Entries in politics (128)


using centre right principles to deliver social justice

David Farrar of Kiwiblog quotes David Cameron who is leader of the British Conservative Party, British Leader of the Opposition and likely British Prime Minister within the next few years: "using centre right principles to deliver social justice - what the left promise but do not deliver".

I need to dig further on this as it explains exactly why I find myself more at home on the right of the political spectrum even though my christian heart for social justice would imply a place on the left.


NZ First calls for an anti-corruption commission

oh, the irony* ... one of NZ First's Fundamental Principlies is:

"An independent anti-corruption commission will be established to enable New Zealanders to have confidence that their institutions are working properly."
hat tip kiwi blog

* wikipedia includes in its definition of irony:

"There is some argument about what is or is not ironic, but all the different senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is said and what is meant; or between an understanding of reality, or an expectation of a reality, and what actually happens."


Parliament Question Time & Winston Peters

I sat in on Question Time at Parliament time today as I had some spare time, and obviously the debacle that is Winston's deceipt and hypocrisy was going to be the focus.

Radio NZ has already posted the audio recording.

TV news tonight should be interesting given Winston's irrational attacks on the media - you can be sure they will enjoy highlighting his absurdities. TV3 already has footage on their website.

Tomorrow's newspapers should be fun. Audrey Young of the NZ Herald was taking particular notice when Winston attacked the media generally, and her specifically. Update 5:15pm: Audrey has already called Winston on his deceipt on her NZ Herald blog: "Winston not keeping to his word".

Winston appeared and sounded tired and emotional to me. Particularly when answering (incoherently) question 11 - which was a patsy to him from one of his own MPs. But also when inserting himself into question 1 - which was to the Prime Minister about him.


when winston says no, he means no

hat tip whale oil via kiwi blog


time to think

Merlin Mann, of 43 Folders, has relayed a discussion between Barack Obama and David Cameron about the importance of putting thinking time in your diary and concludes:

This encourages and inspires me. If people as busy as these two guys ... can make time to rise above the noise, it’s hard to imagine why each of us wouldn’t want to occasionally unchalk our diary enough to try something similar.
Note, to Merlin: David Cameron is not just a "British MP"; he is also leader of the British Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition in Britain. He is odds on to be British Prime Minister after their next election (which I think is due by 2010). In other words, this conversation was between two men who quite likely will be world leaders within a very short time.

I can't think of two men for whom it is less important they have time to think.


Politicians won’t but the people can

well said on home paddock

"... That’s politics under MMP and that’s why Labour and National have to leave the door ever so slightly open for Peters.

But while the politicians won’t shut the door in his face the people can slam it. If Peters doesn’t win Tauranga and NZ First gets less than 5% of the party vote then neither he nor his party will be in the next parliament.

The make up of the next parliament and government isn’t up to politicians it’s up to voters."


petering out, snookered

brilliant cartoon from Emmerson, hat tip whale oil


ministerial standards under Helen Clark


Winston's hypocrisy

A brilliant image from Whale Oil, who wants to make it a billboard in Tauranga.

A brilliant headline from Colin Espiner of the The Press: "no, no, no, no, no, no, yes". It would be comical if it weren't so hypocritical.

David Farrar lists an unbelievable string of factors you would have to believe to think Winston didn't know of this donation long before now.

If our Parliament has any integrity Winston Peters will be found in contempt for not declaring this enormous secret and hidden donation to him personally (not to a "legal case") and he will be gone - hopefully soon.


we are all truck drivers today

we are all truck drivers today:

We are all truck drivers today. Yes, it might be inconvenient to see the roads blocked. But this is a battle against government in our interests too. It's not just about road charges, there is more to it than that. It is a battle about honesty.
for my international readers wondering what I'm going on about: this relates to today's NZ truckie protest about Road User Charges being increased by the government without the apparently promised notice, and on the very day the government bought NZ's rail services company (their main competitor)


NZ Political Blog Readers' Survey

reminder: please take the New Zealand Political Blog Readers' Survey


parliamentary funding = 'donation' ?

Graeme Edgler of Public Address has written a comprehensive article explaining why he thinks parliamentary funding of political party advertising might be a 'donation' for electoral law purposes even though it is not clear, in a legal technical sense, who the 'donor' is.

This is a very interesting development in the debacle that is the Electoral Finance Act, that has been playing out in the blogosphere and media over recent weeks.

My thinking is that given the definitions in the EFA it is quite clearly a donation, and therefore some parties --- primarily Labour based on press reports --- have already breached the Act by missing the 10 working day rule requiring disclosure of donations over $20,000.

However, I am not sure what the punishment would be if this was held to be the case?


Rosemary McLeod: A dangerous drift away from reality

Rosemary McLeod's column today in the Sunday Star Times expresses her frustration and anger at where NZ is heading.

She has a go at a range of groups, including the churches, whilst also mourning the loss of the influence the church used to have on society.

Some salient quotes:

Three senseless killings in as many weeks is a lot for one Auckland community to bear, but it's a load we all carry. We may have no choice about that, but we do over the direction we take with it.

I blame: THE CHURCHES. Where is any confident outspoken leadership on right and wrong? Are they sidelined into fretting about gay marriage to the exclusion of matters that affect everyone, or quibbling over points of doctrine (virgin birth, resurrection) while society's glue comes unstuck? How is it that our most energetic church leaders of recent times have been the disgraced Graham Capill, and the alarming Brian Tamaki, with his legions of dark-suited clones? But if we (the middle class, who mock most things) mock Tamaki, what can we offer in his place? And if we never forgive the churches' sexual abuse scandals, do we hold out hope that what replaces them will prove to be any better?

I blame: THE MIDDLE CLASS. We pay most of the taxes and have benevolent ideas we're not prepared to pay for. We make sure we live in parts of town where bad things don't happen, and that our kids go to schools well away from the poor and other stigmatised minorities. Our heart goes out to such people in the novels we read, though. We don't go to church, and we don't know what to tell our kids about most things. Drugs? Surely not all that harmful. Sex? Well, don't underage kids have rights? Alcohol? We drink. Morality? Don't get caught, times 10 is probably our 10 Commandments.

I blame: WOMEN. Women have become the success story of the education system. So is the rise of a caste of female criminals as vicious as their male counterparts. Young women go out to get raucously drunk and get laid, as males traditionally did, and we have 18,000 abortions a year, although contraception is freely available. If we give up nurturing, who will take our place? If we don't act responsibly, looking after bodies and our own safety, who do we think will? And what is our role, actually?

I blame: MEN. Where are they? Fathers' rights campaigners are visible. Destiny Church men are visible. Much more visible are absconding fathers, and the male criminals who stuff our jails. Do the majority of men, fathers and husbands and workers, get any credit or respect in our society? What role do we think men should play in life, and how are we communicating that to our sons? Do we seriously wonder why they become confused, suicidal, or at the very least, irresponsible?

Cross-posted to Just Comment.


Stephen Franks on being green in every day life

Stephen Franks shares his personal experience of being green in every day life without being 'green'


Tumeke! ranking improves to #65

My NZ political and news blog ranking as rated by Tim Selwyn of Tumeke! has increased from #68 in March/April to #65 in May.

Thanks to Tim for all the hard work he puts in collating and analysing the data behind these rankings.


Gordon Campbell talks to Peter Dunne

Gordon Campbell of Scoop has continued his election year interviews of party leaders with an in-depth interview of Peter Dunne.

Peter is my local MP. As regular readers will know I have posted a number of articles holding him to account. It is good to see an in-depth interview exploring his views on a wide range of issues, not the least of which is how his personal christian faith informs him as a politician.

Campbell: You’re Catholic, as are Jim Anderton and Bill English among others. How does his faith enhance Peter Dunne’s ability to do his parliamentary job?

Dunne: I’m not a dogmatic….I’m not here to say this is the official position of the Catholic Church that I’m representing, because I’m not. I think it’s the commitment to social justice, to a fair deal for people. . I’ve got a very strong belief – which I think is the biggest lesson I learned at school - in the power of free will, and our right to exercise it.

Campbell: Do you think any of the Christian-based parties will cross the 5 % threshold this year?

Dunne : No. United Future is not in that camp, not any more.

Campbell: You’ve been through your prayer meeting phase ?

Dunne : Well, we were never really in it. I certainly wasn’t. But we had some people who imagined that United Future could become New Zealand’s version of the Taliban.

Campbell: Right.

Dunne : And they’ve now thankfully left to pursue their course to oblivion.

updated Tue-17-Jun by adding above quote and photo


Because it will rain. Soon. Honestly. It will.

Colin Espiner points out that Labour has abandoned rationality in regards to the dry year power crisis we are presently facing. Instead the government is adopting a head in the sand, blind-faith approach. "Because it will rain. Soon. Honestly. It will."

He also points out that Helen Clark has run for the hills, again, rather than front an issue of national importance. So much for leadership.


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Mon-24-Nov-08: tidied up.
Mon-10-Nov-08: deleted the side bar and Policies page references to Labour's repugnant Electoral Finance Act now that the election is over, so it no longer applies to blogs like this one because I understand the regulated period has completed, and is soon to be repealed anyway (hopefully!).


Labour stung into action

It would appear that Labour has been stung into action on, or is at least discussing, addressing the needs of beneficary households who (as I wrote on Sunday) had been hung out to dry by last week's budget - despite the fact they too face the same rampant increases in food, petrol, etc as the rest of us (which were cited by both Cullen and Clark as a key reason for their finally agreeing to tax cuts).

So, we await details with interest - only then we can comment on whether any announced changes will actually help.

But let's get the politics clear here. If this was a matter of addressing how much people need to live on it would have been addressed in the budget last week. The fact this is being announced only a week after the budget makes it quite clear this is nothing but a cynical pre-election vote buying ploy. That Labour treats the lives and votes of our poorest citizens with such disdain is disgraceful.

Chalk one up to the blogosphere, and to social justice lobby groups.


Labour abandons the poorest and most vulnerable NZers

I've been getting stuck into Labour recently about how the poor have gone backwards under Labour.

One of their own candidates has been forced into admitting there is nothing in last week's budget tax cuts for "the poorest and most vulnerable New Zealanders who are dependent on benefits". While I congratulate Jordan for correcting his initial post, I have to call him out on his initial spin that they would "make a difference to everyone, be they workers or people on benefits, be they on low, middle or high incomes".

I would respect Labour more if they weren't so often spinning that things were moving forwards when in reality their own policies are taking those very same things backwards.

Our poorest citizens are affected by the same rampant increases in food, petrol, etc as the rest of us but Labour seems to have abandoned them --- presumably assuming they have their votes anyway. This is cynical politics at its worse.