The Standard Week: 5-12 December

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, December 12th, 2008 - 5 comments
Categories: standard week - Tags:

National/ACT won the election, fair enough. They won the right to govern and attempt to pass their laws. What they did not win is the right to behave like an elected dictatorship – keeping their laws secret until the last minute then passing them in the dead of night without any chance for the public to have any input. It is clear why they are doing this during the first days of Parliament and just before Christmas, when the public’s attention is elsewhere – they don’t want us to know what’s happening until it is too late. There is an implicit acknowledgement in their actions that they don’t believe their policies are popular, there is no other reason for this rush. In the haste, the laws we are getting are not only bad in their intended effect, they are poorly drafted, which will lead to more trouble in the near future. All in all, this is a betrayal of National’s promise to the New Zealand public. National said Labour was ‘arrogant and out of touch’; they would be open and accountable. Instead, they have been secretive and denied Kiwis their normal rights to participate in the democratic process. The sad thing is that senior Nat MPs warned the Key ideologies against this course of action. Now, by betraying their promises of a more democratic government, they have gone and pissed away their honeymoon and, worse, New Zealanders will have to suffer the effects of poorly-made laws. Here are our favourite posts of the week:

Work Rights? Gone by Xmas
As with any erosion of work rights it will be the most vulnerable workers that are hit hardest…[more]

Training wheels
In these times of economic crisis, we have a government that not only has its training wheels on but doesn’t even know how to pedal. Get braced for a bumpy ride..[more]

Arrogant and out of touch
The Manawatu Standard has a good op-ed piece today on how National has squandered its honeymoon with its arrogant and out-of-touch behaviour on the fire at will bill…[more]

The prideful cowards
I don’t see anything ‘mana-enhancing’ (to use a phrase from the National-Maori support agreement) about voting for a tax increase on the many, many Maori and other Kiwis on low and middle incomes or in Kiwisaver so that a few rich people can get big cuts and then not even having the guts to say why that is a good idea..[more]

Kids need fun, politicians need to think
Ambitious for New Zealand? Only if it can be done by Christmas…[more]

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5 comments on “The Standard Week: 5-12 December”

  1. Ben R 1

    “few rich people can get big cuts”

    Who do you classify as rich?

  2. Jasper 2

    I disagree with your first line. National did NOT win the election.. They lied in order to form a government.

    Totally different from Winning. Saying they won is akin to me saying that I won the race I was coming second in, by shooting the first place winner within 10 metres of the finish line.

    In 2005, Labour was able to effectively form a government with 56% mandate from the voting public. That percentage DOESN’T include Maori Party. 67 seats all up in 2005.
    Labour/Greens/UF/NZF/Progressive
    Including the MP gives them = 58% 71 Seats all up in 2005.

    In 2008, National formed a government with just 49% of the vote. That DOESN’T include the Maori Party either.
    National/Act/UF – 64 seats
    Including the MP gives them 52% – 69 seats

    Its utterly despicable that National can say they have a mandate when they got voted in with under 50% of those who cast their votes. I seriously doubt whether the 52% bloc that didn’t vote National, or the guesstimated 7% who swung to National knew what they were getting themselves into.

    A waitress at a cafe I frequent voted National because ‘I’ll get more money in April’ ’twas typical of that mindset.
    However, under the new tax laws, she loses out big time. Her comments ‘fucking bastards, why the fuck did I vote for them’ lends credence to the assumption there will be many others thinking along the same lines.

    Its time like this I can’t help but wonder whether any government who forms a majority with less than 50% of the votes should be subject to a 75% watershed mark for any bill to be passed.

    In this instance, Act/National/UF = majority government with 64 seats, however only 48% of the vote would require 75% voting for the bill for it to pass.

  3. Swampy 3

    The reality of 90 days probation is that there are already numerous ways of getting around the previous law and this move therefore is not what it has been painted by Labour and allies. For example you can be employed as a “contractor” or casual for a lot longer than 90 days.

    The unions et al have obviously lost sight of the real issues. Having a big rant ra-de-da against this measure is all very well. Supporting blatantly anti-small-business policies that Labour brought in last term because small businesses are hard to unionise is not.The Health and Safety measures that result in heaps of red tape and long drawn out resource consent processes being a prime example.

    Also all the rants about anti-democratic are pretty hypocritical, the uncritical support for some of what Labour has done stands out as do certain, very undemocratic beliefs adhered to by elements of the union movement.

  4. Swampy 4

    “In 2008, National formed a government with just 49% of the vote. That DOESN?T include the Maori Party either.
    National/Act/UF – 64 seats”

    That’s the MMP electoral system at work. The system that was supposed to be “fairer”. LOL.

  5. Swampy 5

    I voted National for an end to union hegemony among others. No one seriously believes that Labour is not dealing favours to unions, who in turn use their monopoly on collective bargaining, health and safety representation and others to entrench their stature by creaming off milllions a year in members’ dues, to be used to support Labour in their election campaigns.

    Even if we had moved to state funding political parties everyone knows that Union campaigning for Labour would not come to an end.

    Unite is about the only union worthy of the name, ironic to see them leading the protests, although it’s hardly surprising as they are politically anti-Labour.

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