grassangel: (OT3)
So Campbell Live, a post-news opinion/fluff show did an informal poll last night asking whether New Zealanders supported same sex marriage. This is relevant because yesterday the Marriage Equality act was drawn from the ballot box to be discussed and voted upon next month.
The results were a disappointing 42% in favour and 58% against. However, that was an informal poll weighted towards those who don't immediately switch channels after watching the news and who cared enough to text in. There may have been some voting no because of how TV3 used 'same sex marriage' rather than 'marriage equality'. Other polls, including a formal one, have 63% in favour, 6% undecided and 31% opposed, with the undecideds flopping one way or another if only two options are given. The TV3 interview polling also had similar numbers, although they only interviewed like sixty people.

But it was really disheartening to see those numbers. I returned to some thoughts I had previously – that for all that New Zealand loves to project this warm and welcoming, clean, green and liberal image, there are still some nasty pockets of xenophobia, sexism, classism and other types bigotry lurking in our society. It was nice to see that most of the under-30s interviewed were all 'why not?' but quite a few of the older people interviewed were "I don't like that sort of thing, it doesn't belong here" in that supercilious tone that grates on my nerves.

I also wonder if the thing that discomforts people about marriage equality, is that the 'traditional' marriage has a man owning a woman (for... most of history actually) and having power over her, and what brings them to say that 'marriage should be between a man and a woman' is that the thought of a man owning another man is bizarre and why would one man submit to another? A woman having ownership and power over another woman is just as bizarre a thought and both of these situations are as inconceivable as the idea that maybe, perhaps, both parties in a marriage should have equal power and that marriage is a mutual agreement.

I'm just rambling now, but it honestly scares that this thought process might actually be valid for some people, tucked away deep in their minds, not even conscious of how they've reached the conclusion that marriage equality is a bad thing. I have no words as to how incredibly sad that the issue may just revolve around deep-set misogyny and sexism and not religion. I can respect religion, I think people who have unshakeable faith in their chosen belief are pretty cool and that people who fight with their beliefs, e.g. Picasso, are some of the most amazing people, but it isn't churches and religious institutions who are arguing whether or not marriage equality should be a thing.
It's government. It's a law that sets out how a contract between two people exclusively (for the moment) is to be constructed and what lawful and monetary benefits and privileges are obtained as a result of that contract and partnership. It's not asking for a god's blessing over a union, it's a legal binding of two otherwise unrelated people (well, first cousins maybe, depending on local laws and no one really keeps track of second cousins let alone third cousins) done primarily out of love. If it had a different name and you could get a similar contract with your flatmate or best friend, nearly no one would complain.

Marriage used to be a mechanism to ensure that a man had a child who was his that he could pass on his land to. It's not like that any more. We have wills and other complex legal documents that mean that blood and birthright isn't how property is divided any more. Some people don't even want to pass on property. Marriage, in the 'traditional' sense between a man and a woman, is socio-legally outdated.
And yes, I do hope that with marriage equality for homosexual couples there's move toward the concept of marriage beginning to step away from the sexual/romantic concept it currently is to something much more pragmatic that allows for best friends to be labelled as next of kin or long term house mates to manage their house and finances more easily or perhaps plural marriages. But marriage equality for all gender combinations is a good start.
grassangel: (semi-serious icon)

Reading the five-minute submission page on the MMP review submissions always makes me terribly anxious because there are people asking for ridiculous thresholds (10 percent!) and that the only representation that should be in Parliament is electorate. It's all overrun by (apparent) FPP supporters, with a smattering of balanced viewpoints and few that support more diversity in Parliament.
The full submission page is slightly better though. 


There is a horrible amount of people espousing that the threshold should be raised to 7.5% or even 10% to "keep minority parties holding all the power" and that a strong government needs decisive power not hampered by the opinions of smaller parties in order to act in the best interests of New Zealand.
No, no, no, no, no. I hate when John Key says he acts 'on behalf of the country' because 'New Zealand voted for him' whenever he makes a decision, as, in last year's election, the National party got 47% of the vote. 47% of half of the voting population voted for National. Only ~25% of the voting public actually elected him to act for New Zealand. Sure, one million people is a heck of a lot of people, but there are three million who didn't. No matter how you try to spin it three million is still vastly more than one million.
And yet that three million are the ~minority~.


No. As Voltaire, someone from the Bible and Spiderman said: With great power comes great responsibility.
And the responsibility of a representative, democratic government is to represent its people and to listen to them. Not swan off and do their own thing once the keys are handed to them.


Everyone is entitled to representation. You have yours, now let me have mine. )


So the amount of responses that do advocate a higher threshold and less list MPs is rather alarming for me. )


And now to decide if I want to badger the Greens party about their stance on other non-heterosexual, non-monogamous identities, and if 'potential parents' applies to everyone capable of having children in any capacity being allowed access to birth control. There is a policy point about infertility on their population policy, but nothing about reproductive health on the Women's policy page. Which really should be cross-referenced with the Health policy page.
Now it's really bothering me they don't have a statement along the lines of "endorsing the World Health Organisation's statement that a women has a right to safe and legal abortion". Really bothering me. Even if it is a case of "Please update your policy pages!".

grassangel: (I choose you!)

Filling out the New Zealand election review submission form like it's an exam. Because I'm awkward like that and with questions phrased like "Should the 5% threshold be kept or changed? Why? If you recommend change, what should it be and why?" it's really hard not to. Although some questions are poorly worded, such as "Is this a problem, and what should be done to fix it?", as that invites people who don't think it's a problem to not even answer and thus makes it a question where there would be informal opinions/votes.

I love democracy though. It allows me to do such a thing as tell the electoral comission that I'd really like a lower threshold and that publicly alterable party lists would be rather nice. 

Even if almost all the names on both the five-minute and full submissions pages seem to be men. :/

And yes, I'm not dead. Mostly because I am in an ongoing battle to clear my Chrome tabs out, and I log into LJ on Sleipnir. Also, all the fandom noise seems to have moved elsewhere/Tumblr, which makes me sad. Because Tumblr definitely has pretty, but it's so... noisy.
There is a link post burgeoning with links in the works though and several well overdue media-response posts. 

But in the meantime, if you are a New Zealand person, go say something in the MMP review. Also, my tumblr is csgcreative. Note that I will only follow you if you reblog/post interesting things, so uh... yes. Please tell me if you have a tumblr anyway!

Oh England.

May. 9th, 2010 12:03 am
grassangel: (GwenIanto)
So. The UK has a hung parliament.
I am vaguely proud of this, as maybe this means it will learn the error of it's electoral ways and switch to a more proportional voting system or that people will become more educated about such things. (Not entirely likely to happen, but one can hope.)

But basically I'm kind of sitting here looking goofy, because this is pretty much what always happens when New Zealand has an election. Split straight down the middle and the two major parties (Labour and National) are scrambling around trying to form coalition governments because no one ever really wants to run a minority government BECAUSE THEY JUST DON'T WORK.
In the meantime, the minor parties are kind of swaggering around self important and pushing the issues that they really want to pass because... well, they have the power votes the parties want. So they can insist on things like passing a home heating fund to reduce carbon emissions, improve the health of people around the country and help nudge the economy a bit in exchange for siding with one party.

Yes there is a lot of work and headaches in such a proportional system (we use MMP - Mixed Member Proportional, where we get two votes, one for our electorate and one party vote) but it means the minor parties (and theoretically a proportionate (and significant) amount of people) get a voice as well, which is much better than the alternative.


So, in five or so days time, when everyone is really nervous about whether or not this is going to work... there will be an agreement made. Hopefully, because calling another election isn't exactly good and the person who had to call it almost always ends up loosing because they weren't persuasive enough or something.
Also, Governments are like that, trying so very hard to make things work, even when they don't.


This is a rather nice, simple, easy to understand video about the entire UK voting situation.
I have none for New Zealand, but it's one of the most proportional parliaments around and I am rather happy with that. Even if John Key is stupid and all of his announcements make my head hurt.

Have I mentioned that the proposed Goods and Services Tax change would be phenomally stupid because there is no easy way to add 15% to a figure? 12.5% is much easier, because you only need to add another 1/8th to the price you already have.
Also, the University thing goes entirely against his spiel about how people need to be educated because well... University IS education. It also means smart people doing smart things in businesses which hopefully means more money in the country and his party is the more right-wing party and why CAN'T HE SEE THIS LOGICAL CHAIN OF EVENTS?
grassangel: (OT3)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

No.

Although this is a very poorly worded question. I do believe it exists. You may have heard of the planet it exists on, Earth. You may even know a funny creature named a human who particpates in it. You may not know that it is supremely unnatural for a mammal like the human to practise it.

Joking aside, I don't believe it is the one size fits all of relationships. It seems to work for many people though and many people seem to believe is is one size fits all.
But I'm the person who doesn't fit the 'one size fits all' hat. So yeah, people can have just one partner. They can also have two or three or four... however many they want, like or need. My tendancies towards shipping threesomes quite clearly indicates my support. (I think I have more OT3s/OT4s than I do true OTPs.) *uses OT3 icon*


I actually think having more than one person to rely on emotionally is a great idea. Communal emotional support is great in a more general, less deep way too, which is why friends are all sorts of awesome. *gives hugs to everyone*

-------

In other news, Fenrir Inc., the company who produced Sleinipr, my favourite web browser, has produced an image editor.
Nothing terribly sophisticated, better than paint, but since it isn't in English, I can't figure out how much so.

It does have layers and layer modes. But it doesn't have image adjustments, just filters. And I haven't quite figured out how to make brushes.

I think the general progression of image editing programs on my computer thus goes: Photoshop > the GIMP > PictBear > Paint
grassangel: (Yuuko)
Oh Watanuki, you are such a shonen hero.

And OSHIT, I hope this doesn't mean Yuuko/Watanuki is kind of canon...

... TT__TT Yuuko~ *wails*
We still don't know what your wish is though...


ETA: Also, because a friendspost reminded me of this, the National government of New Zealand is planning on abolishing trial by jury for all but the most important cases. My reaction to this is a violent NO. Trial by jury means we don't get corrupt judges. Trial by jury means that a judgement is reached by a consensus of OTHER citizens and not just one person who may or may not have an agenda.
If they want people to get out of jury service, just put in more loopholes. (Most juries are already skewed anyway, so I don't see much point in this. It's rare for a person to be called to jury duty more than once in five years.)
grassangel: (Ishida)
http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/05/03/rejecting-the-gender-binary-in-fashion/

So, the above link popped up in my twitter feed this morning.

Now, I'm the kind of girl who despairs at the clothing choices males don't have and sincerely wish that they'd make cool boots and shoes for men and have other clothing choices aside from t-shirts, shirts, jeans, pants, shorts and jackets.
That and it's so contrasting to the choice they had historically. Men wore thigh high boots two hundred years ago. They had five different types of jackets to choose from and loads of choice in style and colour. THEY COULD WEAR FRILLS. (Okay, I admit the five-year old boys wearing dresses is slightly silly, but mostly because they look so heavy and cumbersome.)

So, seeing a man in a skirt and female shoes is decidedly a non-issue to me, especially since I have seen guys in girls' skirts before and some of them actually suited it.
My first thought upon scrolling down those photos was still "OH GOD NO. NOT ORANGE SHOES WITH THAT SKIRT" though.
My second thought was that some of those skirts really need to be taken in.

I am generally all for males getting to get more stuff to wear and for people in general to wear what they want. (Just like they should believe what they want, etc.) So this guy gets a round of applause for doing just that. Except... orange shoes. The only bright thing in that outfit.
NO.
I'm even kind of okay with some of the clothes not quite fitting right, as lots of people wear stuff that doesn't fit right, except the difference between how those skirts are supposed to hang and how they do hang makes me want to take a needle and thread to them. People look good when their clothes fit them properly. (And the overall design suits them and so on...)



I'm... not quite sure why I'm reading so many things about clothes recently. Yesterday I was flicking through a book about Western fashion from 1200-1980. It was quite fascinating and I learnt that Elizabeth the First liked pocket watches as accessories (they were just invented) and that a full faced riding mask was called a vizard.
There was this thing called a peascod which basically gave men a pot belly and was definitely a fashion disaster. (The fashion lasted for quite a few years too.)
We have also the American colonists to thank for the fact that wool (and dark colours) was/is dominant in men's outerwear. It's ALL YOUR FAULT that there's no variety in menswear.
Oh, and boys were forced to wear ridiculous dresses until they were eight or so.
grassangel: (my ship let me show you it)
Sometimes I randomly visit people’s profiles for they have cool icons I wish to snag with credit. Sometimes I am a nosy parker and look at their interests, friends, etc.
And then sometimes I go “Hey, they support similar things to me!” and I kind of wish to add those interests to my interests list so other people could do the same to me.

But then I look at the list again and decide no, I won’t add polyamory or lgbt or intersexuality to my interests because while I do believe these things have the right to exist and be spoken about, I don’t support the labels applied or associated with them.
It’s not because I think it’s bad people use such words to define things like that because how else are they going to describe things? It’s just I really don’t like the perpetuation of labels like that, even if they are ‘reclaimed’.

Sounds a bit Jack Harkness-like in philosophy, but I honestly would much rather call everyone people-sexual and stop having everyone ARGUE about what sexuality is right or wrong.


People are people and it doesn’t matter if they’re transgendered or straight or bi or whatever. They are people.
Same applies if they’re Jewish or Pagan or Hindu. They’re people first, it doesn’t matter what they choose to believe in. Labels don’t matter. Labels shouldn’t be used to measure a person. They shouldn’t be used to judge. (Well… almost. I find that political opinions are a great measure of whether I like someone or not and although not the only factor, certainly the only one which you could call a ‘label’.)

If you’ve got to hate something, hate the doctrine or the practises, not the people. I have a horrid grudge against the Catholic interpretation of the Bible, but I don’t hate Catholics. You can hate gay sex, just not the gays. You can hate consumerism, but not consumerists just because they want stuff. You could even hate Japanese culture because you hate taking your shoes off inside, but don’t hate the Japanese!


So, once again, people are people. It doesn’t matter who they love or what they believe in or where they come from. They are people, a human being, a homo sapiens just like you. There is only a tiny genetic difference between you and them. Their life is worth just as much as yours no matter what opinions they hold or what they eat.

I don’t like labels.
I’m a Homo sapiens, I’m people-sexual, I believe in Humans, I come from Earth. Got that?
But I still want to put ‘polyamory’, ‘inter-sexual’ and ‘bisexuality’ under my interests.
grassangel: (Rukia - ribbon)
So, somehow my dad found this NZ election quiz, which, based on how much importance you assign certain issues, gives you a percentage of how much your views align with certain parties.
I got 79% Green, 75% Maori party and 74% Labour party.
My dad had 75% Labour, then Green, then Maori.

So, NZ people on my friendslist, go take it if you're interested.

Also, I'm interested in what results people get from the Political Compass quiz. Go take it?
http://www.politicalcompass.org

Sadly, I will not be able to follow the vote counting tomorrow, as I'll be staying over at [livejournal.com profile] monkeyturtle's house for her birthday party.
So er... have fun watching it?
grassangel: (ehh what)
Okay, so at the library today they had a little display stand up concerning the election and how you can enrol before the 8th of October to vote.
Now, since I go to school, I automatically got a little form to fill in this year AUTOMATICALLY enrolling me the day I turned 18.
But... my birthday is on the 9th of October. So I headed over to the website to check if I was enrolled or if I'd get a special letter saying that yes Chloe can vote but she won't be on the printed electoral roll.

Had to jump dozens of hoops to GET to the page where it tells me my details but... I think I'm fully enrolled? It had a place where my details had been updated and it was like the tenth, so I assume that yes, I am enrolled.

But anyway. I also wandered around to all the parties standing for election and opened all their party pages.
Some of them are very scary.

Like LibertariaNZ. They want to totally get rid of state funding for everything and hand hospitals and schools to the community WHO VERY LIKELY DO NOT KNOW A THING ABOUT HEALTHCARE OR EFFECTIVE EDUCATION.

But I almost want to vote for the Legalise Cannabis party. Almost.

Also, I believe that a lot of the minor parties (and, presumably the major parties as well) intentionally obfusticate where their policy pages are. I had trouble finding most of them. Some had them all on separate pages so you'd give up halfway through, some had 'tenets' and others had some other weird name for them and barely said anything. *shakes fist*

Anyway, at school tommorrow, I will write up the address for where you can find an entire list of the political parties on the whiteboards.
grassangel: (Hornet flower)

The political compass is a two dimensional indicator of where you lie on the political scale. 
It's a small questionnaire that can be taken online at www.politicalcompass.org/questionnaire.
You can also find more information about how it works and so forth by going to the main page at http://www.politicalcompass.org
It also gives a brief explanation about your results at the end.

My results are:

Economic Left/Right: -4.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.10 

Can I urge you to go and find out where you score?

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