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Monarchy still constraining democracy in Tonga

Tongan politics are so poorly reported in New Zealand that it is hard to judge the actions of the various players in the latest political crisis.

Some bold ways of funding Green election promises

Election promises can cost a lot of money. Here are some ways the Greens in government could raise some extra cash. All these proposals are consistent with existing Green policy.

Why is NZ supporting US use of white phosphorus weapons?

New Zealand’s good name is being tarnished by comments in Iraq by Kiwi Brigadier, Hugh McAslan. In his role as deputy commander of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve, McAslan is supporting the use of white phosphorus weapons, which have been widely condemned, including by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Defend Qatar, Defend al-Jazeera

The Saudi-led blockade of Qatar should concern us all. It is virtually an act of war for one country, Saudi Arabia, to cut off all land access to another, Qatar, and then combine with two other countries, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to restrict air and sea access.

NZ’s cowardly apology to Israel over settlements

When challenged directly on Morning Report, Brownlee wouldn’t criticise Israel’s settlement building policy, saying it was a matter for the parties concerned. Why bother to have a foreign policy if everything is just a matter for the parties concerned – despite, in this case, one having all the power over the other. The theft of Palestinian land is backed by Israel’s huge military machine.

A fairer electoral system would have helped UK Labour to power

UK Labour did fantastically well in Thursday’s general election, despite Jeremy Corbyn being painted as an “unelectable” leftist by the media commentariat – and even by most of his Labour colleagues. Labour’s advance was not really a surprise. As I wrote in my Daily Blog post a year and a half ago, Corbyn’s “Keynesian policies are considerably more popular than the austerity championed by Cameron and the Labour right.”

Criminalising thoughts not the way to combat terrorism

Theresa May’s “enough is enough” declaration was splashed across the front pages of the British dailies after the latest shocking terrorist attack. “Enough is enough” is a sentiment that resonates with the public, but many Britons are concerned about the new counter-terrorism measures the British PM is proposing.

Could British Columbia now get proportional representation?

Electoral reform is not easy. It’s 24 years since New Zealand voted for MMP yet the four other “anglosphere” countries (UK, US, Australia and Canada) remain mired in First-Past-the-Post voting for their lower houses.

Three strikes and Minister Brownlee should be out

In twelve days Gerry Brownlee has shown why he should never have been appointed Foreign Minister.