Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top 10 #nzpol Tweets of this week

When I was blogging at Third Culture, I started a top 10 NZPOL tweets of the week. Here is the second edition. Rules of eligibility are listed below. 

This was a jam packed week of action in NZPOL. There were some budgets tweets, the Greens list, the unfortunate John Banks Waxgate, Labour's unexpected immigration position, random boat people fearmongering, Maori hating asians, voter apathy (particularly the youth vote) and of course the Internet Party-Mana electoral deal. There were also some hilarious hashtags like the #Whydoestheleft and #InternetPartyLeader. There were too many funny tweets there so y'all should just check out the hashtags. My TL was also dominated by #YesAllWomen and I've blogged about that this morning as well. 

Narrowing down the top 10 tweets was very hard. It can only be summed up by a tweet from yours truly (but this is not the top 10). 

Here are my 10 favorite tweets from this week: 

I like this tweet a lot because I too am tired of the same people over and over again. I want to see some young people and by that I mean people under 40. I want to see people of colour, I want to see women, I also want to see people with personality instead of the wooden boring humans that dominate the political commentary world.

Ha ha ha. But actually many people wouldn't and its not funny. I found Labour's immigration position this weekend

Gosh someone needed to point that out! Most of the time when Minister Parata answers questions, I think to myself - I know these words, these are English words I know the meaning to but together they make zero sense to me.

This was a very strange event that happened on Wednesday Night NZT. But this point is really well made. National veto will be powerful and it will be powerful if the media highlight it. 

 This was a bizarre defense by the Minister in Question time. You can see the exchange here

Normally I wouldn't highlight MP's tweets. They have many followers and its not hard for them to get their voices heard. But this tweet really sums up the political doublespeak that exists in today's world. You can either take responsibility and the credit that comes with it or not. You can't have it both ways. Sadly more often than not, politicians do have it both ways.  

This was an interesting assessment of the Green's list. In a way very true however, Labour's non-list MP really needs rejuvenation. I think Ross Robertson is the only current electorate MP not coming back to contest his seat. I may blog on this some more next week. There's a lot to say on this. 

And finally the Internet-Mana deal. Much has been said but this is an interesting perspective!

10 Rules of Top 10

1. Tweets must be funny or thoughtful or informative or display critical analysis 
2. What is funny or thoughtful or informative or display critical analysis is subjective and determined by me.
3. I may provide commentary on the tweet if it particularly strikes my fancy
4. They are not ranked from 1-10
5. Disclosure: I *am* particularly looking to highlight gender and racial minority voices
6. If you want to point me to the direction of a good tweet, please do it!
7. Using the #nzpol/#nzqt/#nzvotes is helpful but not required
8. I hope to get better about this as the weeks progress
9. I am a big fan of correct spelling and grammar (but I know mistakes happen too!)
10. Let's try to use social media for good and raise the level of debate!  

Recommended Reading: #YesAllWomen May 30, 2014

Every week hundreds of articles are shared on Twitter and FB. This is an attempt to highlight important things that are happening around the world (and New Zealand). It won't encompass everything of course just 5 interesting articles to read. Hope you are a little bit more informed. 

The horrific shootings at Santa Barbara sparked the #YesAllWomen hashtag.  At times I broke down as I read the stories because they were horrific. I couldn't believe it took a hashtag for me to realize that just because something isn't rape doesn't mean it's not part of the rape culture.  There are events in my life that I thought were my fault or trivial or something I blew out of proportion in my head that actually weren't.  I made excuses, I explained it to myself, I rationalized it, I ignored it, I hoped it meant something else. Every single woman in this world has that story. And these stories don't happen because you slept with a stranger or you met someone online. We are abused at the hands of male friends we trusted, boyfriends we love, husbands we have children with, fathers, brothers, the police, and our leaders' inaction. My highest read count on my previous blog at Third culture is still the post on rape culture in New Zealand following the Willie and JT interview and the RB saga.

So for today's recommended reading I'd like you to read the following. Fair warning to all, this week I've read many stories and it has left me not with hate but with debilitating fear. 

1. Part 1 and 2 of the stories on - where stories were sent in by many women. Special thanks to Sarah for making that space available. 
3. Pregnant Pakistani woman beaten by family for marrying the person she loved - global outrage, local silence
4. Two teenage girls have been found hanging from a tree in a northern Indian village after they were gang-raped by five men
5. Why men don't see the harassment women experience

Monday, May 26, 2014

Recommended reading: 27 May 2014

Every week hundreds of articles are shared on Twitter and FB. This is an attempt to highlight important things that are happening around the world (and New Zealand). It won't encompass everything of course just 5 interesting articles to read. Hope you are a little bit more informed. 

1. World Meteorological Organization says, "Time is running out" [on climate change]

2. A legal loophole called "admitting privileges" which means increasingly women in the South will cease to have access to safe abortions - read here and here

3. The Prime Minister of New Zealand wants to be called a 'liar' by the Opposition Leader.

4. Pakistani PM attend's Indian PM's inauguration. In the words of Vice President Joe Biden this is a BFD. 

5. And in case you already forgot about the last hashtag flavour of the month #Bringbackourgirls - Nigerian Military now say they know where the 200 girls are being held. 

Who is Labour pandering to?

Well this certainly has been an interesting week especially if you are a person who wants to move to New Zealand for a better life or think that people should have a chance to come here for a better life. First there was this random story based on very dubious numbers that Māori hate Asian Immigrants. Then there was the cry of the “boat people” coming to NZ on their battleships to take over the country. And now the idea that migrants are to blame for the housing crisis echoing a poll that shows most Kiwis want to restrict immigration. 

It is one thing to restrict home ownership from foreigners. I can understand that. And by foreigners I mean people who are not citizens or residents of New Zealand and people who do not live and work in New Zealand (so I don’t even mean people on working visas, I mean people who have no connection to New Zealand at all). Although despite news stories about faceless foreigners from faraway lands buying up our houses, I have yet to see any definitive numbers to that back that assertion. But that is completely different to blaming migrants for NZ’s problems. New Zealand already has pretty modest immigration numbers (in my opinion) and immigrating to NZ is harder than many many other western countries including arguably the United States. When people move to New Zealand, they come here to work here, to contribute, and to eventually become Kiwis. Immigration allows our little country to import skills and labour which we otherwise would not have.

Our schools and hospitals are not burdened by migrants, they are burdened because of the way we have allocated our resources. The government has gone to great lengths to contract out our public services which costs much more. The government has siphoned out public resources into private entities and individuals. Instead of coming up with policies that require investing in primary healthcare (let’s remember the under 13 doctor’s visits are not going to kick in until much much later), investing in public education (instead of funding to private schools and now Charter schools), instead of investing in public transport (roads, roads, roads), instead of planning for the future (every policy is tagged to the next electoral cycle), the easier thing to do is to pick on migrants because 62% of New Zealanders think immigration should be restricted.

Our leaders have forgotten how to lead. Instead of correcting public perception with facts, our political leaders choosing to use the flawed perception to create flawed policies. If we had used public perception to guide us through universal suffrage or civil rights, I don’t think we would have the laws that we did, when we did. Instead now we have the Labour Party – the progressive party of this country calling for migration restrictions while the National Party is claiming to roll out the welcome mat for the immigrants, with John Key saying "New Zealand is a country that has been built on migration. We've done very well out of it and I think we should be very cautious about taking knee-jerk steps," He even referred to themselves as the “progressive” at the end of his budget speech echoed in this tweet on Budget Day:  

If Labour thinks that National is “stealing” their leftwing progressive policies and then turning around and calling Labour “far-left” to scare the voters – that is exactly what they are doing. But that does not mean that Labour has to go to the “far-right” to get those voters back. This election is more about leadership than it is about policy but that does not mean Labour should just adopt whatever policy they think the voters want to hear about to deflect from its leadership inadequacies. I can guarantee it – restricting immigration will not solve the housing crisis for the simple reason that migrants did not cause the housing crisis. The economic factors including inflated values, the lack of investment social housing, the inadequate tax restrictions on investment properties has led to this. The 3News story says, "84 percent of NZ First voters want immigration restricted. Sixty-eight percent of Labour voters agree, along with 58 percent of Green Party voters". Those are pretty high numbers. The National-specific numbers, however, are missing from the story. 

I like many of Labour’s policy ideas. But this story deflects from all of those great ideas. I have previously blogged on Labour's election strategy here and here. We deserve a government that is inclusive, progressive, transparent and accountable. If the Labour-Greens coalition is the answer to that, I don’t think their name and previous reputation is enough to get them over the line. I certainly don’t think pandering to populist views on race will get them over the line either.