Friday, December 16, 2011

MPs and oaths

On Tuesday, the new Parliament will meet for the first time and MPs will be sworn in. The oath they use is a matter of some contention, requiring allegiance to a foreign monarch rather than the people of New Zealand, and failing to mention the Treaty of Waitangi, our founding document. It reflects the values of nineteenth century Britain, not those of modern New Zealand.

The Greens at least are aware of this, and a number of them (including Holly Walker and Gareth Hughes) have set up a survey asking for your views. At the least, it will inform them in their work to reform the oaths and turn them into something more appropriate for a modern, democratic society. But it may also be a prelude to a few making a symbolic protest over the oath to highlight the issue.