It's a pity National leader John Key did not reach out directly to domestic purposes beneficiaries to persuade them why it was in their best interests to seek work once their youngest reaches six.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he is happy for the public to hear what he has to say to the privileges committee next Monday and wishes the hearing was earlier in the day so more people could attend.
Mr "5.6%" Peters is both irrelevant and important at the same time - which is exactly why MMP is flawed.
Then again, any Labour minister brought in front of the privileges committee would get similar amounts of attention. The difference being the attention would be unwanted in the Labour minister's case.
All Winston needs is 5% of the vote, so any publicity is good publicity.
Sure what Winston has done is hypocritical and reflects badly on himself, but the irony is that the heavy news coverage may actually help him.
In my opinion - Winston doomed himself and his party as soon as he signed up with Labour which is the main reason why they're low in the opinion polls. NZ 1st voters are naturally conservative. So all the scandals surrounding Winston only cements his supporters because 95% of New Zealanders wouldn't vote for him anyway.
I haven't blogged specially on Peters up till now because frankly he's just a sideshow.... a has been. He had promise in 1996 & 2002, but he continually disappoints. Many National voters who defected to him in 2002 did so on the proviso he would be a formidable voice in opposition to Labour - because at the time National sure wasn't. But instead he spent the entire time attacking National and even more so when Dr Brash became leader. His attacks haven't really subsided since John Key became leader.
Winston has past up one opportunity after another.
After reading that the left-wing activities who infiltrated the Nats conference and quizzed MPs on left-touchstone issues, I decided to quiz myself on the issues.
I'm defining a touchstone issue as something that divides opinion. Other bloggers are welcome to take the quiz and post results on their blogs. The best way to determine your political allegiances is when you consider the issues rather than party personalities. So am I right or left - libertarian or authoritarian?
1. Civil unions: for or against?
For. If people want their relationship to be reconginised in the eyes of the law... why not. Though from a libertarian perspective I personally don't see why the state needs to validate relationships.
2. Prostitution Reform Act reform: for or against?
Leaning toward against. I hate to think this has become a genuine career choice for young woman....
3. Legalised Cannabis for or against?
Leaning toward for. Ultimately I'm for freedom of choice. But scientific evidence shows cannabis can cause genetic damage. Then again.. I drink diet coke.
4. Nuclear weapons: for or against?
For unfortunately. A necessary evil. In any other time an army numbering in the millions (China and Iran) would be out conquering countries. The only thing keeping them at bay are nuclear weapons.
5. US naval ship visits: for or against?
For - for the reason above.
6. Republic or Monarchy.
Monarchy. Because I consider British traditions part of our culture too!
7. Anti-smacking: for or against?
Leaning toward for.
8. Global warming: Skeptic or believer.?
Leaning toward skeptic. I can accept the world is warming, but the political measures to combat GW are rubbish. The elephant in the room GW activists ignore is population growth. One person = how many energy efficient bulbs...? I support reducing carbon for clean air benefits. However the ETS is rubbish.
9. Nuclear power for New Zealand: for or against?
For. Should be at least on the table - especially if the hydrogen economy comes about and to reduce carbon emissions. A royal commission of enquirer would determine if it's right for NZ
10. Genetic engineering: for or against?
For. How else are we going to feed the worlds ever going population?
11. Kiwibank: Sell or keep?
Leaning toward sell. Don't Kiwibank and Westpac et al. borrow money from the same off shore location? So interest paid on Kiwibank mortgages goes to the same off shore lender. The main argument for keeping it in my eyes is they have branches in rural locations.
12. Broadband or trains?
Broadband. Trains are so last century.
13. Electoral finance act: for or against?
Against - let the Exclusive Brethren and the unions campaign - the electorate is smart enough to sort out crap from crap.
14. State funding: for or against?
Against. But could be convinced otherwise.
15. MMP: for or against?
Against. Another proportional system please - perhaps like what the Aussies have.
16. Obama or McCain?
Obama - because I'm sick of anti-Americanism. Though I wish he was pro-free trade.
17. Minimum wage increases: for or against?
For - as long as the increases are pegged to some sort of wage growth index. Currently the minimum wage equals $26000 a year before tax (based on a 40 week). That's enough to get by, but is pretty rubbish really. But to be honest I haven't considered the economic implications.
EMBATTLED NATIONAL deputy leader Bill English says he will "never" challenge John Key for the party leadership.English, who was National leader from 2001 to 2003, said he no longer wanted the post "because John Key is doing an excellent job and, having worked with a number of leaders and been one, I'm probably in a better position than most to judge that".
Mr. Key said Miss Clark could "go for it" but National would be running a positive campaign."If she's going to do everything from rort the electoral law, to get (journalist and author) Nicky Hager to listen into our emails, to go out there and get young Labour affiliates to be bugging our personal conversations, well that's her style of politics."
- the release confidential MFAT meeting notes- rort of the electoral law (defined as a corrupt practice in the law)- exploiting hundreds of National's stolen emails- Labour affiliated John Key attack blog "The Standard"- Labour affiliated National attack blog "08wire"gb- secret recordings
- Labour activists are even more psychotic and 'on to to it' than anyone thought and don't need guidance from their idols on the 9th floor - who are oblivious to what is going on.- Labour are only casually aware.....- Labour orchestrates and drives the whole operation from the 9th floor.
In 2005, National gifted Labour the 'gone by lunchtime' comment.
^ fair enough. The main argument against borrowing is the cost of the interest, while the argument for borrowing is the potential for the new asset to generate income. For example; A business may go into debt to pay for an extension to their shop with the idea the extra floor space will generate more profits which will ultimately benefit the business.
Each argument is just as valid so there is no right or wrong. National is for borrowing while Labour claims to be against borrowing.
If Labour want to make this an election issue, they're going to have to be far more convincing. To make their case they should declare an aim to reduce debt to 15% of GDP, necessitating the need to keep taxes high. Their key messages would be the savings resulting from the reduction in interest payments and the fact more money stays in NZ.
As Labour stands at the moment with a plan to cut taxes by $10.5 billion and keep debt at around 20% of GDP - they don't have the platform to mount such a campaign without being called hypocrites.
One of Kevin Rudd's major election planks has just gone by the wayside:
THE 1000 Australian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel in and around Iraq will be there "for a long time to come", Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has warned.... That completes a comprehensive adjustment of the ALP's policy on Iraq and a significant shift from the impression created by Labor in opposition that Australia's role in Iraq was all but over.
Obama is currently campaigning to withdraw troop from Iraq. All bets are off on this one.
The title Senior Counsel replaces Queen's Counsel under a law that came into force today and Attorney-General Michael Cullen has convened a selection panel for the first appointments.
Labour's continual harping on about National's a secret agenda is really just a cover for their own secret agendas; one of them being republicanism by stealth.
Labour has made a number of subtle changes over the years, removing crowns from logos, ditching the Privy Council, Knighthoods, and the word 'royal' where ever possible. Now it appears Labour are ditching Queens Counsel, the designation for top lawyers, for Senior Counsel.
These terms and traditions are just as much part of our culture as they are part of British culture. So when Labour changes these traditions to meaningless, bland, PC alternatives without consultation, they are taking away part of who we are. Even if NZ became a republic there would be in harm in keeping the historic terminology.
The surreptitious way this Labour government operates, practically those on the 9th floor, is a major reason why they're getting the boot come 2008!
- Interests: Politics, New Zealand
The catalysis for this blog was my dislike for the Clark'n Cullen Labour govt - particularly their transgressions during the 2005 general election & treatment of then opposition leader Don Brash.
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