Friday, November 7, 2014

Your compulsory contribution to John Key's political legacy


This came out days ago, which makes it a matter of historical interest in blogging terms, but what the hell - I didn't get the chance until now.

If you've lived here a while, you'll be familiar with NZ's citizens-initiated-referenda tragicomedy: every now and then, some lobby group comes up with an ambiguous, opaque or self-answering question and gets enough of their fellow citizens to sign a petition so that the government is obliged to ask it of all registered voters, at taxpayers' expense.  Even if an unambiguous intent can be inferred from voter responses to these referenda questions, the government is under no obligation to act on the results, and generally doesn't.

So, most of the expensive citizens-initiated referenda for which we're asked to submit answers are at face-palm levels of badly-written and will have a nett zero effect on government policy, which makes the whole thing an embarrassing farce.  That said, at least it's democracy in action - if enough of our peers have signed a petition demanding that a particular question be put to voters, we really have to just suck it up, hand over the dosh and let due process run its course.

Corporate weasels, of course, tend to see democracy and due process as being only useful to the extent they support your strategic plan - if they don't they can get fucked, but if your strategic goals would benefit from being dressed in the accoutrements of democracy and due process for propaganda purposes, they're wheeled out.

Cue John Key, the corporate weasel currently running the country.  An actual citizens-initiated referendum last year that went against his strategic plan was denounced as an "utter waste of money", said money amounting to $9 million.  The weasel in question now imposes on us two personally-initiated referenda that will apparently cost $25 million, and has the bare-faced cheek to call it "the price of democracy."  If you're bristling at the notion that Key is bullshitting that this is "democracy", consider that fact: the individual in power has decided that two referenda will be held at the cost of $25 million, not because a citizens' petition has demanded it, but because he personally has the power to order it done.  He commands, and it is so.  That, apparently, is "democracy" as seen from the perspective of a corporate weasel.

Ask yourself for a moment why we're being ordered to hand over this $25 million.  No-one has asked for a referendum on the flag, but we have a man in charge who seriously could do with a political legacy, his tenure otherwise having redefined the word "unremarkable."  That's the "price of democracy," I guess...

30 comments:

Jamie said...

Where to even start...

25000 people signed a petition to ban fire-works and the fun police are gonna ban em.

300000 plus Kiwis sign a petition for a referendum on State-asset sales and it's a "utter waste of time."

Wants to change the flag while sending young lads into the dangerzone...

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee???
WTF!!!

ISIS operatin with-in our borders...

Ebola...

How many balls can these clowns juggle before they drop em all???

BANANA REPUBLIC
3RD WORLD DEMOCRACY

The Veteran said...

Key campaigned on a policy of allowing debate on the flag setting out pathway as to how that would happen and the country endorsed that at the polls.

Government is delivering on that promise ... queile suprise

I for one think the country is mature enough to have the debate and welcome the opportunity.

For the record I think the country is likely to stick with the status quo (but then I am of Generation 'mature' or whatever). The alternative is going to have to be simply outstanding in order to get my vote.

But that is no reason not to have the debate.

Jamie said...

Piss-weak bud...

We got ISIS rolling round NZ and you wanna debate...

Tell it to our Troops...

Bleeps said...

Well said Milt. Completely agree.

Psycho Milt said...

But that is no reason not to have the debate.

Sure. But the prospect of blowing $25 mil on a whim of the PM is a reason not to have the debate.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Errrrrrrr Milt, it was a Greens Party initiated referendum, funded with stolen taxpayers' money.

Barnsley Bill said...

PM, again I find myself agreeing with this*

* But only a small part.
Not fair to compare the asset sale referendum and preceding three year tax payer funded part political broadcast for the Green party with the flag "debate" and referendum.
Firstly you would have to say after forcing us to pay tens of millions to promote the Green party it has been an epic fail.
We are all green now. No need for a separate environmental party and the frothing left wing element to the Greens is not very popular at election time either.
However, back to the flag.
WTF is John Key doing? Unlike you I don't consider him to be a corporate weasel. But I just don't get why we are even talking about this let alone having a referendum. Pointless, unnecessary, expensive, disrespectful waste of time.

Last Point. James or whoever the fuck you are. I am getting very tired of your incoherent drivel. You are looking almost as bad as that weapons grade tool Phil Ure who is banned almost everywhere. Please calm down, breathe through your nose and invest a moment or two in sentence structure.
Failure to heed this polite request will see me sit on the blog around the clock just deleting your comments. Trust me, I have the time and little else to keep me entertained at the moment.

Nancy Pugh said...

I loved the referendum a few years ago on firemen's wage rates.
There was the chance to back NZ's "finest". Democracy at its best under a Labour Government.

Psycho Milt said...

Sure, the asset sales referendum was a Green Party effort. But, unlike John Key, they troubled themselves to go out and get the bloody signatures. Which makes their one a 'citizens-initiated referendum' and Key's one a 'self-indulgent exercise in wasting taxpayers' money on a whim.' If he'd like it to be a proper referendum, let him go out and get the signatures.

Marc said...

Umm Psycho, the Greens used taxpayer funded organisers to get their signatures. On a policy that had already been voted on in 2011. So which other country would you get away with saying "...John Key, the corporate weasel currently running the country" without being interrogated until you capitulate? Oh dear, why don't you just toddle off to one of them like North Korea, Russia, Cuba, Somalia, Iraq, Myanmar, Thailand, Libya and say the same about their dear leader?

You brave anonymous keyboard warrior you, with your spittle flecked abuse. You are pathetic - even Jamie seems to have better comprehension (or poor old Phil).

pdm said...

Milt - as I recall so many of the signatues the eens got wee dodgy in some way and they had to go back out and find moe than a few thousand more to get the numbers kosher.

BB - I will help you - just make the call!

pdm said...

Oops - looks like I have dodgy G and r keys.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

BB, I'll be right there behind you to pick up any you miss.

Jamie said...

Oh look the gangs all here...

{Laughs}

I'll take your 'polite request' on-board Barnsley Bill

Psycho Milt said...

the Greens used taxpayer funded organisers to get their signatures. On a policy that had already been voted on in 2011.

The requisite number of citizens signed the petition - that's the criterion. Your views on how the petition was organised and whether its purpose was worthwhile or not are irrelevant.

So which other country would you get away with saying "...John Key, the corporate weasel currently running the country" without being interrogated until you capitulate?

I believe the answer is "Every one with a functioning democracy." My fellow blogger Adolf liked to refer to then-PM Helen Clark as the bilious bitch, also without having servants of government take him away for 're-education' beatings. One would hope we could all agree that this is a Good Thing.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Still does. She still is.

Exclamation Mark said...

I'm with Psycho Milt on this one. Speaking as a right-winger: regardless of what the Greens may have done with their pointless petition, this is colossal waste of money.

John Key deserves to be mocked for this.

I won't repeat why I think changing the flag is an abominable idea but the fact that they want to hold a referendum on what the new flag should be first is insultingly presumptuous. "Never mind if you actually beat your wife or not sir, tell us: do you use a jug cord or just your fists?". There is not enough scorn to be heaped on this shitpile.


If you must hold this stupid fucking doomed-to-fail referendum, hold the Yes/No referendum first and save us all $12.5M

Exclamation Mark said...

P.S.

Please ban jamie, scrolling through his crap is putting me off reading comments altogether.

Jamie said...

Shoot the messenger???

{Chuckles}

Anonymous said...

You're de3ad right. Exclamation Mark. The referendums are being held arse about front. The first on should ask "Change" or 'No Change" and the latter would win at a gallop.
WRD

Nookin said...

So, let's assume that a vast majority say that of the alternatives, one in particular stands out but as between the present flag and the alternative there is a 51/49 split in favour of the status quo. Wouldn't that mean that your unequicocally dismissive approach is wholly out of touch with one of the more fundamental precepts of democracy?

Nookin said...

As a matter of interest, this is not a citizens' initiated referendum and that Act does not apply. This is a government initiated referendum. The Government does not need to go out and get signatures to decide whether there should or should not be a referendum. It does not need (but arguably has) a mandate to do so in any event.

The CIR Act only applies if initiators want a referendum but the government sees no need. The initiators have the ability to force the issue.

Telling the government to go out and get the signatures before it can do something it campaigned on suggests a fundamental misapprehension of the process. Espousing the view that the referendum should not be held because, on one view, it is a waste of time and money, suggests a fundamental misapprehension of democracy.

Nookin said...

I have now had two, possibility three assuming that I got the threshold quiz question correct, posts either vetted and discarded or posted then withdrawn. None have been controversial in any way.

Maybe it is just the system (and I have not got the hang of it) or maybe you simply relish the intellectual prowess of Jaimie ahead of all others, I don't know - there has been no explanation. Either way, I get the message.

The Veteran said...

Seems 'our' Jamie has catholic tastes. Popping up at Bowalley Road too .... that nice Mr Trotter is in for a treat.

Jamie said...

Say my name say my name...

And while you are at it perhaps you can explain to me weather the
families of soldiers in NZ are now targets for ISIS beheadings???

What do you have to say to the soldiers families 'Veteran"????

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Jamie

Not sure whether you are a wether or a weatherman.

The Veteran said...

Jamie ... we have discussed b4 the matter of threadjacking. Be warned.

Anonymous said...

Dear Psycho Milt,
If you were writing a petition to have the flag referendum concur with the next general election (thus saving tax-payer money), how would you word it?
I understand that the point of your article is that JK will go ahead and do whatever he want's regardless.If nothing else, however, a few hundred-thousand ignored signatures might show people how far gone our democracy is.

Jamie said...

Dictator Key you mean. Bloke's drunk on power!!!

Psycho Milt said...

If you were writing a petition to have the flag referendum concur with the next general election (thus saving tax-payer money), how would you word it?

I wouldn't write one, as the country already has a perfectly servicable flag. Still, if I were to write one, it would have to be a two-step process (which is the same conclusion Key came to): one to find out whether people want to change the flag, and if they do, a second one to endorse a candidate flag. The referendum question for the first one would be something like "Should New Zealand replace its flag?"

If nothing else, however, a few hundred-thousand ignored signatures might show people how far gone our democracy is.

We've clocked up a few of those over the last 20 years, and no doubt there'll be others.