Russel Norman did his valedictory yesterday. They are normally not partisan affairs, where you reflect on your highlights etc. But Russel decided to compare NZ to Russia:
I believe that democracy is a lot more than voting once every 3 years. In fact, I think in some ways that is the least part of it. It is all the institutions and culture that sits around it. I want to use my remarks to voice my concern about the state of democracy in New Zealand. Democracy is not a black and white thing. There are gradations of democracy. Putin has elections once every several years, or whatever, but that does not make Russia a democracy.
He also effectively compared NZ to the Joh Bjelke-Petersen Queensland Government.
I also think we have developed a bad culture around dissent. Look at what happened to Eleanor Catton
She criticised some people, and got criticised back in turn. The left thing criticising someone is an act of suppression. They seem to think if you are on their side, then you are beyond criticism.
look at what happened to Nicky Hager, and what he is currently going through, after the police raided his house because he dared to criticise and get involved in the Cameron Slater issue
He got raided because he worked with a criminal hacker, and used information from the criminal.
It needs to be said that there are too many cows.
People don’t believe me when I say it is official Green Party policy to shoot (or kill in some way) one in five cows. Russel has confirmed this clearly.
I would just like to say that my view is that humanity faces some really big challenges in the decades ahead, particularly around sustainability and climate change, and around inequality and poverty, but also around democracy.
All too often Green MPs seem to have a view that humanity makes awful choices and everything is going backwards. In fact the world is a far far better place than it has ever been.
But we also have huge opportunities. The world is finite—that is true—but human creativity is infinite. Human generosity is infinite. Human courage is infinite. So we have access to some fantastic resources. As well as facing these big challenges and problems we have inherited from the past, we have also inherited lots of great things from the past, and we have the opportunity to really create a world of abundance for everyone and for all of us living within the finite limits of the natural world. I think that it is an opportunity that we really should grasp with both our hands, because our children deserve nothing less.
Finally a small amount of optimism.