Arguably the most famous quote of the French essayist, Joseph Joubert, and certainly the one most relevant to the failing democratic system here in New Zealand is an appropriate introduction to this week’s column.
“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debate.”
I am amazed that none of this intellectual giant’s writings were published under his own name but thankfully someone recognised their value and took it on themselves to do so.
Most Kiwis who are alarmed at the erosion of our freedoms under the Ardern regime will be wondering if we will ever return to a time when governments ignored the wishes of the people at their peril.
Clearly, most of the legislation introduced without consultation i.e. that which is based on the He Puapua report, is more than anything else, likely to be the reason for this Government's downfall at the next election.
In the meantime, those of us who are committed to ideas that will make a difference must maintain our vigil at the parapets. Believe me, it can be a lonely place.
However initial public reaction suggests we are right to challenge the government’s attempts to bypass the majority on this one. We say enough of this betrayal and nonsense and have confidence that most fair-minded voters already agree.
Time for a return to the electoral system that has served us well in the past where each vote is of equal value. Nothing less will suffice.
Parallel to this change in direction, we should be demanding that those who offer themselves as candidates for election to council in October can demonstrate that they are committed to policies that are in the best interests of us all - not just a select few.
And here are a couple of reasons why they should be happy to respond positively.
It is obvious that the clandestine central government experiment to introduce race-based laws to this country is collapsing before our eyes. It has understandably become a liability to the future electoral prospects of this Government and it, in all it forms, needs to be terminated - probably by its own hand.
If that happens, the way will be made easier for future local governments to promote policies that work for them and obtain funding from sympathetic governments to cover the costs. We must allow local ideas to be debated on their merits. We are the best people to know how to plot our own future - not some Wellington bureaucrat with no interest in the outcome other than clipping the ticket on construction costs of projects we don’t want or need.
Race-based, tribal elite pressure groups have had their day. We need to take our region back. Our survival as a viable entity depends on it.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.