Damn The Guardian results page is pretty.
Well, National just had 9 years in power and they did precisely none of the above.
Except for when they did Prisoner voting
Yes Gov. Gerry was a different thing but it was the same idea - that so long as you achieved power it didn't matter what you did. Voter suppression is the same logic.
Still, I think the essential difference is that here, our attitude is "People can vote unless" and in the States it's "people can't vote unless".
To some degree. And certainly true at the polling booths.
But I don't think we have it right here either - note humans in jail had their vote taken away from them. Whatever argument you might make around that, it was a change that benefited National. There are various polling companies that frame questions in such a way as to make it seem pointless to vote. So I think we have voter suppression alive and well in NZ - it just isn't quite as overt - but I've heard National MPs talk about ID cards more than once.
But generally we do not give a shit about voter suppression!
It is a very interesting history, Governor Elbridge Gerry saw a way of manipulating a system designed to be fair and ran with it. What followed was a sequence of methods to manipulate voting which everyone seemed to think "cool lets F this up".
We haven't been completely immune to it here.
There was a really good long read (somewhere, but damned if I can remember) about Portugal's experience. Really clear that they were desperate to find a better way than having people dying on then streets. Really honest about what they got right and more importantly what they didn't get right and would like to change.
I think that's a really important part of this - we really need a system that allows for change as we figure out what works well in NZ and what doesn't. Too often we establish a law and then leave no ability to modify it as we learn.
The larger the population sample the more representative of the community it becomes
That isn't entirely true you actually don't need that large a sample before you accurately model public opinion. More importantly what you describe is a large sample of uninformed opinion.
The idea of Iceland's system is that because the public are usually uninformed or ill informed on any particular topic the assembly must spend time listening to expert opinion with the intention that they become informed.
At that point they make a recommendation informed by expert input but modulated by societal input.
The key feature is to get both informed opinion and a representation of society's needs/wants/feelings.
It's an interesting approach.
hearing from the government departments soon
It's an OIA request nothing about them happens "soon"
My experiences with jerk chicken also look pretty unappealing - it's just one of those homey dishes that taste better than they look.
I don't think you need scotch bonnets - yes if you eat chili peppers a lot you get habituated to the heat, habeneros would be fine and give the same flavour. I don't think birds eye chilies have the same flavour, they have the heat though so you could mix and match.
Freezing chili works fine, they also last quite a long time in the fridge BUT beware they build up capsaicin in the fridge and can get a LOT hotter than when used fresh or dried.
And now we see the utter horror of Pinker's complacency - because for women in the USA there is every chance that Abortion will now become illegal.
miss completely engaging with Gould’s ideas
I don't think our ideas are that far apart.
But I find the willingness of old men in suits to pontificate and create theories of everything that explain the entirety of human social history to be ... well ... utter crap.
Inevitably the theories of everything rely on limited data, either because the authors cherry pick (Pinker) or because the data just isn't there at all. You pretend to know why a tribe moved 1000 kilometers west and made new tools, or why a political entity a thousand years ago chose this or that course of action?
And then the theories exclude the possibility that it's just complex, because that would make for a terrible book and an even worse speaking tour.
And don't get me started on people who pretend to apply evolutionary theory to social development. Let me be clear our understanding of evolutionary biology is so bad now that applying evolution to social systems is insane (or a PhD project).
All of which would be just fine and dandy if all we did was waffle about it over drinks. But this shit is being used to justify genuine harm to people. People take Gould's and Dawkin's and Pinker's theories and use them to justify policies and actions that demonstrably harm people.