Shane Jones is no democrat
“Over-concentration of power in the hands of a few people will gut local democracy and leave [Auckland] the poorer for it”
On the other hand, allocating a few seats based on race to one particular group whilst others get no special benefit is highly democratic… not.
You wonder how people like Shane Jones work this sort of logic out, especially coming from a group of people who aren’t exactly renowned for sharing power.
If we regard ourselves as a mature democratic country, then we have no need for allocated positions on elected bodies based on race. The other option is that we use the census to determine racially based position allocation for all groups, white, Indian, Chinese, Samoan, Tongan etc etc splitting it down to things likes ex Scots, South African, Croation or Welsh if they so require. This is the logical extension of the Maori seats if we are going to be fair and democratic about it.
Naturally this is daft, I don’t even know how to start to identify my ethnic heritage, and it’s worth considering that almost every ‘Maori’ has European or other heritage just as I have a mixture of Dutch, English and Italian heritage.
What are people like Shane Jones so scared of?
We now have Asians and Islanders represented in parliament, as well as Women and Gay’s, sure you could argue that the split isn’t perfect, but political parties have offered up candidates from a range of groups within NZ. It isn’t like if all preference for Maori’s was abolished that there would suddenly be no Maori representation.
Isn’t it somewhat insulting to the excellent Maori MP’s to insinuate that they are incapable of getting elected unless they have some special dispensation and guaranteed seats in Parliament (or local Councils)?
I think it is, these people should be elected because of what they can offer their voters, not based on the colour fo their skin or which ethnic heritage they feel they relate too.
The continued existence of a separate system giving advantages to one group over another does nothing to further Maori New Zealanders political ambitions, most other New Zealanders don’t bother voting for Maori political groups because they see them as already being guaranteed a place, this just means that the weak justifications for those guarantees will continue.
Maori New Zealanders have shown themselves to be very adept politically both within their tribal groups and nationally, they are just as capable as any other New Zealanders at getting elected and should by now feel they don’t need artificial support to be represented.
Shane Jones should have a bit more faith in ‘his people’ and if he was really interested in real democracy, he should be campaigning against retention of so called positive discrimination in our electoral system for one particular group over another.