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Business wants permanent rightwing dictatorship

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, October 6th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack - Tags: , ,

Last week, No Right Turn picked up on a press release from MYOB calling the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act (CERRA, the Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act) a model for all government:

“The Government’s response to the Canterbury earthquake is not only a welcome relief to local businesses, it also provides a model for the kind of legislative environment businesses want across the country”

If that wasn’t enough confirmation that the capitalist elite is anti-democratic to its core, then check out ex-National chief of staff and principal ‘hollow man’, Richard Long, in the Dom yesterday:

How about giving King Gerry a crack at the whole caboodle?

Perhaps, with his new powers, he should be let loose to solve all our ills, not just those of the quake variety….

if fast-track powers are good enough for these events, what about using the process for the greater good of New Zealand Inc?”

God I hate it when people refer to my home as if it’s a business concern

“It is going to take courageous (read unpopular) big steps.

Prime Minister John Key, with his finely tuned nose for public reaction, can still do no wrong in terms of public support.

But he is increasingly being referred to in the blogosphere as Mr Smile and Wave.

While Mr Key does the frontman act, perhaps Big Gerry, wielding his grand new dictatorial powers, could be given some rope to extend his fiefdom beyond the confines of Canterbury…

To become a wealthy south seas Norway, New Zealand must attract oil explorers prepared to gamble on tapping the huge resources off our coasts.

Fast-tracking this exploration, with appropriate safety regulations, makes sense.

Mr Brownlee attracted the wrath of environmentalists  and a massive protest march in Auckland  when he raised the prospect of a stocktake of Crown land to see just what mineral treasures are hidden beneath…

A little fast-tracking there, too, both for the survey and appropriate mining consents, would have economic dividends.

Then he could address the opposition to dairying in the Mackenzie Country.

This would turn the area green, the environmentalists complain, as if dry tussock is somehow more easy on the eye.

If water supply and effluent concerns can be met, he could usefully fast track this project, too…
The more cow cockies the better.

After sorting this, King Gerry could use his dictatorial powers to address the widely rorted Working for Families (middle- class welfare) and interest-free student loans (upper-class welfare) that cost the country billions.

Then he could dust off the pigeon-holed Brash task force report on how to catch up with Australia.

While King Dick Seddon became a much-loved leader with his many economic reforms, dying in office in 1906 after 13 years as prime minister, King Gerry would probably not win the same acclaim for these measures.”

It’s fundamentally anti-democratic to believe that if you can’t get popular support for something the solution is to do away with democracy. The problem here isn’t democracy, it’s the Right’s crazy policies.

And, now thanks to CERRA, they can do whatever they like.

26 comments on “Business wants permanent rightwing dictatorship ”

  1. come get some 1

    I just read the entire thing as irony and it all seems to make sense

    • Bright Red 1.1

      this is the guy behind Brash’s Owera speech. I wouldn’t be too quick to assume he’s pulling your leg.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2

      When I read it yesterday I thought the same thing, while at the same time thinking that as irony from Long it makes no sense at all.

      It’s ‘kidding on the square’ is what it is.

  2. KJT 2

    In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”

  3. grumpy 3

    KJT said

    “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”

    Well, the “two greatest obstacles to democracy in South Auckland” are that you cant’t fit more than 300 people into the average letter box and the police.

    • Carol 3.1

      Actually the democratic checks and balances worked pretty well to pick up the attempted (and amateurish) electoral fraud in South Auckland very quickly – before anyone could use the fraudulent vote cards. And it’s something that happened in a very local & contained context, – hardly as widespread a threat to the democratic institutions of the whole country by NACT & business interests, as highlighted by Eddie in the above article.

      • grumpy 3.1.1

        That they were picked up at all is a miracle, they are likely to only be the tip of the iceberg though. There is still the issue of 3rd parties using other persons voting papers.

        • Carol 3.1.1.1

          It was hardly a “miracle’ that the attempted electoral fraud in Sth Auckland was picked up. The people who did it really had little understanding of the admin processes & the way that it would be easily noticed.

          It took a lot longer for NZ post to notice that a postie had dumped at least 400 voting packs.

    • Bunji 3.2

      Even more of a threat to democracy is those that don’t get a vote at all in South Auckland – as it’s been trashed by their postie. Wonder who the postie was trying to stop votes for in Mangere?

      • grumpy 3.2.1

        Quite right Bunji, a good argument all round to scrap postal voting. Too easily rigged and a threat to democracy apparently from whatever side of the fence you are on.

        What about the Mayoral votes that went with the local candidate votes? This is serious shit!

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          I would prefer to dump postal voting. I can’t see any particular use for it…

          • grumpy 3.2.1.1.1

            Why not tie it in with the General Election, that would work.

            • lprent 3.2.1.1.1.1

              It’d slow things down a lot for both the voting and count.

              The usual idea with combining them is that it would ‘save money’. However I’d suspect that the increased time taken by people hitting booths would suck up any cost savings pretty fast. If you want to keep the queue size much the same as it is now (good idea – people HATE long long queues), you’d have to increase the number of booths and therefore people by about double.

              A better idea would be to stagger local votes into regions or areas. Then you could reuse the materials and probably a lot of the people in less widespread elections and pre-election. There isn’t any particular reason that all of the local body elections have to be done in the same period.

      • Vicky32 3.2.2

        I did wonder that… simple laziness did not seem a logical reason for his dumping them…
        Deb

    • Vicky32 3.3

      What a creepy comment… Shame!
      Deb

  4. nilats 4

    What about the Papa2toe scam, ain’t that a case of democracy under attack. 3rd world tactics coming to a place near you in the supershitty.

  5. grumpy 5

    Don’t think anyone will argue that KJT (as it applies to the US).

  6. ianmac 6

    I took Richard’s article as ironic. I think that he was raising a gentle warning of the possible direction that this Government could/will take should they win 2011 election. Seems ridiculous now but so did the trashing of ECan and now it seems to have been accepted. Mmmmmm.

  7. Gina 7

    I took Richards article for what it said. There were no real clues as to it being ironic which there should have been if this is what it was.

    I believe the Nats getting voters to register online is a warm up for internet voting which is being touted in the US right now to the horror of the anti electronic voting movement.

    Whether they will try it this election remains to be seen but I wouldn’t put a midnight coupt past them.
    The right wing Irish government went out and spent billions of dollars on paperless electronic voting machines from the US without any public consultation but luckily the Irish media spoke up and the outrage generated forced the government to mothball the machines before the election.
    Believe me any form of electronic voting is the end of democracy in the west. These machines are made by corporations who have their own political agendas.

    There is a NZ firm who have developed an internet voting system which allows voters to view their electronic ballots online but being able to view a ballot is no guarantee that the electronic counting of the ballots has been preformed correctly. That NZ firm recently tried to convince anti electronic voting activists in the US that this system was safe, but were pretty quickly discredited by activists many of them very tech savvy.
    Germany has banned electronic voting because the election scrutineers cannot see inside the machines to prove counting is being done correctly. We know computers can be programmed to do almost anything and there are large companies with millions invested devoted to antiviral software to protect computer firmware and software.
    Even if we are allowed to examine election-counting code slipping in some code later unseen can easily defeat this. Self-eating code that destroys itself after operation can be completely undetectable.
    In the USA there have been criminal convictions of election officials who rigged the Ohio recount. There was never any real recount in Ohio.
    The very beginnings of electronic voting were pushed by the events in votes in Florida 2004 due to hanging Chad’s. It has since been revealed by workers at the companies who made the vote punching machines that they were instructed to deliberately misalign the machines. The aim of this was to use the problems created as an excuse to bring in electronic voting. These claims are from technicians working for those companies at the time.
    Its been a while since I read the article on bradblog.com but if anyone wants to check it out they could email Brad Friedman of Bradblog.com. Our news media in NZ has refused point blank to cover any of the stories relating to the electronic voting mess in the US even though there have been stories by people like Lew Dobbs of CNN and reports from top US universities saying that the machines can be hacked easily in about 1 minute. So many kiwis are sitting ducks and if the Nats tried to pull the wool over their eyes it wouldnt be too hard.
    An IT banking expert who tries to reduce credit card fraud says that with huge recourses and antifraud systems in place they only try to keep fraud to a minimum of 2%. He says that any computer voting system developed can be hacked and that the only safe method of voting is a paper ballot counted by hand. The highly educated Germans agree with him and have banned it permanently.
    Florida has gotten rid of electronic voting machines and replaced them with Ballot scanners that are easily hacked also. They now have a law that says votes counted by machine cannot be recounted by hand and you have to wonder why. Pretty obvious really aint it.
    When electronic voting was introduced in then US there was a media blackout on crazy results that were coming in and when anyone spoke against it they were told that they should trust their election officials. Many of these officials were on the payroll of the electronic voting companies. And there have been prosecutions for fraud but mostly there is little people can do unless the courts will back them. In Ohio 2004 many ballots that were counted by scanners. Activists sued for the preservations of thoses ballots so that they could sue to investigate and recount them. They won with courts ordering the ballots be preserved but that didn’t stop officials throwing them out.in violation of the courts ruling. No one was prosecuted for destroying the protected ballots.

    We in NZ imagine that this sort of thing couldn’t happen here. That’s what Americans were told and believed. Too late now. There is nothing the people can do about it. We need to be on our toes and vigilent. The right to vote is everything that makes NZ a great country.

    Can you imagine what the world would be like without the safe haven for free speech and peaceful activism of the few democracies we have in the world.

    The only way for activism to remain peaceful is with the protection of democracy.Without free speech the only way to change things is through violence and power.

    • Vicky32 7.1

      I agree with you Gina, electronic voting is a scam and a disaster, that much is obvious! We laughed about it during the ’04 US presidential election, but it’s the kid of laughing you do when you don’t want to cry.
      It really must not happen here!
      Deb

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