How Low Does Turnout Have to Get Before Voting Loses Legitimacy?

illusionofdemocracy

The obvious smartarse answer is “It never had legitimacy”, but this merely ducks the question. The question of when a democracy can lose enough of the perception of legitimacy that it stops working, not by being usurped by authoritarians but from the populace simply not caring about it enough, is worth exploring.

The logic goes something like this. It’s reasonable to assume that if no-one voted at all, not even the politicians themselves, then no-one would care about democracy. So there is a clear limit case as votes approach zero.

If everyone votes (or at least everyone eligible), then it stands to reason that democracy has the biggest possible buy-in. Probably in a culture where 100% of the population votes there would have to be an exceptionally unusual degree of philodemos – a degree never seen in practice.

If a hypothetical democracy starts with 100% participation and this falls over time towards 0%, at some point along the line representing that descent the democracy will fail.

But where exactly?

The most recent American presidential election does not have an official turnout rate yet, but BetFair appears to be sure that it will be somewhere around 58%. This is low by the standards of Western democracies – but there appears to be no way to tell how much of this is due to disenfranchisement and how much is due to people seeing through the system and protesting by not voting.

This already highlights a problem with democracy – bombs dropped by American forces do not do 58% damage, and sentences for non-violent drug offences are not 58% as long as they would otherwise be. No matter how much the population wants democracy, they will get it good and hard.

Not even 58% buy-in is necessary in any case. Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP won the 1933 German Federal Election with under 44% of the vote, and this was enough to get rid of the Communists and pass the Enabling Act which paved the way to total fascism.

You could even argue that – if you take the example of the United States in its infancy, where only white male landowners could vote – even with support for democracy in single digits, it can still function as long as all other possible organisational approaches are prevented from taking form.

The tricky thing is that this line of reasoning exposes the truth at the bottom of the political system: the plebs were never in charge and any impression given to that end is simply a useful illusion.

Ultimately it’s whoever controls the loyalty of the Police that is in charge, because then anyone who disagrees that they’re in charge can be taken by the Police and put in a cage (replace Police with Army in many non-Western countries). This was all that Hitler needed to ensure to take power in Germany.

One has to then ask, if the ruling classes just took all the ballots and dumped them in the ocean, invented some election results that both sounded plausible and ensured the interests of said classes were protected, and then divvied up the remaining jobs among themselves, how much wiser would we all be?

Because the ruling classes doing so wouldn’t even be much different from the way the con is already played.

We can take heart that not all New Zealanders have fallen for the ruse – 63% of the electorate did not vote for a politician in last week’s Mt. Roskill by-election, which means that 63% of potential suckers did not give their power away to a shyster by consenting to the democratic charade.

Indeed, Dr. Richard Goode of Not A Party successfully claimed victory in attracting the non-vote, declaring himself Not A Member of Parliament for Mt. Roskill. This obligates him to not attend Parliament, which means that he is not responsible for levying taxes to spend on flag referendums, and nor is he responsible for putting non-violent drug users in cages by setting the Police on them.

I think we can all agree that this is a better deal than what we are getting from our current crop of MPs.

Faith in democracy will, however, have to get much lower before philosopher-kings such as Dr. Goode can be returned to their true position in society.

Why are the Tribal Huk More Effective Than the New Zealand Government?

jamiepink

Frustrated by the feeble responses from local law enforcement to requests for help cleaning out crystal methamphetamine dealers from their community, a street gang made up of mostly underprivileged youths takes the problem into their own hands with immediate and complete success, decommissioning a dozen meth houses within 24 hours. Something from the fringes of a dystopian cyberpunk novel like The Verity Key, set in the 2070s? No – this is the small rural Waikato town of Ngaruawahia, population 5,000, in 2016.

Achieving this was possible because the locations of and locations from which the dealers sold were all known. All it took was a public meeting organised by Tribal Huk President Jamie Pink (pictured above), at which he stated that crystal meth dealers had 24 hours to leave Ngaruawahia or they would be physically removed from the town.

This throwing down of the gauntlet has apparently resulted in a town free of dealers of the drug. The question then becomes: why could the Police not have done this?

The least secret reason is that the Police are the army of the rich, and the residents of Ngaruawahia do not make large tax contributions to the upkeep of the New Zealand Police force. Like all poor communities, therefore, they are of the lowest priority for protection by law enforcement.

Moreover, the rich generally do not have problems with P dealers making offers to their sisters and daughters as the rich drink alcohol.

The main reason, however, is this. The Tribal Huk actually has more community support among the disadvantaged than the New Zealand Police. This is a fact widely known and accepted by the poor whose neighbourhoods house the crystal meth dealers, and is much less understood by the wealthy.

The Police are not considered by the poor to be on their side because they put the poor in prison for cannabis offences, and because they give the poor car fines to keep the roads clear for the rich.

The opposite situation occurs in places where cannabis is not illegal and where the Police are properly funded through adequate taxation, such as the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cannabis users (the proportion of whom in the population is less than 40% of the New Zealand figure) have no inherent reason to distrust the Police as their possession of cannabis is not a crime.

In New Zealand the Police are like an occupying army if you are a cannabis user. Distrust is the natural consequence of the accumulated fear brought on by the possibility that the Police might aggress against you in the enforcement of cannabis laws.

This community support might be a result of the Tribal Huk’s successful ongoing efforts to feed over 500 Waikato schoolchildren, something that the Ministry of Education has not been able to achieve. The Tribal Huk deliver their sandwiches to 25 different schools within the region.

There are no national food in schools programs in New Zealand because we don’t want to pay taxes to feed other people’s kids. There is not sufficient solidarity in New Zealand for such a thing to be acceptable.

Pink himself, in the article linked above, refers to the link between feeling hungry and feeling angry, something that is obvious to any poor child but is a lesson from another dimension to the crusty, distant old men who make decisions in this country.

Anyone with any sense knows that if you are a hungry child, being told to sit down in a classroom on concentrate on anything other than food is going to make you angry. Few adults could handle such a thing without anger.

And yet, despite a full stomach being absolutely necessary if a child is going to learn anything meaningful from school, the New Zealand Government has failed to provide something as simple as sandwiches.

Perhaps the Tribal Huk should have some Police and Ministry of Education funding diverted their way?

The conclusion appears to be that government works best when there is sincere mutual support with the people it governs, and the precise structure or ideology of that government is, next to this, unimportant.

Another way to put this is that government will only work when there is sufficient solidarity between the people being governed and the people doing the governing, and this is true whether the power structure involves the State or a local street gang.

The Solution to Low Voter Turnout is to Have Politicians that Aren’t Cheating, Lying Pieces of Shit

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There were local body elections in New Zealand last week. You probably didn’t know because no-one gives a fuck except for the control freaks that are fighting for power. They care so much about the low turnout that some of them want to make it illegal to not vote.

This means that if you choose not to vote you must either pay a fine or the Police will put you in a cage (and kill you if you resist). This seems extremely aggressive to those of us who do not benefit in any way from voting.

Take, for instance, my personal situation with medicinal cannabis. John Key will not change the cannabis laws and Andrew Little believes that cannabis use causes brain damage. So, no matter who I vote for, I will have a Prime Minister who thinks it’s fair for the Police to come and smash my head in and put me in a cage for using a medicinal plant they don’t approve of.

It’s much better to not vote and, by doing so, withdraw my consent to be governed by a political system that conducts a War on Drugs against its own people. Especially when the only people who have a chance of taking power under this system have already promised to continue this war to destroy people like me.

This I do not only for myself but out of solidarity with all of the people dispossessed by the current New Zealand political system. If my only choices are to give my power to a cheating, lying piece of shit waving a blue flag or a cheating, lying piece of shit waving a red flag, then I will keep my power for myself!

Dr Bryce Edwards, a Massey University politics lecturer and a heavily indoctrinated and brainwashed man, says “[low voter turnout] is a terrible thing. I don’t think there’s really anyone saying lower voter turnout is a good thing”.

Meanwhile, outside of the ivory tower, paedophiles get lighter sentences from the New Zealand “Justice” System than medicinal cannabis growers.

I’m saying that low voter turnout is a good thing, because it is a sign that the population does not consent to the abuses committed against it by the ruling class.

Is it any wonder we’ve lost faith in a political system that gives lighter sentences to paedophiles than it does medicinal cannabis growers? Why should we continue to vote and give our power to the same political system, and to the same clueless old narcissists that brought this atrocious state of injustice about?

Much better to not vote, and in doing so delegitimise the entire system. This is why the control freaks are ultimately afraid of – a population that does not fall for the illusion heavily enough to give away their power to the control freaks.

Not voting doesn’t just mean not voting – it means having the gumption to solve the social problems that politicians exploit to swindle power before that power is swindled. This means looking after vulnerable members of your community before the control freaks start making laws to ban everything that they have not explicitly given permission for.

It means mowing an old person’s lawn. It means smiling at the crazy guy with the haunted look. It means making a donation of time or money to the RSPCA. It means talking honestly with people you know about what’s really going on in the world.

If we all stopped falling for the lies, we could have a world in which the control freaks would dissipate into the gutter like the filth they are.

What the BetFair Market is Telling us About the US Presidential Election

stateofplay

Although a glance at the BetFair market for November’s US Presidential election looks, on the surface, to be a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton, there are some facts that go against this simple conclusion.

There has been a lot of discussion about Hillary Clinton’s health. Much of the mainstream media, though, seems willing to write this off as an alt-right conspiracy theory.

But at an appearance during a 9/11 memorial Hillary left because she was “overwhelmed with emotion”. Later, the story was corrected to “overwhelmed with heat” (the day was not especially warm). Even later still, the story was changed to “pneumonia”, so we can rightly suspect that there is a major political secret about Hillary’s health that could define this presidential campaign.

The odds of Hillary winning the Presidency blew out when this was reported, from $1.45 to $1.61. It went up and down after that with low volumes being placed, as the market started to suspect that she might be forced to drop out of the race.

There are Democratic replacements for Hillary at short odds, but this is not the same for Republican replacements for Trump. The difference between the two gives us some clues about how much the market suspects Hillary might drop out.

After the 9/11 medical event, Bernie Sanders was paying a mere $38 to win the Presidency, reflecting the belief that, as premiere challenger to Hillary during the primaries, he would be the obvious choice to take over should Hillary’s health fail.

Joe Biden came in to $30 on rumours that the Democratic party had conducted polls suggesting Biden had a 20-point lead over Trump in a head-to-head election.

Tim Kaine came in all the way in to $95 from $1000, reflecting the widespread belief that, for some reason, it is too late to change the candidate and so the Democrats would have to go with Kaine should Hillary become incapacitated.

Using VJM Publishing’s Draw Arbitrage Finder program we can calculate that the BetFair market considers $16.65 to be fair value for any candidate other than Clinton and Trump. Considering that the odds of the closest challenger to Trump, Paul Ryan, are $610, this equates to a roughly 6% chance that Clinton will drop out of the Presidential race.

Also of interest is that Trump is doing much better than Brexit was at any stage of that campaign, including, crucially, the morning of the vote itself. This suggests that the apparent advantage that Hillary has is well within the range of possible outcomes that could be the result of Establishment manipulation.

If Pete Rainey Had a Clue, He’d Put Cannabis Law Reform Before Hone Ma Heke

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Pete Rainey needs to stop crying about Hone Ma Heke and support a policy that will actually benefit the people of Nelson. What Nelson needs isn’t to raise a lynch mob and go after a protester – it needs to legalise cannabis.

In few places on Earth does cannabis have more popular support than among the people of Nelson. This is a hugely pro-cannabis area, with the sentiment only getting stronger the further West from Nelson one goes. Almost everyone here smokes it – young, old or in between. You can see Bob Marley posters in several stores and a handful of others openly sell cannabis paraphernalia.

So a mayoral candidate that promoted such a thing would have the support of the locals.

Also, we need the money here in Nelson. It has been estimated by the Treasury that cannabis law reform would make the country $330,000,000 per year, roughly half of that savings from not enforcing cannabis prohibition and the other half from taxes. If the Nelson area has 1.5% of New Zealand’s population, it stands to reason that we would reap 1.5% of the savings of cannabis law reform.

This amounts to almost $5,000,000 per year.

With the proceeds from cannabis law reform alone, Nelson would save, in ten years, enough money to build a gondola that rivalled the biggest gondola in the world!

That’s the sort of vision Nelson needs – not petty hatred aimed at a guy already at the bottom of the ladder.

Why Adam John Holland is the Only Sensible Choice For Auckland Mayor

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Adam Holland is the only one of the 18 Auckland mayoral candidates whose candidacy doesn’t have some kind of gross defect. If the mayoral campaigns were embryos, most of them would be terminated by the mother after the doctor made clear that there was no chance of viable offspring. Holland stands out from this rabble in a number of ways.

The first is that he is the only one interested in using his position as mayor to enrich Auckland, instead of just enriching himself. Holland has promised to “donate every last penny of my salary to various charities as suggested to me by the people of Auckland“. Considering that the salary of the Auckland mayor is NZD250,000+, this represents a considerable sum of money that charities need.

Coupled to this is the likelihood that the mayor would make it fashionable to donate salary money to charity, which is what this ever more unequal society needs. Considering how shallow and trend-conscious Aucklanders are, magnanimity on the order of Holland’s gesture might be worth tens of millions to the various charities of New Zealand.

Many politicians are fanatically devoted to an ideology and are happy to destroy everything in their path in order to force that ideology upon everyone else. Holland is the opposite of this – his suspension of judgment is so strong that he doesn’t know if he is representing Not A Party or Legalise Cannabis Auckland. Perhaps it is both, or even neither.

Holland is the only candidate with genuine philosopher-king credentials. He says “I won’t do a single thing as mayor just as I haven’t done a single thing for the past seven years of my retirement. Decisions shall be left up to the people, not an elected official in a farcical ‘democratic’ ceremony.”

Here Holland is referencing Book VIII of Plato’s Republic, in particular the passage that covers the five forms of government. For those who have not read The Republic, the belief of Plato was that government begins as an aristocracy and degrades over time, passing through the less perfect stages of timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and eventually tyranny.

The astute listener would interpret Holland’s words here as a warning to us about the further deterioration of our society, especially in this age of greed. Once democracy degrades further, it becomes tyranny. It’s possible to read Holland’s words here as a warning against the darker side of human nature, one that has almost surfaced thanks to the short sighted mismanagement of the Key Government.

Auckland is fortunate to have such an extraordinarily educated individual run for mayor.

adamholland

If the above is somehow not convincing enough, consider the state of the field that Holland is running against. Each candidate was offered a free shot of publicity here, and all of them bar Holland disqualified themselves with their responses.

Mario Alupis – professional wrestler. Attached photo suggests a large number of serious knocks to the head. Can’t be trusted to remember what he’s doing.

Aileen Austin – probably too old to survive the term as mayor. Also, Auckland would never vote for a hippie – this isn’t Nelson, dear.

Penny Bright – “Crooked” Penny Bright is running for mayor to distract the public from her impending imprisonment for dodging her rates bill. Auckland doesn’t need a mayor that shifts their debts onto the public.

Patrick Brown – Couldn’t be bothered supplying a photo. Also a communist.

Tricia Cheel – Another old hippie. Will split Aileen Austin’s votes and vice-versa, meaning that a vote for either is a waste.

Victoria Crone – has claimed to “bring 20 years’ experience running major New Zealand companies to the Auckland mayoralty.” What this means is that Auckland will be sold to the Chinese and everyone working in Auckland will be paid $5 per hour.

Phil Goff – no good unless he has Helen Clark telling him what to do.

David Hay – yet another old hippie, Hay is a former Green and thus probably a communist.

Alezix Heneti – serial failure. Eccentric name sure-fire sign of a rampant narcissist.

Stan Martin – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor.

Bin Thanh Nguyen – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor. Almost literally nothing is even known about this guy.

Phil O’Connor – Bible-thumper. Hates women. Vote for this guy and you can kiss goodbye to being allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays in Auckland.

John Palino – American, thus disqualified on the ground that we need a Kiwi to be the mayor of our biggest city.

Tyrone Raumati – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo or to respond to social media advances, clearly not up to being mayor.

Chloe Swarbrick – probably the next most sensible choice apart from Holland, wants to use the mayoralty as a platform to reshape the world in her image though and therefore cannot be trusted.

Mark Thomas – a plastic candidate in the John Key/Aldo Miccio mold. Soulless.

Wayne Young – basically a complete bum who would have been euthanised in a less tolerant society.

Many, many people have been saying that these reasons make Adam John Holland the sensible choice for Auckland mayor on 09 OCT.

The Right is Surging Because Authority Has Failed the People of the West

donaldtrump

Doom and gloom abounds in the public consciousness. A popular line of reasoning at the moment is to follow the parallels between the rise of totalitarianism in the early 20th century and the current global political situation. Predictably, fingers are being pointed, but those of us with an understanding of history are reluctant to do so just yet.

A currently popular NZ Herald article outlines the reasoning. In short, “there are chilling similarities between the terrifying dictators who led us into WWI and WWII and modern politicians such as Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe and US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump”.

Apparently our world is in an especially precarious place right now because of countries like Russia, which is “a dictatorship with a charismatic leader using fear and passion to establish a cult around himself”. The article goes on to predict that a great war is coming because politicians are running for power based on a platform of division and scaremongering.

The joke is that every authority figure does this – setting the people against each other is simply the only way to stay in authority! It isn’t limited to Hitler and Trump – every king, every prime minister, every president, ever, has always stoked fear and chaos for the simple reason that only scared people will give their power away to authority figures.

If you disagree, try to name a single politician who has ever been voted to power on a platform that stoked up no hate against anyone. It’s impossible! At the very minimum, the left always stokes hatred against the rich and established and the right always stokes hatred against the poor and disenfranchised. The libertarians have created a niche by stoking hatred against both the right and the left, and the Greens have found a niche stoking up passive-aggressive hatred against the working classes. In wartime the enemy is some foreign tribe, and in the absence of anything else politicians can always stoke hatred against the Jew.

The problem is not that Trump and Putin are shamelessly taking advantage of a “perfect storm” of adverse factors. The problem is that authority figures have consistently failed us – every time we have given them our power, they have used it against us to control us, to steal money from us, to send us to die on military adventures or to put us in cages.

It’s time to realise that this is the very nature of authority, and that crime is what we will get by continuing to submit to it.

George W Bush and Tony Blair have not faced prosecution for their illegal invasion of Iraq that killed over a million people. Hillary Clinton blatantly broke the law and was nominated for President anyway. Barack Obama has committed war crimes with the US drone program and will not be prosecuted. All authority figures in the West have persecuted their own people with the War on Drugs, and no-one has been held to account. It seems that once a person achieves a certain level of authority, we are happy to let them be above the law.

This problem cannot be solved by voting for a different authority figure! The constant use of bait-and-switch, in which the ruling class gives us all manner of choice for leader but only within a very narrow, controlled band, guarantees that we will never get an authority figure in power who actually cares about the people. And if anyone stands up who does, the media will tell us that he is a populist and therefore the next Hitler!

We, the people of the West, need to take back our power from the authority figures that have failed us.

Do not give your power to politicians by voting.

Do not give your power to the Police by dobbing in your neighbours for victimless crimes.

Do not give your power to the media by giving your attention to their squawkings and hatemongering.

Do not give your power to the corporate machine by buying things you don’t need.

Do not give your power to religions that claim God has declared another group of people to be inferior. It doesn’t matter if it’s gays, women, or outsiders – do not give your power to any priest that tries to divide you against others.

Do not give your power to the usurers by borrowing money for short term pleasure.

Do not give your power away to anyone claiming to be an ‘expert’ who cannot demonstrate a superior capacity for reasoning and honesty.

Do not give your power away by believing anything you are told, including this article.

If we, the people of the West, do not give our authority away to incompetent bullshitters and swindlers, we will be able to build a decent world from the ashes of what’s coming.

The West is awake!

The West is awake!

Anatomy of Failure

This photoessay, to be taken between now and November, will chart the failure of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid. The medium chosen is the form of screen captures of my BetFair account, in which I document making heaps of money as Hillary’s campaign goes down the toilet.

01 MAY (the day God told me Hillary was going to lose)

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21 JUL

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28 JUL

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03 AUG – Hillary storms back into a dominant position! Must be time to load up on Trump some more…

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04 AUG – Over three months until the election, Hillary is in to $1.33. The Donald has blown out to $4.50, are we going to look silly here going against the Clinton machine?

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11 AUG – The Donald collapses on news that he has been encouraging his supporters to kill Hillary Clinton in event of him losing the election.

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14 SEP – after surging for a while, concerns about Hillary’s health come into play when she falls ill at a 9/11 memorial.

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