Sunday, June 27, 2010
Frank Newman: Political monopoly
Unfortunately without questions from the floor there was no opportunity to explore the theme of the evening. That was unfortunate as amongst the bouquets Mr English did acknowledge that politicians enjoy a “monopoly on power”. I would have liked to have asked Mr English if he saw an irony that his government seems intent on restricting business monopolies through regulation, yet he sees no need to curtail their own monopoly.
It is an irony that needs an explanation. I am not suggesting for a moment that business should be able to exploit consumers through monopoly positions. We have anti-monopoly legislation presumably because business can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of their customers. Why then should we trust politicians to use their monopoly powers reasonably?
The smacking bill, the ETS, Auckland’s super city, signing the indigenous rights treaty, abolishing rights to appeal to the Privy Council, the foreshore and seabed legislation - all of these done without reference to majority opinion.
The only way to bring politicians to heel is to give people a right of veto. In my view the requires some form of compulsory referenda.
at 6:49 PM