Posts by BenWilson

  • Hard News: All Change, in reply to Jonty,

    How his surly arrogance is ignored by his bosses at TVNZ is beyond me.

    It's not ignored. He is popular, so they play him, for ratings. I can't see it lasting, shrill outrage is not going to make his fan base giggle at the discomfort of his female co-hosts anywhere near as much as cocksure arrogance has.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    points to how important frequent elections and rotations of government are to our democracy with its relatively weak constitutional safeguards

    Yes, I can't look at the bible-length Australian constitution with much envy, considering the politicians they seem to elect, and the endemic graft and corruption that is normalized there. Let alone the USA's constitutional safeguards that have normalized mass murder as an unremarkable occurrence, and placed a man-child Twitter troll in charge of their nuclear arsenal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The interesting thing is that for some time a referendum was actually NZ First policy. So it may not have been a difficult compromise to reach.

    That is intriguing. On the one hand, it's such an obvious rejection of the hypocrisy present in our laws around alcohol, smoking, gambling, and sports (for all of which I would think NZF voters believe in their firm rights to enjoy), when it comes to personal harm. On the other, it's a hypocrisy that's gone on so long that it's polarizing. I'm curious why they have that policy. Also, glad to hear it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Part of David Seymour’s tantrum this morning, from Newshub’s liveblog. Can you actually imagine alleged “wild card” Marama Davidson losing the plot like this?

    One of the most enjoyable things about the next 3 years is that it isn't going matter what Seymour thinks. To think I once voted for his party, and against MMP. But then I grew up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change,

    As for a referendum on cannabis, I think it's appropriate. It's likely to have been a compromise made with NZF who would probably have refused it as policy. Sometimes this really is the way to make decisions like this. There's nothing like millions of people saying "I want this" at a ballot to cut through all the party wrangling and voter segmentation BS that goes with representative democracy. Sure, if it were just Labour policy it could go through a lot quicker. But this might be the more lasting way to do it. If the government changes hands again, they're far less likely to overturn something arising from a referendum than they are to simply overturn the last government's policy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All Change,

    It might seem – and indeed it is – unfair that Peters’ party will enjoy four seats in Cabinet while the more talented Green caucus gets none.

    I can't say that I see it that way. Yes, Cabinet positions wield significant power, but so does being a required part of a coalition. We see it in the policy concessions immediately. The Greens can collapse the government if they are left out too hard. I don't think that will happen, though, instead they get their first internship in real power. They're a party of policy much more than individuals, so I can't see this becoming all about personality clashes and so on. It's far too stable a movement, far too international. This is the beginning of a sea change long in the making.

    I still can't get over how happy I am about this outcome. I'd told myself for a month I didn't really care, but that was probably more to cope with the chance of Winston selling out to National, and all the prolonged misery that would entail. This is the government I voted for, at least 2/3 of the parties in power got my vote and the other is the necessity of political compromise. I had a feeling Peters would do this, that his last political throw would not be to reward National with a historically long term for doing things that are essentially the opposite of what NZF would seem to stand for. Furthermore, I think the whole NZF board being consulted thing was real, that Peters is succession planning now, and his personal views had to take a lesser place to the views of his support, the organization he built. If he has any legacy, that party is it, and it's a big part of growing up that they were empowered to make choices on their own consciences and policy. In the next few years they will show if they are a real organization, or an unstable clique of opportunists. My gut feeling is that they are real, but we shall see.

    I'm really optimistic that this government can work. I expect Ardern will get a second honeymoon with a poll bounce and if she sets about Labour's 100 day plan with a vengeance, that bounce will become lasting support.

    This here, what happened yesterday, is why we chose MMP, more than once. It's politics of consensus, it's lots of talk and a lot less arbitrary power and arrogance. Sure, the other side, the losers in this outcome, hearken back to the day when their plurality would have been outright power. But their opinion is in a minority, clearly so in an entirely other democratic process, the only one by which a single issue can be clearly selected in a plebiscite, a referendum. That powerful vestige of participatory democracy gave us the representative democracy today that truly represents the majority of voters.

    I feel strong hope for NZ in a way I haven't in over a decade.

    Kia kaha, Labour, the Greens, and NZF, welcome to government! Special congratulations to Prime Minister Elect Ardern.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election,

    Greens have overwhelmingly ratified the deal. I'm so, so, stoked. I'm just...nah gotta go, it's too much. This is literally the first time I've had basically exactly the government I wanted. Can't process. It's real, it happened, she did it. Too awesome.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Seeing that 7% as the bedrock real Green support base

    It's credible. But I still don't buy that a significant proportion of those 7% are not inherently left wing. And the high water marks, the best results ever reached by the Party are almost certainly swingers on the left.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    you seem to be discounting those who have (like me) been part of the Green movement their whole lives and vote Green in rejection of the left/right accordingly.

    No, I'm aware of you, I just don't think your specific position represents anything like a majority in the support of the Green Party.

    As you note, we agree this allows our leftist greenies to differentiate themselves from Labour, but do you not see the disenfranchisement it causes to the authentic Greens within the party? Those who self-identify as neither left nor right, I mean. Those who entered politics to represent the entire Green movement on an authentic basis.

    The disenfranchisement you feel is actually a consequence of lacking the numbers, even within the Green movement, to actualize power around your "authentic" position, which is, of course, no more authentic than anyone else's. What you entered politics for does not raise the value of your vote.

    I get the definite impression that you either don’t believe people like me exist, or you don’t believe the Green Party ought to represent us.

    Not at all. I think it represents you well out of proportion to your actual numbers, but I don't have a problem with that. Environmentalism is the origin and soul of the Green movement. But as it's become larger it's also become broader, and more sophisticated. It's not a one-issue party any more.

    The Political Compass website located me precisely in the center of the left-libertarian quadrant: the red dot showed up on my certificate printout right in the middle of Bernie Sanders’ face

    Ergo, you are left wing.

    But values politics making me an archetypal leftist doesn’t affect my choice to reject both left & right political alignment

    I get that your position along that axis is not what you consider most important. But I'm yet to see the numbers on how it goes with the Green voters as a whole group that convince me they'd be willing en masse to sacrifice that position along the Left-Right axis (and every issue that make it up) purely for environmentalist concessions. I think they'd object both on moral and practical grounds. Moral because it involves giving up lots of important belief structures. Practically because environmentalism is fundamentally a matter of human self control and regulation, something that is anathema to the political Right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow, in reply to linger,

    the chain between evidence and causal interpretation is very indirect

    It sure is. This kind of analysis is basically a recipe for spurious correlation.

    Sampling people and asking them would be the more robust way to find out the answer. Of course it is also expensive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10495 posts Report Reply

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