Saturday, 7 March 2015

Issues that Matter: Dr Bryce Edwards - PPTA Issues and Organising Conference 2015 Keynote and Workshop

“The Issues that mattered”: Explaining the 2014 NZ general election
Dr Bryce Edwards

He created a paper on what was important and what wasn’t within the Election

Pics on Twitter:

Workshop: Comments by @bryce_edwards

Neo-liberalism has been a relatively large challenge since 1980. Lots of voices that are raising questions in society. Left is more in flux than being defeated.

Observations of the media - interested in sensationalism, sell newspapers, get viewers. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they are biased to the right. Media is more interested in ‘infotainment’. That’s why the left has to fight that ground and orientate towards it. Inequality is a huge issue in the media.

PPTA Member: Biggest range of voters - misplaced hope in that missing voters. Mistaken strategy that we assume they would have voted left.

Those that don’t vote tend to be the youth, low-economic, .. tend to be framed towards the left programme.

Mobilising those 1million voters - if they’re not inspired by the people of the day - then they aren’t likely to vote.

PPTA Member: Enthusiasm of our parents - not as strong perhaps as ours is now?

Polling can help win elections.

Asset sales and CHCH rebuild - blanks in the economy. Public believe in spin - perhaps more than the reality. The perception is that the govt has sailed through the economic issues towards economic growth.

NZ still relatively pragmatic. Not as right wing as they may have wanted to go.

PPTA Member: Watching OZ govt - can we learn from the Australian govt and Tony Abbot?

Things can still change quite quickly. Govts can lose control.

PPTA Member: Far more presidential election politics. Popularity comp. Not able to be challenged.

Govt  - Hollow. Operate in superficial way. Not involved in grassroot style politics anymore. We don’t have in-depth democratic debates anymore.

Dirty Politics. Vicious parts of politics that can impede so much. Hagers book showed the democratic deficit.

Collective forces. Power in numbers. Can’t do anything in Politics as an individual anymore.

It’s worth looking at why he’s popular. Not terribly ideological. Comes across as someone kind of ‘matey’

You need leaders that can connect with the public. Talk about the issues that matter.

PPTA Member: Work of Helen Kelly in CTU and how much work has been done within modern unionism already.

There has in recent decades been a professionalism of the unions. Helen Kelly is leading the way to some of the more grass roots campaign.

PPTA Member: How do we go from apathy to a politicized working group?

In other countries of the world they have revolutions.

PPTA Member: Is it possible for our popular culture to have that change?

We are very atomized. Live individually. Need to rise in class consciousness. What am I doing that’s making a difference? That doesn’t seem to exist at the moment.

Becoming more popular to think in those terms.

Labour Left will do well to emulate the Right of the party to everyday NZers.

PPTA Member: Maori political parties - where to now for them?

Decline of Maori based political parties. Maori party split - essentially two parties with Maori based politics.

Labour party has managed to win back the Maori seats. Reincorporating the NZ Maori in that process. Growing Maori middle class, Pasifika and Asian middle class - that will vote for the right. Cross cut by class politics in a way that Maori politics never used to be.

Some interesting discussion on religion in NZ now and how Conservative party is not seen as Christian party… except…

Its not fashionable for NZ politicians to talk about their beliefs. They tend to downplay it. Whereas in US they sometimes get elected on their beliefs.

PPTA Member: Inequality vs Inequity! Did you search for that term? Inequity was more about affirmative action and outcomes.

PPTA Member: American dominance of pol in Freedom; NZ - Fairness.

Difference in political campaigning as a result. Convincing people that they can solve inequality.

PPTA Member: Little - occupational background?

Labour party needs someone with knowledge on class politics and economics. .Andrew Little: “Cut the Crap.”

The Importance of Civics in School

PPTA Member: Students uninterested in politics. Not relevant to them.

PPTA Member: Many parents don’t feel like they have any power to create change

PPTA Member: It’s about class awareness. Shaping the history curriculum - needs to be a more indepth change.

PPTA Member: All signed up but quite some time before the election. Need to have a booth at school. Online elections needed.

PPTA Member: Curriculum is hugely crowded and so much pressure on credit gathering. Not sure where the time would be to add that in as well.

PPTA Member: If there’s any way to teach it objectively - young people would make a human and social choice. What state are you planning this in?

It started in many different parts. Electoral commission have a small part. Keeps being proposed. Should be compulsory civics education. Dr. Edwards is on the working group. Complications with that but there are plenty of

PPTA Member: Free, easy to access resources would help

PPTA Member: Kids have forgotten a lot of that by senior school because there is a gap between when they get govt exposure and voting until they’re a more functioning member of a voting society. Would be difficult to put it in a senior curriculum.

PPTA Member: Needs to be an option in the senior school. Needs to make sure that there is no indoctrination.

PPTA Member: Tricky thing is not to be accused of indoctrinating the youth. Very important that it covers a range of different views

PPTA Member: Scotland - voting age of 16. Sue Bradford was criticised for raising it.

Need to get youth educated about voting.

PPTA Member: How do we feel about lowering the voting age?

PPTA Member: Ban on media on the day. But focus on voting up until the day. Tens of thousands were voting in advance and posting on social media too.

PPTA Member: When we’ve talked about getting them involved - just talking about getting them to vote. If the resources were more focused on becoming participants in society and making submissions on bills. How many of our members last year when they were engaged in submissions and felt that they were a part of something. How powerful would that be for our kids - numerous submissions made for a local govt. When we participate we are more likely to vote. How do I find out what the local govt are discussing that might make my students interested? The stuff that gets them fired up. Broader look at the resources needed.

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