The Dim-Post

May 5, 2013

The Marks

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 10:38 am

I don’t think there’s anything interesting to say about Aaron Gilmore’s ‘waiter-gate’, or whatever the galley are calling it, but there is an interesting point to be made about why Aaron Gilmore was even a candidate who placed on the National list at all, given that he seems so unpopular within his own party.

Gilmore ran in a Labour Party safe seat. Now, the National Party knows that if they run candidates in their opposition’s safe seats then it boosts their party vote, and the party vote is really the only vote that counts. But campaigning for a seat is an  expensive and time-consuming exercise, so no intelligent, aspiring politician is going to take six months off work, hit up all their friends and relatives for fund-raising, or pay for all their billboards themselves if they have no chance of actually winning that seat or making it in on the list.

Enter Aaron Gilmore, and hundreds of aspiring  candidates just like him who are essentially just mugs that their parties are scamming for cash. I guess some of them know they have no political future and they do it because they believe in their party, but the rest think they’re going to ‘prove themselves’ and be promoted onto bigger and better things.

They aren’t, but they don’t have to know that, because then the money would dry up. Thus their placing on the list, way, way down where they’ll never get elected. Until we have an opposition like Goff-era Labour and an election like 2011, when even National’s hopeless cash-cow suckers make it in.

Doing so well in an election that even your unelectable buffoons make it in is a nice problem to have, but it can still be a problem as National is seeing this week.

83 Comments »

  1. But Christchurch East wasn’t a safe Labour seat in 2011. National won the party vote easily. And then 3000 National voters voted for Lianne Dalziel. See http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-5.html

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — May 5, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  2. I think any party would struggle to put up more than 40 worthwhile candidates, basically because party bases aren’t particularly deep or broad anymore. Those that remain are probably just in it for the chance of being seen as very important.

    Comment by Alex Braae — May 5, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  3. And in Rongotai and Wellington Central, 2000 voters voted for Annette King and Grant Robertson. You point is?

    Comment by Phil Lyth — May 5, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  4. 2000 National voters, that is, in each

    Comment by Phil Lyth — May 5, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  5. I love Hooton’s new definition of “safe seat”, where a 5,000 vote majority for an individual despite majority support for another party means absolutely nothing. http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2008/electorate-5.html (Dalziel’s majority thus proportionally increased – and Labour’s took a terrible thumping – in 2011 as there were 6,000 fewer voters in Christchurch East.)

    Comment by QoT — May 5, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

  6. Here here here! QoT! Let not facts get in the way.

    In our electorate by the way the National MP does not seem to do anything of note except write about his family. And repeat the bosses words of course. Nice job for an ex-shearer.

    Comment by xianmac — May 5, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  7. Certainly safe for Lianne because she has done a good job as local MP, but the result shows that, certainly post-earthquakes it is not so safe Labour. So a decent National candidate should have been able to do better.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — May 5, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  8. There are only 65 people on the National list, and if Gilmore goes, then they’re down to number 63. What happens if they run out?

    Perhaps I could be number 66? I need the cash, and I promise not to embarrass the party, or even turn up.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — May 5, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

  9. See also: Paul Foster-Bell in Wellington Central, who’s just been elevated to the Big House now that Jackie Blue has quit or died of boredom or whatever. Foster-Bell is an avowed royalist and intellectual lightweight who’s sole role in the last election was to come eleventy-fifth after Grant Robertson, whilst demonstrating to the locals that the National Party really doesn’t give a flying %$# about what the beltway thinks. It will be interesting to see if Foster-Bell has another tilt at the windmill in 2014, or whether an alleged heavy-hitter like Chris Finlayson manages to grow the balls to front up to the locals instead.

    Comment by The Economic Illiteracy Support Group — May 5, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  10. I can imagine Ryall, English and Smith having to ring Roger Sowry to resolve their argument about whether Aaron Gilmore is more of an unelectable buffoon than Gilbert Myers.

    Comment by Richard — May 5, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  11. sammy @ 12.31pm
    There were actually 75, not 65 on the National Party list so there are still a few to go.
    And no, I’ve never heard of any of the ones left.

    Comment by Alwyn — May 5, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

  12. When they get to the end of the list, they just start selecting from the Greens, Maori Party and Labour lists. No-one will notice if we vote in Labour, Green and Maori Party bills either from the ballot box or via list MPs. Either way, National seem fairly flexible in that regard. I don’t think it would occur to them to look for MPs any other place, like party members.

    Comment by ZenTiger — May 5, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  13. @ sammy – if National run out, tough luck. They can’t retrospectively add list candidates, so if their vacancies exceed people on the list willing to take the vacancy up, the party misses out on that list seat MP. That seems fair, as otherwise, parties could add list candidates the public would be horrified by after the election, then pressure existing list candidats above them to step aside. The Greens had something like that with Russel Norman didn’t they? (pressuring a list candidate or 2 to step aside? worked in the end).

    @ Richard – I think you mean Gilbert Myles, who had a propensity for foot-in-mouth moments. Difference is, Gilbert was eminently likeable, whereas Aaron Glimore…

    Though Danyl, I wonder if you are factoring in how desperate the liberal-right wing of the Nats seem to be to get rid of Gilmore. Hooton has been rabid in the media, haven’t you Matthew?😉 Is Gilmore part of Bill English’s conservative-right bloc? Or is Gilmore just the Nats version of Louisa Wall (who was reputedly despised in Labour in her first stint as an MP)? Oh well, happy times.

    Comment by bob — May 5, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  14. Gilbert Myles is an interesting historical by-note, since he was basically a social democrat who was convinced that National were a party of social democrats who would overturn the Lange-Douglas peeling back of the welfare state.

    Danyl, the reason people run in safe seats at great expense with no chance of winning is simple – they’re hoping that by putting on a good show, and perhaps by improving on the performance of the last dupe to kamikaze into a safe seat with no hope of winning, next election they will be rewarded with either a chance to run for a competitive (or even safe, but for their party) seat of their own, or get a winnable position on the party list. It’s a time-honoured and well established political practice. To take one example I’ve already talked about, David Lange spent five months campaigning for an utterly unwinnable Northland seat before he took a pop in the Mangere by-election.

    Comment by Hugh — May 5, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  15. Gilbert Myles was the only Nat to have beaten Phil Goff in a head-to-head contest. Until John Key came along.0

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — May 5, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  16. did you, in effect, just call the national party list a pyramid scheme?

    Comment by Che Tibby — May 5, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  17. Alwyn, you’re right. It turns out that DPF’s list on Kiwiblog is (worryingly) more reliable than the Electoral Commission:

    http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2011-general-election/parties-candidates-and-promoters-2011-general-election–2

    I suspect the number of votes influenced by list rankings 66-75 would be zero, but still.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — May 5, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

  18. It’s the Amway business model.

    Amway agents (or whatever the current euphemism for ‘mug’ is) spend hours of their time and drive halfway across town to deliver two packets of washing powder at their expense – then think the 15 cents commission they earn is an early profit on the path to huge riches.

    National candidates in safe Labour seats….

    Comment by billbennettnz — May 5, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  19. In the Green Party, a lot of people stand for electorate seats as a way of helping the party. It’s seen as ‘just another way of helping with the campaign’, and some people do it despite actively not wanting to become an MP.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 5, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

  20. You would have thought that it wouldn’t be that hard for a major party to find 120 reasonable candidates. A fair and transparent system where performance gets rewarded with a better list placing or shot at a winnable seat would help.

    Comment by rich — May 5, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  21. Having said that ACT only has to find one candidate and they have enough difficulty getting past they “have you committed, or do you plan to commit, an imprisonable offence?” question.

    Comment by rich — May 5, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  22. @kahikatea: I think when discussing the motives of political candidates it can be taken as implicit that we are not talking about the Greens, since we know the motives of all Green candidates, no matter how high placed – to help make New Zealand a cleaner, safer, healthier place for our children, without any thought for their own advancement or power. The regular petty rivalries, greed and megalomania of the other party’s candidate recruitment processes just don’t apply.

    Comment by Hugh — May 5, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

  23. @Hugh, 8.23pm: my pleasure in the biting sarcasm of that comment is only slightly dimmed by the awareness that it’s likely to be mistaken by Green Party members as a simple statement of the obvious.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — May 5, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  24. Hugh wrote: “@kahikatea: I think when discussing the motives of political candidates it can be taken as implicit that we are not talking about the Greens, since we know the motives of all Green candidates, no matter how high placed – to help make New Zealand a cleaner, safer, healthier place for our children, without any thought for their own advancement or power. The regular petty rivalries, greed and megalomania of the other party’s candidate recruitment processes just don’t apply.”

    Green Party candidates who are motivated by greed or megalomania are likely to pull out if they don’t get in the top 20, in my experience.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 5, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

  25. Actually Gilmore is a mirror image of Key.

    Arrogant, born to rule, know all Hollywood and Wall Street brown noser..

    Comment by peterlepaysan — May 5, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  26. @Milt: That just makes it all the better, don’t you think?

    Seriously, the internet is going to be a fun place to be when the Greens eventually enter government.

    Nick Clegg knows what I’m talking about.

    Comment by Hugh — May 5, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  27. Hugh, unicorns and rainbows for all, hurrah

    Comment by Wimmy — May 6, 2013 @ 7:19 am

  28. Seriously, the internet is going to be a fun place to be when the Greens eventually enter government.

    Make sure you vote for them then.🙂

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — May 6, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  29. Only the editorial writers of the Herald could find in ruddy cheeked Aaron Gilmores colonial hooray Henry impressions reasons to reduce the size of parliament. Presumably, they are happiest imagining the country is run by a junta of John Key, Steven Joyce, Bill English, Tony Ryall and Gerry Brownlee with a rump cabinet and caucus who have nothing much to do. Oh wait, we are run that way.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 6, 2013 @ 7:47 am

  30. I agree Sanctuary. Love how they make the leap of logic and turn against MMP (those damn list MPs) and the size of parliament…

    Comment by nw — May 6, 2013 @ 8:36 am

  31. @kahikatea: “Green Party candidates who are motivated by greed or megalomania are likely to pull out if they don’t get in the top 20, in my experience.”

    Doesn’t the Green Party have a fairly democratic membership-wide process for determining its Party List membership and ordering anyway? Like that party or hate it, I suspect if Aaron Gilmore had been required to prove himself to the National Party membership as worthy of representing them, instead of merely needing to make deals and satisfy a small number of National Party elite, the party might not have had this problem and the public as a whole would have a better representation in parliament.

    Comment by izogi — May 6, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  32. Doesn’t the Green Party have a fairly democratic membership-wide process

    It does. And the success of it is rather shown by the way no Green MPs have ever had to resign or be hauled away by Inspector Knacker due to some scandal or crime.

    Comment by rich — May 6, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

  33. @izogi: If democratic leadership processes were incapable of selecting people like Aaron Gilmore, would we even be having this conversation?

    Comment by Hugh — May 6, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  34. National doesn’t have a democratic process. It’s got a system whereby some (should be) Dead White Bloke is thought to be a good joker from their performance in the golf club, Freemasons and/or Ku Klux Klan and gets the nod for a list spot.

    They then find said joker doesn’t know the difference between one of their lodge or coventicle meetings and a public restaurant.

    Comment by rich — May 6, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  35. @Rich: You’re missing my point.

    Comment by Hugh — May 6, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  36. You guys are deluded zealots. yes I mean you rich, sancywanky, peterpan, et al.

    Comment by Wimmmmmy — May 6, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  37. It does. And the success of it is rather shown by the way no Green MPs have ever had to resign or be hauled away by Inspector Knacker due to some scandal or crime.

    Not entirely true. Though not on the same level, Ian Ewen-Street embarrassed himself over a fisheries enquiry, and then had to be quietly thrown out of the party at the 2005 election after he pretty much decided he was a National MP. That he got into Parliament in the first place was the result of concerted party support in the upper South Island, which pushed him up the list.

    Which highlights the issue that parties have always have – if someone is well liked and has a strong support base within their local region, they’re liable to end up with power, no matter their actual suitability for Parliament. Central party organisations (democratic or otherwise) can mitigate this, but if they go too far they risk alienating their local activists and donors, who stay at home sulking because their boy wasn’t chosen.

    When only electorate MPs existed, this tendency was doubly so. I guess 15 years of MMP have washed over the memory of senior Herald editorialists.

    Comment by George D — May 6, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

  38. @George D: My point exactly. Internal party democracy may be good as a mean to itself, but I don’t think it is especially good at preventing this kind of backroom finger-fucking, any more than external non-party democracy* is.

    *Or, to put it another way, elections.

    Comment by Hugh — May 7, 2013 @ 12:21 am

  39. The Greens haven’t had to face having their brand tarnished by the compromises being in govt inevitably entails.

    Kedgley was a crank, Hughes is their equivalent of Curran. Some of the pressure and scrutiny that being in power brings down would be a bit of reality testing.

    Comment by NeilM — May 7, 2013 @ 12:24 am

  40. Sammy, how does the Kiwiblog list vary from either the electoral commission list or this one? :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_lists_in_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2011

    Comment by Ed — May 7, 2013 @ 9:05 am

  41. Well written, George D!The media may get the panties in a bunch, but the reality is no system can screen out the odd Aaron Gilmore or Ian Ewen-Street. We just need to show maturity (and not hysteria) in dealing with them fairly, and keeping democracy on track (and on the wagon perhaps😉 ).

    Comment by bob — May 7, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  42. “when the Greens eventually enter government”

    Is the petition fuck up a precursor?

    Comment by Grant — May 7, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  43. Govern

    Comment by NeilM — May 7, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  44. Governance in a Labour Green govt will be a on the slow side if they’re going to put all their own policies up for CIRs.

    But at least we know the don’t consider an election a mandate and that only popular policies can be implemented.

    Comment by NeilM — May 7, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

  45. NeilM wins troll ‘o the day.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 7, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  46. “NeilM wins troll ‘o the day.”

    Damn I thought I would…

    Comment by Grant — May 7, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

  47. I think NeilM actually has a pretty decent point.

    Unfortunately the “My policies acquire a mandate during an election, YOUR policies need an election and a referendum and constant poll support among a majority of all demographics before you have a mandate” fallacy is pretty common across both sides. Remember how Don Brash insisted that civil unions needed a referendum? And yet…

    Comment by Hugh — May 7, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  48. Gregory wins try hard of the year

    Comment by Wimmmmmy — May 7, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

  49. Wimmmmmy is WAY more annoying when he’s being Tim.

    Comment by Flashing Light — May 7, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  50. It’s also a “Citizens” initiated referenda.

    It’s undermined by having political parties hijack it, esp when they put funds into it.

    It’s supposed to be a mechanism for ordinary people to express their opinion not for politicians to have another go despite losing an election.

    Comment by NeilM — May 7, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  51. Anyway, with Shearer and Norman having decreed the state owned energy companies to be enemies of the people, I would have thought they would now support the partisl sale as their policies would then hurt the private investor more and the taxpayer less.

    Comment by NeilM — May 7, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

  52. Ah is flashing light sad his weferewendum failed….

    Comment by Wimmy — May 7, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  53. I have never understood the joke by which people looking to attack the Greens replace all their R’s with W’s. Is there a famous Green who talked like that, or are the people who make the jokes just fuckwits?

    Comment by Alex Braae — May 7, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

  54. Hugh – I might buy the ‘election is a referendum’ pitch is the Nats pitched solely on asset sales. But they didn’t.
    It’s impossible to be so reductive around an individual voters preferences.
    It’s actually pretty insulting to most voters to infer that they are one-trick automatons as opposed to complex, semi-rational agents when it comes to the ballot (though it might actually be true if someone chose to analyse it, who knows).

    It’s also a “Citizens” initiated referenda.

    That’s a pretty odd distinction, NeilM.
    Are party’s not essentially a collection of citizens with a common agenda?

    Comment by Gregor W — May 7, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

  55. @Gregor: So are you saying the only way to get a mandate is by making your election campaign single issue? That seems kind of silly. I mean, would a hypothetical Green government not have a mandate for investment in public transport because they didn’t pitch solely on it?

    I agree with you that voters make trade-offs. And that’s the thing – that’s where a mandate comes from. If voters weren’t enthusiastic about asset sales specifically, but decided that on balance they liked enough of National’s other policies to swallow it – that constitutes a mandate. We vote for parties as an aggregate of all their policies, and if a party assembles enough policies the voters like to persuade them to turn a blind eye to the ones they dislike, the parties is entitled to put those policies into effect.

    Also, I’m kind of hesitant to be drawn into the whole CIR thing, but if you look at the language of the original Electoral Reform Commission when it was drafting the law that gave us CIRs, as well as the various submissions made by groups who suggested it, it’s pretty clear that the CIRs were intended as a way for groups outside of the normal electoral process to have a direct role in policy making, not as an alternative way for parties who’d been electorally unsuccessful to relitigate the issues.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 12:14 am

  56. To me the only reason to have CIR is to have a mechanism whereby citizens can act outside of the normal party political framework on issues that have genuine grass roots support.

    Once it’s taken over by political parties its no longer an alternative.

    And political parties who do this, such as what the Greens and Labour have done, can rightly be labelled opportunistic hypocrites for not wanting their policies to be vetted by the public in the same manner.

    I’m not against CIRs although I think should be used judiciously. We have elections and whether we like it or not that’s what determines how we are governed.

    And with procrastination a common human failing it would not help if people went to vote thinking – it really doesn’t matter whining vote for since important policy will go to referenda – no need to decide now.

    Comment by NeilM — May 8, 2013 @ 1:26 am

  57. That’s –

    – it really doesn’t matter who I vote for since important policy will go to referenda –

    Comment by NeilM — May 8, 2013 @ 1:27 am

  58. @Hugh: No, I’m not saying that elections should be single issue to draw a line between vote and mandate.
    I’m saying that the position taken by the govt. – that a vote equals mandate to sell PowerCos – is reductive because Key and co. are claiming precisely that.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  59. @Gregor: Well now I’m just hugely confused about your point.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 11:00 am

  60. Fair enough.

    What I getting at is that the election clearly wasn’t a vote for asset sales. It was a vote for National – not a specific policy – and also, against Labour given the turnout.
    National are saying something quite different – that a vote for them a referendum = being delighted at PowerCo sales – which is bullshit.

    This is why I am saying a separate referendum on the issue had some value as it is something that will affect all citizens for generations, as opposed to something that will affect some citizens for 3 years.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  61. “that a vote for them a was a referendum being delighted at PowerCo sale, and equates to ‘the majority’ (being represented by the 35ish% of the electorate casting a blue vote) being delighted with asset sales”

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

  62. uggh- you get my drift

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  63. a separate referendum on the issue had some value as it is something that will affect all citizens for generations

    Government’s make decisions every other day that will “affect all citizens for generations”. Should tax changes (like the implementation of GST, or CGT) be subject to referenda? Or, is it just the ones Lab+Gre disagree with?

    Comment by Phil — May 8, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

  64. Gregor – let me ask you this – do you think National has a mandate to do anything at all, other than be the government and occupy the ministerial benches? I mean, saying ‘It was a vote for National, not a vote for any of National’s policies’ seems to be on the face of it a reasonably absurd statement.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  65. For Gregor’s imformation about his 12.08pm comment.

    The main person labelling the last election as being a referendum on asset sales was Phil Goff.
    He regularly used the line. Given he was the Labour Party leader at the time we must assume that the party acepted his view and, given the result of the election, that National indeed have a mandate for these sales.

    Comment by Alwyn — May 8, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

  66. Alwyn – That why I don’t vote for Labour. They’re idiots.

    Phil – Tax changes are routinely repealed or modified. If it was say, a repeal of murder as a crime, I think you’d want a referendum. It’s all a question of moral intensity. I guess though, that this is in the eye of the beholder.

    Hugh – Yes, They have a mandate to govern the country for 3 years. Set taxes, release budgets, tinker with legislation in line with public sentiment and changing social mores. Sell of the family silver, not so much.
    And I didn’t say a vote for National was not a vote for any of their policies. That would indeed be absurd. I said it was more complicated than frequently portrayed / justified by various pundits as the election = a vote for asset sales.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

  67. @Gregor: Well, that’s basically what I’m getting at. If you think all National is entitled to do as a result of winning their election is purely procedural stuff like resulting budgets, you’re effectively saying they don’t have a mandate for any policy.

    If things really worked this way, we would have very little opportunity for policy change.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  68. *releasing budgets, pardon.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  69. Hugh – please reread my comment “tinker with legislation in line with public sentiment and changing social mores”.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  70. I read it, and what I said stands. You’re saying that the government has no mandate to enact its own policies, only to enact policies that correspond with changing social mores. That’s not a mandate for the government to do something, that’s a mandate for them to be an agent of somebody else – in this case, society – doing something.

    Comment by Hugh — May 8, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  71. Hugh – what other mandate does Parliament morally possess other than bradly enacting the will of society at large?

    Comment by Gregor W — May 8, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  72. None. But the mechanism by which Parliament obtains that mandate is an election, not opinion polling.

    Comment by Hugh — May 9, 2013 @ 5:30 am

  73. Hugh, Parliament can only legislate via the consent of society. If Parliament isn’t seen to do so, then it runs the risk of being voted out / overthrown / civil disobedience, etc. Winning the election just puts the victors into the position where they are the ones responsible for government’s performance. Winning an election doesn’t give a specific mandate for any particular policy. It is more complicated than that. At best, electoral victory means that the victor’s total policy package was seen as the least worst on offer, at that time.

    Of course, National can claim that an election victory gives them a mandate for particular policies. It’s up to civil society as to whether that claim is true. And if that claim is false, it is up to civil society to determine how urgently that claim needs to be corrected.

    Comment by RJL — May 10, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  74. “Winning an election doesn’t give a specific mandate for any particular policy.”

    If that was the case, no party would ever outline any policies during its campaign.

    Comment by Hugh — May 10, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  75. Hugh, parties outline policy during campaigns to encourage people to vote for them. However, unless a party has only one policy then a vote for that party cannot be construed as a mandate for a specific policy (even then, individuals may vote for a party for reasons other than policy).

    Just because I buy a bag of jelly-beans it doesn’t mean that I must like yellow jelly-beans.

    Comment by RJL — May 10, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  76. @RJL: Yes, but that encouragement is hollow, since under your formula, they have no ability to follow up. They can’t say “Vote for us and we’ll give you XYZ”, they can only say “Vote for us and we will occupy the top floor of the Beehive”.

    To use your analogy, you may not -like- yellow jelly-beans, but it’s not morally wrong for the shopkeeper to give them to you.

    Comment by Hugh — May 10, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  77. Ultimately, we can go around and around this particular issue almost indefinitely. But here’s the thing – I strongly doubt, RJL and Gregor, that you would hold a government of an ideological bent that you support to such a high standard re: mandates.

    Comment by Hugh — May 10, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

  78. Winning an election doesn’t give a specific mandate for any particular policy.

    History and the NZ electoral system beg to differ. Winning an election mandates any policy a govt has the numbers for in the House.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — May 10, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

  79. Have to agree with Milt. Roger Douglas is proof positive that you can give birth to horrendously unpopular policies and still get a knighthood, a bunch of cash and re-elected to parliament (albeit by a slightly different constituency than the first time)…

    Of course if you go for the unpopular policy you can hardly complain when you’re quickly voted out at the next election…

    Comment by nommopilot — May 10, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  80. I strongly doubt, RJL and Gregor, that you would hold a government of an ideological bent that you support to such a high standard re: mandates.

    Actually, I would. Otherwise you’re voting for authoritarianism.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 11, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  81. @Gregor: Well, let’s get specific. The 2003 Civil Union law – was there a mandate? Bear in mind that opinion polls never showed majority support for it.

    Comment by Hugh — May 11, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  82. And I think that is precisely the type of call that should have gone to referendum, if only for NZ to see its biases publicly reflected.

    Another example – and the reason I am highly unlikely to vote Labour again – was the abolition of the Privy Council.

    Comment by Gregor W — May 12, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

  83. Fair enough.

    Comment by Hugh — May 12, 2013 @ 5:27 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: