Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #2: Think Tank

42 Responses

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  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    __It’s a pity the “Pure Proportional” system isn’t an option__

    Yes. Is it actually used anywhere?

    The The Netherlands and Finland. Other Scandanavian countries tend to proportionalise by region (sometimes with a national top-up to correct the resulting errors), with a low threshold.

    Though they also do things such as having no threshold, but proportionalising regionally

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It’s a pity the “Pure Proportional” system isn’t an option

    Yes. Is it actually used anywhere?

    Lots.

    Israel. South Africa.

    A bunch of European nations (although some only have regional lists).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    Yes, PR in The Netherlands, with its fractured political landscape, a small party like the Party for the Animals recently succeeded in banning halal and kosher slaughter methods with large backing from other parties, despite fierce lobbying by Islamic and Jewish interests (and everyone knows how dear to the Dutch political heart Israel is). If they had less than proportional representation it may have never surfaced as an issue.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to uroskin,

    I'm not entirely sure that's full of win (forcing Muslims and Jews to eat non-Halal or non-Kosher food isn't automatically good), but it does seem like a good outcome in some ways. Even animals get representation in PR.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    More importantly, an electoral system which encourages representation allows issues to be considered on their merits (politically speaking) rather than simply ignored because they don't matter to rich dead white males.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    To me its good that people for whom animal rights is their key issue can have a say and legislate against cruelty. Their not prohibiting the religion just saying they can't practise the cruel parts of it in this country.

    People complain about small single-issue parties. But to the people who vote for them those single-issues must mean a great deal (or else they would vote for a party with more policies) and this way they can use their vote to influence this issue.

    And if what the small parties want is to extreme then the two major parties could always go into coalition. One would hope that if National and Labour had to choose between going into coalition with each other or forming a govt. with a fundamentalist christian party or white supremacy party they would choose to go into coaliton with each other. People say they would never do this as this would mean the death of one of the parties but I just can't buy this. People would still see them as separate parties and I know in Germany this grand coalition has happened without either party being wiped out afterward.

    In many ways if say National and Labour were to go into coalition together you would have the most representative government with most people having supported one of the two parties. Also you think this would make less drastic swings in policy between left and right from government to government.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    bmk, I totally agree on all counts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    One would hope that if National and Labour had to choose between going into coalition with each other or forming a govt. with a fundamentalist christian party or white supremacy party they would choose to go into coaliton with each other,

    Nah they'd demand another election, tribal creatures that they are.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    Sadly you would be right. You think though if they then had another election and the result was the same they would have no choice but to take it because if they tried to force a third election despite their being a viable option they would both be (and rightly so) punished for it.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    Or it might force the big parties to splinter as they perhaps should under a proportional system - separate out the bigger blocs lurking within, so the trade-offs are more out in the open and contestable.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    Or it might force the big parties to splinter as they perhaps should under a proportional system - separate out the bigger blocs lurking within, so the trade-offs are more out in the open and contestable.

    True and I don't see that as a bad thing because as you mention this will make the different elements clearer and more obvious to the general public. If National split into a Farmers party and an Employers party it would be more honest. And Labour could split into a Union party and a liberal party (the two are quite often opposed - I have nothing directly against unions but they can often be socially conservative).

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to bmk,

    If National split into a Farmers party and an Employers party it would be more honest.

    Like the Aussie Lib-Nat coalition?

    And Labour could split into a Union party and a liberal party (the two are quite often opposed - I have nothing directly against unions but they can often be socially conservative).

    According to veteran unionist Ken Douglas, the reason the 1981 Tour didn't turn into a French May was because the unions were split over it.

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

  • bmk, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Yes. Some unions are often anti-immigration and historically anti-women rights. As their mine goal was representing the predominantly white males who made up their membership. A lot of unions do a lot of good things but there is often a schism in left politics between the economic left socially conservative faction and the economy left socially liberal faction.

    Whereas I don't really feel represented in NZ at all as I am centrist on economic issues while highly liberal on social matters. And I feel that no party in NZ really represents my views. In the UK the Liberal Democrats are probably pretty close. I would really appreciate having a party who I felt enthusiastic about voting for but am not expecting it any time soon.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to bmk,

    Yes. Some unions are often anti-immigration and historically anti-women rights. As their mine goal was representing the predominantly white males who made up their membership. A lot of unions do a lot of good things but there is often a schism in left politics between the economic left socially conservative faction and the economy left socially liberal faction.

    Which makes them a prime target of wedge politicians. In America they were known as 'Reagan Democrats', and in England the 'Essex Men'.

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

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to bmk,

    Whereas I don't really feel represented in NZ at all as I am centrist on economic issues while highly liberal on social matters. And I feel that no party in NZ really represents my views.

    Likewise, hopefully with a lower threshold there could a splitting of the parties into units we could vote for but then they would have to gather into coalitions to govern so would we be better off
    I like to think so

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The concept of social liberalism/economic conservatism is bogus.

    There are two factors in play here:
    - one very successful survival mechanism of capitalism is to build fear and bigotry in the masses. By feeling that there is an "other", who they can look down on and simultaneously fear, the mass are distracted from what's happening to them economically. Thus, they support "socially conservative" movements that promise a suitable degree of oppression against that other, even though those movements have economic policies that work against them.

    That's why ACT were so keen to have Garrett et al on board, and why we are bombarded with crime stories in the media.

    - liberal policies work best when there is a support mechanism that enables people to live in freedom without external controls. For instance, if you have a large dispossessed underclass, they will have substance abuse problems. The right-wing approach, rather than addressing the root cause (social exclusion) is to promote prohibition as a point fix for the substance abuse.

    Hence, the only stable configurations are a neo-liberal economy that uses authoritarian policies to hold the masses in thrall, or a society that combines personal freedom with social justice.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think that side of things is massively overrated. I can't imagine going to my local MP as first port of call for any issue except, maybe, a local issue. And here's the thing - I don't really have local issues much. If I do, I change location.

    I think it's underrated personally. For people who are dealing with local issues that need a national spotlight, or even local issues that need a power outside the local power structure. I know lots of people who have found their local MP useful.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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