IB… why do you think it’s a fake? I agree though that it looks like the work of some enthusiastic and naive newbie whose feet weren’t touching the ground at the time. And where in the document was the pressuring of the unions?

    Of course David Farrar is trying to create the aura of a tax payer funded rort out of nothing, which just shows how concerned they are about the referendum. If indeed there was a rort do you think it would be left to that obnoxious pratt Farrar to bang on about it? Of course not. A complaint would have been lodged with the AG by now. It would be all over the news.

  11. KJT 11

    It is not just the “Right” that are scared of democracy, unfortunately.

    Too many on the “Left” are also happy with our rotating dictatorship, so long as they get their turn.

    Calling our present system of Governance “democracy” is laughable.

    The minimum requirement for democracy is BCIR, (with a reasonable threshold for signatures, not the current one set to make CIR almost impossible) and recall elections.

    Anthony Robins on this blog is, sadly, one of the many on the “left” who are confused about the meaning of leadership and democracy.
    “That’s a very slippery slope, especially with the given point that “plenty of bad policies are popular”. Sometimes leadership means doing the unpopular thing because it is right””.

    No Anthony! leadership means you get the chance to persuade people that your policies are “right”. Who are you to dictate what is right or wrong to the rest of us.

    Which is our current problem with Labour. They are too scared of losing votes to “the centre” to start discussing what is “right”. And, like National, do not even believe in democracy within the party, let alone letting the rest of us have a say in our lives..

    I may agree with most of your policies, but if I believe they are correct I should have to convince the majority.

    And. “Even if we make the wrong decisions, it is our decision to make”. (No Right Turn, Blog).

    Research shows that majority referenda make more correct decisions, long term, than politicians, and they are more likely to reverse them, if they are proven not to work.

  12. thor42 12

    So – the fact that Labour and the Greens are still kicking up a fuss about *partial* asset sales shows one thing – they do not believe the former leader of the Labour party when he said that the election was a “referendum on asset sales”.

    • Bill 12.1

      Your link – which you have provided twice – contains no such quote from Phil Goff

    • North 12.2

      Even if you’re correct about Goff Towhatirua, note you’ve been transliterated, and it seems you’re not……..so bloody what. Foundation of referenda is Law baby…….suffer that and stop your pathetic whining. Congratulations on your pathetic silver-bullet (not) to the question of active democracy.

  13. KJT 13

    I disagree with our present immigration policy.

    No one asked New Zealanders if they wanted employers to use immigration to keep wages down, and save employers from the expense of training New Zealanders.

    No one asked us, if we wanted economic growth from growing the population, instead of raising living standards and wages.

    No one asked us about having to pay stupid prices for property in our own country, because of the “bring in a rich immigrant policy”. Many of whom seem to be crooks. We have enough of our own rich thieves already.

    No one asked us if we wanted another cultural invasion like the English one in the 50’s where we imported their adversarial industrial relations system, contempt for workers and tradespeople and class system..

    And. I am not bloody racist!

    My Chinese Aunt doesn’t think we should increase our population, by immigration, too much either.

    • KJT 13.1

      Now. If we had BCIR we could actually have a choice on the direction we want to go on immigration. Instead of it being dictated by big business who want a larger market.

      That is just one example.

    • AmaKiwi 13.2

      I say, “Put it to a referendum.”

      Define what limits you want on immigration and let everyone decide.

    • xtasy 13.3

      KJT – On this one I must agree with you. The immigration policy is made by Immigration NZ and government, who have had an agenda to keep wages down, and as that has driven many NZers offshore to Australia and elsewhere, they saw a desperate need to replace the skilled people and in some cases even low skilled people with a regular flow of willing and hopeful migrants, who are known to work the extra hour and extra bit, for little or no extra pay.

      The carrot of permanent residence has been dangled in front of many, and in some cases in a mischievous manner also, where hopeful migrants come here, never to see their dreams become true. They face exploitation, racism, ill-feeling by the remaining locals, because they are perceived to be responsible for the unsatisfactory working and pay conditions.

      The truth is the government, and even the last Labour goverments were guilty of this, has been using them to fill the gaps, to offer farmers, horticulturalists, forestry, fishing industry and many other industries, with willing, hard workers.

      And NZers – the public – have never been consulted on this, same as they were not consulted and listened to when it came to the Mixed Ownership Model for SOEs to be part sold.

      Voters vote sets of programs, when they vote for parties, and while many voters swallow some policies they do not like, for wanting other policies, then the politicians cannot claim that voters vote for every single policy that they proposed prior to elections.

    • xtasy 13.4

      KJT – “No one asked us if we wanted another cultural invasion like the English one in the 50′s where we imported their adversarial industrial relations system, contempt for workers and tradespeople and class system..”

      I do not agree with you on that one though.

      Instead I think the much hailed “Kiwi battler” has been abused by employers, and governments, to keep people “down” and force them to struggle, where things could be done smarter, easier and better, so that workers, incl. tradespeople, would not have to suffer and sacrifice health and wellbeing for no good reasons.

      I am afraid that the “adversarial” approach is in some cases the only way to remedy poor conditions, as the consultative, mediating approach does often get abused by the stronger party to disputes.

  14. thor42 14

    It’s interesting that a “fear of democracy” article should appear on a pro-Labour website when Labour themselves ignored the *87%* of “no” votes in the smacking referendum” –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_citizens-initiated_referendum,_2009

    So – when Labour ignores a referendum, it’s “ok”.

    When National ignores one, it’s “anti-democratic”.

    • IrishBill 14.1

      What has your desire to beat your children have to do with this?

      • IrishBill 14.1.1

        Also, quick quiz, who was in government in 2009?

      • KJT 14.1.2

        I am sure that most of the 80 odd percent who voted against the anti-smacking bill, or as it is known in our neck of the woods, another stick for police to threaten poor people with, had no desire to beat their children.

        Where is the reduction in child abuse that was supposed to result?

        • Bill 14.1.2.1

          Did somebody claim it would lead to a reduction in child abuse? I thought the only claim was that sadistic bastards wouldn’t be able to mount a bullshit defence – a defence that would inadmissible if the parties were both adults. Anyway…

        • IrishBill 14.1.2.2

          It was about taking away a defense for people who were beating the living shit out of their kids, turning up in court pleading parental correction under section 59, and walking away scot free.

          • KJT 14.1.2.2.1

            It was actually illegal before the law change.

            • IrishBill 14.1.2.2.1.1

              And yet people were beating the living shit out of their kids, turning up in court pleading parental correction under section 59, and walking away scot free.

              • Herodotus

                So now you are against juries ? As 12 peers who heard these cases in full were wrong in making their decisions ? Next you will be promoting that court cases involving juries should be abolished, as you have no confidence in their decisions.
                If they walked free then their must have been some basis.
                So as mentioned before it is ok when your team (and national ) don’t listen to one referendum it is ok but when national don’t listen to this one then they are abusing democracy? I am confused in your logic or is that your ideology supersedes logic.
                And my understanding wa start smacking was not made illegal by the change, the only change was for the defence was removed for correctional purposes, there are still some instances when a smack is still permitted
                http://www.stupidlaws.com/it-is-illegal-to-spank-your-child/

                • The Al1en

                  “And my understanding wa start smacking was not made illegal by the change”

                  Not illegal, but something looked upon less as the normal, but more the actions of bad parents armed with antiquated systems of moderating their children.

                  “there are still some instances when a smack is still permitted”

                  In self defence, with reasonable force maybe, but not on our babies.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “So now you are against juries ?”

                  He’s not blaming the juries for the law, silly.

                  • Herodotus (CV Supporter)

                    But to me IB is advocating for the S59 change because “guilty” people were getting off. So if that was the case then there is an issue in the current legal system that allows that. If the system was working correctly then there would be no case for the change in S59 as those who were acting beyond the law would have been found guilty of their crimes, as from the phrasing below that appears to have been the case. – Because “beating …” is precisely what IB is saying.
                    “It was about taking away a defense for people who were beating the living shit out of their kids, turning up in court pleading parental correction under section 59, and walking away scot free.”

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Not quite sure what you’re saying here.

                      There was a law that gave a defence against assault charges in certain circumstances. Juries were interpreting that law in ways that many people found to be abhorrent.

                      So to fix that, parliament changed the law.

                      Parliament didn’t say juries were getting it wrong, they said that the way the law was being interpreted by juries was making abhorrent things quite legal.

                      They didn’t want those abhorrent things to be legal, so they changed the law.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      I thought the question was asking whether it was appropriate to smack parents when correcting their bad behaviour. I’ve seen some really piss poor parenting and it seemed like a good idea.

                      Of course the good news is is that less parents are smacking their children – being less violent is good.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10796068

                      Here’s a reference to some of the cases that successfully used that part of the legislation as a defence. And no fault attached to the jury – it was the law that needed changing.

                      http://www.acya.org.nz/site_resources/library/Documents/Reports_to_UN/S59_report_UNCROC_28Aug2003.rtf

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      better question would have been; “Should we make the baby jesus cry?”

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Pascal’s bookie …
                      14 March 2013 at 7:07 pm
                      better question would have been; “Should we make the baby jesus cry?”

                      Says so much in so few words. lol

                    • Herodotus

                      That reason was never given by sue Bradford for the change in law. Also as this post is regarding democracy, I never once heard national or labour during the election make any comment that both parties were to vote alone party lines. This was to be a conscience vote. As no undertaking was given how then does the process that occurred be viewed to be democracy in action?and Helen Clark never in the interveining period give reason as to why the whips were called in, key did give a flimsy reason as that national was supporting Chester burrows ammendments.
                      So as these parties never gave an indication that the vote was to follow party lines how was that democracy in action ?

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Conscience votes are part of democracy.

                      Democracy is not about majority rule it’s about electing representatives who will represent all the people.

                      All the people includes minorities and people who didn’t vote for you.

                      Parliament passes laws not the government. Government can only introduce laws to parliament.

                      There is a separation of power. There are procedures and processes such as select committee hearings and public submissions and research teams and more than one reading of legislation and debate to ensure that the government of the day does not have too much power.

                      That’s partly why also Key’s mandate line is so much crap.

                      The executive has no legal power to do anything or pass any laws.

                      That’s why theirignoring of normal processes, the ignoring of submissions at select committee, their taking of power away from other democratic institutions and taking it for themselves, the use of urgency for non urgent legislation to stifle opposition and the public, the increasing subjugation of parliament to public officials and politicians via ministerial direction and vesting excessive authority in public servants at both government and council level should be concerning.

                      And I don’t support Labour use urgency stupidly at the end of their last 9 years either.

              • QoT

                Three words which are forever branded on my brain: electric. jug. cord.

    • Murray Olsen 14.2

      Even before the law change, it was illegal to shoot kids at island holiday camps. Your nostalgia is affecting your memory. Put those guns away, please.

      • tracey 14.2.1

        but it wasn’t illegal to hit them with a metal pipe if you genuinely believed it was reasonable discipline.

    • xtasy 14.3

      thor42 – you have a point to argue there, but what got me angry re that referendum was the way the questions were asked. Few really properly understood it, and the “anti smacking legislation” as it was called, was never intended to “criminalise” parents.

      It was also not true that just any smacking was going to be prohibited.

      What the law change was intended to do, was to stop parents abuse kids by not just “correcting” their behaviour within reasonable means when a child may have needed to be “corrected” for causing immediate harm by over-reacting aggressively, but by disciplining a child separately by using brute violence as a means (e.g. hitting with a stick, the hand or whatever).

      Physical punishment was supposed to be stopped.

      Indeed the referendum asked kind of loaded questions and a campaign accompanying was seriously misleading what the law change was really all about.

      A referendum with the right questions about pro or contra to partial assets sales would not be of the same category, as not the same overly “emotive” reasoning would be involved.

      The bare facts and figures speak a clear language.

    • xtasy 14.4

      thor42 – You are obviously new to this forum. TS is not a “pro Labour” website, although some writing here are pro Labour, but others are definitely not, as many comments over the last few months showed.

      It is supposed to give a voice to those with some interest in the wider labour movement and the left as such. So to me TS is a rather “wider left forum” for that sake, and you will find that there is a fair bit of diversity here.

      Yet when it comes to commenters trying to attack posters and commenters here, they will get the response they deserve, particulary if it is right wing crap being dished up as supposed arguments.

      But I am only another commenter and not one supposed to comment too much on this. Others may well give you their view sooner or later.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.5

      “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

      You’ll note two things about that question:
      1.) It’s designed to get a “no” response and
      2.) It doesn’t actually ask anything about the repeal of s59.

      All of which means that that referendum doesn’t say what you think it does.

  15. Blue 15

    It’s fascinating to see how excited David Farrar gets about stuff such as “They aimed for 400,000 signatures as they knew a fair proportion would be found to be invalid.”

    This is a “key revelation” apparently. Maybe for someone who has never organised a petition before. To anyone else it’s blindingly fucking obvious.

  16. North 16

    Top, top, top marks to 3rd Degree tonight.

    I recall years ago seeing Insp. Steve Rutherford in the presence of a number of young cops at a South Auckland court. His reputation clearly preceded him. One could taste the idolatry. I confess that my reaction to the man himself was not negative. I suspect that he has been a cop who many times has protected the community where other cops have failed.

    That said the Teina Pora case is a travesty. Look at Steve Rutherford’s reaction to the TV3 reporter who called on him. He clearly anticipates that Teina Pora’s conviction will sooner or later come before a court. And I’d bet that he knows that the travesty will come out. I know I speculate but I’d put money on Rutherford now feeling very, very uncomfortable.

    What is really alarming is signalled by the words of Duncan Garner – “He was poor, brown, and not very bright…..”. It’s still happening. All the time. And you can add poverty and desperation as further dimensions. For my part I blame the Crown more than I do the police. It’s just a game to them. Murder charge. Get a conviction. That’s justice. Their getting a conviction defines justice.

    So come on back all of you sociopaths who maintained to the bitter end that Thomas, Chamberlain, Doughtery, Ellis were all guilty as sin……..against the proof in some cases (Thomas) that evidence was manufactured, or completely misrepresented to the jury (Dougherty).

    And for those who’d say “get off the grass…….you say this on account of one TV programme…..?”, I say this – present law, which includes the right to a lawyer under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, and the defending lawyers knowing about the payment of witnesses and all of the detail now known, would have seen no so-called “confession” in the first place, and powerful Crown evidence excluded on account of its patent unreliability in the second place. Wouldn’t it be great if Malcolm Rewa would be a man and confirm the obvious ?

    “Poor, brown, and not very bright……..” I am close to weeping. For Teina Pora and for those whom in the future will be in the same frame on account of their being brown (or not), poverty stricken and desperate. You don’t even need to engage the elitist superiority inherent in “not very bright”. There’s a huge, well resourced, righteous machine working very, very hard to keep us sleeping easy in our beds at night. And to justify us telling ourselves, no questions asked – “Nah……that prick done it !”

  17. g says 17

    with the selling of 49% of the asset, that means 49% of the profit goes to individuals rather than into state coffers.
    to be eligible to buy shares you need, at minimum $1000 spare dollars.
    this sounds like a widening of the gap between the haves and the have nots.

    • fender 17.1

      Thats a top of the list priority for National. When the have-nots are earning the same as a Chinese sweat-shop worker National will feel very proud of themselves.

  18. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18

    Irishbill will be supporting Winston’s call for a referendum on the Marriage (Equality) Bill then, I guess.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Is he collecting signatures?

    • bad12 18.2

      Gormless, that’s just foolish, you know as well as i do that there is no petition being circulated on that issue…

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18.2.1

        Sounds like you have a fear of democracy, bad12.

        • bad12 18.2.1.1

          Sounds like you are a Gormless Fool, gormless…

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18.2.1.1.1

            You got me there. If only I’d picked another name for myself.

            • bad12 18.2.1.1.1.1

              You have a perfect name Gormless, don’t forget to thank LPrent for such good taste in helping you find such a fitting moniker next time He is about…

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Don’t be so modest there, yourself, bad12. On a scale of one to 10 you really are 12 bad.

    • IrishBill 18.3

      I’m happy for anyone to start a referendum on anything and if they get the requisite number of signatures all power to them. I’m not sure how that implies I’ve committed to gathering signatures for them (although I did, of course, gather signatures for the asset sale petition).

    • Daveosaurus 18.4

      I’d be all for it. In fact I’ve got a suggested wording he could use. “Should the Government interfere with what consenting adults do amongst themselves in the privacy of their own homes?”

  19. Lanthanide 19

    “Four hundred thousand people don’t want asset sales. ”

    Reference please.

    Because people signed up to have a petition, it doesn’t meant they don’t want asset sales. Similarly it cannot be said that anyone who voted against National in the last election did not want asset sales (just as it cannot be said that anyone who voted for National did want asset sales).

    The only way you can make such a claim as above is after the results of the referendum, which has not been held.

    • Saccharomyces 19.1

      Best comment on this page.

      I didn’t come across anyone collecting signatures, but I would’ve signed, and I’m happy with the sales to go ahead. I’m looking forward to the referendum, hopefully it’ll put the matter to bed.

      But I’m sure there’ll be plenty of whining about how the media have led people, or something John Key said made people think it was OK, or the sheep all voted for it, or low turnout, or how the people don’t know what they’re doing, or how it was worded wrong etc. etc. etc. etc.

      Can we all agree that once the referendum is held we’ll all just shut up about it?

      • bad12 19.1.1

        If you do not like the topic of discussion you are free to F**k off, but please do not try and tell us lot here at the Standard what you think we should or should not be discussing…

  20. tracey 20

    The changes to s59 a of the Crimes Act were opposed by about 80% of the people who voted in that referendum (going from memory). I was pleased the Government and other parties ignored that result, so I can’t really get up in arms if they ignore this one, can I?. I spoke to someone last night who said his National-voting friends in Dunedin are opposed to asset sales but voted for National because they have always voted for national. Admittedly I was hearing this second hand. He (also opposed to asset sales) defended them on the basis that NZers don’t issue vote in elections so therefore voting for national did not mean a vote for asset sales. I suggested if they voted for them not wanting asset sales they were a little, well, stupid. He again said no, because they still thought it could be overturned.

    Strangeness abounds.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      The changes to s59 a of the Crimes Act were opposed by about 80% of the people who voted in that referendum (going from memory).

      Can you point to anywhere in that question where is says anything about the repeal of s59? And please note, smacking a child is still not illegal.

      • tracey 20.1.1

        no, and I didnt say that it did. Read my comment in context of my entire comment draco. I was asserting that despite an overwhelming majority voting for something, or thinking they were voting for something, the parliament ignored them. IMO, rightly so. That referendum was a lesson in misinformation. hence the referendum process can be flawed.

        • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.1

          It can be flawed so we look for ways to fix it and not for ways to ignore the will of the people.

          • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.1.1

            In the above mentioned referendum it would be to point out that people didn’t actually vote for what they thought they were voting for and that they were being led by the nose.

      • TheContrarian 20.1.2

        This always gets me – Whether or not the wording was fucked, the question was leading, or whether or not it was the ‘right’ thing to do the Government still ignored the result of the CIR.

        If you were OK with the Govt. ignoring one you can shame the next government for ignoring one too.

        • Daveosaurus 20.1.2.1

          The Government didn’t ignore the result. They did not criminalise “a smack” – which is still not a criminal offence (and anyone who says otherwise is conflating “a smack” with disgusting forms of child abuse; I make no comment about any motivation they might have for doing so).

  21. Does the ‘right’ fear transparency?

    Or consistency?

    Why are more people not holding the feet of Tony Ryall, Minister for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to the fire on this question??

    “How can the Government ‘get a good price for Mighty River Power, when thousands ‘Switch Off Mercury Energy’?”
    _______________________________________________________________________

    14 March 2013

    (11.45am 14 March 2013: I have just phoned the Parliamentary Office of Tony Ryall, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), and his Office Manager has verbally confirmed receipt of the following ‘Open Letter’ OIA request. )

    Minister of SOEs
    Tony Ryall,

    Dear Minister,

    Please acknowledge receipt of the following ‘Open Letter’/ OIA request which I understand has been referred on to you as the Minister of SOEs.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    A Spokesperson for the Switch Off Mercury Energy community group.

    http://www.facebook.com/SwitchOffMercuryEnergy/info

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    4 March 2013

    ‘Open Letter/ OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key – how can the Government ‘get a good price for Mighty River Power, when thousands ‘Switch Off Mercury Energy’?

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please be advised of the founding aim of the ‘Switch Off Mercury Energy’ community group, of which I am a Spokesperson:

    “MINUTES(CONFIRMED) FOUNDING MEETING OF ‘SWITCH OFF MERCURY ENERGY’

    15 August 2012 Grey Lynn Community Centre 510 Richmond Rd Grey Lynn.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    HELP STOP THE PRIVATISATION OF MIGHTY RIVER POWER BY SWITCHING OFF MERCURY ENERGY! (100% owned by Mighty River Power)

    AIM: To help stop the privatisation of public assets – particularly the proposed privatisation of the first of the electricity State-Owned Assets (SOEs), Mighty River Power, by FOCUSING ON getting 100,000 customers to SWITCH OFF Mercury Energy (100% owned by Mighty River Power). Fewer customers equals less profits which equals a less attractive investment and jeopardises the Governments proposed agenda.

    “Let me make it quite clear. If the Government doesn’t get a good price – the Government isn’t going to sell” (Tony Ryall, Minister of SOE’s 17/6/2012 NBR

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/govt-wont-sell-assets-if-it-cant-get-good-price-ryall-ck-121435

    The Government has no right to sell our public assets.

    PRECEDENT: In 2008, Contact Energy (already privatized) doubled their directors fees and raised their prices 12%.In 6 months, more than 40,000 customers switched from Contact Energy and their profits were halved.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/droughts/news/article.cfm?c_id=180&objectid=10590906&pnum=0 ……………”

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Please provide the following information:

    1) Please confirm that the publicly-stated position stated by the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Tony Ryall, is unchanged:

    “Let me make it quite clear. If the Government doesn’t get a good price – the Government isn’t going to sell” (Tony Ryall, Minister of SOE’s 17/6/2012

    2) Please provide the information which confirms HOW a ‘good price’ for Mighty River Power is/has been calculated.

    3) Please provide the information which confirms WHO has/is responsible for the calculation of a ‘good price’ for Mighty River Power.

    4) Please provide the information which confirms that has/is responsible for the calculation of a ‘good price’ for Mighty River Power, are independent, and professionally competent, and do not have any untoward ‘ conflicts of interest’ / vested interests in the sale of Mighty River Power.

    5) Please confirm that you are aware of your statutory duties arising from the Public Records Act 2005

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345536.html

    Purposes of Act
    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a)to provide for the continuation of the repository of public archives called the National Archives with the name Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga); and

    (b)to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public records and certain local authority archives; and

    (c)to enable the Government to be held accountable by—

    (i)ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and

    (ii)providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

    (d)to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and

    (e)to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be; and

    (f)through the systematic creation and preservation of public archives and local authority archives, to enhance the accessibility of records that are relevant to the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand and to New Zealanders’ sense of their national identity; and

    (g)to encourage the spirit of partnership and goodwill envisaged by the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), as provided for by section 7; and

    (h)to support the safekeeping of private records.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    A Spokesperson for the Switch Off Mercury Energy community group.

    http://www.facebook.com/SwitchOffMercuryEnergy/info

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    For more information on ‘Switching Off Mercury Energy’ and where to ‘switch’?

    Click to access Switch-off-leaflet-2013-1a.pdf

  22. Rich 22

    labour didn’t lose because of assets they lost because their campaign sucked and they had Phil Goff as a leader

    Thanks for helping with something I’ve not up till now understood- the reason Labour are so keen to elect a succession of useless timeservers as leader. It’s simply to maintain a narrative that their policies are correct, it’s just that the leadership is useless. (I guess it’s a *nicer* argument that that a plurality of the NZ population are irretrievably bourgeois scum who need a Pol Pot to sort them out).

    • Te Reo Putake 22.1

      A series of useless time servers? Can you name them, Rich? Bearing in mind that Shearer hasn’t been there long and Helen Clark won 3 elections, your series appears to have only one name on it, and Goff came within a few thousand votes of becoming PM.

      • quartz 22.1.1

        came within a few thousand votes of becoming PM.

        You accidentally didn’t write: “delivered the lowest vote and worst turn out of any Labour leader in the party’s history.”

        • Te Reo Putake 22.1.1.1

          Nope, the MSM delivered that result, more than Goff did. The media campaign to convince Kiwis not to vote because ‘Key was going to bolt in’ meant that many thousands didn’t vote and many thousands more shifted votes from Labour to NZF and the Greens. Goff did Ok in the circumstances, but if we’d gone for someone more this century as leader post HC, say Shearer or Cunliffe, then I’d say Key would already be a bad memory.

          • quartz 22.1.1.1.1

            Fuck you TRP. This is exactly the kind of thing the caucus tell themselves every time they fuck up. It’s always someone else’s fault, the media, the blogs, David Cunliffe, the Greens… This is what Charles Chuvel was talking about when he talked about taking a good look at the 2011 campaign team but they won’t. What they’ll do is keep attacking and undermining each other until there’s no fucking party left. And chumps like you telling them bullshit like this are part of the problem because you facilitate their fucking behaviour. You’re a fucking disgrace.

            • Te Reo Putake 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Ha! Great how a factually based, well considered comment can turn you into frothing loon in mere minutes, quartz. It usually takes me all day to get that kind of reaction from other Standardistas.

              • quartz

                Keep telling yourself that pal. Labour will be under 25% if they keep up this shit up. Who you gonna blame then? The illuminati?

      • Lanthanide 22.1.2

        “and Goff came within a few thousand votes of becoming PM.”

        If Winston, Greens, Mana and MP could all play nicely together.

        • Colonial Viper 22.1.2.1

          And I think the number was about 80K-100K additional Labour votes needed, it wasn’t just nothing.

  23. Frank Waters 23

    Dame Anne Salmond: Time to defend democratic rights

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10871079

    • Rogue Trooper 23.1

      that is a good article, yet the “comments” are revealing

      • AmaKiwi 23.1.1

        From Anne Salmond’s article referenced in #23 above:

        “According to recent global studies, the prosperity of nations is strongly associated with participatory democracy. When people from all backgrounds take part in decision-making, individuals spark off each other, creating new ideas and enterprises, and the economy flourishes.”

        “Autocratic, extractive, highly unequal regimes, on the other hand, do not pass the test of longevity. Such nations falter, both economically and socially, and eventually fail. Similar patterns are echoed in the distribution of incomes.”

  24. Frank Waters 24

    Rogue Trooper…. yes but not surprising…. mostly engineered opinions I suspect one of the side effects of financed education is that old
    He who pays the piper calls the (nature of the?) tune

  25. georgecom 25

    A section of the right wing are calling for a referendum on gay marriage, yet they don’t support a referendum on asset sales. Strange. If they want a referendum on gay marriage, collect 400,000 signatures and force one.

    Thats what we did with the asset sales one. That is why we will have a referendum. That is why a number of right wingers are so upset.

    Really, what most of the right wingers whingers are upset about is that their asset sales programme is being challenged. They assumed that the election of a Nat Govt would have the assets sold without contention.

    Bring on the signature count, bring on the referendum.

  26. UpandComer 26

    It isn’t a referendum if it’s bought and paid for by political parties with taxpayer money.

    Where was the referendum on prostitution and civil unions, and why does the anti-smacking referendum or anything else that doesn’t correspond with your views not count

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  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
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  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
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  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
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  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
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    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
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  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
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  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
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  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
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  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
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    3 weeks ago
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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