Is it just me or does the argument for a four year term of Parliament look a lot like the argument that’s presented for deregulation? I was thinking about this watching Mainzeal go under as its leaky building legacy caught up with it. It’s the same dropkicks who say that government needs to get out of the way of business to create jobs who are saying that the people need to get out of the way of government and let it govern with less ‘regulation’ in the form of elections.
Well, look what deregulation has got us: leaky homes, over-priced internet, casualised, low-wage employment, over-priced electricity, the world’s most high-profit banks (all foreign-owned), and even airports gouging us – to name but a few examples. That’s what the ‘get out of their way and let them get on it with’ argument has got us in the private sector.
Now, they want to apply the same logic to the public sphere. In fact, National has already been conducting an experiment in de-democratisation in Canterbury. Regional council replaced by a dictatorship with further elections on hold because National fears it won’t get the result it wants. Gerry Brownlee overstepping his already incredibly wide powers again and again under CERA and, what’s arguably worse, doing things that are entirely within his power but are having devastating effects on the lives of Christchurch residents.
We know what happens when we ‘let them get on with it’, especially when ‘they’ are politicians, is usually pretty shit. That’s why we have regulation for the private sector and democratic oversight for the public sphere.
You would have to be hopelessly naive to believe that reducing the number of elections by a quarter wouldn’t result in a less democratic government. That’s what the Right wants, of course. But some on the Left seem have this almost sweet-if-it-weren’t-so-stupid faith that the government just wants less democratic control of what it does so that it can do more good things for us. You would have thought that the experience of CERA would have been lesson enough for them.