No Right Turn has a go at National over citizen’s juries.
Last year, when they passed the Electoral Finance Act, the government promised a citizens’ jury to investigate wider issues around electoral administration and political party funding. Now National is opposing that process, [As if they didn’t before! – S1] calling it “part of a grubby deal done between Labour and the Greens over the Electoral Finance Act”. Why am I not surprised?
Now, read that carefully. What does “wider issues around electoral administration and political party funding” mean? Here’s a hint from DPF.
The outcome has been predetermined. Instead of being set up in bipartisan fashion on matters such as the type of electoral system, it has been set up to deliver just one result – increased taxpayer funding of political parties. Labour and the Greens both want that as the outcome, tried to do it through the EFA, and having somewhat failed are now trying to do it again.
Labour are quite simply corrupt when it comes to electoral law issues, and any process which involves them as Government choosing the expert panel which advises the Citizen’s Jury should be treated as naked self interest. Hell Mike Williams will probably end up as the Chair.
The Greens are little better than Labour in this area. They have absolutely no comitment to a fair process unless it achieves the outcome they want. Look at the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering? That had it all – independent commissioners, scientific evidence, hearings etc. And the moment it didn’t recommend what the Greens wanted – they attacked it.
Why is I/S not surprised that National oppose a commission setup with the result already pre-determined? I’m not. Labour and the Greens have no right to tinker with electoral law, they’ve already made a compete hash of what they did last time.
Never mind that any properly chosen jury would have a majority of National supporters!
Fisk over the break.
But he continues anyway.
While ordinary voters and their views may seem “grubby” to National’s millionaire leader
Unlike Labour’s Millionaire leader…
and his millionaire funders,
Owen Glen, oh and don’t forget Toll…
we are ultimately what democracy is all about.
“We” meaning left-leaning voters I guess.
The electoral system belongs to us,
Yea, you keep reminding us
not the parties, and certainly not to National’s tiny clique of wealthy backers who think they can buy and sell our government and constitution.
Yes, it’s crazy how National changed electoral law with the explicit stated intention of making it harder for Labour – oh wait!
It follows that the people deciding the shape of that system should be the people, not the politicians. While most of us aren’t experts in electoral law or democratic theory, each of us has an opinion on what we want from our political system:
Agreed. We do all have different ideas.
how much transparency we want,
On things like… donations from Unions?
how much corruption we are prepared to tolerate,
$800,000 dollars worth?
whether we want the rich to be able to buy elections,
or whether we want our politicians to use that as an excuse to override constitutional protections?
and what constitutes a “level playing field”.
(In other words: should the left be given help to overcome it’s inherent failings, or should parties have to depend on members for funding?)
And in a democracy, those should be the only views which matter.
Indeed, it would be great to get politicians out of monkeying with our constitution. In fact, last I checked, a majority of people are going to vote for National, the major party opposed to it. So we’re well on the way.
A citizens’ jury – essentially a public inquiry conducted by a random sample of voters rather than government appointees – is a perfect way of putting those views at the centre of policy. By opposing it, National is saying that they do not think our views should count. And that is not just arrogant, but deeply undemocratic.
Actually, “our views should count” is why National opposed this pre-determined process. Why would anyone support an inquiry of any sort where the outcome is already written, and written to favor the politicians who have already been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, have already changed the law to make their stealing legal, have already changed the system to disadvantage their opponents, sidestepped constitutional protections and conventions designed to guard our democracy, and been found guilty of pretty much every smear they’ve thrown across the floor of Parliament at their opposition.
I say we do let the voters speak. I suggest we do it as soon as humanly possible – in the form of a General Election!