Who said this?

January 8th, 2008 at 9:25 am by David Farrar

A reader has sent me a speech made by an MP who voted for the Electoral Finance Act. His speech was on 12 Nov 2003, and he seems to have forgotten it – some extracts:

In other words, we live under a system that amounts to a Labour dictatorship and MMP has made little difference to that.Democracy is too important to be left to the politicians. We say it is far better to rely on the commonsense of ordinary people to make decisions on the important issues facing New Zealand. Why? Because politicians simply cannot be relied on to do the right thing and to act in accordance with the wishes of the majority. They have forgotten that they should be the trusted servants of the people. They must face the consequences of their memory loss.

We desperately need checks and balances and a system that makes politicians accountable. We simply have to trust the people and to rely on their good will and commonsense. In a democracy people have the right to govern themselves and take matters into their own hands when their MPs fail them. When people elect a government to safeguard their society, their security, culture, their liberty and their future, their elected representatives must listen to them. Democracy is lost when that elected government and its officials fail to hear the voices of the people. It is then that ordinary people have a moral duty to rise up and restore democracy themselves.

Amazing how forgetful you get after a few baubles.

Boxing Day General Discussion

December 26th, 2007 at 10:17 am by David Farrar

A new version of the Little Drummer Boy

December 26th, 2007 at 10:15 am by David Farrar

A funny pisstake of Hooters set to the music of the Little Drummer Boy.

And below for those who like the original, is a very young David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing it.

General Debate Christmas Eve 2007

December 24th, 2007 at 4:43 pm by David Farrar

Dom Post on Consequences

December 24th, 2007 at 9:51 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial is on consequences.  One segment I’ll repeat:

Perhaps those with the most to ponder in relation to unintended consequences, however, are Prime Minister Helen Clark, chief of staff Heather Simpson and anyone else responsible for the Electoral Finance Act. It comes into effect in eight days’ time and will curtail the rights of those wanting to spend their own money in election year trying to gain a particular outcome, be it the return of a Labour-led Government or its ousting.

None of its architects could have expected the unholy row their intransigence has created; Labour goes into 2008 uncomfortably far behind in opinion polls. If Miss Clark cannot turn that around, Labour’s downfall will be at least partly down to her inability to tolerate dissent.

General Debate 18 December 2007

December 18th, 2007 at 1:02 pm by David Farrar

And on the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me an Electoral Finance Act.

Reminder: nominations close 1 pm for Kiwiblog Awards

December 17th, 2007 at 10:20 am by David Farrar

You can still nominate people in the following categories:

  1. MP of the Year
  2. Labour MP of the Year
  3. National MP of the Year
  4. “Minor” Party MP of the Year
  5. Press Gallery Journalist of the Year
  6. Public Servant of the Year

You don’t need to nominate in all categories. Also feel free to state why, if you want to.

At around 1 pm I’ll select the finalists and launch a poll starting 2 pm today and finishing 24 hours later on 2 pm Tuesday.

All nominations are for “positive” awards, so treat them in that spirit.

Previous nominations are here.

General Debate 14 December 2007

December 14th, 2007 at 4:05 pm by David Farrar

Deans is the Wallaby Coach ….

ACT Party Leader resigns

December 14th, 2007 at 2:43 pm by David Farrar

Leader resigns from strife-torn ACT party is the newspaper headline. The Deputy Leader has taken over unopposed.

General Debate 11 December 2007

December 11th, 2007 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

Will the House rise this week?

General Debate 10 December 2007

December 10th, 2007 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

2007 Trans-Tasman MP Ratings

December 9th, 2007 at 10:10 am by David Farrar

Trans-Tasman has published its rankings for MPs in 2007.

As with last year, I like to analyse data so have put all the ratings into a spreadsheet and here are the average ratings for each party (2+ MPs), with the change from last year:

ACT            4.3        nc
Green         4.1         +0.2
Labour       4.0         -0.3
Maori         4.4         -0.8
National     4.7         nc
NZ First    4.1          -0.4
United       5.0         +0.5

So Labour MPs rated worst on average, with United Future best, followed by National. Interestingly in 2005 both National and Labour averaged 4.5.  In the last two years Labour has dropped to 4.0 and National increased to 4.7.

I also calculated averages for the Cabinet, the Government’s front bench (top 8), and National’s front bench (top 8):

Cabinet             5.1
Labour FB        6.3
National FB      7.2

Top Scores

Helen Clark       8.5
John Key            8.0
Bill English        8.0
Phil Goff            8.0

Bottom Scores

David Benson-Pope      0
Taito Philip Field           0
Gordon Copeland          0.5
Ashraf Choudary            1.0
George Hawkins            1.0
Dave Heroera                1.0
Mahara Okeroa             1.0
Judith Tizard                1.0
Nandor Tancoz            1.0
Brian Connell                1.0

Largest Increases

Paula Bennett         +2.0
Phil Heatley            +2.0
Charles Chauvel      +2.0

Largest Decreases

David Benson-Pope    -4.0
Gordon Copeland        -4.0
Mark Burton                -2.5
Tim Barnett                 -2.5

Top Performers by Party

Act – Heather Roy 5.0
Green – Jeanette Fitzsimons 6.5, Metiria Turei 5.5
Labour – Clark 8.5, Goff 8.0, Cullen and King 7.5
Maori – Pita Sharples 6.0,
National – Key and English 8.0, Power and Collins 7.5, Brownlee and Rich 7.0
NZ First – Peters 7.5, Mark 5.5
Progressive – Anderton 5.5
United Future – Dunne 5.5

General Debate 7 December 2007

December 7th, 2007 at 11:23 am by David Farrar

So another two years for Graham Henry …

General Debate 4 December 2007

December 4th, 2007 at 12:12 pm by David Farrar

Jordan Part II

December 2nd, 2007 at 6:00 pm by David Farrar

Jordan replies to my post which replied to his post. He says he is not advocating Labour pursue the policies of the 1950s.

I of course accept he does not advocate that, but point out I think it was a reasonable interpretation to his statement:

It is a disconcerting thought that what was a “third way” fifty years ago is now seen by many as hard left

That suggested to me a belief that those third way policies of 50 years ago shouldn’t now be seen as hard left, and hence should be considered as having merit.

But just as I can wistfully refer to the policies of the late 80s, that doesn’t mean I am advocating they be adopted as policies for 2008 – so Jordan was probably meaning something similiar.

Jordan makes the case again for equality of outcome rather than just equality of opportunity.  Again, to little surprise, I disagree.  With equality of outcome as a goal, then there is no government measure which can’t be justified.  The state will take a bigger and bigger role in every aspect of our lives as people aim for more equal outcomes.

This is not to say that any government of the right or left is ever going to say “No more work to be done”.  There will always be government interventions.  But I prefer an approach where one is sceptical of the need to intervene, and one requires a high level of proof that an intervention will actually be beneficial. I see interventions as the last resort, not the first resort.

Jordan concludes:

David, I think, sees New Zealand as half way to Poland circa 1980.  I see New Zealand as somewhere just left of Thatcherism and having a long way to go before we get back to a sensible middle ground. Our unequal incomes, our stratified society, the terribly different outcomes on health and education outcomes, the extraordinarily liberal labour market, all are evidence in my favour. We will have simply to agree to disagree.

Not quite half way to Poland, but I do see other countries getting on with having a smaller state, and see us losing the advantages our reforms of the 80s and 90s gave us.

I do hope that Dr Cullen responds to Jordan’s suggestion that his policies are “just left of Thatcherism”.  Of course I would take that as a huge compliment but suspect Dr Cullen may not see the comparison so favourably!

General Debate 2 December 2007

December 2nd, 2007 at 10:22 am by David Farrar

For anything from Beckham to Booze.

General Debate 28 November 2007

November 28th, 2007 at 2:38 pm by David Farrar

The Banque in Auckland is a damn nice bar and restaurant.

General Debate 27 November 2007

November 27th, 2007 at 6:57 am by David Farrar

Insert debate here.

Criminal age of responsibility

November 27th, 2007 at 2:08 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports on how the Government is planning to increase the age of adult criminal responsibility from 17 to 18, so we come into line with other developed countries and meet UN requirements.

The Police Association have said:

Police Association president Greg O’Connor has slammed the move as “absolutely and utterly ludicrous”.

“The age at which offenders are committing serious crime is dropping, not rising,” he said.

I’m curious as to the claim that all the other countries have the age ofcriminal responsibility at 18. Now it’s only Wikipedia, but a table there says:

UK (Scotland) 8
United States 10
Australia 10
UK (England) 10
UK (Wales) 10
Canada 12
Ireland 12
France 13
Poland 13
Austria 14
Estonia 14
Germany 14
Italy 14
Japan 14
Romania 14
Finland 15
Denmark 15
Norway 15
Sweden 15
Iceland 15

Now this may be more referring to the age at which you can be prosecuted (14 in NZ) but either way it shows we are at the top end of our peers already.

General Debate 26 November 2007

November 26th, 2007 at 1:29 pm by David Farrar

So should the Police have prosecuted the 21 year old for having (consensual) sex with an 11 year old, who at 13 is now pregnant with their child?

I’m saying – absolutely.  If it was a 17 year old and a 15 year old, prosecution would be overkill.  But *no one* should be having sex with 11 year olds.

General Debate 23 November 2007

November 23rd, 2007 at 12:30 am by David Farrar


General Debate 22 November 2007

November 22nd, 2007 at 12:25 pm by David Farrar

The 2nd reading of the Electoral Finance Bill will start at around 3 pm.  I’m too busy to be there for it, but others may want to cover it.

General Debate 21 November 2007

November 21st, 2007 at 8:05 am by David Farrar

Wednesdays should be abolished.

General Debate 17 November 2007

November 17th, 2007 at 11:59 am by David Farrar

Enjoy the weekend.


November 16th, 2007 at 10:59 am by David Farrar

Condolences to John Boscawen.  Have just read at Peter Cresswell’s blog:

John Boscawen, the organiser of tomorrow’s Queen St march against the Clark Government’s assault on democracy, received news yesterday that his father has died.*

John will still be there. So should you.

The march gathers outside the Town Hall from ten o’clock, leaving to march down Queen St at ten thirty. Get down there to raise your voice against the rationing of political speech and the rorting of elections.

By coincidence, John’s father was Peter’s high school headmaster.