Saturday, May 16, 2009

Worse than I thought

Auckland's dictatorship is worse than I thought. Not only are Auckland's elected local bodies subject to a veto from a clique of unelected party hacks appointed by Rodney Hide - they also are no longer elected themselves. Normally, if a vacancy occurs on a city council - if, for example, a city councillor who is also a National MP resigns to focus on Parliament - there would be a by-election. But check out this part of the Auckland dictatorship bill:

33. Extraordinary vacancy during transition period

Sections 117(2) to (6), 118, and 119 of the Local Electoral Act 2001 apply, with all necessary modifications, to any extraordinary vacancy that occurs—
(a) in the office of an elected member of an existing local authority or in the office of an elected member of a community board of an existing local authority; and
(b) at any time during the transition period.

Sections 117 (2) - (6) allow a local body to fill a vacancy by appointment rather than a by-election. So, if Sam Lotu-Iiga resigns, his CitRat mates get to choose his successor. And the people of Auckland? They don't get a say at all.

This is what national calls "democracy". And it is nothing of the sort.

[Hat-tip: Red Alert]