Away and home

November 7, 2011

I left home this morning to go to a funeral in Alexandra and went straight to Rotary’s meeting on the referendum when I got back.

This is my first opportunity to check comments. I don’t have time to respond properly but I did enjoy the discussion, thanks.

Word of the day

November 7, 2011

Incohate – not yet completed or fully developed;  in an initial or early stage; just begun; ; imperfectly formed or developed; formless; rudimentary; incipient; incoherent;  not organised; lacking order.

Scoring on the blokeometer

November 7, 2011

The Dominion Post asked John Key and Phil Goff 11 questions to see where they fit on the blokeometer.

The questions were:

1. What would you do if the hotel laundry lost your underwear and you have none clean?

2. Have you ever thrown a punch?

3. Who drives, who reads the map?

4. Have you ever done a yard glass?

5. What song do you sing in the bath?

6. Have you ever shot a living creature?

7. What’s your best wilderness SAS survival tip?

8. What’s your best barbeque recipe secret?

9. Can you change a tyre?

10. Do you tell your wife you hate her hair cut?

11. Tui or Otago Pinot Noir?

Passing quickly over what the answers to these questions say about being a bloke and that given it’s a blokeometer such a test isn’t meant for me, my answers are:

1. I’ve never sent underwear to a laundry. I usually wash it myself as I travel and always have plenty to spare.

2. Not that I can remember (though my brothers might remember differently).

3. My farmer and I share both driving and map reading. I claim superior navigation skills to his though he would debate that.

4. No. See # 11.

5. I can’t remember when I last had a bath nor do ever singing in it. I sometimes sing in the shower, though don’t have a particular song.

7. Stay warm and if you’re lost stay put.

8. From Argentina where their wood-fired parillas  will out do any of our gas barbeques – slow cook meat over embers and turn it only once.

9. Yes. When I was learning to drive I got my father to teach me how to change a tyre and I’ve had to do it several times. The tricky part is undoing tightly screwed bolts but I’ve found jumping (gently) on the end of the wrench usually works.

10. Substituting husband for wife, no.

11. Pinot Noir. I’ve yet to develop a taste for beer and have never had more than a sip. I blame it on picking hops when I was in England but I didn’t like beer before that either.


November 7, 2011

MMP campaigner Philip Temple has found 20 writers who support that electoral system:

As support continues to grow for keeping MMP in the referendum on November 26, a group of top New Zealand writers have added their voice to the campaign.

Author Philip Temple, a spokesperson for the Keep MMP Campaign, says “It is brilliant that so many of our best known and loved authors have been willing to support the campaign to keep MMP. . .”

Twenty writers, 21 if you count Temple too, support MMP – so?

They are entitled to their view and to campaign in support of it but 21 writers supporting MMP is no more than a media opportunity, whether or not they’re best known and loved.

It probably wouldn’t be hard to find 21 people in any other occupation group across the country who support that electoral system nor to find a group of 21 who don’t.

They might not be so well known as the writers but being well known doesn’t make their opinions on the electoral system any more valid than those of people who aren’t public names or faces.

MMP, like all the alternative systems from which we’ll be able to choose in the referendum, is not perfect. There are valid arguments for and against it and the other four – First Past the Post, Preferential Vote,  Single Transferable Vote and Supplementary Member.

Finding 21 people who happen to do the same thing in support of or against one of them doesn’t make it any better or worse and is neither an argument for or against supporting a particular option.

Voters should be considering how each system works and which is more likely to give them the sort of government they want, not whether or not a system has a fan club of people from this occupation group or that.

I will be voting for change because MMP’s shortcomings outweigh its advantages for me and “celebrity” endorsement of that system isn’t going to make it any better.

Opinion and fact

November 7, 2011

Quote of the day:

One is entitled to one’s opinion but not one’s own facts.” – Richard Walls (from the obituary in the ODT’s print edition).

Green launch fails politics 101

November 7, 2011

A campaign launch should profile the party, its policies, it leader/s and caucus.

The Green Party launch failed this because the MC forgot she was there to facilitate and became the “star”.

Mind you it might have been a deliberate ploy to distract us from the Green policies. If they get too much attention people will realise that the Greens out-red Labour.

If those two are in government together there will be higher taxes, more debt, less growth, fewer jobs and contrary to the Green Party slogan we’ll have a poorer New Zealand.

Labour gives farmers yet another reason to vote National

November 7, 2011

Labour’s high country, agricultural and water policies gave farmers plenty of reasons to vote National.

Federated Farmers water spokesman  Ian Mackenzie, called them a hat trick of ill-conceived policies and he was right.

And now they’ve added a fourth – they’re going to start taxing animal emissions through the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2013.

Labour’s environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says it is wrong that agriculture has been excluded from the Emissions Trading Scheme.

He admits it won’t be a popular policy with farmers, but says it is time the sector bore some of the costs of the ETS.

Just like they mistakenly think we don’t pay tax, they obviously don’t think we use power or fuel, both of which are subject to ETS surcharges.

What we don’t pay is a tax on animal emissions because there is very little, if anything, which we can do to lower them.

Farmers are paying for research into ways in which animal emissions could be reduced. But until this research results in practical and affordable ways for us to stop animals burping and farting any ETS charges are just another tax which will add to our costs without doing any good.

National has confirmed that it will not commit to bringing animal emissions into the ETS until our trading partners do it too.

It won’t be imposing the tens of thousands of dollars on each farm that Labour is through its capital gains tax, ACC levies, increase in the minimum wage and other added costs its 1970s employment policies will impose either.

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