Once again the elections will see millions of dollars spent trying to persuade voters by any means possible to vote for a particular party or candidate. By any means possible being the operative term. Continue reading
The master of spin, Prime Minister John Key, has fired the first shots across the bow of the opposition parties. His quip to the media about “the coalition of the unwilling” will set the tone for the 2017 election and destroy the credibility of the opposition unless they move swiftly to prove him wrong and demonstrate that the wider left can work together. Continue reading
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Amendment Bill passed its first reading last week by three votes. Those in favour: National, ACT, United Future, and Phil Goff.
What National, ACT, United Future, and Phil Goff mainly voted to do was increase our copyright term to 70 years after the death of the artist or after it is first made available to the public, depending on who holds the copyright. Why? Continue reading
The National government would have everyone believe that TPPA protesters are ill-informed, unemployed rabblerousers without anything better to do than make public spectacles of themselves. ‘Rent a crowd’, John Key calls them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. TPPA protesters are very likely the people serving you in shops and restaurants, cleaning your office, teaching your children, caring for you if you end up in hospital or residential care, giving you legal advice. TPPA protesters are a very large and diverse group from all walks of life. Continue reading
There have been record turnouts in all the main centres to hear Prof Jane Kelsey and Lori Wallach from Public Citizens Global Trade Watch speak about the reasons not to sign the TPPA.
People have taken to the streets in the thousands for the past two years or more to tell the government they don’t want New Zealand to agree to the TPPA. Online petitions have collects tens of thousands of signatures in a very short of time. The Green Party and New Zealand First don’t want a bar of the TPPA. Now the Labour Party has capitulated. Surely the time has come to flex our democratic muscles? Continue reading
The government would have us think the TPP is a done deal, and we must make the best of it. Nothing could be further from the truth. All that has happened is that negotiations over the text of the deal have been concluded. So now we know, or will soon know, what we are up against.
The US must release the text of the deal within the next month. This means whether our government likes it or not, we will have access to the text as well. This is when the fight begins. Continue reading
Last week around 25,000 people marched in protest at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. People of all ages and occupations – a good cross section of the community.
When asked by the media, marchers time and time again eloquently expressed their concern at the secrecy of negotiations, the impact on access to medicines and the cost to our health service, the inclusion of investor state dispute provisions which would allow corporations to sue our government in international tribunals, the impact on patents and copyright laws, the impact on both local bodies’ and government’s ability to procure goods and services locally, our ability to take measures to prevent climate change, the likelihood the TPP will override the Treaty of Waitangi, the fact that the agreement is binding for the foreseeable future no matter if we change the government. These are all legitimate concerns based on the information from the agreement leaked through Wikileaks. Continue reading
What is a good way for very small political party get some attention? If all else fails, voluntary de-registration looks like it will do it. Continue reading
According to recent polls, Winston Peters has an odds on chance to take Northland from National. Labour and Mana are sadly well off the pace, though both are fielding excellent candidates.
If New Zealand First were to win Northland, that would given them 12 MPs. National would go down to 59. Crunching the numbers, that means that all opposition parties apart from ACT combined would have 61 votes, to National and ACT’s 60. Continue reading
The Trans-Pacific is a corporate raid. It’s about stealing our sovereignty and killing democracy. Investor-state dispute settlement provisions mean that when big corporates tell us to jump, the only thing we will be able to do is ask “how high?”
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have confirmed that negotiators from the 12 participating countries will meet in Hawaii from March 9 to 15 to try to wrap up the Trans-Pacific free trade agreement. We can’t let that happen.
Time to dust off the banners and take to the streets again on March 7th to try to get the message across to New Zealanders and the New Zealand government that this agreement is a crock and we should have no part of it. There will be marches in 22 towns and cities across New Zealand. Similar actions are happening in the other 11 participating countries. Continue reading