Effective thresholds in MMP when there is no threshold

Trying to Reason

Abolishing the 5% threshold in MMP (as I advocate) doesn’t mean that a party getting just one vote picks up one in 120 seats. It’s fairly intuitive that there is still an “effective threshold”: a number of votes that parties must get to earn their first seat. That then begs the question: How many votes is enough?

The answer depends on the method used to translate the party vote to seats in Parliament. New Zealand (and a number of other countries) uses a method called the Sainte-Laguë method. Another common method is the d’Hondt method. In this post I’ll assume you’re familiar with at least one of them (they are very similar); if you’re not, Wikipedia explains them reasonably well.

The Sainte-Laguë method is more sympathetic to smaller parties than the d’Hondt method, so we expect the Sainte-Laguë effective threshold to be lower. The report of the 1986…

View original post 440 more words

Projection of special votes for the 2014 election

Nice analysis of the intricacies of New Zealand electoral system

Trying to Reason

On my projection for the 2014 special votes, based on the 2011 impact, the Greens will miss out on a 14th seat by a whisker and National will retain its outright majority. Maybe.

I crunched some numbers to project (I didn’t say “predict”) the impact of special votes. I suspect most of you will just want to know the answer, so I’ll cut to the chase first, then give a bit of analysis, then give a bit more details, and I’ll talk about my method fourth.

Special votes include, among other things, overseas votes and votes cast for a different electorate to the polling place location. They aren’t counted on election night; they’re just set aside for the full count released two weeks later. And they’re not normally representative of the vote as a whole. Historically, special votes have favoured the Greens significantly—they have often picked up an extra seat from it…

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Liquor ban: Is there a rationale

The visible hand in economics

After reading this excellent post on the liquor store regulation idea on Kiwiblog (which aggregates the thinking of a number of other blog authors posts on the issue are found *,*,*,*), I’ve decided to do a little thinking out loud about the issue.

Now, to analyse what it going on we have to ask why we want to have tighter controls on liquor outlets in the first place. From what I can tell, liquor outlets aren’t the direct cause of harm – the consumption of alcohol is. As a result, these measures are based on the causal link: More liquor outlets -> more liquor consumption -> more crime.

For fun, lets take as given that more liquor consumption leads to more crime. We still need the prevalence of more liquor outlets to cause more liquor consumption for this story to float. How does…

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BEER HISTORIES: The ‘six o’clock swill’

Legal bar closing times in England and Wales have historically been early and uniform.

Recent legislation liberalised closing times with the object of reducing social problems thought associated with drinking to “beat the clock.”

Colin P. Green, John S. Heywood and Maria Navarro (2013) showed that one consequence of this liberalization was a decrease in traffic accidents. This decrease was concentrated heavily among younger drivers. The effect was most pronounced in the hours of the week directly affected by the liberalization; late nights and early mornings on weekends.

On May 1, 1996, Ontario, Canada, amended the Liquor Licence Act to extend the hours of alcohol sales and service in licensed establishments from 1 AM to 2 AM.


Guest Blogger: Stephanie Gibson, Curator Contemporary Life & Culture Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Many New Zealanders will remember the years of six o’clock closing of pubs. Urban pubs were often overcrowded, charmless places, where binge drinking took place in a race against the clock, resulting in the infamous ‘six o’clock swill’. Until the 1960s, alcohol could only be sold and consumed publicly in licensed places that provided accommodation. These were known as public hotels or ‘pubs’ for short.

In October 1917 New Zealand became the only country in the world to impose a nation-wide ban on the sale of liquor after six o’clock. Many believed that restricted access would result in less drinking. The ban lasted for 50 years until October 1967, when closing was brought forward to 10 o’clock by public vote.

Glassware, mid-1960s, by Crown Crystal Glass, New Zealand (GH021024-25, GH023164, GH024221, Te Papa) Standardised glassware was introduced by the Hotel Association of New Zealand (HANZ) in 1963.  The 8 ounce glass on the far right was favoured by male drinkers.  The smaller 7 ounce glass on the left and the small sherry glass were favoured by women drinkers.  Jugs were considered an innovation in the early 1960s. Glassware, mid-1960s, by Crown Crystal Glass, New Zealand
(GH021024-25, GH023164, GH024221, Te Papa)

View original post 541 more words

The End Of Zero Hours Contracts? Don’t Be So Hasty

A large number employees like to be casual and seasonal workers. That is why they agree to these contractual arrangements

What if the food supply was privatised?

Pharmaceutical Regulation: A Matter of Life and Death | Sam Peltzman

Isolationism vs. Non-interventionism

Originally posted on Young Americans for Liberty’s website.


Hi everyone. For today’s video, I’m going to address the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism. We’re seeing the word isolationist tossed around in the media a lot lately. Time Magazine and Huffington Post like to call Ron Paul an isolationist. Tim Pawlently and John McCain are apparently upset about the rise of “isolationism” in the Republican Party.

The word isolationist is usually used as a smear tactic. If you’re going to criticize constitutional foreign policy, at least get your terms right. And if you’re a journalist and you write about Ron Paul and mistakenly call him an isolationist, expect your inbox to be full with a bunch of messages from Ron Paul supporters explaining the difference to you. So take note journalists: There is a big difference between isolationism and non-interventionism.

An isolationist is someone who wants their country to be…

View original post 253 more words

Why schools can’t teach character – Toby Young

…character traits are inherited, not taught.

I’m not talking about moral qualities, such as honesty, compassion and altruism. It may be that these can be cultivated.

I mean performance-enhancing virtues, like stick-to-it-ness and the ability to bounce back from defeat, what exponents of character education call ‘grit’.

There’s a growing body of evidence that these traits are largely hereditable, that is, encoded in our DNA. If you exhibit any of these qualities, it’s overwhelmingly likely that your parents did, too.

And insofar as a child’s upbringing has any impact on the emergence of these qualities, it’s the peers they associate with during adolescence that matter, not their teachers.

via spectator.co.uk/toby-young-status-anxiety

6 Signs Your Cat Loves You

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