Thursday, July 07, 2005

Giving referenda a bad name

I noticed the Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand a few weeks ago, and wrote them off as the sort of Investigate-reading lunatics who give citizens-initiated-referenda a bad name. But it seems they're worse than that. Their leader is a former soldier closely associated with the self-proclaimed "Maori Government of Aotearoa" (currently hitting the headlines for running an extortion racket in Gisborne), and who has in the past tried to establish an "Armed Intervention Force" for the purpose of "returning power back to New Zealanders". And their Christchurch East candidate is former National Front fuhrer Kyle Chapman. This isn't as strange as it sounds; as Kelvyn Alp, Direct Democracy's leader, points out, the National Front and Direct Democracy have several policies in common (notably immigration and foreign investment).

I suspect people will be paying a little more attention to the Direct Democracy Party in future...


Thanks for pointing those things out. Otherwise I might have been tempted to vote for them since they are the closest to the scheme of government I'd like to see.

But seeing who are behind the party puts me off immediately. *sigh*

Posted by Ferrouswheel : 7/07/2005 02:59:00 PM

There are sensible schemes for direct public involvement out there, it's just that nobody really seems to be advocating them. I'm rather disappointed that the Greens don't have a referenda policy - and that Labour didn't respond to Winston's "non-negotiable" demand for a fairly stupid BCIR system by proposing a sensible one instead.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/07/2005 04:09:00 PM

I am not at all disappointed that the Greens do not have a referenda policy. Referenda are the tyranny of the majority, rather than direct democracy. We saw how the electoral reform referendum was nearly bought by corporate money, and the reality is that corporate money is likely to sway any referendum on an issue that threatens corporate power.

The ecperience of referenda in California is that the majority always vote for the social services they want, but also vote against the taxation needed to provide those services - a completely untenable situation that made any Governorship a lame duck that could not honour its election promises and eventually led to Schwartzenegger.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand there are a number of issues to be worked through before we should even consider binding Citizens Initiated Referenda - most notably how to protect fundamental human rights from being eroded by referenda, how to enusre that the rights conferred to both Maori and non-Maori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi cannot be similarly undermined, and how to prevent corporate money buying referenda for corporate interests.

Posted by greenfrogred : 7/07/2005 04:44:00 PM

We also saw that the public was quite aware of what was going on, and that in the end the BRT didn't succeed. As for California, there's also the example of Switzerland, where referenda have worked quite well for 130 years. Sure, we're not Swiss - but we're hardly Americans either; the topics chosen for referenda and whether they succeed or not will be a factor of our unique political culture.

What is important is human rights and Treaty safeguards. There are a number of options here, and the problem is not insoluable. But I'd like to see people like the Greens actually trying to work through those problems, rather than simply leaving the whole issue in the hands of people who will ignore them.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/08/2005 12:29:00 AM

Anton Foljambe, a former leader of the National Front, is now a candidate as well. It seems that the rumours about significant desertions from the National Front might be accurate.

Posted by Maramatanga : 7/08/2005 10:40:00 PM

Or else they're trying to ditch their contaminated brand for a new one.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/08/2005 11:57:00 PM

To whom it may concern

I have always believed in freedom of speech and I myself would fight for your right to exercise that, however when your right to free speech is exercised in such a way as to cast aspersions on my name without any factual basis for such, do you think that should go unchallenged?

I have not in anyway been associated with any Gisborne extortion racket or activity and challenge you to provide proof that I have; mind you having never spoken to me, you would not know what you are talking about anyway would you? As tempting as it may be to seek a sense of self importance by regurgitating someone else’s writings, would it not be prudent to establish a factual foundation in which to base your assertions? One would think so I am sure.

Report any wrongs I have done that you know to be fact, definitely, write about everything you, yourself know personally about me for sure; but please resist repeating another’s perception if you do not know the subject matter in which you speak. I now ask that you actually research the Gisborne debacle and find the truth; you will notice I have absolutely nothing to do with it. Then if you have any integrity, you will apologise in the same manner in which you defamed.

Thank your for your time.

PS: No one can give Binding referenda a bad name, because even if you do not like us at all (again not that you even have bothered to know us), you will find that should we be voted in, we will have to do as you instruct anyway, that is the essence of Binding Referenda. Read the website properly and tell me exactly what you disagree with that you know for a fact please.

Kelvyn Alp
Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand

16A Glenross Drive
Mahia Park
Phone: (09) 267-3928
Mobile: (027) 286-8789

Posted by Anonymous : 7/09/2005 01:40:00 AM

Apart from the linkage of the
Voters Voice BCIR lobby group
to the League of Rights?


...and check out On Target NZ...


Posted by Anonymous : 7/14/2005 10:05:00 AM