Word of the day

November 30, 2011

Braw – grand, super; fine or fine looking; dressed in a splendid manner or gaudy fashion.


Many measures of diversity

November 30, 2011

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is unhappy about the first decline in the number of women MPs since MMP was introduced and is blaming National.

National having only three female MPs in the top 20 shows a lack of commitment to gender representation.

“No country or Parliament is better off if women are blocked from political leadership,” Ms Delahunty said.

No-one’s blocking anyone and it’s got nothing to do with National’s commitment to gender representation.

National has a lot of electorate MPs which reduces the number of places available on the list, many are long serving, including those selected before MMP was introduced.

Among those with relatively new MPs are the three big central South Island electorates Waitaki, Rangitata and Selwyn, which might be regarded by some as conservative. All are represented by National women, – Jacqui Dean, Jo Goodhew and Amy Adams respectively. So is Waimakariri which Kate Wilkinson won on Saturday and Nicky Wagner is waiting for specials to see if she can take Christchurch Central which finished with a draw on election night.

There haven’t been many opportunities for new candidates in the last two elections but it is probable that a good number of the older MPs will retire this term or next which will provide openings for new entrants.

Anyone, man or woman, who wants to be a National MP should start working towards selection now if they haven’t already done so. That means taking an active role in the party and building up membership.

National is the only party which allows members to choose their candidate providing an electorate has sufficient members to do so.Candidates who’ve proven themselves as active members will have a better chance of winning selections.

Gaining selection with the support of members is far better than hoping you’ll get a winnable list place through tokenism.

Kiwiblog has a chart showing the demographics  of the new parliament, illustrating gender isn’t the only measure of diversity.

What he doesn’t show though is what the MPs did before entering parliament nor how many got a pay rise and how many took a cut.

That’s another measure of diversity in which I suspect National would do very well.


14/20

November 30, 2011

14/20 in the ultimate Scottish quiz which earned me a: Not bad, you ken your stuff but if you give it one more try you may just come out as clan chief.

Had I got a couple more I’d have got a: Congratulations! You really are a chieftain o’ the quizzin’ race.

Can I have a bonus for understanding what ken meant and recognising the misquotation in chieftain o’ the quizzin’ race.)


iPredict predicts Nats to lose a seat

November 30, 2011

iPredict was a reliable indicator of election results and its now predicting that National could lose an MP after special votes are counted.

That will make it a bit more difficult to pass legislation and increase the need for support from the Maori Party.

Other predictions are:

*     Labour favoured for 2014 election, with National’s party vote forecast to fall

*     Parker favoured for Labour Leader and new 2014 PM stocks launched

*     Act, Maori Party and  United Future leaders, and Bridges and Tremain, expected to be Ministers outside Cabinet

*     Adams, Foss and Guy expected to be promoted to Cabinet

*     English safe in Finance and Collins set to take Justice

*     Brownlee’s hold on Economic Development and Energy & Resources less certain

*     Tolley and Coleman to lose Education and Immigration

*     Commerce up for grabs

iPredict’s stocks on the new Cabinet suggest that a 20-member Cabinet would consist (in order of probability) of:

      1.    Gerry Brownlee (100%)

      2.    John Key (99%)

      3.    Bill English (99%)

      4.    Steven Joyce (98%)

      5.    Tony Ryall (98%)

      6.    Christopher Finlayson (98%)

      7.    Paula Bennett (98%)

      8.    Judith Collins(98%)

      9.    Hekia Parata (98%)

      10.   Anne Tolley (98%)

      11.   Murray McCully (96%)

      12.   Tim Groser (96%)

      13.   Jonathan Coleman (95%)

      14.   Nick Smith (95%)

      15.   Amy Adams (93%)

      16.   Craig Foss (93%)

      17.   Kate Wilkinson (93%)

      18.   Nathan Guy (89%)

      19.   Phil Heatley (89%)

      20.   David Carter (89%)

*     Ministers Outside Cabinet are expected to be (in order of probability):

      1.    Peter Dunne (92%)

      2.    Tariana Turia (91%)

      3.    Pita Sharples (90%)

      4.    John Banks (74%)

      5.    Simon Bridges (66%)

      6.    Chris Tremain (66%)

 Someone with a better grasp of predictions markets than me might be able to explain why the PM and deputy aren’t absolute certainties for staying in cabinet.

I have no inside knowledge on who might or might not stay as or become a minister but I’d put the chances of all those in iPredict’s 20 who were ministers in the 2008-11 government at or near 100% too.

That doesn’t leave much room for promotions but stability was one of the words used often in campaigning so I’m not expecting much change.

One commentator (sorry, can’t find the link) wrote of the possibility of three whips and some under-secretaries which would be one way to promote more MPs without making cabinet bigger.


Free to vote – or not

November 30, 2011

The low turn out for the election has prompted inevitable calls to make voting compulsory.

That would be an expensive waste of time and energy that would be better spent elsewhere.

I can think of a great deal many other useful ways to spend public money than on detecting and prosecuting people who don’t think or care enough to participate in the political process in this small but important way.

The apathy and ignorance here contrasts starkly to the lengths people go to in order to vote in other countries.

Early on Monday, queues formed outside polling stations in Cairo before the official opening time of 08:00 (06:00 GMT).

A high turnout was reported in many areas, and in places queues were said to have stretched up to 3km (two miles).

It is disturbing that people on the other side of the world are so keen to vote when many here simply couldn’t be bothered.

But that is no argument for compulsion. If we’re really free to vote we must also be free to not.


Scotland The Brave

November 30, 2011

It’s St Andrew’s Day.

Probably best known as the patron saint of Scotland, his patronage also covers of Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Diocese of Parañaque, Philippines, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Diocese of Victoria, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, golfers and performers.

You can find 10 more facts about him here

In recognition of my tartan genes and in memory of my father who would have been 99 a couple of weeks ago, here’s Scotland the Brave:

P.S. While searching YouTube for a clip to post I came across this one of the Black Watch march past in Dundee, which was Dad’s home town, and on another clip this comment:

There’s an old scottish saying…

We’ll play the bagpipes until the english love ‘em!

P.P.S. It’s also Andrei’s name day.


24/25

November 30, 2011

Definitely a political tragic – 24/25 in the NZ Herald’s how many new MPs can you name quiz.


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