Draco Would Be Proud
By Dave Taggart
October 14 2003 was a Red-Letter day in New Zealand’s history. This was the day that a minority government finally showed that New Zealand was no longer a democracy. In the space of a few hours, the minority Labour government both removed citizens’ right to seek real justice and committed the country to being a GE laboratory. Draco would be proud of the deliberate deletion of New Zealand’s democracy.
On the former, Labour only needed Green Party support to ram through legislation abolishing people’s right to access the Privy Council as the final Court of Appeal. There was no public support for this abolition. In fact, people wanted a Referendum to express their opinions.
Maori wanted the Privy Council retained and the Green Party, who constantly spouts rhetoric about “always honouring the Treaty of Waitangi”, knew this. Democracy demands that the people’s wishes be heeded. Democracy was perverted. Labour got Green Party support and passed the legislation by a majority of three. All other Parties opposed it.
On the latter, Labour’s support came from every Party except the Green Party, New Zealand First and the Progressive Coalition of two people; the latter Parties committing themselves only at the last moment.. The legislation was passed. Again, there was no public support for lifting the moratorium on GE. Again, people wanted a Referendum to express their opinions; opinions supported by growing volumes of evidence showing how corrupt GE really is.
I used to have some respect for the Green Party. I didn’t always agree with their policies, but I thought they, at least, had some political integrity. But no more. The Green Party could have respected people’s wishes for a Referendum on the Privy Council. Instead, their true colours are now evident.
As for the so-called Labour Party; they came to power under the banner of ‘Third Way Social Democracy’. Does anyone remember that ill-defined electoral catch-cry? The ‘Third Way’ is, according to Anthony Giddens (incidentally, Giddens is Tony Blair’s favourite political guru) all about ‘democratising democracy’, ‘devolving power to the people’, ‘constitutional reform directed towards greater transparency and openness’, ‘a State/Civil society partnership’ and a few other similar phrases. As we’ve seen in Britain, the ‘Third Way’ is a pipe-dream.
New Zealand smoked from the same British pipe and we now have the inevitable hangover. The real agenda of ‘Third Way’ democracy is Globalisation; Giddens says as much, but in prettier language. Globalisation is all about concentrating power in the hands of Corporate puppets while making access to redress more difficult to the citizenry. Globalisation is about dismantling democracy.
New Zealand doesn’t have to go down the path of unbridled globalisation. We don’t have to ‘follow the leader’. We can be the leader, but to do so will demand much more political will than any of our current so-called ‘democratically elected’ representatives. What we have now is a Right-Wing that hasn’t had an original thought in decades, a morally bankrupt Centre and a Left-Wing without vertebrae. Even my home-town representative is known as the government’s representative in Napier, instead of Napier’s representative in the government.
There is an alternative to the downward spiral, the path we currently tread. It will take some truly creative people to pull us out of this nose-dive, but, as a very wise friend of mine says, there’s always a creative solution to any problem if you’re open to it. I’m definitely open to creative solutions; are you?