Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A lot of little things

There are always stories in the news that I have a thought about, but not enough thoughts to justify a full blog post. Mostly those just pass without comment from me, but then sometimes I do a post like this one to keep those smaller thoughts from escaping (as they probably should be allowed to do). These are all related to New Zealand politics:

Record numbers of Kiwis leave for Australia

Last month, the number of Kiwis moving to Australia permanently/long term hit a 32-year high, as New Zealand continues to have lower wages and higher unemployment than our neighbours across the ditch. Annual net migration into New Zealand has also dropped dramatically over last year, and is about a third of the 20-year average. All of which makes me wonder if increasing numbers of Kiwis aren’t voting against National/Act government policies with their feet.

Who to trust?

Readers Digest has been asking New Zealanders who they trust for a long time now. The 2011 Reader's Digest Trust Survey has three scientists as the top three most-trusted—but I wouldn’t know who any of them are without their description. Actually, that’s true for many of, say, the top third of the list. So, that makes me wonder: Were those polled told who these people are before they ranked them? If not, and no disrespect intended to anyone on the list, I doubt ordinary Kiwis would know who they were ranking.

At any rate, it IS kind of interesting that the leaders of all the parties in Parliament, along with Bill English, fill the bottom eight positions—except for one: Greens male Co-Leader, Russel Norman, is at 79, making him the “least distrusted”, as he put it, Member of Parliament.

Tweeting politicians

New Zealand’s Electoral Commission has issued new guidelines for MPs, saying they can use Twitter to express their own, personal opinions without it being electoral advertising. In typical fashion, the Commission also made thing less clear by saying that such Tweets MAY be considered electoral advertising if such Tweets include official party positions. Well, that’s clear, eh? Seriously, we’re a parliamentary system, so wouldn’t MPs Tweet the official party position on the issues all the time?

The above linked article included a brief explanation of why New Zealand campaigns don’t have bumper stickers like US election campaigns: “The Electoral Commission has warned political parties not to hand out bumper stickers because they could still be on cars on election day, meaning the car owner was inadvertently breaking the law.” Inadvertently or deliberately, actually. To be honest, I miss political bumper stickers and wish some way could be found to allow them, like maybe a limit of one per car or something.

No comments: