Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Baron: Governments & Governance - Where is the power?

The world is changing — political power is changing. Sovereign governments around the world are persistently signing their countries up to international agreements, laws and conventions, usually with the intention to strengthen human rights, improve free trade due to the increase in global trade, quell armed conflict and to address environmental concerns.

The question for New Zealanders to consider though — is the government (and therefore New Zealanders) handing over power to an unknown group of outsiders who then control our destinies? Is there cause for concern or is this just the way the world is going and we simply need to jump on for the ride as this international governance is simply a new process or new method of governing?

There now appears to be a growing disparity in power between governments and governance. Governments appear to becoming weaker and international governance much stronger than ever before. Governance is the act of governing but this is not necessarily the act of the government of a country, such as New Zealand.

International agreements, laws and conventions are growing in stature and often influence governments who sign up to them. They often take precedence over domestic laws. As prominent New Zealand journalist, Colin James, once said, “In a globalised world international treaties and rule-making bodies increasingly shape domestic law and constrain domestic legislation and administration”.

There are however, many who question the effectiveness of these international organisations. Even six months after the Asian tsunami disaster in 2004, many countries had not fully paid the money they had pledged to the United Nations (UN). The USA had paid 43 per cent, Canada 37 per cent and Australia 20 per cent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank also have their critics. Joseph Stiglitz, a renowned economist, Nobel Laureate, Chairman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisor's and World Bank Chief Economist stated, “The IMF prescribed outmoded, inappropriate, if 'standard' solutions, without considering the effect on the people in the countries told to follow these policies”.

Once the New Zealand government signs up to these international agreements, laws and conventions, it is then obligated to adhere to any subsequent changes that are made in these agreements. This consequently places significant power in the hands of these international authorities such as the UN, the IMF, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the World Bank, and citizens are effectively powerless to stop these decisions.

Free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) are a concern to some New Zealanders. TPPWatch is a group of concerned unions, groups and individuals who have organised themselves to oppose this free trade agreement. This group has taken out advertisements in major newspapers highlighting their concerns and arguing the TPPA is a threat to New Zealand's democracy.

For example, if New Zealand were to sign up to a free trade agreement with the USA, this may put pressure on the New Zealand government to remove the power Pharmac (New Zealand's pharmaceutical management agency) possesses to control the distribution and importation of medication to New Zealand. Some might argue this would be a good thing, however the Pharmac scheme has also brought many advantages via buying power to New Zealanders.

Should citizens have the final say as to whether or not New Zealand becomes aligned with any international agreements, laws and conventions?

Switzerland is an interesting example in this area. For a long time, the Swiss people refused to agree to become a member of the UN and still today, refuse to be members of the European Union (EU). The difference with Switzerland is that before the government can sign up to such agreements, the country must agree to the decision in a nationwide referendum. Switzerland voted against joining the EU in December 1992 but has still developed bilateral agreements to maintain competitiveness. In March 2001, the Swiss people again refused the chance to start accession negotiations with the EU. It was not until 2002, and after an intense and controversial debate, that the Swiss people finally agreed to becoming a full member of the UN in a referendum.

Perhaps even, these international agreements, laws and conventions offer us a decentralisation of power and are possibly a real benefit to New Zealanders? Perhaps we should even embrace them as they may set new standards that are above what our own government might be prepared to implement?

One advantage may be that this international governance involves a complex group of people and organisations which do not limit themselves by ideological political beliefs or agendas which are indoctrinated in New Zealand party politics? Unlike Switzerland, to date there seems to be very little public demand for citizens to have the final say in such decisions. It will be interesting to see if this desire grows. It must be said that the desire for direct democracy around the world seems to be growing.


R Cressy said...

Looks like others have seen the light as well. Mob rule must be stopped before the elite lose their hosts

Brian said...

Steven Baron’s Governments and Governance is a timely warning of what has been happening insidiously over the last five decades, or more probably, since the inception of the establishment of the United Nations. Slowly but surely our independent democratic processes are being eliminated. Especially so in New Zealand where the appeasement tool has been used to great effect by Politicians; more interested in gaining accolades on the World stage.
As a small insignificant country, (our Media would disagree, but then it is their occupation to inflate our power by constantly stroking our egos) we have to accept the fact that we are part of Western Civilisation, The Socialists would like us to be part of the third world/China/Asia block, they feel a deal more comfortable in having the Socialist International telling them what to do, and think.
Regretfully we have been brainwashed by the Lange Government of the 1980’s that big bad America is, and always was, the real enemy. Certainly the Socialists have maintained this stand over the years making sure that the schools are well versed in the art of anti capitalism.
Common sense tells us that our natural home is with the West, although the Greens would no doubt disagree as their loyalties lie elsewhere. We are only fooling ourselves that there is an independent way free from the practicalities of world politics.
The greatest threat to our democratic way of life outside our own borders; lies in the ever increasing power of the largest bureaucratic organisation this world has ever experienced. The United Nations octopus has tentacles which is strangling the independence out of all democratic societies, to fulfil their self confessed aim of being World Government.
My question to Steven Baron is “HOW CAN WE DEAL WITH THIS SITUATION”?
Would it be possible to harness independent Constitutional lawyers and informed lay persons to set down a framework Constitution for this country; and more importantly can such a Constitution be able and strong enough to accept change, which will occur over time?
Yet, still preserve individual rights from the extremes of our Parliamentary Party Political system; at the same time freeing ourselves from our subservient attitude towards the U.N. , which has characterized New Zealand Governments over the past decades?

DONRO said...

Subject: Henry Lamb - N.W.O. Agenda 21 & Globalization - 12160

Watch any of the Henry Lamb youtubes on Global Governance,
and AGENDA 21 and the U.N. Google U.N. bureaucrat and Canadian socialist, Maurice Strong, one of the architects of Agenda 21, along with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Henry Lamb's DVDs are available for purchase.

Watch: Fiat Empire,youtube 58mins. Why the Federal Reserve is violating the U.S. Constitution, featuring G. Edward Griffin, Ron Paul, Edwin Vieira and Dr. Ted Baehr. The DVD is available.

There are no conspiracies any more. It's all happening right now.

Be prepared for a shock.