Discussing :: Grassroots politics

Democracy is said to be government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’. It is meant to protect individual freedom and liberty, since the government’s powers derive from citizens themselves - either through their elected representatives or directly through public referenda. But the system breaks down when those elected representatives in government develop ‘tin ears’, putting the demands of their party – and the bureaucracy – ahead of the public interest. read full article

#1

Grassroots politics

The left/right debate about the role and size of the state is a legitimate and important one. However, this article reads more like a right wing rant to me.
If over-simplistic referendums were our main source of determining public policy, then we would still be stringing up criminals, and the concept of bi-culturalism wouldn't have made it off the drawing board.
And let's not forget that the fantastic response to the Christchurch earthquake was a direct result of having both a strong state sector and a effective civil society.


Hear hear!! "...the Tea Party Movement are showing us the way..." Dear Christ on a bicycle! Surely its not come to this!

#2

Grassroots politics

If the executive is able to bypass the supposed checks and balances consistently, then there is an impending systemic failure. True, so far the bypasses have happened for innocuous and like in the case of the earthquake response - essential purposes. But this sets the stage for a future scenario where the executive hijacks the entire democratic process and does as it pleases because it can, and because it will be backed by previous precedent.
The issue here is not as simple as a executive ignoring a referendum - it points to a system that is essentially compromised because the loopholes are visible for everyone to see.
Drawing up a constitution like the Americans is one solution. Black and white definitions of which branch of the state does what and who holds who in check certainly help. Perhaps it would be a good idea to produce a codex of NZ centric values and beliefs that becomes our constitution before we even think of becoming a republic.

The Legislative, Executive and Judicial functions are supposed to hold each other in check and keep a country from being hijacked by jingoistic madmen (see what happened to poor Germany at the time of WW2) or becoming a banana republic (Fiji for example).

#3

Grassroots politics

yes just as i thought politics is boring

#4

Grassroots politics

The repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act does have me angry and the new legislation re: Earthquake Recovery somewhat concerned. It looks like we'll just have to wear the former and hope for the best. We can insist that deals are made public by employing pressure and even perhaps by forcing a referendum? As to the latter; I'm not so worried, I don't really think John Key and The Nats are bent on a totalitarian state. Besides, that legislation can be repealed precisely because we DON'T have an written constitution. In both cases, I think the fault lies more with the media for not making more of a noise at the time(s) and with us, the people, for not bothering to read up and to SPEAK up. That being said...the Tea Party??? Oh they're concerned about freedom alright; freedom for white, very rich blue bloods to do whatever they want and judge everyone else from their ivory towers. Christine O'Donnel, "I,m not a witch", is that some sort of policy? or issue?, who gives a s**t? I would probably like her more if she was! She seems to think that what happens between a person and their adult magazine is her business too! Seems to me they're only concerned about government intervention when it involves their enormous assets being investigated- as well they might be!

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