Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    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?

    What Ian said. Just because we don't live in NZ, doesn't mean we have no interest in what goes on there. Family, investments, debts, the possibility of moving back.... You may well do a better job of persuading us to come back if we were allowed to take our part in NZ's political life. For me, education is the main impetus to move back, and the rate things are going, if it's left up to you lot who didn't leave, the differences between the education my wee one could receive in NZ and that she'd be subject to here are going to continue shrinking rapidly. Environment, same again. And besides, we're the international "face" of NZ.

    Plus: I'm quite ok with not having an electorate vote, and not letting expats vote would make sense if we still had FPP or some other electorate-based system, but so long as we have MMP or something similar with a party vote, I don't see why expats should not be allowed a party vote.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    But it’s not about citizenship, it’s about deciding how the country should be run.

    Citizenship has a deep influence on politics because of the security relationship between citizens and the state. Hopefully Dotcom's "moment of truth" will shed some more light on this.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    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.

    No, but it might affect their future, and their families and people they care about - all the reasons that people are often giving as why I should vote despite it not being like my vote will affect my day to day life. They might still care quite deeply about their home country, and intend to return one day. This is really, really common for NZers. Furthermore, you can't claim that the government doesn't affect the foreign dwellers at all. They might still have a student loan that the government could do something fucked with. Or the government could pass laws, as they have in the US, that demand that they file a tax return to NZ, or pay a new tax. Their passport could be revoked. They could be called up for conscription, or have their assets confiscated. There's many ways in which the NZ government could fuck with them and theirs so I think their right to vote is not something to take away lightly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to BenWilson,

    There's many ways in which the NZ government could fuck with them and theirs so I think their right to vote is not something to take away lightly.

    Agree completely, but then this also applies to people in prison, which is why I sort of hope the current challenge is successful, and people who's lives are currently completely controlled by the state can have some input in how the state treats them.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen R,

    Yes, that prisoners can't vote seems incredibly unfair to me. They can't leave the country even if they wanted to. Their right to a say in its government would seem to be one of the strongest of all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to stephen clover,

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

    Why can't the Herald et-al do this sort of work with an explanation of what it means as far as politicking is concerned? The old style press seems to be comatose with content that is more at home in gossip rags than in a paper of record.

    My ghast is absolutely flabbered for the Nats to engage in this vile and anti-democratic behaviour is beyond the pale. I don't agree with them on ideological principles but I always respected them for following a line that they believed in and playing a hard but fair game.

    The problem is that those who are engaging in such behaviour are the ones charged with cleaning it up and it looks unlikely that this will happen especially with a complicit lazy fourth estate.

    Perhaps a citizens initiated referendum to instigate a Royal Commission into all these matters could bring some pressure to bear on our leaders and keep it in the public eye. This is a matter that shouldn't be swept under the carpet and forgotten.

    Since Apr 2010 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I lived in the US on my OE, for 20 years, I didn't vote anywhere for that time, not even for school board,during that time I didn't feel capable of voting in NZ , even if I was allowed as I was so disconnected from NZ I couldn't have made an informed choice

    Things may have changed, in the last 5 years there the rise of the internet brought NZ back alive to me. In general though I think you should vote where you live, and if you're taxed you should get a vote on how your taxes are spent (that whole "no taxation without representation" thing that has caused the occasional revolution).

    My kids have US citizenship and are second class NZ citizens (by descent rather than birth, so they don't have the right to pass the citizenship on to their kids if they are born overseas, despite having lived in NZ for over a decade) they get to vote in both countries, my wife with just US citizenship also get to vote in both countries - I guess that somehow makes up for my 2 decades long disenfranchisement in some wonky asymmetrical way.

    Meanwhile I relish having a vote again ...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to BenWilson,

    Losing the vote is an additional punishment for prisoners. It is unfair. It also raises questions about people on home detention, can they vote?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rob S,

    ones charged with cleaning it up and it looks unlikely that this will happen especially with a complicit lazy fourth estate.

    complicit? maybe
    Lazy? perhaps but I think it's much more to do with expense, deadlines, advertising revenue and poor judgement on what sells papers.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to BenWilson,

    their right to vote is not something to take away lightly.

    But their current right to vote in NZ elections only exists because of where we happened to draw the voting line in the past, it's not some fundamental inalienable right.

    Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says
    "(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

    However, the UDHR doesn't specify what country "his country" is, nor who "the people" are whose will shall be the basis of the authority of government. As a country, we draw a line somewhere between everyone in the world having the right to vote in NZ elections, and noone in the world having the right to vote in NZ elections, and right now we've decided that it's people who have the right to live here without any expiry date, and who have been here some time in the last 3 years. I'm arguing that we've got that line wrong.

    On the prisoner front though, I entirely agree that prisoners not being allowed to vote is an injustice that must be righted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government

    This quote superbly illustrates the civil roots of the U.N. Democracy is much more than simple majority rule.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Angela Hart,

    people on home detention, can they vote?

    Yes.

    the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 disqualified people sentenced to any term of imprisonment after the Act’s commencement from enrolling or voting. Prisoners on remand were still entitled to vote, as were those sentenced to home detention.

    (Source: NZCCL)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    their current right to vote in NZ elections only exists because of where we happened to draw the voting line in the past

    And your right to vote only exists because of where we (re)drew the line in 1893. Even agreeing that voting rights aren’t fundamentally inalienable, that doesn’t make it OK to remove them arbitrarily.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Internal party polling: how do National (Curia/DPF) and Labour (Rob Salmond?) compare for resources?
    National are opportunistic and appear driven by factors outside their natural policy range. Free doctors for children, no more asset sales, keeping Kiwibank and working for families, tax cuts for low-to-medium incomes- the long list of dead rats they've swallowed, digested, made their own. It feels like they're polling on policy extensively. They've gone into the election knowing well there's no appetite for more right-wing economics.
    So they'll keep going with the anti-union stuff - charter schools, undermining collective bargaining. They'll keep steady on top tax rates, and undermining the RMA. But nothing that might scare the horses. And they seem to know and avoid those things. So they're probably also polling on how their PR lines are working. Which attacks on Labour are hitting home; what lines are working well (lispy cuspy specialness).
    It looks like this has been a key component of National's success over the last 8 years.
    How does Labour stack up? Do the Greens have the resources to even start? And since it's so crucial to electioneering, is there any requirement to declare spending on polling?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    My kids have US citizenship and are second class NZ citizens (by descent rather than birth, so they don’t have the right to pass the citizenship on to their kids if they are born overseas, despite having lived in NZ for over a decade

    I'm guessing you know more than I do about this, but have they considered asking for a Special Provision for their children as noted on this page, which is supposedly available if they can demonstrate their children have an ongoing link with NZ? I'm curious to know what type of demonstration & evidence the NZ government requires.

    If the children don't have an ongoing link and interest in NZ, then hopefully it's not an issue.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Interesting and intelligent as usual commentary from Toby Manhire in the Herald about PM, the election, influence of Dirty Politics etc

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Amy Gale,

    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.

    Just for comparison, in Oz they strongly prefer some kind of written evidence, albeit they also post out a "you're registered to vote, here's your bit of paper" before the election. I suspect that this is at least in part because of the sizeable population who suffer a significant mismatch between their name, their legal name, the names on their IDs and their name on the electoral roll. It does not look good if you're standing in the polling place going "Billy Smith? No? Well, maybe try Billy-Bob Smith then. No? William Smith?". And good luck if your name is Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono :)

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

  • Hilary Stace,

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Izogi: thanks that must be new - last time I called them they said the kids had to go through a full naturalisation ceremony ... of course the link there to the application form returns a lotus notes error when you click on it so it may still be a mirage

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    "(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

    Hahahahahaha. Oh, fscking ha de hahahaha. Yes indeed, what a hilarious joke that is. If you own a country, perhaps, it's "his country" and you are the man who has the vote.

    Even in NZ which is extremely keen to giving voting rights to everyone, that's not even slightly within sight of true. There is just no way it's going to happen. Sure, if you are lawfully resident in NZ, not in prison or otherwise disqualified, mentally competant, over 18 and have managed to register to vote (or willing to make a stat dec on the day and are lucky or otherwise survive a challenge), you can vote. If you're homeless, mentally ill, unlucky with the legal system, under 18, or outside the country... you don't have this alleged "right to take part".

    And "freely chosen representatives"... you can choose from a selection of people rich enough to stand and mainstream enough to attract enough votes to pass the 5% threshold that was specifically introduced to prevent that free choice from being effective.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    right now we’ve decided that it’s people who have the right to live here without any expiry date, and who have been here some time in the last 3 years. I’m arguing that we’ve got that line wrong.

    I get that, and I'm arguing that too. But possibly in the opposite direction to you. My argument is that one's right to vote is not automatically extinguished by a lengthy physical absence. Otherwise people who fought for NZ during the entirety of WW2 should be considered aliens by the time they'd fought their way back to El Alamein. Your connection to your home is not just a function of your presence in it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sorry to interrupt this citizenship discussion but Dita de Boni, who tried (and largely failed) to get the Panel to take note of the Dirty Politics allegations writes wryly in praise of the corporate lobbyists.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    About time she joined with John Armstrong to counter the nasty left-wing stolen-email frabications!

    Waaaait a second ...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Toby Manhire's line

    or Winston Peters, whose bottom lines appear to be drawn by MC Escher

    is absolutely brilliant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Yay more than 100,000 page views. Some people are interested in cleaning up dirty politics, democracy and all that.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

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