AmeriNZ 35 – Election

Episode 35 is now available. You can listen to it or download it through the player at the bottom of this post, or subscribe for free through iTunes here (you must have the free iTunes player installed). You can also listen to it for free through the player on my MySpace page.

I begin today by updating earlier topics. That’s at 1:58. Then at 7:47 I talk about the extended topic for today, New Zealand’s local elections. Finally, it’s comments at 15:05.

The opening track today was by a terrible new recording artist. Bridge music is the same.

On Tuesday I talked about how staff at Air New Zealand apparently edited Wikipedia to make the airline look better in an entry about the 1979 crash at Mount Erebus in Antarctica. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (via Stuff), it turns out that people in Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet made 126 changes to Wikipedia articles to remove things that were damaging to the government of current Prime Minister John Howard. But people in Australia’s Defence Department made 5,000 edits! The article says:

Other curious—though apparently non-political—edits by department employees include adding sentences on various sites, including the additions “Freemasonry is the work of Satan”, “Mormonism is the work of Satan” and “Jesus is god”.

Meanwhille, in Canada it’s been revealed that Parliamentary computers were used to add anti-gay comments to Wikipedia articles.

Back in episode 33, I talked about the religious right in New Zealand, and I mentioned that a secretive right wing christianist group tried to influence the 2005 NZ general election by spending over a million dollars on an advertising smear campaign against Labour and the Greens. That group is called the Exclusive Brethren, and they’re back in the news. Australian Prime Minister John Howard met with them recently, as have other members of his government. He defended doing so, calling them, basically, an “ordinary Christian” group. Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has called the group and extremist cult and refused to meet them.

The extended topic for today is the start of the campaigns for local government elections.

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