September 28 in history

28/09/2010

On September 28:

48 BC  Pompey the Great was assassinated on the orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt after landing in Egypt.

351 Battle of Mursa Major: the Roman Emperor Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius.

365  Roman usurper Procopius bribed two legions passing by Constantinople, and proclaims himself Roman emperor.

Procopius siliqua - RIC 013e.jpg

551: Confucious, the Chinese philosopher was born.

935  Saint Wenceslas was murdered by his brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia.

995  Members of Slavník’s dynasty – Spytimír, Pobraslav, Pořej and Čáslav – were murdered by Boleslaus’s son, Boleslaus II the Pious.

 

1066  William the Conqueror invaded England: the Norman Conquest began.

1106 The Battle of Tinchebrai – Henry I of England defeated his brother, Robert Curthose.

Tinchebray.jpg

1238 Muslim Valencia surrendered to the besieging King James I of Aragon the Conqueror.

 

1322  Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor defeated Frederick I of Austria in the Battle of Mühldorf.

Schlacht bei Mühldorf3.jpg

1448  Christian I was crowned king of Denmark.

1542  Navigator João Rodrigues Cabrilho of Portugal arrived at what is now San Diego, California.

 

1571:Italian artist  Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born.

1708  Peter the Great defeated the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya.

 
 
Battle of Lesnaya by Jean-Marc Nattier, 1717

1779  American Revolution: Samuel Huntington was elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding John Jay.

1781  American forces backed by a French fleet began the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, during the American Revolutionary War.

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis.jpg

1787  The newly completed United States Constitution was voted on by the U.S. Congress to be sent to the state legislatures for approval.

 
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

1791  France became the first European country to emancipate its Jewish population.

1836 Thomas Crapper, English inventor, was born (d. 1910).

1844 Robert Stout, Premier of New Zealand and Chief Justice, was born.

Birth of Robert Stout, Premier and Chief Justice

1844  Oscar I of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.

1864  The International Workingmen’s Association was founded in London.

 

1868  Battle of Alcolea caused Queen Isabella II of Spain to flee to France.

1889  The first General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) defined the length of a meter as the distance between two lines on a standard bar of an alloy of platinum with ten percent iridium, measured at the melting point of ice.

1891  Club Atletico Peñarol was founded under the name of Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club.

Home colours
Away colours

1899 Premier R.J. (‘King Dick’) Seddon asked Parliament to approve an offer to the British government of a contingent of mounted rifles to fight in Transvaal.

NZ answers Empire's call to arms in South Africa

1901 US television host Ed Sullivan was born (d1974).

 

1916  Peter Finch, English-born Australian actor,was born (d1977).

1928  The U.K. Parliament passed the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis.

1928  Sir Alexander Fleming noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.

1934 French model and actress Brigtte Bardot was born.

1939 – Warsaw surrendered to Nazi Germany.

1944  Soviet Army troops liberated Klooga concentration camp in Estonia.

 

1946 English singer Helen Shapiro was born

1958  France ratified a new Constitution of France

1961 A military coup in Damascus effectively ended the United Arab Republic, the union between Egypt and Syria.

1962  The Paddington tram depot fire destroyed 65 trams in Brisbane.

 

1971  The British government passed the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 banning the medicinal use of cannabis.

1973  The ITT Building in New York City was bombed in protest at ITT’s alleged involvement in the September 11 coup d’état in Chile.

ITT Corporation.svg

1975  The Spaghetti House siege, in which nine people were taken hostage, took place in London.

1987  The beginning of the Palestinian civil disobedience uprising, “The First Intifada” against the Israeli occupation.

First intifada.jpg

1994  The car ferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people.

 

1995  Bob Denard and a group of mercenaries took the islands of Comoros in a coup.

2000  Al-Aqsa Intifada: Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

אריאל שרון

2008  SpaceX launched the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.

Falcon 1 rocket.

2009 The military junta leading Guinea, headed by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, sexually assaulted, killed and wounded protesters during a protest rally in the Stade du 28 Septembre.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Permanent disaster law better than legislation on the hoof

27/09/2010

Radio NZ reports the government is considering permanent legislation to deal with natural disasters.

While the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act has been criticised for overriding existing laws, Civil Defence Minister John Carter says it’s already proving its worth.

And Mr Carter says the Government is considering whether new legislation is needed to deal with disasters, rather than having to rush through emergency laws, as has happened after the earthquake.

The Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act was passed without dissent but has attracted a lot of criticism since then because of its all encompassing nature and the power it gives to the Minister.

Legislation made with public input and careful consideration will almost always be better than that made on the hoof.


Word of the day

27/09/2010

Soligenous – produced by the sun.


Let them eat pomegranates

27/09/2010

It would be tempting to enjoy watching Labour explain the logic of taking 15% off the price of pomegranates while leaving it on frozen peas.

It could be fun listening to the party try to explain how a 15% reduction in the price of out-of-season asparagus will help the poor without giving a bigger benefit to the rich.

It might be amusing it to see them attempt to justify removing GST from pineapple and pawpaw but not from milk or meat, bread or fish.

And I could laugh laugh when people start asking what’s the benefit of a policy which increases compliance costs, sabotages the simplicity of our GST system and does nothing at all to address the real problems facing individuals and the economy.

Except this is serious. Reducing GST on fresh fruit of vegetables is a shameless con and shows labour has no grand economic plan.

Good tax is an oxymoron but simple taxes are better and our GST has been simple from the start. Phil Goff knows this because he was one of those who helped the 1984-87 Labour government develop it and sell it.

The arguments for keeping it simple which made sense then still make sense today.

It’s not just that tinkering by making minor exemptions increases costs which are not matched by significant savings. It’s that as Kiwiblog points out, it’s the start of a slippery slope.

If GST comes off raw peas, why not frozen peas which may be more nutirious? If it comes off some food, why not health and education goods and services? Once you start, where do you stop?

This is a high cost low value excuse for policy which, as Bill English explains, won’t help anyone much and help the poor least:

Labour’s unfunded policy to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables would deliver only $1 a week for the average Kiwi – and much less for low income earners, Finance Minister Bill English says.

 The estimated $250 million cost of the new policy would have to be paid for by extra borrowing, pushing up already fast-rising public debt.

 “However it’s good to see Labour confirming they would leave GST at 15 per cent on all other goods and services – they now realise that the vast majority of Kiwis will be better off from the Government’s income tax-GST switch,” Mr English says.

 “But their politically desperate move to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables would needlessly complicate the tax system, increase compliance costs and create all sorts of perverse anomalies.

 The $250 million annual cost of the move, divided among all New Zealanders, is worth, on average, just over $1 a week – less for low income earners and more for high income earners.

 “This puts the Government’s tax switch, which will leave the average income earner $15 a week better off, into perspective,” Mr English says. “It’s also worth noting that fruit and vegetable prices have actually fallen by 11 per cent since National took office, having jumped 54 per cent under Labour.”

 The Tax Working Group last year concluded that removing GST from food would make almost no difference to the distribution of tax across income levels, but would lose 20 per cent of GST revenue. This would have to be made up by increasing other taxes.

 “Labour’s policy makes no sense and smacks of political desperation,” Mr English says. “Phil Goff must explain to New Zealanders why he is removing GST from imported, out-of-season raspberries and asparagus, but not from New Zealand frozen peas, which are a nutritious part of many Kiwi meals.

 “People would be able to buy GST-free potatoes, take them home and make deep-fried chips. But at the same time, healthy foods like Weetbix, low-fat milk and wholegrain bread would be subject to GST.

 “Setting those boundaries will introduce considerable administrative and compliance costs for Government and retailers, legal uncertainty, and opportunities to game the system.

 “The experience from other countries with these sorts of policies is of protracted legal disputes and hundreds of pages of rules to determine where exactly the boundaries lie.

 “Labour needs to answer these kinds of questions – and explain how it would pay for this muddled policy,” Mr English says.

 The party might also want to explain how complicating the tax system will lead to the economic growth which is what will benefit all New Zealanders most.


Monday’s quiz

27/09/2010

1. Name five of the 12 members of OPEC.

2. In which of the arts would you find a cambré, an entrechat and a relevé?

3. Who said: If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” ?

4. It’s primavera in Spanish and Italian, printemps in French and aroaromahana  or   kōanga  in Maori, what is it in English?

5. What’s Bill English’s middle name?


Progressives won’t factor in next parliament

27/09/2010

The report on the latest political poll says, as most do assumes that the Progressive Party will hold a seat in the next parliament.

Unless Jim Anderton loses his bid to be mayor of Christchurch and then reneges on his promise to resign from parliament at the end of this parliamentary term, there won’t be a Progressive Party after the next election.

It hasn’t been a real party for years, it’s just a one man vanity vehicle and when he goes it will go too.


Customers’ bargain farmers’ bad news

27/09/2010

Whole rump, aged for tenderness, the blurb on the vacuum pack said.

It was selling for just $62.49 or just $10.99 a kilo. That was cheaper than the mince beside it in the chiller.

I hope the supermarket was selling the meat as a loss leader, accepting a far lower price than it paid for it to encourage shoppers to buy more.

If not that bargain for customers is very bad news for farmers.


September 27 in history

27/09/2010

On September 27:

489   Odoacer attacked Theodoric at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again.

1331  The Battle of Płowce between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order was fought.

1422  The Teutonic Knights signed the Treaty of Melno with the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

 

1540  The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) received its charter from Pope Paul III.

 

1590   Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

Urban VII.jpg

1605  The armies of Sweden were defeated by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Battle of Kircholm.

 
Battle of Kircholm

1669   The Venetians surrender the fortress of Candia to the Ottomans, ending the 21-year long Siege of Candia.

Candia III.jpg

1821  Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

1822 Jean-François Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta stone.

"A large, dark grey-coloured slab of stone with text that uses Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic and Greek script in three separate horizontal registers" 

1825  The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened, and begins operation of the world’s first service of locomotive-hauled passenger trains.

 

 

1854  The steamship SS Arctic sank with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1903  Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.

Old97Wreck.jpg

1905  The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein‘s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².

1908  The first production of the Ford Model T car was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

Successor to the Model T; Ford Model A used for giving tourist rides at Greenfield Village

1916  Iyasu was deposed as ruler of Ethiopia in a palace coup in favor of his aunt Zauditu.

 

 

1922  King Constantine I of Greece abdicated his throne in favor of his eldest son, King George II.

 

1930  Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship to complete the Grand Slam of gol -the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.

BobbyJonesAge14.jpg

1937  Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

 

1938  Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth launched in Glasgow.

RMS Queen Elizabeth tug.jpg

1940  World War II: The Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.

E-tripartite-pact.jpg

1941 The SS Patrick Henry was launched becoming the first of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

 

1941 – Foundation of EAM (National Liberation Front) in Greece.

 

1942  Last day of the September Matanikau action on Guadalcanal as United States Marine Corps barely escaped after being surrounded by Japanese forces.

 1942 – Alvin Stardust, English singer, was born.

1943 Randy Bachman, Canadian musician, was born.

 

1944 The Kassel Mission resulted in the largest loss by a USAAF group on any mission in World War II.

 

1947 Meat Loaf, ( Michael Lee Aday)American singer, was born.

1948 Michele Dotrice, English actress, was born.

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.jpg

1949  The first Plenary Session of the National People’s Congress approved the design of the Flag of the People’s Republic of China.

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1953 Greg Ham, Australian musician and songwriter (Men at Work), was born.

1954  The nationwide debut of Tonight! (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

1956  USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2.

Captain Mel Apt in Bell X-2 1956.jpg
 

1958 Socttish author Irvine Welsh was born.

1959  Nearly 5000 people died on the main Japanese island of Honshū as the result of a typhoon.

1964  The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

 

1964  The British TSR-2 aircraft XR219 made its maiden flight from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

 

1968 – The stage musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

Hairposter.jpg
 

1972 Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, was born.

 

1974 William Sutch was charged with spying.

William Sutch charged with spying

1977  The 300 metre tall CKVR-TV transmission tower in Barrie, Ontario, was hit by a light aircraft in a fog, causing it to collapse. All aboard the aircraft were killed.

1983  Richard Stallman announced the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system.

Logo

1986  Clifford Lee Burton of Metallica died in tour bus accident.

1988 The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi was founded.

1993  The Sukhumi massacre  in Abkhazia.

1995  The Government of the United States unveiled the first of its redesigned bank notes with the $100 bill featuring a larger portrait of Benjamin Franklin slightly off-centre.

 

1996  In Afghanistan, the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul after driving out President Burhanuddin Rabbani and executing former leader Mohammad Najibullah.

1996 – The Julie N. tanker skip crashed into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine spilling thousands of gallons of oil.

 

1998  Google was founded.

Google Logo

2003  Smart 1 satellite was launched.

2008 CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Spot the difference

26/09/2010

Guyon Espiner interviewed Finance Minister Bill English and Labour’s finance spokesman David Cunliffe on Q&A this morning.

The former had a plan for long term economic growth which will enable the social gains that depend on it.

The latter played with words when confronted with the duplicity in Labour’s tax payer-funded pamphlet on GST; all but admitted that the party’s going to campaign on removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables and fudged when asked how that would be paid for.

The increase in GST from 12.5% (which was increased by Labour from the 10% rate when that party introduced it) to 15% will add about 1/17 of a cent to the price of a carrot.

Exempting GST from fresh fruit and vegetables will increase compliance costs, put a large hole in the crown accounts and make very little difference to people’s food bills.

It’s a really stupid idea which will do little to help individuals and nothing at all to help the economy.


Word of the day

26/09/2010

Funambulist – tight-rope walker.


No need to worry if nothing to hide

26/09/2010

Rodney Hide reckons MPs are nervous about their pasts.

There’d be nothing to worry about if they had nothing to hide.

That doesn’t mean they have to have blameless pasts, it does mean they should be upfront about anything which might have a bearing on their work as MPs.

David Garrett’s experience should be instructive. It wasn’t the identity of a dead infant to get a false passport, despicable as that was, which was his undoing.

It was the hypocrisy of having done that and kept it hidden when he had such a hard line stance on crime.


VSM will enable student associations to prove their worth

26/09/2010

The news that a select committee has recommended that student associations be voluntary has not surprisingly been greeted with dismay by association members.

“They have not listened to the voice of students. Overwhelmingly, students did not want it,” Otago Polytechnic Students Association (OPSA) Meegan Cloughley said.

Otago University Students Association (OUSA) Harriet Geoghegan said for the opposition to changes “to be ignored is quite astounding”. . .

. . .  New Zealand University Students’ Association co-president David Do said evidence in Australia and New Zealand showed the Bill would destroy student representation and welfare provision, and put student-owned services such as Student Job Search at risk.

Student life, events such as Orientation, clubs, and sports would be at risk, and institutions and Government would face extra new costs, he said.

The student association I know most about is OUSA which does provide a lot of services for its members. It’s also one of the most financially sound and among its assets is the UBS, one of the country’s best bookshops.

If that or any other assets OUSA owns and services it provides are under threat from voluntary membership the association needs to ask if it really give students the benefits, and value for money, it says it does.

If students overwhelmingly don’t want voluntary membership it should bring little change because they’ll all sign up anyway. If they don’t, the associations will have to earn the support which they now get through compulsion.

Instead of seeing VSM as a threat to their viability, student associations should regard it as an opportunity to prove their worth.


September 26 in history

26/09/2010

On September 26:

46 BC  Julius Caesar dedicated a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus.

 

 

715  Ragenfrid defeated Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne.

1212  Golden Bull of Sicily was certified as an hereditary royal title in Bohemia for the Přemyslid dynasty.

 

1580  Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1687  The Parthenon in Athens was partially destroyed by an explosion caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by Morosini.

 

168  7 The city council of Amsterdam voted to support William of Orange‘s invasion of England.

1783  The first battle of Shays’ Rebellion began.

 

1810  A new Act of Succession was adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates and Jean Baptiste Bernadotte becomes heir to the Swedish throne.

1820  Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proved tomatoes weren’t poisonous by eating several on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey.

 

1865 The Natives Rights Act declared Maori British citizens.

Native Rights Act declares Maori British subjects

1872  The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) was established in New York City.

 

1888  US poet & playwright T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot was born.

1898 Composer George Gershwin was born.

1907 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward proclaimed New Zealand a dominion. Parliament Bildings were lit up in celebration.

Joseph Ward proclaims dominion status

 1907  Newfoundland  became a dominion within the British Empire.

1907 English art historian & Soviet spy Anthony Blunt was born.

1918  World War I: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the bloodiest single battle in American history, began.

 

1932 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born.

1934  Steamship RMS Queen Mary was launched.

 

1936 South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born.

1945 English singer Bryan Ferry was born.

1947 US country singer Lynn Anderson was born.

1948 English-born Australian singer Olivia Newton John was born.

1949 US novelist Jane Smiley was born.

1949 English crime writer Minette Walters was born.

MWalters1.jpg  

1950  United Nations troops recaptured Seoul from the North Koreans.

1954  Japanese rail ferry Toya Maru sank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait, killing 1,172.

 

1960 The first televised debate took place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

1962  The Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed.

Flag Coat of arms
1964 English singer Nicki French was born.
 

1970  The Laguna Fire started in San Diego County, burning 175,425 acres (710 km²).

1973  Concorde made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time.

1981 US tennis player Serena Williams was born.
 
Serena Williams at the 2008 WTA Tour Championships2.jpg

1983  Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averted a likely worldwide nuclear war by correctly identifying a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike.

1997  A Garuda Indonesia Airbus A-300 crashed near Medan, Indonesia, airport, killing 234.

1997  An earthquake struck  Umbria and the Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse.

2000  Anti-globalization protests in Prague (some 20,000 protesters) turned violent during the IMF and World Bank summits.

2000  The MS Express Samina sank off Paros in the Agean sea killing 80 passengers.

2002  The overcrowded Senegalese ferry MV Joola capsised off the coast of Gambia killing more than 1,000.

 

2008  Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy became the  first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.

2009 Typhoon Ketsana (2009) hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, causing 700 fatalities.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


Another Clark for Labour

25/09/2010

Selwyn College warden David Clark has been selected as Labour’s candidate for Dunedin North.

He has previously worked as a Treasury analyst and as an adviser to Labour list MP David Parker, also of Dunedin.

 Big News points out that four of the candidates who contested the seat at the last election will be in parliament after the recess:  Pete Hodgson (Labour), Michael Woodhouse (National), Metiria Turei (Greens) and Hilary Calvert (Act).

Clark has been seleted because Hodgson is retiring, Dunedin North is bright red so the new candidate’s chances of becoming the next MP are high.

 Given Act’s performance, Calvert’s seat in parliament is more precarious.


Word of the day

25/09/2010

Agelast – someone who never laughs, a mirthless person.

How sad is that?


Sometimes you’ve gotta laugh

25/09/2010

Switzerland’s finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz  got the giggles when trying to read the bureaucratic language in his script.

Hat Tip: TV3.


Dome Hills deserves your vote

25/09/2010

Dome Hills is nestled into the foothills at the western end of the Kakanui Mountains which border North and Central Otago.

It’s a high country station running sheep and cattle and it also offers high quality accommodation in its lodge.

Cindy Douglas and her husband David, who is the third generation of his family to farm Dome Hills, offer guests a unique high country experience with magnificent scenery, fresh air and the opportunity to explore the rivers and hills on foot, mountain bike or horseback, and be part of a working station.

The stunning scenery is surpassed only by the warmth of the hospitality and Dome Hills is a worthy nominee for the Corporate Events Guide People’s Choice Award which honour New Zealand companies that excel in their field.

You can vote for it here.

You can also read more about Dome Hills in New Zealand House and Garden and the NZ Herald.


Wool wins WOW

25/09/2010

This year’s wonderful World of Wearable Arts has proved yet again that Merino is a winner:

A pair of Indian designers wooed by Wellington’s world-class costume extravaganza have taken the top award at the Montana World of WearableArt.

First-time entrants Yogesh Chaudhary and Manas Barve won the Montana Supreme Award, the American Express Open Section and $30,000 worth of prizes at last night’s awards ceremony for their innovative garment Loops.

Made entirely of merino wool felt, Loops was created with laser-cutting and seamless knitting – no thread or glue was used in its construction. Its interlaced panels cover the model’s whole body.

WOW is a spectacular celebration of creativity and this year’s winner is a wonderful illustration of the versatility of merino.

It’s not the first time wool has won the top award. In 2007 Rattle Your Dags by  Paula Coulthard & Ursula Dixon won the main prize.


Increase in women MPs slowed under MMP

25/09/2010

MMP was supposed to help women enter parliament but has it?

Scrubone has a graph which shows the increase in the number of women MPs has slowed since MMP was introduced:

Pre the 1980s, clearly there was an upward trend for many years followed by some stagnation. But after 1978, numbers of women MPs shot up from 5% to 22%.

After the first MMP election however, something strange happened. The improvement has been much slower. Slower than the pre-MMP, and vastly slower than the 80′s and early 90′s trend. So things are getting better, but slowly – that’s point 1.

Now, think about this. Those big gains were made when all MPs were electorate MPs.

Scrubone also found that not only had the increase in the number of women MPs slowed, it was even slower for electorates.

There’s another, very obvious conclusion that can be taken from exactly the same data. MMP has meant that parties don’t need to take seriously the idea of equality anymore. Why bother to get a wide range of candidates in seats when you can just promote them in the list? That to me is a should be listed as a negative.

So is MMP really better for women’s representation in parliament? I see a reduction in the rate of increase that could hardly be more clear, plus a change in behaviour in that women are pushed from electorates into the list.

Is that really progress?

He’s got graphs to show that too . He worked on percentages so this trend has nothing to do with there being fewer electorate seats since MMP was introduced.

MMP has made electorates bigger geographically which makes them more difficult to serve and much harder to balance work and family responsibilities. That could put women off standing, but women MPs hold  some of the biggest electorates.

Rahui Katene is MP for Te Tai Tonga (161,443 square kilometres), Tariana Turia is MP for Te Tai Hauauru (35,825 sq kms), Jacqui Dean holds Waitaki (34,888 sq km),  Anne Tolley holds East Coast (13,649),  Nanaia Mahuta holds Hauraki-Waikato ( 12,580 sq kms),  Louise Upston holds Taupo (9,101 sq kms), Amy Adams is MP for Selwyn (7,854 sq kms) and Jo Goodhew is MP for Rangitata (6,826 sq kms).

Something which may partly explain why more women are on lists than in electorates is  that only three parties, National, Labour and the Maori Party, hold electorate seats so all Act and Green MPs are list MPs.

But that doesn’t explain why the increase in the number of women in parliament has slowed under MMP.

The may be other factors other than the electoral system which have impacted on the number of women MPs since 1996. But MMP was supposed to make parliament more representative and it hasn’t lived up to that promise when it comes to gender balance.


Delay daylight saving

25/09/2010

My campaign to delay the start of daylight saving has a Facebook Group.

On it I say:

Extending daylight saving so it starts in September and ends in April was a mistake.

We’ve just had the spring solstice which means there’s only 12 hours between sunrise and sunset. Putting the clocks forward to move sunset from 6ish to 7ish in the evening means sunrise moves from 6ish to 7ish in the morning.

It’s too late to do anything this year – but if there was enough support it could be changed from next year.

If the change to daylight saving was delayed until mid to late October there’d be 14 hours between sunrise and sunset. We’d get more light at both ends of the day and it should be warm enough to be outside.

The Royal Astronomical Society has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

LINZ has sunrise and sunset times for  Auckland, Bluff, Dunedin, East Cape, Gisborne & Lyttelton.


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