Monday, June 14, 2010

Give dictatorship a chance? Yeah, right


Yesterday, 3,000 people rallied in Christchurch against the government's sacking of the elected ECan and its replacement with unelected dictators. The government's response? "Give dictatorship a chance". Seriously. I wonder if they'll next be promoting dictatorship as the answer to the national debt?

Smith says that "If regional elections were the answer, Canterbury would not have a water problem". But this misses the key point: Canterbury's water problems are Canterbury's to resolve. This is not a technocratic question, it is a question of what people want. And that means it is the exclusive domain of elected representatives to resolve.

Smith's junta has no democratic mandate. Its decisions are therefore illegitimate. And it should be the first task of any future elected regional council to review those decisions and reverse them if they are not in accordance with the wishes of the people. What ECan can do, ECan can also undo. Those hoping to profit by dictatorship should remember that.