Tuesday General Debate

How did that storm yesterday turn out for you?  Some wild weather in some parts of the country.

Welcome to today’s General Debate, the daily post where you can start your own conversations in the comments.

Today’s topic is

Is voting in a fundamentally flawed political system worthwhile?


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  • Kimbo

    “Is voting in a fundamentally flawed political system worthwhile?”

    Of course it isn’t.

    However, ours is nor “fundamentally flawed”. If I’m not wearing my bullshit detector, I get vexed by the left-wing crap that our system is “fundamentally flawed”, and the malaise of confidence they try and create when they don’t get what they want, e.g, anti-GM, anti-GCSB, anti-partial asset sales, anti-anything that doesn’t fit their narrow definition of ‘people’s democracy’.

    Not entirely happy with the results of democracy? Good, then you will probably find your neighbour feels the same, which is a good indication democracy,a nd the dividend of the ‘half-loaf’ is working just fine.

    • James

      A system whereby the rights of the individual can be overridden due to the beliefs of a majority is fundamentally flawed.
      And, moving up a level, a system of “local” government that has voters living in a completely different area to yours, that can be two hours drive away, dictating who should be running your area, the services that should be provided and who will pay for them is also fundamentally flawed.
      And up a level from that a system of national government whereby you have people in the house of representatives who do not represent anybody is a major flaw (but probably not quite to the extent of being fundamentally so).

      • johnbronkhorst

        People choosing to live in another country having a vote in this one!

      • Kimbo

        Sounds like a plausible argument.

        However, kindly define and give examples of what you mean by “the rights of the individual can be overridden due to the beliefs of a majority” – and the other grievances you mentioned.

        • James

          An individual should be able to live their life free from the tyranny of the majority – provided that their actions do not adversely affect other third parties. So an example would be, say, the Switched on Gardener trials. Here a number of people were providing the expertise and equipment for people to grow their own marijuana and so escape the clutches of gang controlled drug distributions. Nobody is adversely affected by people growing their own pot and nobody is forcing people to grow, or smoke, pot. It should therefore be something that totally falls out of state control.
          Similarly somebody who has decided that they have lived for long enough and doesn’t want to spend their last months / years in pain or in a sorrowful state shouldn’t have to. Assisted suicide should be an option available to all.
          And the “local” government example is the super city – where because people in the North Shore generally live in houses with sections and so can mow their own verges the same should be true for people in Auckland City; regardless of the completely different housing types between areas. Or because the people of Manakau get “free” swimming pools the people of the North Shore should pay for “free” swimming pools in their rates – even though the Shore has no swimming pools where you would take your children but has plenty of properly free beaches. Or, even closer, that because the people of Devonport and Takapuna are both relatively rich, and are close together, that they should fall into the same “local board” even though the two areas are fundamentally different in the way that they think – especially about things that are important such as heritage protection.

          • Kimbo

            Ok, thanks for the response.

            The on-going cannabis debate, and how the law is administered shows democracy is still at work – you don’t always get the result you want but you also get to keep on trying.

            Electoral and council boundaries are subject to continual re-drawing. Again, you don’t always get the result you want but you also get to keep on trying.

            Sounds like you are from the individual libertarian end of the spectrum when it comes to the individual freedom vs corporate good argument. Other than anarchists or totalitarians, everyone agrees there has to be a meeting point between the two. The issue for debate and democracy is where. Again, you may not get the result you want, but you also get to keep on trying.

            Democracy in action, without fundamental flaw.

            Edited for typo

          • Kimbo

            Democracy makes no promises you will have perfect government, nor an immediate balancing of individual freedoms and corporate good. But you get the right to use the apparatus, including public discussion like this, to sway your fellow voters.

            Secession or civil war are what happen when democracy is fundamentally flawed.

            Neither apply to New Zealand.

          • Polish Pride

            Then perhaps democracy and law should not be applied to individual freedoms where those freedoms and any activity performed by an individual do not impact on anyone else

          • Kimbo

            Doesn’t really solve the problem, because supposedly individual acts of freedom do have a corporate impact – or at least that is how some interpret your statement, Hence laws on drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc.

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    What makes the system flawed? I am aghast at the result in the Wellington Local Body Elections but have to admire the greens ability to mobilise it’s base. Those who vote green tend to be more politically active anyway, but we never saw that level of call to action by a center right candidate.

    • Team ENZ

      agree with you there, the middle ground did not mobilised to get votes for JM, and now Wellington will have to suffer more inaction from a useless tree hugging lazy greenie, even though I am a Huttie, whatever happens in wellington still affects me as I work frequently in the city. I had to laugh out loud when she said she is getting straight into action after being re-elected…My thoughts ..What action??? she procrastinates over the flyover, airport and many other potential projects, but is very passionate about her light rail fantasy, which by wellington’s population is a white elephant dream. so we await for another three years…

      • Phar Lap

        You are right on the button.That greenie mayor ,like all greenies are a blight and curse on the nation,any nation.At least the Russians are at last unmasking them, and hopefully take them out of the equation for at least fifteen years.Maybe in due course the Russian medicine will be repeated in NZ.

    • parorchestia

      What on earth happened in Wellington? Wellingtonians had some great mayors in the past, but the present one …. well. On yer bike, which is what she is willing to do it seems, would be good advice to her. But the voters didn’t kick her out! Amazing.
      As a result a once exciting city that was fun to visit will continue to decline. Shame.

  • sheppy

    I reckon a lot didn’t bother to vote as the form is way too complicated. Several pages of names with no idea of what they stand for. Just to read the statements from each candidate takes a while so its much easier to chuck it in the bin.
    If I thought Len was going to definitely get back in and nothing would change I wouldn’t have bothered either

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      I agree. I wonder if it was run along the line of general party elections, so that you voted for your preferred ‘team’ rather than individuals, so just 2 ticks – 1) mayor; 2) team of councilors.
      All this ticking 3 names in this group, 5 names in that group, then rank 7 names in order in another group, I consider myself reasonably informed but I didn’t know the majority of the names I voted for.

      • sheppy

        Very true, I’m glad the who not to vote for stuff appeared on here too.
        Does anyone know how many of the unions preferred troughers got in?

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      I agree. STV voting form for the City Council, Regional Council and the DHB, what seems like hundreds of names that mean nothing (it’s worse than an IR3 form), Greens who call themselves “Independents” just so you can ‘t spot the bastards, and you have to rank (or not rank) the buggers. Who can be fucked with that.

  • jaundiced

    Last night Simon Bridges blew it.
    What was required was for him to appear as a Minister, acknowledge the concerns of those who would stand to lose if we had an oil spill, and reassure those people with some good factual explanations. Instead he came across as an arrogant little prat, concerned more with scoring against Campbell than winning people over. He obviously thought he’d emulate John Key and demolish Campbell, but he was woeful, immature, and totally in need of media training. Resorting to ‘you drive a Mazda’ immediately alienates everyone who has a genuine concern. And in case you’re wondering, I’m all for oil exploration, but Simon could easily persuade me otherwise.

    • Whafe

      I don’t entirely agree, I thought for sure he could have handled himself better, but he was up against one of or if not the most arrogant little short man sufferer I have witnessed… Simon Bridges had to take the route he did, Being on CampbellShit, involves not debate on facts,but defending some idiot only interested in trying to make you look stupid…
      Was going to be tough all round.. Makes me laugh how all lefties were tweeting, Simon Bridges has lost it and is yelling, I for the life of me heard no yelling…
      The show is a bucket of the brown steamy stuff. Never watch it, I watched in online…

      • jaundiced

        That’s what’s so disappointing – he completely handed it to the lefties. His mistake was over-rehearsing, concentrating on not letting Campbell do to him what he ended up doing himself – appearing to not be interested in listening, barging through with his rehearsed lines, attacking Campbell for his bias. He should have refused to play that game, because in the process he was not addressing the audience, many of whom genuinely wanted to be assured. (Ironically at one point he said ‘this isn’t the John and Simon show’) And yes, he was yelling, and made Campbell look like the reasonable one in this case. And that is quite a feat! Someone please take Simon aside and make him watch this interview.

        • Whafe

          Point taken, agree somewhat. But still don’t feel he was yelling, agitated and showing agitation yes, but not yelling…
          Basically I cant stand Campbell

        • conwaycaptain

          Don’t agree
          Campbell started his usual “talking over the top routine when the answers were not to his liking. Bringing in that Anadarko had 25% share in the Gulf tragedy when they had no operational control.
          The oil response vessels was a sham. When drilling starts there will be proper vessels equipped for this not ship spills in a port.
          The number of oil spills world wide is dropping year on year. NZ has never had a major one and we have been drilling for 50 years. When Maui was done it was on the edge of technology and in an earthquake zone and it is still there.

          • jaundiced

            All valid points. But my comments are not about who won the argument. Its about who won the confidence of the audience on this occasion.

          • Team ENZ

            who gives a shit.?

    • Callum

      Didn’t he, Bridges was a nightmare.

      He’s supposed to be one of our best and Campbell owned him.
      I’m beginning to wonder if the right really are that smart after all. Realistically this issue should have been capped off like a gushing well, but he blew it up into something bigger than the gulf of Mexico.
      I’m wondering if Labour might be the way to go next year.

      • jaundiced

        Bugger me – I wouldn’t go that far.

    • James Howlett

      Yeah it looks like a missed opportunity to me. I’m also in favour of oil exploration. Would have been great to have a calm, rational explanation from the Minister in charge – I think the facts support the government’s position so there’s no need to get too animated about it. Appears Bridges may have chugged a Red Bull or something before going on – you know it’s not great when Campbell starts to look calm and reasonable.

  • Muffin

    I live in Mangawhai which is in the Kaipara district council area. Kaipara had some dodgy local politicians and is now lumped with an 80 million odd debt and all the councillors resigned as they were replaced with commisioners. I didn’t t get to vote as there was no voting this time around for us however I would be happy if we never voted again for the following reasons:
    1) the multi million dollar losses incurred by the council each year have stopped and are now a small surplus.
    2) that surplus is being used to reduce debt (albeit slower than it was accumulated) rather than used on election bribes.
    3) all the core services we were getting before are still being provided, rubbish has been collected, our gravel road graded and they fixed the blocked culvert on our road after I informed them, I’m sure that some costs have been cut but can’t say I have noticed them nor any of our friends.

    About time we looked at appointing qualified managers to run an areas core services rather than leaving it to the popular ( or least apathetic vote). Non core services could be organised by community groups that can raise funding on the merits of each project but not use the funds collected via rates for the core stuff.

    • sheppy

      I’m in Auckland and I wish we could have commissioners instead of lyin’ Len. That way the roads wouldn’t have so many unfixed pot holes, and basic maintenance would be done again.

  • James

    I voted for Palino for mayor but not for anybody on the council or the Waitemata DHB. The reason for this is that I knew, understood and semi-agreed with what Palino stood for; moreso that I agreed with what Len stands for but at least I know what that is too.

    I didn’t vote for anybody on the council as I had no idea what anybody actually stood for. The candidate statements in the booklet were about as beige as you can get – totally neutral with no detail and an almost concerted effort to appear centrist. The only exception to this was the Conservatives; and I was tempted to vote for them purely because they are willing to show what they stand for; however I couldn’t bring myself to vote for authoritarians – even if they are on the right side fiscally.
    As nobody made any effort to try and get my vote I didn’t vote and spoiled my ballot.

    With respect to the DHB there was no way that I was going to read 30+ beige candidate statements and then try and figure out a way of ranking them in order of who most appeals to me. I would rather extract my eyeballs with a spoon.
    What is required is for the national parties to make a stand and start turning out for local elections. That way we know what they stand for and can vote along lines that we understand.

    What is also needed is that people who are standing as “independent” are “independent”; anybody who is, or has been in the last 5 years, a member of a political party, should be required to disclose this, unless they are standing on that party’s ticket. I have no problems with Independents and think that we should have more of them in national politics – but I do have problems with people who are obviously aligned to a party fraudulently pretending to be independent.

    • jaundiced

      And what on earth is a ‘team of independents’?

      • James

        I know – I saw, Team of Independents in our election book and was trying to figure out exactly what it meant.

        • Kimbo

          Sounds a bit like the Old East Germany which was known as the “German Democratic Republic”. A contradiction in terms

          • Hazards001

            A team of Independents is like a cluster of wankers..only greener but with the same result. Everyone is pulling in different directions with their eyes closed yet they all want to get there first.

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    It seems hard times are being faced in South Africa. Poster on a car reads:

    WARNING: Due to the rising cost of ammunition, I will no longer be able to provide a warning shot. Thank you for your patience and understanding. These are hard times.

    • Patrick

      They are indeed facing harder times, I have a mate who owns a company that puts up security fencing, the business is dead because people can no longer afford things like security fences. The costs the average (white) SA person faces have gone through the roof, utility prices are ramped up by Government gouging those that “can” pay, medical costs, insurances, fuel etc are all going through the roof. The classic example of a government governing for the have nots, if you want a vision of NZ under Cunliffe then look at SA, I acknowledge that SA has unique challenges but gouging the life out of those supposedly “rich pricks” to create a more equal fairer society (as the left call it) is not the answer.
      Give it 20 years & we will see SA as another Zimbabwe.

  • Callum

    Gees guys, cheer up.
    Its only flawed because John Key and the like keeps ignoring public opinion in favour of pursuing their own Neo Liberal agenda.
    I for one beleive that New Zealand will once again return to a more free, egalitarian and democratic society next year when he’s gone.

    • Kimbo

      I know you shouldn’t feed a troll, but Callum,…

      have you considered that IF Key is defeated at the ballot boxes, the reactionary right-wing forces of darkness who coalesce around these parts may just stage a coup d’état in the best tradiions of how Pinochet got rid of every socialist/communist’s favourite pin-up boy Allende was got rid of?

      Now, silly boy, how about you sit down, and contemplate what democracy as we most certainly enjoy it feels like…?

    • GazzW

      You mean the Neo Liberal agenda that the majority of our free, egalitarian and democratic society voted for in 2011?

      “Gees guys, cheer up.” Callum, if you intend to troll seriously here don’t be patronising and use some intelligent debate.

    • Team ENZ

      yes we must be flawed because we keep paying taxes to feed parasitic bludgers from the old leftie /greenie regime that never seem to die but yet keeps sucking the life out of ordinary working people. I see you would like to see a return to a more abundance of benefits and welfare system that parasites yearn for again but not under JK…

      • Polish Pride

        No if you were flawed it would be because you (the collective you as opposed to you as an individual and not all commentators) keep complaining about the fact that you keep having to pay taxes to feed parasitic bludgers….. but don’t believe it or even at least investigate further when informed of a solution that would mean you don’t have to do this anymore. Furthermore many of you fail to see the fact that both sides L and R run on a model of Tax and redistribute wealth or do see it and fail to see the hypocrisy in championing Right wing policy that does this whilst lampooning the Left for doing it.
        Yet you prefer to keep doing things the same way expecting, hoping, praying for a different set of outcomes.
        In short most of you could be considered a bunch of hypocrites that like nothing better than to come here to have a good whinge and a moan but in reality want the system to stay just the way it is. After all if the problems were fixed, what would you have to whinge about.

        • Hazards001

          Have another toke.

          • Polish Pride

            That’s the best you’ve got, seriously? I must have hit the nail squarely on the head then.

          • Hazards001

            That’s the best I have seriously.

            I’m tired of your mumbo jumbo bullshit.
            You’re a pot head and an anarchist and nothing more. Fucking mumbling incoherent long winded shit about the way to Utopia is via some socialist fucking nonsense of using automation and systems and a diversification of wealth distribution that refuses to take into account human nature and the desires of humans to strive to achieve more and be in power. The amount of power does not matter to many, it’s the being in some position of power that does.
            No altruistic system is going to remove that.

          • Polish Pride

            Yes Hazards a pothead with a twenty year career in IT, running a company with a multi million dollar turnover and I still have time to figure out whats wrong with the system and determine the best system for mankind using tried and proven systems analysis techniques. Perhaps everyone should smoke weed.

            Clearly in your old age you struggle to grasp new concepts and you don’t like being called a moaning old whinger. Well if the shoe fits …..and it looks like it does….
            See where I grew up if we whinged like you do we got told to sit down and pull our heads in. If we had a problem we had better damn well have given some thought to the solution.
            So yes from where I sit your a lazy moaning whinger still crying about the fact you can’t drive a bull dozer anymore. Time to grow up old man. Either put up solutions or shut the fuck up and stop complaining. It really is that simple in my book.

            Clearly you can’t read that well either. If you did you’d know RBE and Socialism are two completely different systems. In fact you’d know that Socialism is used by the left to redistribute wealth. Exactly the same as those on the right supporting Capitalism do – redistribute wealth. They might as well be the same as they are on many other levels too. Only your either too stupid to see it, or you simply don’t want your illusion shattered.

            If you had been reading you’d also know that RBE is the ONLY system that has been designed taking human nature into account in its very design. If you had been reading you’d know that it provides the best environment for passion and the desires of humans to strive and achieve more. But no doubt you read it and thought you’d get to sit around on the couch all day watching TV drinking beer and eating potato chips.
            See Hazard try this on for size instead of being a whinging moaning old man, why don’t you do more and be more. Stop resting on what you’ve done in the past and live life, contribute, make the world a better place.

          • Hazards001

            Fuck off. I made the world a better place by doing things not by trying to get people laid off.
            I’m not old I’m in my mid forties and working hard as a civil engineer you jerk off. I just never forgot who and what I am.

            As to putting up solutions you fucking long winded pot head you have given none except a cryptographic reference to RBE whatever the fuck that is.

            If you think taking peoples jobs off them is making the world a better place then good for you.

            Stay off my fucking roads and out of my subdivisions, away from my power lines, dams and the products I have mined which I think have made the world a better place. And still continue to do,

            Go have another smoke and calm the fuck down noddy.

          • Polish Pride

            RBE – Resource Based Economy Go study up, you might learn something.
            I already told you (again not listening) The reason you have to put up with my shit is because I did that. If you don’t like what I have to say, its pretty simple don’t read my posts.

            Do more. Be more. everyday Hazards, every single day.

            You’ve forgotten who you are all right, but not in the sense your thinking of.

          • Hazards001


          • Polish Pride

            ouch!! what a burn.
            best we leave it there I think.

  • Micky

    I would be interested to hear anyone’s opinion on Simon Bridges Campbell Live interview last night.
    Personally, I thought he was a little over the top at times, but good to see him sticking it to Campbell, who seemed a bit shell shocked initially.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Sorry, can’t resist this.
    Someone told him to shut up?

  • Hazards001

    I am FUCKING seriously NOT enjoying this flipping between formats on certain posts! Not at all!