freedom of speech

In New Zealand, freedom of speech doesn't have to be, and currently isn't, exclusively concerned with preventing the state from punishing people for speech. Nevertheless, people sometimes claim that freedom of speech has to take on that narrow meaning.

(With Colin Gavaghan)

As a society, must we let obnoxious provocateurs have a public stage? How do we decide when others must bear the burden of their speech?  

Up until about a week ago, I and most of New Zealand hadn’t the faintest clue who Lauren Southern or Stefan Molyneux were. Having better things to do than mine the seamier veins of the internet, I still haven’t really engaged in any depth with this pair of Canadian alt-right provocateurs’ “message” (such as they have one beyond “let’s make a buck from owning the libs”).  

Gareth Morgan's attempt to have the High Court thrust him into tonight's TVNZ minor party leaders' debate failed. On the whole, taking everything into account, that's probably a good thing. 

In what is becoming a somewhat predictable election campaign gambit, Gareth Morgan yesterday unsuccessfully went to the High Court to try and force his way into tonight’s minor party leader’s debate on TVNZ, as well as its young voters’ debate next Thursday

Auckland Transport appears to think that selling houses is a more important activity than trying to influence how people may vote. Is this just a sign of the times, or are they simply wrong?

Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an election. My argument was: 

Would it be unfair to say that David Farrar considers the mental anguish anti-abortion protestors cause to women about to undergo a termination procedure matters less than the annoyance a voter may feel at having to refuse to accept a political party leaflet? Maybe it would, so read on and decide for yourself ... .

So it's Friday afternoon, deep into intellectual garbage time, and it's been a wee while since I've taken a gratuitous pot-shot at one of my fellow denizens of the blogosphere. What better reasons do I then need for writing the following?