Discussion:
An elective dictatorship?
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James Christophers
2020-09-28 20:57:33 UTC
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With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after this election, the following may be instructive:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619

The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.

Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.

Further useful coverage here:

https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Rich80105
2020-09-28 22:09:46 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "

I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.

There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.

MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.

NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.

Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.

We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.

I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
Tony
2020-09-29 01:22:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and contrary to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
Rich80105
2020-09-29 03:12:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and contrary to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.

As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.

The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population

The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
Tony
2020-09-29 03:30:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and contrary to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
James Christophers
2020-09-29 04:53:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and contrary to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is likely to get no one anywhere.

However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers, however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.

But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their Lafite from their Latour better than most.

Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing” for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream”, for a mere £8.50.

For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing things, this report from 2013:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201

Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches with his own personal quid in prospect.

Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled retainer.
Tony
2020-09-29 06:02:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Christophers
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing”
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream”, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Rich80105
2020-09-29 08:21:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by James Christophers
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing�
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double creamâ€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.

None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
Tony
2020-09-29 19:43:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by James Christophers
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature
of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot
speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
Post by James Christophers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret.
With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing�
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double creamâ€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
No, that is wrong.
You have failed to provide any evidence that the two house system does not
work. That is what you said and that is what you have failed to show.
Your failure not mine.
John Bowes
2020-09-29 20:50:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by James Christophers
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature
of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot
speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
Post by James Christophers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret.
With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of
foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing�€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette
mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream�€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
No, that is wrong.
You have failed to provide any evidence that the two house system does not
work. That is what you said and that is what you have failed to show.
Your failure not mine.
Keith is just trolling. He has about as much relevance as his buddy Winston....
James Christophers
2020-09-30 00:14:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing�€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream�€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Rich80105
2020-09-30 01:36:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
James Christophers
2020-09-30 04:33:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.

That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.

For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
Rich80105
2020-09-30 05:06:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..

Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
Nellie the Elephant
2020-09-30 06:12:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Rich80105
2020-09-30 08:29:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
John Bowes
2020-09-30 09:25:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
So you think your glorious leader has lost the election Rich. Because it's either that or an elective dictatorship telling us what we can or cannot say for starters!
Rich80105
2020-09-30 20:28:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:25:45 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
So you think your glorious leader has lost the election Rich. Because it's either that or an elective dictatorship telling us what we can or cannot say for starters!
Now you are not making sense - regardless of the results of the
election, we are not heading into and elective dictatorship. What is
it you want to say that you think someone is telling you or will tell
you that you cannot say?
John Bowes
2020-09-30 21:18:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:25:45 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
So you think your glorious leader has lost the election Rich. Because it's either that or an elective dictatorship telling us what we can or cannot say for starters!
Now you are not making sense - regardless of the results of the
election, we are not heading into and elective dictatorship. What is
it you want to say that you think someone is telling you or will tell
you that you cannot say?
Nothing different from what I've been saying for years Rich. That your a bloody imbecile and your glorious Labour party are big government despotic bunch of Marxist muppets very like Nazi Germany and the soviet Union of the thirty's!

Your problem Rich is your to stupid, lacking in comprehension and brainwashed to understand. I do have to admit that brainwashing a brainless fool like you is a pretty good trick!
Rich80105
2020-09-30 22:47:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 14:18:55 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:25:45 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
So you think your glorious leader has lost the election Rich. Because it's either that or an elective dictatorship telling us what we can or cannot say for starters!
Now you are not making sense - regardless of the results of the
election, we are not heading into and elective dictatorship. What is
it you want to say that you think someone is telling you or will tell
you that you cannot say?
Nothing different from what I've been saying for years Rich. That your a bloody imbecile and your glorious Labour party are big government despotic bunch of Marxist muppets very like Nazi Germany and the soviet Union of the thirty's!
Your problem Rich is your to stupid, lacking in comprehension and brainwashed to understand. I do have to admit that brainwashing a brainless fool like you is a pretty good trick!
So you have been able to make such statements under both National-led
and Labour-led governments - what do you think is going to change,
John Bowes?
John Bowes
2020-10-01 02:31:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 14:18:55 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:25:45 -0700 (PDT), John Bowes
Post by John Bowes
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
So you think your glorious leader has lost the election Rich. Because it's either that or an elective dictatorship telling us what we can or cannot say for starters!
Now you are not making sense - regardless of the results of the
election, we are not heading into and elective dictatorship. What is
it you want to say that you think someone is telling you or will tell
you that you cannot say?
Nothing different from what I've been saying for years Rich. That your a bloody imbecile and your glorious Labour party are big government despotic bunch of Marxist muppets very like Nazi Germany and the soviet Union of the thirty's!
Your problem Rich is your to stupid, lacking in comprehension and brainwashed to understand. I do have to admit that brainwashing a brainless fool like you is a pretty good trick!
So you have been able to make such statements under both National-led
and Labour-led governments - what do you think is going to change,
John Bowes?
Not just thinking freedom of speech is doomed Rich! It's a fact! why? Because Ardern was asked to bring in hate speech laws by the Iman at the Christchurch mosque and she announced Little's pet project as coming if she's elected. On top of that the bloody Greens are all for it as well! Being Labour they'll screw it up like everything else they touch.

Now get your head out of your arse Rich and see what's going on in the REAL world rather than the rosey red fantasy world you obviously live in!

On top of Freedom of speech the numbers needing housing will rise, Ardern will lie on a daily basis and you'll continue to prove your just a fucking imbecile. But guess none of those are changes. Just more of the same old, same old inflicted by PM's who're so far out of their depth they can't see the surface!
James Christophers
2020-09-30 22:38:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Not ludicrous as such but highly unlikely, I think. New Zealanders got a whiff of ideological 'totality' during the extraordinary Douglas/Richard hiatus. Such was their zeal and the excess damage wrought on this country's small and susceptible social fabric, some of it all too cruelly embedded even 30 years on, that those who were around at the time are unlikely en-masse to back a repeat onslaught from either major party let alone consider it as an option. Once bitten...

For clear and present examples of the extreme polarising of the political quotient in the body politic, look no further than the likes of Trump and Johnson who, in their quest for sole totalitarian control of both narrative and nation, have done their damndest to override and subvert all modern-day democratic and constitutional conventions along with the dignity, inspiration and security they confer on both the individual, the group and the nation. And there is is not one single whiff of Marxism about either of them in any true philosophical or day-to-day sense. The three most salient characteristics they share in common are narcissism, mendacity and treachery, made all the more egregious by their perverse elevation of all three to an art form.

Bourbon, Tsarist, Marxist or Trumpist: all are, essentially, synonyms in under the collective rubric 'Totalitarian'. (Johnson, by the way, is Trump-lite.)
Rich80105
2020-09-30 22:51:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:38:01 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Not ludicrous as such but highly unlikely, I think. New Zealanders got a whiff of ideological 'totality' during the extraordinary Douglas/Richard hiatus. Such was their zeal and the excess damage wrought on this country's small and susceptible social fabric, some of it all too cruelly embedded even 30 years on, that those who were around at the time are unlikely en-masse to back a repeat onslaught from either major party let alone consider it as an option. Once bitten...
For clear and present examples of the extreme polarising of the political quotient in the body politic, look no further than the likes of Trump and Johnson who, in their quest for sole totalitarian control of both narrative and nation, have done their damndest to override and subvert all modern-day democratic and constitutional conventions along with the dignity, inspiration and security they confer on both the individual, the group and the nation. And there is is not one single whiff of Marxism about either of them in any true philosophical or day-to-day sense. The three most salient characteristics they share in common are narcissism, mendacity and treachery, made all the more egregious by their perverse elevation of all three to an art form.
Bourbon, Tsarist, Marxist or Trumpist: all are, essentially, synonyms in under the collective rubric 'Totalitarian'. (Johnson, by the way, is Trump-lite.)
And in last nights debate Judith Collins expressed some support for
Trump . . ., but perhaps extremely unlikely is a better description of
the chance of our heading to an elective dictatorship. For one of the
risks, see:
https://www.klaut.media/single-post/astroturfs-act-three-of-dirty-politics
John Bowes
2020-10-01 02:34:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:38:01 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Not ludicrous as such but highly unlikely, I think. New Zealanders got a whiff of ideological 'totality' during the extraordinary Douglas/Richard hiatus. Such was their zeal and the excess damage wrought on this country's small and susceptible social fabric, some of it all too cruelly embedded even 30 years on, that those who were around at the time are unlikely en-masse to back a repeat onslaught from either major party let alone consider it as an option. Once bitten...
For clear and present examples of the extreme polarising of the political quotient in the body politic, look no further than the likes of Trump and Johnson who, in their quest for sole totalitarian control of both narrative and nation, have done their damndest to override and subvert all modern-day democratic and constitutional conventions along with the dignity, inspiration and security they confer on both the individual, the group and the nation. And there is is not one single whiff of Marxism about either of them in any true philosophical or day-to-day sense. The three most salient characteristics they share in common are narcissism, mendacity and treachery, made all the more egregious by their perverse elevation of all three to an art form.
Bourbon, Tsarist, Marxist or Trumpist: all are, essentially, synonyms in under the collective rubric 'Totalitarian'. (Johnson, by the way, is Trump-lite.)
And in last nights debate Judith Collins expressed some support for
Trump . . ., but perhaps extremely unlikely is a better description of
the chance of our heading to an elective dictatorship. For one of the
https://www.klaut.media/single-post/astroturfs-act-three-of-dirty-politics
The only risk is fucking imbeciles like you thinking Hagar is publishing the truth. Hagar's just another Marxist muppet like you working to his own agenda. Hell you even conveniently forget he blind sided Helen clark. Hagar's writtings are like your Rich. Pure bullshit!
Nellie the Elephant
2020-10-01 01:18:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Don't be so daft. What you got wrong is obvious to those who unlike
you try to keep to the subject.
You stated that a two house system does not add value, clearly it does
in the UK as demonstrated by James and others.
The composition of the upper house needs addressing but the
effectiveness of it is largely accepted.
Rich80105
2020-10-01 06:59:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:18:42 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Don't be so daft. What you got wrong is obvious to those who unlike
you try to keep to the subject.
You stated that a two house system does not add value, clearly it does
in the UK as demonstrated by James and others.
Tony said: "The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to
law making and sending back bills with amendments for the Commons to
consider." - to which I gave examples of how to delay without a House
of Laws unless a super-majority vote for it being introduced more
quickly, and good processes for competent review by the country - a
robust select committee procedure.

James identification of value of the House of Lords related to the
expensive employment of a large number of people; effectiveness and
value for money to the country beng an entirely different issue.

Still tradition obviously trumps effectiveness in the mindset of the
Brits, and it is their business really, not ours. Noting regarding the
upper house in Australia, UK or the USA gives any encouragement to
bringing back an Upper House in New Zealand.

One of the protections built into the New Zealand system is a three
year term - raised in one of the debates and agreed to be worth
considering by Ardern and Collins. It is clear that most people can
recall a government that they would not have wanted to go one more
year - the Lange/Douglas government being one with Labour, most
National governments being the same. I can understand why politicians
would like 4 years - it gives a bigger opportunity for greater change,
and it seems to fit voters perception that even the Key governments
deserved more than one term. That is however a separate debate which
can be addressed in another thread.

So a two house system has not been shown to add value - and has been
demonstrated to potentially, and in practice, cause real harm.
Post by Nellie the Elephant
The composition of the upper house needs addressing but the
effectiveness of it is largely accepted.
Nellie the Elephant
2020-10-01 20:44:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
On Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:18:42 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:12:19 +1300, Nellie the Elephant
Post by Nellie the Elephant
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 21:33:08 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:14:05 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
Post by Rich80105
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:02:21 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government
after
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the
20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of
the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be
the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and
sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak
for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and
contrary
to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is
this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
Post by Tony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of
bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
For 'value' I would suggest 'effectiveness'. Even then, whether their
lordships are themselves value for money is anybody's argument and one that is
likely to get no one anywhere.
However, I've always had my doubts about the entitlement and putative
deserving nature of hereditary peerages (as if by Divine right), their numbers,
however, having been considerably reduced a while back, but still contributing
to a total Lords membership exceeding that of the Commons. Rather a large if
not bloated oversight committee if you ask me.
But I entertain no doubts whatever as to the generosity of the British citizen
who, and without even a please or thank you, must, perforce, underwrite the
gustatory pleasures and excesses of their lordships who, indulging in the
expansive respendence of the House of Lords Dining Rooms, doubtless know their
Lafite from their Latour better than most.
Catering is overseen by the 13 peers who are appointed to the House of Lords
refreshment committee (wigs optional). It meets once a month and discussions
on subsidies are normally held behind closed doors to keep them secret. With
the subsidy (courtesy of the taxpayer), peers have dined on “terrine of foie
gras with toasted brioche, Amaretto jelly and a tomato and thyme dressing?€?
for just £7.50. Other delights on the menu have included “trompette mushroom
risotto with truffles, champagne and double cream?€?, for a mere £8.50.
For a full and frank disclosure of the British Upper Crust way of doing
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/house-of-lords-food-and-drink-bill-1570201
Remember, that's just the House of Lords. The House of Commons spares itself
nothing either when it comes to similar indulgences, including those bestowed
on any conspiratorial flotsam and jestsam swanning in, having been sweetly
sponsored for a slap-up do by any old Tom Dick or Harry from the backbenches
with his own personal quid in prospect.
Last I heard, the doorman was still taking tips - in folding money only; known
affectionately to all members of both Houses as Old Scrotum, the wrinkled
retainer.
All of which is interesting but does not address the core of the issue which is
whether the Lords is of value.
It clearly indicates that on at least one measure it is not of value.
Post by Tony
I clearly expressed some reservations about how the House is made up but many
commentators believe that it serves an important purpose and it does work.
Your stteehnt does not in any way detract from the criticism you are
responding to; by claiming that "The Lords does not get involved in
day-to-day decisions by government", you appear to see them as having
nothing to do with legislatiive response to two major events in recent
years, and can only cite "many commentators" regarding an unstated
"important purpose" - by which you may be referring to it "adds real
value providing a delay to law making and sending back bills with
amendments for the Commons to consider" You appear to value
obstructiveness for its own sake, and to believe a bunch of people
with hereditary or bestowed honours have more value than a robust
select committee process where the public and interested specialist
bodies have the opportunity to submit on legislation before it is
finalised; and where the current NZ government at least has made that
process more rigorous by allowing some Committees to have a majority
of opposition MPs.
None of your comments have in any way supported the assertion in the
Subject of the thread that a single party holding a majority in
parliament (which has happened in NZ and elsewhere many times around
the world) is necessarily "an elective dictatorship" in any way.
The subject header is not an assertion.
Yes you are correct - the assertion was implicitly made in the article
in The Herald.
"...staring down the barrel of..." etc. The outcome of crap journalism and crap editorship is crap commentary that can only jeopardise possibly more worthy material in the same piece as has happened in this case.
That said and potential Arden majority or no, such good fortune is unlikely to be anything but constrained, and this can itself pose a danger to any single-party government since it only takes a few malcontents to cross the floor or resign to the crossbenches to strip a government of its unchallenged power and authority.
For any PM of whatever reputation or popularity, "troubles come not as single spies but in battalions". And no one has learned this and come to terms with it with more alacrity than our current PM.
I think it unlikely that there will be defections; both abour and the
GReen Party have shown that they can work well together, and also work
with NZ First. Regardless of whether Labour needs Green MPs to form a
government, I suspect they will continue to work well. I suspect the
performance of some Green MPs (one of the less well known possibly
being the Minister of Conservation for example), it is possible that
Labour and the Green Party will form a coalition; they will be looking
for a third term as many of the aspirations of both parties will be
best met by a longer period in government given the disruptions of
Covid-19, and their MPs will also know that their opinions will get a
good hearing and they wll be dealt with fairly - leaving either party
while in government is less likely than we have seen in the UK where
some governments have less skill in keeping individuals with a range
of opinions working well together..
Either way, I do not think anyone in our New Zealand "Team of 5
Million" is really concerned that if Labour was able to form a single
party government that there would be unacceptable "dictatorship" type
consequences.
You simply got it wrong and are now wriggling.
Put up or piss off.
Got what wrong? We are not heading to an elective dictatorship, the
suggestion remains ludicrous.
Don't be so daft. What you got wrong is obvious to those who unlike
you try to keep to the subject.
You stated that a two house system does not add value, clearly it does
in the UK as demonstrated by James and others.
Tony said: "The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to
law making and sending back bills with amendments for the Commons to
consider." - to which I gave examples of how to delay without a House
of Laws unless a super-majority vote for it being introduced more
quickly, and good processes for competent review by the country - a
robust select committee procedure.
You ignored what he said, the intent is to make the Commons think
again. The select committee system is no better and you have not
provided any evidence that the Lords does not add value - you are as
always just arguing with him because you don't like him - it is
personal and all who graze here know it to be so.
Post by Rich80105
James identification of value of the House of Lords related to the
expensive employment of a large number of people; effectiveness and
value for money to the country beng an entirely different issue.
No he was talking about the people that sit in that house, that there
is reason to change who sits there because they are currently not
elected. He was not talking about the expense which in the context of
the UK is inconsequential.
Post by Rich80105
Still tradition obviously trumps effectiveness in the mindset of the
Brits, and it is their business really, not ours. Noting regarding the
upper house in Australia, UK or the USA gives any encouragement to
bringing back an Upper House in New Zealand.
One of the protections built into the New Zealand system is a three
year term - raised in one of the debates and agreed to be worth
considering by Ardern and Collins. It is clear that most people can
recall a government that they would not have wanted to go one more
year - the Lange/Douglas government being one with Labour, most
National governments being the same. I can understand why politicians
would like 4 years - it gives a bigger opportunity for greater change,
and it seems to fit voters perception that even the Key governments
deserved more than one term. That is however a separate debate which
can be addressed in another thread.
So a two house system has not been shown to add value - and has been
demonstrated to potentially, and in practice, cause real harm.
Post by Nellie the Elephant
The composition of the upper house needs addressing but the
effectiveness of it is largely accepted.
James Christophers
2020-09-30 00:06:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:22:10 -0500, Tony <lizandtony at orcon dot net
Post by Tony
Post by Rich80105
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
With the polls consistently tending towards a single-party government after
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The article starts: "In the mid-1990s New Zealanders adopted electoral
rules the country hoped would end the tyranny of what Lord Hailsham
once called the "elected dictatorship" of single-party majority
government. "
I believe the motivation for MMP was not on those grounds; it was to
avoid governments who were supported by a minority of voters. The
wake-up call was Social Credit gaining 20% of votes and no MPs. There
was no concern about a party having a majority of MPs in the House
being able to change any laws they wanted to other than those that
required a higher percentage to change.
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
MMP has delivered coalition governments more often than not, and this
was the source of the main concern for those arguing against MMP. In
fact they have had little effect - a minor party wanting to be
re-elected has to be seen to have added value while achieving at lest
something for its constituency; under National-led governments
achieving something has been difficult - most small parties learned
that coalition with National was the path to destruction, with the
exception of "Captain Sensible" who achieved little while taking
credit for as much as he could of laws that the major party would have
passed anyway - he was effectively a "poodle party" of National.
NZ First look like disappearing for the second time, because they are
seen as having been obstructive and errratic in stopping some
political decisions that were seen as reasonable election promises by
the major party.
Freedom of Information has generally been promoted by the Green Party
and to a lesser extent Labour, and resisted by National, who
neverthyeless knew that they could not afford to reverse the
legislation; Key overstepped the mark by admitting that National
deliberately broke the law for political purposes.
We see the effect of a system not delivering democracy with the USA,
where the bias in the senate has delivered disproprtionate power to
the Repuiblicans, with subsequent bias in appointments to the Supreme
Court - they have 2 senators per state, but 5 of the most conservative
states deliver 10 senators while the liberal California, with the same
total population, delivers only 2 Senators. They also have
gerrymandering of electorates for their House of Representatives,
which generally favour the Republicans, just as our old system
favoured the National Party.
Post by James Christophers
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th
century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the
British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the
last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Our system has clear problems, but these relate to unfairness
regarding minor parties. The arrangement between ACT and National
delivered a theoretical half a seat to National, which is not
particularly important; it could be argued that Labour had gained in a
similar theoretical advantage from the arrangement with Jim Anderton.
Of worse consequence was the ability of ACT to bring in other list
candidates without meeting the 5% threshold - there is no theoretical
reason why the same threshold should not apply to all parties for
allocation of list seats. That appears likely to not apply this year
as National have shed enough voted to ACT to enable ACT to get over
5%, but the objectionable distortion in our law still remains. I
believe a lower threshold should apply in any case - it was
recommended by the last independent review but has been ignored by
both National and Labour.
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
The house of Lords adds real value providing a delay to law making and sending
back bills with amendments for the Commons to consider.
There is much debate about whether the way the "Upper" house is made up is
democratic or fair but there is not much debate about how valuable it is.
Many Americans believe their two house system is of value, I cannot speak for
Australia but to dismiss all three as not adding value is silly and contrary to
the opinions of many political commentators.
In the case of the UK, perhaps the most important thing to consider is this -
it works.
I do not detect any desire from anyone for the return of a second
chamber in New Zealand.
As far as the House of Lords is concerned, can you point to any
significant effect on responses to recent big issues such as Brexit or
Covid19 responses. If a delay is all you are looking for why not just
adopt a rule that no legislation can take effect for 3 months unless
passed by say a 2/3rds majority? Sometimes delay can be disastrous;
and it is not clear that embedding delay into a system is necessarily
a good thing.
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
First of all I wrote "Many Americans believe their two house system is of
value" and clearly I was not debating that.
What the House of Lords has done in the last year is totally irrelevant. The
Lords does not get involved in day-to-day decisions by government, why would
you expect it to?
It has no direct governmental executive powers. Unelected, it does not have the same powers as the Commons, but it retains the right to revise, amend and scrutinise the Government's actions and legislation. It has no powers to amend any Supply bill.
Post by Tony
I am referring, obviously, to centuries of value and to the passing of bills.
You have provided no evidence that the two house system in the UK does not
deliver value and that was your initial statement - so provide some evidence
for once.
There is no direct, tangible evidence as such since too much of procedure and protocol is based on centuries-old abstractions and conventions on which the functions of the House of Lords are founded. And all of it under the authority of an unwritten Consitution based on an 800 year-old Charter that not only bears no sovereign's personal signature, but has, in its fundamental provisions, been adopted - in spirit and intent - in written form in more countries than I can immediately call to mind.

However, the Lords of today are now coming under closer scrutiny and serious attempts at reform are well under way. Even so, it'll be a long and winding road to any truly significant change. This describes much of what is currently in progress - or not, as the case may be:

https://www.politics.co.uk/reference/house-of-lords-guide-and-information-on-the-house-of-lords
Gordon
2020-09-29 07:43:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
The US Senate is clearly unrepresentative but also so are the
Electoral College and to a lesser extent the House of Representatives
- see for example
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territories_of_the_United_States_by_population
The complexity of the at times overalapping / conflicting power of the
President, House, Senate and States has been clear during the term of
Trump and some previous presidents; the USA can claim a lot of things
but their version of 'democracy' is not one that even they would
recommend to other countries.
The American system was not design to have two entrenched sides as there is
becoming now. Thus it has some issues. Still it works until something else is
agreed upon by the American people.

The two Houses idea is rather pld fashioned to say the least. The House of
Lords and the House of Commons. All rather class entrenched.
Gordon
2020-09-29 07:37:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rich80105
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
Single Tranferable Vote . Too complex for the masses to understand but it
does have no wasted votes.
Post by Rich80105
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
Well, if there is no Upper House, how is the Queen going to open parliament?
Rich80105
2020-09-29 08:25:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gordon
Post by Rich80105
There have always been "wasted votes" in any system - the McGillicuddy
Serious Party for example never expecting to gain a seat. No system
can or should try to ensure that every vote results in someone being
elected.
Single Tranferable Vote . Too complex for the masses to understand but it
does have no wasted votes.
I agree that it may make a difference in a few electorates; it works
well in Australia; Auckland Central may well have a different result
at this election under MMP, where the majority may find that splitting
between Green and Labour candidates allows a National candidate to win
the seat.
Post by Gordon
Post by Rich80105
I do not believe New Zealanders want to return to having a Second
house - it appears to not add value in Australia, the UK or the USA.
Well, if there is no Upper House, how is the Queen going to open parliament?
I believe she has in person on at least one opening of Parliament
sinceteh Upper House was abolished - with a "Speech from the Throne"
carefully worded for her to read.
BR
2020-09-29 04:09:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
The diabolical genius of Marxism-Socialism is that it provides the
emotional and intellectual roadmap for autocrats to persuade millions
of people to support their own enslavement to government. ~Mark Levin

Bill.
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Crash
2020-09-29 07:53:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 28 Sep 2020 13:57:33 -0700 (PDT), James Christophers
Post by James Christophers
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12368619
The term 'elective dictatorship' cropped up more than once during the 20th century, most notably when Lord Hailsham was referring to the nature of the British parliamentary system of government during an address in 1976.
Shaw describes the 'dictatorship' as 'elected'. He will by no means be the last to do so.
https://tinyurl.com/y22zta26
Prior to 1996 we had governments that achieved an absolute majority of
Parliamentary seats with an absolute minority of the overall popular
vote. MMP fixed that. While the 2017 election saw the single largest
party into opposition for the first time, overall MMP has delivered a
government that reflects the election result and dominated by the
single largest party.


--
Crash McBash
George
2020-09-29 19:04:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:53:25 +1300
Post by Crash
Prior to 1996 we had governments that achieved an absolute majority of
Parliamentary seats with an absolute minority of the overall popular
vote. MMP fixed that. While the 2017 election saw the single largest
party into opposition for the first time, overall MMP has delivered a
government that reflects the election result and dominated by the
single largest party.
And the opportunist was on Fake News One this morning trying to look
relevant...
Can we send him to North Korea as the envoy ???
He'd be at home there
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