Posts by Michael Homer

  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans,

    We have actual research on the flag hypothesis, and it's definitely true:

    Overall, 30.5% of National Party voters and 27.5% of Labour Party voters moved away from the position they originally reported in 2013 to become closer to, or consistent with, the position endorsed by their party leader.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Pandemic Preparedness and…, in reply to Moz,

    The entire House is up for election every two years; a third of the Senate is up for election every two years. Nothing is half-each-time. She’s out as described.

    Chuck Grassley, the President pro Tempore of the Senate, is still there until 2022 and would act as president in this scenario if nothing else changed. I imagine the remaining two-thirds of the Senate would elect somebody else instead if they knew that was coming, though - particularly since that remaining two-thirds has a 33-32-2 split in favour of the other party, so some Democratic senator would act as President instead.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Pandemic Preparedness and…, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Presumably there will still be a President pro Tempore of the Senate next in line, whose term will not have expired (but who isn't Nancy Pelosi and is 87 years old, though they could elect someone else in the gap).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Hard News: What does the wastewater…, in reply to linger,

    the catchment area for Moa Point includes not just the entire Wellington CBD, the universities, and the hospital, but also the south coast from Island Bay eastwards

    I believe it’s the whole city except Karori and the far northern suburbs, which I think is also what that map shows (and also this one from the council). I grew up not far from the line where it starts going to Porirua instead and there was once a school visit to see it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Why the censor's total ban…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act and particularly section 3, "Meaning of objectionable", is what the post is talking about (and much too long to quote here).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up…,

    The requirement is to "verbally give or verbally confirm his or her
    . Before 2014 it just said "give any particulars that are necessary for finding the elector’s name on the rolls.", but this version was there for the last election too. I suppose someone complained about what "confirm" means.

    If you can't speak, you can gesture, or meet the requirement by "any other means with the assistance of a person nominated by the elector who is present with the elector".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    I note your comment [...] that it would be "fairly inefficient at run time with a large number of candidates."

    I was mostly talking about my own implementation there - I built it directly off the definitions, rather than efficiently. For a proper implementation computation cost wouldn't be an issue other than in really extreme cases.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    I'm not planning to use it for anything, no, it just seemed interesting to write. It's not complicated and there are better implementations around.

    If the ballot records were available I might've given it a go, but they're not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    In contrast, it is also very clear to me that Schulze STV must indeed be extremely tedious to program

    It's not. I just did it; it took maybe half an hour, directly off the "Computation" section of the Wikipedia article you linked.

    To produce a program that also allows for EQP would surely be a nightmare

    I'm fairly sure I did that part too. It's fundamentally part of the algorithm, since you're counting ballots with A>B; there's no extra work involved. I didn't try multiple winners.

    It's definitely less intuitive to me than Meek's method, but tediousness of programming really isn't a point against it. It is going to be fairly inefficient at run time with a large number of candidates.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Southerly: A Tale of Two Iceblocks: Part…, in reply to David Haywood,

    No, I wouldn't say so. By having the PGST refunded to exporters (as with GST now) then the PGST can have neither an incentive nor disincentive effect. My view is that we should neither subsidize clean energy in exports or punish dirty energy in exports because we don't have control beyond our borders, and can't anticipate the effect that the modified price signals would have in terms of encouraging/discouraging greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere.

    I'll try to write out an example where it happens. Ultimately it seems to be the category definitions that matter.

    Suppose that Exporter A is the only aluminium exporter in the country, and has high emissions (100/unit). Exporters B and C both export steel. Let's assume that aluminium is a perfect substitute for steel (but not vice-versa), and both are only used overseas.

    Exporter B has zero emissions, and exporter C is roughly in the middle of A and B (50/unit). C uses a different process than B that is dirtier, but produces more steel for each unit of iron input, so if C stopped producing altogether and all their inputs went to B, B would not be able to output the same volume (say, only 40% as much). A can scale up with demand.

    Exporter C is a net payer, which makes their product more expensive to their overseas buyers than both A and B. Exporter A is PGST-neutral, and exporter B is subsidised by C for the moment.

    C should cease operating under those conditions soon enough, so we can set them aside and allocate their iron input to B, who then produces 40% more steel than before. The other half of C's old production must be filled by A. Both A and B are PGST-neutral now, having no competitors.

    Let's assume that in the absence of PGST, aluminium and steel have the same value, and all three exporters have equal sales.

    Before, total emissions per three units exported were 100 + 0 + 50 = 150. With the PGST, 40% of C's exports go to B, for zero cost, and the other 60% go to A. Total emissions are now 160 + 0 + 0 = 160. Total exports and prices are unchanged.

    Written out, my vague sense of unease looks extremely complicated and unlikely. It doesn't seem completely out of the question either, however. The category-based refund does the lifting.

    I'd actually see the definition of industry categories as being the greatest difficulty with my demonstration proposal.

    This was my next question. The hypothetical doesn't happen if aluminium and steel are in the same category, which pushes for quite broad categories. On the other hand, the price modulation aspect seems to fall apart if the categories aren't reasonably specific. There's an incentive to try to game them either way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

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