Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Prospects

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  • linger,

    Oh, Ben -- I forgot one other problem with the PCA (which in part links to your point about quantifying vote differences, but is mathematically even worse):
    (iii) the behaviour measured (voting choice) isn't necessarily scalar (=your point), or even *ordinal*, as there can be (and have been) cases where two parties both oppose a bill -- or both support a bill -- but for completely opposite reasons. In order to give any interpretation to the principal components, we have to assume (or hope) that such cases are extremely rare.
    (The original analyst was very careful to avoid interpreting the dimensions; but an uninterpretable principal component is effectively useless.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB,

    Me too - but do you have a better theory about that particular festering anomaly in promoting talent?

    Two theories required. One theory relates to Helen Clark's hanging on to Tizard, a clearly incompetent minister. The other would relate to why Tim Barnett didn't get a Ministerial position. Given Chris Carter's prominence, I think some other theory is required than the one proposed.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Another reason to be happy.

    Stephen Franks lost the candidate race for Wellington Central, on the back of a National landslide and winning the Party vote. I guess they just don't like him :)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Me too - but do you have a better theory about that particular festering anomaly in promoting talent?

    Well, from what I've heard (and I'd throw in the caveat that my contacts in Labour circles are hardly comprehensive), Tim is a very talented man but can leave people feeling like Queen Victoria allegedly did about Gladstone: "'He speaks to me as if I were a public meeting."

    But having said that, I also understand he was a pretty effective Senior Government Whip. Not a glamour job, but any halfway competent leader is going to make sure that role is filled by someone absolutely reliable.

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

  • Steve Parks,

    And so it's nothing other than a vote for the exact middle. Definitely not a vote for Act, and esp not for Douglas. If Act exerts any influence, then Key will disappoint a lot of people who thought nothing would be very different under this kinder, gentler National government.

    It's easier if you see Labour and National as centrist parties with only minor variation on how they want to run the show.

    You know, maybe Labour and National should consider forming a coalition. Serious.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I will say, what really disgusted me about Roger Douglas's appearance on the Saturday night coverage was how contemptuous he seemed. This did not seem like a man happy to be back in parliament- at least not in the traditional sense of the word. Oh no, this was a man hellbent on retribution.

    Oh yeah, I noticed that too. He seems a bit bitter, all things considered.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You know, maybe Labour and National should consider forming a coalition. Serious.

    That would a fun process -- though you'd have to coduct it somewhere you could just clean the blood and bone off the floor (and walls and ceiling) with a high pressure hose. :) But just because the differences between the center-right and the center-left aren't exactly those that marked the Protestant Reformation, doesn't mean they don't exist.

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    Appreciate your thoughts on Tim Barnett Craig. Re. my earlier comment about Clark's timidity in promoting him: Tim had become something of a lightning rod for those vehemently opposed to his work on civil unions and prostitution law reform. While Clark obviously gave at least her tacit approval to these initiatives, she didn't appear to believe that it was politically expedient to adequately reward such a talented and ambitious - and, dare I say, principled - MP.

    As for the Gladstone comparison - not in my humble experience, or that of others I know. Tim did become a lot more accessible to his constituents, though, after the ferocious party hack who fielded his calls was kicked upstairs to Wellington.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    If teachers don't want national testing, start organising now.....have 80% to 90% willing to refuse to carry it out, when it is introduced. Introduce National to a little civil disobedience.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Ben Wilson and others
    Re education, particularly how NZ can provide the best of inclusive education for all students. This is not the right forum for a discussion on this complex topic. I would like to see a government sponsored conference on education, with representation from the unions, principals organisations, disability groups etc. Most importantly, it would hear from students themselves, including those with disabilities and behaviour issues, about what works for them. One of the main problems with the public discussion on the child discipline bill (and the referendum to come) is the lack of a voice for children themselves. Similarly, we rarely hear from kids about their own education.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    here's a serious question:

    who was the first person to call a national government this election?

    my first memory is that "terrorist" guy caught up in the raids last year.

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

  • Danielle,

    Actually, it wasn't me, and I'm too lazy to go back through the thread now and find out who did ask.

    You'll take the credit and like it, young lady! :)

    'Twas me, she cried. Same initial, anyway.

    So Craig, basically you want them to break all the financial promises they made? Are you *trying* to sabotage them in 2011? :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So Craig, basically you want them to break all the financial promises they made? Are you *trying* to sabotage them in 2011? :)

    Not all, Danielle. But I've consistently said, not matter who won, both National and Labour were letting their mouths write checks their arses just can't cash. You don't have to be Roger Douglas on a megadose of meth-laced triple espresso to point out that inconvenient truth. And it doesn't any less true because my team are going to get first suck at the dead rat sushi.

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

  • Steve Parks,

    But just because the differences between the center-right and the center-left aren't exactly those that marked the Protestant Reformation, doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Sure, but there's arguably as much or more actual policy difference between ACT and National than between National and Labour.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Granny Herald headline:

    John Key: Our NZ election win will boost economy

    Sigh. And lo! We can make the sun rise! And Lo! Watch as we make the tides go out!

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I think "crap" is the word you're looking for.

    I agree with the sentiment that it isn't entirely rational to vote out Labour at this time. I understand traditional National supporters voting for their party, sure. But so many swing voters went National on a "it's time for a change" basis. That isn't rational. I find it a little ironic that the pututive conservative party gained a lot of votes on a change-for-change's-sake basis.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    put__a__tive

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Hilary

    This is not the right forum for a discussion on this complex topic.

    Heh, yup I'm not going to have any more influence than I wielded with my two insignificant ticks, that's for sure. Are you saying you'd rather talk about it on another thread? Cause I'm interested in the discussion if you if are.

    Re children's input, you're right in one sense, we don't get reliable polling data on children's opinions of political matters. But the children who could be either mainstreamed or given more special service are definitely asked a lot of stuff, they're extensively evaluated by trained professionals. Their own happiness is a major factor in the process, which is by no means simple and should not really be ideologically driven.

    Steve Parks and Craig

    You know, maybe Labour and National should consider forming a coalition. Serious.

    That would a fun process -- though you'd have to coduct it somewhere you could just clean the blood and bone off the floor (and walls and ceiling) with a high pressure hose. :) But just because the differences between the center-right and the center-left aren't exactly those that marked the Protestant Reformation, doesn't mean they don't exist.

    The biggest difference is tribal I think, it's the demographics, rather than the philosophy. Can city folk and country folk agree on a bunch of issues? Personally I find that easier to believe than the idea that all National voters would be happy with an ACT agenda.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Ben, you have some interesting thoughts on swing voters, there.

    1) Not giving a crap about philosophy is total pragmatism.

    Actually, Pragmatism is a philosophy. And it accords with your own views a bit, I’d say…

    My own personal view. I do not hold fast to any particular truth, because I believe doing so makes it harder to actually find it. I see the likely set of 'profound differences' simply as competing theories which each have evidence for and against.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    @ Che _ I'm pretty sure you're right.

    As the "laws" that allowed Op8 to go a head are the result of Goff & King, and so NZFirst are now redundant.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Heh, Steve, I think that the names of philosophical doctrines are not a good guide to modern language use. I doubt that many pragmatists in the sense I use would have heard about the philosophy, nor would they care to. My own views rise from my opinions on science, definitely heavily influenced by Popper and counterbalanced by Feyerabend. Since they say quite contrary things, you could say I'm undecided, or that I take the bits I like from both.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10654 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I doubt that many pragmatists in the sense I use would have heard about the philosophy, nor would they care to.

    Sure, and I know what you meant. But it was a good way to lead into my point about your views and Pragmatism seeming fairly congruent. "I do not hold fast to any particular truth" sounds Pragmatic, with a capital 'P'.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I agree with the sentiment that it isn't entirely rational to vote out Labour at this time.

    Well, I think retailing that "our long national nightmare" etc. from The Onion wasn't exactly rational either. I'm with Brian Gaynor, who was on Maori on Election night and said he was (and I'm paraphrasing) that from an economic perspective, he found the policies of both National and Labour, and the quality and depth of the campaign coverage, "deeply uninspiring and rather disturbing".

    (And as a sidebar -- props to Maori, who proved yet again that sticking to the basics, and doing them well, is more satisfying than the sound and fury signifying nothing on display from both TVNZ & Three. The two main networks were the proverbial curate's egg -- good in parts.)

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

  • dyan campbell,

    For those people keep trying to define Act

    I've been trying to explain Act to some American friends - both their politics and demeanor - best short thing I could come up with was "sort of Ayn Rand meets Dancing with the Stars" - but that really doesn't reflect the scary/ugly side I see in them

    and

    "Roger the Lodger" comes from my parents' book of naughty limericks.

    May I suggest my Canadian friends in their (hardcore punk) band Nomeansno and the perfect theme song for Act

    Slayde

    Slayde is my buddy, my pal, he is my brother
    I am one, he is the other
    When the sun shines, he is my shadow
    And when the moon is high, it's at his feet I lie
    But I’ll never listen to what slayde says
    I'll never listen to what slayde says

    Slayde's always talking, and it's rarely nice
    He's always whispering his poisonous advice
    He is secretive, ruthless and cold
    He mentions just enough and leaves the rest untold
    He said "Don't ever risk an open attack
    Just smile into their faces and then stab them in the back"
    ”But Slayde" I said
    “What about the weak, the helpless and the small?”
    He just sneered and said
    "Fuck 'em all
    Fuck 'em all"

    He said “I am a murderer, although I’ve killed no one”
    ”You talk in puzzles Slayde” I said”What have you really done?”
    "I cut the twining cord, I shot the turtle dove
    I shut out that precious light that shines from above"
    “Slayde, you are a poet” I said ”but what are you truly speaking of?”
    He smiled and whispered “I MURDERED LOVE" he smiled and whispered ”I MURDERED LOVE"

    I guess I hate him - no, that's not really true
    He's not completely bad
    Sometimes he'll crack a joke or two
    I guess I’ve grown accustomed to his funny ways
    It's not his fault
    That he was made that way

    I hear him in my sleep, I see him in my dreams
    I see him crouched before those terrible machines
    And then I face a mirror and he steps in between
    Can you tell me, what does this mean?
    Can you tell me, what does this mean?

    Now I lay me down to sleep and pray to god my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    You'll know I’ve made my escape
    But there is one step I’ll never take
    I'll never listen to what Slayde says
    What? What? ... What?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    @ Ben. Hilary

    I'm up for an education discussion too but I think somone may have to write something to get it started. I could start it with the old chestnut of should politicians write education policy in any form ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

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