Posts by Nick Russell

  • Hard News: Cannabis: legalisation versus…,

    Regarding the decriminalisation argument - it is interesting to see there has been some research. But fundamentally, the whole argument about criminalisation disproportionately affecting Maori is a bit of a category error in this context. Maori suffer disproportionately from the illegality of cannabis because the Police are more likely to prosecute them. That's a problem with systemic racism in the Police. Making cannabis legal won't actually make that racism go away. Granted it will give the Police one less opportunity to behave in a discriminatory way. But you'd have to be pretty naive to think legalisation will result in lower rates of convictions or imprisonment for Maori.

    And I say this as someone who is voting yes...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Susied (from the verb "to Susie) - to be the subject of an intense and vigorous interview by someone far, far smarter than you.

    Celebrates a national icon and is also a refreshing celebration of the importance of the media in a functioning democracy. I'm not in the habit of praising Simon Bridges, but I heartily appreciate this contribution to the English language.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and…, in reply to Mike Chiles,

    Yes, and vice versa of course for Labour voters who really don't want cannabis legalised. I wonder how many people will actually cast their votes on this basis? My pick is, not many. It certainly hasn't helped the Greens in the past. I am pretty confident that National will have focus-grouped and polled this issue intensively before deciding to come out so aggressively against it. Maybe they hope to pick up some NZ First voters too.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and…,

    All of this would be fine the Government had actually passed the legislation and the referendum was going to be a binding one after which the new legislation would come into force. But it isn't. And it seems pretty likely at least for the time being that National will just cancel the entire exercise if it forms the Government after the next election.

    So - there is a very real probability that a lot of people are going to invest their time, money and energy into something that won't happen at all.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a…, in reply to Sue Boyde,

    Sue - so what? Every activist always says they are only interested in the truth. It's hardly a defining characteristic But you can tell the truth without stopping trains or preventing people from getting to work. It's almost as if XR is more interested in the disruption than the truth of its message.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah. It might not be a religion or a cult but its members share the characteristic of believing that they know best and that they have an obligation impose that certainty on everyone else, with or without their consent.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cabinet and the Reeferendum,

    I don't think we should be getting our hopes up too much about the referendum. The Government's responses to the Tax Working Group and the Welfare Expert Advisory Group have really helped to redefine the word "underwhelming" without accomplishing much else. So the outcome here may be equally lukewarm.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Splore 2019 – Please Don't…,

    I think there is very little prospect of the Bill or the referendum being debated in the same sort of bipartisan spirit we have seen on gun control this week. Politicians are gonna do politics with this. Why wouldn't they? It's a Green Party initiative which Labour has agreed to so the Nats have a political incentive to campaign against it. They will want the Government to fail. Cannabis is a political football like any other.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The korero we've been waiting…,

    I don't think the referendum has really captured the public imagination yet. There seem to a relatively small number of people who are passionately engaged in the issue one way or the other. But beyond that there have been crickets. Maybe that will change as the referendum draws closer. But bearing in mind it will be held at the same time as the general election, I am not confident about that. It could be that a big part of NZ just doesn't care that much either way.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We have to rethink the annual…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Hence my concern about giving the Police more discretion. On the whole I think it would be better if they had less.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

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