Friday, July 29, 2005

Interesting website

The Maxim Institute has launched a website aimed at informing the New Zealand public in the leadup to the election: NZVotes. While its only policy and guest comment at the moment, they are promising

an electorate section that will profile candidates in every electorate in the country. In their own words, candidates will outline their political background, their interests, and notably where they stand on six conscience issues likely to arise in the next term of parliament.

It seems I'm not the only person interested in candidates' views on these issues...


Here's hoping they're more successful than you've been at getting the MPs to express their views.

I/S, are you going to comment on Prebble's valedictory?

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 01:34:00 PM

Well, an informed public is always a good thing. However, the Maxim Institute is an organisation that supports "family values," almost to the extent of fetishizing the traditional family unit. They are outspoken about the "destruction" of the Kiwi family, and played a big role during the Civil Union debate in demonizing those in favour.

With that in mind, I wonder how non-partisan will be. Why not acknowledge its ties to Maxim, and Maxim's stated objectives?

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 04:24:00 PM

it does acknowledge it's ties to Maxim on the About page, but not in any of the advertising of course (i found out about it through a bus shelter advert). it will certainly be interesting to see who is permitted to publish "guest" commentary though.

Posted by Span : 7/29/2005 05:25:00 PM

Very sly,

I was sent that site today by a pentecostal christian friend, and immediately looked for that slant. While my glance was quite cursory this was certianly not obvious, it was marketed as nuetral.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 09:51:00 PM

Span and anon,
I don't think the Maxim institute are trying to hide their involvement at all. The press release states very clearly that it's from them, as does the site. What more would you have them do?

And I've had a pretty close look at the site now and I'm impressed. All the policy indicators have links to the original source right next to them and I have not seen anything resembling a "family values" slant so far. There seems to be no editorialising whatsoever. (Of course, once the guest comments go up, it's possible that there will be a bias, but so far it's looking good.)

I/S, what I was going to suggest is whether you might consider getting in touch with them and asking if they are interested in your questionnaire responses? Your call of course, but perhaps they might be able to make use of them? Just a thought.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/30/2005 03:33:00 AM

Go to "about" and the first sentance states that it is "a community service provided by Maxim Institute", hardly cloak and dagger stuff. You might not like them, but they aren't being sly.

Posted by Muerk : 7/31/2005 04:09:00 PM

IN the light of this post I am doing a series on the maxim suggested election issues.

Posted by Genius : 7/31/2005 10:53:00 PM

I contest Maxim Institute's claim that it is running a non-partisan website stating "the views of the parties ... in their own words". For example their statement of the Green Party's key principles is substantively different from the Green Charter they cite as their source.

As at 2 August alledges the Green Party key principles are: "Human needs can only be met without damage to other species that share the earth. Social justice and ecological wisdom."

Whose words are Maxim using? If I remove all the words that don't appear in the Green Charter from Maxim's text, it looks like this: "Human ??? ??? ??? be ??? ??? ??? to ??? ??? that ??? the ???. Social ??? and ecological wisdom."

The Green Charter emphasis that "unlimited material growth is impossible" and "Ecological sustainability is paramount", seems lost in the Maxim interpretation. Perhaps because the Green Charter is in conflict with Maxim's ideological belief that private corporate ownership should have priority over government regulation.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/03/2005 05:53:00 AM