Monday, September 10, 2007

Ask a stupid question....

There's been a lot of debate in the media on the current Electoral Finance Bill. I even found someone other than a politician who supports it. I think Mr Carter needs to re-read what he wrote, and think things through. The last election was 'bought' using tax payer's money, and I am not referring to the $700,000 over expenditure by the Labour Party. If I need to spell it out, the purchase price was Student Loan Interest, 20 Hours Free Early Childhood, and increases to the Working for Families entitlement.

Anyhow, as you probably guessed, I think the whole concept of the Electoral Finance Bill is a debate about the wrong issue. First we need to look at our entire Parliamentary system, before we decide how we get people in there.

I refer to the Westminster Parliamentary System as being "auto-combative". We have political parties arrayed as Government and Opposition. Quite frankly, this is wrong. Would any corporation, sports club or Women's Institute arrange their governing body in this manner? They would not, as the logical outcome would be a total utter shambles. Yet we let politicians in New Zealand arrange themselves on this inefficient manner.

Parliament should be New Zealand's top-level boardroom. It should be comprised of a group of people who are working together for the benefit of all the shareholders of New Zealand Limited.

Okay, before all you who can't see the foregoing as metaphorical, I do not mean that the country should run as a "business", but that there are parallels. (Perhaps I should have stuck with something more benevolent like the "Women's Institute").

So we have to do away with the Westminster Parliamentary System. It is a sacred cow that does not seem to be questioned, and yet it is so obviously problematic in delivering good governance.

For all their faults, businesses do a very good job of governing themselves. Many, many sporting bodies and volunteer organisations do well too.

So, stop the debate about how people are funded into Parliament, and debate how we can better organise Parliament.

Just to tantalise readers, here are my suggestions:
1. abolition of political parties
2. a 5 year political term for an MP
3. 20% of electorates are put up for election each year (rather than a General Election once every 5 years)
4. a more cohesive local and national government...

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