NZ Citizens "Subvert Democracy" (Satire)
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New Zealand Citizens "Subvert Democracy"
Prime Minister hits out at "reckless" seeking of official information
The Prime Minister has accused some New Zealand citizens of subverting democracy by seeking official information for political reasons. In a statement today, Helen Clark said some private citizens and organisations were "unwilling or unable" to simply accept official information as it is presented.
"Sometimes reasons for seeking information are advanced which seem to relate more to personal, political or communal convenience. Seekers of official information need to be reminded that by requesting information from MP's and government agencies they are in fact hampering those same ministers and agencies ability to participate freely and without consequence in the representative democratic process."
Ms Clark did not name any New Zealand citizens personally.
It is not the first time the New Zealand public has been chided by the Prime Minister. In 2002 she castigated the country for being "in an absolute mess", and used State of Emergency powers to postpone Friday night for 16 hours until it had all - all! - been tidied up. Last year she instructed Judy 'Mamma-San' Bailey to send the nation to bed at 7pm for consistently answering back, before cutting all telecommunications capabilities for the night and suspending all overseas travel privileges for three weeks.
Under the official Information Act, government bodies and ministers have a minimum of 20 working days to issue a refusal for requested information, though they can take longer for simpler, more direct requests. A study by Victoria University Fulla Paul E. Paul, to be published this month, found that in two-thirds of cases where citizens requested information, they "failed to take into account national interest considerations, such as the free-ranging ministerial ability to sign bilateral trade deals that subvert New Zealand's already perilous economic sovereignty even more".
The government was embarrassed before the election when the phatbudsdude ordered the publication of Treasury costings on granting education minister Steve Maharey with a Tom Robbins Personality Plus! upgrade. These estimated the implant would cost $6 million more than the $3 million the finance minister had claimed. Referring to the public outcry that followed, the Prime Minister was scathing of the "haters and wreckers that have caused little Steven such harm. If they could have sent him crying and crying away, all curled up on the mat in the corner of my office, waiting forlornly to be digitally implanted with a bright new personality, I do not believe they would be so reckless in requesting information about what we do, why we do it, and what outcomes might have been registered."
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