Posts Tagged ‘NZ First’

NZ left-wing govt elected…or not

November 22, 2008

Grrrr – the desire to let vent with a righteous “I told you so” is incredible about now. The Chief Electoral Office has just released the final NZ 2008 election results, and the National-Act-Dunne government stands.

Total MPs are:

  • National 58, Act 5, United 1
  • Maori 5
  • Labour 43, Anderton 1, Greens 9

News and opinions are up at NZ Herald and Stuff (both based on a NZ Press Association article, which incorrectly equates a 0.32% party vote gain for the Greens as 70,000 party votes – it is actually a rise of 22,991 votes), and National party activist blog Kiwiblog (who notes how close Labour came to pinching another MP off National).

Update: The Greens now have their views up on the final result.

But it should have been close, and wasn’t. Why?

Because the arrogant left-wing parties that used to form the government refused to even consider the desperate need to remove the 5% threshold gerrymander (it was raised informally with them regularly over the last 5 years). Without any threshold (and with no rounding up of partial MPs), a Labour-Anderton-Greens-Maori-NZFirst government was possible. It would even have been able to be formed if we took the ‘natural’ 0.83% threshold (equating to earning 1 list MP) and rounded. Sigh.

No-threshold results (meaning no discarded votes) would have been:

  • National 53, Act 4, United 1
  • Maori 5
  • Labour 40, Anderton 1, Greens 8, NZ First 4

giving a total of 116 with a majority of 58 (including speaker) to Labour-Greens-NZFirst (the lower total seats is despite the 2 overhang seats of the Maori Party, and is caused by rounding all parties partial MPs down – they have to earn the full MP to get them).

Taking the ‘natural’ 0.83% threshold and rounding up or down partial MPs would have given:

  • National 55, Act 4, United 1
  • Maori 5
  • Labour 42, Anderton 1, Greens 8, NZ First 5

giving a total of 122 MPs with majority (including speaker) of 61 to Labour.

Of course, that assumes people would still have voted the same way, which they almost certainly would not have if they knew the threshold was changed or not there at all. One assumes voters would be less inclined to tick the ‘media stunt’ Bill & Ben Party, and that voters would be more likely to vote for minor parties like Family Party, Kiwi Party, NZ Pacific Party as they had a more realistic chance of getting the roughly 12,500 or 17,000 votes (depending on whether you round or not) required to EARN a list MP.

An interesting sidepoint is that with a 0.83% threshold  – or better still with none – the annoying “win 1 electorate and get all your party vote, even if under 5%” rule would be unnecessary, simplifying the rules nicely.

Incidentally, all other variations of threshold and ’rounding vs truncation’ would give a National-led government, sometimes with 1 MP each to the (supposedly) Christian fundamentalist Kiwi Party and to the Bill & Ben Party. But if people want those parties to represent their views in Parliament, so be it – that’s democracy. What is not democracy is the stupid Labour-Greens MPs and party workers sitting on their hands complacently, wondering why they are now in opposition for the next 3 years! And the NZ public have had 153,461 of their votes ignored…

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Filthy, scumbag cops sham taser approval

August 28, 2008

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad

NZ Police Association head Greg O'Connor

NZ Police Association head Greg O'Connor

NZ Police Commissioner Howard Broad should be sacked! After his taser trial report came out at the start of the year – just after the $8m bungled police hounding of Tuhoe activists in the terrorist Operation Eight – Broad did not want to ask for more lethal weapons, so he sat on the report.

Seeing an opportunity, Broad waited until the start of the scheduled 2008 election campaign to release the report, knowing that no political party wants to look soft on law and order in an election. And Broad tops it off with his sham ‘consultation’ with MPs, that lasts about 12 hours and just involves Broad listening to one parliamentary debate, without even waiting for MPs to give him written submissions.

Broad even says “I was not asking for the minister’s approval, I wasn’t asking for a serious piece of advice, …” How shameful is that?

And who said an unelected, unaccountable police commissioner should decide what weapons he and his chums get to use on the public? ‘By convention…’ please!!!! This deranged ‘convention’ must be changed immediately. The new Policing Bill before parliament should include specific limitation on police, so they can only use weapons specified by full parliamentary approval in law. No more back-door sham consults by a police, who want the power of kings.

Which brings us to Greg O’Connor, the ranting, frothing Police Association head, who says:

Putting the decision to Parliament was a further erosion of the convention of the commissioner’s operational independence of Parliament.

“What if Parliament had said no? What would he have done then?”

Mr O’Connor said it set a dangerous precedent if Parliament changed its mind on the Taser in the future, or if other controversial decisions would now be expected to be put to MPs.

What more can you say – ‘Rant’ O’Connor wants police to be above the law, able to choose their own weapons without oversight or approval by elected representatives of the people he wishes to inflict those weapons on. A monster.

Ironically, NZ First’s Ron Mark put it best when he said:

he was “baffled” by the commissioner’s eight months of hesitancy over what was a “no-brainer”

A no-brainer indeed! Any MP who lets cops have tasers shows no brains, any MP who lets cops decide what weapons they get has no brains, and anyone who tries to portray police as at risk (they’re not – they are well down the ACC list of hazardous professions) has no brains. It is the NZ public who are at risk from increasingly well-armed and thuggish police. Not surprising, given their union head and commissioner, is it?

Update: The Mental Health Foundation has called on the police to not introduce tasers without first properly consulting them, as mental health sufferers are far more likely to suffer from police tasering. Will Howard Broad run another 12 hour ‘consultation’?

Update 2: Oh my stars! It just gets worse. The NZ police ‘study’ they used to justify introducing tasers includes the gem that 39% of cops can’t think of any downside to tasers. Hint to mindless cops – 300 deaths in the USA from taser use!

The report said 39 per cent of officers surveyed could identify no risks or disadvantages to having a Taser available to police officers. Some thought that the Taser posed no more risk than other tactical options.

The potential risks identified were that subjects may gain control of the Taser and use it to incapacitate officers, misuse of the device, and that some officers may become over reliant on Tasers, electing to use them when firearms should be used.

And the dangers the rest of these cops identified were all about dangers to them – nothing about dangers to the public or ‘suspects’ – the people these electro-shock weapons are aimed at. Frightening. Not one cop identified any risk to the people they use 50,000 volt guns on.

Update 3: Stunning!!! Police commissioner Howard Broad doesn’t want to get tasered, even though he is happy to inflict this on every police officer who trains to use the taser, and he is happy for tasers to electro-shock any member of the public; old, young, mentally ill, unfit, heart conditions… Can anyone spell dangerous hypocrite? If Howard Broad won’t front to get tasered live on 6pm TV news, then MPs should immediately ban tasers. Only fair.

Trotter take on liberal left & immigration

April 17, 2008

An interesting post from Dominion Post columnist Chris Trotter. Fresh from a savaging at the hands of the liberal left last year, after he presumed the police had a case against those arrested in the Urewera 19 raids, Chris now challenges the liberal left to answer Peter Brown and NZ First’s implicit questions on (Asian) immigration.

This is good, bold writing from Trotter – it is nice to see he has not been cowed by some overhyped personal attacks (though he should seriously ponder his position on the Urewera 19 and the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’). That said, Chris seems to drift off the plot towards the end.

NDU secretary Laila Harre claimed that Brown’s comments were not backed by any “organised political movement” (well, she could be forgiven for thinking NZ First were not organised 😉 ) Responding, Trotter poses two questions:

“What sort of society is New Zealand becoming?” And, “Are New Zealanders ready to embrace that sort of society?”

Sadly, Chris then wallowed in a sea of despair that pakeha (European) New Zealanders may not allow minority ethnic migrants to realise their equal place in NZ, because pakeha had been so slow giving Maori such recognition. Fair point, pakeha have been tardy Maori a fair deal (and still have a way to go!), but for different reasons to their treatment of more recent migrants. Maori have rights under the Treaty of Waitangi which – if honoured – would see them own a major chunk of NZ’s natural resources, which explains (though doesn’t excuse) pakeha tardiness in recognising rights over the resources that pakeha want to control and profit from.

By contrast, the issue with newer migrants from non-Anglo or Maori ethnic groups (which was Brown’s general point) is concern over integration, financial costs of migration (older, sicker, baby-breeding migrant costs) and the general issue of whether a society should be allowed to democratically decide to remain homogenous (and hence it’s cultural identity) in some aspect.

That is, is it legitimate for pakeha and/or Maori NZ to say “we don’t want a bunch of non-Maori or non-Anglo” migrants because we think they:

  1. May not respect the historic importance of the Treaty of Waitangi
  2. May inadvertently undermine the importance of our religious and/or social views – that is, change our culture from a Judeo-Christian and Anglo rugby-mad culture
  3. May simply not make much effort to form a community (‘what can NZ give me, and if a better deal is on offer from another country, I’m off’)

Note here that some Maori may hold such concerns exactly because many pakeha migrants ticked all 3 boxes above!!!

The example of Yugoslavia is interesting – did it work? Did Tito manage to make a country of disparate ethnic & religious groups into a multi-cultural society, or were they just oil and water co-existing until the state was weak enough to be split into homogenous smaller states as now? (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro)

Trotter is right about one thing – it would behove the liberal left to answer these questons rationally and politely, rather than just rant and bully. The Green and Labour party liberal left rammed through a whole raft of social engineering laws in the last year or so against massive public disapproval, and are likely to pay a heavy price in this year’s election. The only thing that may save them is fear of the extreme liberal capitalist National party…

I await the debate over a multi-cultural society, integration vs assimilation immigration with interest.

Petty Politics – immigrants & free speech

April 3, 2008

Hehe – blogger David Farrar correctly has a go at the Asian students apparently responsible for stealing 800 copies of Auckland University student mag Craccum (which featured a Falun Gong ad the students disagreed with), then Farrar castigates NZ First (for attacking Asian immigration levels).

While I agree with Farrar – Peter Brown of NZ First was borderline racist in implying Asian migration is bad while European migration is fine – we all know this is just NZ First dogwhistling (saying something acceptable, while meaning something unacceptable if publically said) in election year.

However, Farrar does not seem to have noticed the irony in lambasting NZ First for their asian immigration views, while highlighting the very concerns that NZ First sometimes express about Asian immigration.

That is, the socially conservative NZ First has concerns that widespread migration of people from non-pakeha/Pacific background will result in a big chunk of the NZ population who do not value and respect traditional ‘Kiwi’ values, like freedom of speech (say, the freedom to run a Falun Gong ad).

While Farrar critiques NZ First’s hidden message to pakeha voters (vote for NZ First, because we won’t let in people of other cultures), he fails to notice the validity in the ‘overt’ message NZ First sent in his previous post. Namely, that there is a real concern that some migrants have little regard for liberal western values like freedom to speak, assemble, dissent, protest, etc as shown by the Craccum theft.

I suppose it is too much to expect Labour or National to properly fund migrant training in classic liberal values?