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 Have these been replaced by a depoliticisation of political processes and their replacement by technical discussions about technocratic problems?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

Urgent Bill Planned:
MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency.

Mr Key says the decision was made after the Remuneration Authority’s latest determination which saw the total remuneration received by MPs increased by about 3.5 per cent...

The new legislation will be backdated to 1 July 2014, meaning the pay increase outlined in the latest determination will not be awarded. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news