Our world is host to so many who are committed to the international freedom of movement of commodities, currencies and corporate cultures - not to mention the mechanisms for coercive enforcement of those freedoms. Yet they appear strangely reluctant to grant similar rights of movement to sentient creatures such as human beings.
It is a bizarre thing indeed that we apparently do not all enjoy equally the freedom to roam the planet onto which we are born.
Any economic or political system that depends upon the restriction of basic human mobility is neither natural nor just.
(And fluttering emblems that seek to naturalise such injustice are merely pleasantly patterned implements of war.)
Hearing Guyon Espiner badger John Key with “Is it OK?” is one of the few circumstances where that style of questioning really works.
Because it was about the only time that style of questioning was actually called for.
(Although resident intellectual Raymond A Francis seems to think it was some kind of vicious and unreasonable assault. Whatever.)
Labour failed yet again to think strategically.
Thanks Rob. It's incredible: Labour's still in FPP mode, and that's why they lose. The refusal to talk realistically about alliances in whatever form just comes across as bizarre.
"Vote positive" was meaningless because there was no positive vision of how to actually form a government. Indeed, the vision seemed to be to attack potential partners on the grandiose assumption that we're actually entitled to at least 40% of the vote.
Sophie, there didn't need to be a deal between Labour and National because Labour had already fulfilled its part of any deal, ie, competing against a potential ally and denying itself the additional seats that would come with said ally thanks to the stupid goddam threshold/coat-tailing.
That's the real villain here. The mofo threshold, together with its handmaiden in democratic crime, coat-tailing, causing ridiculous distraction and corruption of democracy.
For Nat and NZF supporters to vote actively negatively is kind of sickening, but it's really just yet more ugly spawn of these wagon-circling provisions aimed at denying small parties any traction (unless they can be useful to you) meaning MMP can never actually become what it's supposed to be.
For what it's worth, I think there's a qualitative difference between Labour voters voting National in Epsom and Nat voters voting Labour in TTT -- in that, in the former instance, the Labour voters are reacting to positive strategic voting already undertaken by the Nats, so it's kind of a game-on situation.
A better analogy would be the hypothetical of the election looking a bit closer and East Coat Bays looking like it might go to Colin Craig. How would I then feel about Labour voters voting National to avoid Craig coat-tailing in a possibly critical number of MPs. Well, I'd probably say that all's fair in love and war. But it's not good from a democracy point of view, IMHO: those Colin Craig lovers being denied their representation because of bad-faith voting based entirely in political expediency. It's just ugly.
(Of course, the example is flawed because the Nats are not Cunliffe-style idiots, and if they really needed Colin Craig's band of freaks, I'm sure they'd manage a disgruntled McCully as the price.)
So it's a bit rich for Labour fanboys to tell us that it's just bad luck for Hone and, well, we'll miss him and all, but them's the breaks kiddo, you just gotta live with it.
That may be true, but here's what Labour's just gotta live with in return: my main take-away from election night was loud and clear inside my head: Fuck Labour. Seriously, fuck 'em. Arrogant, directionless, power-hungry, cowardly losers.
And fuck the threshold. It's ruining us.
Between Greens and IM I’m undecided.
Pretty much with you on all that Ben.
However, listening to Peters' hilarious encounter with that gormless twit Espiner this morning, it did occur to me that votes for IM are pretty much going to push WP towards the Nats when it comes to King-maker time; ie, he'd be much more likely to settle ultimately for something that only includes him, Labour and Green than with Hone et al thrown in as well.
It's a bugger, because from the get-go the IM thing has entertained me greatly; I respect the two leaders, and the thrust of their policies; and I'd love to watch the absurd and inevitable disintegration as the realities of power set in.
So I'm undecided like you. And the Greens just come across as such wet tossers these days, to be frank. Never recovered from "Give me my flag back" as far as I'm concerned.
But something that was really weird: One of Laila's emails-to-the-faithful recently said something along the lines of, "Well, we're on 4% and we're really hoping to get as high as 4.5%, and we're just sure as heck that Hone's going to keep his seat." WTF? Way to drive away voters like you and me by telling us that not even the leaders expect to get 5%. Weird.
(And yeah, Labour attitudes to potential partners has been and continues to be naive, arrogant, counter-productive and just plain stupid. One thing you can say for Key -- he understands the power of political expediency, and a little pragmatism in a leader isn't an all-bad quality.)
I might have to reinstate my subscription just to have the satisfaction of cancelling it again.
(Lord, it's been nearly ten years since I ended that destructive relationship, and I've never felt better -- more confident, sure of myself, less consumed by rage and doubt....)
And comparing Hager to Assange is preposterous. Oh, they couch it nice and vaguely, but given their readership of increasingly befuddled and reactionary boomers, it seems to me like a pretty calculated slur against a member of their profession they might actually think to admire rather than slyly to defame.
Ah, so it's trying to exert influence on the political process that Slater's guilty of. Least of his crimes, I would have thought.
What an inane statement, in a equally inane editorial. The entire thing is just a sickening shrug, held together in the language of urbanity, gravitas and knowing. It's actually worse than an outright "nothing to see here": it treats Slatergate as if it were just some tv drama of vague, passing interest.
Smug detachment is the sad, corrosive pose of the ever-fearful -- but it's quite effective regardless.
But not every election will be like this one, where the centre-left’s search for voters is being aided by a pissed-off millionaire is donating money and charisma to a party/coalition avowedly targeting non-voters of more than one sort....You need a certain confluence of events for non-voting to look like a strategy.
No, you just need people who are prepared to make shit happen. It's not like a particular niche opened up in an otherwise replete political ecosystem, allowing InternetMana to sneak in. What happened was some people actually used their brains and imaginations and figured out that it's actually possible to shake shit up.
Sure, Dotcom's money and (in)fame has obviously helped, but still, he chose to do that. Other people have money and fame and influence, but it's seldom put towards political ends. Or they don't know how to connect with people. (Of course, we've yet to see whether InternetMana can actually affect voting demographics, but I'm impressed by the effort.)
Anyway, I wasn't saying that non-voting is a strategy; I was saying that it's a legitimate form of participation, and that it can be politically consequential. Surely, if you're not voting, someone should be seeking your vote. It's just a reflection of the moribund nature of our politics that it seems alarming to everyone when that actually happens.
But as a political statement, it’s a very quiet and muddy one.
So is your precious vote.
I mean, you may have weighed up all the policy statements of the parties, analysed the likely alliances, considered the polls and perfected an algorithm to help you to optimise your ability to influence the country's likelihood to move in a direction that you favour.
But the votes you cast reflect all that no more or less than your neighbour's votes reflect his conviction that "Winston keeps them honest" or whatever other inanity he might subscribe to.
That's the infuriating beauty of it. And I suspect that a lot of the pro-voting rhetoric reflects an obstinate refusal to notice that ridiculous 3-yearly bathos, where months of close attention comes down to this absurd, trifling, seemingly inconsequential little act.
When people don’t vote out of laziness or apathy, I have no problem with them being told not to complain. .... the right to abstain as a conscious decision.
Apathy is a perfectly reasonable response to an uninspiring political culture.
So it's ok if it's "a conscious decision" but not if it's just basic malaise? Again, apparently one's state of mind dictates whether or not one is a legitimate participant in society.