by Wendy Geus on the BFD

In recent times when PM Jacinda Ardern attempts to rationalise her co-governance model, based on the He Puapua report, she uses generalisations that are based on feelings, not reason: reverting to fanciful, emotive thinking. This at a time Labour’s Rotorua and Lakes Representation Bill, which seeks to override current electoral law, has had its first reading in parliament.

The Rotorua Lakes Council no longer believes in one person one vote, each of equal value. Instead, it believes that if you are not Maori, your vote should be worth less. Photo credit: Democracy Action.

When David Seymour reminded her, during Q&A in the House the week before Easter, that our democracy is based on “regular and free elections with a secret ballot“, she referred to Seymour’s statement as a “simplistic view“, talking down to him and her audience to make her point.

“Of course, I support the longstanding principles of democracy in this nation, but the idea that that cannot sit alongside Te Tiriti o Waitangi, I take issue with that. We are more sophisticated than that, surely,” said the PM.

In reality, she is actually opposing and supporting the democratic principle of one person one vote at the same time, on the childlike belief that it can sit comfortably beside a new improved separatist formula with tenuous connections to the Treaty, which it can’t.

This also diverts her audiences’ attention away from the issue being discussed and for which she does not have a rational response. By changing the narrative to an emotive one that questions the intellect of those supporting democracy, she avoids actually answering the question and insults thousands who support our precious democratic system. (“One of the oldest democracies in the world”, Gerry Brownlee reminded us in a recent interview on our Ukraine response.)

She has done this throughout her time in power, and intellectual heavyweights like the Herald’s Thomas Coughlan summarise her responses with words to the effect, “getting the better of Luxon” or “having the upper hand” (in the House) when she hasn’t actually addressed the question. Of course, Speaker Mallard blindly accepts every emotive, flawed answer. But I digress.

We are more sophisticated than that, surely” was used by Ardern as a rationale for changing the fabric of our democratic system to favour the wishes of 17% of our population.

This is an emotive, arrogant, elitist, response creating an us and them scenario (like she did with her government’s appalling response to the Parliament protest, which I predicted they won’t recover from. So far so good).

So, all those who do not agree with her radical co-governance plan are unsophisticated and not up with the play. Her intent is to create guilt amongst us plebs who disagree, at a guess probably at least 75% of the population, and enforce silence through fear of being politically incorrect.

We are just not smart enough to grasp the degree of sophistication of this idea. She mocks those who disagree. By her definition suffrage for all based on the Bill of Rights Act and the UN Covenant of Civil and Political Rights is a simplistic view. This places her in conflict with the UN Covenant which guarantees equal suffrage without racial discrimination.

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