Are We Having an Election or a Game of Trivial Pursuit?

Are we having an election or a game of Trivial Pursuit? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

We had the fixation with scarves and men who say they’re sorry. Apparently it’s not manly. Though most women would argue that men don’t say ‘sorry’ half often enough. And red scarves are an unforgivable fashion faux pas – who knew? Continue reading

What’s Dotcom Got The Alliance Hasn’t?

What has Dotcom got that the Alliance Party hasn’t? He is the founder of a yet unregistered political party which like the Alliance fails to rate a mention in opinion polls. His feelings on the GCSB and our government spying on behalf of the US are the same as ours.

We too recognize that access to information is a vital tool in reducing inequality and support access to better internet services for everyone. We also support fair use of content and a robust public domain. We are no fans of patents and copyrights that allow holders inflate the cost of everything and deny people access to such essentials as lifesaving medications or technologies. Continue reading

Alliance welcomes Court of Appeal ruling on election closing address

The Alliance Party has welcomed today’s Court of Appeal ruling that found in favour of the Alliance’s complaint on lack of broadcasting time in the 2008 general election.

Alliance Party co-leader Andrew McKenzie says the Electoral Commission did not allocate a television or radio closing address to the Alliance (and other non-parliamentary but registered parties) in the 2008 election.

The Alliance contested this decision but their case was dismissed in the High Court in Wellington.

The Court of Appeal has now upheld their appeal, holding that “Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989 requires the Electoral Commission to allocate time for an opening address and time for a closing address to every political party that qualifies for allocation of time under the Broadcasting Act.”

Mr McKenzie says it is useful that the law has been clarified and the issue was an important one for democratic expression, as a registered political party should receive fair opportunity to convey its policies to the public.

The Alliance accepted the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the outcome cast no doubt on the lawfulness of the 2008 general election, but had implications for future elections.

Paul Henry deserves sack from TVNZ

The Alliance Party is supporting IHC’s stand against Paul Henry and is encouraging TVNZ to sack their errant broadcaster.

Alliance Party disabilities spokesperson Chris Ford has said that Mr Henry’s latest outburst should see him out of public broadcasting.

“In what can only be described as a new low for public broadcasters in New Zealand, Paul Henry giggled like an ignorant schoolboy as he read out how British singer Susan Boyle became impaired at birth as a result of oxygen deprivation and described her as ‘retarded’. This is an outdated term to describe learning/intellectual impairment and it has recently become a term of abuse which is used in a negative and subjective manner against people with intellectual and learning disabilities,” said Mr Ford. Continue reading

Bureaucrats media blackout on free trade roadshow blasted

The Alliance Party has blasted a media shutdown by a Government-run free trade roadshow.

Alliance Party national spokesperson Victor Billot says media were turned away from a Dunedin seminar run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise yesterday.

The Otago Daily Times raised concerns with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Officials after being told that allowing media into workshops would inhibit speakers from “full and frank discussion.”

Mr Billot says the free trade seminars were paid for by New Zealanders, but media were told they could not directly report or photograph proceedings on the first day, and were then barred completely from reporting workshop discussions on the second day.

Mr Billot says this is a disgrace and shows how there was an anti-democratic agenda in free trade deals. Continue reading

Alliance making bold bid to win over the working class voters, says Gisborne Herald

From the Gisborne Herald, Monday, 9 June 2008

By Iain Gillies

Almost destroyed by internecine strife several years ago, the Alliance is pitching itself as a voice for working class New Zealanders in this year’s election.

Under the co-leadership of Dunedin’s Kay Murray and Christchurch barrister Andrew McKenzie, it has already announced 12 candidates and is compiling its party list.

The Alliance has struggled in recent times since its dramatic split between former leader Jim Anderton and former president Matt McCarten.

But it has retained enough membership to be officially registered, and is gaining in numbers according to former co-leader Victor Billot who is now running the party’s campaign.

In a cheeky move this week, Mr Billot encouraged supporters of Mr Anderton’s Progressive party to desert him and join the Alliance. Continue reading