Philip Temple

Lefty academic says time to get rid of useless referendum, discounts BCIR as well

Philip Temple is a earnest person, if somewhat confused about his politics. He was one of the main people lobbying to retain MMP, ironically in a referendum, which he now says are a waste of time in the NZ Herald (heh another irony)

A waste of time. A waste of money. The government takes no notice. What’s the point of non-binding referendums? How come we have them anyway?

He then goes into a TL;DR explanation of the history of referendum…It seems we can blame Murray McCully. He concludes:

The present referendum on asset sales is the fifth since 1993. Many more failed at the first hurdle of persuading 10 per cent of enrolled voters to sign a petition. The first, at the end of 1995, asked if the number of firefighters should be reduced below the number employed on January 1, 1995: 87.8 per cent of voters said No. The second in November 1999 asked if the number of MPs should be reduced from 120 to 99: 81.5 per cent said Yes. The third, held at the same time, asked if the justice system should place greater emphasis on the needs of victims and impose hard labour for all serious violent offences: 91.8 per cent agreed. The fourth, in August 2009, asked, “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand” and 87.4 per cent said it should not.   Read more »


The Herald had an opinion piece from Philip Temple yesterday about MMP. Yes readers, I know you are saying who’s he?

Well he is the beardy weirdy academic who fronted the pro-MMP campaign. Not that you’d know from the disclosure statement provided by the NZ Herald which just calls him a researcher and a writer. It is always best to know where people are coming from don’t you think?

Anyway he says:

Ignoring vast public support for electoral reform would hurt the Government at the next election, writes Philip Temple.

Which is bullshit of course. The public won’t notice much at all.

Just look about, the evidence is before you of the indifference to politicians of public opinion. Increasing penalties for violent crime, this measure passed by 91.78%….ignored. Reduction of parliament from 120 to 99 seats, with 81.47% voting for this proposal…ignored. The referendum opposing Sue Bradfords reforms, 87.4% of votes answered ‘no’ but the politicians ignored it.

There has been no resulting upending of our democracy as a result, nor has any party been punished for ignoring the public will.


Hypocrisy of the MMP campaign

Philip Temple is the beardy weirdy of the Campaign for MMP and he is lecturing all and sundry about the referendum:

‘The politicians have already had far too much to say about which electoral system we should be voting for. To have them telling us which voting system we should choose is like asking foxes to design the hen-house.’

‘It is especially reprehensible that the anti-MMP lobby has politicised the referendum debate by using the images of politicians Winston Peters and John Key to further the lobby’s clear sectional self-interest. This reveals their contempt for the neutrality of the voting system and the views of ordinary New Zealanders.’

What Philip Temple neglects to tell everyone when he is busy informing us all that politicians should but out is that the Campaign for MMP is out there busy delivering pamphlets for Labour and Labour and the Greens are registered as promoters in support of MMP. The national party is the only party that has not adopted a party line and is not registered as a promoter int eh referendum.

As is usual with meddling academics they see only what they want to see. They can politicise the referendum to their own ends, but no one else is allowed to. If anyone has shown contempt for neutrality of the voting system it is the Campaign for MMP and the vested interests of the union movement.

Yet another reason to Vote for Change on Saturday.