Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Dom-Post on the Governor-General

The Dominion-Post has joined the chorus of voices calling for the Governor-General to be elected by Parliament:

The process for selecting the governor-general needs to become more democratic. At present the office is largely the gift of the prime minister, though it seems some informal consultations are done with the leader of the Opposition.

This is an old-fashioned, secretive and elitist way of deciding the head of state's representative. A far more open and public-spirited way would be by a 75 per cent vote in Parliament, as the Green Party proposes.

This would mean the governor-general had the clear support of a majority of the people's representatives. It would prevent the kind of partisan or politically controversial appointments that have sometimes occurred.

Unfortunately, their conclusion is not hopeful:
The reform won't happen, of course. Prime ministers won't give up this power. Labour won't want a change. A Labour leader knows he or she will in due course get to appoint the governor-general. This cosy two-party club needs to end.

And they're right: the cosy club needs to end. And we need to elect the Governor-General rather than letting the Prime Minister shoulder-tap anyone they want.