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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Black day for democracy in Canterbury

The Political Scientist covers what has been a well-buried story - National's continued denial of democracy for Cantabrians.

Saturday’s editorial in The Press - titled ‘Black day for democracy in Christchurch‘ – is astoundingly blunt:
 The brief statement announcing the continued suspension of democracy at Environment Canterbury will take a place in New Zealand history. It outlines the most radical denial of voting rights that this nation has experienced in recent times – a fact that disadvantages Cantabrians and besmirches the Government.
That the Government has prolonged this system – it is called dictatorship – is deplorable and foolish. It not only denies the province healthy administration but it strengthens a backlash against National in the province.
And again,
At the time of the original appointment of the commissioners, people wereoutraged, even though ECan was not popular and regarded as partly paralysed. Cantabrians hated a main branch of their democracy being removed. Had the earthquakes and the difficult and prolonged recovery not diverted the anger, National would have paid a penalty here in the 2011 general election. The anger will return now, this time with an added intensity.
The Government,
relies on the assertion that the commissioners provide efficiency, strong governance, effectiveness, problem-solving, stability.
Those are the justifications of every tin-pot dictator, echoing thesentiments of Suva.


Ray said...

Well for those of us who live at the far end of ECan it felt like a dictatorship when the decisions were driven by the Chch majority who lived 3 hours away and couldn't point us out on a map
It might be nice to get a vote but that will not change the slow slow pace we were forced to endure with
10 years to get decisions

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robertguyton said...

There were problems, Ray, but that was then. An election will give Cantabrians the opportunity to choose a new council and start a new round where their chosen people, accountable to Cantabrians, can make democratic decisions on behalf of those who elected them - it's called democracy and we hold it dear - don't we?