Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Is it worth voting? – A debate for our times


Is it worth voting? – A debate for our times

In a world of ever-growing economic inequality and accelerating climate change, questions are being raised about the ability of the current political system to respond adequately to such complex challenges. Can a parliamentary system based on adversarial politics take significant action to re-distribute wealth and adopt a green economy, or have developments over the past few decades weakened the ability of law-makers to make the necessary radical changes to society? Does voting in a general election promise real change and democratic participation, or simply more of the same old party politics? What has happened to the major debates between Left and Right? Have these been replaced by a depoliticisation of political processes and their replacement by technical discussions about technocratic problems?

In a public debate chaired by Professor Kevin Clements (National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies), Dr David Clark (MP Dunedin North), Marian Hobbs (former Minister for the Environment), Dr Bryce Edwards (Politics Department, University of Otago), and Professor Richard Jackson (National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies) will explore whether the act of voting remains a meaningful exercise in democracy. Professor Jackson is clear in his position: “Voting is a largely meaningless ritual which expresses the form but not the content of democracy”, he says. “The political system is today largely incapable of helping us deal with climate change or inequality. Worse than that, the widespread belief that voting equals democratic participation actually infantilises and disempowers us as individuals. The idea that if we just vote for the right politician or political party, they will ride in to save us, is hopelessly misguided, in my view.”

On the other hand, the question remains: are there alternatives to voting? Can citizens participate meaningfully in politics apart from the current electoral system? Or, are there meaningful ways to reform the current political system to make it more responsive and responsible? The debate is open to all members of the public, and promises to be a lively and informative exploration of all these important issues.

When: 5:15pm, July 23, 2014
Where: Archway 2, University of Otago

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news