In response to Murray Hughes' letter regarding my support of STV voting (Chronicle, July 13), this is not an example of pre-determination.
While a Whanganui District Council referendum showed a majority of voters (not community members) in favour of FPP, I researched the topic, learning from independent experts like Professor Janine Hayward.
STV is recognised as a fairer system and results in more representative results. Given our regional council doesn't yet reflect the community it serves, I support a more progressive voting system.
Just like the now-historic debate on spelling Whanganui with an H, I did my research, putting weight on expert views, rather than relying only on the results of a referendum.
I welcome direct correspondence any time – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BLM movement
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) "movement" has been in the news a lot recently for their protests, their riots, their violent assaults, and their ignoring of Covid-19 health restrictions.
Paul Baber (Letters, July 9) takes umbrage at Rob Rattenbury's description of BLM as "anarchic". Perhaps Mr Baber would prefer equivalent words like "lawless", "unruly", or "disordered", which describe much of BLM's aims and activities quite well.
BLM was founded because of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, a young black man, who was shot by a mixed-race man who was neighbourhood watch co-ordinator of the area Trayvon was visiting.
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There is still much contention over BLM's version of the case. BLM came to real prominence after the shooting of young black man Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. BLM promoted the slogan "Hands up, don't shoot" to represent that Michael Brown had his hands up and said "Don't shoot" before the officer shot him.
The fact that there is no evidence of either thing does not deter BLM. Nor does the fact that witnesses and forensic evidence showed that Michael had attacked the police officer and was charging him again at the time he was shot. They still claim it was systemic racism.
So what does BLM actually stand for? What are their policies? ...
While many members of the black community talk about violent crime, poverty etc, and one of the biggest causes of that (according to President Barack Obama), the breakdown of the family, BLM says "we disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family".
While many members of the black community talk about the importance of good policing and co-ordination between police and the community, BLM calls for the defunding of police and says, "we know that police don't keep us safe". Hardly surprising coming from a group founded by people who describe themselves as "trained Marxists".
So, yes Mr Baber, let's have a balanced talk about the political group BLM and their destructive policies, or we could just save time and focus on protecting lives, because they matter.