Word of the day

November 22, 2011

Pleionosis – the exageration of one’s own importance.


Bit late to tell parties to butt out or referendum debate

November 22, 2011

Pro-MMP campaigner Phillip Temple says politicians should butt out of the referendum on the electoral system.

‘When New Zealanders vote in the referendum on Saturday they need to remember that the voting system is ours, not the politicians”, Philip Temple said.

‘The politicians have already had far too much to say about which electoral system we should be voting for. To have them telling us which voting system we should choose is like asking foxes to design the hen-house.’

It’s a bit late to be saying that when it’s been public knowledge for weeks that Labour and the Green Party registered to campaign on the issue.

‘It is especially reprehensible that the anti-MMP lobby has politicised the referendum debate by using the images of politicians Winston Peters and John Key to further the lobby’s clear sectional self-interest. This reveals their contempt for the neutrality of the voting system and the views of ordinary New Zealanders.’

I’ve heard or read a very few politicians giving their personal opinion they’ll be voting for change but I haven’t come across any actively campaigning for change.

National’s position has been quite clear – it won’t take a stance on the referendum and will work with whichever system voters deliver.

Temple’s problem doesn’t seem to be politicians per se, just those supporting change and his example isn’t politicians campaigning but Vote for Change using politicians in its campaign.

One of MMP’s weaknesses is that it has, and could again, hand a disproportionate amount of power to one man and his bunch of sycophants. What’s wrong with pointing that out?


Real books, stubborness and bad manners

November 22, 2011

Discussion on Critical Mass with Jim Mora began with:

For their children, many e.book fans insist on paper;

moved on to:

Stubbornness increases the more people tell you wou’re wrong ;

and finished with:

Bad manners are in rude health.


Putting principle ahead of party

November 22, 2011

A comment Don Brash made on the wee party leaders’ debate last week didn’t get the attention it deserved.

In answer to a question on why he opposes MMP he said he was doing what he believed to be best for New Zealand rather than the interests of his party.

He’s said much the same thing again:

“I recall [former Act leader] Rodney Hide saying Act cares      more about the future of New Zealand than the future of its      own party, and I like to believe that that’s my concern also,” Dr Brash said.

Brash has been criticised, and rightly so,  for not delivering the increased poll support he predicted the party would get if he became leader. But he should get credit for putting principle ahead of the interests of his party in this case.


It’s the party vote that counts

November 22, 2011

We’ve had MMP since 1996 and still people don’t understand it’s the party vote that counts.

ODT political editor Dene Mackenzie writes:

Labour has made a near-fatal mistake by not having “party vote Labour” on many of its posters.

Having just the candidate’s name and “vote [for whomever]”  does not tell Labour voters they need to tick the Labour      candidate and the party vote boxes to help return as many of  the party’s MPs to Parliament as possible.  

That is correct but then he adds:

In the past, it would not have hurt greatly if voters in Labour-held electorates voted for the candidate and gave their party vote to the Greens to help build a possible post-election coalition.   

That has never been the case. It’s always been the party vote that counts, except in the very few electorates where one of the wee parties might win the seat and bring in other MPs without needing 5% of the vote.

If Labour had lost votes to the Greens in 2005 when the final count between it and National was so close, the left would have had the same number of votes but Labour might not have been the party with the most MPs in parliament which would have weakened its mandate to lead the government.

The ability to lead a government doesn’t come from shifting party votes around between potential coalition partners, it comes from increasing the size of the total vote gained by the major party and its potential coalition partners.

That requires wooing voters from the right towards the left and from the left towards the right not swapping votes from for instance Labour to the Greens and it’s the party vote that does that.


King Canute speaks

November 22, 2011

Goff demands Peters acts responsibly:

During TV3’s leaders debate on Monday night, Mr Goff said he expects Mr Peters to do the right and responsible thing for New Zealand if he is elected to Parliament and he trusts the former MP will do that.

Either Goff has a very faulty memory or he hasn’t learned from the past.

A responsible Peters is an oxymoron.

In expecting this leopard to change its spots, Goff is channelling King Canute and expecting to hold back the tide.

New Zealand needs strong stable government, less debt and more jobs. It doesn’t need a charlatan propped up by a following of sycophants.


Chch earthquake aid policy helping Tauranga

November 22, 2011

One of the unheralded acts by the government in the wake of last September’s earthquake was providing money to enable businesses to keep operating in the immediate aftermath.

The same thing was done after the February quake and it was instrumental in protecting jobs and reducing the number of businesses which collapsed.

It has provided a template which has been used in Tauranga after the oil spill from the Rena:

One thing that resonated with business owners in Mount Maunganui was the response from the Government in helping pay      wages. While there were still some who wanted more government handouts, most were strongly supportive of National’s actions. 

Not all contributions from politicians has been appreciated, however:

The Green Party and Labour leader Phil Goff have done themselves no favours in Mt Maunganui.   

Local retailers complained to Taking the Pulse on Saturday that both the Greens and Mr Goff keep drawing attention to  the stricken Rena which hit the Astrolabe Reef on  October 5, spilling oil. . .

Publicity from the oil spill also hurt visitor numbers; people likened it to the Gulf of Mexico spill, which wrecked both tourism and fisheries along the coast of Louisiana.   

The damage caused by the negative publicity during the election campaign is starting to worry a few. . .

But the main political issue that annoyed nearly everyone spoken to in about two hours was grandstanding – both in Mt  Maunganui and Epsom. Voters were absolutely over the side issues and complained it reminded them of when New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was in full flight. Then, they remembered that Mr Peters was again in full flight.   

There was no love lost on the Mount for Mr Peters. No particular reason could be nailed down, but the dislike was palpable.  

 Obviously people of good sense and discernment.


Diary of a political tragic

November 22, 2011

7pm: iPad and phone armed with the reactor worm, tune into TV3 leaders’ debate.

Moments later: wonder how many others are doing this – sliding reactor to 100 when preferred leader speaks and to zero when it’s the other’s turn.

More  moments later: track progress of audience worm, lukewarm reaction to John Key and positive for Phil Goff, mostly doesn’t reflect what either is saying. Wonder if audience is biased. (Later confirmed was  infiltrated by at least three Labour activists, about which TV3 is sorry but what can they expect when it was anything but a random selection of undecided voters.)

More moments later: Reactor on phone sticks on 100 when I want it at zero and zero when I want it at 100.

More moments later: decide if wasn’t a political tragic would have given up by now.

Yet more moments later: audience reacts in first obviously spontaneous reaction – worm plummets as Goff tries to justify not ruling out Winston Peters.

More moments later: All over bar the panel which declares it a draw by 2:1. Wonder if wasting an hour on this is going above and beyond call of duty, even for a political tragic.


November 22 in history

November 22, 2011

498 – Symmachus was elected Pope in the Lateran Palace, while Laurentius was elected Pope in Santa Maria Maggiore.

845 – The first King of all Brittany, Nominoe defeated the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon.

1307 – Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.

1574 – Discovery of the Juan Fernández Islands off Chile.

1635 – Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launched a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island.

1718 –  British pirate Edward Teach ( “Blackbeard“) was killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

1808  Thomas Cook, British travel entrepreneur, was born.

1812 – War of 1812: 17 Indiana Rangers were killed at the Battle of Wild Cat Creek.

1819  George Eliot, (Mary Ann Evans) British novelist, was born (d. 1880).

1830 – Charles Grey, (2nd Earl Grey), became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1837 – Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain in his essay “To the People of Upper Canada”, published in his newspaper The Constitution.

1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day.

1890 Charles de Gaulle, President of France  was born (d. 1970).

1899 Hoagy Carmichael, American composer, was born (d. 1981).

1908 – The Congress of Manastir established the Albanian alphabet.

1913 – Benjamin Britten, British composer, was born (d. 1976).

1917 Jon Cleary, Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1928 – The premier performance of Ravel’s Boléro in Paris.

1932 – Robert Vaughn, American actor, was born.

1935 – The China Clipper took off from Alameda, California for its first commercial flight, reaching its destination, Manila, a week later.

1939 General Bernard Freyburg took command  of the British Expeditionary Force.

Freyberg takes command of NZ expeditionary force

1940 –  Following the initial Italian invasion, Greek troops counterattack into Italian-occupied Albania and capture Korytsa.

1943  Billie Jean King, American tennis player, was born.

1943 – Lebanon gained independence from France.

1954 – The Humane Society of the United States was founded.

1958  Jamie Lee Curtis, American actress, was born.

1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy was killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally seriously wounded.

1963 – US Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.

1967 – UN Security Council Resolution 242 is adopted by the UN Security Council, establishing a set of the principles aimed at guiding negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.

1973 – The Italian Fascist organization Ordine Nuovo was disbanded.

1974 – The United Nations General Assembly granted the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.

1975 –  Juan Carlos was declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco.

1977 – British Airways started a regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.

1986 – Mike Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick to become youngest Heavyweight champion in boxing history.

1987 – Two Chicago television stations were hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.

1988 – The first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber was revealed.

1989 – In West Beirut, a bomb exploded near the motorcade of Lebanese President Rene Moawad, killing him.

1990 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher withdrew from the Conservative Party leadership election, confirming the end of her premiership.

1995 – Toy Story was released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.

2002 – In Nigeria, more than 100 people were killed at an attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest.

2004 – The Orange Revolution began in Ukraine, resulting from the presidential elections.

2005 – Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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