Consitutional matters for people not politicians

Prime Minister Bill English says constitutional changes should not be led by politicians.

“That is the lesson from the flag referendum. I oversaw the process for changing the flag, I voted for changing the flag. In the end, a lot of the voting became a bit of a political vehicle, probably because it was proposed by the Prime Minister.

“So I think in future that constitutional change needs to come from the will of the people.”

He’s right.

That referendum was defeated in part because Labour leader Andrew Little turned his back on his party’s policy to change the flag because he saw it as an opportunity to dent then-Prime Minister John Key’s popularity.

But it wasn’t a landslide defeat for change and if you add those who wanted change but didn’t like the design and those who wanted change but didn’t like the then-PM to those who wanted change and voted for it I think there would be a majority open to a new flag.

The seeds for a flag change have been planted but if they’re to grow and bloom the campaign must be non-partisan and led by the people not politicians.

People-driven campaigns for other constitutional matters would also have more chance of success than those led by politicians.

One of those matters is a move to a four-year electoral term but it’s probably only political tragics who have a strong view on that.

16 Responses to Consitutional matters for people not politicians

  1. Andrei says:

    Too late – where was Bill English when the New Zealand public overwhelmingly told Parliament via a citizens initiated referendum they were out of line their dictates on parental child discipline

    Where was Bill English when parliament unilaterally rewrote the meaning of marriage?

    And today we see the rapacious tax collecting on Tobacco causing both social problems and a rise in violent criminality as anyone with half a brain could predict

    Donald Trump won for a reason and that is the general population are sick to death of professional politicians of no substance epitomized by wimpy, testosterone challenged men like Bill English who run with the hares and hunt with the hounds to maintain their place at the pig trough


  2. tinker says:

    This referendum was held at the wrong time. There will be no
    movement towards a new flag until the Queen dies.


  3. homepaddock says:

    Tinker – What’s the Queen got to do with a flag change? All a flag change would do is change the flag, NZ would still be a constitutional monarchy and part of the Commonwealth.


  4. paul scott says:

    In other words lets keep Geoffrey Palmer out of the public arena and expel him to where he deserves to be, and to where I have for prepared for him, a slum prison in Klong Toei.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Andrei and Paul – you should be able to debate the issues without getting personal about people whose views don’t match yours.


  6. Richard says:

    HP – agree with you on the above Both Andre and Paul are beginning to sound the like long departed RG from this blog.

    Back to your post
    “That referendum was defeated in part because Labour leader Andrew Little turned his back on his party’s policy to change the flag because he saw it as an opportunity to dent then-Prime Minister John Key’s popularity.”

    Agree and with BE
    The problem is that anyone who puts their hand up for a change of the constitution or flag will be deemed to be political.

    Bit of a catch22 I think


  7. homepaddock says:

    Richard – the issues are political but they don’t have to be partisan.


  8. Andrei says:

    The issue Ele is “Leadership”

    And Bill English failed the test back in 2002 when he suggested American Naval vessels would be permitted to return if he won the election

    Which would have been fine if he had stuck to his guns but when the media came down upon him he ran away and hid allowing Don Brash to take the leadership of the party from him

    He has had ample opportunities since then to show leadership and each time he has hidden, failed to demonstrate the courage of his convictions.

    He may well win the next election but a true leader will arise, someone with spine, and National will be out on its ear

    The age of the dreary technocrat is over – the writing is on the wall

    Look at France, look at the Netherlands, look at Hungary…

    I suspect Theresa May in the UK may have got the memo – we will see

    I’m sorry if you don’t like what I am saying…


  9. Freddy says:

    Actually Andrei has a valid point, it is about leadership, rightly or wrongly if you ain’t got it we the people will find it…and follow.


  10. homepaddock says:

    “wimpy, testosterone challenged” was the personal bit to which I was objecting.

    Your memory of 2002 differs from mine. Natioanl’s election defeat and Bill’s subsequent loss of leadership were due to a combination of factors including the party’s failure to adapt to MMP, get rid of its deadwood, and formulate sound policy based on its principles; and caucus disunity.

    Bill’s performance was only part of the problem and he has learned from his mistakes.

    He has demonstrated sound leadership in many ways, not least of which is his role in championing social investment which aims to address the causes of benefit dependency and related problems.

    In his first speech as leader and again yesterday he spoke of the importance of family, his views on which are based on his faith.

    I’m not sure what you mean by hidden but I have heard Bill speak frankly of his views and his reason for them at meetings and when questioned by media.

    Freddy – I agree on the need for leadership, I disagree with Andrei’s assessment of Bill.


  11. Andrei says:

    Ele sometimes I express myself forcefully but in politics perception is everything

    How you see things and how those who go to the ballot box see things may differ and where the rubber meets the road it is what happens at the ballot box is what counts

    I voted for Bill English back in the day, ticked Nationals box with him at the helm

    As I recall it he had a meeting with a new US Ambassador and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes of that meeting somehow “leaked” and were used to discredit him on the ship visits thing. Confronted he dithered and Don Brash pounced – leading National into the wilderness for two more elections

    And National lost my vote along the way along with many other voters obviously

    …I have heard Bill speak frankly of his views and his reason for them at meetings and when questioned by media.

    And out in voter land these views are not being heard – I know what they are but on past performance they are negotiable – they are not core


  12. homepaddock says:

    Andrei – it’s not the forcefulness of your expression or your views to which I objected. I don’t agree with you but welcome debate. My problem was with the personal abuse.

    2002 was a long time ago, Bill has learned a lot in that time and will have changed his views on some things. But his faith and principles, including his belief if the vital importance of the family in a properly functioning society, have not.


  13. Andrei says:

    A leopard can’t change its spots Ele

    When Bill English assumed the Prime Ministership one of the first things he was asked was about his vote on “Gay” marriage and he pandered to the press by replying that knowing what he knows now he’d change his vote

    If he wins the next thing coming down the pike is the so called “Death with Dignity” bill – can we rely upon him to kill this on the vine

    And the answer to this is a resounding No!

    It is all a bit like Pontius Pilate washing his hands

    We are living through a period when there is a tectonic shift taking place in human affairs – it may end in a major war and we need a leader to bring us through this transition


  14. Mr E says:

    “A leopard can’t change its spots”

    In 1840 NZ became part of the British empire making Homosexual inter……se illegal and punishable by death.

    In 1893 the law was broadened to include any sexual activity by men.

    In 1961 the punishment was abolished.

    In 1986 the law was removed. Making homosexual ‘relations’ legal.

    In 2004 Civil unions became legal

    In 2004 a poll indicated that the majority did not support gay marriage
    In every poll from 2011 onward, the majority supported Gay marriage.

    In 2013 Gay Marriage became legal.

    As much as it is good to avoid personalisation of the discussion I am going to describe my experiences.

    In 1998 I told a good friend of mine that I didn’t like hearing about what gay men got up to. It was in line with my feelings at the time. She disagreed with my intolerance but we respected each others differences.

    As time progressed I became increasingly embarrassed by this level of intolerance. I had gained many many friends who were gay and was far more aware the impact that these views would have.

    I am now very embarrassed by the views I once held. Views that were homophobic, intolerant and just nasty. Nasty to people. People who were no different to me in any way other than one small preference. People who I now have enormous respect for. People who deserve a break from inequality and unfair uneven treatment.

    So I have a great deal of self gratitude for my ability to change spots. Changing ones spots can show thoughtfulness, logic and openness.

    Thank goodness for societies, and individuals abilities to change their spots.

    And then there is those with entrenched views, that reflect a decreasing minority of society…… I expect they will get left behind as society moves past them.


  15. paul scott says:

    You mean Home Paddock that Bill has learned a lot about things like : Equal representation
    : Equity and Equality within Governance
    : The utter absurdity of race based privilege of co-govcernance
    : The insanity of open immigration, as a false economy boost

    Remember HP if you don’t like us, you can do a Christ Trottersky l or a Cameron Slater Whale oil and just delete comments. Not applicable. Divergent attitudes against Nanny Nat blue rinse banned from this blog. No Conservatives allowed in liberal wet pansy web sites.


  16. Andrei says:

    No comments have been deleted Paul Scott

    I deployed a turn of phrase that Ele didn’t like and she told me so


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