How I Shall Be Voting

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2011-11-23 03:26

[From the Blandification of ACT thread]

Notwithstanding my disillusionment because of its blandification and domination by Rodents and oleaginites of which I've written here, I shall be giving my party vote to ACT. For all that he turned out to be a milksop on the marijuana issue, I'd rather have Don Brash in Parliament—and better still, in government—than not. He's still one of the good guys.

To get him in requires a party vote of 1.2% (assuming the feral conservative wins Epsom). In the last Fairfax poll of the campaign, published this morning, ACT were on .7%. Not enough (and a stunning repudiation of blandification and oleaginy). Point seven per cent means only Banks would be in Parliament—a travesty I've already described as grotesque. But ACT always do better on the night. I should say they'll easily secure 1.2% and I'm certainly going to contribute to that with my own party vote. (2% would bring in Catherine Isaac, 2.8% Don Nicolson. The latter I regard as an admirable non-milksop and warrior. I hope he makes it. 3.6%—the same as last time—would bring in David Seymour.)

Whether or not ACT secure seats in Parliament, they will have to address and settle the question of who they are after the election in a way they signally failed to do before it. No more feral conservatives! The young libertarians must swarm all over the party and capture it. The last hold-outs for compulsionism, Lee Kuan Boscawen and Lee Kuan Douglas, have gone, so that's one hurdle less. But the young 'uns must also repudiate the toxic culture bequeathed by Rodney. Conviction must trump conniving. Subterranean character assassination of one's fellow-soldiers should be no part of the arsenal of any soldier or party of liberty.

As for my electorate vote, I shall be giving it to the Libz candidate. In the case of Wgtn Central, I believe that's one Reagan Cutting, of whom I've never heard. I'm told he's just ten years old, which doesn't bother me at all: a ten-year-old Libz candidate is always going to have more wisdom than all other contenders combined.

Re the voting system, I shall be supporting FPP. It's not ideal, of course—the ideal system is laid out in the Libz constitution. An ideal system would place rights beyond the vote. I'd simply say that FPP is the least virulent form of mobocracy, MMP the most virulent. MMP has coincided with a cultural disaster I'd call the Cretinisation of Everything, whereby airheads rule. From every which way in every walk of life, alien creatures in human form have emerged who have lost the ability to speak. Instead they emit a searing quacking sound from which those with better hearing than mine claim to be able occasionally to discern something resembling English words. Under MMP these specimens not only have the vote, but their vote counts for way too much. Under MMP, cretins can end up in government, or at least in bed with government—see the Greens. Under MMP, a cretin can even end up as Prime Minister—see John Key and the mysterious noises he passes off as speech.

Whatever the outcome of the vote on MMP, some way will have to be found to decretinise the suffrage. Disenfranchising everyone under 40 would help, though some means would have to be devised to exempt those members of Generations Airhead who are not airheads. (Disenfranchising all women of all ages without exemption would definitely help also.) As things are, democracy is just, to paraphrase Mencken, a bunch of wolves and a sheep having a vote on what's for dinner. Rights, I repeat, must be placed beyond the vote.

Divine intervention

Richard Goode's picture

Changed my mind ... in the end gave both votes to Libz.

Thank God for that!


Kasper's picture

"Who needs enemies?"

That's a good point and in a pure political environment that question would give anyone in my voting position reflective pause. Unfortunately, politics in NZ is frought with compromise. Act is the only party with a say in government that comes closest to libertarian economic principles.

A vote for libertarianz is effectively a no-vote. Sure, a vote for them may be consistent with your own political beliefs but I wouldn't be so quick to feel good about it when you've knowingly casted a vote which has no hope of making an iota of difference.

I find it short sighted and naive to vote for the sake of patting yourself on the back. This is an election with results which matter to New Zealands future. The present choice is to vote for a party that is not only sympathetic and partial to libertarian views, but actually cares about alot of them, versus a vote which does nothing.

No candidate

gregster's picture

for the Libz in my electorate, and if ACT doesn't win it, I made the wrong choice.

Changed my mind ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... as noted on the Blandification thread: in the end gave both votes to Libz. Now don't need to take a shower.

No worries, Greg

Ross Elliot's picture

Sure, we all change our minds when backs are against the wall.

These things aren't so much about compromise, more about taking what you can get in an imperfect world. But the vitriol that was hurled back in 2008-09 seems a mite precious now in light of recent posts and positions around here.


gregster's picture

I agreed with Glenn at the time of The lesser of two evils.

I see my comment there "The Libz serve a purpose. Their ideas may see more daylight we hope.

Voting Libertarianz in times like these when we're not yet sure how many looters are amongst us is like wishing to remain burning at the stake by refusing to expediently cast aside one's beliefs."

I believe I have been consistent. Thanks for the reminder.

"Were you one of the crowd that decried when the likes of myself and Glenn Jameson said we voted National in 2008 to get rid of the left wing cancer that was Labour under Clark?"

Show me where, but I think no. My opinion can change depending on what I learn and I welcome feedback on any perceived inconsistencies.

Neither Libertarianz or ALCP...

Marcus's picture

...have a hope of getting voted into parliament under MMP or STV.

Look at the countries that have PR. Are they more liberal or free?

No of course they are not. Many of them are far more socialist than the UK or US which both still have forms of FPP voting systems.

Better would be for Libz and ALCP members to get politcally involved with the main parties under FPP.

A party in Parliament under FPP is in fact a coalition of sorts in itself that is not motivated to break up into splinter groups hunting for voters, as they do under PR.

Does that make it a zero sum game?

No because it is easier to take stances based on principle under FPP, place them in a manifesto, and then stick to them once in Government.

How I will be voting

Richard Goode's picture

I was 18 in 1984. I voted under FPP for the local New Zealand Party candidate. Despite gaining 12.2% of the vote, the New Zealand Party gained no seats. I didn't vote again until the first MMP election in 1993. Under FPP, red authoritarianism or blue authoritarianism, unmitigated, is guaranteed. For a freedom-lover, voting under FPP is a pointless waste of time.

I will be voting to retain MMP. I support reducing the number of MPs to 100, and a threshold of 1%, for the reasons given here.

Stephen Berry believes the necessity of strategic voting in Epsom for the last three elections is an example of a fundamental flaw in the current MMP system. “The purpose of MMP is to make our elections as democratic as possible. However the five percent threshold means voters in Epsom having to vote for candidates they do not support in order to affect the national result. I say the solution to this is to remove the five percent threshold altogether. If a party gets 2% of the vote they should get 2% of the seats in Parliament.”

Some critics of Berry’s advocacy for eliminating the five percent threshold point out this will mean there are more parties in Parliament and make it more difficult to establish a stable Government. Berry points out, “Totalitarian regimes are often more stable than democratic ones but that doesn't mean they are a good thing. The purpose of having a democratic election system is not to ensure a stable Government, but to provide representation for voters. The most democratic way to do this is through proper proportional representation. I would even argue that a system which makes stable Government more difficult could be seen as a positive. This would make it more difficult for a Government to raise taxes, increase economic regulations and write new laws that violate individual rights.”

Berry is right that "the five percent threshold means voters in Epsom having to vote for candidates they do not support in order to affect the national result." But ... What good is it for someone to affect the national result, yet forfeit their soul?

I will party vote for the ALCP. My electorate vote will be for the ALCP's Mana electorate candidate—myself. Smiling

With friends of freedom like these ...

Richard Goode's picture

last week I voted Banks and party vote ACT. I hate Banks. ACT isn't good enough.

I'll be voting for Act and I'll utilize my Epsom electorate to candidate vote Banks. He's an abominable piece of slime

... who needs enemies?

Stephen, I don't agree....

Ross Elliot's picture

...that more democracy is what we need.

I read you previous recent post in which you said that even the 5% threshold should be done away with. In a parliamentary system where party politics rule any move towards fragmentation results in unstable government and range-of-the-moment policies.

Take the National policy of asset sales. A good thing by any measure. But if the undecided swing vote--large in latest polls--should go to Maori or NZ First, then you can kiss that goodbye as National will not have the votes. Yes, if ACT should get the swing then it will pass.

I'd rather have a firm statement of intent before an election--whatever the outcome--than a bastard compromise afterwards that results in a tweak here and there.

As I've said elsewhere here, there's a strong chance that if the undecided swing goes left, then you'll have a Labour-Maori-Mana-Green-NZ First clusterfuck. It'll be like one of those government department committees: lots of power, no responsibility. Welcome to democracy.

I'll be

Kasper's picture

voting for Act and I'll utilize my Epsom electorate to candidate vote Banks. He's an abominable piece of slime but I think a NZ government without Act is a government with absolutely no economic leadership. In my view, no matter how skewed Act maybe, they are the only voice for more freedom in NZ.

I wonder what everyone's view is on the election debates so far. The Sainsbury one was embarrassing; however, the Campbell one was really good from a debate and engagement point of view. As far as substance is concerned both parties truly fail to engage the NZ public on the seriousness of the global situation. The spectacle of National stating they'd budget themselves to zero by the end of their term is an absolute farce. The PIGS: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are all about to default sending ricochets of defaults, bailouts, mass emigration and diving market confidence throughout the globe. NZ is about to enter a severely turbulent economic storm and both parties haven't demonstrated their back up or defense plan.

Phil Goff's plan is to keep NZ's assets which is a virtue few NZ's gain direct benifit from, make the first $5000 tax free, raise minum wage by govt fiat to $15 and "invest in childhood education". This last one is as laughable as a Dr saying to a cancer patient with a few years to live that they should adopt a healthier lifestyle of fruit and vegetables in order to be healthier. Our situation is far more acute than that, the gravity of our situation and its looming gloom requires the magnitude of our governments response to be far larger than heckling around the edges.

Now, Greg...

Ross Elliot's picture

..."Libz is the vote of principle by a country mile but I want my vote to keep the dogs of the left at bay. "

Were you one of the crowd that decried when the likes of myself and Glenn Jameson said we voted National in 2008 to get rid of the left wing cancer that was Labour under Clark?

How I will be voting: I will

Stephen Berry's picture

How I will be voting:

I will be giving my party vote to Act for the same reasons Lindsay gave above. If Act doesn't get at least 1.2% of the party vote, it could become a one MP party lead by John Banks. That would be absolutely reprehensible. It is important to get Don Brash back into Parliament.

On the referendum I will be voting to keep MMP. The alternative voting system I would support is STV. I think that democratic elections are completely legitimate once the rights of individuals have been constitutionally safeguarded from politicians. I think a democratic election should be as democratic as possible and proportional representation is the most effective way to do this. It's also worth pointing out that proportional representation without a five percent threshold is the best opportunity for true libertarians to get into Parliament as it means only 0.8% of the vote is required to get representation.

My vote..

gregster's picture

.. And I don't mind irritating good people, last week I voted Banks and party vote ACT. I hate Banks. ACT isn't good enough. There was no Libz candidate in Epsom - my electorate this time. Libz is the vote of principle by a country mile but I want my vote to keep the dogs of the left at bay.

Libertarianz remain the voice of reason that is referenced by unprincipled media for the voice of reason. For this they are praiseworthy and I thank every Libertarianz participant.

I also voted for a return to FPP.

I liked Liberty Scott's article on the voting systems, and I have seen that Brash also liked STV some time ago. I'm thinking that people may wake up after the deep depression and one party might gain a mandate to see some real reforms through.


Ross Elliot's picture

...and I appreciate that I'm indulging in romantic speculation, if the Founders were time-transported to today, if they would see things as we do.

Would they be able to cut through the technological ease of our civilisation, and deny the intrusions that have been made to their original vision?

Perhaps not. Perhaps they would be dazzled and fail to see the abstractions that we see. That's why, as inheritors of their vision, we cleave to what they wrought and hold that every generation is born anew.

I've always thought...

Ross Elliot's picture

...the salient feature of the US Constitution was the enumeration of powers. That is, if the constitution doesn't allow it, you can't do it.

I appreciate--and I am thankful for--Madison's contention that a Bill of Rights was necessary to further clarify the rights of citizens. And the separation of powers has indeed been a bulwark against intrusions, if not by philosophical objection, then by sheer stalemate.

But the limitation of powers has to be the most important feature of any constitutional protection. It seems that all intrusions that have not been actual amendments--such as the income tax amendment--are as a result of loose interpretations of the enumerated powers.

Let's face it, if you could run a fine pen over the constitution and make even a few minor adjustments in the wording, you'd not have the massive state that America currently suffers under. When you think of the battles that have been waged over subsequent amendments to increase federal powers, then a finer wording would have negated the judicial interpretations which have resulted in the neutering of the Founders' intent.

I think that seeing as the

Stephen Berry's picture

I think that seeing as the state will still have functions that will still be funded by taxpayers, whether by voluntary donations of whatever, there should still be elections so the people paying for the function of the severly limited government have their say over how it is run.


Michael Moeller's picture

"How did the US get itself so far removed from the spirit of its constitution? Interpretation is fickle when left to politicians (imagine if Seymourblogger got voted in!)"

I'd have to write a book to answer the first question, but much of it has to do with education. No system can stop the erosion of individual rights if there is not cultural support, no matter how well-devised the system's protection of individual rights and limited the powers of the political branches. People have free will, and no system can protect people from their own ignorance if that is the level of culture, hence Jefferson's warning (at least that's what I call it) that "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance".

"Can we just call the politicians, administrators?"

I have no problem with politicians per se. A Constitution is not a laundry list of laws, nor can it be. Nobody can forsee what future circumstances will arise that will require legal protection. For instance, photography did not exist at the time of the Constitution, and could not forsee the issue of child pornography. In that case, it is perfectly legitimate for politicians to legislate against child porn to protect the rights of child minors.

The Constitution simply sets out the general governing principles and rights, as well as the limited powers to protect those rights, and any future legislation should be in conformity therewith. Then it is up to politicians to legislate and execute laws as individual rights issues arise. An inherent necessity exists for politicians to legislate and execute the laws, but their powers to do so should be limited and specific via the general principles embodied in the Constitution.

"The prospect of being able to employ such a system is so far off, I confess I've not given this structural aspect too much thought. I guess you're right, but I have serious misgivings."

The structural aspect is often overlooked. Note that some of the worst countries in the world have a Bill of Rights, and those rights are rendered completely moot because the structure of the system is totalitarian, i.e. all political power is vested in one person or one entity.



Mark Hubbard's picture

How did the US get itself so far removed from the spirit of its constitution? Interpretation is fickle when left to politicians (imagine if Seymourblogger got voted in!)

I'm certainly not an anarchist, there must be the small state and the rule of law, but, I was thinking more along the line of professional administrators only, administering a well defined constitution and the administrative business of state. Can we just call the politicians, administrators? Sad

The prospect of being able to employ such a system is so far off, I confess I've not given this structural aspect too much thought. I guess you're right, but I have serious misgivings.


Michael Moeller's picture

The issue is not whether you need or don't need politicians. You obviously do to carry out the legislative and executive functions (eg. who decides when to use the military?), as well as appointment of the judicial functions. The real issue is whether the powers of each branch -- the powers of the politicians -- are limited and specific to protecting individual rights.



Michael Moeller's picture

The reason I bring that up is a point Justice Scalia likes to make. In his lectures he often asks: what is the most important feature of the American system? While many answer with a provision from the Bill of Rights, his contention is that the most important feature is the way the balance and separation of powers are implemented into the system. I don't wholly agree with him, but it is a very good point.

We can say that the legislature ought not breach any provision from the Bill of Rights, but we both know from history that there will be those political elements always seeking to undermine it. Indeed, such erosion of rights has happened in the US over time, but the balance and separation of powers has provided a significant barrier to that erosion, which probably would have happened much quicker if not for how the Framers set up the system. For instance, FDR had much of the New Deal shot down initially, and much of it might have remained DOA if not for him threatening to pack the Court. His threatening to pack the Court made many Dems jump ship from the New Deal at the time.

I think J. Scalia makes a very good point in that I think it is often overlooked or taken for granted how the implementation of the balance and separation of powers serves to protect individual rights.

Be that as it may, you guys did an admirable job putting forth a Constitution for NF.


... I better go look at the

Mark Hubbard's picture

... I better go look at the Libz constitution. As I said on Stephen's thread, I don't see why we need politicians. Just a constitution, and a legal system to interpret it. Politicians means the urge for policy, the downfall therefore in the very inception of the office.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'm not wedded to election of the President by the Senate (in fact, I'd forgotten about it—we drew that thing up about 15 years ago now). The point is, none of it matters: the legislature cannot breach the Bill of Rights.


Michael Moeller's picture

I took a quick look at the Libz Constitution and maybe I am missing something, but why is it set up as a parliamentary system? Why not have a direct election of the president instead of appointment by the Senate? Otherwise, you ensure that the majority in the Senate, or any coalition thereof forming a majority, will have a president that is sympathetic to their legislative aims. Independent election of both the Senate and the president provide a general separation and balance on each other, and is a further barrier to uniting both the legislating and executing the law.

The unicameral legislature is also a bit odd, as I think a bicameral legislature is preferable. A bicameral legislature provides a balance within the legislative branch, and ensures more localized representation. In other words, even if a state heavily favors one side of the political spectrum, their power is mitigated by more localized pcokets within the state that vote the other way and would have a say in what is equivalent to the US House of Representatives.


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