Category Archives: Not A Party, not a problem

Democracy Has Failed New Zealand

MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

24 June 2018

A couple of weeks ago, we had a few beers at the Not A Party HQ. It was a glorious occasion where we talked shit, ignored prohibition and certainly didn’t need the government to help us celebrate.

As the night progressed, we watched the election results roll in with a great amount of disinterest, and eventually we called a toast for a great result. Less than 50% of the electorate had turned out to vote and, let’s be honest, why would they bother?

My individual score was five votes too many. Those five people must have some sort of personal issue with me and wanted to send a strong message of hatred by slinging votes my way. Either that, or they got the joke and hoped that electing me would lead to more laughs. Thankfully we’ll never know. I’m far too busy for that kind of carry on.

It was hilarious to see the One Nation of Racism candidate Kym Koloni fail to crack the hundy despite putting all that effort in, and satisfying to see both ACT and the Greens lose their election deposits by not reaching 5%. That’s what you get for becoming an appendage to the larger parties! The pendulum swings from blue to red and back again, while the little guys get eaten and achieve nothing.

This is yet another travesty of the in-joke that is representative democracy. An undeniable majority of people in Northcote chose not to vote. Not to send Dan Bidois off to sit in a seat at the back of Parliament and collect six figures of extorted taxpayers’ money. Those non-votes will be ignored.

The non-voting public can rest easy though. While the gravy train passengers squabble to falsely represent you, despite the strong message you sent by not voting for any of them, we at Not A Party will continue to not represent you and let you do your own thing. Personally I’ll be off to work, the grass keeps on growing back.

Liam Walsh
the.liam.walsh@gmail.com

ENDS

The Northcote By-Election Result is Fraudulent and Illegitimate

Northcote by-election candidate Dan Bidois was crowned the winner, despite only getting the support of 21% of eligible voters

The reason why our ruling class have the right to rule, so they claim, is because they have the consent of the masses. But the winner of yesterday’s Northcote by-election and newly crowned Member of Parliament, Dan Bidois, did not have the consent of the masses. Therefore, the Northcote by-election result is fraudulent and illegitimate.

19,900 people cast a vote in the Northcote by-election. According to the Northcote Electoral Profile on the Parliamentary Profiles page, there are 49,569 eligible voters in that electorate. This tells us that barely more than 40% of eligible voters chose to participate in the democratic process – something like 30,000 people abstained.

The question then has to be asked: how is the election of Bidois to the House of Representatives legitimate, when fewer than half of eligible voters took part in the election process? If so few people believed that the democratic process was worth participating in, isn’t that sufficient evidence that it has failed, that its claims of legitimacy are fraudulent?

Bidois himself won 10,147 votes in the by-election, which amounts to almost 21% of the eligible voters in Northcote. If no-one cares about the election, how can the winner of it legitimately claim to have any power to rule anyone? Any reasonable person can see that this is absurd. We can’t possibly know what the electorate wants unless we canvas the non-voters.

One candidate, Liam Walsh of Not A Party, ran specifically on the non-vote. His platform was that democracy has failed and is inherently corrupt (hard to deny) and that it would be better for us to scrap it entirely and work together instead of using the democratic system to try and fuck each other over.

After all, as a National MP, Dan Bidois will immediately work towards the further enslavement of the young, the Maori and the working class. Walsh notes that Bidois came second to an empty seat.

One wonders what would happen if those 60% of adults in Northcote who do not feel represented by New Zealand’s peculiar imitation of democracy gave their allegiance to Walsh instead of to the central government.

What if, instead of paying taxes to the IRD to piss up the wall on flag referendums, yacht races, imprisoning medicinal cannabis growers and importing Somali rapists, people paid no taxes, and we had neither flag referendums nor a justice system putting people in cages for growing medicinal plants?

Some might respond that having no democratic government will leave the community unable to solve problems that require collective solutions, but Dan Bidois, with his 21% support, sure as fuck isn’t going to be solving them either. He, like the majority of backbenchers, will stick his nose straight up the arsehole of his party’s leader, in this case Simon Bridges, and he will keep it wedged there as long as the National Party hierarchy is responsible for his meal ticket. As a consequence he will vote to enforce National Party policy and dogma – not the will of the Northcote electorate.

A democratic election that gets 40% turnout cannot claim to return a legitimate ruler. The vast majority of the Northcote electorate did not consent to being represented by Bidois; therefore, his being in the House of Representatives is no more legitimate than it would have been if the CIA had helped him raise an army that seized power through force.

After all, a foreign-backed dictatorship might even gain the consent of more than 21% of the population – assuming it put a sufficiently enlightened person on the throne – which would make it no less legitimate than yesterday’s by-election.

If the democratic process is rejected by a majority of the people, then it’s time to get together and to think up a new political philosophy that adequately represents them. It’s apparent from the fact that New Zealand clings to cannabis prohibition, a policy supported by almost no-one, that the will of the people is not represented by the law enacted by their rulers. This failure to represent the people’s will is evidence that democracy has failed and needs to be superceded.

The Northcote By-Election Result is Fraudulent and Illegitimate

Why the 2018 Labour Budget Was so Underwhelming

The 2018 Budget, like the 2000 one, was extremely tight; the 2020 Budget will be a lolly scramble, as the 2002 one was.

“Yet, for all the hype, [the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister] were at pains to reassure big business and employer groups that this was above all a ‘fiscally responsible’ budget. Its commitments to social spending would not jeopardise Labour’s intention to maintain a surplus, they emphasised…” The two Labour Party politicians mentioned here are Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern, speaking in 2018 right? Wrong—they are Michael Cullen and Helen Clark, speaking 18 years ago in the year 2000.

The quote in the opening paragraph comes from this article from 2000, discussing the first Budget of the new Fifth Labour Government. Other quotes of interest from the same source are: “the increases fall far short of what is required to address the acute levels of social and economic inequality now embedded deep within the social structure”, “The majority of families forced to rent from private landlords will be no better off than before” and “Labour and the Alliance have done nothing to restore the vicious cuts to unemployment benefits and welfare that were implemented by the National Party”.

So if you’ve been listening to the Sixth Labour Government explain why this year’s Budget helps almost no-one and you’re starting to realise that you’ve heard this exact same bullshit story before, sit tight while we explain why—and what’s going to happen next.

After nine of years of neglect, including closing down rape crisis centres and overseeing the world’s highest youth suicide rate, the Fifth National Government was finally—although narrowly—voted out of power. The Sixth Labour Government came to power with a strong commitment and mandate to do something about the rape and pillage of the New Zealand populace by the plutocrats.

So the 2018 Budget surprised many commentators with how weak it was. The consensus described it as “National-lite”, and, indeed, it did almost nothing to help anyone. Many asked themselves why it was that an incoming Labour Government would deliver such a weak Budget. Didn’t they want to create the impression that they were doing something to help? Why miss this golden opportunity to set things right?

The answer to this conundrum comes from examining the 2002 Budget, which was released a few months before the General Election that year. That year’s Budget sent the New Zealand business community into paroxysms of rage.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association complained that “The huge $3.31 billion increase in new spending in the Budget for the next financial year is more than double the increase in new spending for the past two years combined”, and then National Party leader Bill English was enraged by “Labour and their higher operating balances, as well as higher taxes, increasing debt and billions of taxpayers’ dollars invested overseas”. There was even money for pure luxury items like refugee resettlement.

These increases impressed the population, as they were the first real relief Kiwis had been given in 18 years of relentless neoliberalism, and they duly returned the Labour Party to power. Kiwis contrasted this big spend-up with the cruelty of the National Party Budgets under Ruth Richardson, and the Nats were duly slaughtered, falling to 21% of the votes, their lowest result in 100 years.

It was a lesson for all, not least the Labour Party.

So the reason why the Sixth Labour Government did next to nothing to fix the nine years of neglect that the Fifth National Government put us through is simple: they’re saving the lolly scramble until just before the 2020 General Election. You can almost guarantee that, when the 2020 Budget rolls around, the grip of the New Zealand ruling class around the throat of the population will be loosened just enough to enable us to express our gratitude by returning Jacinda Ardern’s Government to power for a second term.

This is not a nefarious new trick, dreamed up by a crack team of political consultants—it’s straight out of the Helen Clark playbook. We can confidently predict another weak Budget in 2019 before the conspicuous generosity of the 2020 one, and we can also almost guarantee that if Labour wins a second term this would see us having two more weak Budgets in 2021 and 2022 before another lolly scramble in time for the 2023 General Election. Then, if they win a third, there will be weak Budgets in 2024 and 2025 before yet another lolly scramble in 2026.

This pattern is no less predictable than the General Electoral Cycle itself is, and could even be said to be part of it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Why the 2018 Labour Budget Was so Underwhelming

Not A Party candidate Liam Walsh: Doing The Least For Northcote

MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

15 May 2018

Not A Party candidate Liam Walsh: Doing The Least For Northcote

Yeah gidday Northcote, I’m Liam Walsh and I’ve got an important message for you about an upcoming opportunity to do things better. In fact it’s really just an opportunity to do things, they don’t even have to be better as long as you do them for yourself.

Earlier this year, Jonathan Coleman decided his cot was far too full of toys and it was time to throw them out. The opposition benches weren’t as comfortable as he’d expected they might be and he just wasn’t having it anymore. While I understand that some of you might be upset that he stood for election and didn’t even finish his term, this is actually a great kindness for the people of Northcote.

Some of you will be over the moon for an opportunity to no longer have a member of the National party representing you, some of you will be eagerly anticipating the chance to make sure a member of the Labour party doesn’t represent you for the remainder of this term. Some of you might be looking forward to voting against any of the candidates who have put their names forward, I’m sure the vast majority of you will feel that way about me and that’s GOOD.

In fact it’s so good that you want to vote against the majority of these candidates that I’m really only here to help you take the next logical step: go one better, vote against all of us by not voting, your non-vote counts! If this seems crazy to you let me explain further.

Northcote, you’ve had Coleman since 2005, that’s a long time in anyone’s book, and honestly what’s he done? He’s been busy playing kings and emperors, involved in positioning and power struggles, followed John Key around like a puppy dog, said some mean things about some other time wasters and probably any number of other pointless and ineffective activities.

Let’s be honest: a vast majority of, if not all of, the things that have happened to you, for you and around you since 2005 have had nothing at all to do with Coleman. You’ve made your own decisions and done your best or your worst—or something in between—based on your own judgement, and you’ve paid Coleman and 120-odd other politicians a fat sack of cash for the right to do so.

What I’m promising you, Northcote, is that nothing needs to change. If elected, I commit to being an even less effective MP than Jonathan: I’ll do even less than he did, participate even less in democracy and have even less of an impact on your lives because, unlike any of the other candidates, I’ve got faith in you. You’ve got this. You can get together in your communities and make your own calls.

I’ll also cost you nothing at all because, to be honest, I’ve got a lot of lawns to mow down Wellington and I just don’t have time to muck around in Parliament. The only time you’ll ever hear “Liam Walsh”, “swearing” and “the Queen” in the same sentence will absolutely not be a revelation that I’ve publicly lied by taking the Parliamentary Oath so don’t worry about that.

If you’re still confused by now, you’re probably thinking “there’s no way I’m voting for this guy” and, if you stop and think about it for a few minutes, that actually means you’ve understood perfectly and you’ve done it all by yourself! No having to pay me taxes, no being arrested by my employees for not doing what I’ve said and no need to ask me permission to do things that I wouldn’t have known or cared you were doing anyway.

TL;DR: Please don’t vote for me but also PLEASE don’t vote, for me.

Liam Walsh
the.liam.walsh@gmail.com

ENDS

No Legislation Required

The plebeians weren’t asked for their opinions on whether or not they wanted to get locked up for using cannabis back when the sadists decided to outlaw it. So why are they so interested in our thoughts on the matter now? A better example to set would be to just stop being unnecessary fascist arseholes.

The appointed lying creeps in parliament love furiously waving their arms about pushing their dubious puritan agenda to try and keep the moral panic alive and paranoid. The narrative they conservatively paint is that drugs illegalised by the state not very long ago might negatively impact on your life, so that’s a good reason to ruin your life if you are caught having anything to do with them. Well… no it isn’t.

Recent snapshot of prohibition supporter surveying the neighbourhood looking for reasons to call the police.

Finally now, after a century or so of legislated brutality and destruction, enough people agree that this backward harmful attitude is thoroughly deplorable. And that the arguments for continuing to possess it are nonsensical and absurd. So what’s the totalitarian response? To try and seem magnanimous with a heroically democratic offer to let the plebs decide. And when will this happen? Not now, later. Maybe we combine it with the next election so we can increase the general voter turnout (heh heh heh). Get the fuck out of town with obvious fake generosity you miserable sarcastic bums.

If we participate in this referendum we inadvertently condone the possible result of a majority vote in favour of communities continuing to be torn apart by the existing criminal creation program. And if we don’t participate we run the risk of exactly that continuance happening. Gee whiz thanks a lot.

Government didn’t need anyone’s permission when it took away our freedom and it doesn’t need anyone’s permission to return it.

The Greater Electoral Cycle

If you’re in your mid-30s, and start feeling like you’ve seen it all before, it’s because you have.

Many commentators like to talk about what they call the electoral cycle. This refers to the fact that, in the vast majority of modern liberal democracies, a party coming to power inevitably soon hits a high point and then steadily loses support over time until they are ousted. This essay looks at a broader phenomenon that we will call the Greater Electoral Cycle.

The Lesser Electoral Cycle is the one that most people, by now, are well familiar with. A party or President comes to power, immediately makes the changes that the previous regime had neglected to make, then rides a wave of popular support, until inevitably their own lust to cling onto power at all costs causes them to make poor moral decisions and the voters throw them out in disgust.

In the old days, this expulsion of the previous rulers could lead to any kind of new philosophy or ideology taking its place. If the previous rulers weren’t good enough, try fascism, try democracy, try republicanism, try anarchy. So there was no real greater cycle beyond this. It was just come to power and cling to power for as long as possible.

In recent decades, now that the ruling classes have refined and perfected their strategies for dividing and brainwashing us, all we get is neoliberalism with a red mask or neoliberalism with a blue one. The Greater Electoral Cycle, then, is from the start of one government to the start of another government of that kind (i.e centre-right or centre-left).

New greater cycles begin all the time. One has just now begun after 16 years in America, and one has begun after 18 years in New Zealand. Because of this, anyone with a memory that goes back 20 years or so has by now heard all the arguments and excuses already, and is starting to hear them again. Political arguments, like fashions and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are simply repackaged every generation for a new audience not exposed to them yet.

For example, Internet commentators often make reference to Trump Derangement Syndrome. This is a joke referring to the reactions of people on the left to the election of Donald Trump as American President. The idea is that many leftists have reacted so badly to the news of Trump’s ascendancy that they have essentially become clinically deranged.

Those who have been around a bit longer remember this as Obama Derangement Syndrome, which is essentially the same thing but triggered by the sight of Barack Obama as President. Those of us as old as Generation X might even remember everyone talking about Bush Derangement Syndrome, and there might have been a Clinton Derangement Syndrome before that.

A lot of Millennials have now observed that Trump is little different from George W Bush in a lot of ways, and the Democrats’ reactions to him are very similar to their reactions to Dubya. Trump, like Dubya, uses certain patterns of speech to appeal to people who aren’t particularly well educated. His concern is that he might cause resentment and alienation by speaking to them in long sentences with multiple clauses and ten-dollar words. So he’s painted as dumb – when he really isn’t dumb.

Likewise, in New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern tells many of the same lies as her Labour predecessor Helen Clark, from whose playbook Ardern appears to be reading. Claiming that the previous Government left the books in a terrible state, and so there’s much less money available than anyone supposedly thought, Ardern’s Labour has gone back on almost all of its spending promises. Typically, they will suggest in 2020 that we will have to vote them in again if we actually want all those goodies, because we sure won’t get them from National.

If we want to know what’s happening next in the Greater Electoral Cycle, we just need to look at what happened at this point last time. The Democrats in America will probably run a weak candidate because incumbent Presidents are rarely prevented from winning a second term (not even George W Bush failed to do so). Trump will probably easily defeat them, as he will be in the high point of the centre-right part of the cycle.

The National Party of New Zealand has already handed the poisoned chalice to Simon Bridges, who is unimpressive even by the low standards of New Zealand politicians. He will probably lead National to a crushing defeat akin to that suffered by Bill English in 2002.

The West will keep going around and around in these greater cycles until the charade of democracy finally ends. At that point, either a tyrant arises to take us all to hell or a new movement of philosopher-kings arises and initiates a new Golden Age.

The Greater Electoral Cycle

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.