Thursday, November 24, 2011


Who put the Epsom Salts in the sugar bowl at the absolutely private but wholly public unholy tea-party, and caused them to get runs rather than win votes? ("It's not cricket!")
    Whose silly idea was it to have a tea-party when the term brings to mind the American extremist Tea Party (who have caused all the problems of the world), and also Wonderland's tea-party, which Alice (representing the populace) attended though uninvited? ("No room, no room!" "It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!")
    The Mad Hatter and the Mad March Hare talked about inconsequential matters, like ravens (portenders of doom) and writing desks (read: computers and blogs), twinkling bats (again, it's not cricket), but did the two Aucks discuss the future of the BANKS (such as the Kiwi Bank) and the KEY to winning power by selling power companies (any advance on 49%? 99%? Going, going, gone!) and dividing the wealth among the deserving poor, such as plutocrats and politicians, but not proletarians and poverty-stricken people (defrauded by finance companies), who would only squander it? ("How I wonder what you're at.")
   Was the subject of exchanging seats (which was basic to this and the Mad Hatter's party) even mentioned at all? (All move up one, but the person at the head of the table always gets the clean cup.)
   Was it necessary to summon the police force to apprehend the eavesdroppers at the open but shut conversation, starting with the sleepy and forgetful dormouse? ( 'I wasn't asleep,' he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: `I heard every word you fellows were saying.' "Off with their heads!")
    What are we to think about the motives and motions of those who would rule over us? ("You're nothing but a pack of cards!")
    Does the "first past the post" election system provide (as in Rob Muldoon's glorious reign, and Roger Douglas's  regime of terror, not to mention Ruth's ruthless period of slashing and burning) strong government or dictatorial tyranny? (`Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said.`No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first--verdict afterwards.' 'How dreadfully savage!' exclaimed Alice.)
     Can the Australian system for the lower house (the upper house is chosen proportionally), whereby preferences are counted if the first candidate past the post has not attained at least half of the votes, bring stable government? ('I vote the young lady tells us a story.' ) Well the lady who leads the Labor government in Australia has a coalition government, with the balance of power held by an independent dormouse; and the Liberal Party has usually needed the Country Party (now the National Party) to form an alliance government. And it would be illegal here but every party in every electorate has a member standing outside each polling booth handing out cards giving instructions on which numbers to put in the boxes, because you have to rank the candidates, or your voting paper is invĂ lid.

    `And they drew all manner of things--everything that begins with an M--' (such as memory and "muchness", including MMP?)
Does the "mixed member proportional" system give everyone a fair go, and make them feel that at least one of their two votes has not only been counted but has actually counted? (`Why not?' said the March Hare. Alice was silent.)
    But MMP has some little anomalies, and the Epsom Salts tea-party has highlighted them.

   Well, now, I trust that has made things clearer. (Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.' )

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