Up the republic!

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, March 30th, 2016 - 162 comments
Categories: leadership - Tags: ,

This makes me angry – Bill English: Flag vote shows republic a ways off

New Zealand’s vote against changing the flag shows that a potential shift to a republic is a long way off

Not it doesn’t you fool. The flag referendum showed that the public preferred one flag over another flag, nothing more and nothing less. The referendum didn’t ask, and shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning, anything about republican sentiments.

Andrew Little has raised the prospect of a referendum on NZ becoming a republic. Naturally the tory clobbering machine is out in full force. They’ll probably call it “communism by stealth” next, that has a real ring to it don’t you think?

162 comments on “Up the republic!”

  1. Rodel 1

    The tory mantra is and will be: ‘At all costs ,belittle Little.’

    • schwen 1.1

      Not unlike the manifestation of KDS

      • adam 1.1.1

        Where was Key mentioned, did you miss it was about Bill English and Andrew little in this post?

        But no, we all have mental illness because we don’t worship at the alter of Key.

        Do you know how evil, sick and twisted that sounds schwen?

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Blinglish. The man who brought to a town near you…drumroll…The Flag Consideration Panel!

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The Tories don’t want to change to a Republic. That, IMO, was the whole point of the flag hoohaa that we just had – the Tories trying to indicate that we’ve changed without there being any change.

    They’re probably terrified of the idea that when we become a republic then parliament won’t be supreme any more and that they’ll a) have to do what the people say and b) be accountable for the damage that they do.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1

      Fuck me. How do you think the republic would work, Draco?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Democratically.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1.1

          A parliament that’s not supreme, eh? Isn’t that the opposite of democratic?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            No because we make the people supreme instead. Parliament becomes our servants.

            • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Just like every other Republic? – or is our one going to be different Draco?

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1.1.1.2

              The people who keep voting for John Key and who, at the last election, gave Labour the least number of votes since the invention of sticky tape?

              Yeah. Let’s do that.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That’s not democracy. In fact, representative democracy was invented so as to prevent democracy. The rich have been terrified of the power of the people for centuries.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                  No-one’s frightened of you, Draco.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I didn’t say me, I said the people. The great mass of humanity that are ripped off and oppressed by the rich.

    • AmaKiwi 3.2

      Draco, you lost me when you wrote, “when we become a republic then parliament won’t be supreme any more.”

      Is that necessarily the case or merely conjecture on your part? I was thinking parliament would create a figurehead replacement for the governor general.

      • Paul Campbell 3.2.1

        yes that’s always been my idea for a republic, we give Liz the boot, make the GG be where the constitutional bucks stops with roughly the same responsibilities he/she has now, and find a new way to elect the GG that doesn’t involve simple appointment by the PM

        I do think we need to institutionalise the GG is neutral, and someone who is acceptable to a large majority of the population, while I think say requiring a 2/3 vote of the population is likely unworkable (unless we want to have multiple elections until we get such a majority) – instead I’d go for a 3/4 majority vote in parliament to elect a GG

        • alwyn 3.2.1.1

          A 3/4 majority vote in Parliament?
          There would certainly have to be changes in the leadership in the Labour and Green parties or we would probably never get one chosen.
          Having seen the displays of throwing their toys out of the cot by Little and Turei over the proposal to change the flag they would never agree to anything except their own idol getting the job.
          National, in the flag change case proposed to let the public choose to decide whether they would allow the Labour and Green election manifesto policies of a new flag to be chosen.
          Because Key proposed it they then started screaming about it not being fair. They would have adored the new flag if they had put it forward.
          If we had a National Government and needed a new GG they wouldn’t even listen to a National party suggestion. Both would be saying NO before they had even heard a proposed candidates name. Turei would be claiming that no one except one of the Green Party saints was acceptable. She would probably insist that the Green Party would vote against anyone but Saint Jeanette Fitzsimmons, Saint Lucy Lawless or possibly Saint Paul Watson.
          Andrew would go all red in the face and say the GG had to be the leader of the CTU. No one else would be allowed.
          We would probably never get one sorted out.

          • Paul Campbell 3.2.1.1.1

            sure a 3/4 vote in parliament – it means you’d have to choose a GG that both left and right trust to do the job fairly – someone level headed and not controversial – just the sort of person we want to be our constitutional watchdog

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.2

            Because Key proposed it they then started screaming about it not being fair. They would have adored the new flag if they had put it forward.

            You’re still going with that lie I see.

          • Wensleydale 3.2.1.1.3

            “If we had a National Government and needed a new GG they wouldn’t even listen to a National party suggestion. Both would be saying NO before they had even heard a proposed candidates name.”

            Actually, they’d probably be more inclined to say, “Let’s pause a moment for reflection. That will give us ample time to dig around in the sewer and discover what disingenuous scheme the National Party Dirty Tricks & Smears Brigade are attempting to crowbar into place without anyone being the wiser.” Let it never be said they don’t have form in that regard.

            As for the rest of your post; I do admire your creativity. It’s slightly sad that the chasm that exists between reality and your ideological delusions is so dreadfully vast, but imagination is a precious gift and shouldn’t be squandered.

            • alwyn 3.2.1.1.3.1

              “That will give us ample time to dig around in the sewer”.

              You are absolutely correct. That is what the Labour Party would be saying. That is precisely the way that the Labour Party would approach it. I can just see Little leading the charge “Into the sewers chaps, it is our natural home”.

              I don’t think the Greens, or at least there female c-leader would be quite so keen. Those very high priced outfits she wears would possibly get dirty in the sewer.

              • Colonial Viper

                I can just see Little leading the charge “Into the sewers chaps, it is our natural home”.

                huh? Labour MPs are part of the top 2%. And they know it.

              • framu

                what exactly is the point of your overly hysterical ad hom attacks?

                • alwyn

                  I was merely agreeing with Wensleydale who seemed to have views about the Labour and Green parties.
                  You should ask him/her about the matter.
                  For Labour in particular I could easily imagine it. Do you remember the disgusting attacks that were quite common from the mad Mallard?

                • Wensleydale

                  He doesn’t have a point. It’s deflect and derail, argument for the sake of argument, “look over here — pandas!”. He’s essentially Gosman with more imagination and a larger vocabulary.

                  I wonder if Matthew Hooton’s hiring. Alwyn would be a shoe-in.

              • reason

                The sewer IS kiwiblog & whalesoil …….. and everyone knows they’re national party.

                Alwyn himself is a pretty effluent chap too ……… : “Those very high priced outfits she wears would possibly get dirty in the sewer.”

                Your shit alwyn………………… and you can’t help showing it 🙂

                • Pasupial

                  reason
                  You should really learn to watch your language: “Your shit alwyn” is quite the wrong thing to say. “Your comments are shit, alwyn” would certainly be correct. But if you want to say that alwyn himself is a piece of shit, then you have to use the contraction of “you are” thus: “You’re a piece of shit, alwyn”.

                  [RL: Ugly and pointless abuse. This is a warning.]

                  • alwyn

                    My, my, you are a literate little fellow aren’t you.
                    The are pretty stupid things you say but at least you do spell the words correctly.
                    Well done. I’ll bet your teacher stamped a star on the back of your hand for that.

              • Li

                “I can just see Little leading the charge “Into the sewers chaps, it is our natural home”.”

                Hahahaha!
                Even tho I disagree completely and stuff and think you’re a big meanie for saying those things, that was kinda funny 🙂

          • AB 3.2.1.1.4

            Oh Alwyn – the GodKey being thwarted clearly rankles.
            I suspect you are going to accuse me of mental illness – but most of us have already moved on. All we are left with is a minor sense of relief at a bullet dodged. As I have said elsewhere, a shallow, vulgar design almost foisted on us by a shallow, vulgar man and his numerous celebrity supporters in the media.
            At the end of the reign of the current monarch would be a good time to open the discussion up again, including constitutional arrangements. Other things to think about now.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        I’m thinking that we’d be so pissed off with the failed system that we have now that we’d change the whole thing in new and unexpected ways. Ways that would put the power into the hands of the people and take it from the rich.

        • The lost sheep 3.2.2.1

          I’m thinking that we’d

          Draco, you really need to get over the idea that what ‘you’ think represents what ‘we’ and/or ‘the people’ think.

          Think about it. If there was any significant support among the people for your political worldview, there would be at least a Party to represent it, and a level of support for that party?
          So who’s that then?
          And where are the mobs storming the streets?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1.1

            Still building the support but we’ll get there Soon™

            Think about it, Labour was formed in 1916 and didn’t get to govern until 1935. Nearly twenty years of building support. Modern communications should decrease that somewhat but it’s still going to take time.

            • The lost sheep 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Can you put a name to it at present?

              • McFlock

                “A Better Way of Doing Things Than We Used at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century”. That’s a decent name to be going by.

                • The lost sheep

                  If lacking a little in ‘snap’, it’s a sufficiently generic handle to cover almost any possibility at all, and therefore create a level of intrigued interest in any voter.
                  But, for that very reason, don’t you think it begs the immediate question of how your Party intends to do things better?

                  If he lacks a name for his ‘Party’, at least Draco has clear ideas about what he wants. Participatory democracy, communal ownership of property, profitless worker run production, a completely controlled economy based on printed money….

                  But how about you McFlock, that the kind of direction you’d like to go?

                  • McFlock

                    My “Thing than makes up catchy and memorable names” machine isn’t finished yet.

                    First of all you’re assuming that the vehicle for change is a political party, rather than a coherent idea that parties adopt – like the big kahuna idea is now in the political debate.

                    Secondly, I’m not sure on the level of control one has based purely on money supply – “completely controlled” seems a bit much.

                    Thirdly, there is a distinction between public and communal ownership, but some things are more efficient when in the purview of society as a whole – electricity networks, public transport, transit networks.

                    In general, compared to where NZ is now, I would definitely like to see NZ go in more of a leftward direction, yes. Wouldn’t you? Didn’t you claim to be a long-time Labour supporter at one stage?

                    • The lost sheep

                      In general, compared to where NZ is now, I would definitely like to see NZ go in more of a leftward direction, yes. Wouldn’t you? Didn’t you claim to be a long-time Labour supporter at one stage?

                      Yup. Was variously a Communist, Marxist, Socialist through the 60’s to 00’s, before settling on Center Left in my dotage. Voted Labour from 1960 to 2011.

                      Where I probably disagree with many of you here is that after 50 years + in intimate contact with Socialist theory and practice, I now believe that many of the traditional Marxist principles the modern Left retains are simply wrong and redundant, and so the path ahead is not backwards towards those.

                      On the other hand, I also don’t see many of the manifestations of Capitalism being compatible with a sustainable future for the Earth or in the best interests of all the people, and so I don’t want the road to lead to those excesses.

                      What i would say now is that I want to see NZ and The World go in a new direction that has it’s starting point somewhere along the line between Left to Right, but instead of moving along that line towards one of those poles, going off at 90 degrees into fresh territory.

                      I’m confident we will find that path.

                    • McFlock

                      So you supported Lab4 and now the nats, and you still think you’re centre left?

                      Good luck with that.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Read a bit more carefully McFlock. I said i was Center Left back in ’00, and where I am now is wanting to move at 90 degrees away from the left / Right poles into new territory.

                      I gave my vote to National last time because I genuinely did not believe the Left was in shape to govern.
                      You may have noticed that between 2005 and 2011 Labour lost nearly half of voters who had supported it previously, so I came a bit late to that conclusion, but when I got there found I was far from alone.
                      You may have also noticed that Labour has yet to regain most of the voters that walked away.

                      That’s my problem eh?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I have it on good authority that Labour is definitely on the trend to victory in 2017.

                      Why would anyone even doubt that.

                    • McFlock

                      your problem is that you obviously think that your “dotage” means “back in ’00”.

                      @CV: yes dear. very good.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’ve never said anything about a completely controlled economy. The use of money does denote a market system. In fact, I’ve said quite often that I’m in favour of free and fair trade – I just don’t think that we have that.

                    • The lost sheep

                      IMO Draco, the principles you have outlined would so undermine the free markets ability to self regulate that it would render it inoperable, and you would be required to totally manage all aspects of the economy.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      This may come as a surprise but the free-market as you envision it doesn’t actually work. Never has done and never will do.

                      The market actually needs regulation. It’s that regulation that defines the market and how it operates. All I’ve ever done is say that the regulation needs to be well written, applied scrupulously , based upon ethical principle and the same all over.

                      It does not self-regulate.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Exactly Draco.
                      The market currently ‘self regulates’ to some extent, but with controls. Supply and demand is however allowed enough freeway so that the fluctuations in the market are actually symptoms of that self regulation occurring.

                      You however want to control the market to the point the fluctuations do not occur.
                      You propose not allowing businesses to make profit, you would not allow the Labour market to fluctuate, you would have an endless supply of money that eliminated the supply and demand force, you would not allow prices to range beyond strict limits, etc.

                      As you say, you would scrupulously apply highly defined regulations based on ethical principles to make the market as you wanted it, and the same all over.

                      In what sense would be allowing the economy to be free?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The market currently ‘self regulates’ to some extent, but with controls.

                      No it doesn’t. If it did there wouldn’t be rich people and poor people and, most importantly, there wouldn’t be any profit.

                      Supply and demand is however allowed enough freeway so that the fluctuations in the market are actually symptoms of that self regulation occurring.

                      Except that they’re not. Fluctuations in the market are the result of speculators ruining things for everyone else as they chase unearned income.

                      you would not allow the Labour market to fluctuate

                      Actually, that’s one of the reasons why I support the UBI.

                      you would have an endless supply of money that eliminated the supply and demand force

                      I’ve never called for it to be endless. In fact, I’ve always stressed strict controls on it. We have endless money now created by the private banks that pushes asset bubbles.

                      I’ve just also pointed out that my money system eliminates rich people.

                      The there’s the fact that supply/demand is a load of bollocks. Pretty much like everything else to do with economics taught at university.

                      In what sense would be allowing the economy to be free?

                      As you said, the market isn’t free.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DtB

                      All good stuff, yet ultimately it depends on people being ethical. People don’t learn to be virtuous by accident, nor is it easy for them to maintain integrity when their self-interest dictates otherwise.

                      This remains the core problem of all human society.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL: quite.

                      The expression of ethics requires a foundational philosophy of life and world view.

                      Most lately we have a combination of maximum consumerism and what’s in it for me, ASAP.

                      What do we have to counter that with? Intellectualised socially liberal atheism?

                      I doubt that’s going to cut the mustard as a counter-response.

                    • ropata

                      Kiwi cultural values slowly changed over the last 30 years from egalitarianism to the present neoliberal consumerist narcissism.

                      IMHO the Bible offers the way forward from this mess.

                      ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord’
                      Luke 4:18

                    • The lost sheep

                      @RL.
                      nor is it easy for them to maintain integrity when their self-interest dictates otherwise.
                      This remains the core problem of all human society.

                      It is not a ‘problem’, it is the way humans ‘are’.
                      The answer is not a futile attempt to change or control humans, but to accommodate them.

                      Until the Left understands this, you are all just pissing in the wind.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It is not a ‘problem’, it is the way humans ‘are’.

                      No they’re not. What you see as normal is actually the corrupt nature of capitalism affecting people.

                      But a study published in Nature suggests it is the financial system that promotes dishonest behaviour: in other words, the individuals involved are not innately dishonest. The culture they work in is to blame, driving people to behave in a certain way.

                      That article mentions several research papers that, quite, prove you wrong. It really isn’t human nature to be corrupt, uncaring, greedy arseholes.

                      The answer is not a futile attempt to change or control humans, but to accommodate them.

                      But that’s just it. Under capitalism we’re actually doing the exact opposite of what you say we should be doing. Instead of accommodating peoples social nature we’re disrupting it, breaking it and then forming it into one that is anti-social.

                    • The lost sheep

                      So it should be easy for you to give me some examples of non-capitalist societies that have attained a high level of civilization, with all wealth shared equally, and every citizen is caring, honest, and completely free from corruption?

                    • The lost sheep

                      No answer Draco?

                      I’m guessing that’s because in every society that’s every existed, once wealth has been achieved beyond the point where all citizens have to co-operate and share in order to maintain subsistence, humans start behaving in ways that don’t conform to what you claim to be our ‘social nature’?

                      A bit of a difficulty for your theory eh?

                    • The lost sheep

                      Avoiding this difficulty doesn’t make it disappear Draco.

                      Every developed society is evidence that your vision of human nature is a nonsense, and therefore any society based on that nonsense is unworkable for humans.

                      That is why there isn’t even a political Party to represent your political vision.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The answer is not a futile attempt to change or control humans, but to accommodate them.

                    Until the Left understands this, you are all just pissing in the wind.

                    What the fuck are you dribbling about, you lackwit waste of space. The day you are able to explain things to the Left, the sun will turn blue. The Left bends over backwards to accommodate people. What the hell do you “think” free healthcare and education are all about, and that’s just for starters.

                    You bring nothing to this table.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Avoiding this difficulty…

                    Haven’t you figured out yet that when you demand answers to leading questions the most you can expect is derision and contempt?

                    Clearly not, since you inevitably follow up with a pathetic self-serving declaration of victory. You bring nothing to this table.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You think debate is all about winning and losing OAB. That’s fine, but don’t project that egoist stance onto me.

                      I thought the main point of debate was to establish a contention, and then move ahead in the discussion.
                      It seems to me that Draco (nor anyone else), is unable to counter this point regarding human nature.

                      My understanding of good debate is that when a point is ‘proven’ in this manner, the participants adjust their arguments accordingly and then move forward in the discussion.

                      No doubt that’s why Draco is taking so long to reply. He has a lot of theory to adjust.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You haven’t made a point about human nature: you’ve told us all what you believe. Get a clue: your beliefs are worthless drivel.

                  • Incognito

                    @ The lost sheep 30 March 2016 at 5:46 pm:

                    What i would say now is that I want to see NZ and The World go in a new direction that has it’s starting point somewhere along the line between Left to Right, but instead of moving along that line towards one of those poles, going off at 90 degrees into fresh territory.

                    I’m confident we will find that path.

                    I find this a very interesting comment and I hope you will elaborate on this at some stage.

                    I don’t share you confidence about finding the path because I reckon it does not actually exist yet till we make it – as you said yourself, it is “fresh territory”.

          • kiwi 3.2.2.1.2

            @the lost sheep, fitting handle
            most of the sheople ie the “mob” are sleeping
            our sovereignty as a country has long gone most won,t be aware of that fact.
            corporations and bankers control all goverments.
            as a republic all national issues would be decided by referenda ie we the people, a return to common law and courts, less goverment in our lives
            and a return to FREEDOM

  4. Bill English saying, “New Zealand’s vote against changing the flag shows that a potential shift to a republic is a long way off” really says that Bill English is a long way off target, off logic and is in cuckoo land again.

  5. And expect the next tide to carry in crap like English and Key that Little or anyone in Labour even mentioning becoming a republic will = “Labour hates the Queen.”

    They’ll expect regular headlines like that will get all the oldies uppity and anti-Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Why would the Opposition want to start a discussion on republicanism?

      Is there some push that I am not aware of, a push from the bottom 50% of Kiwis, amongst the families suffering poverty and child poverty, to start talking about monarchy vs republicanism?

      I mean, why not start a discussion on actual policy for the 2017 election? (Now probably only 15 months away).

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    Yes – and it works. I spent yesterday trying to calm down people on a couple of Facebook pages (closed ones) who just assumed that Andrew Little was on the warpath to make NZ a republic immediately. And these were people supposedly opposed to Key and his sick government.

  7. Fustercluck 7

    I agree with Draco. The flag debacle was intended to defuse the pressure building to end the unicameral parliamentary dictatorship that essentially makes the cabinet of the day the absolute ruler of the nation. This is often describes as the debate to become a republic but it is really the debate to introduce meaningful democracy to NZ.

    Key’s ego was often blamed for the flag thingie but he is too canny a politician to burn political capital for this purpose. He did this to entrench the almost unique powers held by the government of the day for a generation or two to come.

    We need a bicameral legislature, an elected head of government and a judiciary with real power to overrule the government of the day.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1

      No. I think it was about changing the flag. That’s all.

      • Fustercluck 7.1.1

        Dear Gormie

        Right. Sure. No ulterior motive here!

        I accept that my analysis could be mistaken but to assert that the sole motive behind the referendum was to decide between flags is naive in the extreme.

        Perhaps willfully naive?

        Or do you presume that any proposal from Labor or NZ First is to be read at face value only as well?

        In any case your comment provided a well-needed chuckle in an otherwise unfunny morning!

      • framu 7.1.2

        if true, that reveals an alarming lack of intelligence on the 9th floor

      • Raf 7.1.3

        Yes absolutely, just about changing the flag; never about Key’s flagging ego and definitely NOT about distracting everyone from the TPPA chaos, either.

    • AmaKiwi 7.2

      I would be careful about “a judiciary with real power to overrule the government of the day.” The US Supreme Court is the LEAST democratic of America’s three branches of government.

      I am not opposing your suggestion but warning “the devil is in the detail.” I do not want a highly politicized NZ supreme court.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2.1

        Agree. The US supreme court sets a scary example. A way for politicians to continue to rule, years after they are gone…

      • Fustercluck 7.2.2

        Amen

        • Fustercluck 7.2.2.1

          I should have added that there are certainly examples of how not to set up a judiciary and the USA model is one of those. Having said that a written constitution requires judicial support to protect it from lawmakers and an executive that nay find rights or treaties a bit inconvenient on any given day.

  8. dv 8

    New Zealand’s vote against changing the flag shows that a potential shift to a republic is a long way off

    You need to realise that long term planning is the next poll or the week after next for the NATS

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      For Labour as well, who struggle to prioritise or plan anything more than one to two months ahead.

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        “one to two months ahead”
        As much as that? They already seemed to have moved on from the UBI that was such a major topic for them last week. I suspect that they have decided it is far too hard for them to actually understand. This week is a Republic. It will be something else next week.

    • Fustercluck 8.2

      There is chronic underestimation of the drive, resolve and sophistication of the right. They may plunder the planet for a favorable quarterly result but they plan to keep power on an intergenerational basis.

    • ianmac 8.3

      A moment in the House yesterday when English in reply said that our PM is not Poll driven and…
      The Opposition roared with derision. Naughty Bill.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    I support the NZ Government being referred to as “The Crown” and I support recognition of our historical ties to Great Britain.

    As for moving to become a Republic: IMO that’s just meaningless abrogation of NZ history for the sake of change, and negation of the context our country has come to being within.

    • Observer (Tokoroa) 9.1

      . Hello Colonial Viper

      Why do you lie? You could get help for it if you tried.

      Regards

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        When did you stop beating your wife mate? you could get help for it if you tried.

        Also, maybe go a bit lighter on the booze before lunch time.

    • Fustercluck 9.2

      Yo Viper

      I usually find much common ground with you but I am puzzled by this post.

      Referring to a democratically elected government as the crown seems a contradiction in terms. Introducing a constitution with, say, a set of rights that cannot be ignored with a whim of a single house of parliament seems to me to be more than a meaningless abrogation. I fail to understand how the evolution of our government, with the will and consent of its people, is a negation of context.

      I also do not get the wife beating comment, at least coming from you.

      In any case, I presume this post is itself outside your normal context and look forward to enjoying your future contributions.

      Kia kaha

    • So what would you like to see before you’d consider it appropriate to become a Republic? I don’t disagree with you necessarily, just curious.

      I think the close vote on the flag referendum proves there’s a desire here to have these discussions about nationhood, but we should certainly be careful with fatiguing voters on these issues, as there are important policies that need to come first.

  10. Wayne 10

    Realistically there won’t be such a referendum before the mid 2030’s.

    If you accept that politics goes in cycles and that each cycle lasts 9 years, then a referendum will not take place till 2036.

    On the basis of a nine year cycle Labour holds office from 2017 to 2026, but it is likely to be on the basis of NZF holding the balance of power. Winston and NZF would never allow such a referendum.

    Then National is back in office from 2026 to 2035. Obviously the experience of the current referendum will ensure they will not promote a constitutional referendum.

    Labour is back in on the 2035 election, and that might be when such a referendum takes place, which of course does not necessarily mean it will pass. New Zealanders seem pretty wedded to a constitutional monarchy, seeing it as a point of stability. Whether that is true or not is not really the point, it is how things are perceived that matters.

    So 20 years away at the earliest.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      yep. And Labour is unlikely to rule as a single dominant political party from now on, so unless its future political party partners are also pro-republic, it’s simply not going to happen.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      Or, the Queen could cark it in 2023, sparking a mood for change with the unpopular Charles taking the throne.

      It would be silly to suggest that that conversation *won’t* happen when she dies. It’s no guarantee we’d go forward and become a republic though.

    • adam 10.3

      I think you are a wee bit off Wayne.

      Looking at NZ first, if some of the issues around the Treaty get dealt with, they will look at a republic. So I’d not rule out the next 9 years if a coalition government actually has a spin and willingness to end this awful experiment into extreme liberalism. NZ first may just be the party which offers some back bone in ending this failed experiment in ideological purity.

      • The lost sheep 10.3.1

        if some of the issues around the Treaty get dealt with

        A Labour / Greens / NZF coalition ‘dealing with’ The Treaty is one hell of an ‘if’.

        One the one hand I can’t imagine Labour and The Greens agreeing to a Republic that doesn’t have the Treaty at it’s core, and on the other hand I can’t imagine Winnie agreeing to one that does*.

        So my pick is Wayne and CV are correct. The earliest time a serious debate on a Republic will be possible is when a Labour / Greens coalition is Govt. in it’s own right.

        In relation to the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand First considers that:

        The Treaty should be a source of national pride and unity and not used to expand the separate rights of Maori or anyone else. Too often the Treaty now divides, polarizes and isolates us.
        The Treaty is not part of the New Zealand Constitution. It is not capable of supporting the extraction of so-called ‘principles’ for any legislative or government purpose. Ill-defined and abstract ‘principles’ are a recipe for legal and constitutional misunderstanding and dispute.

    • DoublePlusGood 10.4

      If a week is a long time in politics, making assumptions about the course of the next 20 years seems unwise.

    • Trey 10.5

      Will NZ First even exist after Winston retires?

  11. Ad 11

    Little could do with some Greens and NZFirst support on this. English is entitled to form that opinion based on the left opposition to flag change.

    • BM 11.1

      NZFirst support, are you serious.?

      I can’t believe Little would even bring this up, he seems to be away in his own little world.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        That’s my point.
        By fighting a conservative position on the flag, the left have defeated the Republican cause for many years.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          When did labour do that?

          • Ad 11.1.1.1.1

            When all their MPs bar one voted against changing the flag.
            They wanted to keep the Union Jack symbol, they are now in a pretty weak position to advocate for further republican changes.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Did they? Or did they just not like the flag chosen?

              Personally, I chose to vote to keep the old flag because we hadn’t changed to being a republic.

              Basically, you seem to be making shit up about what other people thought.

              • Ad

                Those MPs voted to keep the existing flag, which includes, and continues to include, the union jack.Nothing made up there.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Lots made up there as you have no fucken idea if they voted to keep the Union Jack or voted to reject the proposed flag.

                  You’re talking out your fucken arse.

                  • Ad

                    The net outcome is the same, as you and they were well aware.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t underestimate the exercise of political hyprocrisy, is all I will say.

                      I think most NZers were sick to the back teeth of the wasteful flag referendum, but straight afterwards we get another politician talking about making NZ a republic.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ah, the moving of the goal posts.

                      You said:

                      They wanted to keep the Union Jack symbol

                      Which you have NFI if they wanted to keep or not. Hell, Labour policy before the election (as the RWNJs have been reminding us) was that they’d have a review of the flag so indications are that they wanted to get rid of the Union Jack and not keep it.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Keeping the existing flag – under the circumstances in which it was raised, Ad – doesn’t amount to people not supporting a discussion that NZ might become a republic. Two different matters – although in the context of the lost flag referendum, quite a few people do keep on connecting the two.

              • Bob

                “Did they? Or did they just not like the flag chosen?”
                Well almost 82% of respondents to the first referendum (~1.14M voters) voted for one of the 2 Lockwood flags as their first choice.
                Based on this, we can assume one of two things, either Labour MP’s voted to keep the Union Jack, or they are completely out of touch with the voters in New Zealand.

                If it’s the first option then why are they now talking about becoming a Republik? Surely republicans would be fighting to have the Union Jack removed from the flag?

                If it’s the latter option best of luck to them at the next election! (although that may explain their last election result…)

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well almost 82% of respondents to the first referendum (~1.14M voters) voted for one of the 2 Lockwood flags as their first choice.

                  And then 56% voted to keep the old one.

                  Based on this, we can assume one of two things, either Labour MP’s voted to keep the Union Jack, or they are completely out of touch with the voters in New Zealand.

                  No we can’t. In fact, it would seem that the Labour MPs are in tune with around 56% of the population.

                  In fact, about the only thing that we can ascertain from your logic is that you’re an idiot.

                  • Bob

                    You asked “Did they? Or did they just not like the flag chosen?”
                    18% of the population voted against a Lockwood flag as first choice in the first referendum. From this we could assume that 22 MP’s out of 121 would be against the Lockwood flag. The fact that 31 out of 32 Labour MP’s voted against suggests that statistically, 6 of them wanted change but didn’t like the alternative and 25 of them (78%) chose to keep the Union Jack.

                    So it is fair to say you are completely out of line saying “Lots made up there as you have no fucken idea if they voted to keep the Union Jack or voted to reject the proposed flag. You’re talking out your fucken arse”, and in fact I am correct in saying “Based on this, we can assume one of two things, either Labour MP’s voted to keep the Union Jack, or they are completely out of touch with the voters in New Zealand.”

                    My guess is the profanities and ad hominem attacks show you already know you are wrong

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m not an MP, but I voted to keep the current flag in part because it’s a reminder that we’re not yet a republic. Out of sight, out of mind.

              But yeah, the bulk of my reasons were because it would make key pretend he wasn’t bovvered as he sulked in Hawaii.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Little could do with some Greens and NZFirst support on this.

      that would require Labour co-ordinating with the Greens and NZ First ahead of time.

    • The Greens have already been on board since Keith Locke tried to get a referendum on this back in the day. Little just needs to co-ordinate better with his potential coalition partners if he wants backup.

  12. david 12

    Why do people get sucked into these ‘distractions’. There is poverty and world peace to act on.
    Move on, nothing to see here.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Because it’s not a distraction and we can do more than one thing at a time.

      • ropata 12.1.1

        The flag mass-debate was a beautiful distraction that worked perfectly to defuse anger over the TPPA.

        Possibly a false flag operation from the start? Minimal downsides for the Nats and Key; he did look dopey with the Lockwood pin, but looking like a dork is Key’s style anyway

  13. shorts 13

    Weird call by English, even weirder one by Little – now isn’t the time to raise the potential change to a republic imo – focus on the ball in play which is gaining traction, UBI, and leave a thought provoking topic for another day – right now the electorate is exhausted by the dumb flag non event

    Before Labour go all Republic I’d like a lot more information out there on how the party would envisage it being implemented and working, baby steps in other words.

    I’m all for breaking the last ties with the UK and ditching the monarch… but I am very wary of our ability to implement a republic that would be better (refer supercity for one example)

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Yes refer to the super city as an example. Labor planned it well and then National threw out the plan and implemented pure ideology.

      Now do you see where it went wrong?

      • shorts 13.1.1

        I appreciate where it went wrong… and a republic is up for exactly the same sort of problems, tinkering by politicians with agendas which is generally the domain of national and act, though not exclusively theirs

        How the hell do we get the politicians out of the republic setup process….

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1

          The answer is simple: Engage everyone in it and don’t leave it to the politicians

          How to get everyone to engage in it is the hard part.

          • Matthew Hooton 13.1.1.1.1

            What does everyone have to engage? What’s wrong we some saying “fuck that, I like things as they are and don’t want to have a ‘national conversation’ or whatever.”?

            • adam 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Because democracy takes some work, and people who are out of the system because of PR hacks like you – need to be re-engaged.

              And we will not get everyone so please stop being so literal, it’s really tired.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.2

              What does everyone have to engage?

              Because it’s their civic duty.

              What’s wrong we some saying “fuck that, I like things as they are and don’t want to have a ‘national conversation’ or whatever.”?

              Really? Wow, I though all you RWNJs were all in favour of people taking personal responsibility rather than declaring that it’s all someone else’s.

              Perhaps it’s that you don’t like that everyone else took their responsibility for governing themselves seriously and would much prefer it if they left it to the ‘right’ people?

              • ropata

                “I though all you RWNJs were all in favour of people taking personal responsibility”

                hahahahaha… only when it comes to cutting benefits do they trot out those lines.

                The #dirtypolitics plan is to disgust/dismay ordinary people so they give up on voting

            • Matthew Whitehead 13.1.1.1.1.3

              lol this is one of your dumbest comments in months. Please stop making our name look so bad. This doesn’t even deserve a serious response.

      • Expat 13.1.2

        +1

  14. vto 14

    Republic…. pffftt

    the nation state is in terminal decline – to be replaced by wider and larger forms of governance incorporating said previously autonomous nation states. e.g. TPP

    is a result of mankind finally smothering the planet

    • Bill 14.1

      Yup. There’s a fair chance the apparatus and institutions of the nation state will become nothing much more than a naked expression of some ‘cop on the beat’ keeping the corporations idea of new compliant global citizen in line.

      We’ll still get to vote for which flunky or group of flunkies ‘dispatch the batons wielders’ though 😉

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I laughed when I saw the Irish celebrations around their “independence.” Soldiers in rows, military officers making speeches.

        Foolish people, the banks are in charge of your nation now, your military are toothless against the financiers.

  15. A.Ziffel 15

    If there was such a referendum, I hope that it would create an opportunity for South Island secession.
    Personally, I think that the South Island would be better off in the federation.

    • ianmac 15.1

      Yeah and the South could auction off that electricity at a premium or cut the Cable if not paid for on time.

    • Atiawa 15.2

      Why don’t we become another state of Australia. We could kinda have a change of flag without having a change.

    • Colonial Viper 15.3

      Pretty sure in a federal system, Otago and Southland would want to split from the rest of the country.

      • A.Ziffel 15.3.1

        Apologies, by “the federation” I was referring to the Australian federation, not a federation for NZ.

        Perhaps Otago could be mollified by having the state capital in Oamaru, though Hokitika might claim the shortest distance to Canberra.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    If it goes to King William, the republicans amongst the left will be out of luck for another generation.

    • How would it go to William? Are you planning to assassinate his dad?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Well, his dad has already said that he doesn’t want to be king of NZ and really does wish that we’d become a republic. Can’t find it now – all I get in searches are about his visit last year and not the one from last century where he said it.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        How would it go to William? Are you planning to assassinate his dad?

        How about get his dad to marry someone utterly unsuitable to sit on the throne?

  17. Chooky 17

    What a fool Andrew Little is ! ( It almost makes you wonder if he is trying to support jonkey nactional …or competitively curry favour to USA and unseen forces elsewhere…Little also did this by enthusiastically promising NZ troops to the Middle East , when John Key was equivocating)

    Instead of capitalising on the win AGAINST jonkey nactional over the New Zealand flag!

    ( as any astute opposition politician would do, as jonkey and political spinners for Nactional try desperately to downplay the fiasco of $26 million wasted )

    Andrew Little entirely misreads the mood of New Zealanders !

    …and as well as reprimanding MP Sue Moroney

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/78322250/labour-mp-sue-moroney-slammed-for-meanspirited-lockwood-flag-attack

    …Little Labour starts arguing for a the speed up of a Republic for New Zealand in the near future !

    ( this would have gone down like a cup of cold sick for the majority of New Zealanders)

    What a reprieve for Nactional! …no wonder Bill English leapt in and said dourly and dismissively it wasnt likely in the near future

    ( no wonder Little couldn’t win his seat in Taranaki!…he is a fuckwit)

    Sue Moroney for Leader of the Labour Party I say !

    • Tautuhi 17.1

      Don’t think another leadership change would look good for Labour?

      Stick with Chicken Little!!!

  18. Tautuhi 18

    Hopefully the Republican Debate will be more democratic than the Flag Debate, Key should have initiated the Republic Debate b4 the Flag Debate.

    Winston NZF is right we need to reattach the apron strings to Mother England before we get f84k#d over by the USA or the Chinos.

    • Stuart Munro 18.1

      Better we relaunch the neutral states movement – shrink the superpowers’ influence. Small countries won’t try it on as badly.

  19. Tautuhi 19

    Good on Little for bringing it up, just proves what a Red Herring the Flag Referendum was, anyway thank God we have a Rockstar Economy to keep us all afloat?

  20. logie97 20

    Are the politicians and their propaganda machine being selective with the figures …

    When we have a general election the winning party/group says it has a mandate, meaning “permission to do what we say we would in our manifesto because we command the majority of voters.” In that number, they usually include the non voters as going with the majority – they claim them anyway.

    Funny that, in the case of the flag referendum, the losers (who think they are winners) this time are ignoring the non voting public. If you were to aggregate the non voters with the voters for the status quo, then the numbers for change look very miserable.

    2016 Eligible voters = 3,414,470.

    In the first referendum, for a choice of the flag, only 1,546,734
    48.78 pcnt of eligible voters participated.

    In the second referendum
    915,008 voters or 26.79 percent of eligible voters voted for the flag to be changed.
    1,200,003 voters or 35.14 percent of eligible voters voted for status quo.

    Now were the real victors to include the non voters as well in their tally, then this referendum saw a resounding 73.21 percent prefer the status quo. Perhaps someone needs to tell Jokey Hen and his mates that they cannot have it both ways.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/research-statistics/enrolment-statistics-electorate

    • Jenny Kirk 20.1

      Interesting comment, logie 97, and yes, I do think if people are wanting a change they go out and vote, so the non-vote could be construed as not wanting change.

      Going off at a tangent, the link to the enrolment stats show a high enrolment figure, 92.35% for Feb 2016, for 18 months or so out from a general election. Which is also of interest in the context that there were a lot of complaints from people not receiving their voting papers, or being knocked off the roll. The electoral commission did a good job in getting that many enrolled.

    • doug stuart 20.2

      The non voters could not give a rats arse about either flag.

  21. There will be a two or more events in the next 5-10 year that could provide the lubricant for a shift to a “Republic of Aotearoa”.

    1. As mentioned above the current English monarch will end her reign. Many folk are comfortable with her. Any replacement will cause a large swathe to loose interest in the monarchy stuff.
    2. Scotland’s highly likely exit from the Union with England will make the Union Flag/Jack redundant. That will automatically make our colonial flag a fossil.

    • Chooky 21.1

      pigs might fly…I find it fascinating that those so called radicals the Irish republicans with an interest in Irish history are most interested in a NZ Republic… to the extent that they ignore New Zealand history

      ….the Maori have a different view ….they realise that the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand founding law is a protection for them and is an important part of New Zealand history…as is our existing flag

      …after all Republican Ireland does not have much to commend it ….it has been culturally and psychically ravaged and ravished by other ‘old Queens’ … the RC Popes and the misogynistic RC Church with its child molesting priests…

  22. Chooky 22

    Lol…not really an answer though

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