Saturday, 3 December 2011

Protecting Democracy in Kiwi it possible?

Now that the election is all over and the National party has been re-elected with around 33% of those who could have voted, [Labour got 18% and the Greens 7%] I realise just how risky our democracy actually is. We have no constitution, no Upper-house, our Governor General is hand picked and appointed by the Prime Minister and our military forces are commanded by the PM and he sends them off to fight others wars, they even break international law and the same PM makes their chief our Governor General. Strange you may think, but alas it is the norm.

In New Zealand the ruling party can do anything it wants, there are no restrictions on its powers. For argument sake, it could cancel elections altogether, just as it passed a law a while ago removing the right-to-silence for those when charged with a crime.

The only checks and balance on its supremacy is parliament itself, and if they had a majority in parliament there was / is absolutely nothing to stop them from doing what Sid Holland did back in the 1950’s
by banning all help to those on strike [1951 water-front strike / lock-out] and arresting those who did…as they did…I remember that well, I was eleven at the time and my father was a soldier and broke the law by donating food to strikers who lived in our street in Upper Hutt.
The High Court and our justice system are governed by the rules laid down by parliament so their rules can be altered should the ruling party so decide. All one needs is to have a majority in the house. This means that in fact the majority party in parliament could ban all the other parties by simple majority. They could do it via the SIS and no one could do nothing about it

I’ve reached the understandable conclusion that we should thank our lucky stars that we at least have MMP as our electoral process for it is the only protection we have. But we should not be complacent with parties like a Act [National in drag really] and side swapper United Future [Peter Dunne]. We are on the very precipice of a possible dictatorship and with the Maori Party being in free-fall we are but a step away from the 1950’s under Holland.

Some would suggest that the Queen is our head of state…nothing is further from the truth and for that matter the law. Can you imagine the Queen rushing to NZ accompanied by her various princes and princesses to rescue us from the grip of a rampant out of control ruling party…of course the royal family has no power…she can’t even sack the governor general net alone the government….

With the country settling into a period of where the gap between the have and have-not’s is growing out of control, it would seem that a government that wishes to continue down the track of taxing the poor and reducing taxes for the wealthy may seek powers to maintain this state of affairs. This from a survey conducted by the Downtown Community Ministry two days after the 2011 election…

“Among those surveyed there were strong messages delivered for politicians with the Maori Party singled out for criticism. “They shouldn’t be going with National” said some respondents as “National only want them so they can get the numbers to govern”.

DCM people, the majority of whom are on annual gross incomes of under $12,000 per annum, were also critical of the big disparity in New Zealanders’ incomes.

“Politicians need to sort out the 99% and stop looking out for the 1%. They need to get out from behind their desks and start really helping people, especially to find work” were common themes touched on by survey respondents.

Hospital waiting lists and the unfairness of facing the personal cost of paying for crutches was a hot issue for one respondent. Another saw international issues as a high priority with the suggestion that New Zealand promote an international ceasefire on Anzac Day. 
After a little thought do you want any political party to have a majority in our parliament...

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