25% yes 75% no to MMP

October 27, 2008

TV1’s phone and text poll asked: should MMP be retained?

25% voted yes and 75% voted no.

Around 16,500 people took part.

Clark & Key the winners

October 27, 2008

The winners of tonight’s leaders’ debate were John Key and Helen Clark who very sensibly declined to take part with the wee parties’ leaders.

It was difficult enough for everyone to say much with six of them, another two would have added nothing positive.

Rodney Hide was on-message, clear and realistic – he accepts that John Key doesn’t want Roger Douglas in his cabinet.

Peter Dunne fence sat as he often does, but was also quite firm on a few points – including lower taxes.

Tariana Turia knows what she believes in, I’m not sure if she knows how to get it though. I’m relieved she thinks they can get all the post-election hui over in a week so we won’t be hanging on indefinitely if the Maori Party holds the balance of power.

Every time Jeanette Fitzsimons mentions getting out of cars and on to bikes or buses I wonder how she can live in the country without realising that public transport is almost non-existant outside cities and it’s usually too far to wherever we’re going to cycle.

But she was firm about not wanting to work with Winston Peters, and the highlight was the look on his face as she said this – he looked as if he was about to throw up.

Update: Roarprawn was impressed with Tariana but says the wee parties can’t hold country to ransom.

Fairfacts Media at No Minister is underwhelmed.

The Hive gives her verdict and still thinks Peters is ill.

There was another bloke in a red tie there but he’s part of Labour so doesn’t count.

No show strategy

October 27, 2008

Audrey Young  wonders if Winston Peters’ no-shows are deliberate:

He has been a no-show for a leaders’ forum run by The Press, for Radio New Zealand’s debate on Our Place in the World and for the Sky interview Campaign 08 last week.

Perhaps he thinks that he stands a better chance of being elected if people don’t hear from him.

Poor always hit hardest

October 27, 2008

Tariana Turia has just said most Maori families are used to being poor so won’t notice much difference if the economy gets worse.

The poor may be accustomed to doing more with less but they are always hardest hit in hard times because they have less to start with and nothing to fall back on.

Are the blue and red ties a coincidence?

October 27, 2008

The TV 1 debate between the leaders of the wee parties has just started.

Peter Dunne is wearing a blue tie, Winston Peters’ tie is red with a blue stripe – is that a coincidence or are they sending a subliminal satorial message?

Update: Maybe Peters should have worn a green tie because Jeanette Fitzsimons has just said she’d find it difficult to work with him.

Se puede leer mi blog en español

October 27, 2008

Se puede leer mi blog en español –  you can read my blog in Spanish.

I made this discovery when I noticed six visitors had been referred from translate.google.com.mx/translate?hl=… and followed the link to find not just the post but the sub heading (una perspectiva rural con un tinte azul), coments and even the name of one of the commenters translated – Farmer Baby Boomer had become agricultor bebé Boomer.  

My Spanish is a bit rusty but it seems to be a thorough translation with good grammar and not just a word by word attempt which doesn’t make sense which can be a problem with electronic translations.

It’s not the first time something I’ve written has been translated into Spanish on the internet. While work avoiding one day I came across an extract from a piece I’d written for North and South in 1991 on the death of a baby on a Spanish website for bereaved parents.

People more accustomed to the possibilities of technolgy than I am may take this for granted, but I’m amazed by the way something written in one language can be so reaidily availabe to readers in another.

Can we trust this trust?

October 27, 2008

Within a very short time of Wintson Peters announcing that the Susan Couch Victims of Crime Trust had been given $80,000 by New Zealand First several blogs had the story behind the story.

Today the story entered the mainstream media and Emily Watt wrote:

A trust set up to receive half the misspent $158,000 that NZ First was ordered to repay was not registered till three months after Winston Peters announced he had donated the money to charity, documents reveal.

The Dominion Post revealed on Saturday that NZ First paid $78,000 to a charity set up in the name of Susan Couch, the sole survivor of the 2001 RSA murders.

Ms Couch has said she has no idea how much money was paid into the trust, and Mr Peters has said she had not yet received any of the money, as it remains in the trust’s bank account.

Mr Peters’ so-called “blood-brother” and lawyer Bryan Henry, his solicitor Dennis Gates, and Mr Henry’s colleague Brian Coburn have full control over how the money is spent, including the ability to pay themselves all reasonable expenses.

Mr Henry is also acting for Ms Couch, winning a landmark Supreme Court ruling allowing her to sue the Corrections Department. He has said he is working for free.

So: the trust wasn’t established until three months after Peters said the party had made the donations; Peters’ lawyer who is also Miss Couch’s lawyer is a trustee and Miss Couch hasn’t received a cent from the trust.

Can we trust this trust and can we take Peters’ word about where the rest of the money went?

Even if we can it doesn’t absolve New Zealand First from its responsibility to repay the money it owes the tax payer.

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