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Anti-democratic tendencies

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, September 24th, 2013 - 16 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, john key - Tags:

That CV’s almost looking complete and we’ve been loving the baubles and celebrity of a weekend with the Windsors.  Milk it baby.

John Key has come away not only learning that you address a baby as “Sir”, but more committed to keeping the monarchy and changing the flag.  He’s even invited the Cambridges over at our expense – very good of him.

But in that article is a very revealing quote:

“I don’t think New Zealand should rush to become a republic. It may happen one day, but I can’t for the life of me see the benefits of it other than you get to spend a lot of money electing heads of state as opposed to the government appointing one.”

Now apart from the obvious that becoming a republic doesn’t require a popularly elected head of state (a super-majority of the house to elect a President to ensure a “non-political” figure is one option used), this is yet another slip of Key’s true instincts – and they ain’t democratic.

Democracy is just a cost.

The same instincts are there in denying the point of the Keep Our Assets referendum – why spend $9 million on democracy just because more than 340,000 people said so?

Indeed the reality is not just that it is expensive, with Nick Smith’s and David Carter’s comments on ECan we know that National are worried not just about the cost but that voters might make the “wrong decisions.”  So this round of local elections the people of Canterbury will not be trusted to get it right for a second time.  Best just let Key & co handle it – they know better than you what your needs are.

But then with CERA it’s a lot more than just democratic rights they can feel free to override.

In Auckland we’ve seen the anti-democratic tendency in their implementation of the super-city.  Most of the power and spending is locked up in untouchable CCOs.  Even the method of rates calculation (being used against Len Brown by those right of centre) was decided on from on-high.  Hell, to reduce the cost they decided to take the local out of local government and have councillors covering many more people than MPs by only having 20 of them for 1.5 million people.

Indeed all across local government they are looking to hoover up power and decision-making centrally, breaking the principle that those most affected should get to make the decisions.  New Zealand was the most centralised nation in the OECD before they decided to overhaul local government and reduce their remit (and make it easier to chuck the locals out on a minister’s whim).

At least we can give them marks for consistency, with their abuse of urgency meaning people have missed opportunities to improve bills in select committee, and the whole spirit of the GCSB & TICS bills favouring police state over privacy.

Fortunately they won’t be able to cancel the major bit of democracy in 2014, when we get to vote in people who actually want to listen to us – even if we might not make the “Right” decision.


16 comments on “Anti-democratic tendencies”

  1. Sable 1

    No republic until little Johnny gets his knighthood. Lots of pasty Brit arse kissing under the bridge and no doubt more to come, pucker up Johnny!

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Antidemocratic “tendencies

    That’s very generous of you Bunji


  3. North 3

    ShonKey Python’s entire appreciation of the entire monarchy question is commanded according to his having spent a weekend at Balmoral. The place he initially reported as a magnificent “property”. Someone’s obviously had a word of advice with the Gauche Wonder because after Saturday morning it was relentlessly “estate”.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    You stopped quoting too soon, Bunji. It continues:

    However, he said that belief “wouldn’t stop me changing the flag”.

    Notice how Key blithely states that it’s up to his whim whether the flag is changed.

    Sure, I know he’s just being his usual sloppy self when he says “me” he’s really meaning the government leading it etc, but he says these kinds of sloppy things all the time that he obviously doesn’t care about it and I suspect there is really an underlying aspect of thinking himself to have unlimited dictatorial powers.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Actually you can probably expect a referendum on changing the flag if National win a 3rd term. They may even campaign on it.

      • miravox 4.1.1

        Not that I object to changing the flag, but imo Key sees the flag is just a corporate brand and the old one is stale. He sees the silver fern as an appropriate logo…

        “The Rugby World Cup for me really cemented the view we should change to the silver fern.”

        His “tendencies” show that he doesn’t quite get that New Zealand is a country, not a corporation.

      • Sable 4.1.2

        How about a “for sale” flag. I think that would do the trick…

  5. vto 5

    …”Indeed the reality is not just that it is expensive, with Nick Smith’s and David Carter’s comments on ECan we know that National are worried not just about the cost but that voters might make the “wrong decisions.” So this round of local elections the people of Canterbury will not be trusted to get it right for a second time. Best just let Key & co handle it – they know better than you what your needs are.”…

    Their undoing came early but their girth has extended their float

    the leak is imperceptible.. ssss

  6. chrissy 6

    Saw a great photo in the Herald (I think) of key sitting with the queen in her parlour. key is beaming down the lens of the camera and the Queen is picking her nails and looking bored sh… ..umm bored rigid. Bet she’s thinking “just make this boring little man away”. Please!!!

    • miravox 6.1

      I’m still trying to work out how he gatecrashed his family in on that trip and did we pay for it?

      Did we also pay for his wee chat with the Conservative Party (not the government) and his aside with Crosby-Textor?

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.1.1

        +1 @ Miravox

        I would like to know the answer to these questions too. Anyone know?

  7. Wayne 7

    There simply isn’t any popular pressure to become a republic. Every poll has support for a republic around 25 to 33%. So as much as you may protest about John Key’s views on this, he is simply reflecting a large majority of NZer’s. It would be different if the issue was say 45 to 55%, but it isn’t.

    Personally, I do favour a change in the flag. But not black and white. Basically it should have a silver fern on the diagonal with blue on the top left and red on the bottom right, to reflect the existing flag colours. A lot of people would also include the Southern Cross, but in my view that makes it too busy.

    A modest change to the existing flag would be to increase the size of the stars (which look way better than the aussie stars).

    Canada made the change in the mid 60″s and they have one of the most recognisable flags in the world.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      Yeah, because that’s what this post is about, eh Wayne. Not the way your party cancelled elections to avoid a democratic outcome, regards democracy as a cost rather than an asset and generally treats government as a slush fund.

      Lift your game, Dr. Mapp.

    • lprent 7.2

      Personally I don’t care that much about the flag nor (now we dumped the privy council as the final court) the english crown as head of state.

    • karol 7.3

      Actually, I think the MSM infotainment, celebrity culture, diversionary agenda is leading opinions on NZ being a republic or retaining the monarchy.

      I’ve seen online MSM opinion polls before things like royal weddings get a low interest response re- such events. But the MSM keeps putting the young celebrity royals front and centre, so many people start to take an interest.

      Instead, if we had a media that led a debate of substance about the pros and cons of becoming a republic, dominant opinions might be difference.

      Edit: and that infotainment diversionary approach is also part of anti-democratic tendencies.

      There needs to be in-depth public debates on issues of significance, front & centre in the media, for democracy to thrive rather than wither.

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