Wednesday, October 6, 2021

HDPA: Why is Kris Faafoi reviewing the electoral laws in the middle of a pandemic?


What the hell is Kris Faafoi doing announcing a review of the country's electoral laws right now? 

We are in the middle of a pandemic. 

Right now Auckland has a Delta outbreak that is probably going to spread through New Zealand in the next few months.

Which means God-only-knows-how-long we’re dealing with restrictions and closed businesses.

Are electoral laws really so pressing that Faafoi needs a comprehensive review of the funding of political parties, the voting age and the length of the parliamentary term?

If yesterday’s road map (which was so woeful it felt like it was put together by a lone Beehive staffer after a few drinks on Saturday night) was anything to go by, the Government is already struggling to deal with the crisis at hand, already making things up as it goes.

It hardly needs to add to its workload.  

Already, this government already has announced more reform than any government possibly since Lange and Douglas in the 80s: The Three Waters proposal, the scrapping of DHBs, the immigration reset, a climate change plan potentially so massive it’s being called the biggest economic shakeup since Rogernomics. 

That’s enough, without a pandemic on top as well. 

And then to have this announced by a minister already struggling with the workload? 

The immigration reset alone is beyond Faafoi, he didn’t even turn up to his own keynote speech back in May and he was so bereft of ideas he had to nick the Opposition’s visa plan to have something to announce last week.

The government is stretched. They’ve got too much going on. The few ministers in Cabinet who are capable are run off their feet. The public servants are at capacity with what they can do. 

The government needs to stop announcing things like this just to create the impression that they’re doing something. 

Frankly, I’d be happier if they scrapped all their planned reforms and did nothing but manage the pandemic because that is the most important and pressing problem right now.  And they’re not nailing it. 

Cancel the announcements, focus on the crisis, please. 

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Terry Morrissey said...

You are on to it, Heather. I was hoping someone would bring up this devious move on the part of the government. We have no grown-ups governing us now, the current bunch of muppets being all ambition and no ability. What we don’t need is to bring the voting age down to 16 like the Greens want. What we need is some maturity but I’m buggered if I know from where it will miraculously appear. This government is in way above its head and needs to come back down to earth. The Prime Minister needs take a few deep breaths and realise she is neither God nor Karl Marx. That’s just her wish list.

For any major change in legislation a referendum should be mandatory. This would cover more constitutional cases like He Puapua, Three Waters, changes to the electoral laws such as type of voting system, voting age, number of MPs, abolition of Maori seats, or ceding sovereignty. For any change in law a referendum can be requested. This is when a large proportion of voters disagree with legislation passed. In addition, upon receiving a specified number of supporters, voters may present a petition, which would then be the subject of a referendum. These referenda, while not cheap, would hopefully be a deterrent to the government making policy on the hoof, as they are obviously doing now, and pushing it through the house on urgency. All changes should not be enacted for 100 days after being passed. All referenda must be binding. Allowances could always be made for emergency situations, but not including declared climate crises.

Having a system like this in place would put the kibosh on a socialist government’s plan to carry out its not so hidden agendas, and hopefully introduce a little more transparency.

Janine said...

Hopefully people like yourself can keep the public informed.
Our MSM is woefully inept. During the second world war a newspaper called Der Stürmer, based in Nuremburg, churned out anti Jewish propaganda. The population of Germany were sucked in by what they read.That was probably all they were given to read. You would think there would be a handful of journalists in New Zealand who would be dedicated to presenting facts and truth. Apparently that is not the case any more.

The media were very instrumental to Hitlers rise to power.

We are bombarded with covid, covid, covid and very little else.

The Swiss system of government would be good where all important decisions were decided by a referendum and people were kept better informed.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

To change the electoral laws is this government way to win the next elections in spite the obvious failurs of all their policies, plans and projects. They should be stopped.
Alexandra Corbett Dekanova

DeeM said...

Labour could be using the old adage - "if at first you don't succeed try, try again".
Maybe they're expecting the law of probability to apply and finally they can produce a successful initiative, by chance if nothing else.
If I were Jacinda I'd keep Faafoi away from everything. He's the current Phil Twyford...or David Clark...or Andrew Little......stop me, someone!!!

Doug Longmire said...

Well - this ridiculous distraction is just another ploy to avoid any kind of attention or scrutiny on the governments abysmal record on the very issues they promised us were critical
- Housing
- Poverty
- Child poverty
etc, etc.
Our p.m. has also conveniently dropped her portfolio - Minister for Child Poverty.