Wednesday, 17 September 2014

That’s democracy, David

I have to laugh at David Farrar getting angry because DotCon turns out to be a bigger blowhard than Winston Peters.

For months and even years we have given Kim Dotcom a slight benefit of the doubt. He claimed back in 2012 that he had evidence John Key knew about him before 19 January 2012. He said he would produce this evidence in court.
    He never ever did.
    But he kept insisting he had the evidence…Most of us thought the evidence would be ambiguous at best, or inconsequential – but thought he would at least have something.
    But it seems he had nothing at all. The claimed e-mail is so obviously a fake (
see Danyl McLauchlan), that he didn’t even present it at the meeting…
   I’m angry about this, and you should be also…

David’s angry.

Why is David angry?

Because election. [Emphasis that follows is all David’s.]

   Kim Dotcom has tried to hijack our democracy and we should be angry about this… New Zealanders should have been having a final week debating . But Dotcom’s media manipulation has tried to make it all about him…
Yes some of the stuff alleged by Snowden is of public interest …

Butt me no buts, David. The stuff alleged by Snowden and Greenwald is of public interest [emphasis mine] and no matter how flaky their host is, (which is substantial0 it is perfectly appropriate to spend a week or more debating their allegations.

It’s not like there’s really a major item of difference about which to debate what any of the major parties propose in the economy, the health system, the education system, jobs, incomes, welfare, housing or the like. All (both?) propose various degrees of state intervention, often along remarkably similar lines.

It’s true that there’s not really a scintilla of difference either in what they might do about what Snowden and Greenwald allege, but that doesn’t make it wrong to debate it in the last week of the election campaign. [Emphasis mine, that time.]

Because, you know David, in an election campaign there’s no “we should” about what we discuss.

You and the major party campaign managers might like to talk about the economy, the health system, the education system, jobs, incomes, welfare, housing or the like – and I talk about these myself, because I too think they are important. But some people want to talk about property rights and individual liberty; some want to talk about why they should be arrested for smoking a joint; some just want to talk about the lies that politicians tell (which are many) and the promises they tend to keep (which are few); but whatever they want to talk about in the last week of the election campaign is entirely up to them. [Emphasis, once again, all mine.]

That’s the whole point about democracy, I’ve heard.

In a democracy, you don't get to dictate what everyone gets to talk about. You don’t get to dictate what issues they want to vote about. What everyone talks about is, well, up to everyone. That I guess is one of the key  points about a democracy. Like it or not, it's not a bug, it's one of its features.

That’s the lesson for today.

If democracy is the counting of heads regardless of their content, and it is, then you don't get to complain about what those heads want to talk about, if what they want to talk about is not always of your own choosing.


  1. Agreed. There are far too many people on both sides whose position on this issue is being driven by party (tribal) allegiances rather than principle.

  2. Before the 1832 Reform Act these problems never occurred; said it a million times before how things would greatly improve if we disenfranchised poor people.

    Voting should be reserved for those with either a minimum $1 million in net assets, and/or $100,000 in income

  3. Voting should be reserved for those who have produced a minimum $1 million in wealth by their own creative efforts supplying goods or services to satisfy the demands of other individuals in the market, and/or $100,000 in income per year doing same.

    There. Fixed it.


  4. Mr Lineberry,

    Those numbers are arbitrary, and I'll counter them with a this: Your vote counts proportional to your nett tax contribution. i.e a higher (productive) earner will get a bigger say, due to their higher contribution in taxes.

    Kind of a "He who pays the piper..." scenario

  5. There are far too many people on both sides whose position on this issue is being driven by party (tribal) allegiances rather than principle

    Quite right, and on any position in life, really. When you identify with a group, like left or right, rich, poor, gay, straight etc.; when everyone is singing from the same hymn book there is no reality check.

    That is why I think Greenwald and Co have done us a favour, even though I can't stand Dotcom.


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