Booting bad politicians

Vote for Change has another video highlighting the problem with bad MPs and our inability as voters to get rid of them because of their high list rankings controlled by the party bosses.


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  • Mattyman

    Here here!
    Now C’mon National support an alternative system!

  • Hi Cam.
    Is the Vote For Change group paying you (in any form) for assistance with their campaign?
    Or is your advocacy for them spurred purely by your own convictions?

    – Peter

    • In the absence of National showing any spine I have decided i will. I have written several blog posts on why MMP is bad for National.

      The unions, Labour and the Greens have all registered to spend up to $300,000 defending MMP. So far no-one other than Vote for Change has had the gumption to speak up.

      I have carried ads for Vote for Change, because they booked them. That is the the only money I have received from them.

    • Spanishbride

      My goodness. If WO was paid for each and every opinion he expressed here we would be Millionaires. Quite frankly it is none of your business. Do you ask journalists if they are paid to express an opinion? No? maybe that’s because they ARE paid and their opinion is to some extent controlled by their editor. Do you have to be paid in order to have an opinion Peter or is your opinion determined by the last person you spoke to? If you find my questions offensive then I have to say that I find your demanding to know if WO is paid to have an opinion offensive.
      I also think your self promotion of your website on every comment to be bad manners.

      • J,
        Thanks for your feedback. As I see it, opinions and advocacy are two different things.

        Cam’s obvious advocacy e.g. running the VFC youtube ads on his blog/tweet stream caught my eye. I wondered if there was a financial arrangement running in the background, so I asked him. (It wasn’t a ‘demand’.) No harm in asking, it seems to me. Likewise my follow-up questions.

        I’m sorry you took offence at my straight question looking for a straight answer. Cam gave me one and I accept it. I think he & I have a fairly robust relationship and, I hope, tell the truth whether we always agree.

        As for ‘self promotion’ … well, OK, we see that differently. SOP on my part. I did chuckle at your reference to ‘bad manners’, though. Just quietly. What, here? ;-)

        – Peter

  • V

    Love this style of ad, so low budget, but quite effective.

  • Whafe

    The mere fact that we cannot get rid of shit politicians that are high on a parties list, adds to the many / various reasons why we have such shit career politicians….

    It is interesting how few admit they voted for MMP? Well one thing is for sure, a good many did…. And those good many that did, fuck all knew what it actually meant….

  • I see your connection with MMP, but consider this.

    Imagine for a second every single person in the country who did not live in Ohariu absolutely hated Peter Dunne, and wanted to get rid of him. In 2008, that’s 2,318,260 voters who want rid of him, but he is still in Parliament.

    Now imagine that even 49% of his own electorate want to get rid of him. That’s another 19,138 voters who want rid of him, but he is still in Parliament.

    Now imagine that not even a majority of his own electorate want him back. What if 67.9% of people in his own electorate wanted him out? That makes it another 6,835 people who want rid of him, 2,344,233 people in total who want rid of him, but he is still in Parliament, because 12,303 people want him in.

    Now, make one more final leap, and imagine that electorate seats didn’t exist and it was only the list that mattered. Suddenly, that 12,303 minority cannot hold the other 2.3 million at ransom.

    If everybody in the country except a select few (say 15,000) want rid of an MP, only under a list system without electoral seats can this be guaranteed.

    Be careful not to confuse desires for a “good system” which kicks out people everybody doesn’t like, for a “good system” which kicks out people you don’t like.

    Under MMP the way you get what you’re after is through the list – punishing bad MPs and their parties for putting them so high up the list by simply not voting for their parties. Punish the parties for rewarding incompetent MPs by not giving them yoru Party Vote. That way, the only thing allowing them back into Parliament is the soon to be defunct electoral seats. And then you can work on getting rid of them.

  • Thanks for your reply Cam.

    Funny, I asked about your convictions, thinking ‘political/democratic principles’ … you’ve replied that you think “MMP is bad for National” — do you see those as equivalents?

    On the bigger question, what are your thoughts about bloggers’ and commentators’ obligations (or otherwise) to declare payments for political advocacy?

    I remember I hassled you (mildly) about basking in the feel-good factor at the National Party conference for ‘Doing God’s work’ and described you as … well, a National Party ‘apologist’ among other things.

    You’re sometimes accused by others of being a tool of the National Party (ahem) — even the PM’s office w.r.t your OIA request re SIS briefing notes — but I take it you deny any such ‘professional engagement’ for the Party? (If so, I accept that.)

    Nevertheless, as you know, I recently started following your Twitter stream and, jeez mate, I’ve got to say this: Judging from appearances, it seems like you’re running a dedicated, almost 24/7 partisan political campaign against Labour Party figures.

    Is that just a hobby? Or are you working your way up some ladder in the National Party?

    – Peter

    • Orange

      There are a couple of options.

      1) What you see is what you get. A blogger with an opinion, especially when people do and say stupid things in politics.

      2) A vast right wing conspiracy.

      I presume you prefer option two.
      Also, just like on Facebook, when you first see an old friend you don’t spam their wall with “what are you up to” questions when you can just read old posts. It’s a less embarrassing way of catching up in front of the world.
      And secondly, don’t include the tagline. Your website is coded on your name should people choose to visit and putting it in the text is another embarrassing no no in internet land if it’s obvious no one else is doing it.

      Keep commenting though. Makes things vaguely interesting.

    • Alex

      Peter why oh why are you so sanctimonious?

      So it’s ok for labour, unions etc to spend 300k — you don’t question that (I guess because you support their “advocacy”). Yet if someone like WO dares express a contrary opinion, that must be because he’s being paid by sinister groups. It might surprise you that some of us don’t agree with your beliefs, and it’s not because we’re “uninformed” or corrupted.

      Here’s something Peter: how about actually putting up some decent arguments in favour of retaining MMP — rather than trying to poison the well of those (gasp horror) taking a different view to yours?

  • Stuart

    How long have you been read Whale Oil.

    It was Cam was one who lead the charge against on Winston Raymond Peters.

    At the last election do you not rememeber the wonderful videos that kept us laughing as Cam got into Judith Tizzard.

    I think remember Cam recently saying something along the lines that the his local National Party Electorate had been told by Wellington not to accept his sub.

    I see it as therapy on Cam’s part and entertainment as well as enlightenment for the rest of us.


    PS I agree with SB about your own attempt at self promotion

  • reid

    jeez mate, I’ve got to say this: Judg­ing from appear­ances, it seems like you’re run­ning a ded­i­cated, almost 24/7 par­ti­san polit­i­cal cam­paign against Labour Party figures.

    Crikey I really hope so Peter.

    I mean that would just be the best.

    Just waiting around for the next land-mine.

    Could get quite nasty, really.

    Oh dear…

  • deputy dog

    Peter A.

    Cam had my vote. We need more like him to keep the political numb nuts honest

  • Scanner

    Peter A, why the assumption that “Vote For Change” is pro Nat, if you follow the link and look to You Tube you will find the the campaign is directed against MP’s at large and mostly at list scum.
    These un-elected people are as thick as pigshit and an embarrassment to the country.
    Sooner we rid ourselves of MMP, lists and the barking mad fuckers they seem to attract the better.

  • Alex: I’m certainly not trying to constrain anyone’s freedom of expression.  I can see that in some anonymous commenters’ eyes anything other than an entry along the lines of ‘Yeah Whale go stick it to those foul, corrupt, thieving pinko idiots!’ (‘the echo-chamber’ in other words) is perceived as unwelcome. But to suggest I’m ‘try­ing to poi­son the well’ Alex? Really? Come on. I’m all for dialogue and discussion on the merits. Let’s have at it.

    Scanner: No I wouldn’t describe VCF as being a pro-Nat thing. That’s mis-reading me, with respect. It’s Cam who’s made the link: “MMP is bad for National”. But I can see why you might have assumed that as my POV. Not enough data, yet.
    As I pointed out earlier in comments to Cam’s post ‘The corruption of politics in New Zealand‘:

    National and Labour both have a demon­strated track record of inci­dents of elec­toral malfea­sance. Other par­ties too, yeah, sure. Unlike you and your Anti-MMP Vote for Change brethren (ged­dit?) harken­ing for the good old days of FPP, I remem­ber the ‘cor­rupt’ old boys club/duopoly that was the Elec­toral Bound­aries Com­mis­sion … which saw obscene  ger­ry­man­der­ing nor­malised — e.g. Bruce Beetham’s Mar­ton […] cut out of his Ran­gi­tikei elec­torate. Clever? Well, no, because such obvi­ous ‘cor­rup­tion’ strength­ened the calls for pro­por­tional representation.Anti-democratic actions are the most cor­rupt in my opin­ion. Ask the Egyp­tians, Libyans and Syrian.

    How I remember it: BOTH major parties (National & Labour) struck a devil’s bargain to effectively suppress Parliamentary representation of other parties through their duopoly. They resisted and campaigned intensely against electoral reform, obfuscating and queering the pitch with confusing and unpalatable options, organising opposition, and scare-mongering. In the end, the ‘victory’ for those seeking reform/proportional representation came at the end of a long and arduous struggle against small c conservatism.

    I defend Cam’s right to an opinion, of course. And also his right to actively advocate and even proselytise, if so he chooses. But I think it’s a fair question to ask him transparently (as I did) whether he’s doing that as a paid venture for a lobby group. No?

    I posted a comment about this over at John Pagani’s blog last night when I saw his post ‘Anti-MMP money is used to advocate for stripping citizenship‘ wherein he suggested ‘secret funding’ from Vote For Change was somehow linked to calls to disenfranchise people who aren’t ‘net taxpayers’. I found John’s suggestion implausible for several reasons, as you can read for yourself. (Here’s my comment, since I think it’s relevant to this thread):

    I don’t see the same link you make in your headline John. 
    viz: Anti-MMP money is used to advocate for stripping citizenship
    Er, no, not really.

    Yeah, sure, both those self-styled VRWC blogs are carrying the Vote For Change ‘banner ad’, granted. I believe Cathy when she says she’s paid peanuts and I don’t see the Vote For Change dilettantes and their ‘frontchild’ {snort} pushing for a brave new world of reduced citizenship. Cathy might affect to do so, but I can’t believe she’s serious. More on that later.

    Coincidentally, I recently asked both Cathy and Cameron whether they were paid advocates for the anti-MMP campaign. Yeah, I’m nosey. Their comments to you (above) are entirely consistent with what they told me: the commercial relationship is limited to running the ad. I believe that, and I’m fine with that. I’d have concerns if there was more to it, like blogging for cash, but, neh. Unlikely.

    Let me put my cards on the table. I support proportional representation — my support was sparked by outrage at observing the malignant cronyism and unfairness of the FPP system. FPP disenfranchised not just minor parties but, through electoral boundary gerrymandering, … even saw the popular-vote-winning party denied the government benches in Rowling’s case. That sucked.Cameron (whaleoil) told me he’s against MMP because “MMP is bad for National”. Again, admirably up-front. We each get a vote.

    Or do we?

    Catcus Kate’s appalling suggestion (if she’s serious):

    A cornerstone of democracy is no taxation without representation.I am a believer in the cornerstone of neo-democracy in such a large welfare state that New Zealand now has is that there should be no representation unless you pay net taxation.Regardless of whether this occurs in MMP, SM, FPP or STV.

    … is laughably untenable.
    That silly idea resembles votes for land-owners and slave-owners(!) ONLY, or for men only, or funnily enough, the ‘citizens’ of Ancient Greece (which, you know, wasn’t everybody.) Her suggestion of limiting democratic representation to ‘net taxpayers’ or those earning more than $50,000 pa, as you highlighted, is ludicrous. Real fringe stuff.
    And Cathy’s tongue-in-cheek

    “No taxation without representation” surely has to apply in reverse for net taxation.

    HAS to be a joke, or a tipsy dinner party conversation taken too far … not a serious suggestion.
    What’s next? Our hospitals can only be made use of by ‘net taxpayers’? Roads? Schools? Police? Give me a break.

    – Peter

    – Peter

  • Um, last time I checked Trevor had a safe electoral seat. So how will changing MMP get him out of Parliament?

    • Do you practice hard for your stupidity or are you just a natural?

      • Um do you always use insults when someone points out the illogicality of one of your posts. Your post talked about “the prob­lem with bad MPs and our inabil­ity as vot­ers to get rid of them because of their high list rank­ings con­trolled by the party bosses“.

        I was merely pointing out that as an electorate MP in a safe Labour seat Trevor does not depend on a high list ranking.