Why John Key was wrong to agree to Red Peak law change

UNDP Ms. Helen Clark meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

Twitter said what?

Last night readers and commenters got agitated as National capitulated after John Key decided on a whim to agree to the Greens bill to include Red Peak in the flag referendum.

I read all the comments and can’t believe how many people think this is a great thing. Some said it was democratic…some said it was brilliant…and some said not much at all other than John Key walks on water.

Well, I’ve got news for all of you, and it’s all bad.

This is not democratic. It is not democratic because we already had a law passed and in place for the flag referendum. What happened was a bunch of rowdies and the media lobbied and caused pressure and the government then changed, in a single sitting, under urgency, the flag legislation. That isn’t democracy, it is abrogation of democracy. It is an abuse of process. Other parliamentary business had to be suspended so urgency could be enacted to pass a law over a stupid flag all because 50,000 signed an online petition and 15 people on Twitter got mad.   

That isn’t democracy, that is a disgrace. No referendum on it, no vote, just angry people on Twitter and the government puts the house into urgency? Democracy? Nah, mob rule.

There are 3,145,423 registered voters, and 50,000 petition represents 1.6% and this is democracy – yeah right. Under MMP in order for a party to be represented in parliament they need to pass 5% or win at least one seat. What we have seen here is an usurpation of our democracy…in favour of a few rowdies on Twitter.

What this will cause is a ripple effect of pressure. The Media Party and the opposition now know that if they create enough noise, some hashtags and a few cool infographics then John Key will likely cave, and his foolish acolytes will claim that the Prime Minister is a strategic genius keeping Labour out of power….all the while implementing exactly what they wanted all along.

We may as well appoint Giovanni Tiso and his raucous pals on Twitter the new policy director of the National Party. Once you give in to emotional and political blackmail you always have to give in.

It also sets a precedent.

How so you might ask?

Well, watch when an important piece of legislation comes before the house. It could be anything, but let’s look at euthanasia by way of example. Passing a law allowing that is important, and would alleviate suffering for many terminally ill patients. But the government will want a full select committee process and it could take years to actually traverse the house. How is that fair. A flag law change was ramrodded through the house under urgency in just a few hours…but something important takes years.

John Key has delivered up a stick with which he can be beaten with endlessly. Change the law on drink driving…can’t…why not? You changed the flag law in 3 hours.

Parliament is being trifled with, the process is being literally buggered all so the Prime Minister can take a bit less heat over his silly, wrong-headed flag referendum.

He allowed the process to be hijacked and is now suffering, but actually our democracy is suffering for it.

If he was going to have a referendum then why not one on legalising cannabis, or legalising euthanasia…but he didn’t, he went with a silly flag change.

This balls up is on John Key. And he was wrong to concede to the rowdies.

Their bullying and cajoling just got legitimised and all under urgency.


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