“This National-led Government has overturned your democratic rights for a second time – to barely a murmur of protest.”
The reason is, that Cantabs haven’t noticed that ECan is gone, they’re so busy on the phone to AIG or shoveling liquefaction. Many of us have moved to Australia, Nelson, Auckland and Southland.
“A republic, if you can keep it. Roughly translated from the Latin, res publica means ‘this thing of ours’. Franklin knew what many New Zealanders appear to have forgotten: that democracy is not, and must never become, someone else’s game; a spectator sport.”
Except that the Governmental decision to delay the next Regional Council election is by a democratically elected Govt that is up for review in 2014, and whose decisions can be revisited.
“This thing of ours. This arrangement we have worked out among ourselves. This set of rules we have devised to keep us free, and to prevent the high and mighty from traducing our rights, making off with our property and turning us into slaves. This is the most valuable thing we, as ordinary New Zealanders, possess.
High ground indeed, remember Helen Clark and the Electoral Finance Act (2007)?
“And if we allow ‘this thing of ours’ to become ‘that thing of theirs’, then all our constitutional guarantees and safeguards are rendered useless – and we are lost.
All our laws are “that thing of theirs” because we have chosen parliamentary democracy which is by representation. Our laws are determined by a House of Reprsentatives. It feels to me like Chris Trotter is feeling Being-in-Opposition fatigue.
“Apart from the passivity of Canterbury’s people…
We are not passive. In May 2011 more than 100,000 ideas for the rebuild of Christchurch were submitted by the public at the Share an Idea expo. We have a city-wide City Council election in under a year, and the citizens of this fair Region are busy with the details of determining their new city (NZ’s second largest) in partnership with an intricate, multi-layered and highly consultative range of governing bodies led by CERA made up of its own people. Have a click through these links from the CCC public website.
- Current consultations
- Upcoming consultations
- Consultation Calendar
- Consultations that have recently closed
Here’s a cool pre-earthquake quote Chris may not have seen: “The Strategy was created through a three-year long consultation and development process initiated in 2004 due to rising concerns over the lack of collaborative planning and leadership to manage growth in the area in a sustainable way. Community consultation undertaken by the Strategy partners resulted in over 3,250 submissions on growth management options for the area.”
“In the interests of Canterbury’s progress, and to protect the gains the commissioners have made, the Government has decided the best option is to continue with the current governance arrangement.’ …Note, particularly, the use of the word ‘governance’.”
That’s right Chris, its called “parliamentary government” and is principally concerned with governing New Zealand on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and Her subjects.
“Most people assume ‘governance’ is simply a dandified version of ‘government’…‘Governance’ is the word used by those who seek to curb and control the naturally obstreperous and decidedly messy processes of democratic government.
What rubbish. Every parent on a School Board of Trustees understands what “goverance” means…overseeing the “messy processes” of a school, managing its money for the benefit of those whom they represent.
“Canterbury’s current ‘governance’ has, therefore, some important questions to answer.
What, precisely, is the nature of ‘the gains’ that its Government-appointed commissioners have made?
What gains did we get after 20 years of ECan, Chris? That’s why we as a public accepted change engineered by our parliamentary-elected majority Coalition Government.
“Cantabrians might well ask. They might also ask which individuals and groups have benefited most from the ‘progress’ Canterbury’s appointed rulers have (allegedly) been making?”
Conspiracy theory…the nefarious “self interest groups” [no, I don't mean Unions with their Secret Ballots] all getting their back-handers, something we learned a lot about after nine years of hard Labour; you only have to look at the rates of Labour-appointed public company directorships, and appointments to the UN, to see who benefited most.
“And by what right central Government continues to deny the citizens of the Canterbury region access to the machinery of self- government, and the democratic authority to determine their own future?”
This is drivel. There is a city-wide Ward election in 2013; and a full NZ election in 2014. It is perhaps also worth reflecting that this Govt has just handed the ownership of the Urewera National Park over to the people of Tuhoe, hardly “a malign constitutional experiment upon [an] exhausted population,” to quote Chris Trotter.