Tim Watkin on “elected dictatorship”

Russel Norman is becoming tedious with his ludicrous claims that a non-binding referendum should trump an election. Apart from making a rod for his own back for when he finally makes it into government he is just being plain silly.

You know he is being silly too when lefty commentators call him out for his dumb comments.

Tim Watkin is certainly one of those, and although his post is TL;DR it does show up the rank hypocrisy and sanctimony of Russel Norman.

Driving home last night I heard Norman on Checkpoint, rejecting questions that National had won the election and therefore had the right, y’know, to govern. Norman said that people vote for an against numerous issues in an election, so it didn’t mean National had a mandate for partial asset sales.

“That’s not how democracy works,” he told Mary Wilson.

Except that’s exactly how democracy works. Elections are never single issue referendums and a party like National, which for two elections has been clear as a newly polished pane of glass on a summer’s day (with not too much light, but not much cloud either) about its intentions, has every right to, y’know, govern. To argue otherwise makes no sense. 

Russel Norman contorts his logic so as to hide it behind his shield of sanctimony.

[B]y Norman’s logic a governing party has no right to implement policies in its manifesto that don’t get a majority in separate polls. Well, that’s not how democracy works. If it was, you could look at this random measure from 2003 and say Labour had no right to cut us off from the Privy Council.

Indeed, republicans have never won support for New Zealand to cut ties with the monarchy in any poll ever, so by Norman’s logic it would be anti-democratic for any future Labour-Greens government to even consider such a move until it had won at least a few polls.

Russel’s logic is made to fit into sound bites.

Norman went on to say that we’re not “an elected dictatorship” and that Key must listen to the voice of the people. So let me go on with another couple of examples. Because by Norman’s rhetoric it’s surely more oppressive for National to have started implementing the Greens’ insulation scheme in its first term – at least asset sales were a clear part of National’s manifesto!

But fair play, if you want to isolate an issue and test the mandate of a single policy, then a referendum is your go-to tool. Just as the anti-smacking brigade did in 2009 with its push to amend the 2007 Crimes Act and the removeable of “reasonable force” as a way to teach your kids a lesson. Fully 88% of those who voted, voted against the Greens-driven law change.

Was it an example of “elected dictatorship” to ignore that referendum? No. Labour rightly decided it had the right to, y’know, govern when it was in government. But by Norman’s logic Sue Bradford’s amendment should have been repealed; and no he doesn’t get to say that one doesn’t count because he didn’t like the question. If you’re going to use rhetoric like “unelected dictatorship” you’d better be willing to stand by the principle, not just the examples you prefer.

When Russel Norman moves to repeal Sue Bradford’s law I think we can expect John Key put a halt to asset sales.

Happily, our referenda are non-binding. Norman should be careful what he preaches about, or he will find himself with ‘binders’ for friends, which I don’t think is where he wants to be. I certainly don’t want governments bound by referenda; I want them to have flexibility, to use their judgment and to, y’know, govern. They have a mandate to do just that; that’s how our democracy works and that’s exactly what any Green Party minister would say if he or she were in government one day.

Binding referendum is the territory of cowards. We have a representative democracy, we elect representatives…binding referenda bypasses all that and what you would get is the mayhem.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    I’d say on the balance of things, mr norman that the party that got over 1 000 000 votes in 2 consecutive elections, more than any governing party in NZ history…has a ,….what was the word you used……..OH yeah….MANDATE.

    • Simo

      The “hydrogen sulphide like stench” of hypocrisy that wafts around this wrecking ball is being deodorised by a robust democratic process who told him to F&^^&k off. Must add Russ looks like he’s been soaked in formaldehyde lately…H2S is difficult to hide!

      • Simo

        A recent quotation from Obama – in consideration of $9 million to be spent defrauding the taxpayer I think El President Obama has got Russell sussed exactly:

      • Simo

        “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. He rots the soul of a nation – he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city – he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.” – Cicero, 42 BC

        Spending $9million of taxpayers money typifies the sneering “let them eat cake” mentality spewing from this excuse for a human being. If this futile exercise is to be visited upon the ever suffering taxpayer by these idiots he could worth a visit under cover of darkness as Cicero describes!

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Only when the people of this country and MSM start to ignore this smelling hippie, this country will move forwards. Gimmie my electricity back, gimmie my electricity back…idiot, wasting 9 million dollars of hard earned tax payer’s money in such grim economic conditions….

    • blueballs

      I think that’s the most sane posting i have ever seen from you SCdropkick

      • cows4me

        May be he’s been a victim of intervention, perhaps his family has had enough.

        • I suspect his parents might have been siblings!

          • blueballs

            That’s a bit of pot/kettle coming from a Hamiltonian!

  • rockape

    86% didnt vote Green, therefore dont support action on Global warming and maybe thats why we should disband the Green party, I mean if 86% are against them surely!

    • Polish Pride

      On that basis you could make an argument to get rid of all political parties….
      hmmm you could be onto something ;)

  • Jmac

    Go on Russel, repeal the anti-smacking law. 88% for crying out loud.

  • Quintin Hogg

    I am surprised Watkins would write something like that.
    He is a sanctimonious twat.
    Mind you Norman is too. He was on Hoskings this morning. What a horrible little girly man he is.

  • kevin

    He must be hungry for the baubles of power… imagine him and cunliffe running the show. It would be like Aussie all over again.

  • cows4me

    Norman is like a fucking yapping lap dog you just want to kick the shit out of.

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Over and fucking over. Like a lap dog, he doesn’t do any real work, just lays about whining and whimpering until he gets his next feed. Then shits in the hallway.

  • Col

    Not sure if I m right, but talking to a few about MMP the other day, and we assumed that was more like being push by Greenie type people back then, would this be true, and if so why is Noddy Norman crying foul?

  • maninblack

    I fucking cannot stand Russel “commie” Norman. He really is a cunt.

    • benniedawg

      It is interesting that people give him any credence at all given his whiny Australian voice. That said a number of other green wanabee’s have foreign accents. How stupid are those that support the greens that they are happy to have another countries cast off’s as their political representatives? Never been able to fathom that one. Do we not have people stupid enough to fit the role or does having some imported twat appear to give the party appeal to the unwashed masses? Head shaking stuff.

      • Hazards001

        I just said something along those lines myself…though not as well!

      • maninblack

        you are dead right- i just cannot understand it either.

  • Never in the dark…..

    Just picking myself up off the floor and dusting myself off……..Tim Watkins actually said something that I can side with?

    I’m going to have to see my doc again, ‘cos last week Mallard said something on radio that made sense too, about party pill testing.

    Am I losing it? Maybe the meds aren’t working right. (no pun intended)

  • Polish Pride

    Norman went on to say that we’re not “an elected dictatorship”
    An elected dictatorship is exactly what we are.
    If we were an actual functioning democracy politicians would not only remember who they are there to represent and would actually listen to the will of the people.
    Edit: they can make and have made promise after promise before an election, then turn around and do whatever the hell they want afterwards and all e can do is wait 3 years to vote them out and hope the next lot of muppets don’t do exactly the same thing.
    That is an elected dictatorship, not a democracy!

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    Perhaps if we give the cunt his flag back he’ll fuck off back to Aussie.

    • BlueRinsed

      Here here! I can’t stand whining Aussies. Does he want some blue cheese with that whine?
      I’d kindly ask that he fuck off to whatever shit hole in Ausy he came from. What a fuck knuckle.

  • Kick Norman down

    Russell Norman’s values are inspired only by the most professional product advocates on the infomercial channel.

  • Hazards001

    I’d like a referendum on whether terrorist Aussie shit bags with fruit loop Doctorates should be allowed citizenship in NZ and then be allowed to head straight for the biggest trough in the land while in their own country they deny Kiwi’s that have worked and paid taxes for years basic assistance that is given to anyone else and are even legislated against as homeowners that pay insurance if disaster relief is given to the region they lost their own home in.

  • Beagle

    He was even worse when he was talking to Larry Williams on ZB. I was sitting there in traffic and I found myself getting very angry-not just mild anger but rather the seething anger.. If this Lemming gets anywhere near the treasury benches I fear for this country. All it is is a nine million dollar exercise in futility.

    • benniedawg

      Couldn’t agree more. Anytime this idiot tries to defend any of his pathetic actions it just comes over as a sanctimonious whine fest. Why can’t he see that most NZ’ers just view him as an irrelevant clown.

  • BJ

    Someone please remind me – was anti-smacking an election main policy or was it a private members bill?

  • parorchestia

    Norman is the best argument against MMP that I can think of.