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 Have these been replaced by a depoliticisation of political processes and their replacement by technical discussions about technocratic problems?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 The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: October 22 — Parliament Today

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news