Skip to make comment
Send to a friend
Rattle of a Grumpy (Old?) Man
15 January 2011
an election in eight months time and the prospect of having to
vote a party rather than a person into office- I’m getting
thought of another three years of treading water with the
National Party or a return to socialism with the Labour party
makes me even grumpier. (Socialism is defined as the equal
distribution of misery -Winston Churchill)
any one out there feel that the National Government has
actually achieved something / anything during their time in
office? Yes the financial meltdown caused major problems for
National but it has also constrained their spending aspiration
(to ensure their anointed place in parliament) which is no bad
thing. Their major “achievement” so far is to impose the
ETS on the people of this country so that Nick Smith can
trumpet his success on the world stage; as though that is some
how of importance to anybody other than Minister Smith. I’m
grumpy, because if the voters of this country wanted more of
the same, they would have continued to vote for Labour. We
keep on doing the same old things so we keep getting the same
old results. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we focus
on the effects of previous Government policy rather than deal
to the causes of the nation’s problems?
least part of the answer is the advent of the party system of
political representation within our Parliament, but that was
not always the case. If it was, the voting lobbies outside the
debating chamber would not have the “ayes” and the
“noes” above the voting lobby doors but simply National
first Parliaments consisted of people who felt they had
something to offer as individuals and the voters obviously
agreed. Their allegiance was to their electorate and not a
political party. Each and every vote would have effectively
been a conscious vote as each member made up their minds on
which decision would better suit their electorate and the
country and probably in that order. Contrast that with the
party system we now have which effectively renders most MPs of
the two larger parties - DOA, or dead-on-arrival. A
Government’s decisions are (hopefully) made for the good of
the country but now rather curiously, they are also good for
the party. (see the ETS and Smith’s blue-greens)
are now faced with a situation where the number of parties in
Parliament precludes a clear majority for any one party .The
passing of a bill in Parliament requires the co-operation of
other smaller parties and impels the MP of the governing party
to vote as they are told to do.
Abstentions and crossing the floor is now a political
death warrant. The so called mavericks within the two major
parties of yester-year like Norman Jones and Aubrey Begg are
not to be found. These
were men who stood and delivered on behalf of their
constituents and barely considered their parties’ official
is inconceivable that today’s crop of National’s rural MPs
were so keen on an ETS regime that their party imposed on
their constituents, that not one of them spoke out in
opposition to the ETS. In other words the party system ensures
that MPs represent their party’s views back to their
electorates not their electorate’s view to the Parliament.
Isn’t it the people’s representative’s job to do just
day of the independent MP may well be on its way back if
enough people understand what happened in the Australian
the benefits of independent MPs. The people actually get to
choose their representative rather than being appointed and
anointed by their party for sign-off by the electorate who in
turn are more inclined to vote for the party than the person.
The independent MP is not subject to “whipping” – rather
they are wooed by the other parties for support.
is tailor-made for independent MPs. Anderton and Dunn, while
espousing they represent a party, are both independent MPs to
all intent and purpose. Peter Dunn is doubly blessed with a
political and philosophical dexterity that enables him to
serve in either a centre left Labour Government or centre left
National Government. (no typo)
recent Australian election resulted in four independent MPs
deciding who will govern. Their decision obviously resulted in
enormous benefits for the “bush” which is all but ignored
by the urban controlled party system - not unlike NZ. In fact
it is exactly like NZ. The four independents from “the
bush” have brought a balance and influence back into
Australian politics that would otherwise never surface.
in NZ it would be a fascination to see how many taxpayers’
dollars have gone into Auckland vs the whole of the South
Island for any period of both National and Labour’s
governance. The party system demands those with the voting
strength gets the discretionary dollar.
the crucial issue of race relations focuses on the effects of
government policy on the poorer with brown skins rather than
on what is needed to bring all on the wrong side of the socio
economic tracks back into the ball park.
towns stagnate due to a lack of innovation opportunity due to
the cost of fighting those who demand their St Helen’s
version of the RMA bible is to be liberally interpreted.
rises keep councils in the style to which they have grown
young disappear to Australia – most never to return.
is resource rich but determined not to utilize them for
fear some future generation might miss out on something that
new technology has long since ignored.
party system appoints a few representatives from ethnic
minorities or interest groups (which is little more than
tokenism) so the real debates are never had.
for the chance to vote for a Don Brash- a Stephen Franks- a
Ken Shirley – a Muriel Newman as independent members of
Parliament. Imagine the quantum lift in the quality of debate
and the shift in focus to those things that really matter.
believe few good men and women can make the changes we
house of independent MPs of thought and deed would deal to the
causes of our lack of progress and the years of ambivalence
the party system of government has imposed on us.
Skip to top |
Skip to make comment |
Send to a friend
To comment go to
letters to editor
Skip to top |