Take a hard look at Zimbabwe, if you empathise with Sharples on this one-person-one-vote thing

Alf’s unease about our party’s coalition relationship with the Maori Party has been heightened after Pita Sharples shared his provocative ideas about an ideal democracy with Radio NZ’s Morning Report audience today.

The Maori Party co-leader declared his frustration with the concept of one person, one vote.

He accused we Nats of failing to understand the sort of democracy the Maori Party wants.

Bloody right we don’t.

He said we should try another model of democracy.

But why?

He was banging on about outcomes being more important than systems of governance, the way Alf interpreted his concerns.The essence of democracy should be goals towards equity and inclusiveness.

Sharples wasn’t invited to elaborate.

But Alf would like him to explain what is equitable about just some Kiwis being given the choice of voting in Maori electorates or general electorates (if they are appropriately coloured), but most people are denied this choice.

This inequity would be exacerbated, the moment we Nats buckled to Maori Party pressure – racist pressure, when you look at it – to introduce ethnic seats (for Maori only) in the Super City.

Fair to say, Sharples did not tell us which model he favours.

This leaves it open to Alf to suggest the bugger probably fancies the Zimbabwean model, because one of the outcomes it taking land off white people to give it to the government’s supporters. More than a few Maori would like to see that happen here.

Yep, Alf is aware that Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is widely regarded as an authoritarian leader and the country’s democratic system is a joke.

But Mugabe does allow elections to be held (on his terms), which is pretty much what the Maori Party wants – elections conducted on its terms.

He is limbering up now for the next election, it seems.

Signs are slowly showing that Zanu-PF is starting to prepare for the elections, which many strongly believe will be next year. Torture camps are cropping up, which is a clear indication that Mugabe will call for elections soon, if not next year. The militia and the war veterans are the backbone that has made Zanu-PF win the elections since 2000.

Most of the militia camps were disbanded after the run-off elections of March 2008, after Mugabe won the election competing with himself.

Those that were disbanded are now being turned back into the notorious camps.

This means the election must be conducted by SADC or else it will be useless for anyone to participate because the winner will be known before Election Day.

Ah, but let’s not forget that the Maori Party will probably ignore anything they read in news media about the horrors of life in Zimbabwe.

Back on 4 July 2005, the Maori Party commented – tellingly, too – on the Zimbabwe Sporting Sanction Bill drafted by the Green Party.

The buggers sat on the fence.

They saw no evidence of anything untoward in Zimbabwe – or preferred not to see anything untoward.

“It is difficult to know the full extent of the situation in Zimbabwe given our reliance on media commentary for an accurate portrayal of the events as they unfold” said Mrs Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Our experience warns us against depending on media sources as the sole sources of authority, and has made us reluctant to comment until further information is available”.

Sharples waded in to say Zimbabwe had “just been sort of released from colonisation, trying to find their own feet and it’s going to take a bit of tough and tumble before they do find the way”.

The Green Party was disappointed.

“I’m appalled that Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples has become an apologist for the Mugabe regime,” Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says. “There is absolutely no excuse for the deliberate campaign of genocide that Robert Mugabe is waging against his political and ethnic opponents. Of all people, the Co-Leader of the Maori Party should understand that oppression is colour blind.”

Oh, and let’s not forget what Winston Peters had to say when he waded into the Hone Harawira affair last year.

In a speech to Grey Power in Wanganui he claimed the MP and the Maori Party could make New Zealand the Zimbabwe of the South Pacific with their behaviour.

“The Maori Party is all about taking resources off non-Maori and in many cases Maori and grabbing social and economic control. The outcome some fear could be the creation of a new Zimbabwe in the South Pacific.”

Frankly, Alf thinks we have gone too far already in perverting our democratic system by clinging to the Maori seats in Parliament. Take away those seats, and where would the ethnocentric Maori Party be?

Yep. It would be on the outer.

But plenty of Maori MPs would be sitting in Parliament to bat for their people, elected either in general electorates or from party lists.

Alf generally prefers not to have to cite Winston Peters as his authority on anything.

But he reckons Winnie was right on the button with his warning about a new Zimbabwe in the South Pacific.

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