The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Saturday, July 24, 2004

when your body tells you to stop

theme music: 

after three years of enforced hiatus, i get a bit sick of having to stop just because i am trying to live a slightly more hectic than normal life.  i'm not asking a lot, just the chance to actually do things in the weekends and on the evenings. 

but a migraine is a pretty good stop sign. 

Thursday, July 22, 2004

transparency and democracy

theme music: you were always on my mind, elvis

Small parties have to be careful. They don't have the venerable institutions and structures of the two big parties. They often don't have the voluminous policy either, or the institutional knowledge of what has been done and what hasn't worked.

Sometimes it is easy, when you all agree, to start down a track that can gets slippery later - one that doesn't respect that at some point you may disagree, and when you do you need to have processes to seek harmonious resolution.

Democracy is a good one for this, but it requires certain principles to work properly:
- fair notice - people need to know they can put motions up, stand for office, etc - they need to know when the meetings are, who to send remits to, etc
- honest information - for voters, or anyone, to make a proper choice they need to be given the truth to decide upon. or at least the full variety of opinions about what is the truth.
- open debate - not censoring people because their view isn't liked by some
- equal chances for all participants to take part - not just to vote but also to put forward their views. one person's view should not really get endorsed by a leadership group either, imho.

i'm sure there are more, but that is what comes to mind.

it startles me when people show no grasp of these. when they don't understand that you really need to tell people about an annual general meeting in plenty of time (especially when a certain time period of notice is constitutionally called for). you do need to balance this with having the decision made at a time when it is still relevant - before time overtakes you.

democracy delayed can be much like justice delayed, ie democracy denied.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

merger rumours inaccurate

apparently the Maori Party and the Alliance are set to merge - this is not the case and is merely a media construct - while we are about to have a big discussion at our regional conferences (in August) about our electoral strategy (and future), and that will probably include talking about our relationship (if any) with the Maori Party (and the Greens, and the Progs, and Labour), there have certainly been no "negotiations".

personally i would be opposed to a merger, for reasons i will probably come back and expand upon when i'm not quite so busy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

sexism still alive and well on national tv *sigh*

i am, of course, referring to that fine purveyor of women's rights, mr matthew ridge

i don't know why i expected better of him, but for my sins i am a celeb treas isle addict and he is the smelly fish carcass on the beach that always washes back into the beach no matter how many times you throw it out to sea (solution: bury it, miles from camp, deep deep down)

his scathing comments of "silly silly little girls" and his general sneering at anything the women do just makes me want to throw something at our lovely big telly. brent todd and josh kronfeld were pretty bad to start with, but now he just gives them a licence to treat the women like crap.

this stuff is NOT ok - he is NOT an acceptable role model for ANYONE'S children. when are people going to realise that it is not PC nonsense to just want to be treated as equals and not dismissed as lesser beings.

yes i do know i can just change the channel. freedom of expression blah blah blah. but what happened to my right to exist, as a woman, without being treated like a piece of property and patronised as a result of ridge's actions on tv, which normalise this kind of knuckle-dragging behaviour?


Saturday, July 03, 2004

getting back on the horse

theme music: a little less conversation

i guess i'm not very good at sitting on the sidelines. as a young Nat once said to me, you have to be involved to change something, so that's what i'm going to do - get back into it and hopefully make some positive changes.

the working manifesto of the Alliance party is a wondrous thing - it is hopeful, positive, and i agree with most things in it. you can get to it from the front page of the Alliance website, which I've linked this post to. but we need to start actually campaigning for these things, not just saying how nice they are. it's time to rebuild the party for action, rather than discussion. and it's time for me to put my money where my mouth is on this.