Take me to your leader – the quest continues

Imagine a flying saucer lands in your back yard and an alien (drooling or not) alights. “Take me to your leader,” it telepathically commands, as it is from an advanced civilisation, intent upon savings ours. “Aw yeah, mate.” (pointing). “That’s our leader over there, the one in the striped designer shirt, mingling with the homeless folk.” If you dig around on the Internet long enough you’ll find lists of world leaders people would rather not…

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Plebiscites for the huddled masses

Did you know that the good citizens of Puerto Rico voted in a plebiscite whether to allow the island territory to become the 51st state of the USA? Despite a low voter turnout (23%), the $15 million non-binding plebiscite achieved a 97% yes vote for statehood. But now the fate of PR lies in the hands of the US government, which has no legal obligation to follow through. The issue for Puerto Rico’s 3.42 million…

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Trump, Clinton and the third candidate

Who, except Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, would want to be leader of a nation today? The manic, 24/7 pressure of life in the top job makes old men (and women) out of youthful candidates in no time. At home, we saw the pressure tell in quick succession on Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and now Malcolm Turnbull, who no longer resembles the debonair bon vivant who aspired to high political station. In the US, Barack Obama’s…

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Housing bubbles here and abroad

Kiwis and Aussies aged 45 and over share one obsessive thought at this moment in time: how will our kids ever be able to afford their own home? Unless the housing bubble bursts, they probably never will be able to, even when the Boomers die off and leave their kids a residual estate. The housing market both here and in Aotearoa has got away from humble wage earners. On my all-too quick visit to the…

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