Discussing :: Reinstating democracy

There appears to be a growing undercurrent of disillusionment with New Zealand’s system of representative democracy. Some are saying our elected members of parliament are turning their backs on voters who put them into office. Instead of representing the public’s views, they are displaying an appalling arrogance by belittling those who dare to voice a contrary opinion. Unfortunately, this arrogant disregard of the public view is becoming all too common. The ban on smacking, Labour’s passing of the Electoral Finance Act to stop anti-government campaigning in the lead up to the 2008 general election, and National’s introduction of the... read full article


Reinstating democracy

one thing we do not have in New Zealand is true democrocy.


I've become utterly jaded by our system of 'democracy'. It smacks of an episode of Survivor in which the alliances drawn between the players count more than the actual votes. MMP simply doesn't work in a practical sense; but I'm not entirely sure about extending democracy to the extreme of allowing every voter to propose and/or oppose legislation. Too many cooks in the kitchen and all that.


Interesting read- I tend to agree. The fact that one party has guaranteed seats into parliament undermines the whole idea. Its not 1867 anymore. Having said that, Erenakelly is right. The public may be mis-informed on some matter of something and oppose legislation that may have moved the country forward. I work in biological sciences and have attended many seminars regarding the faulty communication between lay and scientific communities which have halted progress in the past. The publics view on things like the anti-smacking law on the other hand could and should have been taken into account. Tough one.


Wasn't the anti-smacking referendum binding? It was completely ignored. I think those in power will simply do whatever they think is best for the country regardless of the public backlash. I think that only a civil uprising will cause the leaders to think twice about their decisions. Something NZ is too much like sheep to do.


We do NOT live in a Democracy. We live in a Democratic Republic. We democratically vote for a bunch of people to do our thinking\voting for us. That's the way it works.


Politicians are only interested in getting paid, they pretend to have higher motives.


The early styles of direct democracy referred to here weren't that at all - the voters were only male, landowning and ethnically homogenous (ie only members of that community be it Greek or Nth American Colonial). Slavery was also commonplace during these periods - hardly an ideal political model. This system would be doomed to fail in NZ given the vast differences of ideology and opinion today. Our representatives wheel and deal within loose electoral mandates, although not ideal, it is a far cry better than FPP, as the 1980's and early 1990's proved. Sure, the small parties have disproportionate influence now, but as MMP and the electorate matures, these fringe elements will dissipate if we the public can keep the pressure on. The voters in Switzerland and the US are a lot more politically aware than the average NZ voter also, this has a lot more to do with the success of their system than the way it is organised. Perhaps we need to pay more attention to our voting behaivour...?


Let's have a return to 'first past the post' - think of the benefits; suddenly Winston Peters and Rodney Hide will become irrelevances again.

Hell yeahhhh! Ooh, Winston Peters an irrelevance.... where do I sign?


I think Bill English highlighted a arrogant disregard of the public view just the other day when he mentioned MP's won't get a payrise until Christmas...boohoo Bill! You MP's re the only ones getting pay rises at the moment and you got 1.4% pay rise, backdated to July in December last year.


Every politician has his/her own personal agendas - I think by now people should have realised that most politicians will never do what's best for the people if it means their own interests are compromised in the process...

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