Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Briefing, blaming, backing down

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  • Sacha, in reply to David Chittenden,

    Totally agree with that. Only risk with long posts is that Russell will ask you to turn it into a whole new thread. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to merc,

    With research projects you may have initial consent from your participants but you have to renegotiate this throughout the project, whenever you want their cooperation again. One of the fundamentals of informed consent is that participants can withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without any negative consequences for them. Therefore renegotiating consent requires the researcher to have an active relationship with the participant and continually re-earn their consent or assent. A researcher can't say, you signed the consent last November so I can now do what I want, The same ethical principles should apply in a democracy.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10813234

    The best case scenario is a clean bill of health, allowing the negotiations with Sky City to conclude and construction on the convention centre to start before the election providing 1,000 more construction industry jobs and the other associated benefits of a $350 million construction project.

    Just wow, you simply cannot beat blind loyalty to ideology.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • David Chittenden, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    A researcher can't say, you signed the consent last November so I can now do what I want, The same ethical principles should apply in a democracy.

    Interesting parallel - especially if the public-political engagement is what you were outlining in approaching 'wicked problems'

    Since May 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • David Chittenden, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    These are the "them" that you just assured me were actually decent dedicated people? Or is it just the environment of The House that stimulates that behaviour?

    You caught me there!

    But yes I think the environment has a huge influence on their behaviour, especially on new members of parliament. At the risk of having a sociologist correct me, I think it's called social proof. Social proof can of course be used positively in changing behaviour as well ...

    Since May 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    A researcher can't say, you signed the consent last November so I can now do what I want

    So if, for instance, a future left-wing government wanted to put up higher-rate tax in the second year of its term, it shouldn't be able to, because any consent it had for its policies has expired?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    RoO - I think they should have that as a possibility in the Participant Information Sheet (the election manifesto) just as possible future uses of data collected in the research project need to be specified (and consented to) on the original PIS. More usually, however, new uses of data need a new ethics approval process. So a major change in policy could be subject to a referendum, or some kind of citizens' assembly.

    Opinion polls could be seen as indicative of ongoing consent - so if a policy was very unpopular as tested by some form of rigorous polling, and there was a an ethical government, they should do some form of re-engagement process.

    But why should an increase in taxes on the wealthier be an uunpopular policy? Didn't Labour have this as part of their policy in 1999?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    why should an increase in taxes on the wealthier be an uunpopular policy?

    It's unpopular with the wealthy, and the many who have a deluded identification with the wealthy.

    Didn't Labour have this as part of their policy in 1999?

    Yes. Didn't seem to help them win the election.

    I believe that National *did* have asset sales in their manifesto. A majority might have been mildly opposed to this, but they were won over by the whole "less tax hate the brown and poor people" idiom that National espoused.

    Maybe what you're actually after is a written constitution that ringfences certain things from voteocracy, like the proposed new Icelandic one which protects social rights and national assets.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Labour won the 1999 election with a policy of tax increases, and implemented it too. Asset sales were in the 2011 Nat P election policy but the ongoing strongly opposed opinion polls indicate that it is not a popular policy. Therefore. ethically, they should resubmit it to some kind of new consent process. A referendum is being sought, so why not go with that?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to merc,

    I really don't see voting as the problem, but there you are. I am totally against compulsory voting as I am against compulsory working.
    The right not to work is a powerful one. The right not to vote as well. Registration by all means compulsory, voting no.
    A non-vote to me is a vote against the system.

    I don't think being forced to work is in the same league as being forced to vote. In Australia being "forced to vote" just means being forced to turn up at a polling booth, mark the form in some way, and stick it in the box. You can still "no vote". You can write whatever you like on the form. Also, the consequences for not doing it are similar to the consequences for parking your car for 15 minutes too long on a time limited zone. So you can buy the right to not even go to the booth for quite a small fee. Effectively, they're just taking out the issue of the "rational voter paradox". You can quite logically reason that the actual benefit of voting is less than the hassle of doing it, in this country. In Oz, that paradox is entirely absent.

    I'm in favour of that kind of compulsion. It's at least as important as making sure that car parks don't get hogged all day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    My bad, read '99 for '09. Blame old age....

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • David Chittenden, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    But fundamentally it is us v them. I mean, really, I understand why this isn't something people shout from the rooftops, but fundamentally, the political system is a struggle over the distribution of power and wealth.

    Sure, but I think it's more subtle than that. The major political forces in most 'western' democracies I can think of are essentially just tweaking the system one way and then a little back again when governments change. They are mainly agreeing on the general direction but that's not the message you will get from them or from the media. Framing the boundaries of the debate and then focusing on the extremes within that debate give a much greater illusion of difference. I'm not saying that there aren't extremely important differences between political forces, especially for certain groups and on certain issues, and of course progress (or regression) is made through those kind of differences. I remember some data I saw in the past saying that Labour and National had voted together on most pieces of policy and legislation throughout NZ’s history no matter who was in government. And I think that is also the same for the Democrats/Republicans dynamic. (As I write that I feel that maybe it has been more adversarial in the more recent while?)

    While it is very nice to imagine some kind of happy consensual etc politics, really there is a struggle over where we want the country to go.

    Agreed.

    Eh in general I just find anti-political arguments deeply deeply reactionary and unpleasant, sorry.

    Apologies are not necessary, but I don’t see my views as being at all anti-political. Its more the way that politics is carried out that I’m talking about. For me choosing to buy one product over another (or not at all) if considering the real-world implications of its production and consumption, for example, is a political act.

    Since May 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • David Chittenden, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It's unpopular with the wealthy, and the many who have a deluded identification with the wealthy.

    I would add that there are many who are not wealthy but have totally bought the ideology that (like John Key) anybody can 'make it'. There is a strong belief that taxing the wealthy more will make the economy worse (through lack of investment and resources available for innovation) and therefore it will reduce my chances of 'making it'. But also if you don't 'make it' you have only yourself to blame ...

    No time now, but looking forward to looking at the Icelandic constitution - especially given the social process they took to form it.

    Since May 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to BenWilson,

    I am unconvinced. If I am not allowed to conflate voting with working then you are not allowed to haul in carparks ;-)
    I read that for the left they see this non-voting as The Menace - in my view it isn't. I am always wary of power and sniff every compulsion that comes from it.
    As for our own telling our own what they should be doing, that is not a line I want to cross. I question power and it's aging, not my own and theirs.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to David Chittenden,

    I would add that there are many who are not wealthy but have totally bought the ideology that (like John Key) anybody can ‘make it’. There is a strong belief that taxing the wealthy more will make the economy worse (through lack of investment and resources available for innovation) and therefore it will reduce my chances of ‘making it’. But also if you don’t ‘make it’ you have only yourself to blame …

    Ah yes, the classic ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ or the Essex Man/Waitakere Man syndrome. I get the feeling, though, that the whole phenomenon is a political red herring – there are also those who’ve made so much money that they’ve surpassed the Joneses, and have no further need to stay in the rat race. As opposed to those who don’t know when to stop, like Bernard Madoff.

    Still, I’d wager that Waitakere Man is an inferiority complexitive in drag, treading water as described by Paul Graham. I have a term for this state of affairs – ‘rat racism’. Nothing more than peer pressure that’s persisted into adulthood, where corporate logos have replaced ‘gang colours’.

    Social Darwinism is the new Tall Poppy Syndrome.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Snappy Sammy Smoot…

    Thanks for that Ian You reintroduced me to the writings of Skip Williamson sheer joy...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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