Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

I posted this to le social media when it was new, but forgot to blog it…

Remember how I said that the Internet-Mana party isn’t an affront to democracy and it’s okay if they want to have their own run at the electorate lifeboat while it exists?

Well, the Internet Party is now running a petition for a sensible solution to the electorate lifeboat: end coat-tailing, but also lower the threshold somewhere reasonable, for instance 2% or lower.

This is a good near-term compromise on the threshold: it allows a reasonable barrier to entry, which satisfies people who don’t want to have to fight the Colin Craigs, Rodney Hides, John Banks, and Winston Peters of the world with humour, and it also allows small parties to enter parliament solely on the strength of the Party vote, which is actually a practical way for parties that don’t split off with a pre-loaded electorate MP to enter parliament. Our higher-than-recommended threshold is the only reason parties even bother with so-called “coat-tailing”. Let’s start treating micro-parties with electorates more like independent electorate MPs, but lower the threshold for genuine small parties.

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Becoming an MP joins the long list of things Colin Craig is confident he can do, including:

  • Assisting all new mothers to remove their shoes and make their way securely to the kitchen.
  • Ending the plague of gay marriage upon all of our houses.
  • Overturning scientific abominations such as the teaching of evolution in classrooms.
  • An excellent karaoke rendition of the song “Roar” by Katy Perry.
  • Removing the redundant “h” from the placename “Whanganui”.
  • Removing the redundant “s” from the pronoun “she”.
  • Merging the North and South islands into a single landmass through the power of prayer1.
  • Making our country a laughingstock.

This is yet another reason why electorates are the obvious weakness of MMP and we should transition to an open list system as soon as we can convince enough of the country via referendum. That a small community can (potentially) elect a credulous bigot and disgrace such as Colin Craig with a bare fraction of the vote we require for a single list seat is ridiculous, and the rate at which we keep adding electorates makes things even worse. Local representation is not necessarily better representation.

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Well, that’s not really fair to donkeys, but you get the picture.

What’s become clear to anyone who viewed Lockwood Smith under rage-tinted glasses at the fact that National was in government, is that we actually had it pretty good under the former speaker.

The current speaker doesn’t really give a shite about fair debate, is quite happy to shield corrupt ministers under flimsy justifications, and has done literally nothing to improve the standard of debate in Parliament.

You know what would be nice? Having an actual experienced debate moderator as speaker, and letting MPs stay as MPs instead. Either elect the speaker directly, (risky, potentially just as prone to politicisation) or have them independently appointed on a periodic basis, say by a random pool of electors pulled in from each electorate in a situation similar to Jury Duty.

Can you imagine a having a speaker who wasn’t accountable to his or her party when the Prime Minister tries to abuse the debating chamber? Can you imagine having someone who would support engaging the public with parliament, instead of a petty tyrant who wants to ban tweeting about him?

I know I can.