Do we need a conversation about the quality of democracy in New Zealand? Here are a few thoughts about what New Zealand needs to do improve its democratic arrangements.
We think that democracy is about more than ensuring that our electoral system can add us to the voter register and count our votes accurately. Can personal riches and wealthy organisations skew political debates? Has the internet revolution and the demise of print journalism damaged robust and independent journalism and our access to good quality information? How can you find out what is up for debate and decision-making? Are our politicians getting all the evidence or just what they want to hear? Is the democratic process being over-ridden by executive decision-making by Ministers? Is the voice of protest being made illegal? Join the conversation and make sure that at election time politicians know that, above all, we want a robust and fit for purpose democracy.
In the next weeks we will be creating an opportunity for people to get involved in an in-depth discussion.
Peter Verner says
NZers have basic democratic instincts. However, a lack of knowledge of how our rights were fought for has led to an indifference to politicians’ chipping away at basic rights in increasingly authoritarian ways. We need not just more transparency but also a Bill of Rights that cannot be undermined by politicians. We need a constitutional court that can uphold democratic basic rights. They are too easily undermined by ever more rights for bureaucrats.