Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, November 24, 2008

Re: [AGD] Campaign review

The parliament election is over. The important point is that Greens got
in because parliament has proportional representation. Local government
is important too. I wish we could have a campaign for STV for local body
elections, especially for mayor.
 
Imagine!, a Mayor with over 50% support and an empathy with the constituency. Garry Moore did nothing to help this issue dropping the wards, councillors and adopting portfolios while refusing to accept that STV could vote an office of one (or two in the case of wards). STV would have worked excellently with full council and wards.
 
For example, last minute voters in the 2007 CHCH postal ballot could have put the unwanted 'fellow' (in this case, gender specific) last on their ranking list... it could have the difference.
 
When the counts come in under STV, the result better reflects (even for the unsuccessful candidates and those who voted for [prioritised] them) the community's sense of "issues".. it is an enduring signal candidates next time and to the elected sitting council/cmte/house   where the consensus is.
 
With STV (unlike an other system on the table) you can vote for who you don't want! (isnt that the best strategic vote!)  
That's how it works too. A point I have made both at the select cmte and during my various mayoral stints. (thanks to those who approach me and say "I have never thought about it that way.. how come it's not explained that way?) 
 
Surrounding electoral referendum, I think, to improve MMP, we could be using the meek method for both electorate votes and party votes in general elections. There is nothing confusing about this, other than to those who see only winners and losers.. and want their pick to win (and dont understand why their rational choice didn't). Adopting STV across the board may be a big ask, but MMP with runoff may just be the saleable adjustment. (no more 5% - gone by scrunchtime)
 
STV delivers consensus politics. Imagine a real 'coalition of the willing'.
 
In changing and testing environments (ie:climate change/duress, fiscal meltdowns yadda yadda) STV's capacity building and prioritisation of issues delivers robust non-partisan (ie:evidence based) solutions.
 
Democracy requires social buy in, STV engages.
 
Further, it is a much more engaging approach, resistant to the 'presidential' 2 horse politics of certain recent mayoral campaigns. The public can have faith in the result because NO-ONE is at the table on our behalf without 50%+1 vote support. That is the elected authority that is required when tough decisions have to be made.
 
STV protects minority views and give them a stake-hold in matters of business EVEN if there was no delegate (pick your issue) actually AT council, STV's capture of the will of the voter  ensures the sentiment is embodied across the council. This applies irrespective of HOW MANY councillors though more is IMHO more (ie 24 is better than 12) as minority voices have to access 'for a voice to seen to be heard'. 
 
[For example with the issue around CHCH tenancy/rents. Small number of people affected directly, large number of ratepayer$...  tyranny of the majority! The rental estate was created to insulate older/vulnerable folk against rent rises.  (yet we have spent 100 million on computers and staff without as much as a questioning of efficacy/proportionality) ]
 
STV would make the media a better 'reporter' of core issues. Ideas before personality!!  (remember?  contest of ideas, that awefully greek idea, the core behind demos..'democracy' [demokratia = people power]
 
If MMP was sent to confuse us!  STV is Social Ecology applied, true voting 'for the environment in which we live'.
 
BTW: The Greens have got more than just an extra seat in the house, the value is not in the seat rather the quality of the arse that sits in it... and that, in this case is more than the sum of the parts that come into contact. Good on ya KennedyG!  
 
In that regard, I concede, MMP worked, just a little bit!!  (having said that, the MIldGreens have reliably predicted the specials and the role they play in the final house outcome to decimal accuracy! One only need look at the consensus for cannabis law reform in special contribution to the final count these past MMP elections to validate 'a special insight' oft ignored. (grin)  Good on the ALCP for representing the NZ Green issue! Specials prove they are best 'at the margins' - no one goes up more than them! And for anyone who sees this holistically... KennedyG is riding the hempsters 'sentiments' coat tails - just as the Greens have done since standing alone under MMP. With a Law Commission review come April, this is one social issue that the GREENS must own or loose credibility 'big time'. Class D [now law] was made specially with that [mild] GREEN stuff in mind.
 
/Blair
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