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New Zealand Police Act Wiki Lets You Write the Law

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the I-can-speed-every-tuesday dept.

The Internet 255

PhoenixOr writes "New Zealand is now on the top of my list for cool governments. They've opened a wiki allowing the populace to craft a new version of their Police Act, the legislative basis for policing in New Zealand."

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kiwis use wikis (3, Funny)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764717)

Film at 11.

Cool government indeed.

Re:kiwis use wikis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764757)

I live here, nothing cool about our government.

The police initiative to use a wiki to collect feedback on the up coming Police Act 2008 is a useful tool

Re:kiwis use wikis (4, Funny)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765153)

I live here, nothing cool about our government.

Hmm ... loathing of government for no stated reason ... high probability of right-wing lean ... posting as AC ... do I detect a denizen of nz.general?

Re:kiwis use wikis (4, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764761)

Now if only this would catch on... we might actually see laws that are representative of what the people want instead of some asshole with a few hundred thousand dollars more than they should have in their pocket.

Re:kiwis use wikis (1)

kongit (758125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765007)

I whole heartedly endorse this idea. I am an Interweb abuser and I know that what I feel is correct in governing people is correct. Arise ye vast horde of Interweb users and smite down those poor and stupid who cannot fathom the power of the Interweb. Let Darwin rule the day as we the advanced people of the Interweb shout out our chorus in the form of a Wiki. We are the intelligent feel our wrath oh feeble minded fools who farm and stuff and dont have DSL or cable and cannot load the Wikis of the Interweb. LONG LIVE THE WIKI KIWIS OF WIKILAND!


Note: this product is not sanctioned by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Re:kiwis use wikis (4, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765195)

Not so fast. They've set the wiki up with a rather short-sighted password policy: any editor can set a password on any page that can protect that page from being edited or even being seen by anyone else. I'm having difficulty finding any pages that don't have passwords set ...

Re:kiwis use wikis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765437)

State-sponsored freedom strikes again!

Re:kiwis use wikis (3, Insightful)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765123)

I don't think we would see to many of those laws. The final draft will be reviewed by a relevant body before submitting it for approval. Not doing so would be insane, as all manner of abuse could find their way into the law otherwise. The thing is, it will be reviewed by those same people that we are supposing take "financial aids" from interest groups. So they will just snip out whatever doesn't suit their agendas.

I know this is a police law, but think of the possibilities in other areas. What if I want to expand the definition of Fair Use? Or if I want to shorten copyright duration? Do you see those amends surviving even on the face of overwhelming public support on the wiki? On top of lobbyists there would be astroturfers for one thing. And let's not forget that usually the only people that are vocal about something are those with a vested interest. I wouldn't want the nosy bastards from some retarded Home-Owners association slipping in some ordinances that would, for example, prevent me from installing a solar array on my backyard because it "ruins the aesthetics of the neighborhood" or such. Particularly if I don't even live on their area but get covered by this laws.

I think is a good publicity stunt and it may even generate some novel ideas, but I just don't see it suddenly making sense of the legal landscape in any meaningful way. I'd much rather they put the existing laws in a database with strong referential integrity. That would be interesting.

Just some ramble =)

Re:kiwis use wikis (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765447)

And that's why it won't fly. I mean, could you explain to me the business model?

1. Refuse big bucks from companies to make laws for them.
2. ???
3. Profit for politicians.

POPULACE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764721)

Also first post. :p

But mainly POPULACE

Populus, not populous (0, Offtopic)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764725)

Populous is an adjective meaning heavily populated.

The word you're looking for is the noun populus.

Re:Populus, not populous (0, Offtopic)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764937)

The word they're looking for is populus? [reference.com] A sort of tree?

Re:Populus, not populous (1, Offtopic)

I don't want to spen (638810) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765003)

He just wants to be poplar...

Re:Populus, not populous (0, Offtopic)

s13sr20det (612747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765297)

I think you'll find it's "populace".

Polity and Custom of the Camiroi (5, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764733)

This was a science fiction story in which anyone could create a law. The visitor from Earth created a law saying that only qualified people could create new laws, arguing that otherwise someone might create a stupid one. The native said "Someone just did, in fact". The revert happened almost immediately, and the visitor was advised not to start a revert war: the reverter was described as "very good with the ritual sword".

Vote for Deletion (4, Funny)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764737)

I submit that the Title [policeact.govt.nz] isn't notable enough with this google search [google.com.au] only revealing one relevant link. As such I propose we delete this page.

Not such a good idea.. (2, Insightful)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764749)

Opening a wiki for creating laws is insane. It would just invite vandalism, and instead of leading to formation of new laws, it would waste money and manpower involved in maintanence and moderation.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764773)

Yes - it is an insane idea to write the actual law. But as a starting point, well, it's certainly an interesting way of gathering public submissions.

I'm sure it will go through the usual select committe reviews and everything else after this drafting, and I shall have options to make submissions again later..

Re:Not such a good idea.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764837)

Opening a wiki for creating laws is insane. It would just invite vandalism, and instead of leading to formation of new laws, it would waste money and manpower involved in maintanence and moderation.


Yeah. I heard that someone also had a wiki to build an encyclopedia, but that's just as insane. It would just invite vandalism, and instead of leading to an informative and complete reference, it would waste money and manpower involved in maintanence and moderation.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (0, Flamebait)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764967)

Consider the difference in situations. Formation of laws, governing the administration of the country and on the other hand an encyclopedia, a book of reference. Though Wikipedia is the largest read encyclopedia of all time, but it is most criticised for it's dynamic and unreliable nature. Laws cannot be like that. Laws have to be constant, same for everyone, and not open to discussion or question.They can only be modified when a need to do so is felt by a major part of a country. Vandalism on Wikipedia is harmful, here vandalism can be lethal.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765015)

Laws cannot be open to discussion or question? So you invite totalitarianism?

Re:Not such a good idea.. (5, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765111)

Laws have to be constant, same for everyone, and not open to discussion or question.

WTF? Laws should be constant? So slavery never should have been abolished, I guess. They should not be open for discussion? Sounds like fascism to me.

It should be the exact opposite - laws should change to reflect the times, and they should be constantly discussed and questioned.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765389)

What he was saying is that if you get a speeding ticket, you shouldn't be able to go in, edit the law to exclude everyone with your surname and then tear the ticket up. He says afterwards that laws should change where and when necessary.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (2)

merlinokos (892352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765431)

GP hopefully meant:
Consistent: [reference.com] 2. Reliable; steady: demonstrated a consistent ability to impress the critics. Meaning that laws should be the same for everybody (applied consistently).

Re:Not such a good idea.. (2, Informative)

umghhh (965931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765481)

Well I second that. I see no reason why the new technologies cannot help democracy to return to its roots i.e. everybody could and should take part in decision process. Just in case people forgot: partof decision making is discussion on available options, methods and leadership among other things.
Of course size matters here so the state organisations (big) cannot have their daily life led by democracy but the goals, the way to achieve them and the leadership that leads us there should be decided in a process at least approaching democratic way. What we have now in majority of western 'democracies' is a sad joke (yes I know there are people less fortunate than we are and not even majority of them live in N.Korea) based on the fact that it was not possible to vote for anything else than your representatives (who then could do what they wanted for few years). Now we have the technology to democratize our societies again - maybe we should use the chance.
If not we who would do it for us???

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765181)

They can only be modified when a need to do so is felt by a major part of a country.
Ahem.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765417)

"Yeah. I heard that someone also had a wiki to build an encyclopedia, but that's just as insane. It would just invite vandalism, and instead of leading to an informative and complete reference, it would waste money and manpower involved in maintanence and moderation."

I see you have used the wikipedia and attempted to pass it off as an authoritative source.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (3, Informative)

TallGuyRacer (920071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764871)

Nobody said the result would definitely be used. The wiki is just being used to get suggestions and ideas...

Re:Not such a good idea.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764905)

I would have phrased it as "HOLY FUCKING DUMB," but whatever works.

Did you read the article? (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764915)

The wiki does not allow people to write law. It is just for citizen input.

Here is this citizen's input... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765225)

I don't care whether its the police or the Aqua Teen Hunger Force but somebody needs to do something about the elephants who keep trampling my sheep. You know their numbers have doubled in the last 6 months.

-- Not actually a New Zealand citizen, but I play one on Wiki

Did you read the article summary? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765363)

Shockingly, it's inaccurate... so go figure.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764979)

Yeah, who are these people who seem to think that the unwashed masses should have a hand in regulating society!?

Keep power where power belongs: in the hands of those with money, guns and mass-media outlets. That's how you get efficient and obscure lawmaking the way it's supposed to be done.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

ComradeSnarky (900400) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764991)

This strikes me as a blatant abuse of the wiki system. Wikis are primarily for pages where only one definitive version is required, eg. encyclopedia articles or documentation pages. If you're looking to solicit various opinions on what the law should be like, then why would they use a wiki? If I think X should be on the law and someone else thinks it doesn't then whose edit is correct? There will be a lot of edit wars that cannot be resolved simply because there is no "correct answer". If I wanted to find out what fruit people liked would I start a wiki with the title "What is your favourite fruit"? The first person would come along and write "banana", and then the next person would erase that and write "apple", then "orange", etc. and anyone who saw the page would not know what fruit most people really liked, all they would know is the favourite fruit of the last person who happened to edit the wiki.

Don't worry, it's just PR. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764999)

A few nights ago the NZ police fatally gunned down an unarmed man.

They've also just been through yet another round of high-profile police rape trials which resulted in several cops/ex-cops going to jail for a long time.

Right now they can't really get any publicity worse than that.

Re:Not such a good idea.. (1)

KimmoV (1062430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765151)

especially since governments around the world are known to be cradles of efficiency and cost-effectiveness

nice! (5, Funny)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764785)

Hm... so this means that young male techno-savy people are going to write the laws now? What do you think they will be?

1. Piracy is legal for any copyright that is represented by the RIAA or MPAA
2. Cute girls can't wear shirts
3. The new legal drinking age is 13
4. People over 50 aren't allowed to vote

???

d

Re:nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764807)

I don't see how any of these is a bad thing.

Re:nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765089)

you forgot a couple of oblig steps
5. ???
6. Profit!!

Re:nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765167)

Cute girls can't wear shirts


New Zealand, I'm coming!

Re:nice! (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765479)

2. Cute girls can't wear shirts


So now they'll be wearing raincoats and turtleneck sweaters.
Thanks, dude.

Excellent (3, Interesting)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764793)

I think having the community develop laws together is a rather superb way of handling society. The more people, (generally) the better (IMO). The more people that have their hand in this, the less likely something will be left out. Also, since everyone in that society will have to live with those laws, I think it's best that the majority has the opportunity to shape those laws (granted, not everyone will likely use this wiki, but I think the concept is good).

Doing it this way, the way I see it, has the potential to mend gaps between people groups in a society by allowing them to discuss their ideas and explain and collaborate their ideas carefully.

I wish more governments could be run this way -- moreso by the people.

And having this online provides an excellent communication medium.

Extreme optimism (2, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764945)

You've obviously never seen myspace

Re:Extreme optimism (1)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765019)

True, but I think having a revision system in place definitely helps. Wikipedia seems to be working fairly well.

Re:Extreme optimism (1)

skeftomai (1057866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765035)

(I have seen MySpace...I meant that I saw what you were getting at).

Re:Excellent (2, Insightful)

jonbritton (950482) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765475)

And having this online provides an excellent communication medium.

And limited to middle-class folks with computers and Internet connections..

I'm sure NZ's Maori population is offering a collective sound that translates roughly to, "whoop-dee-fucking-doo."

Not so cool (2, Interesting)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764795)

While on the one hand getting feedback in this manner is good, satirizing them is also important. [nzherald.co.nz] So its one step back one step forward for the New Zealand government.

Re:Not so cool (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765627)

If it goes on like this they will end up being pretty good line-dancers!

why is it... (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764797)

Why do i get the impression that the new Police Act will consist mainly of LOLcats?

Re:why is it... (3, Funny)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764841)

No, it will probably be something more along the lines of "Eric is a fag and his face is punishable by law." ~~~~

An alternative (1, Insightful)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764829)

A much better way to gather public opinion on the law would be online voting for passing of bills from the legislation. The masses can decide on that better than the President alone.

Re:An alternative (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765113)

You mean like some sort of election process of what law people want that is done electronically?

Re:An alternative (1)

Apoorv (1019864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765163)

OK, maybe I don't know what the situation is in NZ, but here's how it works in India. We have a ruling political party, and the opposition party (who lose in the elections, and are just next to the ruling party). The members of parliament put forward their suggestions relating to political stuff, and laws too. People of the legislative assembly vote in favour or against it. If it is passed by a majority, it goes to the president for his signature. After signatures from the president, the 'bill' becomes an official 'law'. What I was suggesting that instead of sending it to the Prez, put it online for voting, and make it a 'law', if a majority votes in favour of it.

A Public Relations exercise (5, Insightful)

gihan_ripper (785510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764849)

From the wiki (emphasis mine):

An official Bill is currently being written-up by parliamentary drafters, but in parallel there's an opportunity for others to suggest how a new Policing Act might look by contributing to a wiki Act.
OK, it's unrealistic to believe that New Zealand would let anyone write the law. That would lead to anarchy. However, what they're doing is trying to get people interested in the law-making process, and in the laws themselves by opening up this wiki. I can see a number of purposes this could serve:
  1. Educational: teaches citizens about laws and law-making.
  2. Political: by getting citizens involved in the process, they're more likely to support the new Act.
  3. Police PR: gets citizens to think about policing in a new way and perhaps gain a new respect for the Police.

Re:A Public Relations exercise (4, Insightful)

bug1 (96678) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765501)

"OK, it's unrealistic to believe that New Zealand would let anyone write the law. That would lead to anarchy."

Quite the opposite.

Anarchy is the absense in laws, so letting anyone write laws would move New Zealand further away from anarchy.

Allowing anyone to repeal laws might lead to anarchy.

*cough* (0, Troll)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764853)

"People are calling it 'extreme democracy' and perhaps it is." Actually, we've had a word for it for a long time: Communism.

Re:*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764885)

No, it's actually called direct democracy.

Re:*cough* (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764919)

"People are calling it 'extreme democracy' and perhaps it is." Actually, we've had a word for it for a long time: Communism.

Communism and democracy is apples and oranges. Get your fact straight.

Communism corresponds to centralised economic model, versus free market. Democracy corresponds to the model of law regulation and separation of powers in the country. Versus, say totalitarian regime.

Re:*cough* (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765011)

Democracy corresponds to elected officials setting law. Communism is a great many things, it is a social and an economic model first and foremost, but communism, as opposed to social democracy, is the idea that the sum [or a random selection, similar to a jury] of the population set government policy.

Re:*cough* (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765105)

Communism is a great many things, it is a social and an economic model first and foremost, but communism, as opposed to social democracy, is the idea that the sum [or a random selection, similar to a jury] of the population set government policy.

No, please, I asked you to get your facts straight.

There's difference between the way most communistic countries developed in practice, the way it's described by ideologists, and the way it's described to the citizens in the the propaganda communist governments spread out.

It's perfectly possible to have both democracy and communism at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.

You could ask: then why virtually any known communist government I know uses the totalitarian model, well this is because this is the model that develops when you overthrow the previous government with force. After revolution, it's always totalitarian regime.

Many modern democratic countries have implemented and running ideas from communism in SOME sectors of their economy, but they just don't call it that way (historical burden on the term itself).

As I've said many times before, we'll see ideas we thought mutually exclusive before (like libertarian ideas and communism) play together in an increasingly complex landscape of our national and international economies. It's just the result of increased complexity and the need to handle plenty of "special cases" in the interest of society (and various other interests...).

Re:*cough* (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765227)

A word of advice first: being overbearing doesn't get you anywhere here, so please, examine your own argument before talking about facts.

he way it's described to the citizens in the the propaganda communist governments spread out.

See, there's your mistake. Should be:

he way it's described to the citizens in the the propaganda fascist governments spread out.

Because they are not communist, not the slightest.

The problem is the American definition of "Communist countries". It tends to include places like China and Cuba. They are a better approximation than the USA, of course, but are still hardly communist. For example, the Chinese communist party was slaughtered after the revolution by the socialist party. Though they have a slight socialist edge where trade is concerned, the people do not own the means of production, the people do not run the government, and even on the economics side, it would be strange to call China communist. A better example economics-wise might be Singapore.

The problem is, there has never been a communist country. The existence of one would require a government or millitia giving up their power. That just doesn't happen. People like Stalin or Castro or groups like the Chinese Socialist party will always manage to stop communism from becoming a reality.

But that has nothing to do with what we are talking about here today, other than that Marx and Lenin mused on the idea of real democracy long before we had wiki.

Re:*cough* (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765461)

Besides, there just haven't been enough communist countries for later ones to learn from negative experience of their predecesors. I hear first slave rebellions did not end well and first capitalist countries inflicted unspeakable human right abuse as well as killing their own economy with overproduction crisis.

Re: Communism versus democracy (1)

TheSciBoy (1050166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765147)

Exactly. It is understandable why people often gets these facts wrong since all (practically) communist governments in the world have been dictatorships in one form or another. But it must be noted that communism in itself does not exclude democracy. Democracy means that the majority rules. In the original democracies, not all people were allowed to vote (only the people who turned up for the meetings, excluding slaves and women, of course).

Democracy is often confused with a "fair" governmental systems because it is what most western countries have. But the fact of the matter is that China is a democracy. Of course there is only one party to vote for and all other parties are forbidden, but a democracy doesn't mean that it has to be fair. Many people have different opinions on what a democracy is, how it should be run and a democratic system is often unfair to the minority (which is the most difficult part of a democracy, how to activate those people who feel marginalised and make them feel like they are part of the system).

What the NZ government is doing is very interesting. The wiki obviously isn't supposed to be used for new laws, but it will probably be a very good source of interesting ideas for the government to ponder, a very democratic thing to do. In an ultimate democracy all people would vote for all decisions of government (of course this would be impossible and impractical since all people will neither have the time nor the inclanation to get the information needed to make informed decisions). This way you get the best of both worlds, anyone interested enough can speak up and those with the knowledge and position to make the changes can read ti and pick up good ideas. Very nice.

Re:*cough* (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765093)

Communism and democracy is apples and oranges. Get your fact straight.

Not quite. Communism is to democracy as an apple is to a faulty hand-brake.

Re:*cough* (1)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765025)

Communism will be an "extreme democracy" the day fascism will be a "benevolent dictatorship".

Re:*cough* (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765091)

Communism will be an "extreme democracy" the day fascism will be a "benevolent dictatorship".

Isn't that day today? And yesterday, and the day before? "Benevolent Dictatorships" are exactly how fascism thrives. Keeping the trains running on time, building freeways, holding the Superbowl - that kind of thing. Without the bread and circuses, the fascists wouldn't remain in power so easily.

Re:*cough* (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765095)

Communism will be, the day fascism will be a "benevolent dictatorship".

We have never and will never see it, so we know nothing. I didn't mean to come off as trolling, and I'm surprised I haven't been modded down for it yet. Because, just like the idealism that is communism, we will never see governments really listening. Much like we can complain about all the wonderfully simple things microsoft or intel could have done for us -their interest is not primarily to serve their customers, we are just lucky, or unlucky, to have their products- their interest is themselves, and all the wikis in the world won't change that.

Not Communism, It's called Populism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765599)

Look it up

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism [wikipedia.org]

citation needed (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764861)

Police officers may not shoot people at random [citation needed]

Re:citation needed - here it is - (1)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765369)

A full account [stuff.co.nz] of what happened.

Unfortunately they withdrew the Tazers [tazers.com] last month leaving the police with no alternative to using a pistol.

Re:citation needed - here it is - (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765523)

First. Tasers were not "withdrawn", the trial period ended and the results of said period are now being examined to determine if they should become a permanant fixture.

Second. NZ Police are supposed to be an unarmed force (although I believe certain situations allow an officer to carry, they are fairly rare). One can only assume that the victim was directly threatening the life another officer and so the shooter had time to retrieve a firearm from the patrol car where it was secured.

Third. This is all under investigation, both by police and the pca (police complaints authority), witness accounts don't paint a good picture for the police though so far.

Fourth. This is completely off topic.

It's not a good time to be a police officer in NZ (1)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764865)

The timing relating to certain [nzherald.co.nz] issues [nzherald.co.nz] is not good.

Direct democracy via the web... (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764893)

...would be like Slashdot users deciding stuff that actually matters. Do you really want that?

Re:Direct democracy via the web... (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764963)

As a New Zealander, I don't know whether to be joyfull or afraiad, all I know is that we'll have some sick copyright laws ^^

Re:Direct democracy via the web... (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765033)

sick copyright laws

^^ lol. The GPL would become the law of the land. And all mp3 downloads would be legal.

Re:Direct democracy via the web... (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765395)

As long as potential bills contain Cowboy Neil options.

this just means (1)

evwah (954864) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764917)

this just means that every so often you will go to look up the law, and the text will have been replaced with "POOP COCK POOP". This could lead to some interesting legal situations.

Wow... (4, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764921)

According to the New Zealand Police Act, the elephant population has tripled in New Zealand.

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765377)

so that is where this came from:

The New Zealand Mounted Police would receive epic mounts compared to the normal mounts used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [thotbot]

WikiWar (2, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764931)

This smells of WikiWar all the way from the other side of the globe:

"Smoking marihuana is <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>leghal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>legzzal</s> <s>illegal</s> <s>zzzZZZzzz</s> illegal!"

Re:WikiWar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20765247)

Off-topic is more like it. The Wiki is about an Act that will control the operation, powers, and behaviour of the Police force not other laws that they will have to enforce.

You missed the real revert war... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765275)

... the talk page would be filled with the bloated corpses of editors who had died dueling about the proper spelling of "marijuana" and whether Anglicizing the word warranted the article being tagged as insensitive or having NPOV issues.

Peelian Principles (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764935)

I think the Peelian Principles are still good and sound:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles [wikipedia.org]

If only my country's police force would follow them.

Not Practical In The U.S. (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764965)

As pointed out elsewhere, the people who would participate are too self-selecting. They would just be too small a segment of the U.S. population.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for "participatory" government. The people who take the trouble to speak up are the ones who are heard.

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (4, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765071)

As pointed out elsewhere, the people who would participate are too self-selecting. They would just be too small a segment of the U.S. population.

Well, yes. Citizens of New Zealand would be a very small segment of the US population.

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765137)

Well, yes... but considering the context of my comment, that would mean New Zealand people getting involved in the politics of the U.S.

While they might have a lot of interesting things to say, I don't think I would support giving them the vote.

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765101)

Right, it would never work in the USA. If only there was some [wikipedia.org] way [wikipedia.org] to get the word out [wikipedia.org] before we started doing it. Maybe even provide a way for people to use the internet for free [wikipedia.org] if they don't have access at home. Then there's the apathy, why the hell would people care about having a say in the laws they'll be required to obey?

Way too impractical for the US. Democracy is better off left in the capable hands of our trustworthy and honorable representatives in Washington.

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765175)

Wikipedia has some VERY serious flaws. For example, it is too vulnerable to vandalism, even though that vandalism is often easily fixable... if anyone happens to notice it in a timely manner.

There are other flaws as well. From my own participation, for example, I have found that often certain groups of people will "take over" a topic as "their own", and interfere with input from outside sources, however valid that input may be. In some ways this is analogous to problems we see today with "peer review" in scientific journals.

Wikipedia would be a disastrous model for anything having to do with government. It relies too much on the "good nature" of contributors. As we see very often, some people simply don't have any. And that is double true when it comes to government.

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (0)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765307)

Wikipedia would be a disastrous model for anything having to do with government. It relies too much on the "good nature" of contributors. As we see very often, some people simply don't have any. And that is double true when it comes to government.
I agree. Some defense contractor might get on there and write a law mandating that the pentagon only buy certain supplies from them. Or the corn farmers might pass a law requiring corn products in gasoline. Imagine the government paying people to grow tobacco, thanks to some philip morris employee. Taxes on blank CDs paid directly to record companies. Copyright holders extending the copyright term just as their stuff is about to enter the public domain. We must not have wiki laws, they would be a disaster!

Re:Not Practical In The U.S. (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765165)

As pointed out elsewhere, the people who would participate are too self-selecting. They would just be too small a segment of the U.S. population.

Which is, of course, a significant change from the current state of affairs. After all, we have such a broad range of people participating in the government today, and we'd hate to do anything to upset the balance.

Seriously, though, the problem isn't that we'd get a narrow group of participants, because we already have a lot of that at the moment. At the very least, we'd tend to attract people who get their news from a much wider variety of sources than the current "Everything that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News says is the gospel truth" crowd that seems so dominant in politics at the moment. The real problem is that it will still be just as heavily dominated by corporate interests as the current system is. Thanks to the anonymity of the internet, corporations are free to just pay hordes of well written people to make sure that the bill shapes up in exactly the way that they want it to. In the current system, at least, we are able to tell who is a lobbyist. In an online setting, I don't think it would be nearly that simple.

Yeah cool (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765077)

It's not quite the direct joint neural super entity out of Peter Hamiltons books (the one the Edenists have) but it's a step in the right direction.

Anyone got plans for a neural super entity... sign me up (well, maybe after they get past version 0.1;)

Can I contribute? (4, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765081)

I'm not from New Zealand, but I think with a name like "Police Act" that the law should roughly state: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

It's worth reading this rant [everything2.com] on that popular joke slogan.

News Flash (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765209)

News Flash
Last week all members of New Zealand Police force "on the beat" exclusively consisted of women, wearing erotic bras and thongs. It is believed this is related with the extreme democracy and an Internet phenomenon called the "Slashdot effect".

And now for the weather with Kiri...

Awesome re-branding (4, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765235)

Alternatively, it is proposed that all police forces throughout New Zealand be renamed "The New Zealand Yum-Yum Teddy Bear Strike Force Z"

Populace (1)

s13sr20det (612747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765325)

Fixed that for you: "New Zealand is now on the top of my list for cool governments. They've opened a wiki allowing the densely populated to craft a new version of their Police Act, the legislative basis for policing in New Zealand." I find that many New Zealanders are, in fact, densely populated people. Darned spell checkers, if only they could make up for moran grammer too.

OH MY GOD! THINK OF THE POLITICIANS! (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765463)

What will the poor dears do? They have cigars to buy! Mercedes to pay for! Wars to organise.

 

Can work in some cases, won't work in many (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765473)

It does work in cases where people don't care. Sounds silly, I know, but that's how it is. It will only work for laws people don't feel strongly about. Or laws that only one side (pro or con) feels strongly about and the rest doesn't care.

Take the US and imagine a system like that. Now, take a law about subsidies for agriculture for example. Will it pass? Certainly. The farmers are the only ones who care about it. Do I care? No.

Now take a law about capital punishment, gay marriage or abortion. Then grab popcorn and watch the editwars.

If I was prime minister... (2, Insightful)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765519)

I think that where every 10/20 years the whole law book gets reviewed. Anything not entirely relevant gets removed so as to streamline the whole legal process. Most legal systems are full of laws that go back several hundred years and never get called on these days. If you don't see people herding sheep over london bridge its got nothing to do with the fact it's against the law, its just that there is no need to any more. Rather than the typical knee jerk reactions to some current event, a constantly evolving set of laws would be more in touch with the people and the state of the nation. To this end, a wiki is certainly an interesting way of doing things. A discussion forum on the various subjects may have been better as that would encourage proper discussion and discourage edit wars.
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