democracy

The post-truth World of Winstonomics

It is not unusual for politicians to make promises they can’t keep. In an attempt to restore some integrity and transparency into politics, The Opportunities Party (TOP) has undertaken means to fully cost all our policies and show where the money is coming from. Not all parties are this robust however. One party in particular, is writing cheques they can’t cash and therefore making promises they can’t possibly deliver. That party is NZ First and their leader is Winston Peters.

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Abusing Democracy.

Our democracy is a fragile thing. We know that disillusion with it is on the rise, that a growing swathe of voters feel so disempowered that they’re driven to not participate, to turn down their opportunity to shape the next government or to ensure governments are accountable to the whole citizenry. Democracy starts to fail once voter participation slides and in New Zealand it’s been sliding for 30 years now.

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Why Aotearoa New Zealand Needs A Constitution

Last week Forest and Bird won a case against the Minister of Conservation in the Supreme Court. The Society was concerned that the Director General of Conservation had contravened the Conservation Act by allowing a protected conservation land swap to enable the Ruataniwha dam to proceed, and that this would set a dangerous precedent for protected land. The Minister’s response to the Supreme Court decision is Conservation Act reform. 

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What are you Hiding Mr Bridges?

It is appalling enough that Mr Bridges tried to suppress the release of the Wiri to Westfield rail line business case, particularly given that we are all shareholders in KiwiRail. This is yet another example of Establishment Parties slowly bending the public service to their own ends, instead of doing what they should do; serve the public. 

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Pasifika Youth Parliament speaks out on big issues

A couple of weeks ago 100 young Pasifika leaders gathered in Christchurch to discuss Aotearoa New Zealand’s big issues. I was happy to contribute a video to the day, and they have now published a summary of what they agreed.

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StuffME merger a sideshow

The merger of Fairfax and NZME looks to have stalled. The opponents of the merger said that having one owner of newspapers in the country would put too much power in one company’s hands, ultimately risking public interest journalism. Meanwhile Fairfax and NZME argued that without merger newspapers will close, ultimately risking public interest journalism.

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The Defence Force needs a Democracy Reset

TOP’s policy #4 ‘Democracy Reset’ proposes, among other things, the return of an Upper House. This is a response to the concentration of political power in Cabinet and its ability to wield that power without due recourse to Parliament, let alone to the New Zealand public.

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The Voting Reality - Hopeless

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

So said Winston Churchill and little has changed. We just commissioned market research to determine what makes New Zealand voters tick and the answers are depressing.

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A New Zealand Constitution: Starter for Discussion

We need a Constitution – badly. As covered in our policy release #4 Democracy Reset, confidence in government and faith in our democracy is falling away rapidly, particularly amongst those generations younger than the Baby Boomers. The unbridled power of Cabinet and the implied loss of sovereignty of parliament are both reasons New Zealanders regard voting as futile. A Constitution would make it loud and clear to politicians what it is New Zealanders value and what we require to be protected.  Restoring an Upper House would ensure that parliaments sovereignty is protected and the unbridled power of Cabinet, ends. Constitutions and Upper Houses are essential features of almost all democracies.

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Values that really define us as New Zealanders

A few weeks ago we asked people about their views on 'Kiwi values'. We got some great feedback and the overall response was pretty clear.

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