Posts by mccx

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Interesting is one way of putting it. But no, considering how ZeroHedge is a consistent pro-Putin/pro-Russia and pro-Trump bloviator, I don't see how that's interesting.

    Getting a bit far from the original post's topic aren't we [and by we I mean you]?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    In reality it's probably a bit of both, but you can't ignore the fact that most of the coverage of this election was not dominated by discussion of economic policy but about race and gender issues (to put it very mildly).

    I don't think that claim is anywhere near "fact" status. There was *heaps* of economic policy discussion in this election if you count the, erm, unorthodox manner in which Trump discusses economics. He consistently referred to bad trade agreements that 'send jobs overseas' and that he was a businessman who knew how to get the US better 'deals' in its economic relationships with other countries. The way Trump framed economic policy doesn't look like how the left and third-wayers talk about economic policy (redistribution, productivity, etc.), but Trump's framing appealed to the gut-instincts of rust-belt voters ("we're sending our best jobs overseas and it's the government's fault.")

    Why did Clinton lose upper midwest/rust-belt states that Obama won (and in most cases won twice)? I don't see how race explains that.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to tussock,

    They didn't block Bernie. He got in, and he lost. He was even less popular with the Democrat base, even in those swing states.

    I think you'll find that in the three states that really cost Clinton the election –Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania – Sanders won the open primaries in Wisconsin & Michigan and lost the closed primary in Pennsylvania. That would seem to indicate that he was more popular than Clinton in the places that really mattered.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to…,

    I dunno, this argument puts a lot of faith in the ability of progressive movements to make long-term electoral and structural changes might eventually get to a progressive (or at least Democratic) Congress and President.

    The Executive branch is incredibly powerful even by itself and I think there would be a substantial difference in how Sanders and Clinton would use the executive and its powers (including the Environmental Protection Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Customs and Immigration, National Labor Relations Board, not to mention the military and foreign policy, appointing federal judges, etc.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Polity: The pantheon of sporting dominance, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, NZ is very good at rugby union, but as Rich said, doesn't our success have just as much to do with the relative lack of focus other countries put on rugby?

    The All Blacks dominance is impressive, but it also makes it hard to get that excited about winning. The AB's worst win rate is against South Africa, at just over 60% I believe. Are there any other teams anywhere that don't have a losing record against at least one of their opponents? I find the Highlanders finally being champions or the Kansas City Royals winning for the first time in 30 years much more entertaining.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world, in reply to keeaa,

    You must realise that libraries in little old NZ (even the biggest ones) have absolutely no power to change these agreements with the multinational publishers.

    I agree, but you could say the same things about Pharmac, so I'm reluctant to say there's no hope for improvement.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Speaker: Market failure in the research world,

    Would it potentially reduce the cost of journal subscriptions for NZ universities (and SOEs etc.) if they negotiated or shared access as a consortium instead of as individual institutions? This might also reconcile the fact that specific resources are available at some NZ universities and not others (especially electronic resources), which has always seemed less than ideal to me.

    Do you get the sense that NZ universities encourage faculty to act in a way that furthers open availability of research they produce? I don't work in NZ's tertiary sector, but when I worked in a US university their libraries strongly encouraged faculty to retain copyright and distribution rights on their publications, including the final formatted versions that appear in academic journals. NZ's contribution to global academic output is a drop in the bucket, but it can't hurt to further open-access whenever possible.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Hard News: Decision 2014: Where to watch…, in reply to tussock,

    You just can’t randomly ring up a thousand people over and over again and keep getting incorrect answers.

    That's not what I meant. I don't mean that during the act of being polled people's minds are changed (though push polling may exist) or that the results are incorrect, I mean that the existence of opinion poll results as a news item that is seen by the public as something pre-existing and fixed will influence people's opinions (and voting behaviour.)

    And Ben, don't take my word for it – it's not my area of expertise, but it's a known thing in political science and sociology. It's variously called the "bandwagon effect" or the "performativity" of opinion polling. I could some provide academic citations/abstracts though I doubt that alone is of much use.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Hard News: Decision 2014: Where to watch…, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But like it or not the media reflected the actual voters.

    To an extent the media did reflect the public's interest, but arguing that means ignoring the difference between the public's interest and the public interest and allowing the media to avoid any responsibility for pursuing the latter.

    One media influence I find particularly worrisome is how opinion polling appears to drive voting preference as much as reflect it. The public may have treated this election campaign as a foregone conclusion or wanted to 'be on the winning side' – neither of which really sit with the consideration that is supposed to drive voting.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

  • Hard News: Why we thought what we thought, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Both National and Labour are center left parties in the world sense and certainly in comparison to anything in the US.

    I don’t know how one might make sense of the political orientation of parties globally, but among western democracies I would dispute that National would be to the left of the mid-point. And are you saying that National is left of the Democrats in the US? The US systems means there’s ideological breadth within the two parties, but I imagine that if National enacted the policies they believe in they would be well to the right of the Democrats.

    We certainly have nothing in New Zealand that would satisfy a true left wing voter.

    How do the Greens not qualify? Among other English speaking countries the only party that's arguably more left is Canada's NDP.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report

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