Written By: notices and features - Date published: 4:09 pm, August 28th, 2013 - 27 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, democratic participation, Media, newspapers, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: granny herald, nz herald
No Right Turn makes the point on what the NZ Herald considers a “democracy under attack” to be. Their track record indicates it only ever happens if they find it harder to get advertising revenue or some of their audience finds harder to make money off selling other people’s assets. Of course having people participating doesn’t appear to them to be a part of democracy.
Just a few years ago, the Herald cast itself as a defender of democracy in the debate over the Electoral Finance Act. But in its editorial on the Labour leadership election yesterday, it showed its true colours. According to the Herald, letting a party’s members vote on its leader:-
carries risks not just for Labour but for the good government of New Zealand if the consensus between the two major parties on economic fundamentals is undermined by a leader’s public commitments in a campaign for the party’s vote.
There is good reason to confine these elections to a party caucus. MPs are generally well briefed on policy issues and aware of the national interest. They also work closely with leadership contenders and are best-placed to assess their character and capabilities.
So, letting us dirty peasants have a say is a threat to “good government” (whatever that means). Better to leave the decision in the hands of a nice, safe, well-insulated and easily subvertable elite. Of course, exactly the same argument applies to national elections. So I guess we can conclude that theHerald supports oligarchy there as well.
What the Herald fails to recognise is that democracy isn’t about making good decisions – its about making our decisions. Those decisions may not be to the liking of the Auckland business elite the Heraldexists to provide a voice for. But if they don’t like it, they should try and convince us, not demand that power be returned to a tight little circle who know best what’s good for themselves “the country”.