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Old 10-16-2020, 09:55 AM
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Default Democracy 2020: non-US edition

I voted today.

Voter registration was online. Just log in, check details are right, done. I did that a couple of months ago. Probably slightly more involved for new voters but still pretty easy by all accounts.

The easy-vote card arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. You don't need it, but it makes it easier for the poll workers to look you up on their copies of the roll and give you the appropriate ballots.

Two minute drive from home to the polling place, one of many I can choose from. It's been open for the last two weeks and will be until the polls close tomorrow.

Had to wait in line... behind a single person. For about a minute until a poll worker opened up another one.

Got the paper ballots. Four ticks - one for local MP, one for party (we have a mixed proportional system), referendum on weed, referendum on euthanasia.

Done.

Mind you, the actual politics around our elections has been particularly stupid over the last decade (although also entertaining). Might post some more on that later.

Should have provisional results tomorrow night. The final results don't usually change much, and only make a difference if something is particularly close. Labour under Jacinda Ardern almost a certainty to be returned to government. Main open questions are whether they will need the Greens to form a coalition, and whether legal weed squeaks through.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2020, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Provincial election coming up. Our de facto tory party can’t seem to not step on a eugenics rake among a few other clown show fails.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2020, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

So, this NZ election cycle's nonsense. Where to start?

I guess first is to note that until March it looked like this would be a one-term government. People generally like Jacinda Ardern as PM, but her three-party coalition government hasn't really delivered much of what those parties' voters wanted. In particular, their attempt to address our chronic housing shortage turned into a complete disaster. So, the opposition National party presumably felt they could continue pointing to the failures and win, despite the fact that their leader didn't seem to be very popular.

Then came Covid. Ardern is good in a crisis - this is the third she's had in three years. She made a bold decision, communicated it clearly and with compassion, and instead of the horror of rising cases, hospital crises and months long lockdowns we watched on overseas news we achieved elimination and cautious re-opening. Ardern and her party's numbers rocketed.

The opposition completely misjudged the situation and decided to continue their approach of criticising whatever the government did. This lead to them flipping between saying the containment measures weren't hard enough and saying that lockdown should be lifted from week to week. In contrast to Ardern calling us a "team of five million" we had petty divisiveness. National's numbers tanked so hard they rolled their leader and put in a fresh face.

Only they continued to fuck up. A couple of attempts to embarrass the government by National pollys turned into scandals when it became clear they had breached the privacy of Covid patients by leaking medical details they shouldn't have even had access to. After only about five weeks the new leader, who apparently had some actual ethics, decided to resign, citing stress. Hemorrhaging support, the party decided to chuck in Judith Collins, about as divisive a figure as we've got in our current politics.

Will try to write more later.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

OK, so that was silly stuff, but mostly routine politics. Let's get real dumb with Advance NZ/NZPP.

Billy TK is a legendary-in-New-Zealand blues guitarist from the 60s and 70s. Can't say I know his stuff, but definitely know the name. His son, Billy Te Kahika Jr., is also a guitarist - by all accounts a decent one - but also a grifter who's left a string of unpaid debts behind him. So much so ordinary in the music biz. And then came Covid. Under lockdown, and under subsequent regimes with restrictions on gathering size, the music industry was on pause. So Billy TK Jr fell down the Youtube hole, hard. Plandemic, Agenda 21, 5G, anti-vax, anti-fluoridation, the works. So he started a political party, the NZ Public Party, and started talking about it all, and with bizarre speed became the lightning rod for all this conspiracy stuff. Not clear how much Billy TK Jr believes this stuff or how much he's discovered a lucrative grift - apparently he's been raking in cash donations that are not properly accounted for and falling through a strange loophole in our laws on election funding. Nonetheless he's gained a following, largely among Māori and new age types.

So how does it happen that conspiracism steeped in hard right American white supremacy spread amongst these seemingly strange bedfellows? Well the new age types have long been into the health-based conspiracy stuff. It's a bit more complicated with Māori. They have good reason to be skeptical about government control and paternalistic claims about how it's for their own good. But Māori leaders and long-standing activists are smart and well informed and largely dismayed by the rise in conspiracism.

Anyway, NZPP was too new and didn't manage to meet the deadline to register as a political party for the election. It looked like they were stuffed. Enter Jami-Lee Ross.

More to come. Possibly incoherently as I've started pre-drinking in anticipation of the results coverage.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Jebus over 20% vote counted and Labour over 50% that's not supposed to happen in a proportional system.

Funny thing the Nats hail Mary was to try making people scared of the Green party's proposed wealth tax. As a result some Nat voters are voting Labour to stop a Labour-Green coalition from happening. Can't have their ludicrous untaxed property value increases challenged.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

:yakkitysax:
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by fragment View Post

More to come. Possibly incoherently as I've started pre-drinking in anticipation of the results coverage.
I'm finding it all fascinating, so I'd be interested in more when you have time. As well as your thoughts on the results. :-)
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2020, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

From NZ election 2020: Jacinda Ardern thanks New Zealand amid Labour landslide - live results | World news | The Guardian

From the Nationals results anti-party:
Quote:
There is a lot of chatter but absolutely no reaction to results as they are updated. One MP present, Melissa Lee, is still claiming that she “hasn’t really seen” the results, although they are on a large screen on the wall.
:sniggle:
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2020, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Will try to scribble out some more later, for now I'll copypasta something I posted on ZuckerBook:

Heard a commenter saying something about a big win for the left. It's not. It's yet another blowout for the centre.
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

So I left the background stuff at Jami-Lee Ross. There's certainly a tale to tell there, but for now I'll just leave this post-election journalistic spanking he received:

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Old 10-21-2020, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

The bar is so low now, I envy you that NZ's most prominent conservative lying sack of shit doesn't throw tantrums like a 3-year-old when called on his bullshit. I actually miss having my intelligence insulted with obvious, ridiculous lies more quietly.
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  #12  
Old 10-23-2020, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Its funny to watch Biden try to excuse why he, over 8 years as VP put soo many Blacks in prison, and how he will fix it tomorrow.

:giggle:
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:32 AM
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I read some of your foolish scree, then just skimmed the rest.
 
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Wrong thread.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Everyone knows the veep is in charge of arrests, prosecutions and sentencing of all criminals. Or is it only the black ones? :think:
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
Provincial election coming up. Our de facto tory party can’t seem to not step on a eugenics rake among a few other clown show fails.


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Old 10-30-2020, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

No legal weed for us :(
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

It's enough to make you commit euthanasia, right?
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Old 11-01-2020, 05:07 AM
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

I seriously want to move to New Zealand. How tough is their immigration policy? Will they ever let Americans in again?
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:18 AM
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Like Canada, I presume, they won’t let in Americans.

They’ll allow “new Kiwis”.
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:51 AM
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It would be great to have you!

That said, we've got our own small-minded and crazy or just depressingly conservative people. And other problems too, they're just scaled to the size of the population so they don't seem as large.

During the pandemic hardly anyone can get in who isn't already a citizen or resident. Possibly if you can get a job with a company that can make a case that they can't fill the position with a local. So far that's mostly been used for Russian fisherman and Pasifika fruit-pickers.

Outside of that though our immigration can be surprisingly tough. Like many places there has been a bit of anti-immigrant feeling the last couple of decades. IIRC work visas are based on a points system. The easiest way to get enough is probably the old classic of marrying a local. Beyond that, a high-paying job offer and English fluency are the big ones. Anticipated high health needs are a pretty big minus. There's a list of in-demand skills that are a short-cut to getting in the door. If you're serious, vm, there seem to be some ICT skills on that currently: Skill Shortage List Checker – Immigration New Zealand

One other caveat - the cost of living as a proportion of income here has gotten super-high. Mostly housing, but food ain't that reasonable either.
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Democracy 2020: non-US edition

Re: the Labour-Green agreement, as a Green voter I have mixed feelings on it. There's only so far that the two Green ministers will be able to advance policy and the party has no leverage, but they will be limited in the amount they can be critical of the government.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
Like Canada, I presume, they won’t let in Americans.

They’ll allow “new Kiwis”.
Related:
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragment View Post
IIRC work visas are based on a points system./url]
Same. It's easier to get into the USA to work than Canada, but if you've been in UN tent in a camp somewhere for the last few years, you'll have a better bet with Canada.

Quote:
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Re: the Labour-Green agreement, as a Green voter I have mixed feelings on it. There's only so far that the two Green ministers will be able to advance policy and the party has no leverage, but they will be limited in the amount they can be critical of the government.
There is that, the neutering effect. My outsider's impression is that this is a genuine gesture and not a cynical political ploy. Time will tell.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:37 AM
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Yeah we're not really big on the flag-waving here either. People tend to mumble their way through anything but the first verse of the anthem too.

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Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post
Same. It's easier to get into the USA to work than Canada, but if you've been in UN tent in a camp somewhere for the last few years, you'll have a better bet with Canada.
Sadly that's not true here. Our intake of refugees is pathetically low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann
There is that, the neutering effect. My outsider's impression is that this is a genuine gesture and not a cynical political ploy. Time will tell.
Ardern's a smart enough politician that there's a bit of both. I think she genuinely wants to advance some progressive stuff, but won't do it more than she can pull the centre with her. And we do need that, but we also need the progressive voices outside pulling the Overton window over.
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