Free thought repressed

I believe there are many parallels between Global Warming and Evolution. Both are the most popular views accepted by the media and the scientific majority, or at least the scientists that are most commonly talked to by the media. Both are questioned by some scientists. Both have strong supporters and opposers, and heated scientific debates around them.

But both are claimed to be the “consensus”, absolute fact, and any “dissenter” must be a nutcase. It doesn’t really matter whether they are true or not – regardless, labelling any scientist a nutter is very unhealthy. Science progresses through debate. It is important to consider opposing views to your own, whether or not they are correct, because it is the consideration of alternative views that develops reason and wisdom.

One example of how “dissenters” are being repressed is the fact that Dr David Bellamy has been blacklisted (according to himself) by the BBC. You probably recognise him in the photo – he used to be on many different nature TV programs. But he hasn’t been hired for anything much for years now, because he is a “climate skeptic”. In other words, a scientist who has the guts to think for himself.

Proverbs 3:13-14 states: Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.

There is a big difference between knowledge and wisdom. Being able to remember exactly what your teacher told you was true is knowledge. Being able to analyse it for yourself and decide whether or not it actually is true is wisdom. And you only gain this from considering alternative views to your own.

If you only teach students knowledge, they can be indoctrinated with whatever you like.

Hat tip: Not PC

Electorate analysis – East Coast Bays

The primary focus of our campaign this year was to take either Mangere or East Coast Bays, to bypass the 5% threshold. I have discussed the Mangere result here. The main results for East Coast Bays (parties gaining over 100 votes) are below, full results are here.

Parties Candidates
Family Party 435 ADAMS, Paul FAM 3,275
Green Party 1,210 BRADFORD, Sue GP 1,969
Labour Party 6,855 GOLDSMITH, Vivienne (Viv) LAB 5,628
New Zealand First Party 944 JONES, Dail NZF 683
ACT New Zealand 1,844 KRONFELD, Tim ACT 1,149
National Party 19,617 McCULLY, Murray NAT 18,428
United Future 234 McINNES, Ian UFNZ 200
Libertarianz 21 ZAMORA, Elah LIB 50
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 196
Mäori Party 110
The Bill and Ben Party 124
Party Informals 95 Candidate Informals 247
TOTAL 31,889 TOTAL 31,887

East Coast Bays turned out to be our best electorate, and Paul Adams took 10.3% of the candidate vote here. Although this was not enough to take the electorate, he did gain far more votes than Sue Bradford (Green), and the Act candidate. Paul was the third highest polling candidate, after National and Labour. Unfortunately, although we had been pushing the “2 for 1” message very heavily here (vote for Paul Adams, get both Adams and McCully as McCully would be in on the list), most voters still went for McCully.

In 2005, McCully took 17,213 votes, the Labour candidate took 9,927, and Paul Adams (standing as an independant) gained 5,809 votes (full results are here). In 2002, McCully took 12,134 votes, the Labour candidate took 10,600, and Paul Adams (standing for United Future) took 2,872 (results here). So this is the third election running that Paul has been the third highest polling candidate, above the candidates from any other minor party – which is an excellent achievement in itself. This year there was not so much a major swing to National, as National’s votes remained at about the same level, but rather a swing away from Labour. Many voters seemed to stay at home, with the turnout dropping from over 37,000 in 2005 to less than 32,000 this year. There was a swing towards ACT, and towards the Green party (presumably disgruntled Labour voters). But the biggest change was the number of voters who stayed at home.

It is disappointing that despite a heavy campaign Paul actually polled lower this year than in 2005, but can probably be best explained by the number of voters who stayed at home. There is also the possibility that a few voters may have been put off by his association with the Family Party for some reason. However this is unlikely because Paul polled higher this year, standing for us, than he did when he stood for United Future. So I think the fact that McCully won by a landslide is simply due to the nationwide swing towards National.

Overall, taking over 10% of the candidate vote is an excellent achievement, and certainly something that could be built on in future. McCully is a formidible opponent, as he has been the incumbant there for so long, but he is always high enough on National’s list for there to be no point voting for him, unless you are a Labour voter specifically wanting to shut out a right-leaning minor party such as ourselves. The strange thing about the MMP 5% threshold is that it means it can be best to vote for the opposition sometimes.

The Llama Song

A bit of fun for your Sunday:

If you have trouble with Youtube (it’s not that great on some internet connections) try it here.