Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Back in the mainstream

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  • Tony Kennedy,

    The is more than one flavour of STV, The single seat constituency version used in Australia is never going to do the smaller parties any favours, however the multi seat (min 3, maximum 5) version as practised in Ireland is more conducive to small party’s getting a seat.

    It should be noted that the Dail (Ireland’s Lower house) has 166 members for a population of a similar size to NZ.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Australian soil is only a boat ride away from Indonesia.

    agreed, but generally the asylum seekers, who don't seem to be in vast numbers, are from further afield. Australia is far more obsessed with Indonesia than the other way around and there seems little desire here to migrate south (the odd fisherman, and Papuan separatist excepted), with Malaysia and Singapore (with ethnic, language and religious affinity) being far more enticing to any Indonesian emigree.

    That obsession included the spending of billions in defense in the NT for an enemy who was never going to come, or had any desire to come.

    Quite odd really.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Multi-seat STV is far better, and roughly proportional within constituencies (though disproportionate overall due to the threshold effect). But I still prefer MMP, with the crufts of no threshold and possibly PV for electorate votes.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Earlier I said:

    Funnily enough, they're "fans" not "friends". Facebook lets "public figures" create pages that are halfway between a personal profile and a group.

    It looks like this is a brand new Facebook feature, cos when I just logged in now, I found this notice:

    Your favorite bands, businesses, and products are coming to Facebook. Check out Dave Matthews Band, become a fan of (RED), or search for your favorite brands.

    Woo! Dave Matthews Band!!!!

    Ahem.

    I like this better cos I'd feel weird adding, say, Nandor Tanczos's personal Facebook account, but I'd feel much more comfortable (and less creepy/stalky) adding a professional Facebook listing (if he had one).

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    As far as I can see all Preferential Voting (aka instant run-off voting) allows is for voters to "make a statement" by ranking their preferred candidate first, then listing the candidate who actually has a chance.

    STV (which is the same but with multi-member constituencies) does provide proportionality and is used in Wellington council elections. Which is why we have a much nicer city than others.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    If you go here you can watch the guys from the Chaser pop round to Kevin's place with a few of his Facebook friends.

    He copes very, very well indeed. I hear a rumour he was some kind of diplomat...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Your favorite bands, businesses, and products are coming to Facebook. Check out Dave Matthews Band, become a fan of (RED), or search for your favorite brands.

    Which is all part of Facebook's evil plan to take over the world by getting you to do the marketing for their corporate partners. And to use the demographic information you gave them to tell their partners who's using their sites.

    I wrote about it here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If you go here you can watch the guys from the Chaser pop round to Kevin's place with a few of his Facebook friends.

    That's a simple but great idea. BTW, The Chaser is coming to our screens soon ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Ha ha! That's terrific. The Chaser guys have no shame.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Helen Clark has been having Ugandan discussions with Kevin Rudd ...

    Fnar.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    When Helen was last in Sydney for APEC the Chaser showed up at her press conference to ask her all manner of questions that required an answer of six - she was onto it very quickly and played along well. The Pollies that cope best are the ones that acknowledge the humour, many do not and typically look foolish or churlish or both. The Chaser is available to podcast at the ABC site if anyone's interested.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The Chaser is coming to our screens soon

    Choice.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    I sincerely hope that finally, Australia's first peoples will get an official apology from the government. Now that's Bennelong, long time coming.

    For what it's worth "a" John Howard did present an apology back in 2000:

    ... I speak for all Australians in expressing a profound sorrow to the Aboriginal people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the world know and understand, that it is with this sorrow, that we as a nation will grow and seek a better, a fairer and a wiser future. Thank you.

    Written by John Clarke for The Games and worth reading in full, printing, framing, etc.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    If you go here you can watch the guys from the Chaser pop round to Kevin's place with a few of his Facebook friends.

    And this morning they joined Howard on his morning jog!

    I saw a few eps while in Oz, and they are funny but on occasion cross the line into cruel. But then humour (and the line) are in the eye of the beholder.

    I've stopped using Facebook because I'm sick of being told that one of my friends has left a message on my </application X>. When I click to get the message I'm asked if I want to download </application X>. Not any more thanks, now that I know by accepting </application X> I also accept their intrusion into my computerlife (as outlined by RB).

    It can't be long before we all get a message "__Russell Brown has just rented 'An@l Midget Leather Fest' from Blockbuster - would you like to reserve your copy??__"

    Disclaimer - I'm not on RB's FB list, and I'm sure if he rented that title it would be purely for blog research.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    When Helen was last in Sydney for APEC the Chaser showed up at her press conference to ask her all manner of questions that required an answer of six - she was onto it very quickly and played along well.

    Oh for fuck's sake... meanwhile the real journo sat APEC seemed to spend more time compaining about being herded from photo op to staged presser than committing actual journalism... The more I think about it, the more I come to conclusion that Rudd is the perfect Hollow Man for a Hollow Media.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Come on Craig - it can actually be ok for a little levity to breach the otherwise sanctified chambers of politics. I don't know what the coverage was like in NZ, but there was reasonable coverage here albeit of a largely boring event. You know they actually do fuck-all at these gab-fests - the big tucket item (naff joke I know) was an agreement that wasn't Kyoto... guess that's pretty irrelevant after the weekend huh!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    But you've really got to wonder what Rudd really believes in, and how he's going to handle doing anything that can't be smoothed over with bland bormides and might actually be unpopular.

    He probably looked at the John Key love-in and decided to follow an apparently winning strategy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    The Libs really did cut their own throats with the "WorkChoices" crap, which actually isn't as severe as that shit the National govt pulled back when, and then the unions rolled over and died (7 years work, and 2 weeks "redundancy" pay? Thanks guys. Thanks union for not supporting my unfair dismissal claim after 10 years of dues). It galls me that Labor won't undo AWAs that are currently in force, since that's what I'm stuck with at present.

    Most of the people I know here voted Green, as pretty much the only viable 3rd-party option (the Democrats were a dog's dinner), and the bizarre voting scheme for the Reps certainly didn't do them any favours. While MMP has its faults, at least it gives a proportional result. The flavour of STV used for the Senate is slightly better, but it still uses a dodgy transfer method. As I/S points out, the more modern STV systems, such as that used in Ireland, give better results.

    I don't know of one Australian who is in favour of the fact that you have to fill in all the little boxes if you choose to vote "below the line", which is why most vote above the line. I mean, there are plenty of candidates I wouldn't want even the tiniest proportion of my vote going to. I don't think there is much motivation for the incumbents to change the system though.

    Finally, as for Costello spitting the dummy, someone I know Who Knows reckons the bugger is much too lazy to stick it out as Leader of the Opposition without a guaranteed payoff at the end of it. Better to quietly chug along on the backbenches rather than do that tedious graft.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Finally, as for Costello spitting the dummy, someone I know Who Knows reckons the bugger is much too lazy to stick it out as Leader of the Opposition without a guaranteed payoff at the end of it. Better to quietly chug along on the backbenches rather than do that tedious graft.

    Oh, don't you love sore winners? I don't know Someone Who Knows, but you don't have to be a bloody genius to figure out that if you think you lost the election due to voter fatigue, perhaps its not the best strategic move to put in the top slot the man who's been #2 for thirteen years, and whose colleagues weren't exactly keen to put him there when it might have done some good.

    Now I'm sure Rudd would have been atypically animated if the Libs had handed him a chance to slag off the leader of the Opposition as the Liberal Party's answer to Kim Beazley. But they've done him more than enough favours for one electoral cycle, don't you think?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    whose colleagues weren't exactly keen to put him there when it might have done some good

    indeed. costello is the biggest loser in this whole mix, and he did exactly what any sane person would do. not sign up for the worst job in australian politics.

    he's going to let the libs continue to hang by their own petard.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    he's going to let the libs continue to hang by their own petard.

    Oh, I wouldn't get too smug yet. I thought Malcolm Turnbull was supposed to be goneburger in Wentworth and as the late, not so great Tony Blair could tell you, landslides have such a nasty habit of falling on your head. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    And lately there have been a few cases unearthed of Australian citizens being mistakenly held in detention centres for years.

    Just to tie a couple of threads together here, Cornelia Rau was one of the Australian residents found being held in detention centres by mistake, and Amanda Vanstone was at the time the Federal Immigration minister ignoring her. Vanstone was also probably the most senior woman in recent Aussie politics if you ignore the Democrats (Cheryl Kernot, Meg Lees, Natasha Stott Despoja were all Democrat party leaders and very visible in Aussie politics a few years ago)

    The Cornelia Rau affair did Vanstone's career no good at all. The other major fuckup was dealing with the fallout from deporting Vivian Alvarez Solon (an Aussie citizen) to the Philippines without telling her family -- they thought she'd gone missing. Vanstone is now Australian ambassador to Italy...

    I have to say I enjoyed watching the Aussie election coverage like you wouldn't believe, we lived there for 8 years and the sickening politics was among the reasons we moved back. Definitely time for a change.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @craig, not so sure i understand what you mean?

    we have a rout that's been predicted for at least 6 months, and a former Government who refused to listen to the voice of reason and replace their leader?

    surely that falling on head your alluding to is merely the voice of henny penny?

    took two terms for blair listen to the hubris. rudd has a way to go yet.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @julian. apparently one of vanstone's favourite japes, upon arriving at the office was to pick a junior staff member an watch them squirm as she asked, "what can you do to make me look good today?"

    arrogant, and sanctimonious.

    but in her defence, rau has a serious mental illness, a german accent, and refused to give her real name. the system is mostly to blame in her case.

    but!! the system was poorly led by an arrogant and sanctimonious minister who refused to listen to the truth when i was finally presented her...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    BTW - just to set the record straight, I was wrong in saying earlier that Howard was running for his fourth term. He was in fact running for his FIFTH term, something that would have made him the country's longest running PM, exceeding the current record holder Robert Menzies in the 50s and 60s. Howard obviously fancied himselfas the Don Bradman of Aussie politics.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

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