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Brown’s cannabis bill may end up null and void

Simeon Brown’s bill proposing a crack-down on synthetic cannabis has passed it’s first reading.

The bill calls for harsher penalties on those who supply synthetic cannabis, as well for an inquiry into support for those addicted.

However, there has been a promise of a referendum for the personal use of cannabis by the end of the current government’s term.

Meaning that, in a sense, this bill, if it passes it’s third reading, but the public votes for personal use of cannabis to be legalised, than the bill may end up being null and void.

So is this bill worth the effort?

Time to grizzle about Mark Richardson

Mark Richarson is at it again, complaining about how “all millennials do is grizzle.” 

“All they do is grizzle,” he {Richardson} said, after Duncan Garner brought up new research suggesting more than half of Millennials are facing a ‘quarter-life crisis’.

How empathetic. I bet if this was about those who were suffering mid-life crisis’s, he would be a lot more empathetic.

Who comes up with this rubbish?

“I’d argue that Millennials are in a constant state of crisis really.

“That’s all I hear out of young people nowadays, grizzle about this, grizzle about that. Complain that this isn’t fair, complaining about that.

“How about getting off your asses and doing some work?”

Who’s doing the grizzling now?

First, Richardson is putting all Millennials into one group, which completely isn’t fair.

Second, Millennials don’t complain any more than any other generation.

Third, we are working. Working long hours so that you can have a nice retirement. Saving for decades so we can finally buy a house of our own.

And yes, quarter-life crisis are a thing.

So, on the behalf of Millennials everywhere, I would like to request that Mark Richardson show some empathy.

And we’d also like to request that he stop grizzling about us.

 

 

England and Russia at each others throats

Basically, a whole lot of shit is going down between the UK and Russia.

The Brits are accusing the Russians of poisoning one of their double agents.

Russia then ignored a deadline for them to explain how they used a nerve agent against their spy/agent.

So the Brits then expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and tensions are at a high not seen since the end of the cold war.

But, I’m probably not the best person to explain all this. Here is a much better explanation:

Sums it up pretty nicely.

Here’s hoping to a peaceful, diplomatic solution to all of this.

National focusing on Auckland

David Farrar recently compared Labour and National’s front benches. 

One of the more interesting thing to note is National has a far more MPs from Auckland.

It’s a sound strategic move from Bridges.

First, the last party leader since to win an election who was from outside of Auckland was Jim Bolger, back in 1990.

Given Bridges is from Tauranga, going Auckland heavy makes sense.

However, in the last election National actually increased it’s vote in Auckland electorates that would generally be considered Labour strongholds, like Mangere, New Lynn, and Manukau East.

So it makes even more sense for National to capitalise off their recent gains in New Zealand’s largest city, and go on an offensive to try and increase their vote there even more.

It’s a good strategy, and may just work for Bridges.

 

National’s new shadow cabinet

National unveiled it’s new shadow cabinet yesterday, and there were some definite winners and losers. 

Judith Collins took up the housing portfolio – meaning she may face off with Phil Twyford over what is possibly New Zealand’s biggest issue. That’ll be a battle and a half.

Todd McClay was another definite winner – taking Gerry Brownlee’s Foreign Affairs, as well as tourism and trade, he’s up to fifth in the rankings.

Mark Mitchell was also promoted to the front bench as he took justice, defence and disarmament. It’s clear his leadership campaign did not go unrewarded.

But there are those who were given a demotion as well.

Gerry Brownlee now sits outside of the top ten, his most major role now being the Shadow Leader of the House.

Nick Smith took a dive as well, losing his environment portfolio, and now he only holds the State Services and electoral law reform roles.

For Brownlee and Smith, the message is clear – It’s time to step aside, generational change is here.

And for the rest of the caucus, they’ll be banking on Bridge’s generational change to counter Jacindamania.

Davis stuck between a rock and a hard place

Corrections minster Kelvin Davis is being asked to sign off on a new, 1 billion dollar prison to accommodate our growing prison population

Unfortunately for him, the Labour government has committed to slashing prisons numbers by 30% within the next 15 years.

This puts Davis in a difficult position.

Allowing the plan to build the prison will be a sure sign of defeat at Labour’s first hurdle – and they’ll get criticized for it.

Don’t allow the prison to be built, and he’ll face criticism for allowing prisons to get overpopulated. Davis will then face ire from within the prisons – the people Davis is supposed to represent, and the people who he needs on his side.

Choose on option, and Davis will crop criticism. Choose the other option, and Davis will still crop criticism.

Not a fun situation.

Adams takes Finance

Welp, I got it wrong again.

Rather than Judith Collins, Simon Bridge’s closest contender for the leadership, Amy Adams, has picked up the finance role.

It makes sense. Bridges needs to keep Adams onside, and giving her the plum finance role is a good way to do that. National simply must not have a split similar to Labour’s David Cunliffe-David Sherear split.

However, Judith Collins is an asset for any opposition, and Bridges would be wise to give her a promotion.

However, what Bridges plans for her and the rest of the caucus, will remain for now, a mystery.

 

 

Steven Joyce gone

Well, the relics of the Key-English era are leaving in droves.

This time, former finance minister and National campaign manager Steven Joyce has left. 

His departure comes at an interesting time, after losing the leadership election reportedly being denied the finance role by Bridges.

Sour grapes?

In any case, with both him and English gone, there is a big hole of experience in the ranks.

National leader Simon Bridges will probably try to say that this is a good thing, allowing new faces to push through and accelerate the “generational change” he has been talking about.

But in any case scenario, two experienced faces are gone from the National, wounding them.

And how they respond remains to be seen.

Lowering the voting age: My thoughts

Lately, the issue of lowering the voting age has come back into the spotlight.

And as a 14 year old, damn, I would have loved to vote last year.

Last year, we were focusing on the election and politics in Social Studies. We went from uneducated future voters to, well, educated future voters. That’s what an education does!

If we were able to vote in last years election, around 80%-90% of us would have voted on the base of our own political views. Not our parents views. Not our friends views. Our views.

And if a group of 13 and 14 year olds can vote reasonably, I have no doubt that 16 and 17 year olds can as well. But, it’s only after we started learning about politics and the election, that we started becoming educated voters.

With elections only happening once every three years, politics is generally out of the eye of teenagers. But, we need to make sure that teenagers learn about politics, and give them the chance to develop their own political views.

I believe we need a mandatory civics class for both year nines and tens. Once that happens, we will be ready to give sixteen year olds the vote.

Once that happens, we will also see a higher voter turn out. We will have more educated voters means more voters going to the polls.

The views of young people will be better represented in parliament.

And that can only be a good thing.

What will happen in the shadow cabinet reshuffle?

Simon Bridges is the new National Party leader, and a cabinet reshuffle is on the horizon.

So, what could happen? Who will go up, and who will go down?

Here are my predictions:

UP:

Judith Collins – In the article I linked above, Bridges heavily praised Collins, and how she would make a “great attack dog.” Likely to get the Finance role.

Mark Mitchell – During the leadership contest, Mark raised his profile with the public and had a good try at the leadership. A possible contender for Foreign Affairs.

Jami-Lee Ross – At just 32 and already chief whip, giving him a major portfolio like Transport or Immigration would be a clear sign of the “generational change” that Bridges has talked about.

DOWN:

Gerry Brownlee – He’s been in the game for 21 years now, and was a part of the Key/English era that National will hope to shake off as they build towards the “Bridges era.” Most likely the unfortunate victim of generational change.

Chris Finlayson – Like Brownlee, a relic of the Key/English era. Also looks like generational change will force him to move over.

David Carter – There’s definitely a pattern with those who I am predicting to go down –  generational change. The same holds true for David Carter, as the former speaker of the house could well be pushed aside.

These are just my predictions though. I could well be (and probably am), well off the mark.

 

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