Published in THE ISSUES by frog on Sun, June 10th, 2012
Tags: general debate
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Little ‘We Love Nick’ flags are beginning to flutter, signalling the return of Dr Smith to the Cabinet.
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I assume that Key & Co now know from the overwhelming science that burning fossil carbon is inexorably destroying the environment that humans need.
Why is Key hell-bent on forcing NZ to fund the search for and burning of fossil carbon?
Who is telling him to ignore the irrefutable scientific evidence?
Why does Key understand the nonsense of NZ as a “financial hub” yet swallow the line that NZ can prosper from fossil carbon?
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Myth-busting rightwing prejudices
The main problem is that Hattie fails to find a long run impact on attainment, he measures the effect on small numbers of students where the variable is reduced, his conclusion does not use stringent conditions to decide what studies to disregard and many if not all of the studies he has used have methodological problems. This almost guarantees that Hattie’s findings for the relationship between student/teacher ratio and student learning is biased…
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Songs from the Inside – Hero of the Week
There’s been an inspirational documentary series running on Maori Television, which gave an insight into the lives of New Zealand prisoners…
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Do we need a Direct Democracy?
How about the idea of our government not being able to pass any bill without the public voting on it, for or approval or not, online. So, the public itself becomes the executive branch of government as it gives the final sign-off on any substantial change. (Switzerland works a lot like this).
Should we have corruptible representatives voting on our behalf when we now have to the tools to just vote for ourselves?
For this to work, well, I believe you need the law that no-one can be directly encouraged to vote on a given bill by any official interests. People should be informed, but casting a vote, or not, should be left strictly to their discretion. This would help to make sure that only the engaged rather than the guessing cast a vote. The guessing vote will otherwise tend to be the ‘propaganda pawn’ vote.
However, this kind of democracy should never replace a Constitution. You should always create controls to control “tyranny of the majority”. Otherwise I think direct democracy is a good idea to protect us from the threat of the hard edge of government corruption – and serious social degeneration.
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To answer your question posed on the previous general thread:
Let me ask you a simple question. What will society evolve to if we continue business as usual, and continue to allow and support anyone to breed. Ignore how disgusting I may be – just give me the facts as to where you think our society will go.
Let me give you a complex answer.
Human behaviour is largely learned and to a lesser extent, genetic.
Attempting to adjust human behavior at the personal level is therefore largely a result of building a better society within which humans interact with each other. In essence, a healthy society breeds healthier, more emotionally resilient individuals.
It’s a complex project and starts from a basis of readjusting societal expectations of what is a ‘good life’ – broadly, turning people away from the idea that consumption equals happiness; looking to the examples of Socrates, Seneca and Epicurus is a good start – unfortunately not taught in schools or outside of the philosophy departments of Universities for that matter.
In terms of the ‘breed as usual’ position, evidence suggests that as peoples lives become psychologically more secure (separating wants from needs, feeling valued rather than disempowered as a citizen) and society actively contributes to ensuring that needs are universally met (along with the commensurate obligations being firmly established as intrinsic to citizenship and slef managed at an ethical/moral level by the individual), birth rates naturally stabilize.
This is borne out in empirical evidence that what can be loosely termed the ‘secure middle class’ within a generic social democracy tend to reproduce at close to replacement level (1.9-2.2 kids per family).
So in essence, the answer is for our society to raise the bar for our most disadvantaged – both in terms of support and expectation.
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The citizens mandate approach works for Switzerland because they have a considerably different form of government (federal / canton model) and much higher level of civic engagement.
Until NZ chooses to decentralise political control (something which the Greens promote under the banner of ‘local solutions to local problems’), this type of democracy is essentially unachieivable.
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We have a low level of civic engagement because most of us know that the Government will cynically do what they want, regardless of our votes.
Note that most of us want to take the power back off politicians. That is why we vote for anything that gives us more power and politicians less, like MMP.
Time they realised they are paid by us.
Asset sales = Theft as a servant.
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You cannot have tyranny of the majority.
For those that think you can what is better. “Tyranny of the minority” as we have now, or “tyranny of the majority”.
In fact New Zealanders are pretty consistent about being fair on minority rights. It is normally parliament that has lagged behind. Take the 60% or more in support of gay marriage. 18% do not care either way.
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More accurately, we haven’t even entered the race, Green or otherwise.
Business as usual for NZ Inc.
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Gregor-If you can call subsidizing corporate greed, business.
The council attempted to introduce user-pays and metering a few years ago, it became a major election issue and candidates backing user-pays were rejected. Some of them tried to do a u-turn after the election and public outrage forced them to give up the idea. Then a new election was held and other issues overshadowed the user-pays proposal, which was thought to be a dead duck. After the election it was put back on the table with a timescale which ensured the scheme were in place before the next election. A petition was launched calling for a referendum on the issue which gathered over 8000 signatures.
The council rejected the petition and instead commissioned PR campaign in favour of user-pays and a telephone survey, which reported 29% in favour, 53% against. The council recieved a record number of submissions – over 2500 – on the Long Term Plan, most concerned with water and overwhelmingly opposing the plan.(http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6974942/Residents-flood-council-over-water-meters)
Despite all this, last week the council voted 7 to 3 in favour of user-pays water.
It’s no wonder people are cynical about the value of civic engagement.
To give credit where its, due, one of the councilors who voted against the move said he actually supported the scheme, but it would be undemocratic to go against the clearly huge level of public opposition. For the seven councilors in favour, representing their constituents obviously wasn’t a priority. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1206/S00221/kapiti-independent-newsbrief-water-meters.htm
The council used to complain about the low-level of public interest in council affairs. Now they’ve got it, and don’t want it. It’s going to be very difficult for the council to convince people around here to bother participating in their processes in the future.
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What you got right was the human need factor. Once human needs are satisfied socially destructive behaviour–passive and active–vaporises.
But there is the other BIG side of the need story – neurotic needs. This is where deprivation from early childhood becomes imprinted into the brain, making a psychological state of deprivation *permanent* (think of the addict who can’t get enough – we’re all “addicts” on given levels, and in so many different ways). It also leads to unfeeliningfulness (a direct effect of repression) and all kinds of dangerous and abusive acting-out.
THIS is what should be taught in schools.
Every species is “designed” to expand to the limits of its resource base. It’s strange how humans don’t – er, in some cases. Notice how in NZ we have eroded the cost of living so it’s harder than ever to bring up a kid. Real affluence is compromised yet we are not seeing a population explosion in response to this “poverty”. I think a lot of our ‘population control’ may have as much to do with the effect of schooling as wealth.
If the engaged voters can do a better job than bias or corrupt politicians (in giving the final vote) then it will work. Why wouldn’t it? We do not have to directly replicate Switzerland.
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The decision is made as close to the coal face/front line as possible.
As many people are involved as possible. (Avoids groupthink, confirmation bias, cherry picking, ideology and lack of thinking through the consequences).
As many alternatives as possible are considered. (E.g. Brainstorming).
Model, test or use small scale experimentation first.
Take advantage of other knowledge. Research or solutions tried elsewhere. Whether successful or not.
Those who have to implement the decision are make the decision.
You allow as much input, research and discussion as time allows.
Consensus decision will be more effective as everyone feels they had a part.
If consensus breaks down then the next best result is a majority decision.
When you go into the real world you learn that most decision making breaks all these rules.
Decisions are often poorly thought out, ideological, poorly researched and made by a few people, who are arrogant enough to believe they are capable of thinking for the rest of us..
In Switzerland many decisions are still made by the legislature, but, politicians know that poor decisions may be immediately reversed by referenda.
They have to put effort into good, justifiable decision making.
Quote: “I suspect the main reason these rules are broken is that almost all politicians secretly want to be Dictators.”
I sincerely believe there is a lot of truth in that.
Shit I might even be guilty of it myself!
Waiting for Judith
By allowing a couple of lying bastards to get away with making a false complaint to the police, Judith Collins shows she is an ineffective minister. If she does not know what is right from wrong in this situation, in my opinion, she has no place being a minister of the crown at all…
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Lets see Andrew, I’ll have a few words with my Mom, Myself (I’ve been a teacher too for a while, and ONE of my degrees is Psychology), a few best friends I’ve known for the past 50 years…
I have nothing against “Natural Learning” – but your attitude is that anything that is NOT is wrong, and you are so completely mistaken and monomaniacal on the subject that there is no talking with you about it at all. I also have to point out that what works for a few does NOT work for all, and that you are completely neglecting the overall society in which people live.
“Why don’t you get an expert to teach you how to have sex, too? I mean they ARE the experts, right? F–k what is natural and rooted in 4 billion years of evolution, right? The expert ALWAYS knows best regardless of the function or process.”
Andrew… that has nothing to do with our ability to cope as a society, except as it pertains to NOT making babies… about which people have to be taught because it is dead certain that this is NOT what any teenager I’ve ever known has as a first priority… and the misinformation about it that that has existed since Moby-Dick was a minnow is STILL out there to mislead them.
The difference is that your associations are COMPLETELY out of whack Andrew… and you do not seem to have any notion that we have a society around us and NEED that society in order to survive and thrive.
You probably need to go back to school.
…and this needs to go on another thread. So it did.
Unlike you I have seen the difference first-hand between institutional learning, and learning “normally”.
Really? I understand the unquenchable curiosity that drives learning until religion quenches it or reality dulls it… and I understand that not all humans have it in equal measure, and that society requires SOME common understanding of reality.
Not sure about how well you understand the former but you have demonstrated that you are not happy with the latter.
Let’s forget it. You’re just not getting my picture or my points. We’re having two different conversations.
What we need is another Australian with a socialist background to lead our country out of this recession…
Had just about enough of the ACC Privacy saga. A few dominos have fallen, and the hounds are baying for Collins’s blood, but none of it is addressing the issues.
These privacy leaks are the direct result of staff doing the wrong things, but I’ve yet to hear that any employees whatsoever have been fired for gross professional misconduct.
I understand that ACC are looking at some technical solutions to try and address the problem, but until they start firing people who do not have the brains to do their job correctly, then the risk of the problem recurring will remain, whether Collins walks or not.
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God save New Zealand from this Government…..please.
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Try my direct democracy post up the top of this forum. The whole idea of it is to S.T.O.P the railroading.
…though unfortunately this blog is so infested with hyper Green party apologists, that no idea that isn’t already on the Green party’s books is automatically rationalised as ‘no good’.
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Some disrespect for Labour for dancing to the media’s cuting government super cost tune.
It’s well deserved.
The real problem is the poverty of the aging beneficiary struggling in poor health until the age of 65 on benefit rates much lower than super and the relative injustice of paying full rate super to someone still in a well paid job. While this situation exists, increasing the age only exarcerbates this problem.
Before the age is increased (I favour an increase from 65 to 70 over 25 years from 2025 to 2050) we should determine that people over the age of 60 on benefits should get the super rate payment if invalids or on a work tested benefit. This could be funded by a surtax on those working over the age of “65″ (65-70) at say 10 cents in the dollar of work income above the minimum wage. So if they earned say $80,000 – 10 cents in the dollar over $50,000 would be $5000, less than 1/3 of their super. Someone would have to earn about $200,000 before they lost single rate super entirely.
It seems pervierse that those who can continue to work while getting universal super are not helping in this way those aging beneficiries who cannot find work or are unable to work.
Otherwise the Cullen Fund needs regular annual contributions while the baby boomers are still working to ease the demographic bulge cost later and this can only come from dedicated (compulsory) contributions out of wages (2% matched by 2% from employers).
And those people who will pay work and pay taxes to support the baby boomers in retirement should be given reassurance that they will get tax paid super and that their Kiwi Saver will be in addition to their tax paid super. They should receive the same tax paid super support from the generation after them that they are expected to give in the coming years. This is how the tax paid scheme is supposed to work. Barring the baby boomer bulge being accomodated by the Cullen Fund this is what should occur.
Is National lying about its negotiating position within the TPPA talks
And what would happen of Labour competed in the centre for votes with National and the Greens focused on the environment to appeal to voters favouring a low income tax form of government
Jackal says “By allowing a couple of lying bastards to get away with making a false complaint to the police…”
So how do you explain the Boag email to Collins stressing that the return of private details was “contingent” on ACC offering an acceptable settlement?
And that they wanted double what ACC had offered.
Except to the extremely stupid and/or the extremely naive, it’s blatantly clear what was going on.
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When has National NOT lied? If there is any single thing more stupid than signing up to the TPP, I can’t think of it at the moment… OK the moment has passed, the sale of assets, the lignite mining, the subsidizing of the CO2 emitters, the permits for offshore drilling, the continued war on drugs, the roads of national significance…
Ah… they didn’t lie when they said they’d sell our asses so we can be a nation of tenant farmers….
They are striving for perfection… of their idiocy.
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Nope. Regardless of the substance (or lack of) of my own ideas, I notice a unusual lack of considered criticism for the Green party’s thinking/policies/ideas on this forum. From what I have casually seen the Green party can do no wrong, even is inherently questionable areas.
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You must have missed all those spirited posts from photonz1, spam, shunda barunda and others, not to mention the milder criticism (both factual and doctrinal) from the likes of Gerrit, Sam Buchanan, fin, bjchip, SPC etc.
I consider the debate on this blog extremely healthy as compared to say the monomaniacal drivel espoused on Red Alert, The Standard, Kiwiblog or Whaleoil.
John Key does not have a mandate to sell the assets and whistling and looking skyward is not listening:
I’m not sure why my link has a strange name…
There is a constant tension in the party between pragmatism and purity. Just now there aren’t a lot of arguments because we’re mostly reacting to National, which being in power gets to lead the dance, and we have pretty much in common a STRONG dislike for their policies. So disagreement is unlikely on such topics.
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Sprout says “John Key does not have a mandate to sell the assets”
They campaigned for a long time that they would partially sell assets if voted into government, and after all that NZ voters voted them into government.
And the Greens have proved they don’t give a toss about
- referendums, or
…when the anti smacking bill was pushed through.
In the link to your site are the words “false false false”.
Even your own website is trying to give you clues about your claim.
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Gareth Morgan – Asshole of the Week
The environment should not be collateral damage to try and repair the economy, which has been ruined by the greedy and ideologically blinded…
School deciles have caused racial split: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/school-deciles-cause-racial-divide.html
What was the turnout for the 2011 election?
What percentage of those who voted supported National?
Why did National refuse to publish all the details about the asset sales so that people could vote in an informed way?
Why didn’t National want to publish their policy on our national broadcaster’s election website?
Why did National run a personality based campaign where John Key was promoted as a man who listens to New Zealanders?
Why has John Key stopped listening?
So many questions yet the reality is that National won the treasury benches.
To quote Cullen.
We won, you lost……….
You know the rest of the words of by heart, no?
Mandate was the election.
Why promote Key as the man to lead the nation? Simple, huge point of difference between National and Labour.
One party had a leader, the other did not have a unified leadership structure in place. Was IMHO the biggest reason National won the elction.
I notice that the Greens have learned this lesson and promoting Russel as a leader. Something the Labour party has only just getting their heads half heartedly around.
Gerrit, I guess if you support personality politics over policy and informed voters then the election result was a good one. Perhaps when you win an election that should be the only mandate necessary to do what you want, however it isn’t good enough for me.
Jackal, Morgan joins that select group of people who believe that socialism or capitalism or Green activism would be successfully sold to an adoring public if all the compromises they would accept were adopted by other socialists, other capitalists, other Green activists.
He just forgets one thing, attack politics – and that is what he launched on other Green activists – is not constructive, it only feeds the prejudice/provides ammunition to those who out of either selfishness or ignorance of the consequences for latter generations put consumption/profit before the environment.
It’s interesting that Morgan’s comments coincide with columns from Plunkett, Long and du Fresne preaching the same message, harden up – a government with an agenda for the 1% just needs people to keep voting for them and things will be all right for the 1%.
A bit of fear that a Labour Green coalition might win power seems to be about at the moment. So an attack on Green activism and fairmindedness as weaknesses and preaching it’s the Tory way or the Greek way is apparently the favoured response from the right.
SPC – Can you explain to me why the Green way won’t have the same result as the Greek way. Both options seem to start with borrowing heaps of money without any obvious way of paying it back.
Bsprout – The mandate was the election. National and the coalition partners have a majority in the house. Pretty simple concept really. Unless of course it didn’t go the way you want.
You lost. It happens. Time to harden up don’t you think.
Jackal -Arsehole of the year
What a nasty goose you are. So Gareth Morgan is now an enemy of the people because he has a different idea about how to achieve a benefit for the environment. But, I guess you don’t care about the environment, you are just fighting the class war.
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