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Resigning, electing, dancing, more resignation - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 11th, 2010

09:51 am - Resigning, electing, dancing, more resignation

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Seems Paul Henry has resigned from TVNZ after meeting with their CEO yesterday. John Key claims the government put no pressure on him. Incidentally, that last article contains opinions from various people about the motivations, pressures and politics around the resignation. Interesting reading.

The resignation itself talks about 'an extraordinary convergence of circumstances' - I think by that he means that when people complained and TVNZ defended him by trying to imply that we all think in the same terms as what he said, more people complained and then because of the internet, the people he was disparaging found out about it.

That isn't extraordinary, that's life in the internet age, Paul. You want to talk shit on national television, you have to expect people will talk about it on the internet and you will be called on said shit.

Anyway, I have some sympathy for the comment about being a lightning rod for racial tensions, and staking out his mother is a pretty abhorrent thing for tabloid reporters to do. But that's about as far as it goes. I'm glad he's done. And should he resurface in the future, with any luck he will have learned something.


Wellington's mayoral election is 40 votes apart after the first count. Incumbent Kerry is 40 votes ahead of chaser Celia. Jack came in a creditable third (go Jack!), which is pretty good for someone relatively unknown. It also demonstrates that the geek vote is a substantial portion of Wellington's voting public. But he was still something like 13,000 votes behind the two leaders. ;-/

Anyway, the special votes have still to be counted, and analysts are predicting that these votes are likely to bring a new mayor with them. Which would be nice. Celia wasn't my first choice, mostly because I fear more of the same, but the first thought in my mind for mayor was "Anybody but Kerry!"

Why? Because I've lived in this town for coming up nine years, and she's been mayor the whole time. In that time, I've seen the coucil going from Yay They Do Stuff to We Do Stuff But We Don't Listen To You. Manners Mall bus lane went ahead against public disagreement. And so far, it's a bloody nightmare as a pedestrian. Removal of traffic islands in the Taranaki St intersection? Affects me directly, is a PITA and so far has not made anything safer. I could go on (Rugby World Cup vs Cuba St Carnival and community group websites, anyone?) but you get the idea. I'm tired of a council that thinks it can just do whatever it wants with the money we pay, and ignore public opinion. Supporting business is fine, but not when that trumps every other community voice. etc.

If Kerry does get back in, my inner idealist hopes this close call has put the wind up her enough so she realises just how many people she's turned off. Yes, I know it's not just her but as mayor she gets to take the flak for decisions made by council. Suck it up, Kerry. I hope she learns something from this.

If Celia gets in, I hope she learns something from what Kerry has done well, and also from what she hasn't.

And I guess we get free wireless now?


Saturday night was way fun. We told the weather to fuck off and it did, so it was dancing under the stars. Filthy Tomo piked which meant rikan_feral got to play a 2-hour set and it was epic. SRSLY, watching the dancefloor slowly pack out and having people come up to me going "Who is that guy? He is playing awesome music I love it!" was pretty damn cool. And one of the great things - it wasn't our party. This meant that we got to rock up at 10pm, hang out, have our fun and when the next dj came on and the music lost its energy, we could leave. No setup or packdown for us. You wouldn't believe how nice this feels when the majority of the parties I've been to in the last three years, I've been carrying speakers and sorting decor for hours before and after. I actually had the energy for a good dance and that was nice. Full credit to the guys who did it, that was awesome. And that Marshall Law guy? U NO CAN HAS. HE IZ OURZ! *sticks out tongue*

And yesterday I made a slide about home visitation programmes while in bed with Dr Wheel and a coffee, and that was a slice of normality I've missed as well. Sadly, I don't get to say U NO CAN HAZ to Hong Kong about him. It's now 2 weeks till he goes. I'm planning a trip for January, and I may as well warn you now, this might mean that I miss Kiwiburn. I'm not completely sure yet, but priorities, people. Also, JetPilot will be playing at the Asia Consciousness Festival. Sadly, this is in Hong Kong too.

Someone please invent me a teleport machine.

Comments:

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From:richdrich
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
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I find the concept of a "geek vote" a bit meh. Isn't it like the way political parties assume there's an [insert visible ethnic minority here] vote and everyone from that minority will vote as a block without thinking.

I guess when I did my Comp Sci degree, I must have missed the lecture where they take your brain out and fit a groupthink receiver. It must have been a 9am one.

That isn't to say that Jack Yan might not have made a better mayor than some of the other candidates - I did rank him above Kerry, at least. If he's serious about local politics, he should run for council next time (which elects 3 people from each ward, I think) and also either build some sort of political group or join an existing one.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
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I also find the concept of 'the geek vote' a bit meh. However, most of the people I know who voted for him identify as geeks in some way, which indicates that his policies have a certain amount of appeal to those who self-identify as geeks. Of course there will be other people who don't identify that way, and everyone votes for their own reasons. Which is a hell of a lot to say when you can just blithely say 'geek vote' to make a point.

;-)

Also, I'm not sure about Jack joining a political group - he seems to have done very well as an independent, established names who beat him notwithstanding. Who would you have him affiliate himself with?

Edited at 2010-10-10 09:15 pm (UTC)
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From:richdrich
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
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There are over 100,000 eligible voters in the WCC area, of which around 50,000 bothered to vote. Jack got 7,341 votes (not sure if those are first prefs or elimination round votes), while the two front-runners both got just under 25,000.

The WCC area includes Johnsonville, Tawa and various other outer suburbs. I don't really agree with this and think we should have a council for the actual city, but that's the way it is.

Which means that anyone wanting to be elected has to achieve name recognition and support over quite a wide area. That requires feet on the ground and a certain amount of money. For Kerry, I guess she can do that out of her back pocket. I think Celia had a bit of support from the members of the Green party that she and caucus hadn't totally pissed off.

Which is why I'd suggest that Jack needs to either join a party (he was a list candidate for the Alliance in 2008) or start a (local) one. A party is just a group of people with similar political ideas they'd like to put into practice. Most parties have some form of democracy (some more than others, obviously).

The other part is that running as a councillor first (or as well - dual candidacy is allowed) is a good idea if one aspires to be Mayor one day. The Lambton Ward councillors got in with 2,500 votes, which is a lot more attainable than 25,000. Being a councillor both builds a profile and an understanding of how the council works (which is important for a mayor who has no decision making power other than by persuading a majority on council).


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From:tatjna
Date:October 10th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I definitely agree on the council thing - although one could argue that this bid for mayor has increased his profile from where I would have said "Jack who?" if he'd run for council this time.

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From:tatjna
Date:October 10th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure how job creation ever got to be part of a mayor's platform anyway. It seems such an ephemeral thing to say in the context of what they actually do.
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From:richdrich
Date:October 11th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I saw that as a big negative. The council does services and regulation - it doesn't hold many macro- or micro-economic levers that it could use to create jobs.

Suggesting that job creation would solve the "problem" of the WCCs debt (which at a year's income is hardly excessive) seemed to indicate a misunderstanding of the workings of local government.

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From:helianthas
Date:October 11th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
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So, are you able to vote for more than one candidate? If your first choice doesn't win, your vote goes to your second choice somehow?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
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One of the reasons I voted for Jack Yan was because he's independent. It means he can make the best decisions for Wellington and not be made to toe the party line.

I'm also still sad that the current alternative to Kerry is someone that uses email spamming as part of their campaign, with no apology for it when it's pointed out to them.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
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Actual link to the 2009 festival is: http://www.asiaconsciousness.org/2009/home.html

The 2010 site isn't yet live...

( I don't think it has anything to do with the Asia Consciousness Society )
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From:tatjna
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I wasn't sure, but when I clicked the link to the 2009 site called Mind and Matter, it had the Asia Consciousness Society in links at the top, and when I clicked the Events link, it listed both Re-Ignite and the Asia Consciousness Festival. It seems that this year, the festivals are running at the same time and both in Hong Kong.

Then I made an assumption.

The conclusion I've come to is that the ACF should get their site up already because enquiring consciousnesses want to know!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
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Ah, you seem to be ahead of me on this one ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
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This is why my opinion is important to AI research and they should give me a job as a consultant!
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 10th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Living in Upper Hutt, I don't get a voice in the mayoralty race...

Working in Wellington (since 1991) means that what happens here often has a major impact on me. More so because I use public transport to get around rather than ride in the mayoral limo...

The Manners Mall decision was so bad as to be laughable, even if it doesn't completely wreck bus transit times through the Cuba/Willis Quarters of the CBD. I'll bet no-one will publicly announce the difference in travel times before, during, and after the transition, even though every Go Wellington and Valley Flyer bus carries GPS as part of the Snapper deal.
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From:rivet
Date:October 10th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
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I didn't think that swapping an established pedestrian mall that was wide and sunny most of the day (because the buildings were relatively low) for a new one that was narrower and much less sunny was a particularly good trade.
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From:rivet
Date:October 10th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
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It did figure into my voting. Not so much the plan itself as the theater of public consultation. I considered that insulting rather than laughable.
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From:vernacularity
Date:October 10th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
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that is the point. the process.

it just reeks of bad... well... manners.
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 11th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
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The bus flow will e better in that there are fewer corners and cross traffic considerations in the new route, HOWEVER there will be almost zero opportunity for buses to overtake between Taranaki and lower Willis St, which means that the flow will be uniformly at the rate of the slowest bus in each group - almost uniquely a Newlands bus, all of which (with the possible exception of the #60 which gets very few passengers anyway) are very slow at getting passengers on board, and so get routinely overtaken in the current environment where buses can overtake.

Add in the opportunity for a complete stoppage to southbound buses at the Manners Victoria intersection where there appears to be little allowance and minimal space for the #7, #8, & #9 buses to turn right, and if two arrive at the intersection together (as regularly happens now) there is no space for other buses to overtake them while they wait for a gap in the northbound bus flow.
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From:richdrich
Date:October 11th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
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An alternative would have been to take space from cars and give it to buses, rather than taking space from pedestrians and leaving car space unchanged.

That and the bogus (but probably legal) consultation decided me against it.

Maybe the new council might look at pedestrianising Dixon Street, but I kinda doubt it.
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From:megapope
Date:October 10th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
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I feel a little bit bad for Paul Henry, in the way I would for anyone who lost their job and enjoyed working with the people they got to work with. I think it's possible to do that and also think it's a fair decision that should have come a lot earlier, and that maybe this will learn him for being a racist dickhead on national television. Though it probably won't.

Never ended up voting, though in my defense I've been mostly house bound for the last five days, either having fever induced dreams about submarines or hacking up the more interesting parts of my lungs. But I will resolve not to complain about our city's leadership until the next election! ;-)
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From:megapope
Date:October 11th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
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Were you also having fever dreams about submarines? Because that would just be creepy.
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From:megapope
Date:October 11th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
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bwahahaha

*likes*
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