Friday, December 01, 2006

Getting involved

DPF has an interesting post on how the Keep It 18 campaign came into existence, with the aim of

actually encourag[ing] more people to get involved with politics and campaigning on issues. The drinking age debate showed that a few people can make a difference. Now I do not mean to imply that MPs made up their mind on the lobbying alone, or even that other lobbying from industry groups such as BWSC (which ironically and sadly has just been closed) and HANZ wasn’t also influential. But feedback from both media and MPs has been that the efforts of KI18 did help to a significant degree.

Of course, the people involved were all politically well-conected, with excellent access to media and politicians for lobbying, and this made their job immensely easier. But these skills can be learned, and you'd be surprised how many politicians will respond to a well thouht-out email. As I keep saying, democracy is fundamentally a clash of interests, and its a matter of participate or perish. And if you don't stand up for your interests, then they willnot be taken into account. So, to echo DPF, next time you see an issue you feel strongly about, speak up about it, let the politicians know what you think, and (if you're keen) get together with some friends and try and organise a campaign around it. Otherwise, when you get walked all over by people who do do these things, you will have no-one to blame but yourself.


I don't like the way our politicians consistantly say one thing and do another.
What can I do?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 04:20:00 PM

Unless you are a Bretheren or conservative Xtian, or a wealthy wing businessperson in which case you will be vilified for secret agendas and cash for policies :-)


Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 04:34:00 PM

Anon: vote the bums out! Better yet, stand for election and be different.

Failing that, make damn sure everyone knows when a politician is lying. Don't give scumbags a free ride.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/01/2006 04:43:00 PM

1. So I vote them all out, what then, because as far as I have seen and I watch closely, not one of them has stood by the truth when the crunch comes, not a one. And how does vote the bums out work when, in the case of Don, he wasn't even voted in? Or when in the case of the Lange Govt. we get Mr Douglas and his weird band of merry men, who saw that coming? Or when The Don was RB dude and killing employment, how could I have, voted him out, prey tell?
2. Stand for election. Are you kidding? Our system is designed to filter people like me out. I know what Projection and Transference really mean, LOL.
3. Outing politicians that lie. Refer to point 2. After what the Don has done to prove what it really is all about, (The Agenda, shhhh), you really think outing them does an ounce of good?
4. As for a Free Ride, no, they are a very expensive ride indeed, and as our economy grows, the cost of that ride increases exponentially until the host dies and we start another round.
5. When I read kiwiblog I realize what a long way we have to go, and we havn't even got a clue as to where Mr Key really wants to take us.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 05:02:00 PM

Don was voted in by the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of people who voted for the National Party, after they had performed their internal processes to rank him first on their list.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 05:08:00 PM

lobby or its your own fault is a powerful meme because the best meme spreaders are also good lobbyists. A bit like "make money or its your own fault" in its own way

Posted by Genius : 12/01/2006 08:28:00 PM

Anon: its a suck system I know - but it sure as hell beats the alternatives.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/02/2006 12:46:00 AM

I am surprised you haven't commented on the fact that Keep it 18 was bankrolled and assisted by wealthy corporate interests. It seems suspiciously like a double standard, that you don't criticise this sort of manipulation when you agree with the end goal.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/02/2006 01:03:00 AM

were any of those people 'beer barons' or people with interests in the alcohol industry? if so then.. talk about dirty money and buying policy..

Posted by Genius : 12/02/2006 09:55:00 AM

The System as such does not suck. What sucks is that we are 2 million year old shaved apes in suits who ultimately are motivated more by sweet than sour.
Lobbying, what a world exists in that one word, would it be best to simply lobby oneself? Or is that what lobbying really is?
"Old age and cunning will beat youth and enthusiasm any day."

Still, Idiot, I admire your enthusiasm, but the fact remains, our system exists upon blood, exploitation, and the abrogation of truth, and while that is so, why lobby it?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/02/2006 10:49:00 AM

Anon: because no matter what you do, its not going to stop.

Politics isn't going to go away. Political power isn't going to go away. The ability of others to make decisions which substantially affect our lives isn't going to go away. Given the size and capabilities of our society, these things will all exist and happen whether we have an absolute dictatorship, a democracy, a Libertarian "utopia" or an anarchy. What changes with diffeent political systems is the degree of formalisation and publicity of that power, who controls it, who gets to know what is being done, and whether there are any checks (besides the obvious Hobbesean ones) on how it is exercised.

The reason I support democracy is because everyone's interests nominally count, and our rulers are nominally accountable to the rest of us. The reason I promote participation is to make those "nominallys" realities. An impossible task, I know, but things don't get better unless you try. Saying "fuck the lot of them" just gets you stomped on by people who are willing to work the system.

(Obviously, I regard the Hobbesean solution as being worse than the disease. That is what we are trying to escape from - not what we are trying to return to.)

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/02/2006 01:10:00 PM

Don Brash *was* voted in:
- as an MP, he was elected because the Nats got enough votes to elect their list MPs, starting with the leader at #1.

- as Nat party leader, the caucus elected him. The caucus are there because they got elected as electorate or list MPs.

If you don't like Mr Brash, then not voting National is a good way to get rid of him. It seems to have worked well, given he's no longer leader and soon not to be an MP.

Posted by Rich : 12/02/2006 08:53:00 PM

Dissent is slacker lobbying. I just don't like the stealth agendas. Key is my local MP, perhaps I will ask him outright if it is his intention to screw me over.

Brash is a good reason why our system of MMP is stealth politics, that wonderfully backfired.

Can we have an opposition now?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/03/2006 07:49:00 AM

Just want to pick up on something anon said about KI18: that it was funded and assisted by wealthy corporate backers.

This is entirely untrue. For starters we had almost no costs, apart from the large amount of opportunity cost people like DPF, Dave Guerin, Darel etc gave up in order to run the campaign for the two weeks or so we were in existence.

Secondly in terms of assistance it was a grass roots effort - the youth wings lobbied their own parties, and others spent hours putting together research from ALAC etc and collating it into background documents.

Anon's assertion is is just that: an assertion.

Posted by BillBass : 12/03/2006 09:20:00 PM