Impeach John Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, November 29th, 2014 - 142 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, john key - Tags: , ,

We can’t of course, NZ has no mechanism to “impeach” / remove a PM.

In effect NZ is an elected dictatorship, without the checks and balances built in to (for example) the US system. The PM (as long as he retains support in Parliament) can get away with anything. It’s basically an honour system. We expect, and have so far (mostly) received, reasonable and responsible behaviour. Acts are supposed to have consequences. When politicians are caught our screwing up or lying they are supposed to resign. There is supposed to be a measure of shame.

Those old rules no longer apply. The honour system is broken, exposing the flaws of our political model. Key is a rogue PM, who will say and do anything for power. He can only be removed by his own supporters in Parliament, and (of course) that is never going to happen, because they derive all their power and perks through him. Every single one of them will keep their heads down and keep banking the cheques. So we are stuck with an amoral liar for the next 3 years.

I think the US model is badly, paralysingly broken. But now our honour system is broken too. We need something in between. We the people need to reform our political model so that there is a realistic constraint on the elected dictatorship.

142 comments on “Impeach John Key”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100 Good Post…however if there are more exposures it could be a very uncomfortable 3 years for John Key Nactional….maybe this is why they want the warantless spying on New Zealanders

    • whateva next? 1.1

      no doubt, and as we know….absolute power corrupts absolutely! unless you ask the jolly Blinglish, what an unbelievable lot of tripe he talked on The Nation this morning. Does he akshully believe what he says? either way,to think he is in charge of the money we pay for taxes, and the Nation’s coffers is very scary

  2. stever 2

    Good post.

    By chance (in the comments in an article about the Mitchell case—“pleb gate”— in the UK) I came across this comment today:

    “Abolish the House of Lords and replace it by a controlling Court dealing with all matters where politicians’ conduct, public (tax-payers’) money is involved.Something like the Public Accounts Committee chaired admirably by Margaret Hodge. A tranche of a third elected every three years – to keep experience and continuity – possibly regionally by all citizens done electronically. It should have powers to compel attendance and evidence to be given on oath. Disciplinary powers only: no law-making. Say sixty members?”

    Well, we’ve already done the “abolish” bit with our second chamber! 🙂

    But an adaptation of this to our small population might do.

  3. James 3

    It’s only broken because this country is full of assholes and morons. He was elected by the citizens of this country. He’s doing what he can/wants because of them.

    • weka 3.1

      He was elected by less than a third of the citizens* of this country with the considerable help of the MSM and the powerbrokers of NZ.

      *technically he was appointed by the National Party, who were themselves elected by less than a third of the citizens of NZ.

      NZ isn’t full of assholes and morons. It’s full of people who won’t do much about the smaller number of people who are assholes and morons.

      • Tom Jackson 3.1.1

        Yeah it is. Just drive a car around for a bit.

        • AmaKiwi 3.1.1.1

          The people who designed our elected dictatorship thinks it’s working just fine.

          The elite designed the system to provide an appearance of token public participation.

          “Trust me. I’m rich so I know what’s best for you.”

      • Jason 3.1.2

        I always think of a quote from one of Frank Herbert’s Dune books – “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that power is a magnet to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted”.

        • AmaKiwi 3.1.2.1

          + 1 (Jason)

          Excellent quote and so true.

          I belonged to a large organization that elected a president every 4 years. The campaigns started at least a year before the election. Once elected, he/she chose a vice president who was little more than an aid to the president.

          Years ago we elected a president who died within 6 months of taking office. His vice president took over. He turned out to be the best president the organization has ever had. But of course he was different. He was not a “pathological personality” fighting to be the alpha male.

    • whateva next? 3.2

      will they read Russel Norman’s precise explanation on why they need to be afraid?
      https://home.greens.org.nz (as quoted on Stuff)

  4. Manuka AOR 4

    “We the people need to reform our political model so that there is a realistic constraint on the elected dictatorship.”

    No argument there. So, how? What avenues are open?
    What possible steps could be taken?

    • cogito 4.1

      History provides plenty of examples of regime change. History is on the people’s side. Up to each one of us whether we want to have fire in our belly like Andrew Little has shown this week, or just lie back and allow the abuse to continue.

    • b waghorn 4.2

      Full transparency of private funding to parties , a member of the opposition to sit in on all sis briefings and trade deal negotiations a complete record of all communications made from parliament ,they tell use if we’ve done nothing wrong we have nothing to fear from the sis so they won’t have to fear it if they are clean.
      My vote would go to a leader that stand for honest government.

    • Reform is rather pointless, since what has happened is that one side has decided that it can’t live by the usual democratic norms. This has been the same in other countries as well, with the US being the most obvious example – the Republicans decided a while back that they are going to get their way by whatever means they can manage, and they’ve upped the ante since they realised that the electorate won’t punish them for it. That’s now the model for how right wing politics is conducted in the Anglosphere, and it is being followed in the UK, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent here.

      Their strategy is simply to use whatever means necessary to create “facts on the ground”. That means decimating the welfare state via austerity policies and privatisation. Key and co. are nowhere near as bad as the UK Tories who are in the process of wrecking the National Health service and savagely cutting social welfare services, or the Republicans who have largely made the US an ungovernable country with their ridiculous obstructionism (keep an eye on the latest Supreme Court Obamacare case). The idea is to ruin the capacity of society to undo the changes in the long term.

      So it’s just not good enough for a left party to win an election here and follow the normal rules of democratic process. Those rules only work if all parties more or less adhere to them, and it’s clear that the right regard them as optional and that the electorate won’t punish them for it. The ground has shifted and the usual rules no longer apply. The solution is obvious: the left parties have to fight the class war they find themselves in. That means that the left has to go about neutering those institutions of society that are inimical to it. I would suggest that an incoming Labour government remove the influence of private media by introducing fair time rules and breaking up large media companies.

      • cogito 4.3.1

        “the electorate won’t punish them for it”.

        Partly because the electorate don’t really understand the importance. And Mr Keyrrupt thrives on voter ignorance and complacency…. just as countless poisonous political reptiles do/have done across the world.

  5. eszett 5

    That’s a bit of hyperbole and nonsense.
    Lying about a txt message is hardly an impeachable offense.
    And hardly a way to beat John Key. You are thinking like a Republican now. They couldn’t beat Bill Clinton, so they started a bogus impeachment process. About a similar, if more juicy, incident.

    This is the first step eroding the confidence in John Key. But just a first step. Finally a victory for Labour. Finally a leader who could stand up to John Key and look good while doing so as well.

    So our political system is working fine. It’s not broken just because it doesn’t deliver a result that you like.

    Beat John Key on issues, not by removing him through some imaginary impeachment process.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 5.1

      Oh ah, it is only the tiny detail and just utter insignificance of “lying about a txt message”, aye?

      • eszett 5.1.1

        Never said it was insignificant. In fact I did say it is a pretty big win for Labour and the opposition.

        Maybe you should read the post more carefully.

        It’s just not an “impeachable” offence, nor is our political system in jeopardy.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      A bit more lying than just the text messages. Of course, any lying by the PM should have resulted in him being removed.

      In other words, he should have been removed permanently from parliament about 5 years ago.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.2.1

        More likely when he was in opposition, DTB. I don’t think he only started lying when he won the election.

        • I’d actually say it’s a mite bit more serious to lie as a minister of the government or as the Prime Minister specifically as compared to a backbencher or member of the opposition.

    • NZJester 5.3

      It is not that he was caught in one little lie, it is that he systematically lies and allows those around him to lie. If someone in National is caught out in a lie about a serious offense he finds ways to whitewash their lies with narrowly scoped commissions that are not allowed to consider all the evidence. If that report does not exonerate them he then lies about the findings of the report.
      His public face is that of a kind compassionate man but behind the scenes he hides his true uncaring colours. Example: While most of NZ was condemning Slater, he called him personally to commiserate with him over the storm that followed the blogger’s calling a West Coast fatal traffic accident victim “feral”. John Key apparently called the mother an “effing feral woman” according to Slater as she had heckled him at a public meeting. While most people where revolted by Slater’s comments the PM thought it okay for someone to say those kinds of revolting things and to upset a grieving family.
      The only good thing to come out of that was it prompted a hacker to look into Slater emails and pass them on to journalists exposing the real Slater, Key and company.

    • Tracey 5.4

      oral sex with an inturn

      lying about your dealings with a bottom feeder who takes money to publish real and fictional stories that impact govt…

      i am thinking you didnt read the gwyn report given your thinking its just about a text

    • Murray Rawshark 5.5

      Ummm……
      The first thing past the headline says impeachment is not an option. Did you actually read past the headline? My guess would be no.

  6. George Hendry 6

    Thanks Anthony.

    I have been reposting the Avaaz petition to the Governor General, started before the election, to have a full royal commission investigation of National’s dirty politics, and its number of signatures has risen by several hundred although still well short of the ten thousand needed.

    Also from the Governor General’s website, the provision included in the GG’s Reserve Powers for dismissing a Prime Minister, which includes a note (on the site) that this has never yet been used.

    Several contributors assure that such a petition is a waste of time. However, I believe that the GG should only be assumed to be merely a rubber stamp once what is supposed to work has been tried and found not to work. Eg the GG replies and explains that notwithstanding his website he has no such power, or that yes he has it but this situation is nowhere near dire enough for it to be used. Or he doesn’t reply. Based on this people can then decide what to do next.

    The title of your post illustrates clearly what our system lacks and implies that more mature democracies have sooner or later provided for needing to dismiss a corrupt chief executive. Undoubtedly getting such a provision in place was not quick or easy and was only achieved through enough determination for long enough.

    This is a constitutional issue and the model clearly needs fixing. This process I think should involve ongoing discussion to gradually raise awareness among the general public and from that lead to a more lasting fix than what would be achieved by something as farcically short as the legislation currently being forced through with as little feedback as manageable.

    • eszett 6.1

      Maybe you could explain what country has a system that would do just that. What exactly does another country have that we do not and how that would apply to John Key.

      Even the countries that do have an impeachment process, do require some sort of democratically elected process to start of such a process, i.e. a majority in parliament, senate or something similar.

      We have lots of democratic ways to dispose of a leader.

      Not sure what you are referring to, but I don’t see how any country could get rid of the democratic elected leader who also enjoys a comfortable majority and confidence in parliament.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Maybe you could explain what country has a system that would do just that.

        Why explain what other country has what we need? Wouldn’t it be better to describe what we need and then work to implement it?

        We have lots of democratic ways to dispose of a leader.

        In NZ there is no way to remove an MP from office. This was pointed out in the post. Perhaps you failed to read that far though.

        Not sure what you are referring to, but I don’t see how any country could get rid of the democratic elected leader who also enjoys a comfortable majority and confidence in parliament.

        The concept of democracy seems to be beyond you. In a democracy it’s the people who get to remove the MPs when the MPs are failing them – not the other MPs that are likely to side with the failing MP. The process is called recall elections.

        • AmaKiwi 6.1.1.1

          + 1

          Government of the people;
          By the people;
          For the people.

        • NZJester 6.1.1.2

          There are 3 ways for a PM in NZ to be removed from power. A general election, A successful vote of no confidence in the house or by the Governor General dismissing him. Key has the first two ways locked down and at the moment only by getting the Governor General to start an inquiry will their be a chance of the third happening.
          But you can bet Key will be trying to lock that third way down tight also. If an inquiry is called he will try and make sure the scope is super narrow.

          • Paul 6.1.1.2.1

            Or a coup within the National Party.

            • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Marilyn Waring and Derek Quigley are long gone. I don’t think there’s anyone in the NAct caucus with the required moral fibre. Key is far worse than Muldoon ever was, but Rogernomics and its continuation have really made a mess of things. They’ve ensured that NAct is full of true believers and the only standard is profit. The worst thing is that Labour isn’t significantly better.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.2.2

            There’s really no chance of the third as well as long as the government has enough support to pass a bill against it. The way our constitutional arrangements work, if parliament passed the governor-general’s death warrant, he’d be constitutionally required to sign it.

      • Wayne 6.1.2

        There are many checks and balances.
        As the Attorney General states, all New Zealanders are subject to the rule of law. So if any politicians breaches a penal statute they are likely to be prosecuted. Ask John Banks or Philip Field about that. There is the powerful tool of private prosecutions as part of this.
        No government can do anything that is not authorized by law – Fitzgerald v Muldoon – essentially a private civil action.
        An incorrect answer in the House requires immediate correction, or else it is a breach of privilege, and a reference to the Privileges Committee, which is no small thing – ask Winston Peters.
        And every week the PM and Ministers have to answer questions in the House.
        There are various inquiries that are held, and that are inevitably subject to parliamentary questions and comment.
        And ultimately New Zealand has elections every three years.

        • felix 6.1.2.1

          “And every week the PM and Ministers have to answer questions in the House.”

          No, they don’t., They need only addrees them.

          • felix 6.1.2.1.1

            Sorry, “address”. Typos are forgivable.

            Ministers of the Crown not knowing the most basic rules of Parliament, on the other hand…

  7. Blue 7

    The reality is that Key has the support of the majority of people who bothered to vote. Those who could not be bothered tacitly endorsed him by their choice not to vote.

    National received over 50,000 more votes than they received at the 2011 election. That’s 50,000 people who prefer National when they have been shown to be corrupt liars than when they were just suspected of being corrupt liars.

    The voting population of NZ don’t mind that Key lies to them. They aren’t bothered that he has abused the power of the state to damage his political opponents. They couldn’t care less that he has shown no contrition for any of his behaviour and intends to continue on as he has been doing.

    Even if there were means to impeach him, most NZers wouldn’t want to.

    • kenny 7.1

      Sad but true.

      Until the msm tell the people what the problem is and what to do, nothing will happen.

      I’m not going to hold my breath.

    • Tom Jackson 7.2

      That’s as absurd as saying that you endorsed the winner of American Idol if you didn’t bother voting.

  8. Once was Tim 8

    I’m a bit naive about the technicalities of our constitutional law, but I do wonder whether there isn’t something that can be done should there be some sort of crisis.
    I’ve asked this before but no one seemed to know. I wonder whether the Guv or the Judiciary have any sort of influence/powers. I mean the Guv provides Ministerial Warrants does he/she not? Could he therefore not also rescind them?
    Perhaps the waters should be tested if this crap continues. And what of Madge in London?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The GG has the power to remove the PM. Such a power has, to my knowledge, only been used once in the Commonwealth and that was in Australia at the behest of the US.

      • Once was Tim 8.1.1

        Yep, I was there at the time. But what you say is as I imagined.
        It might be time at LEAST for opposition parties to register their displeasure with Guv Jer and point out the obvious – that Key has lied and subverted/politicised state agencies for his own ends.

    • JanM 8.2

      “In a very few instances, the Governor-General may exercise a degree of personal
      discretion, under what are known as the “reserve powers.” The most important of these is the appointment of a Prime Minister following an election, or accepting the resignation of an incumbent Prime Minister.
      By convention, the Governor-General will always appoint as Prime Minister the person who has been identified through the government formation process as the person who will lead the party or group of parties that appears able to command the confidence of the House of Representatives. The Governor-General expects that there will be clear and public statements that a political agreement has been reached and that a government can be formed that will have the support of the new Parliament. The Governor-General abides by the outcome of the government formation process.

      Other reserve powers are to dismiss a Prime Minister, to force a dissolution of Parliament and call new elections, to refuse a Prime Minister’s request for an election, and to refuse assent to legislation.

      These powers to act without or even against ministerial advice are reserved for the most extreme situations and with the exception of the appointment of a Prime Minister following an election, no New Zealand Governor-General has ever needed to use them.”

      • Treetop 8.2.1

        I thought that the GG has to sign off an inquiry.

        Key elected the current GG.

        At some point around 2011 did the current GG not be an interim director of the SIS?

        If I am correct a clever move by Key and the GG maybe involved.

        • Treetop 8.2.1.1

          Lt General Mateparae became director of the GCSB on 7 February 2011.

          I am not sure if the GCSB can over ride the SIS.

          Key had a laugh over Labour replacing the leader 4 times since Clark. Key had a restless period over the directors of the GCSB and SIS. To some extent even replacing the SIS minister (himself with Findlayson).

          I saw this week the attitude of Key, Ede has gone de Joux has gone and Tucker has gone. Key seems to think that when a person goes from his held office and are answerable for their actions, they are no longer held to account by him.

          The worst is, Key does not think he is answerable to anyone and chooses to flip between being the PM and a private citizen, when it comes to the some sort of breed of mole (Slater). The moles in Key’s world, just may turn against one another.

          Key has 50 mill and Slater may even try to blackmail him.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Those old rules no longer apply. The honour system is broken, exposing the flaws of our political model.

    The honour system never works as those without honour simply ignore it and continue with the damage that they do.

  10. It would be a shameful day and a major defeat for democracy and standards of decency if we choose to discard our system of honourable people doing an honourable job with honourable intentions. That would satisfy the likes of the dishonourable especially those with the money to hire their equally dishonourable legal sharks.

    Open Government will ensure accountability to the electorate and community. The Official Information Act needs to be overhauled and strengthened or repealed and new more robust legislation put in place , including penalties for breaching the rules.

    All public information (anything parliament or the state sector does, says or acts on) needs to be immediately made available and readily accessible in a clear and understandable form.

    The Privacy legislation needs to be consistent with the rules of open government and not allow cover up of private business interests receiving public money of any sort including tax breaks and tax payer subsidies.

    We need to strengthen our system of honours not weaken it.

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      “It would be a shameful day and a major defeat for democracy”

      NZ is NOT a democracy. That’s the point.

      We have an elected DICTATORSHIP.

      What’s shameful is when we don’t refute the business elite and msm when they perpetuate the “we’re a democracy” lie.

      • Foreign waka 10.1.1

        I don’t belief that you know what a dictatorship is and what it means to live under one. NZ has a democracy but its people are undereducated, have no idea about history, local and world. This leads to apathy and the motion that all that counts is to not be bothered with the details. This has never been different, not in the 70′ 80′ 90′ etc… the one difference today is the means of exchange of information. This has its own perils as no one can really verify what is true and what is not. So we are coming back to – yes, education. As long as NZlanders don’t know what they want as a political outcome it will only get worse.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      Give Joe Tonner and Foreign Waka a soapbox. Their discourse needs an elevated base above the hoi polloi mingling below. The words are grand and thrilling, I’ll sign up now sir.

    • miravox 10.3

      Well said Joe Tonner.

      The problem we have is that the current lot are doing the opposite. At best the approach is to reassure people that the honourables are working in their interests without providing much evidence that this is the case. The decision-making process is increasingly obscured and dictatorial (e.g. reduced select committee processes and emergency legislation; deals done over dinners).

      It’s going to take a mighty big attitude adjustment – one that often comes about through crisis, or if we’re lucky realised by someone who can rise above the seduction of power – to turn this around.

  11. aerobubble 11

    Key should of just said “brief Goff he is unsatisified”, to the SIS,
    but instead the attack line was exposed, Key brought into it,
    and Slater was off drolling all over it, back tracking would
    hurt Key.

    The attack line come from a Key National staffer, who used the
    implicit anoynomity of the intelligence service to make a political
    knock out blow, worse, targetting the leader of the opposition leader.

    So Key does not want to say he used the intelligence service
    to undermine the opposition leader (big government police
    state type stuff), yet also does not want to say his people
    (Slater-Ede) created the attack line. to begin with and
    were inevitably going to when he gave Ede (outside the PM
    office) access to the intelligence services. Ede had the
    ability to look into the PM office, and security matters.

    The report does not exonerate Key, it merely provides the ammunition
    of facts, that Key cannot refute (like Goff before), that
    show he undermined parliament and democracy, sure after the
    his smear machine manufactured it, he brought into it.
    This will not go away. He cant buy into the facts now, so
    he cant move on, because it all looks like a white wash.

    But here’s what worse. Key was out of the country, the attack
    on the opposition leader, using the protection of the intelligence
    agencies, looks like it was timed when Key was aboard, on holiday.
    The opposition cannot use state secrets to undermine the PM,
    this should never have been an attack line, used by the National
    party, its staffers and blogger, to fight a parliamentary election.
    Where is the Speaker, when the Monarch goes to far, the Speaker stands up
    and protects parliament and democracy. This is wrong, a PM, as
    leader of their party runs a political smear machne, sure they
    all do it. Yet all matters of humans are flawed, limits are
    reached, and over stepped, this was such a time (and Hager
    says not the only time, aka Collins and SSFO CEO). Key’s government
    have no limits on what is fair game. The Speaker has a duty to
    protect parliament from the Monarch’s excess abuse of power.

    All Key had to have done was order the SIS to give Goff another
    briefing. The report say no collusion between SIS and PM office!
    LOL. Key admits all administrations have a smear machine, LOL!
    Key continues to ignore the Opposition leader is a official
    part of our democracy, that he cannot allow his smear machine to
    undermine by using the implicit anonymous SIS against the Opposition
    leader. The SIS cannot be used to score political points, yet Key
    brought into the attack line, and so is not a suitable person to
    be PM. The fact he cannot move on, will not move on, hurts our
    democracy, and the effectiveness of the Oppositions’ ability to
    hold the government to account.

    Put it another way, Key hired individuals who ran a smear campaign
    that went to far, and as their boss, he has to take responsibility
    for their incompetence, Slater’s incompetence, and resign. He
    denied the opposition leader SIS briefing, re-briefing, that
    ability to get details to hold government to account, has been undermined.

  12. Macro 12

    There is of course the Queen.aka Governor General……
    e.g. In Australia Sir John Kerr, controversially dismissed Whitlam and commissioned the Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser in Nov 1975!
    Things are in many ways not the same here, Key and English will continue to lie to NZ, the Nats will continue to run the country into the ground and the opposition are unable to stop them, unless there is a defection from within their ranks.
    There could be an appeal / petition to HM by the people of NZ by-passing the Govt requesting the PM be held to account over demonstrable corrupt practice. Would she sully her hands over such a matter? I’m not sure – she is after all a titular Head rather than a reigning monarch. But why else have her if she does not perform her original function?

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      You imagine Elizabeth Windsor might remove a fellow elitist to please the unwashed masses? Ha, ha, ha.

    • aerobubble 12.2

      Key rushed a militray man into the GG spot. Militrary types follow order, their career depends on their alligence to authority.

      • aerobubble 12.2.1

        Also the GG had overseen -some of the Dotcom… ..I think… or atleast was rushed off the job to keep the… ..who knows… Keys not telling.

      • Macro 12.2.2

        I happen to hold a commission from the queen myself…
        And yes “always obey the last order!” – especially from she who must be obeyed 🙂

  13. aerobubble 13

    Key is not going anywhere, the sad fact is Slater is now more important that the position of Opposition leader. The PM has more confidence, respect, and concern for Slater than for our democracy, or his own legacy.

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      Currency traders don’t understand the concept of legacies. They only respect the profit they made on their last trade which was made by exploiting someone’s weaknesses.

      Exploit weakness for your own profit is their Golden Rule.

      Biblical translation: “Destroy others as you would expect others to destroy you.”

  14. Bill 14

    I’d a bit of a problem understanding aspects of the post; couldn’t understand what was meant by ‘honour system’.

    Anyway. Having just picked myself up off the floor, I have this question. Where or what is the “honour” in this society, where some exercise power over others on the basis of some mythical ‘social contract’?

    Representative forms of governance always gravitate towards more dictatorial forms of governance. What we have, as acknowledged in the post, is a precarious balancing act that takes power from the general populace and delivers, what you might call, the opportunity to practice soft dictatorial rule to political elites and those they are allied to.

    Anyway, my point is that there is no prospect of achieving perpetual balance in the system of governance we have. It’s destined to devolve into harder forms of dictatorial governance sooner or later. Surely then, we would be better to acknowledge that and remove the precursor for a future dictatorship – ie, move away from representative forms of governance altogether, rather than wasting our time and energy on what can only ever be a hiding to nothing.

    • AmaKiwi 14.1

      When I say “let the people decide through binding citizen initiated referendums” a frequent reply is “you can’t trust the people because they are selfish.”

      And politicians and those who own them aren’t!

      As the Ice Landers and Swiss have demonstrated for centuries, the 10% who are extremely selfishly “for” and the 10% who are extremely selfishly “against” are offset by the 80% who vote for what they think is best for the whole society.

      It’s amazing how the Anglo-Saxon elite have convinced so many of us that they are trustworthy but we are not.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        When I say “let the people decide through binding citizen initiated referendums” a frequent reply is “you can’t trust the people because they are selfish.”

        Yep, get that all the time and it’s such irritating BS.

        It’s amazing how the Anglo-Saxon elite have convinced so many of us that they are trustworthy but we are not.

        QFT

      • Bill 14.1.2

        Binding referendums don’t work for the simple reason that the pre-referendum debate is gamed. Those with more access to financial resources set the agenda (Switzerland and CEO pay?). Or questions ‘arise’ at convenient moments…(Switzerland and minarets?)

        Also, who the hell are you asking to action any referendum result if not a representative political elite operating in a non-representative and undemocratic market context?

        Far better, if you want democracy, to develop democratic means of governance.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2.1

          Binding referendums don’t work for the simple reason that the pre-referendum debate is gamed.

          So we put in place rules that prevent that from happening.

          Also, who the hell are you asking to action any referendum result if not a representative political elite operating in a non-representative and undemocratic market context?

          With binding referenda we could get rid of the elected representatives. We’d still need the bureaucracy though and so we’d have to put in place ways to ensure that they remain accountable to us.

          Far better, if you want democracy, to develop democratic means of governance.

          We’re trying but you’re getting in the way with your whinging about not being able to do so.

          • Bill 14.1.2.1.1

            No DtB. I’m not ‘whinging about not being able to do so’. I’m merely pointing out that your proposal isn’t democratic.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2.1.1.1

              What’s not democratic about everyone having a say if a policy gets accepted or not?

              • Bill

                What’s not democratic about it is the lead-up to important votes inevitably being gamed.
                What’s not democratic about it is the empowerment of easily captured institutions of enactment.
                What’s not democratic about it is the asymmetries of power in the wider context these referendums are meant to take place within.
                What’s not democratic about it is the inevitable dis-empowerment that will be experienced at the local level because meaningful power resides within the necessary bureaucratic institutions.
                What’s not democratic about it is that the majority will dictate to the minority – in line with their prejudices and what not.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  All of which need working on and not a declaration that it just can’t be done. As I said, all you do is whinge that it can’t be done.

                  • Bill

                    Sure Draco. Apply wishful thinking to glaring structural deficiencies. The stuff I’ve pointed to is inherent to your proposal. You can do what you say, but the result won’t be democratic, and because of those inherent structural flaws, can’t ever be.

                    • TheContrarian

                      The glaring problem is that some ~250 bills are proposed every year.

                      If everyone voted on every proposal you’d no time to do anything else. It can’t work.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Apply wishful thinking to glaring structural deficiencies.

                      And I’ve said all along that we need to change the structure. Binding referenda would be one part in that change.

                      The glaring problem is that some ~250 bills are proposed every year.

                      That’s not a glaring problem as I’ve pointed out to you before. Or, to put it another way, how many of those bills are mere administrative and don’t need everyone’s input and how many are major policy changes that do?

                      And why do you think that only some people can achieve one decision per day?

                    • TheContrarian

                      So who decides which ones are not important and who votes on those? Some ‘administrative’ bills may not be important to you but may be vitally important to others.

                      It isn’t just ticking a box Draco. Some major policies require reading, understanding and are ten’s if not hundreds of pages long. Do you have time for all the reading and understanding of not just one bill but potentially hundreds? Do you have the time to understand all the downstream effects of what is being voted on, how it impacts people, business and society of the bills presented? Because I sure as shit don’t.

                      I don’t’ think you have thought this through properly. A direct democracy of 4 million people would be an epic cluster-fuck.

                    • felix

                      Agree TC.

                      The evidence is that every government describes controversial proposals as “mere administrative changes”.

                      A recent example that springs to mind is the employment act changes which the left tend to view as part of a long-term agenda to diminish workplace rights.

                      Another is the reclassification of large areas of our conservation estate and coastal waters which enables prospecting and exploration for mineral extraction in previously protected public areas.

                      Both of those are highly controversial moves and both are described by the govt as minor administrative matters.

                      And I’m sure if you go back to the previous govt you’ll find the same sort of language used for things the other side found just as controversial.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So who decides which ones are not important and who votes on those?

                      That would be deciding on a set of rules that determined if they were administrative or policy.

                      Some major policies require reading, understanding and are ten’s if not hundreds of pages long.

                      So it would take a couple of years for those policies to go through. Others would only require a few pages to read and would thus go through faster unless they were dependent on the longer ones.

                      Do you have the time to understand all the downstream effects of what is being voted on, how it impacts people, business and society of the bills presented?

                      And as I’ve also pointed out we can drop the work required by people by 75%. When people only have to work 10 hours or less per week then they would have the time to govern themselves as well.

                      A direct democracy of 4 million people would be an epic cluster-fuck.

                      Bollocks. It would take some work on everyone’s part but it would work.

                      The evidence is that every government describes controversial proposals as “mere administrative changes”.

                      The changes that this government describe as administrative involve changes in policy and thus would never be considered administrative under the rules regarding if a bill was administrative or policy.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “That would be deciding on a set of rules that determined if they were administrative or policy.”

                      Even administrative bills have an effect on policy for someone.

                      “So it would take a couple of years for those policies to go through.”

                      That is a ridiculous proposition. Some changes to policy might be relatively urgent – are we to wait several years to make large policy changes on something that requires immediate action?

                      “And as I’ve also pointed out we can drop the work required by people by 75%.”

                      You see now this is where your fuzzy logic comes in. If we just do x then we can do z. Your introducing a ton of preconditions, with their own caveats, to make a point about something that could be done – if your criteria is met.

                      “When people only have to work 10 hours or less per week then they would have the time to govern themselves as well.”

                      The closest thing we have to a direct democracy is Switzerland – and that has a voter turnout of under 50%. Is there even the desire? Again you introduce these preconditions with their own caveats, problems and issues.

                      “The changes that this government describe as administrative involve changes in policy”

                      As said – even the smallest administrative change can have direct policy changes on others.

                      You haven’t thought this through properly. You’re just building castles in the sky.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Even administrative bills have an effect on policy for someone.

                      Then you’ll be able to show one.

                      Some changes to policy might be relatively urgent

                      And, as I’ve pointed out to you before, we could allow the bureaucracy to make urgent decisions that could then be ratified or overturned by democratic means after.

                      If we just do x then we can do z. Your introducing a ton of preconditions, with their own caveats, to make a point about something that could be done – if your criteria is met.

                      It’s not a pre-condition. I am, after all, talking about changing the entire system and not just adding something on to the present failed system. All of it is a work towards goal with a lot of things happening simultaneously to bring that goal about.

                      The closest thing we have to a direct democracy is Switzerland – and that has a voter turnout of under 50%.

                      So? We would prefer and would work towards better but that not actually a good reason to stay with status quo.

                      You haven’t thought this through properly.

                      But at least I have thought about it and how to go about it rather than whinging about it being too hard. We need to change the present system because it is a total failure and we’re not going to get that change without thinking about what to replace it with.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Then you’ll be able to show one.”

                      You’ll have to define what you mean by an ‘administrative’ bill in relation to a policy bill first. But at a quick glance here are all the bills presented in the past year, a very large number indeed will impact people. So we going to vote on them all? – http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/bills?Criteria.Keyword=&Criteria.Timeframe=365.00%3A00%3A00.000&Criteria.Parliament=-1&Criteria.DocumentType=&Criteria.Status=&Search=Go

                      “And, as I’ve pointed out to you before, we could allow the bureaucracy to make urgent decisions that could then be ratified or overturned by democratic means after.”

                      Yeah, what a fucking cluster fuck. An ass-backwards way to govern.

                      Just because we need to change the present system doesn’t mean every pie in the sky idea has equal merit. I’m not ‘whinging about it’ – I’m pointing out the flaws in your idea. Which are numerous.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You’ll have to define what you mean by an ‘administrative’ bill in relation to a policy bill first.

                      One of the bills that gets passed every year is a simple acceptance of the previous years spending. This is what I’d call administrative. A policy decision would change the rules that people operate under.

                      Yeah, what a fucking cluster fuck. An ass-backwards way to govern.

                      Why? As you say, sometimes decisions need to made urgently and so some leeway needs to be there to allow such urgent decisions. We then need to ensure that it was an urgent decision and if we’re happy with it or not.

                      I’m not ‘whinging about it’ – I’m pointing out the flaws in your idea. Which are numerous.

                      All of which I’ve answered which means that you’re now whinging.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Cool, so that’s one bill we don’t need to worry about.

                      How about you look at that list I linked to which shows a great many, a majority, of bills will effect policy and peoples lives. Are we voting on them all?

                      “Why? ”

                      Because you pass a bill urgently without a public vote then spend years getting it repealed all the while other bills are being passed urgently that will require more time to repeal. It’s ass backwards, and inefficient.

                      “All of which I’ve answered which means that you’re now whinging.”

                      Each answer raises more questions than the last, so it isn’t whinging – it’s pointing out the problems with your idea.

        • KJS0ne 14.1.2.2

          So Bill, out of interest, if it’s not representative democracy, and not direct democracy via referendum, what is your ideal solution? Genuine question.

          By the way, your framing of the system as ‘soft dictatorship’ is by no means at odds with the original meaning of the word, as I’m sure you’re aware. In the early Roman times, consuls or generals of high standing were given the office of dictator for a year or two at most for the purpose of accomplishing some task, usually a war, and then were expected to step down (term limit).

          • Bill 14.1.2.2.1

            Referendums aren’t any kind of form of direct democracy. At best (and this is a fucking nightmare) you wind up with some expression of democratic centralism.

            Now sure, you might not wind up with the ‘red bureaucracy’ that Bakunin warned of in relation to the Bolshevik’s and the Russian Revolution, but the colour aside, that’s basically where this referendum nonsense leads to.

            Just look at the wider undemocratic context this proposal is meant to operate within and the massive asymmetries of power contained in that wider context and the wide open opportunities for institutional gaming and institutional capture that wider context affords.

            • KJS0ne 14.1.2.2.1.1

              Good point re: undemocratic context which we would expect referenda to operate in, but not an answer to my question. What do you suggest as the best means of governance if neither of these two options are worth a bob long run. I am looking to move beyond the dichotomy that people (or perhaps my projections) tend to be stuck in.

              Deliberative, Participatory, Sociocracy? None of the above? What do you propose?

              • Bill

                I’ve debated this at length elsewhere and earlier on ‘ts’.

                But anyway – direct, essentially community bound, democracy – where each person having input into decisions does so roughly to the extent that any decision will affect them. Obviously then, democracy involves the abolition of the market, a lot of unlearning of bad habits….and practice! 😉

                • KJS0ne

                  Without willful intent to stereotype or pop you and your views in a neat little box marked X, does the following align with what you are saying?

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusive_Democracy

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, on a National level how much effect does having rules that protect the environment have on people? Should everyone have a say on it or just the farmers?

                  • Bill

                    Well how about on a global level? Something like car manufacturing and running engines on fossil fuels simply wouldn’t have happened due to scientific/environmental considerations.

                    As it is, no-one had input.

                    Under a referendum, I’d suspect the questions would have weighted to favour those on jobs and what not (your proposal leaves the market intact), while environmental and scientific concerns would have been sidelined or diminished.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      As it is, no-one had input.

                      And you seem to be against anyone having the input in your aversion to binding referenda.

                      You do understand that I’ve always worked on the principle that policy decisions should constrain the market and to, eventually, eliminate it don’t you?

                • Bill

                  And you seem to be against anyone having the input in your aversion to binding referenda.

                  This is just going to get circular. What I’ve said is that referendums do not produce democratic outcomes. So why promote them? Meanwhile, and not for the first time, I’ve pointed to some decision making scenarios that would produce genuinely democratic outcomes off the back of genuinely democratic processes.

                  Maybe you should re-read the comments below the link you provide when you talk about eliminating the market. In those comments you argue against my contention that the market needs to be abolished if there is to be any hope of facilitating democracy. (Granted, I also put forward a syndicalist argument that I wouldn’t hold to today, on the grounds that complexity naturally arises from quite simple initial conditions.)

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I think the real difference between us is that I see referenda as a step along the path to a more democratic society whereas you see them as a waste of time and want full democracy now, now, now. But such revolutionary shifts never work and society ends up back where it started. The rise and fall of the USSR is a good example of this.

                    You take a small step, get people engaged in it and then take another step. To be successful we have to change the culture along the way and that’s the hard part.

            • AmaKiwi 14.1.2.2.1.2

              @ Bill

              With referendums “At best (and this is a fucking nightmare) you wind up with some expression of democratic centralism.”

              What’s wrong with democratic centralism?

              The center is not a fixed position. What is centrist in one society (Muslims don’t drink) is extreme in another (one in six NZers has a drinking problem).

              Let the people decide where the center is in their own nation.

              • Paul

                It must be localised too

              • Bill

                Democratic centralism is power that’s structured in such a way that ‘signals’ flow from the base to the apex (getting censored, twisted, discarded or whatever, on the way and by various means) and then signals pertaining to action, and usually enforceable thanks to institutional capture, get sent back down from the apex to the base.

                I have no fucking idea how you got cultural drinking norms into the picture.

  15. whateva next? 15

    Nixon was impeached due to the actions of journalists, is that ever going to happen here, National has done their groundwork well, seducing the MSM

  16. KJS0ne 16

    The USA model is like an old muscle car, it is still beautiful, if not a bit out dated and missing a few mod cons, but you put your foot down and it will still take you places, fast and in style. Problem is its owned by this selfish arrogant prick who does burnouts and rarks up the neighbours at 4 in the morning. He doesn’t maintain it well or treat it with the respect it deserves. He is a parasite upon it.

    Or you could use another analogy, that of a beautiful old temple buried under a substantial amount of detritus, vines, leaves and fungi. Someone needs to clear it all away.

    As I see it, the US governance faces four main problems:

    1. Gerrymandering by the ‘No’ party (the far right republicans) so much so that the scales are well and truly tipped in their favour and total votes no longer accurately reflects the make up of the house and senate. Redistricting should be done independently not by one party buying off local state senators and judges and drawing the district lines to get the most seats for their own party on capitol hill. Districts are supossed to be ‘per head’ representation.

    2. Corruption ala poor campaign financing legislation that means reps and senators are bought and paid for by special interest groups (it costs millions to run a successful campaign for congress), and do not reflect the wants and needs of their nominal constituents. A Democracy that has many checks and ballences has been subverted into an Oligarchy.

    3. The supreme court justices are political appointments by the reigning president (confirmed by the senate) so whichever party is in power in the oval office selects their own guys for a tenure. These justices do not tend to be in anyway impartial, and whichever party holds the majority of justices, generally gets their way on any ruling.

    4. Gridlock of any and every important congressional function. The rise of the fillabuster has hurt, but that is by no means the worst flashpoint of gridlock, take for example Tea party republicans holding the federal government hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless their demands were met. The republican leadership couldn’t even control their own reps, who backed themselves into a corner, as they were elected over more traditional conservatives by promising the world to the far right tea party constituents, they couldn’t themselves back down without losing their chances of reelection, even when to do so would shut down the federal government and send thousands of employees home without pay. Hell, a lot of republican congressmen and women privately believe in AGW, but publically pretend its a load of nonsense and halt any attempts to put action into place regarding it, for they know if they cross the floor they’re committing political suicide.

    Underneath all that crap is a system that was designed with a lot of thought and careful planning, there are some very admirable qualities to the design of the US government, just a real shame it has been hijacked by the corporations and wealthy elite and used for nefarious purposes. There are a few things worth importing, impeachment being one. Though it is important to remember impeachment itself us just the first step in the process, and if the accused is found guilty, his or her removal still needs to be ratified by house and senate. Clinton was impeached if you remember, but was voted down in the senate. It is not a judicial process but a political one and thus guilty parties can still get away with murder so to speak.

    Good article on impeachment: http://aer.ph/the-great-misconception-about-impeachment/

  17. NZSage 17

    Rest easy everyone Bill English assures us all that “”John Key runs the most transparent government that New Zealand’s ever seen.”

    See: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11366368

    You just couldn’t make this stuff up!

    • Ffloyd 17.1

      English is often trotted out to use that line. Even he looks like he doesn’t believe it. The only thing transparent about key is his lack of transparency.

  18. Heather 18

    The problem in all you say is that the majority of New Zealanders like and think John Key and his cronies are good, honest and wonderful people .. we on the other side have a different view.
    The House of Cards is crumbling, bit by by and soon hopefully, it will fall right down.
    I honestly believe, despite English saying this morning ‘people don’t care’, that the community are starting to see all is not right on Planet Key.
    The next poll will be most interesting, when do you think it will be?

  19. Maisie 19

    I dunno – there are a couple of good people there capable of crossing the floor and bringing them down. Marama Fox for example – there’s only so much bullshit she’ll be able to swallow.

  20. music4menz 20

    Andrew Little referred to Slater as being ‘delusional’ this week for his comments about being targeted by the Labour Party.

    Reading the bulk of the comments on this thread leads me to conclude that ‘delusional’ should be the word of the week.

    Why on earth would anyone post an article about impeaching John Key when it is simply impossible in the New Zealand context- even on some sort of metaphorical level.

    We had an election 2 months ago and democracy spoke. If there was to be any sort of ‘removal’ from office or pseudo ‘impeachment’ then that would have been the time.

    It didn’t happen, folks. The people spoke. Democracy at work.

    • Paul 20.1

      Nixon got reelected after Watergate.
      Then the truth caught up with him.
      You need to learn your history.

      • KJS0ne 20.1.1

        Well, the linking of Watergate to the White House and Nixon only really occurred in 1973, the election was in ’72. There are some key differences if you’ll excuse the pun.

        The sentiment you are expressing is spot on though.

        • Treetop 20.1.1.1

          Everything on Watergate has been released and is available to be read in some US library. Whenever anything new is discovered it is eventually released.

          There is a list of “in the publics interest” unreleased info in NZ.

          Police invovement of Crewe murders.
          Full police evidence into Moyle inquiry of December 1976.
          Collins (pilot) coordinates to Erebus (35th anniversary was on 28 November) disappeared from the lockup.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2

      Did you read the very first line of the OP?

    • Ian 20.3

      Totally agree .This is central station for hatred and delusional.I have never come across a worse bunch of poor losers .

      • Weepus beard 20.3.1

        So you think Slater is a good person?

        I hope you don’t mind if I put you in a box.

      • Paul 20.3.2

        Do you agree with the SIS being used to smear opposition leaders?

      • greywarshark 20.3.3

        Ian
        Is there a RW move against the TS commenters around a ‘poor losers’ theme? That is the second time I’ve read this just lately. Coming out of a copybook for illiterates is it?

      • locus 20.3.4

        Not hate, that is nat supporters’ mo, see slaterblog for proof. Just anger with unwillingness of nat supporters to read Dirty Politics. Anger at honourable people being trashed by dishonourable people abusing power

    • Murray Rawshark 20.4

      The article is not about impeaching John Key. Did you read past the headline? I doubt it.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.5

      The post, as you’d know if you’d bothered to read it, was about the lack of accountability of government.

  21. finbar 21

    Only in America.Key will not be shifted only the people voting will do that or his friends supporting his majority getting upset,that is doubtful,being one parasite the other grasping for any ones care,The other one also parasite.The only way Key and his corporation may be shifted,is us our being getting out in the street crying out,our vote is not given to to to tell us lies.Of course that is not going to happen,Marmite or Vegimite on your breakfast toast.

  22. philj 22

    What are the TAB odds on JK making the next General Election? Judith…. are you listening?

  23. DS 23

    No. A thousand times no.

    Key, like it or not, was elected by the people. That’s why we have elections: they have consequences.

    What you are proposing is a system whereby a minority can hold the majority hostage. And once it’s done once, it can be done by the other side too. How would you like to see the Nats threatening impeachment proceedings against Helen Clark? Same with appeals to the Governor General. The Governor General is there to do what the Prime Minister tells them, because the Prime Minister has a mandate from the people.

    The correct course of action is to ensure we vote this arsehole out in 2017, not violate democracy because we lost 2014.

    • Ian 23.1

      good luck with that. You call yourselves progressive,which is a huge joke.Your all screaming into an ever diminishing echoe chamber ,and the vast majority of citizens don’t give a rats arse about the SIS, are happy for John Key to text whoever he likes,and are happy as hell that the left wing lost the election.Move on folks,you lost and we won.

      • DS 23.1.1

        Yes, you won. But here’s the funny thing: there will come an election where you don’t. Then the boot will be on the other foot, so enjoy it while it lasts.

        And the funny thing about the boot being on the other foot? We get to have a proper investigation of the Key era.

      • Inky 23.1.2

        What do you mean, move on, Ian? This is a LEFT WING blog. If anyone needs to move on, what makes you think it’s us, lol?

      • Ffloyd 23.1.3

        @Ian. I think you may have won the booby prize. Lol.

  24. McFlock 24

    Personally, I reckon giving teeth to the privileges committee and making Cabinet Manual / privileges violations appealable to the Supreme Court would be an interesting idea to kick about.

    And maybe a range of penalties, from removal from office to simply being ineligible for portfolios for up to a year.

    • Ergo Robertina 24.1

      Do you mean a judge could remove the PM or an MP from their role? Just from their ministerial warrant or also an electorate?
      I wouldn’t like to see that happening with elected representatives, but agree remedies and new ideas are needed.
      Also the problem amply shown by IGIS, Chisholm, and the chief Ombudsman (e.g the non response to Key’s OIA admission) is the pattern of NZ establishment figures protecting each other.
      Perhaps if Draco’s direct democracy ideas take off we could see a return in some form of the ancient Greek practice of ostracism, whereby an unpopular politician could be banished for 10 years by a vote.

      • McFlock 24.1.1

        I’m not sure whether I’d want the SC to be able to directly punish parliamentarians rather than just refer the case back to privileges committee, but I think I’d probably lean towards it. As part of an appeal against an already existing privileges committee complaint.

        It would at least stop key lying so often in the house.

  25. Nicholas O'Kane 25

    There were quite a number of people on the right who had the same sentiment regarding Helen Clark over the Electoral Finance Act e.t.c. back in 2007.

    I disagree that “NZ has no mechanism to “impeach” / remove a PM.” You can express a vote of no-confidence in the House of Representatives, and if it passes should do the job.

    Recall elections are also quite an interesting idea, but the consequences need to be thought through carefully. One possibility is for 10% of the population to sign a petition, similar to a Citizens Initiated Referendum petition, followed by a referendum with a question like “Do you support recalling the House of Representatives and the holding of a new general election?”. If 50% of ALL people on the electoral role vote yes (a very high standard, you don’t want a simple majority in case you get a new election on a very low turnout), there is an immediate snap election.

    But here is a question for left wingers. Say the year is 2007. What do you think the right should be able to do to impeach Helen Clark over the pledge card and/or Electoral Finance Act?

    [lprent: Clearly you only read the headline, and didn’t bother to read the post. Do you often go off half cocked? Your attention to detail must make you the king of the one night stand – no repeats and a need to find places they don’t already know you. ]

    • Murray Rawshark 25.1

      From my limited understanding of it, she should have stood down. In hindsight, it may have actually been better because Labour might have sorted out a proper succession plan. If we value democracy and the conventions we base our parliament on, our ethical framework must apply to both sides. In the situation we have now, everything gets chipped away, bit by bit. Twenty years from now we could be in a fully fledged police state, with NAct and Labour in a grand alliance. Hmmm, I wonder where The Block would be doing up their houses then?

    • locus 25.2

      It’s a fruitcake notion to think that the dumb overspending of parties in the 2005 election (including National http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_New_Zealand_election_funding_controversy) is even one percent as corrupt as the practises revealed in Dirty Politics, and Key’s regular and ongoing lies to parliament and to the country

  26. Pat O'Dea 26

    The government is not all powerful.

    New Zealand is still a democracy.

    The population are still allowed to show their displeasure in the streets.

    The huge show of public displeasure over schedule 4 mining that swayed the government to back down, is just one example of how powerful this form of direct democratic action can be.

    We need to support and popularise and help build the various public campaigns against unpopular Right wing government policies.

    So what campaigns could the combined Left get behind?

    TPPA is a big one.

    The privatisation of State House rental stock is another.

    Deep sea oil drilling is another

    People who campaign Left, vote Left.

    In recent history, the Green Party has been the main beneficiary of this effect.

    I think that one of the reasons for the declining fortunes of the Labour Party is that people are not that sure where they stand on these issues.

    Political parties that are seen fronting campaigns over issues that people are concerned about, are the ones that people remember and get out to vote for.

    And sometimes, if such movements are big enough, conservative governments have been convinced to back down on controversial issues between elections.

    With his background in the union movement Andrew Little knows this.

    That is why I am heartened at his public statements that he intends to turn Labour into a campaigning party between elections.

    • A Voter 26.1

      There should be no question of NZ ever being anything else but a democracy but we need a republic like yesterday
      So that people of Keys political breed can be impeached and have to be voted in as president and not this Capitalist coup d’etat of Key’s of our socialist democracy that is running this country

  27. Sable 27

    The New Zealand political system is anachronistic. Its out of date and in need of reform. There is however a more pressing issue the need to combat the sleaze coming from the MSM that keep people like Keys in office.

  28. burt 28

    rOb

    Reading this post reminds me why I rarely bother visiting this partisan whack job blog. YOU rOb defended Clark and Labour shitting all over the AG and the subsequent total lack of transparency that followed where Labour buried 14 years of alleged illegal electoral spending because it was convenient for them to do so. In the process a standing court case against the PM was killed off – something unheard of in a democracy and you defended that.

    Now of course … The shit you defended as good and necessary for stable government you get all upset about. Crawl back under your partisan tinfoil hat and wring your sweaty hands together rocking back and forward getting upset about National doing the same things you fervently defended Labour for.

    What a twat posting this shit after a thread like this;

    Helen, stop critiquing polls

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      In the process a standing court case against the PM was killed off – something unheard of in a democracy and you defended that.

      That’s been explained to you time and time again. You just don’t want to accept that as, for you, everything that is Left-wing is bad and everything that is Right-wing is good.

      The shit you defended as good and necessary for stable government you get all upset about.

      It’s not the same shit moron. This government is outright corrupt and lying while the AG changed how the the rules were interpreted from the common understanding. An understanding that had stood since the rules had been implemented and even differed from how the person who wrote the rules understood them.

      • burt 28.1.1

        Let’s look at it this way Draco.

        Let’s say lprent chips in and tells me that if I ever post retrospective validations in bold again I’ll be banned for life.

        I then post retrospective validations in bold immediately and get banned for life.

        I can do one of two things here;

        Respect I was warned and take the consequences of my actions.

        Or

        Take every chance I have to post under different aliases protesting the ref changed the rules and I’d posted that hundreds of time before over many many years and never been banned for life. Say the rules are confusing and unfair because other people can still do what I did. I could then hack into lprent’s server and remove my offending blatant flout of the warning and we’d all just move on.

        • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1

          Yep, nearly ten years on and you’re still not listening.

          As I said, you’re a moron. Now fuck off.

  29. burt 29

    Ah, the same old – lets pretend the rules were changed even when there was a written warning prior to the election. Yep… That little gem of a fact is a bit of a problem for defenders of courageous corruption isn’t it.

    In this thread rOb talks about things like;

    The PM (as long as he retains support in Parliament) can get away with anything. It’s basically an honour system. We expect, and have so far (mostly) received, reasonable and responsible behaviour. Acts are supposed to have consequences. When politicians are caught our screwing up or lying they are supposed to resign. There is supposed to be a measure of shame.

    Yes, so different when Labour ignore the Chief Electoral Officer’s written warning then claim the rules were changed when the AG does their job of holding them to account. Of course like rOb says – there should have been consequences , shame and resignations – but no … not when Labour do it.

  30. A Voter 30

    It does appear Key takes note of local politics if only singular
    Take the animal control laws
    You dont have to have a warrant to impound a dog
    You arent informed if your dog is in the pound or allowed to phone or visit the pound directly
    Your animal can be givin away or destroyed at the discretion of the pound without your consent if you dont pay up all fees
    You cannot have a copy of any incident reports regarding your animal
    Sounds a bit like the blue print for the rushed legislation of late in the house in regards to the country’s security
    How many mil this time Key for something that could have come from the local animal control bylaws with a bit of dressing up
    Dont you feel dogged sometimes at Keys Mr Wonderful Show, same old thing week after week

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