Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Totally Local

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  • Kong,

    lol, no thanks...I read Plato's Republic too, I know how long this debate is going to last.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    That's if you can call something a debate where one side thinks the other are too ignorant to rule and the other thinks the first side is too arrogant.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Though after seeing the frankly terrifying PBS doco Ten Trillion And Counting on TVNZ7 last night, I wonder if a genuine and rigorous "paygo' rule for both local and central government would do a damn sight more to encourage genuine fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability than anything either Hide or Twyford has on the table. Of course, the irony is that in the US 'paygo' was introduced by President Bush Snr. (whose genuine fiscal conservatism.was a political disaster) and a Democrat-controlled Congress, and ultimately gutted by his son and a Republican majority -- who were determined not to commit the elder's "mistake".

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

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's been tried? Cool! Where?

    Switzerland.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It's been tried? Cool! Where?

    California. (Where it has been a disaster.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Switzerland.

    Of course, that's not what is being proposed here, and it is dishonest to suggest it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    switzerland is not famous for its bad government either

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Have we got a thread for you...

    OMFG! I just read that.

    I think our Green friends didn't exactly come out of that thread covering themselves in glory,that is unless a form of Utopian Fascism is your cup of tea (a heads up guys - the governance model of the peaceful Ba'ku in "Star Trek Insurrection" is science fiction).

    Tangental but kinda germane to this this thread about trying to control/guide/understand the Napoleonic mob that must always be with us, is it just me or has T.V. News crime coverage gone up another notch on the hysteria index since the Bain trial? And is allowing cameras in court the primary reason? I am sure I am not the only person who thinks the coverage of the Sophie Elliot trial has descended to the level of coarse pornography. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. If so, I want cameras out of the courtrooms now!

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

  • Gabor Toth,

    It's been tried? Cool! Where?

    Switzerland comes close. They have regular referendums at both a Federal and Canton (state) level. Canton level referendums can be held on just about anything and Federal referendums can be called to vote on whether to overturn a law within 100 days of it being passed. Only 50,000 names are needed on a petition (in a population of about 5.5 million) for a referendum to be called. Meanwhile they have a staggering 2700 municipalities (Rodney Hide would have a heart attack) where decisions at a local government level are often decided with a show of hands by citizens at the local town hall.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I confidently predict the House would be inexpensively redecorated with skull fragments and brain matter in very short order.

    The Taiwanese don't seem to have much of an problem with it...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    California is probably the richest state on the planet....is that disastrous?

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I am sure I am not the only person who thinks the coverage of the Sophie Elliot trial has descended to the level of coarse pornography.

    Certainly not; it's disgusting, and I hope certain editors are being told so.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Um, the State of California is pretty much bankrupt. They're going to have to start paying employees in IOUs. It is utterly dysfunctional. They've got mandatory furloughs for state employees.

    (& this is on the back of the largest state economy; that's impressively bad governance.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I am sure I am not the only person who thinks the coverage of the Sophie Elliot trial has descended to the level of coarse pornography.

    No you're not, but that's somewhat unfair on "coarse pornography" whose who purpose is to induce orgasm in its coarse audience. Anyone cracking a fat over the Weatherstone trial coverage needs to be put to sleep with a very big needle.

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

  • LegBreak,

    KL,

    Apparently California is about to get a huge financial leg-up this week with the funeral.

    I read that in a Sunday paper.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    switzerland is not famous for its bad government either

    It sort of is. It has tended to have a bit of a drag on change. The poster-boy example for this (which may overstate its negative effects) is that women didn't get the vote in Switzerland until 1971.

    One hardy bunch of men in a half canton held out until 1990, at which point a federal court argued that because women were citizens they had to let women vote.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    switzerland is not famous for its bad government either

    No. It is famous for being a heavily armed, highly conservative, insular country with retrograde immigration laws, secretive mega-capitalist banks, the UN and some damn fine ski resorts.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    California being bankrupt is like Donald Trump being bankrupt. A minor setback. But are you seriously blaming it all on 'direct democracy'? They have representative democracy last I heard.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    No. It is famous for being a heavily armed, highly conservative, insular country with retrograde immigration laws, secretive mega-capitalist banks, the UN and some damn fine ski resorts.

    Sounds boringly well managed to me.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Kong, the problem here is that you essentially don't know what you're talking about :). At least in respect of California.

    The state constitution can, and has, been amended with 50%+1 votes. Through this method, various restrictions on what fiscal decisions the legislature can make have been enacted. Basically, they can't raise revenue and they can't get a budget signed. See here . Its more than a technical thing you wave your wand at to make it go away. Public servants are being laid off. Road construction is halting half finished. University funding is being slashed. So, to reiterate - don't breezily write stuff of when you know nothing about it.

    Obviously this isn't what Twyford is proposing, but Rodney's proposals are along similar lines.

    Kthxby.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    California being bankrupt is like Donald Trump being bankrupt. A minor setback. But are you seriously blaming it all on 'direct democracy'? They have representative democracy last I heard.

    Seriously, wtf? It is just nonsense to say it is a minor setback that CA is going bust during the one of the worst recessions in fifty odd years.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Seriously, wtf? It is just nonsense to say it is a minor setback that CA is going bust during the one of the worst recessions in fifty odd years.

    If California was a corporation, it'd be in Chapter 11 right now.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    wtf blaming it on direct democracy, that makes you sound hysterical, provokes a flippant answer.

    Kong, the problem here is that you essentially don't know what you're talking about :). At least in respect of California.

    You really think this is a serious debate man? It's a joke. I actually presumed as much given how stupid the comparisons were. California has recently made some silly choices. Not because they are a direct democracy (they aren't) but because the place is run by silly self serving arseholes. If you have enough arseholes running your house then you can fuck any system up. The last 9 years of representative democracy in the USA have pretty much proved that one.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not because they are a direct democracy (they aren't) but because the place is run by silly self serving arseholes.

    Who, in the case of the state's referendum system, are the people of California. The actual elected representatives would doubtless love to be able to levy taxation fairly and try and pay their state's bills, but they've been prevented from doing so.

    And California being broke isn't trivial. What's happening to their prisons is alarming.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Not because they are a direct democracy (they aren't) but because the place is run by silly self serving arseholes.

    No, it isn't run by self-serving assholes, that's the whole bloody point. The so called self-serving assholes can't do a damn thing, because of Prop 13, which was instituted by, you guessed it, direct democracy. I mean, for heaven's sake, this is not controversial.

    (`California has made some silly choices' is also uselessly vague; please try and be precise here.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

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