An outfit calling itself the undergroundREPUBLIC has emerged from the sewers or some dank hole to say it’s time to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth as our Head of State.
Probably they don’t know the words of Happy Birthday and would rather be rid of our monarch than wish her a happy birthday and sing that song.
Accordingly, they are asking: “Why do we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday ……. Seriously???”
They (or maybe there is just one) have expressed their sedition in a media statement today.
“Bye Bye Liz” …. Let’s elect our own President as a figurehead, like other modern democratic countries do… a kiwi who makes us proud to be a New Zealander.”
“Let’s put this person’s head on our coinage for the duration they are our Head of State.”
“It would be easy to have nominations with 500 signatures, forwarded to the Electoral Commission so that we can vote in our President at the same time we vote for our representatives.”
Obviously undergroundREPUBLIC has given scant thought to the likely outcome of this simplistic process.
Huge numbers of people under their recipe would be able to muster 500 signatures, especially if they offered bribes to the signatories by offering to buy them and their mates – let’s say – a few beers (a strategy that Alf would employ).
The outcome would be a huge string of names on the voting form.
And Kiwis being Kiwis, they would vote for somebody popular.
An election tomorrow would give John Campbell a good chance of victory.
For a time when there was an outpouring of public sympathy for a chubby German (blessedly it didn’t last long) Kim Dot Com would have been a prospect.
This gives the lie to what comes next in the media statement:
The undergroundREPUBLIC claims Kiwi citizens are becoming more politically aware of their democratic right to be fully self-determining.
That means changing protocols to show we are truly a free and independent nation.
Ten minutes listening to the ravings of talk-back callers will show their grasp of politics is as firm as a jellyfish’s handshake.
The statement concludes:
“Those who don’t believe in all citizens as equals in a democracy need to confront their puzzling subservience and identity crisis.”
Alf would draw their attention to The Treaty.
The Crown side of the deal – rooted in Mother England – has given us our democracy.
The iwi side has given this democracy its distinctive race-based characteristics (Maori electorates and wards) and prefers arrangements to ensure indigenous persons sit at local government decision-making tables no matter what the electorate might think.
The iwi side has persuaded many non-Maori decision-makers (eg the Mayor or New Plymouth and the Minister for Treaty Negotiations) to go along with the idea that the Treaty paved the way for 50:50 government arrangements.
Our indigenous persons (around 15 per cent of the population) are one half of the deal. The great majority comprise the other half.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to work out that this co-governance thing somewhat distorts one person, one vote ideals.
Perhaps undergroundREPUBLIC should spend more of its time musing on what those arrangements mean for treating citizens as equals.