Citizen’s Juries

June 5th, 2008 at 6:04 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports on how the want to get a Citizen’s Jury on the issue of state funding of political parties underway as soon as possible, so National can’t abolish it after the election.

Now if done the right way, I am quite a fan of citizen’s juries. But everything about this is being done the wrong way.

The outcome has been predetermined. Instead of being set up in bipartisan fashion on matters such as the type of electoral system, it has been set up to deliver just one result – increased of political parties. and the Greens both want that as the outcome, tried to do it through the EFA, and having somewhat failed are now trying to do it again.

Labour are quite simply corrupt when it comes to electoral law issues, and any process which involves them as Government choosing the expert panel which advises the Citizen’s Jury should be treated as naked self interest. Hell Mike Williams will probably end up as the Chair.

The Greens are little better than Labour in this area. They have absolutely no comitment to a fair process unless it achieves the outcome they want. Look at the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering? That had it all – independent commissioners, scientific evidence, hearings etc. And the moment it didn’t recommend what the Greens wanted – they attacked it.

So this process is a total sham. It is designed for one purpose only – to let Labour and the Greens use more taxpayer money on their election campaigns. After what Labour and Greens did with the EFA, they should frankly be seen as incompetent to have a say on these issues.

Now this is not to say the concept of Citizen’s Juries do not have a place in electoral law making. I think they do. They can provide some very useful input if done the right way. But the way I would use such Juries are as follows:

  1. The independent experts must be chosen by a super majority of parliamentary parties, not just by the Government of the day. The formula which I like is that any appointments must be agreed to by party leaders representing over 75% of the MPs and over 50% of the parties in Parliament. This means that not only must both major parties agree, but so must at least half of the minor parties.
  2. The issues, terms of references and high level process must also be signed off by that super-majority. The most unforgivable crime that Labour and the Greens have done with the EFA is to treat electoral law as a bauble for the winner, rather than a bipartisan constitutional law.
  3. Issues referred to a Citizen’s Jury should be in totality, not just a narrow aspect such as taxpayer funding of political parties. It is ridicolous to exclude from consideration all the issues dealt with by the . In fact the EFA should be abolished immediately upon a change of Government, and a citizen’s jury could be used as part of the process of consulting on and determining its replacement.

It is a shame that what is a perfectly fine concept is being damaged by its use by the Greens and Labour in such a partisan fashion. I mean is already calling for its timelines to be determined so that National can be attacked over it, rather than any sense of what a proper time-frame would be.

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22 Responses to “Citizen’s Juries”

  1. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    What a waste of money.

    Haven’t the Green Party learnt anything from the EFA debacle They’re having a laugh at the taxpayers expense once again. Is there no limit to there shame?

    First Russel Norman takes advantage and now this. Talk about negative news week for them.

    Say NO to state funding!

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  2. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    “It is a shame that what is a perfectly fine concept is being damaged by its use by the Greens and Labour in such a partisan fashion.”

    I think that if the EFA had gone as planned, they were going to use it to attack National with. As it it, it was such a dog’s breakfast, they have had to settle for this instead.

    It is another example of the tinkering at the periphery for personal gain we have come to expect from certain quaters.

    let’s have a proper cross-psrty discussion, proper commission of enqury and proper conscience vote on this.

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  3. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    I see the Claire Trevett is referring to him as Dr Norman now, no doubt believing it adds weight to his demands.

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  4. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    “The Herald reports on how the Greens want to get a Citizen’s Jury on the issue of state funding of political parties underway as soon as possible, so National can’t abolish it after the election.”

    Says it all really.

    They know the people know they’re gone. They know the people know they’re corrupt. They know the people know they’re anti-democractic.

    And yet they’re still greedily gobbling from the nation’s pantry; smashing their way in and tearing out the shelves as they leave.

    I thought Labour were the ones who go out scratching and biting, but it seems it’s the Greens that will behave the worst. What ugly little shits they all are.

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  5. pdm (842 comments) says:

    DPF you are a dreamer if you think the Greens and Labour are going to put up any legislation of this type by involving all parties and getting a proper Parliamentary Consensus. Their corruption and self serving actions are well in evidence with the EFA and what is good for the country is a very minor consideration when it comes to getting access to taxpayers money for the exclusive use of their parties.

    I am sure Winston will be into this `boots and all’ as well.

    As an aside I understand Winston is `hosting’ Leighton Smiths show on NewstalkZB this morning. I suggest readers of this blog phone in to ask about when the $158,000 will be repaid and also about the $100,000 donation Dail Jones referred to.

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  6. dad4justice (7,988 comments) says:

    Seriously folks these smug-utopian freakshow communist greens have done enough damage to New Zealand and it’s about bloody time they’re eradicated from the political landscape. I detest these slimy two faced smug scumbags, who are a bunch of parasitic nobody’s. They are a disgrace to the integrity of this Nation and how on earth anybody can vote for these insipid jellyfish, other than a drug addict is beyond my comprehension. Time for this green fungus too be removed.

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  7. boomtownprat (281 comments) says:

    National/ACT/Maori should counter with a unified policy statement.

    1. The EFA is deeply partisan and flawed and will be scrapped.

    2. Any citizens assembly initiated by Labour/Greens/NZ First will be scrapped, whatever stage of development it is at.

    3. There will be a cross party commission post election which will reform electoral law in a non partisan fashion

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  8. davidp (3,561 comments) says:

    I volunteer to be a member of a Citizen Jury. Or, as I’ve decided to call it, a Peoples Court.

    And on the charge of manipulating an MP’s resignation and the party list in order to scam the taxpayer in to paying for the Greens campaigning, I find the defendants to be guilty on all courts.

    I sentence them all to six months in the pokey. Take them away!

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  9. Mr Nobody NZ (397 comments) says:

    “I sentence them all to six months in the pokey. Take them away”

    Six Months? Some of these bastards deserve nothing less than life in prison considering what they’ve done to this country.

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  10. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    I’ve got very little faith in Citizens juries on any issues that have been spun to death and mythologized by the “mainstream” media already. And on THAT, I mean that ignorant people are all too likely to be SYMPATHETIC with Socialist myths…….

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  11. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    philu… toad… where are you guys?

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  12. george (398 comments) says:

    “After what Labour and Greens did with the EFA, they should frankly be seen as incompetent to have a say on these issues.”

    You’re wrong.

    The sentence should read:

    “After what Labour and Greens did with the EFA, they should frankly be seen as too inherently corrupt to have a say on these issues.

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  13. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    A cross party commission after the election? Are you people insane? What do Labour or the Green Watermelons or the Maori Party or these other losers have to bring except corruption and self service? After the election National and ACT will have a mandate to restore the electoral system to what it was before the foolish and sinister EFA was passed – back when private citizens were free to speak their mind and campaign for strong defense and relations with traditional allies in a courageous stand against the red terror of Helen.

    I say post election the only thing John Key should have to do with Labour is refusing to commute their prison sentences. I’m not even sure jail is good enough for them. We still have the death penalty for treason. The thought of Jeanette Fitzsimmons, Michael Cullen et al. hanging at the end of a rope is very comforting. A shame that Hulun will doubtless be whisked out of the country to get a good job with the UN under the cover of diplomatic immunity before the new government takes power… although perhaps at least we will re-examine our cowed relationship with the Franco-Russian dominated UN in the wake of such events.

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  14. glubbster (352 comments) says:

    Boomtownrat said:
    1. The EFA is deeply partisan and flawed and will be scrapped.
    2. Any citizens assembly initiated by Labour/Greens/NZ First will be scrapped, whatever stage of development it is at.
    3. There will be a cross party commission post election which will reform electoral law in a non partisan fashion

    I agree. This is the only consistent way National can deal with reforming the electoral laws. National will have a mandate after the election to scrap the citizens assembly and EFA. Labour and the Greens had every opportunity to properly deal with the state funding issue (which premise is deeply flawed) and only now do they do it – to protect their own backs.
    DPF, I disagree that National cannot abolish it after the election. Generally, Parliament cannot bind its own successors and National should not be required to implement something it never agreed to nor was properly consulted on. National will still be dealing with the issue – in a cross party commission of inquiry.

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  15. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    Look, the Greens are fucking lunatics, don’t worry about them. If you don’t think they’re as mad as cut snakes, check this out:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10514491

    Jesus wept…

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  16. virtualmark (1,522 comments) says:

    I suspect that if National were to adopt the stance Boomtownprat suggests then it would gain them another good slab of votes.

    The electorate are clearly disenchanted with Labour and I’d say a lot of that is because Labour are perceived as being too ready to divert taxpayers money to activities that benefit the Labour party. Any competing party, like National, that called them on that would get a lot of ready support from the electorate.

    I really wonder whether Russell Norman is going to turn out to be a vote-winner for the Greens or a vote-loser. Rod Donald was respected. Russell Norman is already coming across as a whinging complainer tosser with an Aussie accent. When you’re bumping along at only just above the 5% threshold I’m not sure what you need is to have the electorate start to dislike the guy who’s front-and-centre.

    Once Jeanette goes the Greens are going to have a hard time communicating any sort of meaningful environmental stance and it’s just going to be the raving loonies left in the asylum. The Greens might get above 5% in this election, but I suspect that at some point they’re going to fall beneath that 5% mark and then they’ll be as gone as the Social Credit party are today. There’ll just be jokes about the Greenie equivalent of Skodas and polyester pants.

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  17. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Hear, hear, Boomtownprat and virtualmark.

    And Bearhunter, wouldn’t it be APPROPRIATE if someone was to do an advertising campaign, perhaps a letterbox drop, pointing out that the Greens are as mad as you say…………….? (And why isn’t the MSM telling us stuff like this anyway, are they too busy praising the Green Emperor’s clothes? Michael Bassett was right when he said the infamous letterboxdroppers last time round were just doing the MSM’s job that they weren’t doing, hence the only smear campaign that was actually going on, was BY the MSM in SUPPORT of the Greens…….)

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  18. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    After reading David’s post I had a strange urge to go and clean my guns. Is this normal?. Should I seek professional help?. Does anyone else suffer this afflection?

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  19. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    I have had enough of these Green wankers, I did have some sympathy with one or two of their issues but the bastards have lost me completely now.

    First of all they see fit to persecute the EB yet leap to the defense of any low life tagger or terrorist, then the bastards ram thorough section 59 (it must be said with the help of gutless John Key) next they supported the anti democratic EFA and to cap it all off they totally rort the electoral system to get the communist co leader into the house so the lazy fuck can campaign using my bloody money.

    To cap it all off the bastards now want ME to pay for all their electioneering, well as far as I am concerned they can piss off.

    However there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as somebody said in another thread it looks like we might have to suffer the Greens for another term but you can guarantee that once the public see the likes of mad Catherine Delahunty in the house and Comrade Bradford elected as co leader then it is all over for the Greens.

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  20. bruceh (102 comments) says:

    I support the calls for National to take an unequivocal stance against EFA and look closely post-election for Kiwiblog to undertake a noisy and unrelenting campaign if National shows any signs of prevarication and equivalence on the matter. Should be just plainly announced pre-election, just like Labour did for ACC re-nationalisation pre ’99 election

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  21. Ed Snack (1,803 comments) says:

    Let me be the first to point people to Adam Smith on “The Enquiring Mind” and thence on to Scrubone: http://halfdone.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/citizens-juries/ for his take on No Right Turns little turd on this very subject.

    The sheer arrogance of left on this whole electoral issue is symptomatic of the near terminal decline Labour is experiencing. They and only they represent democracy and true NZ in their minds. Anyone to their right is a tool of some imagined far right conspiracy hell bent on buying elections. Don’t they recognize just how unhinged they appear, how out of touch, and how “superior” their tone seems ? Leftism, like Environmentalism, is become more and more like a religion every day, with its true believers, prophets, and heretics (Deniers !). Seeing NRT try to spin the blatant attempt to fix the outcome of the next election is as funny as watching “toad” try to explain the greens agricultural policy. Ignorance, arrogance, and a total religious conviction of their absolutely morally correctness blend into a mix only a short step from absolute authoritarianism and violence.

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  22. freethinker (686 comments) says:

    Patrick Starr

    I think Russel Norman was awarded a doctor of hypocrasy by margaret wilson in her new post as dean of monumental cock ups at Victoria University.

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