Racism in NZ Politics

Filed under Random Grumps & Raves, The Demise of Democracy and Freedom
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Democracy is not working for Maori, according to the New Zealand Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples.  He says Maori will not be fairly represented in the Auckland super city.

New Zealand has separate Maori seats in parliament, which is something Sharples wants for the super city, and he now says democracy is failing Maori.  “There is a democratic process but it’s not working for Maori, they are outside of that system,” Sharples says.  He says the principle of one person one vote will not give Maori representation.

“Unless we find some ways for them to be more involved, that is user friendly to their culture, then we have to do something else and I believe seats for Maori is the answer,” Sharples says.

The principle of one person one vote gives every individual equal representation.  Not every racial group – every person, regardless of ethnic origin.  European countries have comparatively recently become democracies.  European societies evolved from a tribal system, in which everything belonged to the chief, the tribes were constantly at war, and no common man had individual representation.  The societies developed into feudal systems, in which everything belonged to the king or duke and his lords and knights, the kingdoms and fiefdoms were constantly at war, and no common man had individual representation.  Finally (and with much struggle) European societies became democracies.  Pre-European Maori society and culture was tribal, and the tribes were constantly at war.  Now New Zealand is a nation, not a collection of tribes or fiefdoms, and it is a democracy.  That democracy brings individual representation to all.

Maori culture, having declined for too long, is undergoing a renaissance within our democracy, and is flourishing.  So what’s this about democracy not being user friendly to Maori culture?  What does that mean, Pita?  Are you implying that Maori who, like you, have been through the NZ education system, are inherently incapable of understanding the political system, inherently incapable of benefiting from the representation they now have?  Isn’t it time to acknowledge that all can achieve and make their mark according to their abilities?  That all Maori people can aspire to academic distinction, or to become a Minister of the Crown?

But if you are right about democracy not suiting particular races, then let’s try it your way.  Let’s have a racist organisation.  Let’s have, say, separate seats for New Zealanders of European descent, and for New Zealanders of Chinese descent, and of Samoan, Tongan, ad nauseum descent.  Let’s have a racially divided proportional representation, with the interests of each racial group stridently represented by each bloc.  And decided by majority vote.

No?  You bet, no!  It would pit ethnic group against ethnic group, leading to hatred and conflict instead of acceptance and harmony.  Let’s have simple democracy instead.  It may not be ideal, but it’s the best we can hope for.

Like you, Pita, I have Maori and European ancestors.


Pita Sharples on Democracy:  http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/sharples-says-democracy-not-working-maori-3428048

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