Posts by Daniel

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I'm no expert on EVEL laws, but reading wikipedia, it appears the current situation is more akin to giving English MPs a veto over English laws, i.e. 'English-only' laws need to have a majority of MPs from England, as well as a majority of the entire house.

    'Non-English' laws in this context apply to any matters not devolved to the regional parliaments - Scotland has the greatest degree of devolution, Wales and NI less so - and beyond Brexit there are still a number of issues that apply nationwide (see 'Reserved and Excepted Matters') including constitutional matters, defence, monetary policy, energy policy, immigration, industrial relations, and many others.

    In any case, it's a bit of a moot point, as Northern Ireland MPs being excluded from votes would actually make the Conservatives' job easier. The Cons have a solid majority of seats in England (296/532, 56%), England+Wales (304/572, 53%), England+Scotland (309/591, 52%), and a bare majority in England+Scotland+Wales (317/631, 50%) - these figures account for a Conservative speaker, by convention a non-voting position.

    The real risk seems to be from Tory MPs defecting, whether on an issue-by-issue basis, or wholesale ship-jumping, as BenWilson and Rob Stowell allude to above.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Election 2014: the no…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Definition from an online dictionary:

    Counterfactual: expressing what has not happened but could, would, or might under differing conditions

    It's just a "what might have been" scenario, without a threshold, and all else being equal.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Where You From?,

    Having lived in the same house in Auckland for the first 20 years of my life, until I moved to Canada 18 months ago, the question of where "home" is never really occurred to me. The first time I really even thought about this was last week, when I signed a guestbook as being from Victoria, BC.

    I still don't think it's home yet though.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address: Technical Profile,

    Ooh, ooh, do me! Opera mini, on a Nokia 5130 (Nokia OS/ISA I assume?) from Canada?

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A solution in search of…,

    I'm an Aucklander currently in Vancouver, and it's interesting looking at the differences in approach to the Olympics vs. the RWC.
    The entertainment venues are simple, and functional: big marquees, stage, beer, portaloos outside. Some of the venues are open stages set up on sports fields/parks. Lots of downtown streets have been closed, with food stalls and entertainment, and people spilling out of the bars and restaurants.
    They built a train to the airport, increased bus services, after big events they've got volunteers counting passengers into the skytrain stations so the platform isn't dangerously crowded. One of the best things is the copious volunteers standing on street corners ready to help out with anything.
    Admittedly it's a bigger event, in a bigger city, with more smaller events. But Auckland could do worse than to emulate some of their preparations. The most interesting thing is how little Olympic preparation seemed to be in place just a week or two before the opening ceremony, because most of it is temporary. It doesn't take a lot of time or disruption to close a street and wheel some carts into place.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: Cry me a river,

    I think a rehabilitated Waihorotiu would be excellent, winding out across Queens Wharf, terminating in a little wetland.

    But on a broader scale, I have been thinking for some time that what we need is some kind of forum where ideas like this can be put forth and aggregated - examples of how other cities have dealt with similar issues as Auckland has. I'm off to Vancouver soon, have friends who have recently moved to places like Melbourne, and was down in Wellington a few weeks ago, and was thinking about how the approaches taken in those places could be applied to Auckland.

    That said, I don't know for certain that such a place doesn't already exist - Joel Cayford is doing some interesting stuff (I especially liked the pictures of Wellington on his blog) - and I'm actually a bio student, so this sort of stuff isn't really my forté.

    Melbourne • Since Jul 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply