Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A desperate farce

Our farcical flag referendum looks set to get even more farcical, with Parliament looking to sit under all-stages urgency to add "Red Peak" to the ballot paper. And its pretty easy to see why: Key's process and crony-stacked "independent" flag consideration panel has produced designs pretty much no-one wants. Faced with almost certain failure, Key is gambling in the hope of being able to force change, and go down in history as "the guy who changed the flag" (a distinctly unambitious goal IMHO).

Its obviously a win for those who like the "Red Peak" design (and it has grown on me a bit, though I am still in thrall to the Hypnoflag), it raises an obvious question: why wasn't it on the ballot to begin with? And given the way it has inspired debate and captured (some) public imagination, in exactly the way that Key's preferred silver fern designs haven't, why was his abortion of a process unable to do the same?

The answer, I think, is that people knew the outcome was fixed, so they refused to engage and legitimise. And the blame for that can be placed firmly on the government. They had a chance to do it right, but instead they deliberately fucked it up. And now they're scrambling to fix that mistake, and making their process look even more farcical by doing so.