Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another illegitimate Governor-General

Today the Prime Minister announced the appointment of Patsy Reddy as the next Governor-General. Like her predecessors, I'm sure she'll do a fine job, which basicly involves holding a lot of garden parties and signing whatever is put in front of her. But once again, its worth remembering: she has no democratic legitimacy.

The Governor-General is not elected, and they're not approved by Parliament. Instead, they were chosen by one man, John Key, shoulder-tapped in secret. And that's simply not appropriate in a modern democratic state.

In a democracy, power and legitimacy flow up from the people, not down from the Prime Minister. And that principle needs to be reflected in the way we choose our head of state. I'm agnostic on the question of direct election (as in Ireland) versus election by a supermajority in Parliament (as advocated by the Greens), but we need to change this. And the sooner we do it, the better.