Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The silence of the public square

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Let’s not scorn the value of an actual discussion about policy, or of voters being able to ask questions and be heard. But it’s not hard to envisage the policing of voters’ responses on pain of ejection going horribly wrong.

    To be fair, Russell, nor is it hard to envisage the utterly worthlessness to anyone besides the media of a meeting degenerating into an audience stuffed with rentahacks turning the whole thing into a screechy circus. I think Ryan's intentions were good, but the execution is just begging for the kind of "well, what do you expect from Donkey's tame bitch" nonsense I've seen more than enough of elsewhere.

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

  • Jolisa,

    Any chance there'll be a live stream of this non-debate? Looking forward to hearing the many creative ways the candidates get around mentioning each other by name. It certainly has a Voldemort-ian whiff about it!

    Meanwhile, this is the meeting I'm looking forward to tonight. Word is that the Education Minister herself will be there. I'm not sure an hour will be sufficient for all the questions people will have for her.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Hopefully as many people as possible will go, ask unacceptable questions, heckle and get thrown out by Key's Stormtroopers to join a mob of several thousand baying for blood outside.

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

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Jolisa,

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    No offers of meetings at all in dear old Warkworth (Nat. – Mark Mitchell). Our countryside is absolutely littered with National hoardings with little sign of any alternatives. There is no battle for votes up here. I have been doing my best to stir up the blue haze with loud, public ponderings about the merits of the parties on the left but to little avail. Best summarised by a conversation I had at a party two weeks ago:
    Guest; “I always vote National but I’m not political”.
    Me; “Oh, good. If you’re not political, could you vote Labour this time for my benefit.”
    Guest; “No. I always vote National.”

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Seems like a dream set-up for Internet/Mana. There are zero votes to be won from that electorate and good media coverage to be won by getting thrown out for failing to observe an utterly pointless rule like not mentioning the PM's name.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Vladimir: Well, shall we go?
    Estragon: Yes, let's go.
    (They do not move).

    Keep trying, though - you never know.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Seems like a dream set-up for Internet/Mana. There are zero votes to be won from that electorate and good media coverage to be won by getting thrown out for failing to observe an utterly pointless rule like not mentioning the PM’s name.

    So, don't like the ground rules don't fucking go and tell anyone who cares to listen precisely why. I've never really brought into "any publicity is good publicity, long as they spell your name right" but I don't the upside in, not to put too fine a point on it, trolling to get thrown out sounds more like a Lindsay Lohan-ish cry for help (and attention) than serious politics. But hey, whatevers...

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

  • Paul Campbell,

    does no one remember the days when an election meant a barnstorming nationwide tour of town halls by party leaders? - once every 3 years you got to heckle the guy you didn't like.

    The election immediately after the '81 tour was, I guess, it's downfall, National knew they weren't very popular and an awful lot of people needed to vent at Muldoon ..... so they handed out tickets to the faithful - it was a meeting open to all .... if you had a ticket.

    In those pre-desktop publishing days the tickets were a piece of canary yellow light card stick with a unique number on it .... an enterprising individual realised that they were ... a piece of yellow card with a number on it, no one was going to check them off at a door, they loaded up a xerox machine with genuine tickets and started feeding canary yellow card stock into it .... I remember someone in the front bar at the Cook the night before the meeting had a pile a foot thick .... the meeting was packed .... the SIS guy sitting next to me with the bomber command mustache trying to fit in .... didn't

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Guest; “I always vote National but I’m not political”.
    Me; “Oh, good. If you’re not political, could you vote Labour this time for my benefit.”
    Guest; “No. I always vote National.”

    But you may have planted a seed of doubt - "Why do I always vote National ?".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Been to one meeting, Internet Mana Roadshow at Kelston. Unvetted live questions of leaders, local candidates and even Mr Dotcom were permitted and asked. Nice enthusiastic (“yes we can”) atmosphere, like an old time political gathering but with a DJ.

    Has National a complete control strategy? The Steven Joyce outburst on ‘The Nation’ last weekend was not impressive.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Who is Holly Ryan? Serious question.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Jolisa,

    Just waiting while my daughter has her swimming lesson and overhearing a very similar conversation. Essentially: "Gosh I really don't like what the government are doing - I'd vote Green except for the fact that I always vote National."

    Now the conversation has moved onto bikini waxing - and my God it's the most bloodthirsty thing I've ever heard. One woman describes how she had to crawl to her car afterwards because pain so bad; other tops it with description of what can only be described as torture (all her pubic hair torn out by roots - surely such things must be banned by UN?) and finishes by saying it was worse than childbirth.

    And yes, I am thoroughly ashamed of posting this...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    You gotta start a meme .... "voting for National, worse than that first bikini wax ...."

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    Political interviews and debates seem to be about shouting over your opponent making snide comments, simplistic point scoring, being plain rude and saying anything that doesn't actually involve policy or often the actual truth - so while the outline of this meeting seems odd... the candidates might actually say something of value to those attending and actually answer the questions posed to them

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Petyt,

    I grew up in the Aro Valley although I'm sure I couldn't afford to live there now. We used to have pretty good candidates meetings.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    Is John Key willing to stand up proudly for Democracy?
    Openness and transparency? Fail
    Willing to meet the people? Fail (Except for the chosen ones.)
    Willing to be accountable to the people? Fail.
    Able to justify his position with valid argument? Fail.

    When was the last time we heard John Key being interviewed on any Media and questioned with the same vigour that other Party Leaders are subjected to?
    Questions, questions, questions.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to bob daktari,

    Political interviews and debates seem to be about shouting over your opponent making snide comments, simplistic point scoring, being plain rude and saying anything that doesn't actually involve policy or often the actual truth

    Also called popular democracy in action.

    One the beefs I have with this site is it's middle class nose holding at the idea that healthy politics might something other than a genteel discussion between like minded members of some 1950s Hollywood version of the Roman senate.

    Policy analysis and debate can occur in forums other than one where you have two candidates desperate to be elected trying to persuade a hall full of partisan followers - TV is just a bigger hall.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Josh Petyt,

    I grew up in the Aro Valley although I’m sure I couldn’t afford to live there now. We used to have pretty good candidates meetings.

    Including the infamous 2008 flat meeting:

    I wrote about that here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    so while the outline of this meeting seems odd… the candidates might actually say something of value to those attending and actually answer the questions posed to them

    Yes, I'm trying not to discount the benefits. But i think you can have a useful meeting without forbidding the candidates from even mentioning each other's names, and without threatening voters with expulsion from the room if they cross a poorly-defined line of decorum.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Helensville has become my electorate , ironically we got moved from David Cunliffe's New Lynn to John Key's Helensville. Its a dilemma cause I never vote National , neither have I had a bikini wax , thanks David for making that rather bizarre but compelling link.

    I am looking forward to the meeting on Mon , with it all taped down so tight something just has leak out. If not I will be watching the body language carefully ( I have had training!) and will report back in full .

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    Considering John Key's usual behaviour in the house, I'd be surprised if he doesn't try to get himself thrown out of the meeting. It would probably amuse him greatly and is unlikely to hurt his chances of getting elected.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wonder if candidates can use signs

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Loath as I am to continue the bikini wax discussion*... waxing hurts less and less each time you do it. Maybe their voters keep thinking if they vote that way often enough the pain will go away, and they need to be smooth so noone thinks they're, y'know. Maybe the trick is to point out to them that they can keep saying they always vote National even if they don't! Noone but them will ever know!

    *who'm I kidding? A dash of bikini wax'll spice up any conversation!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to bob daktari,

    I wonder if candidates can use signs

    Or sign language! Laila Harre could stand there signing “John Key is a lying twock”, and by the time anyone told Holly Ryan, the show’d be over anyway. ’Course, only those who could read sign would understand, but an exclusive joke is always fun.

    P.S. I am of course assuming Holly Ryan won’t understand sign language. Happy to be proven wrong.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

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