Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LIBERTARIAN SUS: National’s Four Corners

Susan Ryder goes looking for National round every corner . . .

“Disappointing and unhelpful” was Prime Minister John Key’s reaction to the news that the United States intends to subsidise its dairy industry.

But surely the real surprise is why anyone should be shocked at the USA’s change of direction. President Obama is a socialist, so government interference is what he does best. And in subsidising an arm of the agricultural sector, he is doing exactly what his hero, FDR, did in similar economic circumstances 75 years ago.

If nothing else, Barack Obama is sticking to the red corner. John Key, on the other hand, continues to bounce between all four – red, green, brown and blue, (alright then, bluish) – depending upon the subject. Here’s what he said to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking yesterday on (a) this week’s Budget and (b) special Maori seats for the new Auckland council:

MH: The Budget this week: Are you worried about a downgrade from the (credit-rating) agencies or not?

JK: I’m not, because of the actions that Bill English and the Cabinet have taken. Our two focuses [sic] have been:

  1. Firstly, we can’t afford to be downgraded. If we do, it adds 1-2% to interest rates to every borrower, homeowner and business. That’s bad news; it would cost Mum and Dad a lot of money and we’re not going to do that. And secondly, it would saddle the next generation of New Zealanders with a lot of debt and that’s unfair as well.
  2. We’re worried about jobs and making sure we come out of this recession. I think we’ve got the balance nicely ... we’re not breaking any entitlements, you know. Zero per cent loans, they stay; Working for Families, that stays; benefit entitlements, they all stay. But obviously we’ve had to tweak one or two things which, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t do.

Let’s pause to take stock of that. His government is happy to retain all that welfare at the expense of “tweaking one or two things”, i.e., by not delivering promised tax cuts to the very people who fund all that Labour-imposed welfare.

Ding, ding: Round 1 to the red corner! Back to the bout …

MH: The big hikoi today: Do they (Maori) stand a chance of getting any seats at all, or not?

JK: Well, I wouldn’t say no. I mean, I think the hikoi … there’ll be a lot of people who turn out for a variety of reasons. Some will protest because of that. Some will protest because they want a different structure on that second tier of a Super City or more people to be elected from wards and not at large, and some people will just protest for the sake of protest.

MH: But Maori seats: Are you into them or not?

JK: Well, um, I’ve had presentations on the manawhenua seats, you know, and the government is considering those but it’s far too early to tell if we’d change anything at this point. As I say, I think this hikoi is a bit ahead of itself. We haven’t had the select committee process yet, where people can actually present their arguments and those arguments can be tested. So it really would have made more sense for it to be later. I can understand why they’re having it today because of the significance of Bastion Point, but I do think they’re ahead of themselves.

MH: What are their odds, do you think, in percentage terms?

JK: (Quickly) - I’m not going to put odds on it.

Well, no. Because it’s a thorny issue with many people. Because it might involve having to make a decision and sticking with it. No U-turns, no flip-flopping, no back-tracking, but actually taking a principled stand for equality.

But isn’t this an example of what happens when parties with little in common join forces to form a coalition? It would appear that National has learned little from watching Helen Clark’s nine years of manoeuvring around the minefields of juggling New Zealand First, the Alliance, the Greens and Jim Anderton. The Maori party is unashamedly single-minded in its pursuit of preferential treatment for New Zealanders of Maori descent. To give the party credit, it makes no bones about it. John Key’s brown chooks are simply coming home, via the Auckland Harbour Bridge, to roost.

“It’s not about race; it’s about rights!” cried one of today’s protestors. Dead wrong, pal. It is about race. It’s only about race.

You are marching for special race-based treatment, even though all seats are open to anybody to contest. You are marching for division, for separatism, for bloodlines. And in that last respect, you are no different to the masked monsters of the Klan - but then racism always does make for strange bedfellows. Conversely, the true opponent of racism is not concerned with another’s DNA.

Of course, John Key could say that, too. He could say that what matters is what a candidate says and does, as opposed to whom his parents are. That he doesn’t even seem to understand that point has Round 2 going to the brown corner. Unanimously.

* * Susan Ryder writes every Tuesday here at NOT PC * *

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41 Comments:

Anonymous Nick said...

Is it just me or is John Key getting quietly more and more authoritarian/paternalistic ?

I'm not sure if it's that I've just started noticing this, but he seems to be inserting himself in all sorts of issues I would have thought a Prime Minister would have little to do with.

5/26/2009 07:53:00 am  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Nick I think that's probably a reaction on his part: it seems that every time an issue rears its head, the nation turns like mindless sheep and demand that government fix things, kiss it and make it better.

5/26/2009 08:23:00 am  
Blogger Julian said...

I see that authoritarian John Key is now considering banning pseudoephedrine from over-the-counter cold and flu tablets. As someone who currently has a cold, I don't want him dictating what I can take (or not take) to make me feel better.

A side question...I thought pseudoephedrine was already tightly controlled?
Julian

5/26/2009 08:41:00 am  
Blogger Luke H said...

Our two focuses [sic] have been:Someone managed to misspell a word in a radio interview?

5/26/2009 09:26:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

I wondered that myself, Luke, as it's neither misspelled on my part nor grammatically incorrect on Key's. PC?

5/26/2009 09:58:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Re the US subsidising its dairy farmers:

I should point out that John Key on last night's One late news made mention of govt intervention having the adverse effect of prolonging the Great Depression.

It would be nice to see that logic reflected in Thursday's budget.

5/26/2009 10:48:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Why the "sic"?

Well, call me pedantic, but the plural of focus is focii.

And it's very hard to have two focii with your average lens. Try it some time.

You have to be careful when using metaphors. Trying to have two focii suggests, dare I say it, a lack of genuine focus.

5/26/2009 12:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

My Collins dictionary states both 'focuses' and 'focci' as plurals. In fact, 'focuses' was listed first.

You're pedantic. ;)

(Mind you, it takes one to know one!)

5/26/2009 12:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Marcus said...

To be even MORE pedantic, I think it's 'foci', although as Sus points out, 'focuses' was stated first in the references I found. Since it's derived from Latin, 'foci' would be more 'proper', but it's natural for it get anglicised to 'focuses' eventually I guess.

While we're on words... anyone know which English word alters pronunciation when you change the initial letter from lower case to to a capital?

5/26/2009 01:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

".. I think it's foci .."

You're right.

And re that last bit: Not me. I give up.

5/26/2009 01:40:00 pm  
Blogger Shane Pleasance said...

I can think of a few off the top of my head...

These heteronyms are mostly place names:

Job & job

Polish & polish

Reading & reading.

Nice & nice

Natal & natal
I'm sure there are more - but fog of time has descended.

Am I right?

5/26/2009 05:19:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

I assumed the sic was a reference to having TWO focuses. I have a camera with a fixed focal length. Pretty much everything is in focus at all times. Or rather the trick is that nothing is sufficiently out of focus for you to notice. A bit like this gummint, really.

5/26/2009 05:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Obama is not a socialist he is a statist and if you need a right winger saying it then here is the president of the Cato institute and if you want to see a socialist saying it - the good kind - see here.

5/26/2009 08:52:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Maori seats are not based on race, they’re based on the treaty of Waitangi. The crown - the government, made a specific agreement with a specific group of people, and I for one think that a government is obligated to uphold any agreement that it makes. When the crown broke that agreement by confiscating maori land, communities were broken up, many were forced to move to city’s like Auckland. Since our electoral systems are based on community representation, the addition of maori seats offers to these individuals the same representation they would have had if that agreement had not been broken by the crown.

If you want to debate the relevancy of the treaty, and what forms of representation are acceptable or desirable, go ahead. That discussion is to be encouranged. Even a debate about whether agreements or property rights should be passed onto family members when you die would be closer to the real issue.

The extreme right have been using the term "race based" to describe the maori seats for a few years now, and it's pissing me off no end. It's racist and irrelevent. I figure it's a product of ignorance but then, racism usually is. It's nothing more than a catch phrase to rally bigots and ignorant drones to one side of an argument without offering any kind of intelligent discussion.

It's not about race. Maori seats are based on, and jusitfied by the treaty of Waitangi.

5/26/2009 10:30:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

What a fucking idiot. Not only are you too dumb to read the treaty of Waitangi, you're too dumb to spell "cities".

Our electoral systems are not based on "community" representation, otherwise each "community" would get a vote Fidel. It's based on one person, one vote, and the rest of us are sick of ignorant arseholes like you trying to cheat and get more than your fair share.

5/26/2009 11:08:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

ohes noes I made a spelling error !!

...moving on

So I never voted for an MP for the North Shore then? People from Epsom never voted for Rodney Hide? Excellent! I never liked that fucker, I'm glad he's gone from parlime...

Aah shit.

I'd actually support the move to a purely proportional voting system, one without electorates. A national STV system with a threshold of 2 or 3%, along side some changes to local governance, would be better than our current system IMO and would remove the justification for the maori seats without impacting maori representation.

PS, I'm not maori. In fact, I'm probably whiter than you, I'm not asking for more the my "fair share"

5/26/2009 11:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Hi Quoth .. that claim has been made by many since Obama came to power and I don't buy it. It's splitting hairs. A socialist favours the redistribution of wealth - and that's BO.

Call him a statist by all means -- he is -- but he's also socialist.


DS: This is the 21st century. That "specific group of people" to whom you refer are long gone. They do not exist, nor do today's Maori citizens bear any semblance to the former, inasmuch as today's Caucasians and Asians lead very different lives to their 19th century forebears.

What "forms of representation" are desirable? The same for all.

To suggest that these seats are not about 'race' is absurd. Answer the following:

1. Are NZers of Maori descent precluded from contesting any open seat? No.

2. Are NZers of non-Maori descent precluded from contesting the special Maori seats? Yes.

Conclusion: Race-based.

Re STV: I'd prefer it, too -- but with electorates so that you list your local candidates in order of preference. I believe that strong candidates from smaller parties would do well, all of which would create a *true* proportional representative govt as opposed to the shambles that is our current national system.

5/27/2009 12:01:00 am  
Anonymous David S. said...

"DS: This is the 21st century. That "specific group of people" to whom you refer are long gone. They do not exist, nor do today's Maori citizens bear any semblance to the former, inasmuch as today's Caucasians and Asians lead very different lives to their 19th century forebears."

This only supports my argument, that the discussion should be based around the relevancy and interpretion of the treaty of Waitangi, not race.

"What "forms of representation" are desirable? The same for all."

Any desirable form of represention should be equal for all, this is why the number of maori seats is based on the percentage of people voting in that electorate. It is true that I as a non-maori can't choose to vote from that electorate, but then I can't choose to live on land that does not belong to me without the landowners permission either.

The seats are not "based on race", they are based on the treaty. At worse it's an issue of nationalism, a point of view I'm more receptive to (I lean towards libertarian socialism for the record - no that's not a contradiction in terms, there is actually such a thing). At the end of the day, it comes down to issues of sovereignty and other issues to do with the treaty. To say it's about race is like saying my rights to property or to have the contractual obligations I'm owed upheld are a matter of race, if I have children do they inherit my property? Or does the government get it?

"I believe that strong candidates from smaller parties would do well, all of which would create a *true* proportional representative govt as opposed to the shambles that is our current national system."

Could you define "*"true* proportional representation"?.. an electorate based STV system would only be slightly better than FPP with regards to proportionality.

5/27/2009 12:32:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

Tell us exactly which words in the treaty of Waitangi give Maori the right to reserved representation on any public body, specifically someone with at least a single maori ancestor.

5/27/2009 08:21:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

DS, I'm struggling to follow your logic in connecting Maori-only political representation at both national and local level, with the issue of land ownership. I'm obviously not making myself clear enough, so perhaps somebody else could do so.

Re my understanding of how STV would work in an electorate?

Briefly:

Let's say there are five candidates each representing their respective political party in my area.

I might like the Libertarianz candidate, but feel that a vote for her would be wasted for the usual reasons expressed. So under FPP or MMP I end up voting for the Nat even though that doesn't really represent my viewpoint. I might also admire that particular Green candidate, too, for certain reasons, even though I normally oppose his party's policies.

So under STV I would list my local candidates in order of preference.

That way,

*a smaller party fronting an exceptional candidate would do so much better (than either FPP or MMP allows)

*the local candidate actually has to win local support by their own efforts, ie doing the hard yards, (as opposed to the way the Green MPs are currently in Parliament)

*the individual voter's preferences are much better reflected

I did say that was a brief explanation of how I see proportional representation working -- as opposed to the half-assed system we currently have.

How exactly the numbers would work would have to be calculated by the boffins who love that sort of thing.

Cheers.

5/27/2009 11:49:00 am  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Sus - You're quite simply wrong. Socialism has a lot of different currents for instance Brad Spangler, from the second link, is a free market anarchist. There are those that call themselves socialists who would like to use the state for wealth redistribution for sure, that's just another current of socialism. Various socialists all have common attributes and a concern for the current distribution of wealth is one of them. That does not extend to the redistribution of wealth though. Right wing governments have been some of the most aggressive wealth redistributors in history, of course the wealth redistribution is always away from productive workers and to the elite whether it is corporate bureaucrats or state bureaucrats. You must remember that that whether they are a state socialist or not, socialists recognise that the state as it is uses its extra economic power to privilege some at the expense of others and some see the remedy by removing those privilieges and freeing the market. Others do not, some see the welfare state as an evil others do not and so on. But to call Obama a socialist is just fallicious. He has resided over a redistribution of wealth - from the productive workers to the idle bankers and there is absolutely nothing socialist about that. In fact socialists of all colours have been some of the loudest critics of Obama. Not only the bank bailouts but his continuation of his predecessors war on terror.

5/27/2009 12:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Quoth: I'm familiar with all that - really - but I simply can't be bothered with the myriad of definitions.

Yes, of course right-wing govts have been guilty of wealth redistribution, etc, the Nazis being National *Socialists* after all! They're all guilty of taxing and spending.

I read Brad Spangler and my eyes glazed over. Just another soft leftie full of his own importance. I can't be bothered with anyone who would describe himself as an "anarchist".

And as for Edward Crane, I put it to you that it's still essentially splitting hairs. I agree that Obama is a statist; of course he is; but he is a Democrat, ie a left-winger and, by definition, a 'socialist'. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

BTW, are you American? The reason I ask is that "socialism" was never a term that I heard much in the US. They preferred to speak of "the left" instead. I always wondered if it was to try to divert public attention from the reality of it.

5/27/2009 01:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Sus - The Democrats are hardly left wing. I certainly wouldn't call them left wing. The left-right dichotomy in common discourse in the US is virtually meaningless. To be left wing does not by definition make you a socialist. Obama has never called himself a socialist. I'm not aware of any democrats that openly self-identify as socialist. You may enlighten me if you wish. Most of those whom do identify as socialists openly renounce Obama, his policies and the democrats. If a libertarian like Edward Crane can agree with those that call themselves socialist, that Obama is not a socialsit, I think there is case enough to not label Obama a socialist. I don't thnk it is simply splitting hairs I think it's an important distinction.

I'm not American.

5/27/2009 03:35:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

So what word exactly would you use to describe turning the car companies over to the unions, purchasing equity in banks, increasing taxes massively on higher incomes, increasing government intervention (especially in the economy), tax and spend, speeches about supporting workers rights against "greedy" capitalists, etc, etc?

5/27/2009 03:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Redbaiter said...

I'm not aware of any democrats that openly self-identify as

Well then you're too damn uninformed then to be arguing on the issue.

Some time ago 58 members of the U.S. House of Representatives formed a subdivision of the Democratic Socialists of America and called it the Progressive Caucus. *

Their statement of purpose, as well as their membership list, formed an integral part of the dsausa Web site (www.dsausa.org).

The membership list appeared on the screen with the continuous background of the fist holding the rose, should anyone have missed the connection with the Socialist International.

Following newspaper exposure of the Progressive Caucus (Nov. 10-11, 1998), action was taken to hide the true nature of the organization, and its membership list was eventually taken off the dsausa Web site.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi has long been, and is now, a member of the executive committee of the Progressive Caucus. Her election as minority leader has firmly established the link between the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Socialist International.

*Source- Washington Times 11 02 2002

5/27/2009 03:57:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"Tell us exactly which words in the treaty of Waitangi give Maori the right to reserved representation on any public body, specifically someone with at least a single maori ancestor."

Well, I'm certainly no expert on law, or the maori language, or the treaty, however if you read what I have to say I think I can justify my position that referring to the maori seats as "race based" is racist.

There's certainly more than one interpretation of the treaty, it's why it has remained an issue for so long. There are a few maori words that have no direct meaning in english that have become the main points of contention.

One interpretation is that maori only agreed to be governed by the crown, ie have the same laws and be part of a central government, but remain autonomous. This would mean that they would retained absolute control over their land and natural resources. It's a similar (in my view) idea to the relationship states in the USA have with the federal government, they have both their own laws and those at a federal level.

The justification for the maori seats is somewhat extrapolated. The confiscation of maori land was a truely terrible thing, and obviously it broke down a voting base that in our current system would have seen large blocks of maori all voting in the same electorate. The maori seats restores that voting base to those who wish it.

In itself however, this interpretation is not actually a justification for my original statement, that referring to the maori seats as "race based" is racist. It simply outlines that the justification for those seats is based on a specific agreement that was made between a voluntary collective (no-one's forcing maori to vote in maori electorates) and the government, and that any discussion should be based around that specific agreement rather than ethnicity, as ethnicity has played no part in the process of justifying those seats.

Referring to the maori seats as "race based" is racist. Not only is it a very poor argument that does not address the issue, it dog whistles to every asshole who would use such a conflict to incite racial hatred and violence.

5/27/2009 04:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Redbaiter - One orgainsation, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, working briefly with another organisation, the DSA, does not make all members of that orgnaisation socialist. Just like national working with the Greens does not make all members of the National party greens. In fact what the Congressional Progressive Caucus are is in their title progressives. When i talk about self-identification I mean saying "I'm a socialist"
From the wiki on the DSA: DSA's position on U.S. electoral politics has since evolved; its present official position (roughly that held since 1993[5]) is that "Democratic socialists reject an either-or approach to electoral coalition building, focused solely on a new party or on realignment within the Democratic Party."[6]
During the 1990s, DSA began looking to the Religious Right's activism within the Republican Party as a model for how the Left could gain a greater foothold within the Democratic Party, which at the time was dominated by President Bill Clinton's "New Democrats" in the Democratic Leadership Council.[7] The group gave the Clinton administration an overall rating of C-, "less than satisfactory".[8]
The Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of 65 Democratic legislators in the U.S. Congress, worked with DSA against the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. DSA's website included commentary supportive of the Progressive Caucus throughout much of the late 1990s.[9]
DSA's involvement with the Democratic Party has largely been one of convenience, because certain Democratic politicians "possess strong labor backing and operative social democratic politics." The DSA's leadership believes working within the Democratic Party is necessary because of the nature of the American political system, which rarely gives third parties a chance politically. That said, DSA is very critical of the corporate-funded Democratic Party leadership, the Democratic Leadership Council in particular.

5/27/2009 05:07:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"I can't be bothered with anyone who would describe himself as an "anarchist"."

I've descrbed myself as an anarchist on occasion. The term refers to the absence of an enforced hierarchal structure, as such, libertarianism is actually an anarchistic concept. A lot of lefty anarchists are actually lefty libertarians but tend to shy away from the term since it's been kinda monopolised by you lot :P

5/27/2009 05:20:00 pm  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

YAWN
If it quackes like a duck and walks like a duck, it ain't a goose is it? So Obama doesn't self identify as a socialist.
Like most western socialists, as soon as hes in power, the wealth theft starts (you may call it redistribution, but it feels like theft when you take my money) but the wars continue, the favouritism continues, the picking winners is the same.

5/27/2009 05:39:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Sus - re electorate based STV:

Proportionality refers to the idea that the MP's voted to parliament should represent a proportion of the population.

The system you described does have some benefits, but improved proportionality isn't one of them. It still doesn't address the issue that if you live an area where everyone disagrees with you - you get no representation whatsoever, this is the same problem that FPP had.

The problems with MMP also result in a lack of proportionality. The 5% threshold means that voters must base their support around parties that will either meet that threshold or win an electorate seat in order to be represented. Those who don't, don't get a voice in partliament, like the 4 point whatever percent that voted NZ First last election. Not that I'm not kinda glad to see Winnie gone or anything, but it was undemocratic.

5/27/2009 05:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Like most western socialists, as soon as hes in power, the wealth theft starts (you may call it redistribution, but it feels like theft when you take my money) but the wars continue, the favouritism continues, the picking winners is the same.It is theft. Just like George bush before him. Was George bush a socialist? I don't think so. So what is your criteria for calling someone a socialist? They must have something in common for the label to have any meaning. You can't just go around calling everyone you disagree with a socialist. What if I went around calling all right wingers facists - it wouldn't make any sense would it. If you throw labels around like that you just make the terms meaningless. The argument's made better than I could ever make it at KP.

5/27/2009 06:41:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

DS: You do so much to shoot yourself down that it's hardly worth commenting, but I'm in a mood for a turkey shoot, so...

Well, I'm certainly no expert on law, or the maori language, or the treaty. Ah, no, but in your defence, neither are many people who claim they are.

There's certainly more than one interpretation of the treaty, [...]One interpretation is that maori only agreed to be governed by the crown, So why does that interpretation take precedence over the more obvious interpretation that you gain by reading the words rather than between the lines. Do you believe that no Maoris knew any English, and no British knew any Maori, so they were at the mercy of a translation? Do you think they all signed after just reading the text and not asking any questions of the guys they negotiated it with?

have the same laws and be part of a central government, but remain autonomous. This would mean that they would retained absolute control over their land and natural resources. They should have retained control over what they owned much like anyone does, but what does that have to do with them participating in a parallel state?

The justification for the maori seats is somewhat extrapolated. Made up you mean? Yes, I agree.

The confiscation of maori land was a truely terrible thing, Agreed. Property rights should be sacrosanct.

...and obviously it broke down a voting base that in our current system would have seen large blocks of maori all voting in the same electorate. The maori seats restores that voting base to those who wish it. Nonsense. a: MMP allows proportional representation regardless of location. b: Believe it or not, not all Maori land was "confiscated". Some they still have, some was sold, and some wasn't owned by anyone in the first place. Your claims seem to assume that the whole country was divvied up into specific surveyed blocks that each belonged to a tribe and that the British just came along and nicked the lot. Simply not even close to true.

In itself however, this interpretation is not actually a justification for my original statement, that referring to the maori seats as "race based" is racist. . What else could you possibly call it when seats are reserved for a group of a certain race? Why are the people who support the removal of any distinction by race always called the racists?

...a specific agreement that was made between a voluntary collective .. whose DNA is now spread far and wide, and in the vast majority of cases has mixed with European DNA.

as ethnicity has played no part in the process of justifying those seats. Well why the hell does it play a part in determining who gets to vote in them?

5/27/2009 11:09:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

This will be my last post on this.

Aside from your refusal to notice that electorates still play a part in our electoral system, your reply only justifies my point even further. That being that the issue is about the interpretation and relevance of the treaty. It's not about ethnicity. Maori are not asking for this representation because they are maori, or because they are of a different ethnic group, but because they had an agreement with the crown which they believe entitles them to it. To claim it is based on ethnicity is racist.

..and BTW, this statement is quite telling about your knowledge of the treaty..

"Do you believe that no Maoris knew any English and no British knew any Maori, so they were at the mercy of a translation?"

The English and Maori versions of the treaty are different, so clearly there were problems with the translation.

It is actually about rights, not race.

5/28/2009 12:18:00 am  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

"It is theft. Just like George bush before him. Was George bush a socialist? I don't think so. So what is your criteria for calling someone a socialist? "

My criteria? Socialists want to take my earnings and create non-military gummint non-jobs for people who think the way they do. They say the people want it.

Conservatives want to take my earnings and create military (and space-related) gummint non-jobs for people who think the way they do. They say God wants it.

5/28/2009 07:59:00 am  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

What makes socialists and conservatives similar is the theft of workers money, the lust for power and the goal of enrichment.

5/28/2009 08:02:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

This will be my last post on this. [Collective sigh of relief goes up from the readers of this blog]

Aside from your refusal to notice that electorates still play a part in our electoral system Almost none. The only effect they have is that people who shouldn't be in parliment get a back door in (ie Maori seats).

The English and Maori versions of the treaty are different, so clearly there were problems with the translation. And clearly you, much like most of those who are trying to pretend there's a big conspiracy against them, aren't listening. I'll say it again for you. It is highly unlikely that anyone would sign a document as important as a treaty without discussing it with the other party first.

It is actually about rights, not race. Well, in that case, maybe they should be called "rights" seats and then they can be contested by the "Rights" party.

NOTHING in the treaty of Waitangi says anything about reserved parlimentary representation for either of the participants, so stop making shit up.

5/28/2009 08:32:00 am  
Anonymous Redbaiter said...

"Conservatives want to take my earnings and create military (and space-related) gummint non-jobs for people who think the way they do. They say God wants it."

Wow, what an advocate for Libertarianism. You guys have sure got the market cornered on political nous.

5/28/2009 09:42:00 am  
Blogger Clunking Fist said...

Red, that was a response to a question asked of me by Quoth the Raven at 6.41pm 27/05/2009.

5/28/2009 02:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Quoth the Raven said...

Interestingly enough Obama is actually incresing military spending. Just like here with Labour and National there is little difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

5/28/2009 03:57:00 pm  
Blogger Sally O'Brien said...

Looking around the dictionaries this definition of socialism seems to be the consensus:
"any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods"

So is this an all or nothing thing? Can a regime be described as semi-socialist?

5/29/2009 06:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Redbaiter said...

"this definition of socialism seems to be the consensus:"

The key element of socialism is the use of government to increase belief in socialism, or to increase the influence of socialism.

Socialist governments are not there just to provide services, however manifold and unnecessary, but to promote the ideology.

This is why socialists infiltrate our media (left wing journalists and editors and Radio NZ) and our popular culture (government promotion of left wing pop culture as per NZ On Air) and our education systems (left wing academia and left wing courses).

The focus of socialism is the fostering of a totalitarian social condition where only left wing ideas exist.

This is what makes it different from other systems. For example a true right wing government would hopefully de-construct or downsize itself and promote individualism and less government dependency.

Socialists use the power of government to add to and boost their political influence and grow government, at the same time as they attempt to shut out any other political influences.

Whatever the definition might be, the true evil behind Socialism is the use of government to feed friends and starve enemies.

6/01/2009 01:21:00 am  

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