Category Archives: Not A Party, not a problem

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?

I Dont Hate Socialists

I don’t hate socialists. Some of my best friends are socialists. The socialist democratic style of governance we currently live under is just part of the natural progression towards a more mentally healthy and free society. The population of the world has almost completely rejected monarchies now, and governments are going to be next. Don’t be afraid. Embrace the positive changes where you see them. No one here is going to try forcing you to start running your own lives or anything. The change I want to see cannot be brought about that way. If I had aspirations of violently overthrowing the total drop kicks currently in power it would only mean I had delusions of being the next total drop kick. And being voted into power on my hobby horse with a saviour complex after making promises I’m not even expected to keep isn’t a dream of mine either. So don’t worry about me. I’m not a threat. I’m just not voting.

I’m not voting because this is what I see happening. The divisions we create through our glorification of representative politics are going be left behind. Splitting and pitting the population against itself  is going to seem stupid and go out of fashion. The next step from there towards better living is going to be the utilisation of direct democracy. Political puppets will  no longer be  believed in, so “the people” will get to vote on whichever separate issue they wish to instead of getting to vote for their choice of winning personality every three years as with the previous system. Under direct democracy minorities still get railroaded however, because decisions are still made by majority rule.

After that comes decentralisation, where communities decide for themselves how to run their affairs – working not in competition, but with appreciation for and recognition of each other. Trading or not trading freely without having to pay a tithe to a gluttonous central vacuum. Smaller groups have the capability of being more efficient and have more chance of reaching consensus. The democracy  wars will be over because people are looking to solve problems by discussing them rationally and reaching agreements seriously without wasting time and resources on huge marketing campaigns. Problems that can’t find resolution will be understood as not being important enough for any decision to have been made at that time.  This is a non-hierarchical system that understands the difference between being an authority on a subject, and having authority over subjects. Where leadership skills and gaining  proficiency in a discipline are respected right up until they’re used as reasons to  justify someone’s superiority complex.

Individuals seeking to achieve dominance over others will be understood to be showing signs of emotional insecurity and mental unwellness which will be addressed with the appropriate level of care and support. Effective strategies for rejecting that antisocial behaviour without falling prey to it oneself will be become more ingrained as our appreciation for personal responsibility increases. People will be able to be as different as they like (without making others feel insecure and defensive) once the ultimate transgression of assuming power over another has finally become socially unacceptable.

This might sound like hopeful idealism and wishful thinking to you. And I don’t necessarily know that it isn’t. I’m not super confident. We might all be too emotionally crippled to ever get it together. But some people have to actually say these things to help the chances of them happening. That’s how idealism works. We can’t work out how to get where were going if we don’t know where that is. And the movement towards this ideal is visibly happening. Dickensian times were not so long ago. They were pretty awful and resulted in socialism being invented. So no, I don’t hate socialists. I can understand what socialism was an answer to. But the days of ganging up to force our precious opinions and personal agendas on others being considered an acceptable manner in which to conduct ourselves are numbered.

So if you think you need to be forcibly controlled or want to forcibly control other people I want  to ask you, what’s up? Everything okay at home? Who hurt you so bad  you became damaged enough to believe either one of those two things was a good idea? Let’s go over here and investigate the deficit. Let’s see if we can’t find a more constructive and assertive way to deal with the pain you are obviously in. Your suffering is apparent, but everything is going to be alright. It’s okay to be insecure, but there are ways to change that. You do have to want that change for yourself though. Help is available, but it’s important that you know you’re the one who has to do the hard work. Nobody else can do it for you. How do you feel about that? Don’t answer in a hurry. Just sit with it for a few minutes.  I’ll put the jug on.

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.