News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

17 September 2005

anybody know what the heck tenterhooks are? NZ is on 'em ...

Okay ... last post, Agence Vleeptron-Presse focused on a Big Question about whether this New Zealand election would restore the US Navy's old ANZUS treaty privilege of cruising in and out of NZ with nuclear weapons aboard -- but without telling the NZ government. The US Navy hasn't been allowed to do that since 1985, and NZ has been out of ANZUS since then.

New Zealanders are voting at this moment. And there could be a huge surprise: They could legalize marijuana!

Wow ... legal pot and no nukes! If the Zeta Beam starts breaking down again, maybe I can hang out in New Zealand! I've been there once! What a wonderful 45 minutes I had! Can't wait to get back!

By the way ... if Vleeptron had a Pacific Ocean, Vleeptron would definitely make it Nuclear-Free. Also Atlantic. And Arctic. And Antarctic. And Mediterranean. Which oceans am I missing?

* * * * * * *
Friday 16 September 2005 21:20 USA Eastern (but it's Saturday in NZ)

New Zealanders cast votes
in knife-edge election

By Paul Tait

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealanders were voting on Saturday in a tight election which opinion polls suggested was too close to call after a rough and tumble campaign.

New Zealand's 2.9 million voters have a choice of 19 parties ranging from Prime Minister Helen Clark's Labour and the main opposition National Party to the pro-marijuana Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and the anti-monarchist Republican Party.

Polls opened at 9 a.m. (1700 EDT Friday) at 2,700 voting stations across the southwest Pacific island nation.

Opinion polls suggested one of the tightest contests in New Zealand history as Clark's centre-left party seeks a third straight term over conservative National, led by former central banker Don Brash.

"I hadn't made up my mind until I walked into the booth and in the end I went with my gut," said public servant Jim Green outside a polling station in the capital Wellington.

Another man who cast his vote at a school in Porirua in the Wellington suburbs said the poll had become quite personal.

"There's definitely a philosophical split between what's in it for me and what's in it for the country," said the voter, who declined to be identified.

Clark has said the election is a choice between stable government and the economic gains of the past six years, and the likelihood of increased debt and cuts in social spending under National.

New Zealand has averaged 4 percent growth over the past five years -- the longest period of economic growth in half a century -- and unemployment is at a near 19-year low.

Brash, who campaigned strongly on promises of tax cuts, said he remained confident National could win.

A final Reuters survey of four leading polls on Friday showed Labour ahead with 41.3 percent support, the same percentage of the vote it won at the 2002 election.

The Reuters survey showed National on 38.1 percent, well up from the 20.9 percent of the vote it won three years ago. However that came at the cost of slumping support for potentially crucial centre-right minor parties like ACT.

The biggest minor parties, the nationalist New Zealand First and environmentalist Green Party, were around 6 percent.

Under New Zealand's German-style proportional representation system, parties must win either a local district seat or 5 percent of the nationwide vote to win a seat in the 120-seat, single-chamber parliament.

Electoral officials said voter turnout was expected to be well above 2002's 77 percent. Voting is not compulsory.

Exit polls are illegal in New Zealand and information that could influence voters cannot be broadcast or distributed until after polls close at 7 p.m.

On voting day, billboards must be taken down and even bumper stickers with political messages must be covered up or removed.

Most of the vote counting is expected to be completed four hours after polls close but a clear picture may not emerge for weeks, with Labour or National likely to have to rely on coalitions with minor parties to govern.

The election was fought on domestic issues -- tax, social spending and special privileges for the indigenous Maori people -- with foreign issues such as the popular 20-year-old anti-nuclear laws largely secondary.

(With additional reporting by Gyles Beckford and Melanie Carroll in Wellington)


Post a Comment

<< Home