Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Moz, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    When you say "actually have to visit the country in order to vote", I assume you're referring to the need to have visited New Zealand in the last 3 years (if a citizen)

    Yes. I've voted at a Sydney office before, and that was surprisingly quick and easy. But I haven't needed to visit NZ in the last 3 years so I can't vote.

    izogi, I definately take your point about the half million kiwis iz oz who don't necessarily feel much involvement with NZ politics. I'm not going to work to change that, I'm just whining because I like voting... it makes me feel that I have some influence over the politicians.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to mark taslov,

    Addendum: "Willing to move to Foxton for a 90-day trial."

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Moz,

    I’m just whining because I like voting

    Yeah, sorry for going on a bit of a rant, too, in hindsight. I get that some people are still very connected and simply can’t get home. I always felt very connected during my time in Australia. The Aussies have a 6 year limit for being outside Australia from what I’ve read, and maybe the NZ limit could be extended slightly without it being an issue. Looking at the numbers I don’t think overseas votes greatly influence a result anyway. They can easily tip the balance, just as a few voters in one electorate can, but not without there already having been a movement within New Zealand.

    I definitely do like the idea of requiring people to demonstrate that they actually have a direct interest in NZ before being allowed to vote, though. I guess it’s something about knowing that the people doing the voting are having to take responsibility for living in the midst of what they’ve voted for if they’re also going to claim the benefits, if any.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Key’s closing remarks

    Which we hope will be "Thanks for playing the game, I'm off to Hawaii now, byeee"
    But seriously. Gordon Campbell's article in Scoop has an anecdote from Rod Oram which sums up Mr Slippery quite well I think.

    There was a moment after the Budget last year, when I had a long interview with [Prime Minister John] Key. I showed him the chart from the Budget papers which showed that decline back to 2% a year. And I said, ‘Well, that’s the reality. You haven’t shifted the needle.’ And he said: “Oh, it looks better beyond the forecast period.” That’s such an amazingly classic Key comment. At face value it sounds OK, sure. Lots of people might say: ‘OK, fine.’ But you can’t forecast out beyond the forecast period! We don’t know what’s out there. It was another one of his very facile comments.

    Planet Key must be a really weird place where reality is just a wish away and beggars have horses to ride, or is that little ponies...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to izogi,

    requiring people to demonstrate that they actually have a direct interest in NZ before being allowed to vote

    I really strongly disagree with any such plan: I feel that the fewer barriers there are to voting, the better. If extra requirements are brought in, there’s too much scope for voter apathy, and for arbitrary exclusion of eligible voters (looking at the US as a case in point).
    I'm sure I'd pass any "direct interest" test ( I've made sure I've kept up the visiting requirement) but I don't want my eligibility as a voter to be up to anyone else's judgement.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to izogi,

    It's no wonder so many people apparently just rank other candidates in the way that their favourite candidate tells them to.

    Those stupid-ass 29 candidate ranking contests are not susceptible to rational analysis. That's why we have party lists in NZ, so you can just tick Labour and get a bunch of people who have at least some idea of life outside the boardroom.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunking_(psychology)

    Real people can make a choice that feels comfortable, if they work at it, between only very small groups of things. About seven. For more than that, they have to first sort those things into similar groups, of about seven. The more familiar you are with the subject at hand, the more that number creeps from five up toward nine.

    Political systems should allow for that, not only in voting where people massively prefer very limited choice sets, but in how those sets are built and even how the government conducts it's business.

    That's why we have 8 cabinet committees, for instance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_New_Zealand#Committees

    The thing where they have 20 cabinet ministers is terrible though, that sort of thing is how the ministers go astray and find themselves living with their head firmly up their ass. No one can really understand who's doing what and why they're doing it, sub-groups form which inherently distrust each other.

    20 is amongst the worst possible numbers for understanding something like collective accountability. Far too big to individually track everyone with any detail, and too small to feel good about any possible chunking.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to tussock,

    About seven. For more than that, they have to first sort those things into similar groups, of about seven. The more familiar you are with the subject at hand, the more that number creeps from five up toward nine.

    One common reaction is to vote from 1..5 or so through the parties you like, then from 170..165 for the parties you particularly hate ("Is Golden Dawn worse than Pauline Hanson's One Nation?"), then basically donkey vote the rest. In most elections your vote will lodge with one of the 3-4 major parties, it's only in close senate races that you get the weird stuff, and the bottom-of-the-barrell ranking is purely a feel-good measure. I want to rank Winston First last, because reasons!

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Fascinating. Looks like Frank Macskasy has joined all the dots, in some parts using a stopwatch, in the Cunliffe-Donghua Liu bizzo:

    **Was the Donghua Liu Affair another example of Dirty Politics? **
    So how did Slater and Farrar manage to refer to a story in their blogposts that had yet to be written and uploaded onto the NZ Herald website?

    Dirty, dirty shit.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to stephen clover,

    Giovanni expresses the lack of action on the Dirty Politics/media links in a series of tweets (he's so clever) http://thestandard.org.nz/giovanni-tiso-on-dirty-politics/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    Dirty, dirty shit.

    Same shit, same day, but thirteen years ago.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Oh Dear God (wrong thread, I know) please, please don't let this descend into a World Trade Centre Conspiracy Thread. There are so many, many other places people can have that argument.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Haha I was just letting that one sail by quietly in the night.

    Meanwhile: Dirty politics and the minister’s office: How it works

    In 2011, Anne Tolley moved to introduce legislation to take away the right of principals to speak out on education matters, but suddenly withdrew her action. Obviously, another plan had been hatched.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    While the "vast right wing conspiracy" of Slater, Farrar, and friends was only toungue-in-cheek, it doesn't change the fact that the far right, be it Slater, Lusk, and company, or the US neocons, have the most notoriety regarding dirty politics, and out of the NZ political parties National/ACT have the most to gain from it.

    But to think that this means that the left is the preferred option would be a mistake. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

    Politics isn't just about about the ideological differences between liberals and conservatives. A more meaningful view is the difference between statists and libertarians, in the NZ context this is the difference between the liberty of the common law and the statism of the civil government.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    One thing about the three year rule is that it favors the wealthy. That is, given two equally-connected people living in the same place overseas, the one with more money is more likely to be able to make the necessary trips back to NZ.

    Two ideas, one maybe-possible and one not at all so (but highly attractive from where I'm sitting):

    Idea 1: You can vote in NZ if you're not voting somewhere else.

    Idea 2: A trip-to-NZ version of the volunteers who pick you up and give you a ride to the polling place.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    It may favour the wealthy, but I wouldn’t want to see the arrangement changed so that any New Zealander elsewhere could vote here. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to limit the choice on who is going to make decisions about what happens in New Zealand to people who live in New Zealand. If anything, I’d reduce the 3-year limit, rather than extend voting rights.
    Alternatively, I might consider extending it to 4 years if the requirement wasn’t just for a visit, but for the person to have actually spent a meaningful length of time here during that previous 4 years. Jetting back for a couple of weeks for a family Christmas or wedding doesn’t really cut it. I’d go for a requirement to have spent 3 months or more (at a stretch, not total) here in the previous 4 years in order to be allowed to vote here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Jetting back for a couple of weeks for a family Christmas or wedding doesn’t really cut it.

    I'm sure you don't mean that to come off as dismissive as it does. "A couple of weeks" is all the time off most of us get, "a family Christmas or wedding" is desperately precious, and "[j]etting back" will eat a huge portion of most people's disposable income.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    So, I'm in London and went to the (unsalubrious basement of...) NZ House in Haymarket to vote this morning.

    OK, I signed a declaration, but then it occurred to me (having taken my passport, which no one was interested in) how do they *check* (indeed, *do* they check?) on the "having visited" requirement?

    The fact I needed no ID of any kind either was sort of a surprise.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Yeah I mailed mine and the ID requirements amounted to "have someone trustworthy agree that you're you, and by 'trustworthy' we mean an official, a New Zealander, or someone who knows you".

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Amy Gale,

    Amy, I completely understand that a couple of weeks is all the time off most of us get; however, whether it’s precious or not, I’d hazard that visiting for Christmas or a wedding is what most visits “home” from New Zealanders overseas are, and yes, “jetting back” does eat a huge portion of most people’s disposable income. I don’t mean to be dismissive about the expense and effort involved to do it. I do mean to be dismissive of it giving people the right to vote. If that’s the extent of the time someone’s spent here in the last 3 years, they don’t live here, so why should they be allowed to vote here? It's not like the outcome of the election affects their day to day life.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    cast out of Eden...

    If that’s the extent of the time someone’s spent here in the last 3 years, they don’t live here, so why should they be allowed to vote here?

    Shouldn't citizenship last longer offshore, than a mere electoral cycle - heck even some cicadas can go 17 years off the grid...
    ...these expatriates may have investments, and debts, here, and they are 'on the team' and may intend coming back bringing their wealth and experience ...

    Should travellers or those taking NZ to the world be rendered stateless?

    1 passport = 1 vote.

    IMHO ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Amy Gale,

    Yeah I mailed mine and the ID requirements amounted to “have someone trustworthy agree that you’re you, and by ‘trustworthy’ we mean an official, a New Zealander, or someone who knows you”.

    Is this very different from voting locally? S167 of the Electoral Act basically says that the issuing officer just has to verbally ask for details, which from memory is what happens. Not that it makes it any harder to lie, but I NZ typically appears to prioritise trusting of voters over adding his particular barrier to casting a vote. Maybe that would change if there were widespread evidence of problems.

    A catch is that S166 of the Electoral Act enables the issuing officer (also if required by scrutineers) to explicitly ask a person if they are who they're saying they are, which will then require the person to answer in writing and sign it, or face a fine and be prevented from voting.

    I don't know how frequently this actually happens, if at all. (Anyone here with experience care to comment?) Is there any practical way to even apply it overseas, especially considering NZ doesn't even have legal jurisdiction in other countries? It has to occur before the person votes, so presumably it's not enough to verify an identity by the time votes are being counted, unless there's something elsewhere in the Act.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to izogi,

    Is this very different from voting locally?

    I would say it’s more strict than voting locally, where the standard interaction has you providing your name and electoral workers believing you, and even the catch situation outlined above does not require third-party verification.

    I was also amused at the implied equivalence between the classes of acceptable witness.

    ETA: if you vote from overseas you sign a "special declaration", which I suppose is equivalent to the “require the questions to be answered in writing signed by the person to whom they are put” bit of S166.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Amy Gale,

    I'm sure you don't mean that to come off as dismissive as it does. "A couple of weeks" is all the time off most of us get, "a family Christmas or wedding" is desperately precious, and "[j]etting back" will eat a huge portion of most people's disposable income.

    delurking to say yes, exactly, nail on the head.
    Lucy, just because someone is overseas does not mean they will never come back, or don't have an interest in the kind of NZ they will come back to.
    Coming back even once is a huge commitment in terms of time off work, jet lag, money etc. I can't honestly think of any jobs that would allow you to take off 3 months at a time.
    I think that most people who are overseas long term probably don't bother to vote any more (though I'm not sure where to find evidence of this hunch), because they aren't invested in this country. But those of us who are intending to return, do have a vested interest in what kind of country we come back to.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    But it’s not about citizenship, it’s about deciding how the country should be run.
    My cousin is a New Zealand citizen, by accident of birth – my uncle and aunt had come out to New Zealand for a couple of years to visit family and have an OE, and happened to have my cousin while they were here. She last came on a family visit when she was about 6. Now, my cousin is lovely, and if she wanted to come to New Zealand and live here, I’d be very happy about that, but I don’t think she should have the right to vote here.
    Citizenship is a combination of birth, and roots, and identity, but it doesn’t have to have anything to do with voting.
    Yes, expats may have investments or debts here, but again, I don’t see financial interests as having anything to do with the right to vote. There are plenty of citizens of other countries who own property or shares in New Zealand, but I wouldn’t see that as giving them voting rights. Nor would I say that someone who happens to be on their (less than 4 year) OE during an election or two but has managed to avoid leaving any debt behind, and hasn’t accumulated any assets should be denied the right to vote just because they don’t have a financial interest in the country. So financial interest =/= voting interest.

    those of us who are intending to return, do have a vested interest in what kind of country we come back to.

    But what you’re talking about is the ‘myth of return’, common to migrants worldwide. People who have migrated shouldn’t get to decide how the rest of live in the meantime just because they might come back one day.

    I can’t honestly think of any jobs that would allow you to take off 3 months at a time.

    But I'm not talking about people taking time out for 3 months or so. I'm talking about 3 months as a decent indicator fo whether someone has actually been 'living in' New Zealand during the electoral cycle. I'd be happy to make it 6 months if it would make it clearer that that's what I meant.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Amy Gale,

    I would say it’s more strict than voting locally

    Sorry, I was obviously reading what you wrote yet thinking something else. It does sound slightly more strict.

    Last time I voted was at the overseas post in Melbourne. I don’t remember the exact process, but I’d probably had to sign a statuatory declaration as to who I was, and I expect the person there was authorised to act as a witness of me signing it. There’s no reason I can think of that someone couldn’t simply have lied about who they were, though.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

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