Posts by dave stewart

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special…,

    Another take on it is that the equivalent of 102 seats have already been allocated by votes already counted, and there are effectively another 18 seats still up for grabs - to be decided by specials (at 21k votes per seat). Seems more promising for the left when viewed from this perspective?!

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special…,

    Curveball possibilties?:

    1) TOP reach 5%? They'd need about 80k of specials to get there. Which is about 21% of all specials. A big chunk of specials are thought to be first time voters who enrolled when they voted, and TOP did appear to be popular with youngsters ..... Unlikely, but not totally beyond the realms of possibility?

    2) NZ First chooses to remain in opposition, resulting in Nat's returning as a minority government? Forcing greater cross party accord in order to avoid a lame duck situation.

    3) A grand coalition? Nat & Lab agree to focus on policy they can agree on and kick the rest down the road for 3 years.

    4) Prolonged stalemate requiring a re-run election?

    It was great to see Corin Dann suggesting that the 5% threshold should be lowered. Haven't heard that opinion expressed much by MSM or either major parties previously. But it absolutely needs to happen. One seat = 21k votes in 2017, and I think it is perfectly reasonable for any party which can collect that many votes to be in parliament. From preliminary count (i.e. excluding specials) in 2017 we have around 4.3% wasted votes. We lament people not voting, yet we effectively flush 5 MP's worth of votes!

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow,

    What happened to all that "relentless positivity"?
    The Nats haven't won yet, and I for one am anticipating with pleasure watching smug smiles being wiped from certain faces tomorrow night:

    Freeview channel 50 - RNZ on the TV: the A team with no ads.

    And there is still time to influence the outcome: put on your team's colours and stroll around smiling and acknowledging your fellow citizens .
    Dare to dream while there is still hope!
    (The alternative is really too horrible to consider).

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow,

    These recent Al Jazeera documentaries about waterways are compelling viewing (part 1 looks at the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, while part 2 is more about Canterbury/ECan):


    The evidence presented does not enhance the reputations of Irrigation NZ, HBRC, MoE/Nick Smith.

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Swamp Monsters – the…, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…,

    Just putting seriousness aside for a moment - isn't it hilarious and ironic that the Nat's appear to have been infiltrated by communists. Something about glasshouses, stones, red threat etc.
    And FFS, if the boot was on the other foot you can bet the Nat's boot boys would be doing some stomping, rather than the restraint showed by their adversaries so far. So I don't buy the racial victimisation hypocrisy. There are serious questions which remain unanswered, neatly summarised by Peter Matthis (Analyst of China's military) on Morning Report today:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201858443/national-mp-seeking-legal-advice-on-military-claims

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…,

    I think Newsroom could have THE scoop of this campaign with this story today:
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/13/46657/national-mp-trained-by-chinese-spies
    Melanie Reid again - she's had a great year.

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…,

    Something that concerns me is that there are a lot of media/opinion pieces pushing strong statements about how Lab absolutely must declare its tax details (i.e. scrutiny pretty much aligned with Nat's campaign propaganda). As far as I'm concerned, upending the whole tax/transfer system on the table to have a good look at holistically is absolutely what's needed in NZ right now (actually it was needed a long time ago). But I've not seen a whole lot of constructive media scrutiny of why this could be a good thing. We're being bombarded with interrogation of Lab's tax stance along the lines of Nat's argument (i.e. "not telling us what might change is scary"), but not nearly as much intensive questioning of the Nat's about the implications of their tax plans (e.g. how can the disparities in the current tax system possibly lead to a more fair and equitable NZ?).

    One other point I've seen little comment on: didn't Gareth Morgan promise to pull the pin on the TOP party if late polling showed they would be unlikely to get near 5%? It does now seem unlikely that TOP will get any more than about 3% at most. With an election this close those votes could matter a lot.

    And housing: the REAL problem is that new developments invariably have all kinds of covenants on them which specifically prevent affordable homes from being built. E.g. restrictions on minimum floor area, no transportable/kitsets allowed, a requirement to keep to a certain style etc. These conditions are all specifically designed to keep the riff-raff out and prices up!

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drugs and human rights,

    Now where have I heard that before ...
    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drugs and human rights,

    Oh, and keeping with the dog metaphor:
    Bennett & English are dog tucker!

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

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