Wednesday, October 29, 2008
At the Sarcasm Party, we understand that you've been hard done by after nine long years of economic prosperity and are looking for a fresh breath of common sense change or whatever. So voting for us would be an awesome idea, because we'd fix everything with our magic fixing wand.
And we love family values too. Abso-frickking-lutely love them. We're so full of family values we could puke up a bucketful of them every day and still have plenty left over. When they unclog our drains they find piles of it.
That's why we're going to solve the problem of all those solo mums. We're going to make all those parents who didn't want to live with each other, live with each other. Bam - Problem solved! I'm sure it'll go swimmingly. Steaming pile of family values right there.
And we'll re-ban prostitution. These days it's like we can't roll over without bumping into a hooker.
If prostitution were made illegal it would return us to the way things were before, when nobody ever had sex for money. And little children played with cuddly lambs and there were flowers and stuff and jingly little bells.
Yeah, banning stuff totally makes problems go away. The party pills you get now are way less dangerous than BZP.
There are too many people on welfare. Ban that too.
We would abolish parole. That would totally make the world a better place overall. Because of some reason that escapes me right now.
Oh, that's right. Because some of us remember when we had real prison riots and we think that sounds awesome.
And if you made sentences harsher, I bet those people who want harsher sentencing will be totally happy rather than continuing to lobby for even harsherer sentencing.
This idea that prisoners have rights has gone too far. We should treat them like they're subhuman - that'll teach them for not doing right by other human beings. And when we've finished doing that, we might consider something that will actually have some effect on the crime rate.
Now I'm gonna mention middle New Zealand. There you go. Gotta vote for us now.
Here's a fantastic idea: instead of an independent body which takes account of the scientific evidence and the proper allocation of finite resources, let's have medicine funding decided by politicians. Especially the really expensive medicines. What could possibly go wrong?
Houses are way too expensive. We should do something about that. Also, we should be careful about extra spending or tax cuts because it might overheat the economy and cause inflation. Our exporters are being crushed by the high dollar. Yeah, that's right. We're so good at economics we made up our policies six months in advance. If anything changes we can just promise to do the same things, but pretend it's an up-to-the-minute response to whatever economic thingy white people are worried about at the time. Must remember to check the Listener covers.
Oh, and there's a whole bunch of other stuff we would have spend money on - you would have loved it - except the fairies didn't bring us all that gold like we asked.
Our billboards will make more sense the National's and be better spell-checked than ACT's. Even though that will be really, really hard.
We promise not to have some half-assed coalition policy like if we pretended to be centerists wanting to moderate whichever party gets the numbers but putting enough caveats about other coalition partners and on so in that we'll probably only be be able to work with one, and then getting all tetchy on election night because it turns out the other one got the numbers anyway and our hair gets all messed up and we probably cry or hurt ourselves trying to stab a reporter with a broken bottle or something.
We are prepared to negotiate a coalition with any party born in a leap year, keeping those radicals who disagree with our radicals from the seats of power with a determination equal to the number of days since an international sporting victory multiplied by the baubles of office while keeping government honest.
We will not announce our coalition plans until some genius explains how someone can possibly be to the left of National with all this superfund-money-controlling and handing out random welfare cheques.
Hurt our prospects though it might, we have made a moral decision that we will under no circumstances sit around a cabinet table with Gordon Copeland.
So yeah, all our policies are completely good ideas. If you support them, you can help our presidential-style campaign by standing on intersections shouting our party leader's name. Name of the leader of the Sarcasm Party is "Ima Nidiot". Everyone will think you're awesome.
So vote for the Sarcasm Party. We're totally a registered political party.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Admittedly not in quite some many words.
Well, the headline is "Research a gross waste of time and money" and it's clear the "S"ST's Spokesperson on Drug Issues does not know the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Research Unit from a bar of hemp-oil soap (She also puts scare-quotes around the word 'evidence' when it supports something she disagrees with).
I should say that, if you read all the way down to the bottom, the point is apparently the "30-years of research has indeed been a gross waste of time and money" if it does not lead to a change in drug policy.
Just for the record, they have been doing some other stuff. As this 240-page bibliography (PDF) suggests.
So, not what I'd call having you finger on the pulse from the Spokesperson there.
[Also, you can add to the list of things United Future's Judy Turner does not know the difference between a monkey and an ape. And the extent the concept of informed consent can be applied to a chimpanzee.]
[Another update: The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party blames the scientists too. Who apparently should be studying something else. For example, something they can't control for.]
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
EXT. CAPITAL CITY - DAY
A GIGANTIC MONSTER is rampaging across the country, devouring financial institutions and leaving a trail of ruined economy.
A crowd of ONLOOKERS gaze in terror at the devestation
Who will save us now?
SUPER NATIONAL PARTY LEADER GUY (O.S.)
SUPER NATIONAL PARTY LEADER GUY (SNPLG) lands in front of the Onlookers, wearing an unfortunate latex outfit.
It's Super National Party Guy Man!
What IS that creature?
It is an Economic Crisis!
The creation of my nemisis, Doctor C.
Are you sure? Only I saw it crawl out of the ocean.
Fear not! I shall cut taxes, boost infrastructure spending
and reduce red tape!
That works on financial crises does it?
But weren't you just going to do that anyway?
I mean, is it actually a response to this crisis in particular?
Look, you don't complain when other superheroes use the exact same superpowers to solve every problem they're presented with, do you?
No. No you don't. It just means they've got awesome superpowers.
SNPG cuts taxes, boosts infrastructure spending and reduces red tape.
The monster continues to rampage.
Um. It's still there.
Yes, but it's much smaller than it would have been otherwise.
He flies off.
EXT. CAPITAL CITY - DAY
While lifting the entire nation above the poverty line using the power of tax cuts, SNPG singles out an INDEPENDENT EARNER who is not receiving government support.
I'm going to give you a special tax rebate!
But why? My only distinguishing feature is that I haven't been found to be worthy of special treatment.
Exactly, you are the real victim of this Labour-led tyranny! Don't you feel left behind all the other people who get extra help?
You deserve special support as much as anyone!
... as anyone who has an actual reason for needing special support?
We're in agreement then. Popular Buzzword!
He flies off.
EXT. CAPITAL CITY - DAY
SNPG has attempted to control the Economic Crisis by building a huge infrastructure of asphalt and fibreoptic cables. A bipartisan artillery squad bombards it with huge volleys of spending.
Where did you get the money to do that?
We've made it completely clear where the money for our tax plan will come from.
Yes, but this isn't part of your tax plan, is it?
In the background, the Economic Crisis grabs and devours several bankers who, relying on their government guarantee, took the risk of gawking too closely.
Did I mention I used to work in global finance?
By which I mean "I know how these things work", rather than "I, personally, am a symbol of how we got into this mess".
Look over there - it's Nanny State!
He throws smoke bomb and runs away.
INT - LAIR - DAY
Supervillianess MISS CLARK and her sidekick DOCTOR C celebrate a political victory in their vast secret underground lair, carefully insulated against attack by several layers of surpluses.
The Australian Government has announced its plans to guarantee deposits the day before Labour's official campaign launch, 'conveniently' allowing Clark to announce NZ's response there. This timing was arranged by some kind of Tran-Tasman mind control or something.
Doctor C pops open a bottle of chardonnay-flavoured champagne. In the background, a squad of socialist ninjas train in communism by stealth.
Everything is going to plan! Release the pledge cards!
Super National Party Leader Guy already did that.
Curses! Foiled again!
It says, "My key commitments to you". I keep looking at the picture of him and wondering if he's being secretly ironic.
We could give tertiary students lots of money. That worked last time.
Excellent. I'll show that pesky Super National Party Leader Guy!
Mwa ha ha ha!
An alarm goes off. There is an enormous crash as the Financial Crisis plunges through the roof and hits the rock bottom of the lair, crushing a number of the ninjas.
Look out for the Economic Crisis!
Om Nom Nom Nom
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I can accept the idea of specific tax cuts or rebates for people who one thinks deserve special treatments. Although as far as poverty goes you can just directly give people far more money than they'll ever be able to get by cutting taxes.
But National has really jumped the shark on this with their independent earner rebate. "Personal income-tax payers with an annual income between $24,000 and $50,000 and who do not receive any form of financial entitlements from the government". That's singling out people for special treatment just because they don't already get special treatment. Y'know, just letting the people who haven't been deemed to require extra support catch up with everyone else.
There wouldn't seem to be a policy goal there. Could it be about votes?
[Update: Dim has a compelling theory.]
Looking at the 'Paying for Tax Cuts' table here, which boast about how they're cutting more spending than they need...
Leaving aside, of course, any other extra spending they might be planning. Which is an important point, but not the one I'm thinking of.
... I thought, aren't the Labour programmes they're cutting basically all tax changes? So National would actually be cutting taxes overall less than Labour.
You'd have to check the details. Just a thinks.
Friday, October 03, 2008
It's just, if you followed that corrections thing you'll know that programmes devised by professionals that have successful pilots can be slighly worse than useless.
So honest, and a apparently pleased with himself, though he is, I hold little hope prima facie for a plan John Key came up with out of his own head.
Particularly given the programme he was visiting has obvious critical differences to the one he plans. For example, by the sound of it participants in the former are not young offenders or there under court orders.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
It has come to my attention that other things were happening while Winston Peters' various donations were dominating the news.
I know, I was as surprised as anyone.
Anyway, after some research I present my reconstruction of these non-Peters-related events:
Gordon Copeland looked forward to the TV election debates.
Fonterra looked forward to the China free trade agreement coming into force.
Finally learning from National the lesson of attacking your political opponent where you are weak, Helen Clark decided to campaign on "trust".
An angry nation demanded a definitive answer as to whether we did well in the Olympics or not.
Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell declined nomination for ACT's wildcard #5 list slot, as they were quite busy with the rowing and are also technically more than one person.
But surely, if ever there was a party for people who already have gold, but are mortally determined to get more, ACT is it.
The Emissions Trading Bill passed into law. Unfortunately nobody was paying attention and so this failed to save the world.
John Key was slated for his clumsy handling of "is-a-very-rich-person" allegations.
Another candidate failed to take up ACT's #5 list slot: the same dark rituals that reanimated Roger Douglas' political career fail to create a zombie Milton Friedman. One flaw in an otherwise splendid plan.
I expect there were some disasters and stuff in the world somewhere. The New Zealand media probably wouldn't have paid much attention anyway, so don't worry.
The last-minute rush of Treaty of Waitangi Claims was probably needed, considering the rate Cullen seemed to be settling them.
The Mongrel Mob and Black Power also made claims and, really, who's going to stop them?
The National Party, apparently cautious about being held to the implied promises in their billboards, decided to make them as inconspicuous and indecipherable as possible.
The Labour Party launched billboards that suggest they think Helen Clark is their biggest asset.
Under urgency, Parliament officially adopted Robert Mugabe as easy shorthand for accusing you opponent of imposing a totalitarian reign of terror, large-scale violent evictions, general starvation and the arrest, beating or murder of political opponents.
Or just of doing something that makes you grumpy.
But without those unpleasant holocaust-y overtones you get with Adolf Hitler.
The National Party announced its whitebait policy.
A National government will intoduce a programme of significant tax cuts, reform the RMA and investigate other whitebait-friendly policies.
Not like Labour, who have had nine long year to solve this problem and have done nothing.
Michael Cullen consoled himself over upcoming tax cuts by playing with his train set. Chugga chugga chugaa. Wooooo!
Curious George was rejected for the ACT #5 list slot, despite having the experience to step in as the monkey who hangs out with a man in who dresses in yellow.
ACT officals reportedly considered the candidate "too fictional".
"Now some people in this Parliament don't like rich people. Some people think they shouldn't be allowed to have political opinions or use their money to support their opinions. But guess what?" says Rodney Hide, building to a climax, "It's their money! Some people might not like that - some people might want to tell them how to spend it, or make them get a piece of paper, some sort of permission slip before they allowed to spend it. I'm sure Robert Mugabe would like that too. But they've earned their money and what they do with it is none of the Government's business!"
Despite this ringing endorsement, Winston Peters is not endorsed for ACT's #5 slot.
Apparently there's going to be some kind of election.
Oh, and one in New Zealand too.