Political Compass

July 5, 2018

Scrubone is back and is inviting us to do the Political Compass test.

I scored:

Economic left/right 3.0

Social libertarian/authoritarian -3.79

personalised chart

Scrubone has the results from the past which showed me as 3.5 on the left/right and -.5 on the libertarian/authoritarian.

Does this mean I’m a bit closer to the centre and more liberal or that when, as many questions left me wanting to put neutral/don’t know, I went to the more liberal answer more often this time?


In-season produce cheaper

August 19, 2011

I picked up a couple of capsicums and half a dozen kiwifruit on my way round the supermarket without looking at the prices.

When I got to the checkout I found that the two capsicums cost nearly $5 each but the six kiwifruit came to just 93 cents.

The lesson from that is to buy in-season. 

Horticulture New Zealand points out  that seasonality and weather have a big impact on prices:

Horticulture NZ says . . .  an expected shortage of some vegetables due to this week’s adverse weather, highlights the seasonality of produce which determines the retail price.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says a lot of the products that are expensive now such as tomatoes, capsicums and lettuces, are not in season now so therefore they will not be cheap.

Another lesson is that I’d have gained a lot more from the removal of GST from buying the out-of-season capcicums than in-season kiwifruit.

That’s not surprising. Geoff Simmons points out there are holes in Labour’s health by stealth line.

The poorest 10 per cent of New Zealand families spend about $10 a week on fruit and vegetables. At the other end of the spectrum, the richest 10 per cent spend around $30 a week.

This means taking GST off fruit and vegetables will give the poorest just over $1 extra a week. That will barely make a dent in their food bill. Meanwhile, the richest will get just under $4.

John Pagani disputes that but Scrubone dug deeper and found

In short, there is basically no evidence that this policy will do a heck of a lot – and that’s an admission from people who really really wish it did.

The removal of GST from fresh fruit and vegetables is a feel-good policy based on emotion not fact.

It might reduce the price but not significantly for the people who need it most.


Increase in women MPs slowed under MMP

September 25, 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.


10,000 comments

September 12, 2010

The 10,000th comment on this blog was made last evening.

10,000 Comments
10,000 Approved

Thank you Scrubone for that one and thank you to all who contributed the other 9,999.

I read all of them and appreciate most of them – even many of the ones I don’t agree with.


Higher costs is the point – updated

May 27, 2010

Complaints that the ETS will impose higher costs on us seem to have missed the point – that’s what it’s supposed to do.

Imposing higher costs on activities which cause emissions is designed to provide an incentive to change behaviour which will lead to reduced emissions.

Matt Nolan at The Visible Hand in Economics puts it simply:

 Even if you don’t believe in global warming, we have a liability that is based on carbon emissions.  As a nation, either people who produce the carbon pay for it – or everyone pays for it through higher taxes.

So here in lies the question – do we want higher prices for carbon goods or lower incomes because of higher taxes?  Given that the liability is a function of the amount of carbon we produce, it follows that pricing carbon on the basis of this will lead to the “best” solution – no matter what political party you support.

If the cost of something rises, it doesn’t follow that consumers’ costs will increase by the same amount.

If the price of fuel and power go up, we have a choice about paying the increase or using less. Saving fuel and power will save money. 

Using less energy and using what we do use more efficiently makes economic and environmental sense whether or not you think the climate is changing.

UPDATE:

Scrubone gets it and Kiwiblog’s post on Matt’s post has generated lots of comments.


Political compass

May 23, 2010

Scrubone is still updating the political compass for bloggers.

I just did this test and got this result:

You are a right social moderate.
Right: 4.38, Libertarian: 0.94
 

And when I did  this test  today I got this result:

Economic Left/Right: 4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.74

 

Last year when I did the tests I got these results:

dairy 10001

pol-compass

I’m not sure if the slight difference in the results is a reflection on the reliability of the tests or a small movement in my views.


Did you see the one about . . .

October 19, 2009

Weatherston appeal reproach to Court of Appeal – Stephen Franks speaks sense on meritless appeals.

What makes good political interviewing? – Tim Watkins defends Guyon Espiner’s interview with Metiria Turei.

Why I bought a bookstore  Jeff Mayersohn at the Huffington Post reckons there’s a future for books and the stores which sell them.(Hat Tip: Beatties Book Blog).

Just – Stripy sock studio on being “just” a job description (Hat Tip: Art & My LIfe)

After the fisking charges are laid – feel the frsutration over political interference in roading changes from Opinionated Mummy.

Williamson and the theory of firm – Anit Dismal on the joint winner of the Nobel Prize for economics.

Fun Police # 2 Don’t let them eat cake – Liberty Scott on the birthday cake blues.

Not exactly deaf – Macdoctor says 6%  hearing loss is barely noticeable.

VUWSA’s VSM violations Scrubone guest posts at M&M on voluntary student membership machinations.

The poor are not helpless victims – Hernado de Soto – Not PC has found a hero.

Is this the worst hotel in the world? – Motella shows where not to stay.


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