Politics

Playing politics like Fiji plays rugby

I am with a group of 9 overseas bloggers and journalists here in Israel and obviously people are inquisitive, especially when you leave organised events to go do television interviews, so they Google.

Nicky Hager would probably call that some sort of Zionist conspiracy.

Nonetheless they Google and so are asking a few questions about what it is like to be involved in political debate in New Zealand.

One blogger, Anton Diaz, from the Philippines, plus a couple of other Filipinos expressed to me how New Zealand seems to know nothing about dirty politics, after all, no one  gets shot in drive by shootings for daring to express a different political opinion. This is apparently what happens in their country. In fact people get shot for much, much less.

So they asked why I play so hard. Those are my words, paraphrasing an interesting discussion over lunch.

I thought about that.

I play politics like Fiji or Samoa plays rugby.   Read more »

New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending (Ctd)

Thanks for all the nominations. We are getting a lot of great stuff, so if your nomination hasn’t appeared yet and you really want it to please put it in the comments section or email it to cam.

Todays nomination is from Redeye for the Nelson City Council, and Mayor Rachel Reese. Once again we might need to give the mayor the benefit of the doubt because she is a new mayor after Nelson kicked out New Zealand’s Dodgiest Local Body Politician Nominee Aldo Miccio

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redeye • 20 hours ago
I know its not a huge amount of money but I would like to nominate this;-
“A controversial paint job on Nelson’s Bridge St cost $28,000 out of nearly $200,000 spent on upgrading the area.
The 68 blue lines painted on the footpaths have met with mixed reaction, mostly negative. In a Nelson Mail online poll 1430 votes, or 86 per cent, thought the lines were pointless.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/10294916/The-cost-of-painting-town-blue

Anyone thinking that spending $28,000 of ratepayers money on 68 blue lines is either an idiot or a pinko or maybe both. Thanks Redeye, a truly silly nomination. Read more »

Will Fiji’s elections be free & fair?

Mohammed-Saneem

Supervisor of Elections at Fiji Elections Office, Mohammed Saneem Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

I am in Suva at the moment investigating Fiji’s path to democracy.

Today I visited the Fiji Elections Office, their Electoral Commission, and had an in-depth discussion with the Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

My questions and discussion focused on whether or not Fiji would be having free and fair elections on September 17.

In past elections there have been several incidences of vote tampering, ballot box stacking and in one particular example more votes cast than registered electors in a constituency.

Despite international observers in the past declaring elections free and fair it is obvious to all that Fiji’s past elections have been far from that.

Independence of Fiji Elections Office

The Fiji Elections Office is independent, just like New Zealand’s Electoral Commission. They are charged with overseeing the election and electoral law, which at present is by decree, but it is the law nonetheless.

I spent quite a bit of time understanding their voting processes and there are some quite innovative techniques they are utilising to combat voter fraud and vote rigging.

Voter Registration

The first step has been a comprehensive voter education and registration process that has been running for two years. Registered voters have a voter id card, this is not at all like the Easy Vote card that is so easily rorted in NZ.  The Fijian voter registration card is a photo id, it also contains biometric data (fingerprints) which require a match of at least 8 points.

The Fijian registered voters carry these cards everywhere. When I asked my cab diver last night, when I arrived in Suva, if he was registered to vote, he reached into his pocket and flourished it with obvious pride. Everyone eligible and registered to vote has one of these and a random sample on the streets shows that everyone without fail carries it. What this means is that only registered voters will be able to vote, and they require the photo and biometric identification in order to vote. This is a significant advancement over our voter registration processes in NZ. I should know as I have just watched my 18 year old son register to vote in NZ and our processes are farcical to say the least compared to what Fiji has initiated.    Read more »

Negative campaigning that makes voters feel guilty never works

There is a Facebook campaign running at the moment, run by the left wing, where people post pictures of themselves explaining why they vote National…they are all nasty.

Here is an example.

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They are even using their children to push their nasty message.

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And just so we get the gist of what they are about here is another one:    Read more »

A letter to a hoarding vandal

A reader emails about this hoarding vandalism:

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Hi Cam and Crew,

The message “I’m an intelligent climate change voter. Are you?” (picture attached) has been plastered over many right-of-centre hoardings in Northcote. Since there the vandal(s) are unknown, I’m hoping you’d be willing to post my open letter in response…

My answer is “Yes, I am… and the Greens are about the *last* party I’d vote for.”    Read more »

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Phil Quin on fixing Labour

Phil Quin writes sensible stuff in the Herald yesterday.

Last week, I broke a cardinal rule and spent some time wading through left-wing blogs, as well as comment sections on more mainstream sites.

It is clear the small number of Labour, Green and Internet-Mana Party activists who populate these dusty corners of cyberspace have convinced themselves the media are systematically rallying behind John Key’s re-election and conspiring against the left.

I was unable to glean a coherent explanation as to why this might be, but my guess is that it has something to do with corporate interests and right-wing politicians uniting with a fierce determination to defend the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy that shapes New Zealand’s capitalist system and delivers its beneficiaries ever-expanding wealth, power and privilege.

This kind of reaction is neither strange nor unexpected, because Labour is losing by 30 points and performing as badly as any major New Zealand political party since Bill English’s hapless Nats of 2002.

Supporters and activists find it much easier to blame straw-men, presumably along with a mandatory 50 per cent of straw-women, than confront the painful truth that the political operation surrounding David Cunliffe is strategically misguided and tactically inept.

Proof points abound: the disastrous “manpology” to the Women’s Refuge gathering, the poorly managed Donghua Liu debacle, an ill-conceived skiing trip (which was less about its effect on public opinion than the message it sent candidates and volunteers), as well as any number of bungled policy introductions and unforced errors – from dead trees to slow trucks to resurrecting moa.

To my mind, the Cunliffe apology for being a man was by far the most damaging of these. According to a Herald poll, only 9 per cent of respondents thought the manpology was a smart move, and yet the overwhelming preponderance of leftist commentary insisted either that Cunliffe was right to say sorry for possessing external genitalia, or that the apology wasn’t a big deal.

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Has Scott Simpson been advising Colin Craig?

Looks like it.

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Stories making headlines around the regions today include vandals targeting Colin Craig’s election signs in Tauranga and a Wanganui teenager sentenced to write an essay for drink driving.

Conservative leader Colin Craig’s election signs have become the first casualty of vandalism in the lead up to the election in Tauranga.

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Get rid of the troughers, not the services

42.8% of Aucklanders surveyed by the Herald want Auckland Council to cut staff and salaries to reduce costs.

Many Aucklanders believe the best way to deal with looming budget cuts by the Auckland Council is to reduce staff and salaries, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey.

The council is facing cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in running costs and capital investment in a 10-year budget being prepared by Mayor Len Brown.

The survey found that 42.5 per cent of Aucklanders believed the best way for the council to meet its budget plans was to reduce staff and salaries.

This was followed by 20.3 per cent support for rates rises of more than 2.5 per cent and 19.2 per cent support for delaying the $2.86 billion City Rail Link from 2016 to 2020.

A council suggestion to reduce services such as inorganic collections and library hours was supported by 8.9 per cent of the 248 Aucklanders in the survey of 750 people.

DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak said the sample of 248 was too small to be considered a poll, but the Auckland results reflected the 750 nationwide responses.

The Auckland Council and its bodies employ about 8100 fulltime equivalent staff, fewer than the 9430 combined figure of the previous eight councils. The wages bill is about $702 million. About 1500 staff earn more than $100,000.

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Hide: “…the experts know nothing about politics”

Rodney Hide explains how it is that the supposed experts actually know nothing about politics…and uses my good friend Brian Edwards as an example.

The wonderful thing about politics is that no one knows what they are talking about. There are no experts. There are no laws of political motion. Political science is oxymoronic.

Let me illustrate how little we know by picking on our most qualified and experienced political commentator. He has a PhD, has interviewed and known political leaders for five decades, has been an adviser to four prime ministers, has spent a lifetime in all branches of the media and makes a living media training business leaders and other professionals. He has also stood for Parliament and is no sideline Sam. He knows politics, inside and out. His knowledge, history and hands-on experience dwarfs all other political commentators.

I refer, of course, to Dr Brian Edwards. I single him out because of his eminence.

Oh dear this is sounding ominous.

Here’s what he had to say last year when David Cunliffe took over the Labour leadership:

“David Cunliffe has a brilliant mind, is a brilliant speaker and debater and there is no politician to match him on the box. Cunliffe is the game-changer.

“And the proof of the pudding will lie where it has always lain – in the polls. And particularly in the Preferred Prime Minister poll. No party leader permanently registering under 15% in that poll, let alone dipping into single figures, can hope to enjoy the (© Copyright Protected – The National Business Review 76)confidence of the electorate or lead their party to victory. And that has been the situation for every Labour Leader since 2008.

“But all that changed today as well. Under Cunliffe’s leadership, his and Labour’s poll rating will begin to rise, slowly but inexorably.”

Mr Cunliffe has proved a game changer but directly opposite to what Dr Edwards foresaw: Mr Cunliffe has doomed Labour.

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Forget Kristallnacht in Paris, check out the flag burning in Auckland

Mana operatives are deeply involved in pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic activities around the country.

Last weekend at the protest in Auckland their flags were dominant, alone with Unite union and First union in an around the protests against Israelis protecting their citizens from terror attacks.

Mana is clearly involved in out and out anti-semitism – just disgusting filth when you see images like this.

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag

Mana supporter burning Israeli flag

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