BIG NEWS: 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How did the Government statistician get his figures in the smacking referendum petition?

There's been a bit of misinformation around the smacking petition. I've seen news reports, blogs and media releases that have all provided incorrect figures, while correctly stating that the petition has been deemed by the Government Statistician not to have a valid 10% of signatures.

According to petitioners, they handed in 324,511 signatures on February 29, (not 324,316 as DPF noted). The sample was 1/11th - so 29,501 signatures were checked. That's a pretty high sample size meaning there is a higher margin of error.

Of those signatures checked, 25,754 were valid, meaning 3,747 were not. Of those signatories not qualified 3,373 could not be found on the electoral roll, 214 were illegible, 158 were duplicates and 2 triplicates. So 25,754 x 11 = 283,294. The number required is 285,027 so this indicates a shortfall of just 1,733 signatures, give or take errors.

However the Government’s Statistician's best estimate is just 266,903 or a shortfall of more than 18,000; nearly 17,300 greater than the 1/11th sample would indicate. The standard error is +/- 1600. He did a one sided hypothesis test at the 95% confidence level -and at the top confidence level (99%), that's 269,500. So why use the highest confidence level? How did he get his 266,903 number?

He used the estimator of Goodman and Kiranandana. No idea what that is. Can anyone tell me?

Update We have answers. Over at No Right Turn,Idiot Savant turned to google god to subvert the satanic statistics to assist me. Because there`s 160 replications, that suggests there will be a further 1600 replicates in the rest of the population at minimum, and up to a further 1,600 x 10 hidden replicates in the population as a whole. You also check the invalids (see comments for explanations of all this). So it may well not be as dodgy as Family First's Bob McCoskrie makes it out to be. Just pretty complicated.They`ll get the signatures.

Update 2After comments here, I have added in an extra sentence and shortened the post for clarity. And I see Gordon Copeland is also querying this.


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So, you`re on $60k. Income splitting for tax purposes could assist in getting you $5450 for having a child

So, you're earning $60,000, live with a partner who is not working. You have no kids. Money's tight and the Government has just passed a law allowing for income splitting for tax purposes. You`d like some more money without working additional hours.

Have a child and split your income for tax purposes. United Future is promoting a discussion document on it's income splitting policy. This document is a direct result of a commitment made in the confidence and supply agreement between Labour and United Future.

The Child Poverty Action Group, in its case for opposing income splitting notes that a household with a single earner on $60,000 can save $3,217 per year from 50/50 income splitting. However, a household on $36,000 stands to gain only $570 per year. That is, a family on just over half the income gets less than one fifth as much tax relief, and therefore this policy favours high income families and confirms to non-earning partners that if they choose to stay home to mind kids that United Future considers their economic worth is dependant on their partners income. A former cleaner whose partner is earning $60,000 will get 500% more tax relief than a stay at home accountant who whose partner earns $36,000, thus widening the gap between richer and poorer families. If one partner earnss $30.000 and the other $10,000 they`ll get nothing from income splitting.

But you`ll actually get $5450 a year extra if you are on $60,000 and have your first child. This is made up of $2236 Family Support and $3,217 that you'll save from income splitting for tax purposes, which will not be available to childless couples. However if you earn $36,000, you`ll get 72% more: $7072 in Family Support and $570 a year in income splitting.

The policy on its own favours high income families just as WFF favours low income families. And given that low income families are still struggling, even with WFF payments, an income splitting policy merely widens the gap between the rich and the poor. This is despite the fact that a tax splitting policy minimises the individual basis of our tax system and lowers marginal tax rates for higher incomes.


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Anonymous blogger no longer anonymous if you read the newspapers

One of my daily reads is this blog. It is an anonymous blog, but not because the writer is trying to hide his identity. He was outed today by a metropolitan newspaper.



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Act gets 100k donation

New Zealand developer Alan Gibbs – known for such projects as high-speed amphibian vehicles like the Aquada – today said he is delighted to donate $100,000 to the ACT Party.
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Our weekly food bill has nearly doubled since 2003 - now costs $160.00 a week!

Many will know that the price of food has gone up lately. We spent $85.00 a week in 2003 and $110.00 on a big week on food in 2006. I commented to someone during the past week how food has gone up, and estimated that our bill had jumped up to about $150.00 an average week - that's for a family of four. They didn`t believe me. But they don`t shop like we do.

So I checked. We eat healthily, have three decent meals a day and pay all or food on the credit card. And, according to the statements, since the beginning of February we have spent $1949.54 on food. That's $162 a week on average. Thats just $20 a week more than the average family spent on food five years ago. Yet our spend includes all supermarket and meat purchases, food, wine, toilet paper, pullups, cleaning and cooking products , most lunches - and the odd magazine. It also includes the food for our two kid's birthday parties, which was an extra expense. However it does not include coffee at cafes- add $10-12.00 a week - the one cafe brunch we had, or the two trips we have made to McDonald's this year. It doesn't include our monthly fish and chip nite, veges we`ve bought at roadside stalls -but then again that hasn`t happened much this year as the increased petrol price means it is not worth travelling to such stalls anymore.

We don't skimp, we have healthy meals every day - meat fruit veges etc. How do we do it? Well, that`ll be a subject of a future post, when I get time to outline it all.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Court of Appeal decision confirms Russell Brown was wrong all along, even after he breached court suppression on his blog

Public Address blogger Russell Brown will no doubt be disappointed that Barbara Bishop's sentence has been cut in half after what he described as her role in the use of "excessive and brutal force" in the beating and hogtying of her violent and abusive 17-year-old son with duct tape. The nine month sentence was cut because it was deemed to be "manifestly excessive". Bishop can apply for parole now because she has been in prison for more than seven weeks and has therefore served well over a third of her sentence. Russell's initial blog post breached court suppression orders, but he subsequently edited it heavily later that day upon my suggestion. He even deleted some of the comments, something I don`t think he`s ever done before or since. He says it was a "damn shame" he had to edit it and in some ways I agree. But that`s suppression laws for you.

Russell says people - and I`m not one - have relayed false accounts of the case. Yet his own conclusions were not up to scratch, either. He says:
I'll leave it up to people who have relayed Barbara Bishop's false accounts of the case which led to her jail sentence to consider what their own ethical response should be, now that the court has made its decision.
How did Russell know whether the relayed accounts were false or not? Answer: he didn't. He noted that Bishop believed that she did nothing wrong. I have not previously blogged on this case for reasons I won't go into now. But I did note that Russell quoted Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro who was quick to judge on what she thought Bishop's role was. But she won`t comment now as the Court of Appeal halved the sentence as Bishop's only active part in the assault was in handing the binding tape to her former husband. Hardly violence.
Her involvement as a party in the incident [she was sentenced on] beyond that act was essentially passive, providing encouragement by failing to dissuade rather than by active encouragement... It is necessary also to bear in mind that the judge accepted that she may well have been scared.
Which is exactly what Bishop told me prior to her initial trial.

What is clear is that Bishop's former husband beat and hogtied the boy for which he is serving 12 months.Kiro was silent on that. Barbara Bishop clearly had a lesser role. Russell Brown would be wise to acknowledge that he has erroneously elevated Bishop's role in the assault, in that he implied she had a substantial role in the "excessive and brutal" beating. If he has any integrity - which he has - he will note his blog appropriately that handing a person a roll of tape while being scared to do otherwise is neither excessive or brutal.
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Sunday Star Times circulation about to go up but they`re not getting any more money

Nearly 8500 fewer buyers got the SST's last year. But readership dropped 17000. I commented somewhere this week that a small reason could be because subscribers to affiliated papers such as the Dominion Post have been offering free 6 month subscriptions to the paper, and these subs expired before the end of the year.

Today I found out they are being offered again, so I`ll take it up again. Tomorrow I`ll be writing on the Barbara Bishop abuse case and why conclusions from Pubic Address's Russell Brown on the case are wrong.


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Mike Williams interview

The Herald has done a great interview with Labour Party president Mike Williams, showing just what a loser he is. The interview reveals the state of his kitchen, the spat with his wife, his recollection of Ruth Dyson's husband's "damn good idea" to rip off the system,and that silly song at the Labour Party conference. He also says he's not a "rich prick" as he only gets $25,000 as Labour President. Heh. Didn`t say that he gets $150,000 odd for all his Labour appointed directorships. Liar. Perhaps "rich prickness" kicks in at $180,000.

He called the journalist a witch. He was just being polite.

It's probably code for bitch


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Friday, April 25, 2008

not blogging today

Don't feel like it. Don't want to. Don't have to.
AHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhyeaaahhhhhhhhhhhh... FFFFFrreeeeeeeeeedddooooommmm!!!!

If you want something to read check the sidebar under media and read the latest news there. Theres about 40 news sites to choose from (so far).
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Capill out of jail soon?

Former Christian Heritage leader Graham Capill comes up for parole soon after serving a third of his sentence. Would you let him out?


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Roy Morgan Poll extends gap between National and Labour

Labour up, National up by more at the expense of the Greens. Around 10% said they wouldnt vote and 9.5% didnt know who they`d vote for. Gary Morgan says Helen Clark has no hope unless interest rates fall.

I was polled for this one. Guess who I said I`d cast my party vote for?


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Will "diddums" replace the Iwi/Kiwi billboards?

hattip Whaleoil


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Will " liar" Mike Williams be replaced?

Mike WIlliams is a liar. Okay, that's not news. I have been away and have caught up with the news that Williams has publically lied about what went on at the Labour Party conference after some delegate on Labours ruling council - who so happened to be Ruth Dyson's husband - suggested that leaflets from the department Dyson oversees be used as campaign material to subvert the Electiral Finance Act - and that Williams thought that was a " damn good idea".

Should Williams be replaced by Andrew Little, who appears to be the natural replacement? He`d be replaced if he was a cabinet minister for lying several times.

If so, Little has said that he would be able to keep his role at the EPMU should he gain the Labour Party presidency. Meaning if the EPMU was permitted to register as a Third Party under the Electoral FInance Act the financial agent of a Third Party will be the president of a political party. This won`t be a good look. Is that why Andrew Little is hoping to be the Labour President after the election?

Why should the EPMU be permitted to register as a Third Party if its secretary on Labour's National council is lined up to be Labour President? Would that subsequently disqualify the " neutral" EPMU if Little was to keep both roles?


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

No Right Turn is a hypocrite

Blogger Idiot Savant is a hypocrite. Today, anyway. He normally runs a pretty good blog but today he`s let himself down somewhat.
When the government passed the Electoral Finance Act, the right screamed that it was an assault on free speech. Now they're trying to use it to shut down the stage version of The Hollow Men. Ostensibly, this is being done to "clarify the law". In reality, it is being done in an effort to silence speech they do not like. Despite all their screaming and all their posturing, when it comes to freedom of speech, the right are simply hypocrites.
National is clearly not shutting down speech they do not like and it is noteworthy that I/S did not mention this:
[Stephen] Franks said he had not seen The Hollow Men, but was in favour of it being staged without restriction.It would be appalling for that to be banned"
I/S has rightly criticised the NZ Herald for omitting relevant information in an article on the EFA, yet on the same day he does it himself. Pot, kettle,black. He needs reminding why the Electoral Finance Act was passed by the Government in the first place: to silence speech they don't like. I/S has rightly criticised Electoral authorities' interpretions of the Act, but when National MPs seek clarification of the law he says they are shutting down free speech.

When it comes to freedom of speech, the left are far more hyprocritical than the right and its about time Idiot/Savant understood and admitted that.

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KiwiSaver not all it's cracked up to be

The Herald reports that KiwiSaver could make a National Savings loss due to the tax breaks. It is estimated that between 9-19 percent of savings are new savings.

Of the $600 million in KiwiSaver, $300 million is from the Government, $240 million from savers and the rest is split between employers and admin costs. What is not clear is if the $240 million is new savings. Actually, it is clear, most of it probably isn't - as much as 80 percent, according to researchers. If the new savings estimate is closer to 9 percent, that's less than admistration costs, and the Government is pumping $300 million into Kiwi and employer pockets because Kiwis want to get tax breaks by saving $21 million extra, while doing nothing for the National Savings rate.

Some people are using KiwiSaver to reduce savings on other super schemes, others may reduce mortgage payments to get the tax breaks. If so, these people are paying more compounded interest on mortgages - so they are saving the same amount of money but spending more as well over the long run. But if the increased spending on compounded interest is more than the tax breaks, this means that the Government is not only effectively contributing to mortgage payments, you just can't get the money until later, and there is only one group that is better off: the banks.

Given that Cullen is more concerned with our National Savings rate than private savings, this reduction of National Savings should be of concern to him until November.


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Government Education policy aims for Maori underachievement again

Parekura Hoiromia says under-achievement by Maori students will no longer be excusable and the education system will be held responsible. In 2005, 48 percent left school with no qualifications and currently half all Maori leave school unqualified.Currently just over 1 percent of all students at Victoria University who graduate are Maori - and that could be reflected right throughout the country.

Here are the goals. It's a good outcome if 45 percent leave school without NCEA level 2, and it is acceptable if 70 percent of Maori are not qualified to attend university within two years of leaving school. Thats not in 2008, - thats a 2012 goal! That's underachievement.

At present just 9 percent of Maori attend university, and just 15 percent of Victoria's university students graduate - and that figure is inflated for those who graduate twice like getting two degrees or honours. So if translated to Vics population, about 1 percent of Vic graduates are Maori.

This year's Ka Hikitea document update details how targets are to be measured.
Targets have been set to monitor progress to the the goals of Ka Hikitea. The targets indicate a change in state or behaviour that directly results in the desired outcomes. The targets are aspirational yet achievable... if there is effective implementation of the goals and actions of the strategy.
What the hell does that mean? As long as this nameless strategy is right, most Maori won't achieve - if it is not right, even more won`t achieve.Underachievment is acceptable - and even more acceptable if you are Maori.

Its clear: Maori are not to achieve at the same rate as non-Maori. That is government policy. I wonder if the "aspirational yet achievable" targets will meet the desired outcomes, given the document doesn't clearly say how these outcomes are to be targeted, implemented or assessed.


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Labour Ministers take newsletters off websites

Do you want to subscribe to Annette King's newsletter - or perhaps Pete Hodgson's newsletter? You can - but only Hodgson's, by post. That's because these newsletters have been taken off the websites as they do not comply with King's Electoral Finance Act. Labour does not want to have them available online or enable e-mail registration to the public in case it has to declare them as an election expense.

But it is quite happy to have people register to have newsletters posted even though that too counts as an election expense.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blog 'til you drop (dead)

probloggerbook.jpg Those who blog will know that it is time consuming running a blog. I blog outside of study, work and family commitments and get around five to six hours sleep a night.

Some aren't so lucky. The New York Times explores the ugly side of professional blogging. Some bloggers, like Matt Buchanan (pictured) work long hours often to exhaustion. The more clicks his blog posts get, the more money he gets. The more posts he does, the greater the chance of getting more clicks. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.
Buchanan lives in a small apartment in Brooklyn, where his bedroom doubles as his office. He works for clicks for Gizmodo, a popular Gawker Media site that publishes news about gadgets. He says he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled — by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee.

“The fact I have a few thousand people a day reading what I write — that’s kind of cool,” he said. And, yes, it is exhausting. Sometimes, he said, “I just want to lie down.” Sometimes he does rest, inadvertently, falling asleep at the computer.

“If I don’t hear from him, I’ll think: Matt’s passed out again,” said Brian Lam, the editor of Gizmodo. “It’s happened four or five times.”
The article continues on to report on two exhausted bloggers who dropped dead.


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MPs newsletters and emails caught by EFA

ACT MP Heather Roy has been advised by the Chief Electoral Office that her weekly newsletter, which a recipient has to sign up to recieve, is an election edvertisment, has to be authorised - and therefore counts as an election expense.

This would also apply to any other MPs newletters or emails, however if the MP e-mailed a link to a website, or put it on a blog without an authorising statement, that would not contravene the EFA.

To comply with the EFA, all MPs newsletters and some media releases sent to non-media personnel by e-mail containing information that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading voters to vote for or against any poltical party - and most media releases sent by email to non-media personnel - must contain authorising statements and count as an election expense.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Labour wants to get around the law by asking others to break it on its behalf

The Labour Party Headquarters has today advised me how I can break the law. I can get some government brochures and campaign with them.

Mike Williams, at a secret meeting behind doors at this weekend's Labour Party conference, told delegates to distribute pamphlets on KiwiSaver and Working for Families produced by Government departments to influence people in not voting National by telling them that National will scrap WFF and Kiwisaver even though it wont. Bad strategy.

As William's purpose in asking for the pamphlet distribution is to be reasonably regarded as encouraging voters to support a candidate or party, that is elelction advertising and counts in Labours spending cap, whether the purpose of such brochures are election advertising or not.

(Update: as No Right Turn has noted, Government Departments are barred from publishing - or promoting - election advertisements).

But although Helen Clark said she would advise her MPs and their staff not to hand out the materials in a campaigning way - she appears quite happy for Labour HQ to advise me - and presumably other members of the public - to do it.

In orther words, get her foot soldiers and unions to do the dirty campaigning and break the law for her instead - in work time, too, while not declaring the cost of the distributed material.


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Monday, April 14, 2008

These kids arent skipping breakfast at home to keep trim

No, these 700 kids are having it at school to fill their tummies and fatten up with cereal, milk wheatmeal bread, a variety of spreads, cocoa jam, toast and milo to fuel their brains. Perhaps Parekura Horomia needs to fuel his brain with kai pai instead of pumping out his puku with meat pies.


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Labour to make third party insurance compulsory

As someone who has spent more than seven years in the Insurance industry, primarily dealing with claims, I support compulsory third party car insurance. I`ve been to Disputes Tribunals and Order of Examinations too many times to get money from errant uninsured third parties who either bump up premiums of insured people they hit or prohibit them from getting no claims bonuses. Mike Noon, the Automobile Association's motoring affairs general manager, says the plan will "demonise" young New Zealanders.

It costs $100 a year - or $200 for accident prone drivers - for third party insurance. The petrol prices demonises young people more. Third party insurance is less than most young people will spend on petrol in two weeks. Some people who oppose compulsory third party insurance need to moan a bit more about how it is compulsory to have a drivers licence to drive and compulsory to register and licence a vehicle and moan every year when the compulsory ACC levy goes up to pay for damage caused by uninsured drivers.


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Why ACT is polling so badly

Rodney Hide, commenting on Kiwiblog, summarises political options as follows:

Labour and National = short-sighted Labour policies + Winston Peters; ACT = far-sighted plan to bring our kids home + Sir Roger Douglas.

National and ACT have two things in common: Not many know what their policies are, and they are chasing the same vote -ACT more so. But Labour and ACT also have a point in common: Most are not listening to them, and those who are are either rejecting them or blindly following them. Given the injection of Roger Douglas, who can blame people for ignoring or rejecting ACT?

Douglas has been sacked twice while either a Minister or spokesperson. The last time Douglas entered cabinet, the Prime Minister immediately resigned and Labour lost the subsequent election. If Douglas is either number one or two on the party list, a Hide success could bring him into Parliament. An unexpected lift in the ACT party vote will take more votes off National.

If ACT is so great, why has the party not polled more than 2.5% since February 2006? Perhaps it is because ACT supporters are beltway supporters, party members, students or bloggers, nearly all who know each other. Many are either single, rich or childless - some all three. Perhaps ACT is polling badly because it is because Rodney Hide is expected to win Epsom and a vote for ACT is not going to change the Government. Interestingly, in the latest Political Science journal, there's a piece on ACT - a study of a small party that fails.

ACT party campaigner John Ansell queried whether ACT is the only party in the centre -right. There are only two parties on the centre right - UnitedFuture, and National. If you want to change the government, vote National, if you want to dilute it, vote ACT to enable it to be a support partner - with Roger Douglas outside of cabinet. But there are not enough of you to vote ACT in such a way as to make any real difference.


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Friday, April 11, 2008

Minister says kids skip breakfast because they want to stay trim

Being trim may be a challenge for Minister of Eating Pies, Parekura Horomia, but in parliament today he was asked why 20,000 children a week needed feeding at school because they don't have breadfast. Horomia said this
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA: There are a host of reasons why students and pupils do not have breakfast. They are trying to stay trim, or else there may be poverty in the house.

One wonders why a kid would not have breakfast at home because he or she wants to stay trim, only to have it at school instead.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Government opposes Children's Commissioner's stance on tagging

The Minister for Social Development has distanced the government from statements made by the Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro in support of the rights of children and tagging. It's good to see that unlike young bloggers from The Standard, the Government understands the distinction between tagging and graffiti art.
Judith Collins: Does the Minister think the Children’s Commissioner was being responsible and sensible when she said that graffiti and tagging provided “a sense of fellowship” and was an “expression-based culture”; if so, why is it not OK in this case?

Hon DARREN HUGHES: Obviously, the commissioner is entitled to put whatever her view is in her independent submissions to the select committee. That is not the Government’s view; we are listening to what the community is saying when they want a tough line on tagging, and that is why the Government has a bill before the select committee, which the commissioner, in this instance, happens to oppose.

The Children's Commissioner supports the rights of young people even if it conflicts with the law. Young people do not have the right to break the law. If they break the law then they should be punished. Dr. Kiro does not want people to be punished for tagging, because, as she told the select committee, bills that punish children "adversly affect children and young people under 18 years".

In other words, Kiro believes children should not be punished for certain types of lawbreaking. It's as simple as that.



Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NZ First to oppose Free Trade agreement

It's a First. New Zealand First.

Winston Peters is to vote against New Zealand's biggest foreign policy in ages - the free trade agreement with China - and will oppose it on overseas trips in his role as the Governments Foreign Affairs Minister. Michael Cullen is fine with a Foreign Minister opposing key foreign policy. He shouldn`t be. Peters should resign or be sacked, even if he is a ceremonial Foreign Minister.

Peters is even denying a FTA is foreign policy - preferring to call it trade policy. That's nearly as bad as Michael Cullen voting against the budget, describing it as revenue policy.

Imagine what would happen if National changes its mind and votes against the FTA!


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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

why conservatives are happier than liberals

I'm the sort of person that conservatives call liberal, but liberals describe as somewhat conservative. Does that mean that conservatives think I`m unhappy but liberals think I`m a little bit happier but not that happy based on this article?
Conservatives are twice as likely as liberals to be married and twice as likely to attend church every week. Married, religious people are more likely than secular singles to be happy. They are also more likely to have children.

Well... I don't attend church every week but I am married every week - and have kids. I must be fairly happy. For those who think I`m conservative, increased church attendance may make me happier. For those who think I`m liberal, perhaps being married with kids means I`m as happy as I can be.

But the article goes on to say that religious liberals are as happy as secular conservatives and extremists on both sides are happy than moderates. That's because extremists are happy because they are certain they are right.

But why is the conservative world view more conducive to happiness than the liberal one?

Perhaps liberals are generally more interested in changing things for the better than in "conserving" things as they are, they are less vested in the status quo and more free to admit to being less happy than they expect to be at some later date. Or perhaps the best way to be happy is to be a religious, married, extremist conservative with kids.

No wonder liberal Helen Clark is so unhappy. She is probably thinks she`s a moderate.


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We are no longer a Parliamentary democracy

Well, thats according to former PM Mike Moore. He made those comments with reference to the Free Trade deal with China. Labour and National support it, the Greens oppose it, and Peter Dunne supports it but has refused to the signing (that says a lot). Interesting that althought the main opposition party has publicly voiced support, the Government's own part Chinese Foreign Affairs Minster refuses to.


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Monday, April 07, 2008

Who parted the Red Sea?

It looks like the lovely folks at Young Labour need to read their Bibles more instead of attending Destiny Church services to lurk.

They criticise Family First.
Bob McCoskrie might like to revisit [our]website – he'll find that 1078 (or 80%) of people are supporting the repeal of section 59. I guess in the Family First world of facts and figures this means a sudden groundswell (unheard of since Jesus parted the red sea)

Well, speaking of stacked online polls, I wonder if it was Young Labour deputy president - and VUWSA campaigns officer - Sonny Thomas who stacked David Farrar's poll.

And speaking of blogs, Young Labour has a blog
There's not much here at present, but hopefully you can soon expect witty, insightful posts from members of Young Labour.

Still not much there - a year later. No-one witty or insightful left at Young Labour, perhaps.


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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Clark hangs out with Nazis?

Helen Clark has been speaking at the Progressive Governence Conference in London. Its a progressive globalisation and networking shindig. The above is its logo. Well it was until Ian Dale mentioned it and Guido Fawkes animated it.

Now they have removed the logo from the public view of the conference website.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Parallel campaigning pretty much legal: No group to be prosecuted under the Electoral Finance Act

The Electoral Commission has decided to let the EPMU register as a Third Party under the Electoral Finance Act opening the door to parallel campaigning. It also means no group can be prosecuted under the Electoral Finance Act under section 111.

One of the objectives of the Act was to eliminate the extent of parallel campaigning.

The main objection was that the EPMU is ineligible to be listed as a Third Party because it is ‘a person involved in the administration of the affairs of a party’. The Electoral Commission made no comment whether the EPMU is involved in the affairs of the party – which it arguably is., but is outlawed in the Act, based on Crown Law advice.

That’s because the commission concluded that EPMU could not be such a “person”, because person means a natural person, not a legal person. So Andrew Little could not register as a Third Party because he is involved in the affairs of Labour but his union can. Bill English can’t, but if John Key and English form an unincorporated society it can. It also means that any group involved in a candidate’s campaign can register as a Third Party.

It also means that any group cannot not commit an offence under the EFA - under Section 111 it has to be nailed down to a person - such as the person who committed the offence - ( but will financial agents be deemed responsible?)So if a group of people in a body – say the EPMU - commit an offence, the Electoral Commission can’t refer the EPMU to the police, it has to either find the person/s involved, or some other individual to the police unless it believes the offence is inconsequential.

update it gets worse section 137 says
If an offense is committed against any of the provisions of this Act by the financial agent of a principal, the principal party is, without prejudice to the liability of the financial agent, liable under that provision in the same manner and to the same extent as if the principal had personally committed the

In s137 a principal means a Third Party. Such Third Parties are liable for offenses. Third Parties are either liable for offences or they are not. In s111 they are not, in s137 they are. Isn’t that inconsistent – or is the Electoral Commission going to arbitarily determine that a Third party is no longer a liable principal due to the recent Crown Law advice?
UPDATE was emailed by a lawyer who knows about such things and he advised thatthe Crown Law advice only applies to that subsction of the Act being looked at. So "person" is not restricted to individuals in other sections of the EFA.


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Friday, April 04, 2008

Labours election advertisements do not count as election campaign expenses

Although Labour broke the law with its election leaflets by not putting proper authorisation on it, even if it had done so, the Electoral Finance Act allows parties to use taxpayer dollars to produce booklets like the one Labour produced and as long as it puts a party authorisation on it, it can be an election advertisement funded by the taxpayer, but doesn't count towards election campaign expenses.


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Labour breaches own law

The Electoral Commission met yesterday to discuss various matters. One of which was Labour's electioneering, another one was a balloon. Labour has been found to have breached the Electoral Finance Act but wont be prosecuted

Are you surprised? At the decision to prosecute, not the breach.

The Electoral Commission, in not referring the breach of the law to the police, is making this law toothless. So will there be consequences if a high spender doesnt register as a third party - like the EPMU, perhaps, who may not be allowed to.

Well, if the Electoral Commission is to use breaches of the law as examples "for the education of party secretaries and financial agents", who knows? The commission says that any similar breaches would be referred to the police, unless they were considered inconsequential to the public interest.

So that means one of two things: this breach is about as inconsequential as light smacking, or Labour is above the law.

One decision the Electoral Commission found tough was consideration of whether a balloon bearing a party logo and website address was an election advertisement. The Commission didn`t know - perhaps because the ballon was a red one. It is referring it to Crown Law. Can you believe it. I wonder if Crown Law will use Annette King's law of common sense?

The commission has already decided whether the EPMU can register as a third party but won't release the decision until next week after it is written up and the EPMU advised.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Children's Commissioner supports taggers rights

This Children's Commissioner we have is surely an idiot. She believes teens consider that tagging is a "legitimate" art form, and she believes there is history and social commentary behind what she called "these art forms". She says that tagging is done in places that young people are alienated from. That's what she told a parliamentary select committee this week.

So, its the fault of alienation, huh.Kids are alienated around parks designed for kids that taggers congregate in to get away from alienating environments prior to tagging them. Eeek! That explains why our kids parks are tagged every month.

Cindy Kiro wants to "appropriately balance the rights of property owners and the rights of children and young people". Anyone knows where Kiro lives - I`ll send a tagger around to see where the balance lies when it is her property being tagged.


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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This is my last blog post

Goodbye everyone. I`m sick of blogging. I know it is election year and all but I have more important things to do than to blog. I have a busy year. However I may be commenting on other political blogs and may even start a different type of blog.
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