Posts by Matthew Smith

  • Hard News: Community standards,

    Politically this feels to me like David Cameron is trying to rebuild his conservatism cred after the marriage equality vote. "Sure I pushed through marriage equality but LOOK! I'm still a conservative. I'm cracking down on porn! What conservative doesn't hate porn!"

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Hard News: An Easter whip-round,

    Done. Happy to chip in.

    Why do we tolerate farts? Because otherwise we wouldn't have fart humour (the best kind) :)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • OnPoint: The Source,

    Yes, I suppose they would have backups. Most departments backup between weekly and nightly so the possible threat is pretty temporary I guess (assuming the backup wasn't also accessible).

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • OnPoint: The Source,

    Keith, there's been a lot of talk about how the security vulnerability allowed access to all of MSD's files. Could you (or anyone else) have deleted all of MSD's files?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Dotcom spying: Crown…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Hmmmmm. And I wonder whether one can be acting in good faith if one actually commits a crime. The precedent on that point must be interesting.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Dotcom spying: Crown…,

    Graeme, wouldn't the spooks be protected from criminal prosecution by s86 of the State Sector Act, so long as they genuinely believed what they were doing was legal?

    No ...employee shall be personally liable for ... any liability for any act... done in good faith in pursuance or intended pursuance of the functions or powers of the department or of the chief executive.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: A matter of conscience,

    The point is that a huge majority of New Zealanders (say 90%) might oppose Steven Joyce’s (or, say, Winston Peters’s) return to Parliament, but if the party is determined, and a small proportion of voters is willing, they will be returned to Parliament anyway, and will stand a good chance of being part of the Government. So much for Government by consent.

    Tim, under MMP (and most electoral systems aside from STV), we don't get to vote against anyone, only for someone. So if 90% of the electrorate don't want John Key to enter Parliament, they'll balance that preference against how much they like National/other parties.Voters have proven they have split preferences.

    A good example is how National won ~49% of the vote (I don't have the exact figures to hand) while polls regularly put opposition to asset sales at between 60 and 75%.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: MMP Review #2: Dual Candidacy,

    I was convinced that we need to keep dual-candidacy because of the effect on competition for electorates if we don't.

    Parties won't risk their smart, articulate capabale candidates to electorate seat races that may see them excluded from Parliament altogether. This would lead to marginal seats not being contested (or being contested less effectively with candidates parties could afford to lose) and reduce voters electoral options. The standard of electorate MPs would fall as sitting MPs don't have so much competition.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • Hard News: Radio NZ: Sailing on in…,

    Am I alone in drifting off Morning Report since he has been replaced by Simon Mercep?

    Maybe. While I will agree that Simon Mercep's style is a bit meek, I much prefer him to Sean Plunket at the end of his stay on MR. In my opinion, Plunket crossed well over the line of an assertive interviewer holding interviewees to account, and became openly partisan and took clear sides on political issues, usually backing the right wing side of any issue. On numnerous occasions someone who had a reasonable explanation for a situation would simply not be given the space to get it out around Plunket's constant interruptions.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

  • OnPoint: Nick Smith. Spanking. Now.,

    Gareth, you're right. At a high enough carbon price, forests will cover even a heavy CP2 target. However, they're not going to solve the problem for us in the long-term.

    If the carbon price isn't high enough, those forests all get harvested. If that happens the credits we received for them were more of a loan than anything else. Any credits today are going to have to be paid back at the point of harvest.

    If the carbon price is high enough to make keeping the forests permanently, sufficiently lucrative, that will lock up a lot of land in permanent forest, and then sooner or later we'll run out of land. Also, at some point those forests will grow to their potential and stop sequestering more carbon.

    A more important factor for forestry, is stability in the carbon price. If land owners can't be assured that the carbon price is still going to be high in 30 years time, they're not going to risk locking up their land in the ETS. At the moment there isn't nearly enough assurance of future carbon prices for them to do that.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 11 posts Report

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