Sunday General Debate

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  • Pete George

    A good discussion yesterday on government and referenda, One thing Whale got right:
    The answer isn’t to change the system, it is to use the system more effectively.

    I’ll take that further – for the people to have more say they need to use the system more effectively, and that means not relying on politicians to enable or allow it.

    I agree with Whale on another thing – the Craig/Conservative bottom line on binding referenda is misguided. Referenda take far too long, more of them will bog down politics.

    So we (the people) need to find a better way of doing democracy. I have ideas on this but want to hear what others think. How can we be more effective in having our say?

    • Mediaan

      Next week: how can we do our own butchery and hairdressing?

      A sophisticated society with concentrations of population in a few areas requires specialisation. Everyone doing a bit of everything, including governing, will only take us backwards.

      • Pete George

        Obviously we can’t all govern, but there’s an obvious desire for (many) people to feel like they will be listened to and not ignored.

        • Mediaan

          Blather and left-wing stroking, that is. The voter of today is listened to more than at any other time in history.

          • Pete George

            No, not seriously. They may speak more but they are not taken any more notice of.

            Politicians can and do ignore the CIR we have.

            To be listened to – and taken serious notice of – you need a system of establishing and promoting a credible democratically arrived at opinion.

          • Who says democracy is ideal…personally I am a fan of a benign dictatorship.

          • Pete George

            You’d be a fan of Russel Norman as benign dictator of New Zealand then.

          • Me, as benign dictator

          • Mediaan

            Help! You’d have the country quarter-covered in roads, and all males going off on shooting trips every weekend. And you’d have stocks in every town centre for the “dickheads”.

          • BR

            He’s not benign.

            Bill.

          • Mediaan

            Works perfectly, as long as I am it. (Universally acknowledged principle.)

          • Mediaan

            Everybody talking and being listened to, then?

            Do you have any requirements based on things like expertise, specialisation in a complex world, the need for information about the subjects being decided?

          • Pete George

            I have a model that I think addresses that.

            But nowhere near everybody, most people aren’t interested in saying much most of the time between elections, but some are, so taken from those who are interested.

          • Mediaan

            That’s bias already, and you have only just started. You can’t disenfranchise the less opinionated.

            Then, think about manipulation. As an example, assume the priest has been tutoring all the catholics from the pulpit for weeks in what to think. He is creating a crowd of yes-men for himself.

            How is that democracy?

          • Pete George

            You can’t make people speak about politics who can’t be bothered speaking. They self-disenfranchise.

            Polls use samples of the population. Parliament users samples of the population. It’s a common and accepted way of opinion gathering and decision making.

          • rockape

            When did you last see a demo for the National government doing a good job. Never, yet most of the population think they are.

          • Mediaan

            People almost never bestir themselves to praise, and seldom bestir themselves to complain.

            Yet, as you say, polls tell us National is doing very well in the view of the public.

            In business, they say that, for every one complaining letter a manufacturer gets about his product, there are 99 who felt the same but didn’t bother to write. Then, of course, there are all those who were happy with the product.

            You can’t go by what arrives in the mail, or who turns up at a demo. That’s the noisy few.

          • Mediaan

            A poll is random, if it is properly carried out. Parliament opinion-gathering is never done this way, as far as I know. You are presumably talking about the noisy, the very well-schooled and those who write letters and email MPs.

            Your “self-enfranchised” (noisy, literate and well-organised) people are

            (a) a very biassed sample and

            (b) not randomly chosen,
            so they are not representative of public opinion.

            Such wonky information should NEVER be used in decision-making.

          • johnbronkhorst

            The Greeks tried that “democracy”

            “To be listened to – and taken serious notice of – you need a system of establishing and promoting a credible democratically arrived at opinion.”
            While they were talking and listening to EVERY opinion….They were invaded and defeated before they could act!!
            There’s a lesson in that!!!

          • Pete George

            That’s why you leave the MPs to focus on running the country and have a better way of informing them of public opinion reasonably accurately and quickly.

        • rockape

          Pete , the problem is one of perception. If you ask and you dont receive the perception is you havnt been listened to. Thats why I dont pray anymore,God doesnt listen, I havnt won the lottery yet. Ah you say but God moves in mysterious ways! Well so does the Government. I can guarantee that any Government employs lots of people who listen on their behalf. I have to say, this Government more than most.

          • Pete George

            A lot of people don’t feel listened too.

            If Government doesn’t make it known who they listen too (listening within their own party isn’t enough) then people presume they are just listening to who they want to listen too.

    • Andy

      Richard North of Eureferendum blog has come up with the idea of referism,

      http://eureferendum.blogspot.co.nz/2011/05/that-ism-again.html

      • Pete George

        I don’t think the people can be in control. Mob rule and all that. But the people’s view should be given greater weight in our democratic process.

        What I think we need is a strong people’s lobby.

        • rockape

          Thats called knowing your MPs office number!

          • Mediaan

            I often wondered who those awful people were who used their MP’s number to have a personal rant at them. I wouldn’t dream of doing that. Not when I am one of perhaps 45000 in my electorate.

    • Ronnie Chow

      The Government forms a Referendum Website . Only citizens on the Electoral Roll can vote . The issues of the day , however often they occur , are voted on over a 1 month period . The progress and results are shown in real time , from start to finish.

      • Pete George

        Could work, if you could get Parliament to agree to doing that. There’s no sign of that happening – there’s a political resistance to anything to do with voting online.

        • rockape

          Couldnt work, Kiwis are just too lazy, the only ones who would vote are those with a vested interest therefore you will always get a scewed result.

          • Pete George

            Yes, the more often you had them the fewer would be interested, most of the time, and special interest groups would motivate their support.

            So it needs to be done on a more focussed scale.

  • Sadly there won’t be a better way, as politics long since morphed from public service to serving ones self. The select committee response to the massive voter preference to reduce MPs in an electoral referendum is the most explicit example. When their jobs were threatened, they closed ranks and effectively called the response a knee jerk reaction from 90% of voters who simply did not know as well as the pollies, what is good for them.

    • cows4me

      Well said Rhys, it’s always claimed it’s about public service, horse’s arse it is, one only has to look at the list MP’s, fucking snouts stuck so far into the trough you can only see their arseholes. As for referendum been to slow, oh please, isn’t this the digital age. Fuck we pay our tax to the government every two months on the computer, seems that’s fine for the aholes but we can only have a vote every three years, give me a fucking break.

      • Mediaan

        It’s not a herd of cows. They are all different. (Come to think of it, so are cows.)

    • Mediaan

      Glib nonsense.

      What, for example, is an example of how politicians used to be more characterised by “public service” than today?

      What I remember from my childhood is a lot of fat venal men being quite corrupt, in various and subtle ways.

      Didn’t follow that select committee at all, myself, but presumably you did and you are feeling peeved you didn’t get an outcome to suit your own wishes.

      • Kimbo

        “What, for example, is an example of how politicians used to be more characterised by “public service” than today?”

        Politicians of the past, despite all the human weaknesses they sahre with today’s curent crop would publish a detailed manifesto before an election. They would consider it of utmost importance to honour it, and would only break a promise in exceptional circumstances, e.g., cancelling the 1973 Springbok Tour. Both Norman Kirk, and Rob Muldoon, despite having different politics, would never dream of not providing the electorate with an informed choice.

        • rockape

          Manifestos are a thing of the past sadly. Its now about coming up with a last minute surprise/bribe, uncosted to gain a last minute advantage. I am pleased National did declare their hand even on policies likely to be unpopular. I suspected they will be rewarded for that. Labour on the other hand!

          • johnbronkhorst

            Manifesto’s are fine, but they can only be used if the information used to write them is accurate and that circumstances effecting NZ don’t change from one election to another. This alone renders a manifesto irrelevant.

  • Andrei

    I’d be prepared to bet he voted for homosexual marriage, modern politics is just a freak show

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2319485/Deputy-speaker-Nigel-Evans-arrested-suspicion-rape-sexual-assault-men.html

    • Rodger T

      The Marriage Equality debate is done and dusted Andrei,maybe you should do your sulking in private.
      Just don`t hold your breath waiting for your vengeful imaginary friend to lay its wrath upon the planet.

      • Mediaan

        Oh no it’s not.

        • Rodger T

          Oh yes ,it is. LoL

          You need a box of tissues too?

          • Mediaan

            I’m against fraud and I’m against theft. This was nothing to do with marriage or equality. It was taking part of what some people had away, so a political faction could get more political leverage.

            Others in the community seem to feel strongly about it also but for different reasons.

            Therefore it is not over.

          • Rodger T

            What have you,personally ,had taken away?

          • Mediaan

            Switch topic, why don’t you? It’s not about me, is it.

          • Rodger T

            Ok,I`ll rephrase, what have “some people ” had taken way?

          • Mediaan

            Part of the centuries of human usage right across cultures that built up and strengthened marriage and made it special, and, for some, holy. As you fwell know, and let’s not start all that again.

            It is not over.

    • And your point is what Andrei?

    • Mediaan

      Thanks for link. Having computer glitch, pressed something wrong, so commented elsewhere.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    So why are gas prices cheaper in Levin than anywhere else? They were 1.94 when I drove through last week

    • blokeintakapuna

      To get people to stop there?

    • Mediaan

      Because Levin is one of the biggest New Zealand centres of untrammelled Nazi-style gang street activity? The little dears have to have cheap petrol to encourage them.

  • Rodger T

    For your amusement, some road rage instant karma.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=990_1367505114

    “At least you`ve got your phone” LoL

    • Tom

      Liveleak is a beauty of a site

    • i may be a little slow… i didnt see any rage.

      • Rodger T

        Turn the sound up right from the start.

  • Mediaan

    The topic on my mind is,

    Why do the same women who eagerly host tv programmes on “how to move more women into more responsible roles in society with better pay” also dress as though they were desperate to please men?

    • Whafe

      I didn’t see the program of which you refer to, but I think I know which one it is…

      Can you enlighten me as to what you think woman that speak re “how to move more women into more responsible roles in society with better pay” should dress? (not at all a trick question one bit, am keen to know how you feel they should dress)

      • Mediaan

        The programme I referred to on that topic, today, was Q+A with Sue Wood. It was a prattish weak discussion dominated by Josie Pagani, totally wasting the brain power of Phil O’Reilly who was also present and probably could have offered some more salient remarks if allowed.

        As for what they should wear? Take a look at successful media fronting men. Women need an equivalent.

        Earlier I watched Rachel Smalley on TV3 interviewing Steven Joyce.

        Steven Joyce’s image leapt out of the screen in 3D, dressed in a simple suit, shirt and tie. He projected strength and success. But it was just the usual man clothes, well applied.

        Rachel Smalley has, at least, stopped wearing lacy cocktail frocks with false eyelashes rimmed in black and a square foot of bare chest below her face, . That used to be, including with a heavy cold or in chilly weather. But she still looked rigid, defensive, eager to please and over-cosmeticked.

        • Whafe

          I asked the question because for us men, as you state, for corporate attire, we really have a suit, shirt and tie, a must is great shoes.

          Where by woman can get away with anything more or less it seems. A woman in a suit, or business attire looks as you state in this example as Steven Joyce did…

          I would love to know why womans clothing in the positions you mention has moved away from professional attire…

          • Mediaan

            Good question. And you are on to it, IMO, about the shoes. Shoes high quality and shiny are part of the membership code in certain power groups, one notices.

          • Mediaan

            Addressing the other part of what you said, might it be that the media in question have a dumb hormone-driven male executive hierarchy, and it promotes “eye candy” women?

          • Whafe

            One could see it in many ways. I mean you can’t breed it out of us in 2 generations that men like to look at woman. It is part of being a male…… Although the left want it bred out of us in a 2 weeks

            But yes perhaps that is the state of the play as to where the dressing of woman presenters is at. it may change, may not….

          • Mediaan

            Men are built like that. No reason to breed it out of them, or try to.

            Male TV executives being paid to do a job, however, should do the job — not just give in to their personal hormonal wish for eye candy. If that is what happening.

          • Gazzaw

            Just take a look at the female presenters and interviewers on BBC International News. There endeth the lesson on looking and acting the professional.

          • Mediaan

            I agree.

        • justin

          Wasn’t it funny seeing the banking rep and the spend other people’s money labourite hating the rise of a international ‘net’ based monetary system. “How can IRD tax?”.

          • Mediaan

            I’m struggling to understand bitcoin myself.

  • Mediaan

    Lancashire police have come out with a strong statement saying they will prosecute any rape of anyone. Good for them.

    The British Deputy Speaker of Parliament, now under arrest, earlier asked for public sympathy for his gayness saying it was making him a victim. It is now alleged he is responsible for homosexual rapes.

  • Andy

    I didn’t see any mention at all in the NZ media over UKiPs various victories in the UK local elections and South Shields by election. It was front page in the Guardian. In the UK, at least, the political system is very broken, and UkIp is the protest vote, even if their policies are thin on the ground.

  • unitedtribes

    Dose anyone remember a politician called David Cunlif and know what happened to him. Sweet little man as I remember

    • Patrick

      Probably out in South Auckland perfecting his “rich white guy speaking like a bro” accent.

      • Travis Poulson

        *West Auckland. New Lynn MP.

        Although we’d love to deport him south.

        • Patrick

          I was referring to the infamous 2011 pre election speech, just checked & you are correct, he was at Avondale markets, I had assumed the bro accent was for the constituents down south. You obviously have a fair old collection of similar out West.

          • Travis Poulson

            Yea Avondale isn’t far from New Lynn, damn near part of it really. West Auckland also has a large pacific island community. I know the speech you are referring too as well, bloody embarrassing to watch. Nothing worse than a white person trying to sound like a bro. Especially when it isn’t their normal way of talking. Pity there was no grassy knoll nearby….

          • Patrick

            Have to be a big grassy knoll to accomodate the queue.

    • Mediaan

      In parliament looking impeccably dressed, dutiful, and silent. Is actually more impressive silent than talking.

    • Hollyfield

      He went doorknocking in Avondale about a month ago. He impressed my parents, they said he was a nice man. He gave them a Labour pamphlet with info about services that older people can access, but the pamphlet was really just a list of government agencies.

      • unitedtribes

        Was one of them NZ power

  • there you go Cam. Find the good lady a loop-hole would you?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/8633670/Woman-fights-to-unveil-rapist-son

    • “A woman who was tracked down and raped by a son she had adopted out as a child is fighting to have his name made public – even if it means her identity will be revealed.”

      • Hazards001

        I fucking love Karma…good share!

  • unitedtribes

    This weather may be a godsend for duck shooters

  • Mediaan

    A financial analyst in the UK, Peter Atherton, says the Greens policy on building sustainable energy facilities over there will lead to power bills rising 30% and then 100% within just a few years. (Guardian, UK, 5 May 2013)

    Some say it will all become such a mess that nuclear power stations will have to be thrown up everywhere.

    A future government facing huge public discontent will have to build them, to fix the mess.

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