Fair’s not fair with MMP

November 18, 2011

Proponents of MMP like to say it’s the fairest system because every vote counts.

The results contradict that.

National supporters whose votes allowed Peter Dunne into three successive Labour-led governments show that under MMP your vote can count for the opposite of what you intend.

People who voted for New Zealand First to get a Labour-led government in 1996 would be equally unhappy and the greater lack of unfairness is that MMP can allow the leader of a minor party to determine the government.

David Farrar points out in his Herald column that Winston Peters could get to choose the next Prime Minister.:

 If NZ First makes five per cent, then there is a reasonable chance Peters will hold the balance of power. His caucus will defer to him absolutely. . .

. . . if he holds the balance of power in 2011, make no mistake he will choose Phil Goff over John Key, and there will be a Government that can only pass a law if it can get the Greens, Winston, Hone, and the Maori Party to all agree to it.

The parliament might reflect how people some vote but I doubt that many would call the outcome for government fair.

He has not pledged to allow the largest party to govern. He has merely said they should be able to first try and form a Government. That may mean he’ll talk to them for ten minutes before he picks up the phone and makes Phil Goff Prime Minister.

Many New Zealanders, unaware of how MMP works in practice, will be shocked. They’ll say how can the guy who leads his party to a massive defeat, getting (for example) 6% less support than they got when thrown out in 2008, end up Prime Minister?

But this is a design feature of MMP, not a defect. MMP will more often than not require minor parties to decide after the election who will be Prime Minister. Sometimes their preferences will be known before the election, sometimes they will not be.

John Key and National have been up-front about coalition partners and have categorically ruled out Peters. Phil Goff and Labour have ruled out Hone Harawira and Mana but are saying maybe to Peters and New Zealand First.

Peters in his usual Humpty Dumpty manner has said something that will mean whatever he wishes it to should he be in a position to use the election results to his advantage.

What’s fairer, stating your intentions so voters are clear what they’re voting for before the election or waiting to do covert deals afterwards and leaving voters to find their votes have counted for something they don’t want?

What’s fairer, a system which gives power to the people or hands it to an individual?

MMP is perfect for demagogues such as Peters. He selects who will be on his party list, and they become MPs based on his personal popularity, despite the fact 99% of New Zealanders could not tell you who the top six candidates on his list are. Their loyalty is purely to him, not to the New Zealand public.

What’s fairer, a system that gives more power to parties or better representation for people?

MMP gives far too much power to parties, which in the case of more than one of the wee ones means the leader. That leaves people will poorer representation and that weakness is exacerbated by the geographical size of the electorates.

I wrote about that in a column for the ODT’s Paddock talk on Monday.

P.S. Motella illustrates the horror of what could happen next week.


Shining light on human achievement

March 26, 2011

Let the luddites light their candles for Earth Hour.

The aim of treading lightly on the earth is a worthy one but I’d rather shine a light on human achievement.

I won’t go as far as Lucia Maria at NZ Conservative  who calls it turn on all the lights night.

I’d rather follow Motella in celebrating human achievement  . Although like Poneke, who reminds us that North Korea has “Earth Hour” all night every night, I will neither be using more or less power than I normally do.

I’ll simply be grateful for the many leaps of science and imagination which bring light and other improvements to our world.

Without them I wouldn’t have been able to read Will Type for Food where Tim T writes he isn’t submitting this poem  to the Earth Hour poems’ page:

The light is off I cannot see
The thingo where I write my verse
The whatsit I just stumbled on
That made me curse. . . 

Tim has more poems for earth hour, the first of which starts: And the second which beings

I think that I shall never see
After that tragic and avoidable incident during during Earth Hour . . .  

Did you see the one about . .

December 12, 2010

I am a receptionist –  The Bullet on life on the other side of the hotel check-in counter.

Bad parenting not lack of money is harming poor kids – Liberty Scott shows poverty is no excuse for children’s failure.

Avoiding the quarter life crisis: parents guide your children well – Peter Kerr on the importance of choosing school subjects carefully.

You swearing at me? Quote Unquote talks dirty.

The Ninth Floor –  Stoatspring on adjusting to ordinary life after work in the PM’s office.

3.6% of Kiwis have paid a bribe in the last year – Stephen Franks takes a serious look at Transparency International’s GLobal Corruption Barometer Survey.

Corrupt? Hell yeah!  – Imperator fish takes a lighter look at the same survey.

The Year in review According to Google – Motella looks back with the help of Google & YouTube.

Wahine Toa – Roarprawn celebrates four Maori women in Cabinet.


Just wondering . . .

June 6, 2010

. . . why motels and hotels which make such an effort to encourage guests to be green by re-using towels and not having their rooms cleaned waste paper and ink and create more rubbish by draping their loos with sashes telling us they’ve been cleaned?

P.S. if you’re wondering why so many accommodation providers now preach the green message so stridently, Motella tells us environmental criteria are now accounted for in Qualmark ratings.


Dogged by the black dog

June 1, 2010

“Can I ask you about the plight of Whaleoil?”  Jim Mora asked me on our discussion on the internet on Critical Mass today.

I’d been mulling over a post about him since reading Cactus Kate’s plea to Save The Whale in response to the Herald on Sunday story in response to this post by Whaleoil and comments from his wife on Gotcha.

I came across Whaleoil on the internet when I first started blogging and treated it with caution. I admired some of the posts, especially those which broke news which influenced the mainstream media. I was moved by the way he was so open about his struggle with depression but found other posts offensive.

Since then I’ve met him a couple of times. The first was at a National Party conference last year and the second, very briefly at another conference last weekend. The next day I read the HOS story and found Cactus’s post about it when I got home late that evening.

Several pennies dropped – clinical depression explains the contrasts between the intelligent and reasoned posts and the vitriolic ones.

Those who know him well have written on this. I don’t know enough to add anything on him, but I do know a bit about depression and other mental illness.

Most of us understand physical illness and have sympathy for those who are unwell.

Mental illness is different.

Those who’ve never experienced or been exposed to it find it difficult to understand and there’s often a feeling that people just need to pull themselves together.

Anyone who has been dogged by the black dog themselves, or had to cope with it in family and friends will tell you it’s not that simple and often that it’s not just the illness which is problematic, the treatment can be too.

Medication can help some people. In others it doesn’t and may cause side effects which can be as difficult to deal with as the problems it was supposed to treat. Working your way through the mental health system can be a nightmare and finding a mental health professional who can make a positive difference is another challenge.

I know stories, which aren’t mine to tell, of people’s battles with depression. From them I have some appreciation of  how difficult it is even for those who have loving and caring family and friends to support them; the frustration which even intelligent, articulate, positive  and assertive professionals who are used to dealing with complex problems in their work face in trying to help family or friends who are depressed  and how the system which ought to help so often doesn’t.

I hope Whaleoil and his family find the help they need and wish them the strength and love to tame the black dog and send it packing.

Related posts:

Keeping Stock on Helping a Fellow Blogger.

Roarprawn on Whales Tale  and Saving the Whale.

Kiwiblog on Cactus on Whale

Stepehn Franks on Whaleoil and Insurance.

Motella on Whale Wars.


Mistress of Mistressology mis-steps

May 16, 2010

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Busted Blonde at Roarprawn but her blog posts, and some whispers on the grapevine, have earned my respect.

The woman who claims to have a trademark on the term mistressology obviously doesn’t know her reputation or she wouldn’t have been silly enough to get her knickers twisted about BBs use of the term on a post giving advice to mistresses.

The one who claims to be a mistress of mistressology has mis-stepped by picking a fight with the wrong woman.

BB is not the sort to head to port when the sea gets rough and she’s got to the nub of the matter, if you Google search mistressology  it leads to Roarprawn and the not the other woman’s website.

In an act of bloggers’ solidarity I’m joining Whaleoil, Cactus Kate and No Minister who have carried the story and by doing so increased links to Roarprawn which will put her up the Google rankings more.

UPDATE: Motella has joined the campagin too.

Update 2: so has Inquiring Mind 

And look what a google search now turns up:

Search Results

  1. Cactus Kate: Mistressology (ck)

    The first rule of Mistressology Kala really is to choose your target well. You don’t pick on women who when they are alerted to your existence will chew
    asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2010/…/mistressology-ck.html19 hours ago

    Mistressology Trademark Fail | Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Gotcha!

  2. 15 May 2010 Probably about now some stupid pommy cow called Ms. Kala Elliot will be wishing she had just STFU. She has tried to bully Busted Blonde
    whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/2010/05/…/mistressology-trademark-fail/21 hours ago

    Mistress of Mistressology mis-steps « Homepaddock

  3. 16 May 2010 The woman who claims to have a trademark on the term mistressology obviously doesn’t know her reputation or she wouldn’t have been silly
    homepaddock.wordpress.com/2010/…/mistress-of-mistressology/6 hours ago

    roarprawn: MISTRESSOLOGY

  4. 6 Apr 2010 Final rule of mistressology – it will end in tears sooner or later – relationships on any level based on betrayal and lies are always doomed
    roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/04/mistressology.htmlCached
  5. roarprawn: ROARPRAWN ACCUSED OF PIRACY

    We called the post Mistressology. Like as in the study of Mistresses I am the author of the forthcoming book entitled Mistressology and am requesting
    roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/05/roarprawn-accused-of-piracy.htmlCached

 

  • No Minister: Mistressology claimed as trademark

    15 May 2010 My name is Ms. Kala Elliott and I am the owner of the Trademark ‘Mistressology‘. The application was made last year on my behalf by my UK
    nominister.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology-claimed-as-trademark.html
  • Mistressology « The Inquiring Mind

    16 May 2010 Mistressology. May 16, 2010. tags: Cactus Kate, Mistressology, No Minister, Roarprawn, Whaleoil. by adamsmith1922
    adamsmith.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/mistressology/1 hour ago

    “Motella” – News, Views and Politics of New Zealand’s Motel

  • 15 May 2010 Busted Blonde is now being cyber-stalked from the UK by a Ms. Kala Elliot that claims to have ownership of the Trademark term Mistressology
    motella.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology.html7 hours ago

    “Motella” – News, Views and Politics of New Zealand’s Motel

  • 15 May 2010 After only 4-minutes of us publishing a blog post on Mistressology, we note that we have appeared on page one of Google using the search
    motella.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology-part-2.html8 hours ago

    Gotcha! | Politics | Humour | Information | News | Opinion | Debate

  • UPDATE 3: Oswald Bastable is supporting BB too.

    Did you see the one about . . .

    November 4, 2009

    Probing the depths of snow – Daniel Collins at Sicblogs has some stunning photos from Temple Basin.

    Didn’t we learn from 1989 – Liberty Scott

    When inanimate objects attack – Opinionated Mummy profiles some perfectly rages.

    Motel greenwash – Motella doesn’t want a sermon when he stays away.

    Mary Wollstonecraft wept – In A Strange Land adds to my contention that the fashion industry is inherently misogynist.

    One of these is not the same – Macdoctor sees signs of sense from a health boss.

    The Church of Jones – Roarprawn spots another cult.

    October public polls – Kiwiblog paints a pretty picture for those of us who like blue.

    Another pet lamb bites the dust – RivettingKateTaylor on life and death and pet shows.

    And I like cows because . . . ummm  Kismet Farm has one of those days.

    A heavyweight conundrum – Frendmy compares Australia’s roads with ours.


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