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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

BIR Political Roundup 

Well, well a real pattern is emerging as Don Brash sits around with such political geniuses as Murray McCully and Tony Ryall, dreams up a policy, and then makes a major speech about without consulting the very spokesperson he made responsible for that area of policy ... first Georgina Teheuheu, now Katherine "Richy" Rich. Whatever Helen Clark's faults, I don't recall her ever pulling the policy carpet out from underneath her own spokespeople (which, if nothing else, incites disaffection towards the leader and is a big waste of the time that spokespeople put into developing policy).

Note to Don: it's a bit rich to say that the government is in a mess a few hours after you sacked your fourth-ranked MP.

Meanwhile, this seemingly very minor story probably escaped public notice, but it is noteworthy, since it goes about as close to matters constitutional as is possible in New Zealand, a country without a real written constitution.

To me it raises some issues:

Why do we let our Prime Ministers, in "consultation" with an English
pensioner, choose our ceremonial and sometimes effective head of state? How about we the people assume our sovereign roles, and choose the nation's highest leader/representative ourselves at regular intervals? About once every four years should do it.

Well, at least Helen seems to be countenancing some debate about the flag, which could be interesting.

Moving off-shore, I note that Conservatives in Canada have been campaigning to democratize the Senate (perhaps less out of principle than out of realization that it is a way - maybe the only way - to get some Tories into the Red Chamber). This hypothesis would seem to be confirmed by the fact they never talk about
extending democracy right to the top, and replacing Betty Windsor with a
Canadian chosen by Canadians.

Staying in Canada, there's a "same sex marriage" bill before the Commons as of yesterday, and its government sponsored. This dork from Calgary begins to make a case for not separating church and state ("don't discriminate against the religious conscious" etc), but then devolves into the self-serving argument that public morality comes (exclusively, it is implied) from the Ten Commandments, and thus the Bible.

As if the Ancient Hebrews were the only culture in the world to cast moral
approbation on things like stealing and murder (and were still dumb enough
to need a god to tell them such things tend to undermine social order and

And there's the unfortunate fact that the first four commandments have
nothing to do with morality at all but are concerned with proscribing a form
of worship.

What a dick.


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