Charlie Chaplin on Wall Street in 1918
In New Zealand, despite no evidence to support the contention that money has a massive influence in politics the Labour party passed the draconian and anti-democratic Electoral Finance Act.
The evidence in NZ is actually contrary to the opinion that money in politics can sway results. The Act party for instance spent a great deal more than any other party for a negligible return, same with Colin Craig. On the other hand the unions pour money into Labour’s coffers and get a good return on their investment.
In Fiji the news electoral laws forbid anyone or organisation other than natural persons from donating to political parties or candidates. This stops corporates and the unions donating.
Meanwhile the left wing continues to push for state funding of political parties, a system that rewards incumbency. They don;t want to have to bother with pesky things like members and sausage sizzles and cake stalls.
And of course there is Kim Dotcom who is making the mistake many wealthy business people make in entering politics, thinking that money can buy you votes.
In the United States however there is building evidence that big money, and by big I mean BIG, can and does make a difference in campaigning. Apparently 91% of the time the better resourced candidate wins.
There are few talking points more beloved by underdog political candidates (and their aides) than to declare that money doesn’t matter. (If it did, Steve Forbes would be the president!)
Well, they’re wrong — at least most of the time.
Take aÂ look at the chart below, created last month by Jasper McChesney, a designer at United Republic, a nonpartisan nonprofit that tries to spread awareness about the influence of money in politics. Â Read more »
Bill Clinton appears to be sharing information with Colin Craig:
The former United States president appeared on Wednesdayâs episode of âJimmy Kimmel Live.â He ended up discussing, among other things, extraterrestrial life.
Clinton admitted that soon after becoming president, he had his aides research Area 51, the Nevada military facility, âto make sure there was no alien down there.â He was also interested in Roswell, N.M., the site of a reputed UFO sighting in 1947, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary during Clintonâs presidency.
âI had all the Roswell papers reviewed â everything,â he told Kimmel.
âIf you saw that there were aliens there, would you tell us?â Kimmel asked.
âYeah,â Clinton said, nodding. Â Read more »
The Russians have nicked the Ukraine’s secret combat dolphins.
The Ukrainian military is promising to one day reclaim itsÂ formerÂ bases in Crimea, but one unit has been lost forever: Ukraine’s combat dolphins, who are now swimming for Russia.
The dolphins, stationed in a Ukrainian navy oceanarium in Sevastopol, will now attack enemy scuba divers, attach buoys to sea-floor mines, and patrol open waters at the behest of Moscow,Â accordingÂ to Russian news service RIA Novosti. The program had been set to shut down, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has apparently given Sevastopol’s combat dolphins another crack at navy life. “Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins’ underwater sonar to a signal on an operator’s monitor,” an oceanarium employee told the news service in an overt attempt to curry favor with his new bosses. “But the Ukrainian navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered.”Â Read more »
The map highlights 8 major Christian denominations, showing where they represent a plurality (and in counties marked with a + at least 50%) of the relevant countiesâ population. This shows that there are quite a few remarkably contiguous religious blocks in the US
I wonder how many judges in New Zealand are very active on social media.
Nearly half of US judges are using social media – with most of them on Facebook and a minority venturing onto LinkedIn, according to the Legal Talk Network.
Research reveals that 46 per cent of judges are using social media but it presents a number of ethical dilemmas for them.
The Network gives the example of a judge in Georgia who stood down after it emerged that he had sent a friend request to someone who was on his future trail list as a litigant, âlater releasing her on a personal recognisance bondâ. Other judges and lawyers have also violated the Codes of Professional Conduct and of Judicial Conduct.