Honesty in politics… The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand….
Under the heading Craig’s List, this weekend’s Sunday Star Times commentator Steve Kilgallon asks who are the Conservative Party – and lists 10 of their policy platforms.
No 9, which includes “a 100-day delay on initiating legislation to allow it to be overturned by the public” is described by Conservative Party leader Craig as “a deal-breaker in any coalition.”
For this would-be politician to describe the 100 Days concept as a deal-breaker means that he regards it as of great importance.
What a pity then that Colin Craig has apparently not regarded it as equally important to acknowledge from where he learned the importance of this initiative.
Where is the basic courtesy, let alone, arguably, the honesty to provide this due acknowledgement?
This ambitious party leader has to date confused New Zealanders looking for an alternative to the two major parties’ domination of the political arena – aided by their deal-making with minor parties. As The National Business Review political editor Rob Hosking notes, Craig’s policies appear to have only recently been firmed up….”There is an air of calculation and a feeling he has spotted a potentially lucrative political niche rather than being driven by genuine conviction,” writes Hosking.
What I personally find quite staggering, is that although Colin Craig has been backing binding citizens referenda, he has made no mention to date of the Facultative Referendum – this 100-day delay halting the passing of legislation – which he is now describing as a deal-breaker.
Yet Craig has known for four years that the 100 Days movement was officially launched at the Summersounds Symposium.
This brilliant concept, adopted by Switzerland 160 years ago, and central to Switzerland’s success as the most prosperous, genuine democracy in the world, was raised and discussed at three succeeding Summersounds Symposium (www.summersounds.co.nz). The concept, and how it is managed in Switzerland, was addressed by keynote speakers, including the well-informed New Zealander Greig Fleming, resident in Zürich.
As the founder and organiser of these symposia, and as a long-time columnist, political commentator and writer, greatly concerned about government intruding more and more into our lives – with the resulting whittling away of our democratic freedoms – I subsequently launched our 100 Days – Claiming back New Zealand movement… having first taken excellent advice.
The 100 Days proposal to prevent any legislation passed by Parliament taking effect for 100 days, to give New Zealanders the chance to prevent the passing of what has not infrequently been highly damaging legislation, can be directly attributed to our movement. It was conceived as a highly achievable and practical way of controlling politicians with the bit between their teeth – and of reining in the constant dealmaking whereby minor parties are responsible for pushing through legislation with which the country does not agree.
Colin Craig was late in the day given an invitation to the last year of the Summersounds, in March, 2010, on the basis of his organising a recent pro-democracy march in Auckland.
As he was actually present at the time, Craig was, and must still be, well aware that this 100 Days movement was now officially convened, well supported and adopted by a strong core group, of which I remain Convenor – having initiated the proposal – and concerned to ensure that it remains as an apolitical movement.
Four years of consistent writing on this issue on our well supported website www.100days.co.nz and the publication of my book by HATM publishers “The 100 Days – what has gone wrong and how we can control our politicians” have elicited no support at all from the ambitious Mr Craig.
And now, this political party leader provides absolutely no attribution to our movement. We are not impressed.
However, in the meantime, the distinguished Australian Professor David Flint, on more than one occasion a keynote speaker at the Summersounds Symposia, a strong supporter of and adviser on our initiative, has followed it up with the attribution so very lacking from Colin Craig.
David Flint’s new co-authored book – Give Us Back Our Country – provides a generous personal attribution to my prior book, 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand…” as the inspiration for his own, and his new pro-democratic movement, following from ours.
It has already been our advice to those subscribing to our 100 Days movement that the most effective way to work towards claiming back our country (so that New Zealanders themselves no longer remain excluded from decision-making) is not to give a party vote. We have made an exception of one far more democratically -inclined party – and it is not Colin Craig’s Conservative Party – until it is again accepted as a given that nobody should be in Parliament who has not passed electoral scrutiny and is so directly answerable to his or her electorate.
We no longer have representative democracy – when MPs simply do the party leaders’ bidding – and when list MPs, for whom nobody has voted, achieve powerful positions as ministers within government, and subsequently simply ignore the wishes of the electorate.
Colin Craig’s Conservative Party has got off to a bad start.
Not acknowledging the prior existence of the 100 Days movement, into which so much time and effort has been put – nor the book on this issue ( and why it has become pivotal ) which is on sale nationwide, is a poor look for Craig.
Moreover, political parties as such simply cannot be trusted – and that must include the Conservative Party – to carry out promises made pre-election. The usual excuse ritually follows – that they were prevented by doing so by the inevitability of deal making.
Far from supporting The Conservative Party, its lack of due attribution and relevance to what can even be described as an intellectual property issue (where an idea is taken and used without any due acknowledgement ) will ensure it receiving a thumbs down from those concerned to see more honesty and transparency in politics.
Our 100 Days initiative will not support any minor party adopting this for its own benefit – thus polarising the issue.
Our intent is to gain the support of enough New Zealanders, no matter what their party affiliations, to reach that tipping point which eventually forces politicians right across the spectrum to support the 100 Days – or lose the votes they seek to stay in power.
Thanks to an idea whose time has, come, given people’s disillusionment with politicians, we are gaining more supporters all the time – from right across the political spectrum.
Please join us! Visit www.100days.co.nz – and tell everybody 🙂
© Amy Brooke