Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 07:18 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.

Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 06:59 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I met my local MP today, when he stopped his (large, four-wheel-drive, shiny) car to ask me for directions. After I'd told him how to get to the primary school he gave me his card, you know, a bit of self-promotion while he had me there. I'm not going to vote for him and it won't make any difference -- my electorate is a safe National seat so he's just about guaranteed to get back in.

I've checked on the elections site and found out who the other candidates are to choose from. Leaving it a bit late, election is on the 26th, but there's time to get the hang of things. The only candidate I knew about until now, other than the current guy, was the Labour one whose hoarding down the road has had a moustache drawn on it. I'm sure the addition was not politically motivated, it'll just be "oh, a sign with no graffiti!", the urge to scribble on things, but whatever the motivation, the attempt to deface the hoarding has actually improved it. They've given her a Charles I-style perky job and she looks super-snazzy with a moustache!
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I met my local MP today, when he stopped his (large, four-wheel-drive, shiny) car to ask me for directions. After I'd told him how to get to the primary school he gave me his card, you know, a bit of self-promotion while he had me there. I'm not going to vote for him and it won't make any difference -- my electorate is a safe National seat so he's just about guaranteed to get back in.

I've checked on the elections site and found out who the other candidates are to choose from. Leaving it a bit late, election is on the 26th, but there's time to get the hang of things. The only candidate I knew about until now, other than the current guy, was the Labour one whose hoarding down the road has had a moustache drawn on it. I'm sure the addition was not politically motivated, it'll just be "oh, a sign with no graffiti!", the urge to scribble on things, but whatever the motivation, the attempt to deface the hoarding has actually improved it. They've given her a Charles I-style perky job and she looks super-snazzy with a moustache!
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Cleaning up my sewing and fabric department I found a couple of perfectly good T-shirts which I was saving to cut up into new things. They've been sitting there for over a year because it seems unethical to chop them up somehow. I got given them and wore them once or twice before deciding they were far too short and wide to be wearable, and almost certainly too oddly proportioned to be any use to anyone else. Now I wonder: are there people so much shorter in the body than me that these shirts would fit? Are there people who LIKE their T-shirts to barely meet their waistbands? Should I chuck them in the charity bin and find another source of fabric?

I would be causing more entropy by cutting up a T-shirt, with inevitable fabric wastage, to make something new out of it. I'm sure people would say the T-shirts belong to me and I can do whatever the hell I like with them -- people who live in a world of billboards asserting that one "deserves" chocolate simply by existing, who have never entertained a thought about the greater scheme of things. These T-shirts have become a huge moral conundrum to me.

On third thoughts, perhaps my inability to believe in people who would fit the shirts is rooted in reality rather than unimaginativeness and I would actually be doing the world a service by removing them from circulation. Imagine the frustration I could be saving an op-shopper who bought what seemed like a perfectly serviceable T-shirt and then found uncomfortable cold draughts around her middle. She might end up with the same dilemma I'm having -- or she might send the T-shirt straight to landfill.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
My mind has been made up for quite some time about where my party vote is going, but I had to do a bit more soul-searching to decide which MP in my electorate would get my vote. I read all the candidate profiles in this week's newspaper and there was one MP who really caught my eye as a strong possibility. She seemed like a real person, someone I could relate to, with worthy goals and priorities, even though her party isn't my pick. And she's from a party which is guaranteed to get seats in Parliament. I thought my mind was all made up.

This morning I read a little more closely and found out that she's standing in the Maori electorate for my area, not the general electorate, so being a white person I can't vote for her after all.

Oh well, in a way that makes my decision easier. There's only one candidate in the general electorate I could even consider voting for! I'm off to do my bit. Elections are pretty exciting for me, for some reason.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Some people have allowed political party hoardings to be erected in their front yards. There's one for the Greens and one for NZ First that I ride past, inside people's fences rather than on council land by the road. I'm worrying that people are being mercenary and unscrupulous and giving space to promote parties they don't agree with, just for money. And if they're not, that means they're putting up signs telling everyone who they're going to vote for. What's the point of a secret ballot if people do that?
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Switched on National Radio in the car just before and heard the tail end of a speech by Helen Clark - all I heard was that she is proud of not having sent New Zealanders to invade Iraq - and then a retaliatory speech by John Key in which he called her "hysterical". He wasn't saying he found her speech so amusing that it had him in hysterics, he was calling the Prime Minister herself hysterical. Interesting in that five minutes before that I'd been reading a story in which suffragists were being put down for showing an interest in politics by the use of the same word. Things haven't changed much in a hundred years.

Mr Key ended his next sentence with the word "period". I don't know whether he just has wombs on the brain and can't stop talking about them, or if his keenness to ingratiate himself with the USA causes him to adopt their punctuation terminology.

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