Democracy is not the problem: pure representation is!
NZ local government elections give mandate back to communities for popular governance
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
TAU PARAPARA (proverb)
Hutia te rito o te harakeke (if u take the centre shoot out of the flax)
Kei hia te komako e ko (where would the bell bird go?)
Ki mai ki ahau (If you were to ask me)
He aha te mea nui o tenei ao (what is the most important thing in the world)
Maku e ki atu (I would reply)
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata (‘tis Man ‘tis Man ‘tis Man)
Democracy is not the problem; it is representation that is unnatural.
Written by Simon Kaiwai 8/11/2010Subtitle: 2010 NZ local election results: The NAYs (populists) have it
Now that all of the votes are in for the local government elections in New Zealand the result has become clear: a majority has chosen governance by popular decision i.e Direct democracy (refer to chart on right for New Zealand).
*47% votes for representation based on “final results” from Local Government New Zealand website at www.lgnz.govt.nz. They are now being reported as 49% vote for representation by Andrew.email@example.com
Voter participation has been reducing consistently since 1989. This was likely driven by mounting disenchantment in governance by representation.
Many expressed this by entering blank voting forms, some by voting and providing submissions, and others by abstaining to vote altogether.
The desire for change gained critical mass with the majority intuitively not voting (for representation) after a record number of submissions for the period prior (refer to chart[i]).
This was highlighted by the ramming through of the unpopular anti-smacking bill and lifting the GE moratorium both of which flew in the face of popular opinion. Unfortunately votes in both referendums were “submitted” therefore were non-binding and allowed the representatives to make their own decision.
Under a representative system, in the interim between elections, the people are reliant upon the courts to act as an independent referee to hold all facets of government to lawful limits. Unfortunately the NZ justice system is no longer performing this role for the public’s benefit by blocking private prosecutions[ii]and demonstrating prejudice[iii].
To illustrate this point Prince William, John Key and the Attorney General refuse point blank to issue a statement of confidence in the NZ justice system. Yet isn’t it the duty of these same people to hold it to accountability?
Popular power is paramount even in the courts of justice. Did you know that a jury can strike down an act by their verdict of not guilty? Jury decisions rightfully stand as a check and balance of state legislation and go on to form “common law”.
“The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court, 1789.
“The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” Samuel Chase, US Supreme Court Justice, 1796
“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” Harlan F. Stone. 12th Chief Justice US Supreme Court, 1941.
Yet in New Zealand today it is getting more difficult to access a jury trial. Why are efforts afoot to remove or hide access to trial by jury? FYI the victims of the politically motivated Urewera Terror raids conducted by police in 2007 have recently had their right to jury trial blocked on request of the Crown prosecutors[iv].
Given this landscape it appears vital to use the popular mandate to make or strike down laws as corporate values do not respect even the most basic of human rights like: access to services that are essential (water, electricity. communications, carbon and even right to shelter. A local council can currently deem a shelter as non-permitted and remove it with force, freedom to grow food (GE and codex alimentarius), right to family, right to natural justice, right to private property and so on. I say this having first-hand experience of NZ blacklisting my family for supply of an essential service (electricity) for the untested accusation of electricity workers. This blacklist was enforced by NZ Police with what could have been extreme prejudice given the circumstances.
If NZ Police employees, whose oath as peace officers grants their authority, normalise this practice in our minds then we are likely to experience a regime equal to the Nazi phenomenon in Germany. Tolerance and perceived separations between man would allow it to go there; fortunately the remedy is in our hands!
Communities (Hapu) can decide directly on issues with lawful and legal supremacy based on democratic and commonwealth rights. This was reinforced by the rolled up election results which confirmed the majorities decision for change away from representation (to popular).
Derived power cannot be more than the source[v]and it is clear that, by the majority not giving the mandate for representation, the public servants have been hired as administrators of the peoples will, not as delegated "representatives". This conforms with the principle "mana-tanga" where one can only decide for oneself except by express consent.
The "who is the mayor?" question is therefore redundant. Rather the focus is on whether public servants in council are properly administering the decisions of the localities i.e. doing their job serving the public. In this land these territories are lawfully recognised as “Rohe” and the families (whanau) within such forming the “Hapu[vi]” which could be translated to “village of families”.
This affords the occupants of any land with the exciting prospect of overcoming the racial and economic divides to take direct responsibility for common well being and the environment. FYI Popular governance is compatible with Tikanga and many other indigenous cultures.
The scope for decision making is virtually limitless and should rest on the foundation of mana-whenua requiring agreement between affected parties who live there. It is important for community’s to start with common concerns and things that will deliver immediate benefit or protection.
Families (whanau) that meet locally to form a majority in their self defined area can identify issues and vote directly to make law (Lore) for their territory (Rohe). These decisions can be sent as notifications or instructions to the local council. Submissions are for those that are represented much like the relationship between parents and their children as minors. Unlike parents however,representatives do not take personal responsibility for any misfortune they cause upon the populace. The Argentine collapse[vii]is an excellent forewarning against further apathy and non-responsibility. It took only two years of wayward representation for 50% of the population to be left in poverty.
Argentineans’ were stripped of their key infrastructure and industries by international banks and corporations. Over 900,000 people suffered without drinking water whereas poverty was little known 25 years prior.
Flow chart of democratic process for representative or popular governance.
|Would you rather petition a representative government to stop GE food or simply pass a local law banning it’s growth, perhaps predetermining that any contamination by GE is the fault of the GE developer?|
|Would you rather fight for your right to shelter as an individual family or simply meet as an area to protect the human right to shelter, any local standards and support mechanisms to ensure safety?|
|Would you rather determine how our taxes are spent (e.g. first on things of common good using local contractors) versus have your tax dollars spent with foreign corporations or waging war on a far off nation? Motorways widened or local roads better maintained?|
MAXIM OF LAW: It is better to restrain or meet a thing in time, than to see a remedy after a wrong has been inflicted.
Here is an explanation of why this is lawful:
A “Democracy” recognises that the sovereign power resides with the whole body of free citizens; ... The introduction of a representative system does not remove the sovereign power of the people[viii].
New Zealand's forefathers spilt their blood to protect the British Commonwealth in WWI and WWII. A commonwealth is "a free state that is governed either by representative or popular governance".[ix]
As "representative governance" was not chosen then the majority logically chose the alternative being "popular" governance"
If a household spends approximately half its net earnings on goods and services and GST is set at 15% then they would stand to gain 34 days per yearin life energyby exempting their collective from GST. Conceivably this could be achieved in one meeting.
The beauty of self organised localities is that it assigns power into smaller responsible portions less prone to corruption. It also recognises our interdependence locally and desire to protect the environment we occupy and therefore know best.
Venezuela is attempting to establsih popular local democracy with over 30,000 self formed "communal councils" which are making organic local laws based on their popularity with the families therein.[xi] This was instigated by president Hugo Chavez and has served to raise the political consciousness of the population.
Surely the collective benefit to any locality is more important than the excess desires of any individual or minority?
Public servants in local government will benefit greatly by specific popular instructions. It will help them serve us more efficiently and better administer common resources to keep our society running smoothly.
Popular governance (direct democracy) is inherently fair and is effective at protecting basic human rights. Beyond this, a more popular society will help address our youth’s escapism into alcoholism or other hard drugs and appalling suicide rate, both symptoms of the consistent failure of representative governance to implement popular living conditions (regulations). Indicatively Venezuela has one of the lowest national suicide rates at less than half New Zealands[xiii].
Man exists within creation and has the truisms of nature to learn from. Applying this to the theory of representation we find the following lesson from nature:
1/ Things are what they are. For example: A goldfish can never be a snapper. It cannot even represent itself let alone a group of goldfish; it simply is what it is and that is a goldfish.
2/ Natures closest examples to representation are for camouflage and mimicry. Both are used to obtain an advantage over would be prey or to evade detection from likely predators.
Popular governance could also be called “maori[xiv]sovereignty”, which recognizes that law is for the benefit of mankind not oppression of the masses. There is nothing more harmful than self-destruction. Therefore no one has a right to remove what another needs for survival (i.e. is essential). The duty to defend and survive out of love for life is more effective in the collective versus as individuals. I believe that when Man as a family remembers our unity there truly will be peace on earth. Until that time how can we expect peace while our neighbors have to fight for justice?
Relevant MAXIMS OF LAW:
- The laws serve the vigilant, not those who sleep upon their rights.
- He who does not prevent what he can, seems to commit the thing.
- He who is silent appears to consent
About the author:
Simon Kaiwai is a concerned father who considers himself a sentry for Man and tangata whenua (man of the land). Of half caste / mixed breed Simon appreciates the beauty of cultural diversity. He believes it is every ones duty to uphold law in common (equally for all), to protect the peace and the environment. These duties and responsibilities cannot be removed by the claims of others, no matter how prominent or forceful.
Simon is also involved with the Koha Cooperative which provides free tools for setting up a community currency.
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"Once we accept that Man has been gifted free-will we can be confident that we are co-creators of our society. There is therefore no reason to fear our own hand and every reason to give our life's energy in service to the calling of our heart. Through personal responsibility society will emulate the beauty of the natural world, an inevitable leap in consciousness that will happen in one righteous moment." Simon Kaiwai November, 2010
Matthew 12 25: And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ):Q1/ Isn’t this just an ideal?
I believe it is ideal and look to the words of John Lennon: “A dream that you dream alone is just a dream. Reality is a dream you dream with others.”
Q2/ Is this an attack on society?
No. Society is merely the sum of all words and actions at any point in time. It is a proposed reformation and it can even be fun. With the benefit of hindsight even the most difficult of challenges can become cherished experiences. It really helps to love life, have future generations in mind, to respect freedom of belief and put principles above rules.
Q3/ Am I against ‘the system”?
I am against any system being used to unfairly benefit the few at the expense of the masses and do take responsibility for my part in shaping the future.
Q4/ Do you think you could do a better job than John Key (the current Prime Minister of New Zealand)?
For the domestic populace: yes. For international moneyed interests: no.
Q5/ What is important for our national sovereignty?
It appears critical to create New Zealand as a republic with a popularly appointed Governor General / president to ensure that the representative functions of government are administered adhering to democratic principles and lawful limits. Also to ensure that their actions are in the best interests of the communities and families they serve. This decision needs to be made popularly, The Irish model of Single Transferable Vote would be fair to popular interests.
Q6/ How would you resolve the partywide representative for special or self interests dynamic?
This government should operate under a simple, moral and transparent set of guiding principles and reforms which would strike down any repugnant acts or legislation. Pressing issues would be indentified and determined statistically by votes pre-election (this would give a jump start for our society’s reformation). Previous non-binding referenda such as the anti-smacking, restorative justice, smaller government and GE would be honored as the peoples will. Our armed forces will be called back and held for defence purposes only. National decisions would be made annually by majority decision of the communities (Hapu) much like the Swiss Canton model except further localised as traditionally successful.
We can learn from international precedents. The most recent being Venezeula where Hugo Chavez ran his campaign with a defined process for establsihing a constitution weighted in favor of popular input. To achieve this kind of result requires significant monetary backing which Chavez had from some unknown source. New Zealand legislation limits a parties ability to spend money for its campaign. As such I do not believe the representative problem can be resolved by voting for representatives.
Q6/ Do you aspire to lead?
My aspiration is to see decentralised popular governance re-instated to remove our exposure to bad faith decisions of representatives. Also to ensure that the separation of powers works for the protection of our common good. For my role in that process I simply wish to serve how best needed while living true to my values. Top down recognition by the state is required for local guardianship (kaitiaki-tanga) to be effective. Sustainability and abundance are results of effective kaitiaki-tanga. We need to bring the best from the past with us and free ourselves from artificial limitations. Imagine no national or international wars as each community returns to thinking locally. After that core government would mostly need: good administrators, strong researchers (to present balanced information in support of public decision making) and spokespeople. In short, we would need a much smaller government. Natural leaders will arise as more people become conscious of Man’s inherent power. To reverse our current requires the support of others who share common goals and act in good faith for the greater good. Ultimately whom-ever is followed shall lead and the best startpoint is the leadership of our own heart.
[i]Data sourced from Local Government New Zealand http://library.lgnz.co.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?bib=4501
[ii]Simon Kaiwai v CEO of Top Energy who was charged with “failing to perform a duty to provide the necessities of life” (blocked in the district court 2010), Simon Kaiwai v “Constable” David Reynolds who was charged with “assault with intent to injure” (blocked in the district court 2010 despite his admission).
[iii]Judge Harvey interpretation of “balance of probabilities” in NZ Police v Simon Kaiwai as meaning “whatever the Police said” 2010.
[vi] He Whakaputanga 1835 translated as the “Declaration of Independence 1835” with international recognition through by King William IV with sovereign localities (Hapu not Iwi). Download here
[viii]Blacks Law Dictionary 1st edition 1891
[ix]Oxford English Dictionary(dictionary.oed.com), 1989, 2nd ed.
[xi]Enabled by theOrganic Law of Communal Councils 2006
[xiii]WHO suicide rates as of May 2003
[xiv]“Maori” literally means ordinary or normal: The never ending struggle by Ranganui Walker
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