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Speaker: Why you should vote

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  • Marc C,

    There is not one election I can think of, that I did not bother to vote.

    Being able to vote is an important democratic right and should also be a kind of civic duty. We all have opinions, varying degrees of being informed about political and other matters, but by not bothering to vote, we do essentially leave it up to others to decide who may form a government and makes laws and regulations that affect us all.

    Even if my vote will not result in my preferred candidate and party forming a government, I can at least say, I cast my vote, and with that presented my own political statement. I will have made an effort to have my preferences taken note of.

    We have to respect the winners and that they will form the majority and determine the political, social and economic direction for the coming 3 years. But we will never know for sure, who will form the government, until all votes have been cast and counted, and until a new government is formed.

    I simply cannot feel at ease if I would not vote, as I would not have done my bit to direct the country into the future. If all people would vote, we are likely to get the best voting outcome, if too many do not bother, we risk leaving things to "leaders" that we do not support and do not like.

    But besides of realising the sense and purpose of simply voting, we must also strive to have more "informed democrats", as only well informed voters will likely make the right kinds of decisions for the whole of society.

    On that latter bit I fear we still have a very, very long way to go. Re-establishing better funded and better quality public broadcasting may assist with achieving that.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    So far I have a message via Mojo that they will aim to repeal the PHDAct(2)…I replied that I was looking forward to actually reading that in their policy statement.Methinks there is a little bet hedging going on here.Jesus wept….these politicians a wriggly arsed bunch.

    Yes, and that bothers me too. Labour have been too silent on too many things, I fear, and hence I do not sufficiently trust them. The Greens I do trust a bit more, but given the fact that they are likely to only support a Labour led government, which will only be formed after some negotiations, and where some sacrifices and compromises will have to be made, we cannot fully rely on anything happening that may concern us.

    My major concern with Labour is about their social security ("welfare") policy, which is all about nice slogans about wanting to get rid of child poverty and narrowing the income gaps. They seem to be more concerned with middle class welfare, as that is where the votes are.

    Their criticism of the draconian welfare reforms brought in a year ago was a bit shallow and half hearted. Since the Social Security Act was changed, bringing in draconian sanctions, social obligations, drug testing provisions, outsourcing of services to private, fee earning providers, allowing new medical and work capability assessments under questionable terms, there has been almost no clear criticism coming from Labour.

    They are not stating that they would reverse any of the "reforms" that this government brought in, nor are they saying they will abolish the so-called "investment approach".

    But I think they have at least stated they will bring back more justice and fairness in the way ACC claimants will be treated.

    So on all that, I mean Labour's lack of clear "welfare" policy, how can one trust them? For some they may even seem a bit like "National Light".

    In such situations it forces us to simply vote for the "lesser evil", or for a party that may be closest to what we may expect.

    P.S.: Let us not forget one Dr David Bratt, PHA for WINZ, who was brought in under the last Labour led government:
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf
    (see pages 13, 20, 21 and 35)

    Also to look at:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-a/

    "Google":
    nzsocialjusticeblog2013 - Medical + Work Capability Assessments based on the BPS Model

    Despite all, vote people, vote at least for a party that may meet at least some of your major concerns!

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    we must also strive to have more “informed democrats”, as only well informed voters will likely make the right kinds of decisions

    Well it sounds right and the kind of thing we should all "strive" to do, But when they come out with lazy stuff like this...

    " it wasn't racist because a Chinese man told him the joke. " Guess who?

    And they are on an easy wicket for life Its hard to feel anything but resentment.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    simply vote for the "lesser evil", or for a party that may be closest to what we may expect

    that's how MMP works - vote for the party closest to what you want and whom you trust to negotiate a good coalition deal with others. Some elections, that's a narrower choice than other times.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Green voters could make a real impact with their electorate votes this year though. Watch that space.

    Epsom could be interesting. Seymour whining loudly at the prospect of the left being tactical voters just like the cosy little arrangement he relies on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    But I think they have at least stated they will bring back more justice and fairness in the way ACC claimants will be treated.

    Well, whoop de bleeding pooh!

    Marc, I respect the fact that you are widely read and well informed....but your particular area of interest is ACC...and I am thinking perhaps more the ACC claimants on the fringes of entitlement.

    The appropriate comparison for those disabled with high, very high and complex care needs under MOH;DSS (the group Atkinson was all about) would be those ACC claimants that come under the National Serious Injury Service.

    Yes, National did an ACC slash and burn...and in some areas this was much needed, but those under the NSIS were largely protected. Especially the long term claimants. I do know that some high spinal cord injured struggled to get the 24/7 care that their longer injured cousins enjoy, but what the squadron of lawyers happy to take on ACC havn't sorted... Labour will. There is also the fact that ACC has an embarrasing surfeit of riches at the moment (perhaps they can payback the 1.2 billion extra that National gave them?).

    Any way....back to Atkinson and the National Serious Injury Service clients.

    Mentioned in the HRRT decision was the August 2008 Home And Community Support Services Implementation guide...a joint ACC/MOH project to have one service specification for two groups of disabled with similar needs. The two groups were clients of MOH;DSS and ACC National Serious Injury Service.

    https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/hcss-implementation-guide-mar09.pdf

    The only difference twixt the two groups of similar needs when it came to providing care to meet their core needs (to keep them alive and healthy, only) was that ACC clients have the right to choose a family member as their paid carer.

    Simply removing the prohibition against paying family carers of MOH DSS clients would have given one very significant point of parity with ACC clients.

    And guess what?

    While my disinclination to vote is being treated like an act of betrayal, dishonouring the sufragettes, apathetic and not bothered....

    Not one ACC client who enjoys the right and the benefit of having a family member as their paid carer went to the media during the slight furore and said....".what's the problem? It works for me." Strange, since the Tribunal heard the 52% of care for ACC clients is provided by paid family. That's about 2000 people.

    Not one of the AT LEAST 273 MOH;DSS clients who were being cared for by paid family...in breach of the Policy, came forward to support their unpaid cousins.

    So please, folk, don't give me the whole "it's your duty to vote" guilt trip.

    Peter and I have gone more than a few thousand miles participating in the whole "family carers" debacle. We have attended court hearings and consultation meetings and been trespassed of the grounds of parliament for handing out flyers. We have researched and read and made phonecalls to so called 'advocacy groups' and were disappointed but not really surprised when the govt. did what they did last May. In fact, we wrote about something similar back in 2009.

    What went wrong?

    No solidarity. No cohesion. So called advocates and representatives of disabled and family carers too busy snuffling in the trough to show real leadership and actually listen to those disabled and family carers affected by that policy.

    Labour held non ACC disabled in as much disdain as National do.

    Ruth Dyson might be supprotive now....but why did she kick the claimants to touch when she was Minister?

    No, politics is a dirty, smelly business, with no room for princpals or ethics.

    And we are as flies to wanton boys...

    Some aspects of national administration should be above politics, such as the right of a nations most vulnerable citizens to the care they need.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Labour held non ACC disabled in as much disdain as National do.

    Ruth Dyson might be supprotive now….but why did she kick the claimants to touch when she was Minister?

    No, politics is a dirty, smelly business, with no room for princpals or ethics.

    One of the major reasons I started voting for the Greens in 2011, even though I don't agree with all of their policies, was to 'keep Labour honest'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Quote:
    "No solidarity. No cohesion. So called advocates and representatives of disabled and family carers too busy snuffling in the trough to show real leadership and actually listen to those disabled and family carers affected by that policy.

    Labour held non ACC disabled in as much disdain as National do."

    Rosemary, my comment was by no way intended to create any feelings of guilt for not voting, I only commented on your reservations re parties and how much we may be able to rely on stated or unstated policy they may have.

    So I just added one line re what Labour have (without much detail) commented re ACC.

    You will be much better informed on matters relating to caring for disabled, whether this is by family members caring for a disabled and injured person under the ACC legislation, or in such other cases as you mention.

    Re your criticism of lack of loyalty by certain advocates and interest groups, I am sure this is a wider problem we have. I was also very disappointed about how limited the support was for those affected by the rather harsh benefit reforms of this government. But in that case it has a lot to do with the media, portraying people relying on social security support payments as potential "bludgers".

    Also the issues about unfair treatment of carers is one that affects a minority in society, and perhaps that is the reason that such issues are not frequently and much reported on in the media, which still is the prime source of information of the wider public. Most people only think about matters affecting them personally directly, and otherwise form rather superficial views on other matters the media report on. We know how sorry a state much of that mainstream media is in.

    Despite of hesitations to vote, and justified criticism, and I admit having been little motivated myself rather often, I for myself will vote, as stated above, at least for a party and policies that do at least in part concern me.

    Thanks for the information you provided, as I am happy to learn more about the concerns you raise here.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Late to the discussion, but two slightly different reasons to vote.

    1. For better or worse, we have a representative democracy. This means that we don't directly vote on policy, but vote for people to best represent our views. Even if you could find a person or party who perfectly encapsulated your views, the chances of them being able to enact them all must approximate zero. And if you don't vote, then your views are not represented (in fact probably the inverse).

    2. More weakly, a strong democratic process should hopefully protect us from more extreme forms of government.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    The reason I always vote is because the one time I couldn't be bothered to, I felt like it was my fault when John Banks got in as Auckland Mayor (the first time).

    He got in again (after a break), so obviously, voting doesn't make you all-powerful, but at least I'd done my part...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    One of the major reasons I started voting for the Greens in 2011, even though I don’t agree with all of their policies, was to ‘keep Labour honest’.

    I'm leaning that way too....but,

    and sorry to be single issue obsessed,

    the Greens have not (as yet) even mentioned this particulary shitty piece of "we hate cripples and their families" legislation in the Disability section of their policy statement.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    Most people only think about matters affecting them personally directly, and otherwise form rather superficial views on other matters the media report on

    I understand that you were not trying to guilt trip me....and besides...even if you were...I'm a tough old bitch...

    Disability and carer issues....yes, that would be my focus.

    Both ACC and MOH disabled have received a hammering from National....and the document I posted before( https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/hcss-implementation-guide-mar09.pdf) was produced under a Labour administration.

    Read the doc carefully.

    Between the lines, it had an agenda to increase the amount of unpaid care that families of ACC clients were expected to provide. Natural Support.

    ACC claimants are entitled to funded care. After the appropriate assessments.
    ACC claimants are entitled to have family as their paid carers.

    Under the original Public Health and Disability Act, MOH;DSS clients were entitled to funded care after the appropriate assessments.
    MOH:DSS had a POLICY of not allowing clients to have a family member as their paid carer.

    This POLICY was found (after much exhaustive and dehumanising legal argument) to be discriminatory under the NZ Bill of Rights Act.

    The government responded by amending the Public Health and Disability Act to make the discriminatory POLICY law, AND, preventing those of us who have legitimate claims for being discriminated against under the original Act from seeking legal redress.

    Don't panic NZ...the actual number of those affected is nowhere near what the Government claimed.

    Justified outrage from all quarters.

    Complaints to the United Nations.

    But no mention of it in ANY written policy statements from the two major opposition parties.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I haven't made time to read em all. Do party policy statements mention specific laws in other areas? Or do they tend to talk more broadly about commitments?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    Do party policy statements mention specific laws in other areas?

    http://campaign.labour.org.nz/

    "Repeal section 38 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act,

    "increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased again to $16.25 an hour in early 2015"

    "repeal National's recent TICS and GCSB legislation to protect New Zealanders from being subject to mass surveillance when they're going about their lawful business,,",

    "Scrap National Standards and return schools’ focus back to teaching the full breadth of New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed curriculum,'

    "We will repeal charter school legislation and no more charter schools will be created under Labour,"

    Labour has no section for Disability.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    http://campaign.labour.org.nz/endingviolence

    "Labour will:

    provide leadership to eliminate violence against women and children from the Prime Minister down with the lead agency being the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC),
    Adopt a collaborative, resourced, long-term New Zealand Action Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Children in consultation with other parties and the sector,
    Provide $60 million over four years for family and sexual violence to support front line services, primary prevention, and education. This includes increased support for transitional housing,
    Reform the justice system to provide real justice to survivors while protecting the right to be presumed innocent. This includes providing specialist training,
    Review prosecution guidelines to ensure Police appropriately and consistently arrest and charge offenders, and review the operation of Protection Orders."

    Sounds good.....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Okay.....

    Here's me the optimist.....

    Labour is drip feeding its policies, and is saving an announcement about the PHDAct(2) till last......

    Yeah, right.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    See anything even acknowledging that alcohol consumption has a correlation with domestic violence.

    Funny, isn't it, that alchohol features so prominantly in so many areas of concern yet ALL political parties are reluctant to seriously curb it's use and availability.

    Is it because most Kiwis drink....in fact not drinking in social situations is considered abnormal....and no-one wants to cast the first stone?

    Or are the $$$ coming from the booze barons too good to pass up?

    Major irony in the disability arena....a "show off" day at one of the spinal units was actually sponsered by the brewery accross the road.

    I nearly pissed meself laughing.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Both ACC and MOH disabled have received a hammering from National….and the document I posted before( https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/hcss-implementation-guide-mar09.pdf) was produced under a Labour administration.

    Yes, I understand your outrage and concerns.

    That HCSS Implementation Guide or plan is as hollow as a Swiss cheese, when reading it. I only read just over a third so far, and I can clearly see the flaws in it.

    Whenever I read such guides, plans or policies, where the words "flexibility", "choice", "goals" and "plans", and "support" are repeated, I jump up and dissect them. And then it usually shows, that these are hardly worth the paper they are written on.

    Sadly we get more and more of this kind of stuff, and it is all part of the corporatisation and privatisation agendas, and the language they use to justify "reforms".

    You will not be surprised to find the same words and phrases in much of what was used to bring in the new welfare reforms.

    When you look at it closely, from a legal perspective, you can drive a truck through it all, that means, the government commits to as little as possible, or necessary, in order to not spend too much, and to not taken on new responsibilities.

    Down the road people are left to fend for themselves, to pay and do extra, and the supposed "benefits" are hardly noticeable.

    I understand that you carers and supporters have been shafted extremely badly by the government.

    Re politics and parties, yes, it is a major worry, that they do ALL these days tend to hire consultants and outsourced "experts", to deliver them advice and plans to form new policy, which then of course turns out to be "glossy" mag style corporate and consultant stuff, more "fluff" really, without much substance and even evidence.

    So yes, voting is not made any easier with all this endless BS going on.

    As for Labour, I was thinking today, their great new policy to offer free doctors visits and prescriptions to all over 65, same as other policies, that cost a lot, they have now developed their policies on the costings and available funds, based on the returns from the partial asset sales by the present government, which Labour so vehemently opposed. That is why they say we can "afford" all the nice extra services, otherwise it would be impossible, unless they would increase taxes more than so far indicated.

    So discretely the criticised asset sales returns are now acceptable to use by the future Labour led government, which tells us something about any "commitment" to perhaps buy back the half of energy companies now in private shareholder hands.

    Politics is indeed dirty, and having heard Nicki Hager made that the title of his latest book, it will also be interesting to read what that contains.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    And, here’s Labour’s,

    https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/disability_issues_policy_0.pdf

    Does NOT speak specifically about the Public Health and Disability Act amendment, but refers to the ” family caregivers legislation which barred access to Human Rights redress
    and will ensure all family caregivers can provide and be paid for assessed care for adult disabled family members”.

    Actually Labour….not good enough for me.

    You are very well aware of what that piece of legislation is called…

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Thank you Angela for forcing Peter and I to watch this video clip... again.

    No two ways about it, Catherine Delahunty certainly got it...and most certainly spoke with passion, commitment and guts.

    So what the hell happened between then and now?

    What backroom discussions and dark deals?

    What 'trade offs'?

    We will never know.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    I think Catherine remains determined to put this travesty right just as soon as she gets the chance to do it. But she can't do it on her own.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Parties publish policy for a wider audience than well-informed activists, which is why I was questioning whether they ever referred to legislation by name. Seems they do in some cases, but if they want most New Zealanders to make the link then talking about 'family carers lawsuit' or suchlike seems better than referring to an Amendment of a very broad law.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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