Category Archives: Democracy

Should the others vote?

The state is a safe space, that’s its job. From inception, bringing six constables to the shores in 1840 those organising a state on the islands of New Zealand have used variations of creating “law and order”, economic stability, integrated cultural conformity, gender normalisation and security to justify intervention in the lives people living in Aotearoa. If not overtly mentioned by those calling for, maintaining, and defending the state these goals are largely expected by those who vote to be delivered in some way in exchange for their taxes.

Today’s New Zealand has not achieved this at all. Unknown and untested chemicals flood across the borders causing unknown short-term and long-term damage to those who use them and those who love those users. The state continues to target cannabis plants with generations of anecdotal knowledge and decades of scientific research behind its use giving clear and known risks. In the interests of public safety and economic stability it’s easier to get methamphetamine than cannabis in New Zealand, with the most damaging drugs of all available for purchase in most supermarkets and yet change is angrily resisted.

This is far from safe and can be seen as related if you understand protecting our profit earning overseas by signing trade deals and allowing streamlined entry of goods into the country. So you can buy cheap products online, while police are “protecting the public” with violent raids on anything grown on our own soil, this means synthetic drugs and their precursors will always be cheaper and easier to get and produce than an actual weed that will grow wild.

Not A Party has argued for a “don’t vote” strategy in previous elections and I want to encourage the party to change tack entirely for the reformist coalition leg of bipartisan dictatorship. We have in office the party that oversaw the 15 October 2007 “Operation Eight” raids. Aside from the horrifying fallout of neo-colonial troops armed with assault weapons yet again on the confiscation line in Te Urewera, searching school buses and elderly at gunpoint in the interests of “national security”. The police apologised for that.

The police also on that day raided multiple addresses of political activists, taking computers and documents and proving absolutely no one was actually guilty of any terrorism at all under the law adopted on US government request by New Zealand, the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002. The outcome of court cases aside, pay attention to what the police believe the most dangerous threat to security is. Activists who target and protest the actions of corporations and anyone who feels their people should have dignity, self-determination and freedom on these islands from the post-colonial settler state government.

In Terror In Our Midst Brendan Hokowhitu explains what has happened since adopting this law, based on a perpetual war against “terror” in Western society.

Essentially, the discourse promoted by the Bush administration, in cahoots with other western governments such as Britain, was fostered on the grounds “others” had fewer rights than the normal population. Interestingly, the transforming morality is regressing in part due to the pre-enlightened discourses espoused by the Bush administration especially. Discourses based on ‘the will of god’ and ‘good and evil’ have quickly positioned the Other as ‘evil’ and the self as ‘good’. The moral retrogression has served those in power the mandate to enact absolute sovereign-like justice.

The “terrorists” are defined by the state in the first place then labeled instantly the other, the “bad” because the state is always “good”. So we have a drone war summarily executing the others in the middle east with robots to provide us all with the illusion of security and a “defence force” that attacks the mental health of journalists like a state sanctioned internet troll before being forced to admit the SAS did raid the village in Afghanistan killing civilians as outlined by Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager in Hit and Run. The police have raided journalists repeatedly since the inception of our war on terror with following legislation passed at the urging of the Obama administration by John Key reducing the rights of journalists when doing the job they should be of holding a microscope to society. No terrorists have yet been found amongst us, the others, and as we know the state does not see what it does as terror.

Far from delivering us from the real threat of the day, the introduction of this legislation and resulting raids did not create a safe space to stop the 2007 GFC causing a retraction of the economy, a rise in suicide rates, and paving the way socially for a massive increase in the “legal” flood of synthetic drugs into dairies and stores destroying many working families. Also directly affected were those who the then incoming PM described as an “underclass”, an “other” that once he got into office were to be given less rights than the “good” Kiwis. Drug testing and invasions of beneficiaries’ privacy up to the then Minister of Social Development releasing personal details of her critics to media while suing anyone threatening to release hers.

Why does any of this mean you should vote in the next election or any referendum? Just because John Key is out and GenXers run most wings of our pluralist dictatorship the ‘underclass’ he othered into economic doldrums have not gone anywhere. The level of control over others the police are willing to exert has not diminished. The hold-out NZ First still lead by the old guard, has for 24 years been seen as “picking the winner” in many a media talking head pluralist analysis prior to elections and has actually played this role three times. Forget your electoral colleges, we have Rob Muldoon’s apprentice picking our governments. Two pieces of legislation jump out to me as furthering the othering of some minority groups, neither is the upcoming New Zealand cannabis referendum. One is the waka-jumping bill that gives enormous power to the “good” party leaders over their “bad” disgruntled MPs who want to leave their party, possibly to do something from inside the Parliament on behalf of their perceived voter base to represent them.

The second and more important in my mind is to make all referendums binding. This most certainly has the ability to be misused to push a majority agenda brutally down the throat of those who disagree with it or are born different from its enforced norms through state sanctioned terror and violence. I hear the concerns of some groups and inside Not A Party and counter we already have that now. It happens now from birth to the grave. The state is using coercion, fear, and violence on us “others” to protect its “good” self. Direct democracy may lead to direct oppression of minorities, some of those minorities being party leaders.

Representation relies on the person you voted in interpreting how you would vote on issues introduced for discussion in Parliament. The party leaders can now interpret how they will as long as their caucus supports them and fringe opinions can be othered out of Parliament entirely to be replaced by a new representative. Having to get the majority to back your rights in a referendum will be no easy feat, the alternative is to see party leaders take the last tool your representative has to rebel (whether you voted for one or not) which is quitting the party and fighting out the term on behalf of either their own naked self-interest or from their perceived opinions of those like yourself who put them in Parliament.

If you made it this far you are already an other to the state somewhere, I’m guessing. Environmentalists have been othered by the state forces since their inception despite having a party inside the government proving they are in fact no longer others but members of the state attempting to create a safe sustainable space for their children in the future. Most of us never become so othered by the state that they will raid our communities like we are housing enemy combatants in the perpetual terror war. Or be othered so much we are detained and forced into medical treatment we don’t want. And it’s mostly to preserve the “good” state. By holding a population at gunpoint as if the entire community is a threat to the “good” state or targeting activists to be removed carefully (although not quietly) from their “good” communities the police have shown how they intend to enforce the terror laws here. The subsequent raids to collect evidence from journalists Heather Du Plessis-Allan and Barry Soper after Du Plessis-Allan showed you can now buy firearms online without a licence as if the problem is yet another case demonstrating glaring flaws with their safe space neoliberal state model. It is as if the real threat to state internal safety of the population does not lie with large corporations producing chemicals for “research” that turn out just to be poisons or addictive synthetics. Or banks producing CDOs that turned out to bankrupt working people with bad mortgages, no job and an eviction notice. Or that success stories like Trade Me are wide open to unsafe use by violence minded people. The corporations and banks are always cast as “good” in this environment and their victimised and lied-to consumers the “other”. Those of us who point this out are now the truly bad and may well become “terrorists” in the eyes of police whose primary job as they see is to protect the “good” from us “the others”. Many of you will at some point be othered by the police for political views alone, and if you get challenging enough your othering will lead to terrorisation BY the police of your community while removing you from it.

Pushing for cannabis law reform shouldn’t need to be argued here, but I will, in that it removes a tool the police can use to harass and oppress us others with very real threats of violence for failure to comply. Forcing CIR to be binding will be another othering tool in some hands, but it could be the leaders of those parties we can other with it. If not, this will get worse, it probably will anyway despite the Labour Party’s noises about child poverty, a 24% increase in house prices corresponding with less than half that in wage growth during the first six months of Jacindamania. We can expect that, like Helen Clark’s promises of universal student allowances or John Key’s promise of wages climbing to Australia’s level, we will see the young, the non-white immigrants, Maori, LGBTIQ, and anyone whose politics isn’t “good” enough for state security forces to be othered economically and blamed for our outcomes by enthusiastic supporters of the state. This administration complete with Winston Peters telling us capitalism has failed many of us spent its first six months signing among other things the CPTTP thus strengthening the very concept of corporate rights as good and local independence as the other which has failed so many Kiwis already.

If only we could run a binding referendum that Prime Ministers do the unthinkable and are forced to enact serious economic reforms they have promised to on the campaign trail?

You do the math

One of the many sad facts about New Zealand’s democracy is that most people don’t really understand how the system works, or what the election night results really mean.

Agent Orange to the rescue! Not A Party, not a problem.

I’m going to try to explain what just happened by way of an analogy.

I’m going to compare Not A Party’s performance on election night to National’s performance on election night, and the analogy I’m going to use is comparing the number of non-drivers to the number of drivers cruising along in blue cars. (Blue being the colour that represents the National Party.)

So I’ll give you the results to compare first and then show my working.

There’s five different ways we can spin the stats.


1. Seats in Parliament using the Sainte-Laguë allocation formula.

National 48.3%
NAP 0.0%

There are 120 seats in Parliament. 58 of those seats go to National. By analogy, suppose that there are 120 cars currently travelling on the road. 58 of those cars are blue. There are no non-drivers on the road. There are no stoned drivers on the road either, they parked up for a smoke, and Gareth Morgan also pulled over, he hit a cat and stopped to make sure that it was really dead. 58 out of 120 is 48.3%.


2. Percentage of actual votes by those who actually voted.

National 46.0%
NAP 0.0%

The analogy is to all cars on the road, before they park up, pull over, or break down. National got 46% of the party vote, 46% of the cars on the road are blue. The ALCP got 0.3% of the vote, 0.3% of the cars are travelling at 65 kph on the open road. Gareth Morgan hasn’t run over any cats yet. So in this second calculation non-voters and non-drivers (including drivers behind the wheels of stationary vehicles) aren’t included in the numbers.


3. Percentage of actual votes by those who were enrolled to vote.

National 36.2%
NAP 21.2%

This calculation includes all drivers who own cars, not just those drivers who own cars and are on the road. NAP enters the race, so to speak. 21.2% of drivers with cars didn’t go out on the road, they stayed home, their cars stayed in the garage or were parked outside on the street. 36.2% of all cars are blue and on the highway.


4. Percentage of actual votes by those who were eligible to be enrolled to vote.

This calculation includes all drivers, including those who don’t currently own cars. 33.0% of all drivers were driving on the road and driving blue cars. 28.2% of all drivers weren’t even driving that day, because they decided not to or simply couldn’t because they fell on carless days.

National 33.0%
NAP 28.2%


5. Percentage of actual votes by those who were eligible to be enrolled to vote, including wasted votes in NAP’s non-vote tally.

National 33.0%
NAP 31.3%

This is the same number as above for National. 33.0% of all drivers were driving on the road and driving blue cars. But the grand total for the disenfranchised is 31.3%. By analogy, 31.3% of all drivers weren’t even driving that day, because they decided not to or simply couldn’t because they didn’t even have a car, or they were driving but had pulled over, parked up, or broken down on the side of the road.


So that’s all the important numbers.

Now, the burning question is, who won the election, the National Party or Not A Party?

National did, we was robbed! Any way you spin it, there were more people who voted National than people who were in some way disenfranchised. NAP is under no illusions.

Now to show my working.

Here are some official stats from the Electoral Commission.

The following are estimated population statistics as at 30 June 2017 based on projections from 2013 census data, and actual enrolment statistics as at 22 September 2017 (the day before the 23 September general election). The dates don’t quite match up but there were

3,569,830 people eligible to enrol
3,252,269 people actually enrolled
91.1% of people eligible to enrol were actually enrolled

Here are some more stats from the Electoral Commission.

Voter turnout for the 2017 General Election is estimated to be 78.8% of those enrolled as at 6pm Friday 22 September. This compares with a final 77.9% turnout of those enrolled in 2014.

So estimated (by the Electoral Commission) voter turnout was 78.8%.

78.8% of 91.1% is 71.8% of those eligible to enrol to vote actually enrolled and voted.

So that’s 28.2% of those eligible to enrol and vote that didn’t actually vote.

Now let’s look at the percentages of those that did actually vote. Obviously, this doesn’t include non-voters. Non-voters were exactly 0.0% of those who voted.

More stats from the Electoral Commission.

Of those who voted, 46.0% voted National. 35.8% voted Labour, 7.5% voted NZ First, 5.9% voted Greens, 0.5% voted ACT. That adds up to 95.7%. The remaining 4.3% of voters voted for parties like ALCP and TOP who failed to reach the 5% threshold under the MMP voting system and didn’t get any electorate seats. That means that those 4.3% of votes are wasted, because they don’t get input into the Sainte-Laguë formula which is used to allocate actual seats in Parliament.

There are 120 seats in Parliament. Projected seats are 58 to National, 45 to Labour, 9 to NZ First, 7 to the Greens, 1 to ACT. Note that 58 seats out of 120 is 48.3%.

Please note that the results published by the Electoral Commission on election night are preliminary results. Final results after special votes are counted may change the National Party’s percentages, but not NAP’s. There was an election and the government got elected. Deal with it.

Election is Not the Same As Selection!

You’ve got the power to choose who will rule the country after September 23rd – we’re all waiting on your input! Your vote will help elect a Prime Minister and ruling party. You will have a range of choices of both electorate and party candidates – some voters will have over 25 options. That’s democracy, right? The people choose, right? Not really.

The tricky thing is that your input regarding the selection of the candidates is not asked for. The process that led to either Bill English or Andrew Little becoming one of your only two choices for Prime Minister is not under your influence, not even in the slightest.

As Richard Goode of Not A Party pointed out in a recent address, New Zealand has had either a National Party Prime Minister or a Labour Party Prime Minister for the past 80 years.

And you don’t get to select either of those. You get to vote for one list of people that you have zero input into, or another list of people that you have zero input into.

So what your vote amounts to, as an elector, is little more than a ceremonial acknowledgement of the completion of a process that started a long time before election day. Like the Queen cutting a ribbon to open a new library, it’s merely a show for the cameras.

The process that matters – where the political power is – is the process that puts a person into the position of leading their party in the first place. And the Establishment will have seen to it, as it does every other time, that both the National leader and the Labour leader are their puppets.

So it doesn’t matter if you vote for the left wing or the right wing of the shitbird – the leaders of both wings have been selected by the people who really have all the power in society, and it isn’t you.

That’s why Andrew Little and Bill English are indistinguishable when it comes to several major social issues. On the issue of cannabis law reform, Little is no less conservative than English, constantly harping on about brain damage, and the Labour Party policy webpage makes no mention of cannabis law reform whatsoever (although funding a motion-capture studio in Dunedin was important enough to mention).

In the end, we shouldn’t expect Little and English to be distinguishable. What the rulers of this country want is to frighten the markets as little as possible, and that means reducing democracy to a sham election between two candidates pre-selected for their total absence of any capacity for novel thought.

Ultimately, the people who benefit from the status quo have far too much invested in it to allow it to be upset by plebs like you!

Not even voting for a third party is possible. Watching the Green Party mortgage their soul at ever-increasing rates of interest over the past 18 years taught us one thing: a maverick third party can only win power in our system to the degree that it makes itself indistinguishable from those who already have it.

That the country will be led by someone who sees you as a unit of livestock to be milked for productivity and taxes is a given. It might appear that the only reasonable course of action was to refuse to vote and to work on building a parallel society away from the gaze of psychopaths beholden to international banking or ideological interests.

Election is Not the Same As Selection!

How the Ruling Class Stays in Power

If a person is slapped awake for even the briefest of moments they might come to look around and ask why a parasitic class of politicians wields power of life and death over them despite a total lack of historical evidence that they are wise enough for the responsibility or even intelligent enough to comprehend that it exists.

The truth is that the ruling classes maintain their position in every time and place in the same simple way, and have done so ever since the first chimpanzee established a dominance hierarchy in the primeval jungle: by taking rights away from the people they rule, and then giving some of them back in exchange for submission.

This essay will describe the method of enslavement known as “democracy” – a method that has reached acute levels of sophistication in the modern West.

As described above, the essential pattern is bipartite: first, take rights away from the people; second, promise to give some of those rights back to the people in exchange for their submission.

What’s crucial to understand is that the relationship described here is that of the rulers towards the ruled. Which flavour of political party the rulers use to swindle the rights of the ruled away from them is not relevant, as all political parties are tools of the ruling class.

Any political party is capable of taking rights away and giving rights back, because in a democratic system the masses have submitted to the rulers of that party. All that matters is that more rights are taken away than are given back.

This can be seen when the National Party takes away people’s rights to use medicinal cannabis, but gives them back some of their right to keep the money they have earned.

The Labour and Green Parties, by contrast, will promise to give you your rights to use medicinal cannabis back, but they will take away some of your right to keep the money you have earned.

And both parties will team up to give you back your rights to have sex with people of the same gender as you, but will team up to take away your rights to recreational use of tobacco and alcohol. At least today – it was the other way around 80 years ago and probably will be again in 80 years’ time.

The trick is that as long as both wings of the political machine take away more rights than what they give back, the machine itself can stay in power forever, because there will always be an unjust deficit of rights somewhere and therefore always grounds for a politician to come in and start promising things.

Helen Clark, for example, knew that she could not make any progress on cannabis law reform between 1999 and 2008, because then the Labour Party would not be able to gain votes by promising to look at reforming the medicinal cannabis laws in 2017.

Likewise, Andrew Little in 2017 knows that, if he is to be elected to power, he must make the smallest possible amount of progress on the issue.

This is why he only makes vague mumblings about sorting out medicinal cannabis, but will not under any circumstances discuss the incredible success of the Colorado model, and how adopting it in NZ would save us $400,000,000 per year.

That is something that has to be left to Jacinda Ardern’s Seventh Labour Government in 2035 or so. If the Labour Party gave too many rights back to the people too quickly, they would lose the leverage that they are currently exploiting to stay in power.

Unfortunately, New Zealanders (like voters everywhere) reward this kind of carry-on by continuing to vote for whichever of its number the ruling class puts forward to rule them that electoral cycle.

After all, it doesn’t matter which party a politician claims to represent – as long as they are from the ruling class, nothing will change.

It can confidently be predicted that many New Zealanders will vote for the Green Party this year for the sake of relief from cannabis prohibition, and that little thought will be given to the people who will lose rights under a Labour-Greens Government – namely, taxpayers.

And it can be confidently predicted that the National Party will rely on the outrage of taxpayers to get back into power in 2026.

Likewise, it can be predicted that any rights that Kiwis can claw back from the ruling class regarding the use of cannabis will be outweighed by the loss of rights to access alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational alternatives.

As before; so after – the Hermetic axioms apply to time as well as space.

How the Ruling Class Stays in Power

Thoughts on Brexit

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There seems to be two main strands of the pro-Brexit argument. The first is that Brexit will better allow Britain to control its borders. Although EU citizens have the right to live and work in the UK, Britain is not part of the Schengen Area (the part of Europe where border controls have basically been abolished) and therefore retains a high degree of border control.

But more interesting is the claim that Brexit restores Britain’s national sovereignty, and returns political decisions that were once made in Brussels back to British shores. The motivating belief behind this reason to support Brexit is that local decision making by British politicians and officials is better than decision making by people from other European countries, whose values and interests do not coincide with those of the British populace. According to this line of reasoning, political decisions made on your behalf (and to which you are subject) are better made by people who (at least broadly) share your values and interests; the closer they are aligned, the better. This is also in large part the motivation behind nationalist and anti-imperialist movements.

(It should be noted that this same line of argument is being used by people who support Scotland’s independence, or even London’s (!) independence, in the wake of the Brexit referendum. The people who voted for Brexit, according to them, do not share the political values of people in Scotland and London who voted heavily to remain.)

But if this is a good argument, surely it applies to decisions made in Westminster as much as in Belgium: the United Kingdom contains some 63 million diverse souls whose values, beliefs and interests diverge wildly. The same can be said on a local level: my interests and values may be radically different from that of my neighbour. If so, then according to this argument, the fact that they do not share my interests and values means that they should *not* be in charge of making political decisions on my behalf. The geographic fact that they live in essentially the same area as me makes no difference, any more than the fact that Britain is part of the geographic area known as Europe.

The natural conclusion of this argument, if followed to its logical conclusion, is a thoroughgoing philosophical anarchism. Only my interests and values match my own, and therefore only I am fully competent to make political decisions on my behalf, including deciding which laws to live under. (At any rate, more competent than anyone else.)

What this means is that, unless you genuinely support a single world government – if you agree with the reasoning above as an argument against the existence of a single, worldwide government, you really ought to support anarchism. No other position is coherent.

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Elections Are Black Magic Rituals – Are You a Victim?

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The world is made of magic, and many human behaviours that are difficult to understand become more clear when presented in magical terms. If one applies this esoteric lens to the democratic electoral system, it becomes apparent that elections are really rituals of Greater Black Magic.

The purpose of black magic rituals are to increase the personal power of the practitioner, either by focusing their mind on an objective or by drawing emotional power from onlookers, such as participants or sacrificial victims. In the act of making a sacrifice, a black magician gains power by absorbing the fear of the victim and of any onlookers. The basic logic is that “power goes where attention flows” – namely, the black magic practitioner absorbs the energy of anyone paying attention to them at the time of their working.

This element of sacrifice is evident within the electoral system in that one or the other side must lose and see their enemies take power and control. Either the poor are sacrificed at the altar of greed or the productive are sacrificed at the altar of envy. Both sides naturally fear the outcome of most elections, in particular if they are especially poor or productive, because they stand to lose more than the others. This fear generates power for anyone willing to exploit it, and the political class seldom hesitates when more power is up for grabs.

The fact is that the vast majority of politicians, regardless of whether they exploit the poor or the rich, are black magicians. This is why politics has been so long associated with lying and stealing – black magic thrives on deception, as this leads to confusion which leads to fear, which in turn is the fuel of the energy of the black magician. Many politicians, aware of the reputation that they have, position themselves as rebels who are against the others. Inevitably this is a ruse, as anyone willing to run in a democratic election is fundamentally a power monger, no matter how righteous their self-delusion.

The element of fear-generating confusion can also be seen in the effects of the electoral ritual, which leads to the very strange and very widespread belief that the act of seizing power that inevitably follows an election is justified by the “consent” offered by the participants. This leads as a matter of course to people accepting all manner of abuses carried out by democratic governments, as the people have given their power away by the act of participating in the election.

Make no mistake – the act of voting in a democratic election, or watching an election on television, or considering the winner of an election as a “ruler” or a “leader”, transfers power from you to the political class, about whom you have no guarantee of the correctness of their motives. Power goes where attention flows, and the greater the emotional reaction the political class can generate within you the greater the degree of power they have over you.

This is why every general election has a underlying theme of fear – if the wrong side wins there will be hell to pay, war, societal degeneration, etc. The fear is a necessary component of the ritual, and it is why every politician will seek to create the impression that their opposition will introduce fearful policies.

Elections are black magic rituals that seize some power from anyone foolish enough to vote in one. Are you a victim of black magic?