Angela Merkel – Time person of the year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named as Time person of the year.

Timer provides a history of merkel and a detailed justification for their choice, and conclude:

Merkel’s legacy—her bold, fraught, immensely empathetic act of leadership—challenges more than the comfort of European life. It also challenges the comfort of assumptions about any group, including, if it works out, Germans. And it’s a legacy that flows not only from her childhood experience as a girl trapped behind a wall. It also follows from what she learned as an adult, applying her disciplined, methodical approach to what she calls “the things that matter to us most.” The Chancellor of Germany put anti-Semitism under her microscope, followed prejudice to its roots and found fear. Not only of Jews but of any “other,” including foreigners. Which takes in the whole world.

“Fear has never been a good adviser, neither in our personal lives nor in our society,” Merkel told a middle-aged woman who rose from an audience on Sept. 3 to ask what the Chancellor intended to do to prevent “Islamization,” with so many Muslims entering the country. “Cultures and societies that are shaped by fear,” Merkel said, “will without doubt not get a grip on the future.”

The ending has yet to be written. But that’s the moral of the story.

I think this is deserving recognition of what Merkel has done in Germany and in Europe.

 

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89 Comments

  1. MaureenW

     /  10th December 2015

    Pass the sick bag

    Reply
  2. Timoti

     /  10th December 2015

    “Fear has never been a good adviser, neither in our personal lives nor in our society,” Merkel told a middle-aged woman who rose from an audience on Sept. 3 to ask what the Chancellor intended to do to prevent “Islamization,” with so many Muslims entering the country. “Cultures and societies that are shaped by fear,” Merkel said, “will without doubt not get a grip on the future.”

    Verses

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-refugee-riot-puts-a-german-town-on-edge/2015/10/01/fa9075bc-65f5-11e5-bdb6-6861f4521205_story.html

    Reply
  3. Yip everyone bar Western Europe is allowed to have nation states based on common blood , culture, history and tradition.

    Merkel’s decision may be considered outstanding by proponents of multiculturalism but i suspect many common people are not in favour and its going to cause big problems in Europe…

    Reply
    • @ dave1924 – care to name some of those countries, “everyone bar Western Europe”, who are “allowed to have nation states based on common blood, culture, history and tradition”?

      Do you mean Aotearoa/New Zealand? Australia? The United States? Canada?

      Or perhaps India? China? Brazil? I can’t think of any ….?

      Reply
      • So PnZ….. name me other countries that are actively encouraging the reduction of their national identities by the importing of other cultures?

        Do we hear of eminent jurists in Saudi Arabia saying that Western Law should be given as much eminence as their existing koran Legal tradition?
        Like this English law lord did for Sharia: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/jul/04/law.islam

        Great questions are decided by Blood and Iron to paraphrase what someone famous once opined. Isn’t it ironic, it is the country he built that is now facing deconstruction by forces other than Blood and Iron.

        I get that a basic tenet of Socialism is the destruction of the Nation State as shown by its long term usage of the Workers of the World Unite phrase from adapted from Marxs “Proletarians of all countries, unite!”. But a lot of us are quite comfortable in Nation States.

        And yes I understand the tension in these sentiments around Western imperialism/colonisation.

        It is my firm belief that the Islamic religio-philosophy/world view and Western Democracy are inherently incompatible. And that attempting to assimilate large numbers of Muslims via a force programme of immigration into Western countries will inevitable lead to bloodshed.

        Reply
        • @ dave1924 – Crikey, I can use your own link to counter your own argument!
          http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/jul/04/law.islam

          “Phillips insisted last night there was “widespread misunderstanding” of the nature of sharia law, and argued: “There is no reason why sharia principles, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution [with the understanding] … that any sanctions for a failure to comply with the agreed terms of mediation would be drawn from the Laws of England and Wales”

          This doesn’t sound much different from marae-based justice or family group conferences to me? Religion may very well play a part, for instance, in a Muslim famiy group conference, as it will a devout Catholic, Mormon or Jewish family’s.

          Hardly reason to exhume dear old Otto von Bismarck, “Blut und Eisen”, of all people, he who favoured using force on the various independent States of The German Confederation to compel them to form a German Empire.

          In other words, violating the rights of sovereign people’s to their own nation states of blood, culture, history and tradition.

          No shortage of bloodshed between them either.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_and_Iron_%28speech%29 and links therein.

          The magic bullet “Socialism”, which has long since lost its silver plate and is therefore ineffective against vampires like me, who only hold political views because we must “want to drink your lifestyle”, right (?), has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS.

          Reply
          • PnZ – No to allowing certain groups to step outside of the common law of the land.

            England already has incidents of people being accosted for immodest dress, carrying alcohol by Muslims who form large enclaves in certain areas.

            Just as I would say orthodox Jews cannot enforce their religious law on anyone neither Sharia law, or Seventh Day Adventists. If a person wants to lead his/her/its life in accordance with religious doctrine ok, as long as it doesn’t impact on others – but it has no legal status or standing

            I am against Marae based justice in this country for the simple reason Maori gave up maori justice in favour of the Queens justice. Going backwards would simply lead to greater injustice – how could a non Maori expect fair justice as a plaintiff/victim on a Marae?

            Europeans have every right to hold to their own culture in their own land, to have their legal system take precedence – freedom of religion in your private observance fine, go for it. Application of your religious law on non believers no thank you.

            Merkel will be judged at the ballot box shortly. It will be interesting to see the German publics view.

            Reply
            • @ dave1924 – to which European “land” do you refer?

              Aside from that you’ll have to forgive me because I can summon no other response to your reply than “Oh MY F***ING GOD!!!”

              You actually interpreted this – “No to allowing certain groups to step outside of the common law of the land”

              from this – “the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution [with the understanding] … that any sanctions for a failure to comply with the agreed terms of mediation would be drawn from the Laws of England and Wales”

              and this – “how could a non Maori expect fair justice as a plaintiff/victim on a Marae?”

              from this – “doesn’t sound much different from marae-based justice” (with the certain implication this means for Maori people or “within Maoridom” – perhaps a well intentioned effort to keep young Maori out of prison. What a terrible, stupid, insulting thing to do circumventing English Law, eh? We want those little buggers in prison, right?)

              It is indeed deeply unfortunate that the outcome of Merkel’s policy will likely be a swing to the right or far-right. The backdoor through which the next Nazi state might enter …?

            • If you’re going to shout like a little child PnZ ““Oh MY F***ING GOD!!!”” then its pointless discussing things with you.

              “to which European “land” do you refer?” Very true – I wasn’t precise.

              To restate so you can understand:

              [Each European Nation has every right to hold to their own National culture in their own Nation, to have their legal system take precedence – freedom of religion in your private observance fine, go for it. Application of your religious law on non believers no thank you.]

              And if you wish to godwin a discussion as per your last sentence – away you go just shows you have run out of ideas.

              On the diversion on Marae based justice: as alternative to standard courts. Who decides if such a system would be undertaken when a civil dispute or criminal act occurred? Sounds like a huge can of worms to open. Does that mean i can cast back to one of my tribal links say Frisian and demand to face the law under that code as i feel Frisian and not English?

              Its interesting that of the many Maori friends I have, some of very long standing, none is clamouring for marae based justice. And its interesting that none of them have been jail… but thats all a digression from the main point.

            • @dave1924 – fair enough about the yelling. My apologies. I did sign up to the kaupapa of the site.

              I have no choice but to do the same as you, restate –

              Quoting Phillips from the Guardian –
              “for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution”
              I seriously think he is talking about ‘small claims’ type stuff and issues that might be settled out of court, largely between people of the same religion, ergo Muslims, or the family group conference type situation.

              https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/rise/issue-six/gisborne-leads-the-way-in-innovative-court-collaboration.html

              Marae based justice, as I understand it, is the functioning of a bona-fide Court, a Youth Court I think, on a marae in order to provide support, intervention and possible diversion for those Maori youths who might be ‘saved’ from entering the penal system. Neither they nor I are proposing it become the norm for everyone, or be applied to Pakeha, and nor is Phillips proposing Sharia law become the norm in England.

              You are grossly over-reacting in my opinion.

              Even Godwin may have his place if the far-right becomes a serious threat. The anti-serum article I cited earlier evidences these people are real, genuine neo-Nazis.

              In the glaring absence of a response to the question “which European countries?” – which incidentally I asked first – I can only assume you mean NZ as a European country?

            • On Sharia for minor disputes. Just no – its a slippery slope thing for me. It acknowledges a prior claim of a religion over the duly constituted law of the land. It also has other problems – in marriage break ups particularly, there have been incidences of grossly unfair outcomes forced on woman – have a sniff around the web on that topic.

              Phillips is being a ninny in my view and is trying to not give offence. What he is saying, in my view at least, is all the rights, privileges and obligations of a British citizen as codified by Parliament or inherited through deep seated common law definition and subsequently clarified via the British court system over centuries doesn’t apply to some British citizens on the basis of their religio-philospophical standing as Muslims. Really? You’re up for that? I’m not its an insult to my English heritage.

              Migrants [and note I am not talking about colonisation a la NZ which is a different kettle of fish just so we don’t get diverted] make a choice to move lands with attendant move to a new cultural milieu and different legal system. It is incumbent on the migrant to adapt and change – not say I want to live here in your country and take advantage of everything it offers but I want to be judged by the laws of my former country or by the laws of the religious institution I belong to…

              No. Europe was deeply marred by religious violence from the time of Martin Luther until comparatively recent times. The seperation of state and religion was hard won and paid for in blood – lots of blood. i have no desire to allow religion to pop its nose into the running of any Western democratic country every again – especially not a religion like Islam which openly seeks to overthrow secular rule for a theocratic state.

              On you “which European Countries” question my opening statement in my first post was Western Europe if you have a look. i have familial links to a number of Western European countries – they are all slightly different in language, cultural practice and form of representative secular democracy but their base principles are broadly the same.

              Is NZ a Euorpean country? In many ways yes but we are different in as much as we have a strong place in our society for many Maori culture practices but a legal framework which is based squarely on the English framework. We are evolving to something unique and specifically New Zealand but at its core we will, in my view anyway, always retain a central core that is British in nature

              As for the rise of the “far right” in Europe. If politicians don’t listen to peoples concerns and just brush them off then extremists of all ilks from Anarchists to Communists to National Socialists will flourish. The fact the Neo Nazis are getting a foothold is the same reason they got a foothold in 1920/1930’s Germany – economic despair, a sense of cultural humiliation and a feeling of being ignored. Address the causes and maybe the symptoms will abate…

  4. Timoti

     /  10th December 2015

    Given Merkel’s popularity is going down the gurgler in Germany, and will probably be non-existent by the 2017 elections ( foreshadowing Labour in NZ?), Time Magazine will have egg on its face as social order and civic structures break down across Europe.
    How will they report on such events, while trying not to mention Merkel’s name, or remind themselves that like so many they read the situation very wrong. It wasn’t refugees who
    flooded into Europe. It was alien malware that wasn’t quarantined by Times frauline of the year.

    Reply
  5. Rob

     /  10th December 2015

    It’s not a popularity contest. Person of the year is the person who, in their opinion, “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year”. As can be seen by the no 2 choice.

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  10th December 2015

      That’s the issue. I thought what a stupid award but upon reflection realised it wasn’t saying she was any good – just influential. I recall that Adolf Hitler also featured once and, on the same basis, it wold be a reasonable selection.

      I think she has sold Germans down the river but time will tell. Once Germans would have fought for the idea of a nation with borders but I wonder if they are now so self centred on pleasure they won’t bother.

      Reply
      • As above Brown @ dave1924, the various States of Central Europe fought each other extensively during the 19th century over the idea of a single nation with borders, which they eventually called Germany.

        And, there’ll never be any danger of the German people becoming too self-centred on pleasure!

        Reply
    • Timoti

       /  10th December 2015

      In that case it should have been a group award- Refugees.

      Reply
  6. Its part of the PR campaign against ISIS. Pictures and news of the hundreds of thousands (and now millions) of Muslims leaving the middle east to live in the land of the infidel thanks to ISIS is a massive hole in their self perception and their reputation in the Muslim world. Angela, promising to take 800k refugees is a big part of that. Additionally Germany has a population issue that needs solving to drive the economy forward. So apart from the inevitable integration issues with such an influx of dermoralized and traumatized people from a land that is a hotbed of extremist views………. its a win win….

    Reply
    • Excellent wide-angle, panoramic, full colour, long-view perspective Shane. Thanks.

      Reply
    • Timoti

       /  10th December 2015

      For Petes sake don’t walk into a Muslim enclave dressed like that, Shane. Westerners will
      recongise you as an upperclass toff, but our dear Muslim brothers may percieve you as gay.
      That would mean free flight lessons from the nearest sky scraper – high crane at a pinch.
      Just a thought.

      Reply
    • Timoti

       /  10th December 2015

      I must apologise, Shane. Partisan Z has a point about my non thought. It is in truth a fact.
      Sorry about that. And the free flight stuff was a bit of an exaggeration. That happens overseas, and not all the time. Many gays are shot…in the head after their groin. Sorry about that, too.

      Look, just on the off chance you are gay, here’s a link that may save you if you are domiciled
      in Great Britain. If you are in New Zealand, relax. We haven’t the large Muslim population
      yet.

      The old guy in the clip is a real hoot…forgive my twisted Tory humour.

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/godlessness/2013/11/19/are-british-muslims-a-threat-to-gay-people-polling-on-homophobia-sharia-law-and-violence/

      Reply
      • I have a dark sense of humour, so the euphemism of free flying lessons got a chuckle out of me. Its interesting how bad ISIS means that Al Qaeda and the west have a common enemy…….

        Reply
      • Okay, well, Mr Godlessness clearly thinks he is God if he expects anyone to digest all that.
        My goodness, and I get accused of writing novels!
        Glad to see you’ve recovered from your earlier fear-induced vomiting Timoti.
        So now you’re spreading the Godless fear, right? Target audience = gay men?
        I wouldn’t mind betting you’d get similar results comparing the general population to say Mormons specifically, or Closed Brethren or Gloriavaleians specifically or perhaps rugby players specifically?

        Reply
    • Shane not sure the population replacement is such a win-win really on the economic front looking out 10-20 years. Automation of many, many roles will occur over the next 20 years – driveless transportation, robotic street cleaning.

      If anything holding populations down will become more important as the number of jobs drops away. Moves to shorter working weeks will become more commonplace.

      Automation and Robotics will possible be the critical issue to solve in a socio-political sense going forward – it may even breathe new life in to the questions of ownership of productive assets, UBI’s and the division of wealth. if a robot/computer/automated process is doing all the work how should wealth be divided….

      Reply
      • Agree with all your points, but the population problem is closer than 10-20 years away, and its debatable when these other factors kick in, they need people in the here and now to fund their pension scheme via taxes and to continue their growth until these disruptive technologies actually disrupt things.

        Reply
        • If its an immediate problem then I am sure there are plenty of unemployed Greeks who would take German Euro’s to fill the gap ; )

          On top of which – Germany has close to 2 million on its unemployed roll. plenty of capacity to fill in jobs and pay taxes….

          Though the demographic bulge problems means thats not enough…

          Reply
          • not all unemployed people want to work, or have good work ethic…… Who would want an bunch of Greek ex govt employees on there payroll? the same principle applies in seasonal work in NZ, why have south aucklanders when you get half a village from Vanuatu that work twice as hard for less cash?? stereotyping I know but we continue with it here and overseas.

            Reply
            • Timoti

               /  10th December 2015

              Its not stereotyping. Its the truth. Indians and the Vanuatu boys are
              worth double the pissed and drugged Kiwis who turn up for work on
              many agricultural estates. This of course does not include all Kiwis.
              But I have noticed, even the “on to it” Kiwi workers are incapable of footing it with Indian workers when it comes to fruit picking.

            • Unfortunately that is correct Shane hence why I take unemployment numbers with a grain of salt….

      • @ dave1924 – for once I more-or-less agree with what you’re saying – 2 up not directly above –

        “Automation and Robotics will possibly be the critical issue to solve in a socio-political sense going forward – it may even breathe new life in to the questions of ownership of productive assets, UBI’s and the division of wealth. if a robot/computer/automated process is doing all the work how should wealth be divided….”

        BRING IT ON !!!

        Pity it will have to reach a crisis before we act. Unfortunately, we can’t use predictive modelling and a host of other rational, scientific tools we possess …

        “holding populations down” – not sure I know what you mean?
        Preventing immigration might work within the national borders of developed countries with low birth rates, but ultimately the problem is global, a little like the market that caused it …

        This is partly what I reckon this whole thing is about, expressed as “refugee crisis in Germany”, it is really globalisation come home to roost.

        Reply
        • Capitalism and more opportunity (education etc) for women drive birth rates down, the latter more so. That is why Islam is the fastest growing faith, and Christianity has stagnated in its growth, as secular values begin to dominate in its home turf (no more smashing your missus with a rod no thicker than your thumb). Long term population decline is a good thing if we look at reducing our pollution (carbon foot print etc) while maintaining our standard of living, but in the meantime, the flaw of capitalism is with any semblance of a welfare state requires a constantly expanding tax base to fund its pension scheme, almost like a Ponzi scheme really.

          Reply
  7. To paraphrase Jim Geraghty: Has any German chancellor done more to change the demographics of Europe?

    Reply
  8. Here in NZ, many are outraged at the way John Key has set about changing the flag. At least he’s put it to a vote. In Germany Merkel has made significant changes to the demography of the country with out allowing a vote. I can understand why many germans might be furious. If I was german I’d be one of them.

    Reply
    • Key never asked “Do you want to change the flag?” which is essentially what you’re proposing Merkel should have asked, “Do you want Germany to take these refugees and asylum seekers?” Depending on when she asked the question she may have gotten a ‘yes’ result? How soon we forget those who lined up to meet the first waves of arrivals.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  10th December 2015

        Key never asked “Do you want to change the flag?”.

        But it is being asked before potentially changing the flag. Your comparison is invalid.

        Reply
        • I disagree, seriously. Key isn’t asking “Do you want to change the flag?”

          Key is asking first, “Which of these five flags, in ranked order, do you want to change to if we change the flag”? (at best)

          An equivalent question from Merkel would be, “Rank your preference for what number of refugees Germany accepts, 50K, 80K or 100K?” (or some such)

          My point is valid. It may not be decisive, but it certainly is valid.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  10th December 2015

            Your point is also invalid because Key is holding two referendums. One to rank the alternate flags. And the second to gain assent to changing the current flag. Merkel is not holding an equivalent second referendum.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  10th December 2015

            Your point, far from the first time, is utter claptrap. Merkel acted without asking. Key will change the flag only it the referendum approves. Moreover, only a half-wit makes a choice before the choices are known. Apparently that includes most of the Left.

            Reply
            • @ Alan – 80% of those polled in Canada in 1958 who responded that they wanted Canada to have a flag distinctly different from any other nation’s are “half-wits” then? Of course “half-wit” is directed at me. Cheap shot buddy!

              Sounds to me like you’ve swallowed John Key’s absurd reasoning “hook, line and sinker” on this one?

              I knew I wanted NZ’s flag to change before I saw any alternative choices. I don’t want it to change to one of the five choices we’ve been railroaded … sorry … offered. I want it to change when we have our long-overdue, much needed national sovereignty and constitutional dialogue.

              + @ artcroft – Merkel, it seems to me, has the same kind of mandate from her electorate to act on some newly arising ‘crisis’ like refugees, as Key has to acting on our own Australian deportees issue, or, for that matter, TPPA negotiations.

              In responding to artcroft’s initial linking of the flag and refugee situations to referenda, I was responding to, “Merkel has made significant changes to the demography of the country without allowing a vote”.

              I should have made myself much clearer by saying, I don’t think she needed to have a vote, she has the mandate of her electorate to act.

              But had she had the kind of vote in the sequence we are having concerning the flag, it would have been as I outlined before.

              She wouldn’t have asked a yes/no question.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th December 2015

              1958 was a Canadian Gallup poll, not a referendum but a private pollster running a whole series of preference questions. Not making a single binding decision on the future of the flag for a nation.

              However, I do think I misinterpreted your angle here. It is the people who criticise Key for the order of the referenda who are the half-wits who want to make a choice before they know the choices. I take your point that you are allowing Merkel faced a more complex and moving target. It seems she is going to be on the wrong side of history though unless ISIS can be destroyed more quickly than seems likely.

            • Personally Alan, I’d have been happy with a Gallup Poll here. It would have said 65% no change, 35% change, as we know, cost a few thousand dollars and be done with it, until such times as we have the constitutional discussions necessary to define the nation we are creating a new flag for.

              “the half-wits who want to make a choice before they know the choices”

              Gee! You just can’t stop hitting below the belt, can you?
              Had the panel been representative, elected rather than appointed, were I convinced they hadn’t been influenced, were the 5 options representative of the 10,000 designs submitted …. et al ad infinitum … Oh hell, I still wouldn’t agree with you! I know I want a new flag eventually. I knew I didn’t want it done this way before “this way” began.

            • MaureenW

               /  10th December 2015

              Some didn’t want to be forced to make a choice on the flag, when no other changes were being made. For me, it’s like the car-salesman, asking whether you want pink or blue, before you’ve decided you want another car.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th December 2015

              So how can you two not ask yourselves, “Well, a majority might want a new flag and in that case which would I prefer?” It doesn’t seem a difficult piece of logical thought to me.

            • I believe Key’s mandate for the TPPA began with Helen Clark signing us up to the negotiations (the conclusion to which she has added her support). As for the detainees, they won’t be making a significant change to demographics. My point is Key has done nothing to change NZ compared to the changes wrought in Germany by Merkel.

            • Fair enough. I guess it was the implication in, “Merkel has made significant changes to the demography of the country without allowing a vote” that got me on the voting tack.

              It kind of implies that a leader should go to the people on every matter of significant change? Like that ever happens? Can you see them doing that?

      • artcroft

         /  10th December 2015

        She might also have gotten a “no” vote, but as per european political practice would’ve done what she wanted anyway. That’s why the far-right in France are doing so well. The voters a sick of “democracy” in name only.

        Reply
        • Well, maybe, except that in the same way policy is enacted in most democracies, the argument is those self-same voters gave her the mandate at the last general election. We didn’t get a referendum about Cortex, did we?

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  10th December 2015

            It wasn’t a mandate to do what you like, but to enact the electorate’s wishes in general. I’d be surprised if this was what the german population had in mind. If Key tried to open the flood gates here, I’d be the first to tell him it’s not what I voted for and he needs to make another U-turn ASAP.

            Reply
            • I am out of touch. Examples of U-turns? I suppose he allowed Red Peak into the referendum, huh? Are there a bunch of others?

          • artcroft

             /  10th December 2015

            “It kind of implies that a leader should go to the people on every matter of significant change? Like that ever happens? Can you see them doing that?”

            No, but some big changes aren’t so bad. If National ever said “we don’t have mandate but we are done with welfare and won’t be paying it from next week”. Labour would say “we’ll reinstate it in 2017”. But letting 800,000 refugees in can’t be undone. That’s the rub.

            Reply
            • Agreed … kind of … Both of those things, welfare and refugees – especially asylum seekers on a large scale – create significant employment too remember.

            • artcroft

               /  10th December 2015

              True both create employment, but I don’t believe welfare should be paid to provide employment. Instead its paid because allowing citizens to stave is wrong. Likewise I don’t agree with mass immigration as an economic stimulus. I think there are better ways to achieve that than this.

      • Yeah Nah Pnz – “Key never asked “Do you want to change the flag?”. That is incorrect

        Key and National did ask the question – it was set out as a policy in Nationals manifesto that they would put the question of a flag change to the NZ people via referendum.

        the NZ people are now engaged in a process based on that manifesto policy.

        The 2 stage process is a crock in my view, but the question was asked and Kiwis gave National enough party votes o allow them to form a government and gather enough votes in parliament to allow the question to pass the house and reach the stage of a referendum.

        Reply
        • Dunno what happened to my previous reply?

          @dave1924 – technically I guess you are correct. We’ve discussed this before on here. 47% of the 83% eligible votes cast. How can I complain about that?

          I agree the enactment of his flag policy is a crock. But has it dented his popularity? Nope! Merkel might be wishing she was John Key &/or she was only changing the nation’s flag?

          Reply
          • PnZ – the old turn out thingee.. simple you don’t vote you can’t complain. If people can’t be arsed being engaged well stuff will happen anyway.

            Key is a personable chap PnZ…. people react well to to. Little just radiates the warmth of a corpse. Andy maybe a nice guy if meet face to face but elections are won and lost on TV where Andy just comes off badly..

            Reply
            • Oh I voted all right …
              Look, I don’t know Key, he may be personable, but I don’t really trust him. To exaggerate for effect yet again, in the words of Hamlet –

              “That one may smile and smile, and be a villain”

              I might see things differently from others. I’m told Paul Henry has a good TV presence too. I cannot abide the man.

      • Goldie

         /  10th December 2015

        PartisanZ: “Key never asked “Do you want to change the flag?””

        Ummmm You mean like how Key put it to the people in March 2014 before the 2014 General Election? (Though, admittedly, because it was also Labour and Green Party policy, voters didn’t get much of a choice!).

        Or do you mean the two referendums? In which the second referendum basically asks “Do you want to change the flag?”

        Reply
        • Goldie – See my 1 above and 3 above. Essentially I sidetracked myself in response to artcroft’s post. Shoulda just said, “She don’t need to have a vote. She’s got the mandate inherent in winning a general election”.

          Reply
  9. Hel

     /  10th December 2015

    Slater will be devastated he did not win

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  10th December 2015

      Belt will probably invent his own award. They are infinitely resourceful.

      Reply
      • Patricia Midwinter

         /  10th December 2015

        For goodness sake you two. Merkel has nothing to do with Slater or Belt. You are like embittered old women bringing your ex partners into any and every conversation regardless of its context.

        Reply
        • Timoti

           /  10th December 2015

          That’s a bit harsh, Patricia. Hel and Alan were just putting the boot into a disliked individual of this blog. As Muldoon would say” When better to kick someone than when they are down”

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  10th December 2015

          Miserable sod. We’ll laugh at the clowns if and when we want to.

          Reply
  10. @ Alan –
    “So how can you two not ask yourselves, “Well, a majority might want a new flag and in that case which would I prefer?” It doesn’t seem a difficult piece of logical thought to me”.

    I welcome the opportunity to exaggerate for effect.
    Because, old son, this is a bit like saying –

    Just shaft me however many times you like, I’ll take it for the majority.
    Ummm, guess what? Me no do that.

    If the majority wanted a 50% increase in welfare tomorrow, would you take it for them?

    And, there isn’t a flag option I prefer from this lot … not even one.

    Also, it would appear it is going to be a long long way shy of a majority.

    And all those other reasons previously stated; had the new flag options been representative of a majority … et al ad infinitum …

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  10th December 2015

      As I thought, it’s just toddler tantrum territory.

      Reply
      • The enfant terrible calling the toddler ‘tanty-black’.
        Who got called a half-wit a couple of times?

        O contrere Alan, it’s not toddler tanty at all.
        I take getting shafted very seriously indeed.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  10th December 2015

          You don’t like democracy, obviously. Unless it agrees with you.

          Reply
          • I love democracy, unless it disagrees with me.

            What you’ve described is fairly universal, surely?
            I suspect you suffer from it yourself.

            But can you hear this: I am an intelligent human being.
            By old-fashioned standards I have a very high IQ.

            I seriously believe I have been shafted regards this flag referendum.
            I, and, I believe, all my fellow citizen/voters, have been treated like idiots, manipulated and misused for ends which are dubious and unclear. I am convinced this flag thing is not what it seems. Being maligned by you in any way you choose will not change this.

            If it fails to bring change, I will be pleased. If we get a new flag, I will accept it but I won’t have the same feeling of loyalty to it I have to the existing flag and I will carry the belief to my deathbed that we have missed a glaring opportunity to ‘defrag’ an important aspect of the nation’s system by attaching its symbol to a new written constitution.

            I here end my latest attempt to make human contact with you.

            Reply
            • Rob

               /  10th December 2015

              lol

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th December 2015

              You believe you have been shafted but can’t explain why or how. Fine. Who am I to tamper with such mysteries?

              A new constitution is a whole other issue fraught with problems in a world dominated by political factions. If you think choosing a flag to satisfy you is difficult, the constitution would be impossible.

              Not that I disagree we need one. In my opinion we need a constitution to protect individuals and minorities from the majority while providing a democratic government that protects the majority from minorities.

              However, the chances of getting one based on such clear principles seem remote. Instead it would certainly be contaminated by nonsense like the Treaty of Waitangi 20th century “Principles” and destructive idiocy like the RMA.

            • We can maybe agree to disagree on this: I see flag and constitution as linked, you don’t.

              I understand your apprehension about a Constitution process, I truly do.

              But I think you under-estimate the quality of people available in this country to empanel such a commission. Geoffrey Palmer, Anahera Herbert-Graves and May Chen come to mind immediately but I am certainly not talking about a 3 person panel, I’m talking about a representative one. I’m talking about a many panel and an incredibly extensive public consultation process.
              Possibly binding referendum to finally decide? I don’t know …

              The Treaty is bound to be contentious. Pakeha will have to acknowledge its contravention and their formulation of racist policies, Maori will have to accept a new Constitution will supersede the Treaty.

              I do believe the kind of ‘jurists’ involved will know that constitutional matters are possibly more fundamental than the RMA and such like. Those are kinda the next level up of scaffolding. We are talking about foundations. Human rights. Basic tenets upon which good law is built. Ethics too, by agreement. “We hold these truths to be self-evident …”

              someone’s gonna pick me up on “empanel” i just know it …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th December 2015

              I’m afraid Palmer was responsible for the RMA catastrophe which the Productivity Commission is rightly saying needs to be completely put aside and the whole issue addressed again from first principles. I have zero confidence in his pontificating.

              Mai Chen is also a deeply political legal animal with a big investment in the status quo and power within it. She would have little interest in disturbing that comfort zone.

              Neither, indeed, would those responsible for selecting such a panel. Almost by definition, a constitution should not be designed by those in power but by those outside it. It was exactly those outsiders that devised the clear principles that guided the US constitution for so long until it was gradually overturned by the statists.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th December 2015

              .. similarly, I should have added, was the Magna Carta devised by the rebels to contain the power of the King.

  11. Your responses are often, not always, pervasively negative.

    Who then, I ask sincerely, might make the grade?

    Reply

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