Monday, February 29, 2016

Its their country too

Over the weekend, Winston Peters emitted one of his regular racist blurts, this time demanding that voting in the flag referendum be restricte donly to citizens:

Thousands of immigrants who are not New Zealand citizens should be barred from voting in the flag referendum, NZ First leader Winston Peters says.

Speaking in Whangarei on Saturday, Peters denied his view was discrimination, saying no other country allowed "outsiders" to make decisions about their national identity.


As with general elections, permanent residents who are 18 years or older and who have lived in New Zealand for at least one year continuously at some point are eligible to enrol and vote, along with New Zealand citizens.

But to point out the obvious, they're not "outsiders": permanent residents live here and so have a stake in our society. It's their country too! And that's why they get to vote. The alternative is that we have a large class of people who have a stake in our society, but are legally excluded from making decisions about it - and that's neither democratic nor reasonable.