574 days since Hillary declared she would run, and 2 days left for the frontrunner and all of us till election day. While the world watches e.g. [Guardian] [RTE] [Denmark] [Russia] [Sweden (lonely)] and [France], analyses, reacts, or organizes election parties [Australia] [New Zealand], the polls bounce around but generally favor Hillary, the UK bookies, other odds and an increasingly angry Nate also still favor Hillary, and Politico only sees three narrow paths to victory for Donald. Meanwhile, the Democrats get the vote out, it's not been the best of years for Trump's New Jersey chum (also November 10th 2015), there are fears of an election "cyber attack", political phrases are becoming fatigued, celebrity social media remains divided, Mr Kaine duets with Mr Bongiovi, and Hillary and Donald (in Reno) near the end. [more inside]
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers "On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
New Zealand voters want to smack their children. 1.4 million New Zealanders (87.6% of votes cast) have voted "No" to the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?". Regardless of opinion, this seemingly innocent question has been steeped in controversy. Voters have been confused, ambivalent, and perhaps misunderstood the law. The Prime Minister indicated he would ignore the result, and even the referendum initiators (intent on legalising smacking for corrective purposes) are divided on what the result means, some wanting explicit rights to use wooden spoons. [more inside]
It's election season, and the stakes are high. The incumbent party is looking a little frayed, and people are looking for change. The opposition leader (a young chap, who despite being neither gifted, nor black, has likened himself to someone of that definition) is accused of profiting from parliamentary questions about undeclared shareholdings. And forget about your $700 Billion, this election has been rocked by scandal over an undeclared NZ$100,000 donation. Some would suggest that the state of the nation can be read largely through sales of doggy chew toys.
Tame Iti, Maori activist, is no stranger to controversy - with his full facial moko he has a face you won't soon forget. But is he a terrorist? Recently, the New Zealand Police force carried out a series of "raids" against a "training camp" in the north island, in the first use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, legislated in 2002. The act itself is not without it's critics but the country seems divided about the raids. Deluded extremists? Harmless Activist? or Real Threat? Some have claimed the raids are politically motivated, enacted by a police force with a declining public image. The whole case is racially loaded [more inside]
The New Zealand media knows when something is funny[youtube], but seems parliament lacks a sense of humor. Parliament is moving to restrict publication of footage of MPs misbehaving. Oh well. No more of this then. Censorship of satire? What Next?