Labour votes for a referendum on a republic

November 3rd, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

apears to be inching closer towards , with delegates at its annual conference in Christchurch giving the green light to a proposal to hold a binding referendum on whether to ditch the monarchy on the death of the Queen.

At yesterday’s conference the party agreed to send a remit on the proposal from prospective Wairarapa candidate Kieran McAnulty, who is also treasurer of the Republican Movement, to a full vote from delegates today. Sources say it is likely to pass without dissent.

That’s good to see. Whether we retain the monarchy or have a New Zealand Head of State is a decision that should be made by the people through a referendum – not by politicians.

The move comes as a new poll shows a small majority of New Zealanders are in favour of such a referendum.

The Republican Movement poll, conducted by pollsters Curia, showed 47 per cent of New Zealanders supported the idea of a referendum on the Queen’s death, with 44 per cent against and 9 per cent uncertain.

A poll in June on support for a republic found 40 per cent support to 53 per cent against.

Note they are two very different questions. The latest poll is on whether people think there should be a referendum. The June poll was on whether people think we should move to a republic. One could well support remaining with the monarchy, yet also support there being a referendum to decide the issue.

Personally I think there would be a vote to change to a republic, if there is a referendum. The recent debate on The Vote showed a dramatic change in preferences from the studio audience after they had listened to the issues for an hour. They started in favour of retaining the monarchy and ended up fairly strongly backing moving to a republic.

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96 Responses to “Labour votes for a referendum on a republic”

  1. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    Yes, and as usual, National will support them in this without a damn thought to the long term strategy behind the move.

    There is only one reason the left seek a republic, and that is as a means to bring themselves more means to control us, and take us a step closer to the tyranny that is their ultimate objective.

    Just as the Nats were fooled by the fatuous term “marriage equality”, so they will quiver and quaver and then go along with it, with Williamson and other Progressives giving smug supercilious speeches in support.

    God I wish we had a real opposition.

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  2. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    I see they have also voted for a caucus of at least 45% female by the next election. Or to put it another way….

    “Oh poor dears, you’re far too sweet and simpering to do it on your own so we will put aside some spaces for you so you feel like you are managing to foot it with the boys, ok?”

    Patronising little gits!

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  3. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    The move comes as a new poll shows a small majority of New Zealanders are in favour of such a referendum.
    ……………………….
    Gareth Morgan pointed out that at the rates of immigration and emigration in 2002 the whole population might be completely renewed in 60 years time. So who knows what “New Zealand” will think in the future?

    And aint it the policy progressives have been pushing?
    http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/514/labours-third-world-solution.aspx

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  4. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    Vote Conservative Party-

    You may not agree with everything they want but it is the only way to give the revolving door Progressives of National and Labour a kick in the nuts.

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  5. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    IF there is a referendum and we vote to keep the royals… will the republican movement shut the fuck up?

    or will there have to be a referendum every 10 years until they get what they want, at which point, no more asking the people, ever.

    President Cunliffe? get fucked

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  6. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    or will there have to be a referendum every 10 years until they get what they want

    Yup. Just like with gay marriage.

    Going to a republic, or allowing gay marriage is one thing. Installing a King and annulling marriages is something else entirely.

    Good to see you recognise the futility of the Monarchists position.

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  7. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (6,068) Says:
    November 3rd, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Vote Conservative Party-
    ……………………..
    I’m liberal on prostitution and gay marriage but I would still give the conservative party a look as they don’t endorse multi culturalism (racist or not I prefer neighbours I can yarn to and would prefer the majority to have common values). NZ First may just be suffering from a media news blackout.

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  8. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    Why would I vote for a left wing party like the CCCP? Why would I vote for a party that wants to ban foreign investment and nationalise private land? Why is there this disconnect in the brains of otherwise rational people when it comes to the fraud and double-talk that comes out of Colin Craig’s mouth?

    Craig is just a virginal Winston Peters with money. Don’t dignify him with your support.

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  9. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Man-Ban is also going ahead.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9357211/Labours-gender-quota-gets-go-ahead

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  10. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Can’t wait to see what our written constitution looks like.

    “All New Zealanders have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

    Whoops sorry, we meant to say:

    “Any legislation in conflict with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi shall be null and void”.

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  11. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    The monarchy are just figure heads and the Keith Locke’s of this world have an agenda to severe links to our white Anglo- Saxon culture. They see it as the vector that introduced imperialism destroying an (alleged) native collectivism ; it was the industrial system that did that (for society as a whole).

    Now in Canada’s large cities it’s somewhat amusing to hear people speaking English. Fourth generation Canadians are seen as an amusing relic. Do you eat roasts? Do your parents wear sweaters to dinner and talk about classical music, ha ha ha?
    The reality is that in NZ, the hegemony of Anglo Saxon culture refuses to die. The Interfaith dialogue was a fantastic example of that. Also, we never had (much) immigration from Central, Eastern or Southern Europe. We still treat South Africans and Pomps as “one of us”.

    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/what-diversity-dividend/

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  12. dog_eat_dog (789 comments) says:

    Did they say they’d uphold the referendum results?

    Or are we just going to get rid of the monarchy here no matter what without a mandate, like they did with the Privy Council?

    Sorry David, you might be happy to see your Republican cause get some airtime, but realistically it doesn’t matter what NZers actually want here. Labour have shown they’re prepared to act unilaterally on Knighthoods and our justice system, so why should we believe they’d follow the results of a non-binding referendum?

    That’s the question you should be asking here. I like car racing but I abhor the ATEED V8 Supercar secrecy. Don’t let the subject matter could your commentary.

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  13. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    “Why would I vote for a left wing party like the CCCP?”

    Because no matter what you might believe is their political stance, they offer the best opportunity out there to break the sclerotic progressive orthodoxy of the two main parties.

    If you want NZ to continue to drift further leftwards as the Progressives of National and Labour change places on a regular basis then vote for the status quo.

    Once that alliance is broken there will be change, but if you keep voting for parties that are essentially Progressive, there won’t be.

    Colin Craig only needs to get a few seats and it will drive a wedge into the Lab/Nat alliance and make anything possible in following elections.

    Want more of the same? Such as the bs of “marriage equality”?

    Such as an agreement on NZ becoming a socialist republic?

    Vote Labour or National.

    Easy call.

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  14. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    A republic as such is not intrinsically evil, but the probability is that in NZ the whole thing will be a royal fuck-up which we will have no way of resolving

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  15. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    “Kieran McAnulty (Treasurer) is a proud Wairarapa Bush supporter and a Sports Bookie for the TAB. Like many New Zealanders, his views on his home country were greatly influenced by the time he spent away from it. While playing rugby in Ireland, Kieran always struggled to explain how New Zealanders were certainly not British, despite having the Queen as their head of State.

    His republican views are strongly influenced by his family’s Irish heritage and his belief in the fundamental right of New Zealanders to determine whom holds positions of influence in this country, regardless of how symbolic that position may be. Kieran is currently Deputy Chair of the Rural Affairs Sector Council of the Labour Party and represents that group on Labour’s Economic Policy Council. He holds a BA and PGDipArts in Politics, having recently submitted his Masters thesis, which discussed the role of Political Positioning, Communication and Strategy under MMP.”

    Taken from the Republicans website. McAnulty wants to bring a divisive ,destructive form of government to NewZealand.Look how well it’s worked in his “heritage” homeland.
    ps We are a British people ,in race,culture and heritage,long may that be.God Save the Queen!

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  16. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    “A republic as such is not intrinsically evil, but the probability is that in NZ the whole thing will be a royal fuck-up which we will have no way of resolving.”

    Exactly right.

    The US Constitutional Republic was fine until the commies destroyed that.

    NZ’s problem is that the same forces that destroyed the constitutional underpinnings of the US are already sitting in our parliament.

    No way do I ever want this despicable collection of cowards and commies writing any constitution for NZ.

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  17. OneTrack (3,218 comments) says:

    “No way do I ever want this despicable collection of cowards and commies writing any constitution for NZ.”

    They have already written it Red. Now they are just working out whether to drip feed it (progressively) to the sheeple, or wait and go for the big bang approach when Labour and the Greens are in government.

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  18. OneTrack (3,218 comments) says:

    “Man-Ban is also going ahead.”

    White man ban? Should they start in New Lynn?

    Unfortunately I expect they will start in West Coast-Tasman.

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  19. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    Republicans seem to think that we’re not a grown up country until we break with our monarch. I think we’re not a grown up country until we realize that we don’t have to reject our past to move into the future. Mature nations carry the best of their past with them, and add to it.

    It’s the same as you’re not really grown up until you feel responsible for your family name and values, rather than the need to rebel against them.

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  20. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    Instead of loosening the common ties we have with Britain,Canada,and Oz we should be doing everything we can to tighten them.Even forming a union of some sort.

    We have natural ties by race,language,law,history HoS with those countries who are our natural friends and we should be allies.

    There’s a major shift in politics in the UK where UkIp could become (hopefully) a big player.They value our common heritage and would strengthen ties with us. We should not be taking this republican course.

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  21. OneTrack (3,218 comments) says:

    ““Any legislation in conflict with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi shall be null and void”.”

    Who defines what the principles of the treaty are?

    Well, today it is Meteria Turei, and tomorrow it is Margaret Mutu and the day after that it is Annette Sykes,……

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  22. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    Excellent news, the monarchy has no place in 21st Century New Zealand.

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  23. OneTrack (3,218 comments) says:

    “Excellent news, the monarchy has no place in 21st Century New Zealand.”

    Not unless it is the Maori King, chiefs and tribal hierarchies. Right Sam?

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  24. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    “Why would I vote for a left wing party like the CCCP?”

    Because no matter what you might believe is their political stance, they offer the best opportunity out there to break the sclerotic progressive orthodoxy of the two main parties.

    If that’s all you want, then vote for the Greens. They’re the highest polling third party.

    If I wanted a party that was supposedly conservative, but still did stupid things I disliked, I’d just vote National. At least when John Key opens his mouth he doesn’t talk a bunch of clueless bullshit and pretend to be something he isn’t. I disagree with how he is governing the country, but at least he is consistent about it. Colin Craig is just a fraudulent fool whose policies embody big government isolationism, and at least when I vote National, I know for certain they aren’t going to shut down foreign investment and stunt the economy.

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  25. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    @OneTrack – I think it is up for Maori to decide if they want a Maori King or Queen.

    It is up for all New Zealanders to decide whether they want to retain the monarchy or move to a republic.

    I view this blog to keep and eye on what the Far Right think of such issues.

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  26. Manolo (14,031 comments) says:

    Maori King? Sure. They can choose another semi-illiterate truck driver.

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  27. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Youse Republicans are dreaming. Apart from the fact that I view you as insecure and your wanting to be like Australia rather sad there is absolutely no benefit for New Zealand.

    I laughed hard yesterday, a career public servant putting the boot in after he retired, brave bastard!!!!!!!

    The only beneficiaries will be sad little committee men hoping for another post on the public tit from a life time of minding other people’s business.

    There will also be another seven hundred layers of bludgers added. I can’t see the insecure being truly satisfied until we have a senate and a lower house and then we will have to have states and then we will have state tax and then we will have federal tax and then we will have federal laws and state laws and a state justice system and a federal justice system and state police and federal police and ….go and get fucked.

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  28. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    “If that’s all you want, then vote for the Greens. They’re the highest polling third party.”

    You didn’t read or understand what I wrote.

    The Watermelons are just another set of Progressives.

    The idea is to break up that monopoly, not vote for more of it.

    BTW, your criticisms seem to be driven by a personal dislike of Colin Craig more than any rational consideration of policy and strategy. I watched Craig in his latest interview and he was no more stupid than John Key occasionally is.

    Nat supporters seem keen to hold Craig to standards they refuse to hold the Nats and Key to.

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  29. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    What a surprise. A bloody Fenian hates the Monarchy.

    Long live Charles the Third, a new version of mad King George! :)

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  30. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @DPF,

    The Vote is about as reliable an indicator as a Horizon poll

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  31. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I think all of you pricks deserve a President Helen! :)

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  32. Manolo (14,031 comments) says:

    DPF, it’s time for you to complete your move to the left. Embrace Labour now they have endorsed your beloved republicanism.

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  33. Redbaiter (9,503 comments) says:

    “Excellent news, the monarchy has no place in 21st Century New Zealand.”

    Whatever has the date got to do with it?

    We’re talking about a system of government here, and unless you’re a brainless Prog you don’t change things just because the date is different.

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  34. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    and

    republican wannabees

    as a country we do not have the population of a decent international city, we are tiny, we are a little country who makes the odd headline for sport that is all, we are not a world player we require allies and support. This hasn’t always been reciprocated but if were to become a republic we would have the juice of Naru presently the worlds smallest republic.

    And they are a success.

    Nauru boasted the highest per-capita income enjoyed by any sovereign state in the world during the late 1960s and early 1970s. When the phosphate reserves were exhausted, and the environment had been seriously harmed by mining, the trust that had been established to manage the island’s wealth diminished in value. To earn income, Nauru briefly became a tax haven and illegal money laundering centre. From 2001 to 2008, it accepted aid from the Australian Government in exchange for housing the Nauru detention centre.

    There we go our new industry taking boat people.

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  35. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I thought we already took them PEB, they come on cruise liners to visit Skycity. :)

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  36. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    and we might stop getting Last Night of the Proms on TV so all in all republicanism is a piss poor idea pushed by people who lack a sense of history and lack sense.

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  37. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    To the tune of Jerusalem:

    “And did we build a shithole in Peter Fraser’s hallowed land”

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  38. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    Ronan O’Gara was pilloried by some and praised by many for this supposed insult to the Queen.It was used as a nasty piece of propaganda to further the nasty side of republicanism.

    Instead of taking Plastic Paddy McAnulty ‘s word for a republic see what a real Irishman and footie player has to say.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/if-i-didn-t-like-the-queen-i-wouldn-t-have-travelled-1.1582248

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  39. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Do oi detect a sloight miffedness with folk picking on de Oirish there Shamus O’Kowtow me boi? :)

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  40. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    Obama, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Nixon, Jacob Zuma, Hollande…….

    Yep…..NZ exceptionalism….we’re going to get someone better!!!!!

    But then if we have to have one, then I’ve always thought Bob Jones would be ideal……he sees who the idiots are and what the stupidity is in government & media ect and points it all out to the public.

    He would be a working President.

    Anyone else would be much like the Queen and GG’s – ceremonial & PC bores!

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  41. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Any populace that has real ambitions/challenges for economic growth and diversification, investment, higher employment and higher paying jobs, that is spending time debating republicanism when they have a perfectly good functioning system, is a group that has some very serious deficiencies in prioritisation management.

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  42. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    Well said Huddy.

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  43. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    JB

    None at all gossoon. I’m pointing out it’s a plastic paddy pushing the republic here and we don’t want dat.

    An deres an arwful lotta Micks who loik de Royals, an’ oim one o dem .

    Begorrah.

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  44. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Tank God yer not one of dem Fenian baistards kowtow! :)

    (Makes note to self: kowtow is a black Irish, Catholic, fenian, bastard….not to be trusted! :) )

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  45. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    We are a British people ,in race,culture and heritage

    I think you presume too much to speak for others. ‘We’ are not all as you describe.

    The point of a referendum is to reveal what ‘we’ think as a whole and until undertaken polls are our only approximate way of guessing at what ‘we’ think. After a referendum we will all see what we say.

    The world changes, NZ will become a Republic, the only question about it is when.

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  46. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoFZ9gkk5PY

    :)

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  47. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    That was Red with the bigstick, hairy hat and gout second in line! :)

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  48. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    Yeah I’m your average Kiwi JB.

    Scots Irish. Most Maoris have scots Irish blood too, some more so than Maori blood. There are very few 1/2 blooded Maoris left.

    That says an awfull lot about how we never got on back in 1800 – with all the raping of Maori women that went on. The cases are recorded in the media almost daily. Wednesday is Sorry Day for all the Maori women that us white folk raped. :cool:

    The Scots and Irish hate the English.

    But probably all the Kiwis I know who are Scots Irish like having a Monarchy.

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  49. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    One could only assume from your comment that white women were in short supply back in 1800 Harriet!

    But newspapers were plentiful. :)

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  50. Longknives (4,864 comments) says:

    Just one step closer to President Hone Mugabe.
    Get out of this Godforsaken place while you still can…

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  51. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I see the Koran has been translated to Murri.

    Maybe that should be President Hone Bin Mustapha Mugabe LK? :)

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  52. kowtow (8,738 comments) says:

    Fentex

    I’d wager 75% of the names in the phone book come from the Home Islands,we are Brits.

    In race,language,culture etc

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  53. SGA (1,123 comments) says:

    Fentex at 4:53 pm

    The world changes, NZ will become a Republic, the only question about it is when.

    No. The first question would be what form of republic, if any, it became, and that’s not a trivial question.

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  54. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    47% is not a small majority. It is a large minority.

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  55. Warren Murray (313 comments) says:

    DF thinks that because of a TV show, that NZ will vote to become a republic. He is so besotted with the idea, he’s lost perspective.

    There are many good arguments put up why NZ should become a republic. And there are at least as many (if not more) arguments for retaining the status quo. But when the referendum is held (let’s not forget we’ll be in the chilling embrace of a Labour-Green led socialist government at this point), most people will not be exercising their vote rationally. Sentiment and cultural values will influence how most people will vote. Also apathy and an unwillingness to analyse the available information (aka laziness) will play a big part. Which is why I predict the majority will vote for the status quo, just as they did when we reconsidered MMP.

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  56. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    My dicks only 47% of the average and the majority of the girls tell me it’s a tiny one! :)

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  57. Azeraph (607 comments) says:

    What do you guys thing of Uruguay’s President? He drives a volvo to work and helps builds houses. Uruguays tourism levels are completely off the chart, i think 3 to 8 million in one year?. so taking it on their tourism levels why is this socialist country a success? They’ve been through military governance due to despot leaders, What makes this country better than here? Why does their meat look and taste superior than our own?

    What are we doing wrong?

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  58. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    “….DF thinks that because of a TV show, that NZ will vote to become a republic. He is so besotted with the idea, he’s lost perspective….’

    Quite so.

    Gay ‘marriage’ NZ was told was at 55% before the campaign started. During it NZ was told by the leading gay activists that they would loose a refereendum if one was held.

    On the night that the gay ‘marriage’ bill was passed, Cambell Live had their second biggest ‘phone poll’ ever – 81.3 % against.

    Like the Republican referrendum that was held by Howard around ’98 from memory, was lost because they were not going to have a President selected by voters – but by parliment.

    IN NZ, I want to know the rules, all the rules, and only the rules, of how a President is going to be nominated and how they are going to be selected or voted to become a President.

    NZ would be foolish to vote for a republic only to find out afterwards that only certain types of people can ever run for President, or that the rules to become a President are made difficult so that only the wealthy or very well conected have a chance.

    Seriously, compared to all the ‘PC types’ like Dame this and Dame that ect – I’d rather have Bob Jones who at least has some real ‘Kiwiness’ about him at all times.

    And I think that is what would make a good NZ President – someone who is actually a kiwi by nature and nuture – not some anal retentive bore that is politicly correct.

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  59. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    My dicks only 47% of the average and the majority of the girls tell me it’s a tiny one!

    Holy mother of God – talking sheep!!

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  60. Harriet (5,118 comments) says:

    “….Uruquay….What are we doing wrong?…’

    They don’t yet have the level of regulations and rules that stiffles business and freedom. But they will have – as they are socialist.

    Travel there while you can still see them having fun. It’ll look good in your photo album with them all smiling – just like NZ back in the early 70’s!

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  61. Michael (910 comments) says:

    We get a Republic, we get probably get a new constitution. You can pretty much agree that no-one will be able to agree on it.

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  62. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I agree with the idea of a republic in principle.

    There are four things that would stop me from voting for one in a referendum.
    First is whether I am happy with the way a president is elected. Until I see the details I won’t commit myself to voting a particular way.
    Second is how much power the president gets. My preference would be the same amount as the GG gets – there is a right to veto legislation but in practise it is never used.
    The third is how the treaty of Waitangi is incorporated into the constitution. If it is incorporated how the writers of the treaty intended, that is everyone must be treated equally under the law, I will vote for it. If there is any reference to BS “principles of the treaty” giving Maoris extra say then there is no way in hell that I will vote for it.
    Fourth, any bill of rights in the treaty must not include more modern “rights” like the right to budge off the state if you are lazy.

    I sincerely doubt that I will be voting for a republic.

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  63. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    All these people who struggle to explain our constitutional arrangements are either I suspect incoherent, do not understand the issue or are just lying when they say people do not understand. Regarding the McAnulty person mentioned above I find it inconceivable that people in Ireland did not understand the situation. That statement reeks of misinformation at best and outright lying in all probability.

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  64. SJM (84 comments) says:

    DPF” Whether we retain the monarchy or have a New Zealand Head of State is a decision that should be made by the people through a referendum – not by politicians.”
    —————————

    I note that this is not something initiated by the people, the people of New Zealand, but by a political party, presumably because they want more power. No political party has any right to do this

    What we have here is the powerful and the influential, those whom we the people cannot remove of our own accord, depriving the public of their right to determine the nature of their own constitution.

    As far as I am concerned this has zero democratic legitimacy, and any republic that that is declared that is not initiated by the public and approved by the public, without political interference, will have zero legitimacy.

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  65. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    The first question would be what form of republic

    It seems unlikely to me that the order will be to decide exactly what constitutional arrangements will be adopted before a confirmation of a desire for change.

    I imagine that people hoping to prevent a vote to adopt a republic from succeeding will use similar tactics as in Australia recently to make the choice the status quo or one or more undesireable forms of republic.

    Exactly how a republic should take form is subject to a will for one first.

    I should think, being a pretty important decision, that it should advance in steps – first establish the desire, then debate the form, then make the choice.

    I personally don’t understand why people argue about how a President would be selected when we haven’t ascertained we’d even have one – I can imagine a state with a Prime Minister that does not require a President or other ‘Head Of State’ except the effective executive we already have.

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  66. SJM (84 comments) says:

    SGA (314) Says:

    No. The first question would be what form of republic, if any, it became, and that’s not a trivial question.
    ———————————–

    And you will never have a say on the nature of the question; you will be given a veto, at best, over one politicians republic or another.

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  67. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    We’ve got better than a republic now. A one-tier Government with a head of state with no power over us.

    A Republic of Aotearoa is more jobs for left-wing bureaucrats like Peter Hamilton, and an expensive President like the unspeakable Helun Clark or Farmer Jim Bolger swanning around in convoys of Rolls-Royces with equerries, boring thousands of citizens shitless with boring, brain-dead speeches, and handing out hundreds of faux-royal medals.

    Imagine a President Clark racing up and down the country so she could apologise to, and beg forgiveness of every non- pale-white person for the fact that Clark was born a Western white woman.

    Of course, after Bolger, there would never again be a white, male-heterosexual president.

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  68. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    you will never have a say on the nature of the question

    Which of us were given a choice about our current arrangement? Surely someone concerned with choice should consider inherited privilege and position especially by people at a worlds width remove the antipathy of choice for the rest of us?

    I’d wager 75% of the names in the phone book come from the Home Islands, we are Brits.

    Someone who believes this to be true can have no fear of a referendum then, for surely if 75% of our population believes themselves British (something I think highly unlikely) no referendum for Republicanism could succeed and could only be welcomed as confirmation.

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  69. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    We’ve got better than a republic now. A one-tier Government with a head of state with no power over us.

    This is not an argument against Republicanism, it’s an argument against a head of state separate from our parliament and/or executive.

    Being a Republic does not require (unless, as a definition it has a technical meaning I don’t know, that implies) a separate head of state. We could invent our own that doesn’t bother with one. I quite like that idea as the very concept of a Head of State seems like an unnecessary hangover from feudal arrangements.

    I have a friend who argues the good thing about the current arrangement is it takes politics of personality out of our government a bit by feeding the Windsors to the gossip mills instead of our government.

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  70. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Fentex (9.44), your gripe with the present national status then seems to boil down merely to the role and position of the largely powerless figurehead head of state.

    If we forget the title of “president” and leave the title as “governor general” what is the difference apart from having a member of the royal family’s head to put on the obverse of coins (postage stamps are becoming obsolete)?

    To me it seems the issue being created isn’t about whether to remove the role of King or Queen so much as whether to fuck up NZ’s present lean, relatively efficient political system. Perhaps there should be a compromise choice in any referendum, a third way – the Governor-General’s post subject to first-past-the-post election.

    Republican activists are a tiny portion of the population. Rather than this tail wagging the political cat, if there’s to be a referendum let’s put the whole question of state on the table.

    First, the present fluid, evolving largely unwritten constitution. Do we want to keep it or do we agree with the shrinking Left that there should be a written constitution with what that would inevitably bring – more of the Palmer-esque bureaucratic institutions often, even usually, headed by Marxists or ex-Marxists, and, of course, what it will also undoubtedly bring: more neo-apartheid with two-tier rights – for those identifying as Maori, and for the rest of us.

    Other choices we could include in a referendum: do you favour political integration of NZ with Australia? In such a vote should there be a choice for a regional bloc, such as the South Island, to opt to seek to become part of Australia? Do think under the present Parliamentary system there should be a federal system for, say: South Island, lower North Island, upper North Island, and Auckland; and, given rising differences of inhabitants and culture, do you favour Auckland’s separation from NZ as a city state on the lines of the separation of Singapore from Malaysia?

    What about the biggest undiscussed topic of all, the herd of elephants in the auditorium: national policy on immigration, and whether citizens should vote on the massive ethnic reengineering under way, the biggest since 1840?

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  71. SJM (84 comments) says:

    Fentex: You say you should be given a say, ‘Given’ ? How generous of our political masters to give us a say on the very rules that shape our lives, and are you not ever so grateful that they would deign to consult you, or at least pretend to?

    This is not about monarchy or republic, its about power, the power to determine where power lays; who, how much, where and when and for how long.
    In New Zealand that right does not belong to you, Fentex, but to Cunliffe, to Key their parties their funders. If Cunliffe has his way you are to be granted nothing more than a veto over the choices others have made for you, and that’s if you are lucky, because they don’t have to. That is what parlimentry sovereignty ultimatly means, you and I are not sovereign in our own land, and changing to a republic will not change that fact.

    Republicans will cheer this whole thing as some kind of triumph, when it is nothing more than a display of powerlessness and political impotence, for we fight over scraps from the table of masters.

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  72. Azeraph (607 comments) says:

    Harriet (2,884) Says:
    November 3rd, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    They chose not to privatize and to concentrate on paying their external debt off. What gets me is they went through 12 years of military dictatorship which the people rose up and protested them out of power and now look at them. If you look at their history you will see they have had a bloody one yet they have had no european or chinese or american help. No, i’m wrong, the americans sent advisors to teach the police and eventually the military on torture and interrogation.

    Fonterra have interests there.

    I don’t think they are keynessians and i think they did what we should have done.

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  73. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    Forget deciding democratically we don’t want a G-G. Wait for the ayatollah.

    Forget the vote, buy a gun.

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  74. ChardonnayGuy (1,211 comments) says:

    While I’m a republican, I’m a gradualist one. There’s probably no point in having a referendum on the subject until the current Queen passes away. I’m curious that the Sock Con usual suspects seem to be missing the point that our unelected hereditary head of state in that context would be Chas Windsor, a divorced (!!!) adulterer (!!!). I know some social conservative republicans who’ve told me that they’d prefer a social conservative president.

    I’d prefer it if we had an elaborated written constitution akin to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada first. Either that, or elaborate entrench the Bill of Rights Act 1990.

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  75. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    There’s probably no point in having a referendum on the subject until the current Queen passes away.

    While I think becoming a Republic at Elizabeth’s passing would be elegant timing I also don’t think it’s likely. While I expect NZ will become a Republic I don’t think there’s as yet a large majority willing to vote for it as we’ve no pressing crisis forcing the issue.

    If the question were put to people and some 50+% agreed to a Republic I don’t think that would suffice for any kind of hurried effort. A small, possibly temporary, majority isn’t adequate to commit to such significant change though I think it is enough to start preparations and discussion on how to proceed.

    If it is demonstrated by referenda that a majority think the time for a Republic has come we should invest considerable time and debate into what form of constitutional arrangement we would like before eventually choosing if any debated option is satisfactory.

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  76. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    This is not about monarchy or republic, its about power, the power to determine where power lays; who, how much, where and when and for how long.

    I’m not sure I understand any of what you meant. Discussion of our constitutional arrangements with a thought to possibly changing them is in someway disenfranchising me, more than anything else does already?

    I have one vote among many at the moment about who will exercise power, if we become a Republic I expect I will also have one vote among many about who exercises power. Did you mean that I’m in someway protected by a monarchy that I wouldn’t be in a Republic? I don’t see the logic.

    I think Jack5 wasn’t far wrong when they wrote we’ve got it pretty good at the moment with an absent Head of State with no real power who can be left to ceremony while our one chamber of government can function without overly complex processes. And I don’t think right now New Zealanders much care about changing it because it isn’t in crisis.

    It could be though one day, and while I think a Republic is inevitable but don’t agitate for it (outside occasional discussion) because, well, meh, we get by, I have no problem with those who care enough to do the work preparing for the future getting on with it.

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  77. ChardonnayGuy (1,211 comments) says:

    Ireland does quite well, with a head of state that has carefully circumscribed powers, while executive authority seems to reside with the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) as well as parliamentary sovereignty through the legislature. It doesn’t have to be a gridlocked nightmare comparable to that in France or the United States, with an imperial presidency that combines the roles of head of state and executive authority, sometimes against a truculent House of Representatives and/or Senate (viz Tea Party Republicans and the events of October 2013)

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  78. Paulus (2,658 comments) says:

    I assume with a Republican our Language will change from English to MutuMaori to differentiate from our old colonial masters.

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  79. justmy opinion (8 comments) says:

    This is half an idea. A Republic is inevitable at some stage, but there are some very big questions that arise. How will we choose a President? If there is an election, then presumably people will nominate and campaign on a platform. But what powers will a President have? I doubt that the majority want a President with more power than the GG currently has.

    A binding referendum on a Republic without first reaching a national consensus on how to choose a President or what powers a President would have is likely to lead to a lacuna. At best, this would lead to a half thought through compromise on the questions that really matter. At worst, it will lead to constitutional chaos.

    We only need to look as far as Australia. There was probably a significant majority who wanted a Republic, but the referendum was defeated because there was no consensus on what sort of Republic to have. To ardent anti-monarchists, that was probably an unfortunate result. But how to choose a President and what powers to give a President are ultimately the truly significant issues.

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  80. SJM (84 comments) says:

    Fentex (357) Says:

    November 4th, 2013 at 10:04 am
    I’m not sure I understand any of what you meant. Discussion of our constitutional arrangements with a thought to possibly changing them is in someway disenfranchising me, more than anything else does already?

    I have one vote among many at the moment about who will exercise power, if we become a Republic I expect I will also have one vote among many about who exercises power. Did you mean that I’m in someway protected by a monarchy that I wouldn’t be in a Republic? I don’t see the logic.

    ———————–

    Its pretty simple stuff, Polticians are trying to change the constiution, I say that that is the proper realm of the public as a whole, and not that of those who exersize power. We the people should be intiating and approving such change, not them.

    Yeah we do have it pretty good thus far, and I dont see any need for a republic, but we should not let that blind us to the fact of where actual power is, and that fact alone shows up republican rehtoric for the sham it is, its not about New Zealnders choosing their head of state.

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  81. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    We only need to look as far as Australia. There was probably a significant majority who wanted a Republic, but the referendum was defeated because there was no consensus on what sort of Republic to have

    That was a deliberate tactic by authority that didn’t want a Republic but had a vote for it forced on them.

    They made success for the vote contingent on deciding details it was far too early to consider.

    Discussion on the form a Republic should take will be long, loud, contentious, rambunctious and heated. Until the decision to form one is made there’s not going to be adequate detailed discussion of what it ought be.

    It’s preposterous to expect everyone to get involved and hammer out in detail what they would prefer before you bother to ask them if there’s a need to make the effort.

    The first step is to ascertain if the time has come, that sufficient population agrees, to replace the current constitutional arrangements with entirely local ones. If so then have at the details.

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  82. SJM (84 comments) says:

    Fentex (358) Says:

    That was a deliberate tactic by authority that didn’t want a Republic but had a vote for it forced on them.

    They made success for the vote contingent on deciding details it was far too early to consider.

    Discussion on the form a Republic should take will be long, loud, contentious, rambunctious and heated. Until the decision to form one is made there’s not going to be adequate detailed discussion of what it ought be.

    It’s preposterous to expect everyone to get involved and hammer out in detail what they would prefer before you bother to ask them if there’s a need to make the effort.

    The first step is to ascertain if the time has come, that sufficient population agrees, to replace the current constitutional arrangements with entirely local ones. If so then have at the details
    ——————————

    As I understand it, the process the Australians used was due to constutional law on referendums.

    What you suggest however, given current methods of changing such matters in NZ, I would suggest will lead to a fait accompli, where we have only a veto, and not a choice or real input. If the Public were to be able to initiate such matters and approve them without poltical interferance then I wouldnt have a problem with your method.

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  83. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    A thing that concerns me is the final standard for adopting a Republic, a simple majority would be insufficient I think. I think an absolute majority of voters (that is more than 50% of those eligible to vote rather than 50% of those who do) would be the minimal acceptable standard.

    I don’t know that I’d demand, but might accept, that there ought be two votes meeting such a standard – one to initiate the process ( which is a contentious and expensive enough of an act) and another to enact the final choice.

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  84. SJM (84 comments) says:

    Fentex (359) Says:

    November 4th, 2013 at 11:47 am
    A thing that concerns me is the final standard for adopting a Republic, a simple majority would be insufficient I think. I think an absolute majority of voters (that is more than 50% of those eligible to vote rather than 50% of those who do) would be the minimal acceptable standard.

    I don’t know that I’d demand, but might accept, that there ought be two votes meeting such a standard – one to initiate the process ( which is a contentious and expensive enough of an act) and another to enact the final choice.

    ——————————

    Yeah, a simple majority would not be enough and the turnout would need to be fairly high.

    I do feel that the polticians should not, as a point of principle, have a say in such a matter, as there would be a temptation to further concentrate power in their own hands and remove what few checks and balances we currently have.
    The final proposals in the Australian republic debate were quite disturbing in the executive power that polticians planned to grab, which is why their monarchists talk of a polticians republic.

    It is to counter this tendency to concentrate power still further that I say that constiutional change must be initiated and approved by the public and never by politicians of any stripe.
    If this results in a republic, so be it, but it would truly be something determined by New Zealanders, for New Zealanders, and not something foisted on us by those with power acting in their own self-interest.

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  85. Kea (13,355 comments) says:

    Those people opposing a referendum on this issue clearly have contempt for democracy. The reason they oppose it is fear their view is a minority one, which is currently forced on everyone else.

    I think we should be able to choose ourselves by popular vote. I do have huge concerns about what might follow however. Maori separatists will have a field day and could drive a wedge through our society. But that is a separate issue.

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  86. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    I do feel that the polticians should not, as a point of principle, have a say in such a matter, as there would be a temptation to further concentrate power in their own hands and remove what few checks and balances we currently have.

    You’d like a grand constitutional convention organized by the non-politically affiliated public? The problem is anyone who wants such a thing is political, if that ambitious will have been politically active and there’s no way it cannot involve politicians.

    Even if it were a new constitution committed by the public after executing all the politicians and starting afresh it’d only be the work of the new politicians. It’s a political act, anyone involved must dirty their hands with politics.

    Maori separatists will have a field day and could drive a wedge through our society.

    I think you have them on the wrong side of the debate – supporters of Maori Sovereignty would prefer, I think, the current arrangement as I suspect it more favours their arguments than a new Republic based on new constitutional law may. It is an obvious point of contention – some people would likely argue for a new written constitution over-riding all past provisions and it seems unlikely a majority would find a place in such for separate sovereign peoples.

    And I would think cynical Iwi might wonder that voting for a Republic before some unresolved disputes are settled would be against their interests.

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  87. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    “All New Zealanders have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

    Just because something is in the constitution it does not mean that the system will honour it – the current system does honour the natural right of liberty.

    A referendum is of little value without knowing what kind on republic we are talking about.

    Would it be a republic in which the government operates by authority delegated to it by the people of New Zealand?
    Or would it be a civil republic in which all citizens are equal under the state?

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  88. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    I say that constiutional change must be initiated and approved by the public and never by politicians of any stripe.

    They only way that could happen would be if the scope was limited so that it was apolitical.
    But that would still be a good place to start, to iron out the issues of natural rights vs civil rights and the structure of the judicial system.

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  89. SJM (84 comments) says:

    Fentex (360) Says:

    You’d like a grand constitutional convention organized by the non-politically affiliated public? The problem is anyone who wants such a thing is political, if that ambitious will have been politically active and there’s no way it cannot involve politicians.

    Even if it were a new constitution committed by the public after executing all the politicians and starting afresh it’d only be the work of the new politicians. It’s a political act, anyone involved must dirty their hands with politics
    ———————–

    I think your a bit off there, thats like saying the entire population of Switzerland is composed of polticians because of their direct democracy model of government.

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  90. SJM (84 comments) says:

    UglyTruth (2,011) Says:

    They only way that could happen would be if the scope was limited so that it was apolitical.
    But that would still be a good place to start, to iron out the issues of natural rights vs civil rights and the structure of the judicial system.

    ————————–

    This current Monarchy/republic debate is a good indication why change needs to happen, by what right does a person who welds power get to initiate and influence (useing taxpayers money) the nature of our constitional make up? I think that that is a fairly apolitical place to start, and the technology exists to allow this process to happen fairly easily.

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  91. Azeraph (607 comments) says:

    Kea (8,693) Says:
    November 4th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I agree separatists could cause a problem but most maori i know still have a filial perspective of the or a monarchy, it might surprise everyone that they might come down the side of the crown.

    The monarchy needs new blood and the red head has it, he’s young, progressive and well liked. If he was to succeed he could hold or even strengthen the commonwealth bonds.

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  92. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    thats like saying the entire population of Switzerland is composed of polticians because of their direct democracy model of government.

    That’s what they have, we’re talking about how you get whatever Constitution you use.

    Out of curiosity I looked up how the current Swiss Constitution came to be and it was adopted mid-19th Century at the end of a civil war, which was sort-of a consquence of many upheavals originating in the Napoleonic Wars, with inspiration from the U.S Constitution and federal model – Swiss cantons seeking the benefit of an alliance as U.S states do.

    It was a fortunately brief and limited war whose effects were mostly psychological and ultimately unifying than the horrors many lived through across Europe at a time of many upheavals.

    Anyway I’m sure the people who suggested, agitated and promoted the constitution they adopted could fairly be called politicians, and given it’s apparent success probably well respected and venerated by the Swiss. If there’s an ambition for such a model in New Zealand (and I suspect not – it’s probably too alien for most) it could be promoted among other options.

    We remain however in a discussion about a choice removed from a crisis like civil war or catastrophe so it isn’t going to happen here but by a political process (although maybe the current brightening economic news is just a false dawn fed by another cheap credit boom and we’ll all shortly have a real crisis of the sort to bring political legitimacy into question to deal with…)

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  93. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    In Switzerland the power comes up from the people not down from the crown.
    The Swiss government trusts is people so much that it gives everyone rifles.

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  94. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I am against a referendum at this time because I do not believe most New Zealanders are adequately informed on the issues involve to make any sort of decision. I have no doubts that eventually NZ will become a republic, and that the conversation should begin in earnest, but there is much to be discussed, and a lot of knowledge that needs to be passed on before I would consider this country mature enough to take that step.

    The majority of people would vote based on their like or dislike for the Royal family – rather than actually consider the political positive/negative aspects.

    Begin the conversation YES, referendum, NO, not yet. A referendum within the next five years is likely to fail. Labour gets a NO on this one.

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  95. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    The Swiss government trusts is people so much that it gives everyone rifles

    But not ammunition. Switzerland, having become concerned at the amount of suicides and danger of firearm misuse, while continuing to require training and possession of firearms has removed and forbidden all the ammunition that used to be issued.

    It seems an odd thing to require people keep weapons without ammunition but I assume the plan is if the militia can’t get to barracks to load up caches of munitions are spread around for defenders should invasion prompt the need.

    It’s something I think countries concerned about possible occupation should generally do – hide caches that can be accessed to make life miserable for occupiers in the hope of driving them out eventually.

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  96. Fentex (1,015 comments) says:

    The majority of people would vote based on their like or dislike for the Royal family – rather than actually consider the political positive/negative aspects.

    I think that’s a very insulting and patronising attitude, what would a person having it think if I decided they were too arrogant to be allowed a vote? Does the reciprocal position not grate as the insult it is?

    Begin the conversation YES, referendum, NO, not yet.

    Without a point to it the conversation will not be had.

    If one needs to be convinced that enough people care to have the conversation and referendum those agitating for it ought go ahead and organize a citizens referendum asserting a desire for a national referendum on a Republic. That ought settle the question if enough people have an interest in the debate.

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