Monday, February 10, 2014

A restoration of democracy in Canterbury?

Good news: Canterbury may get its democracy back:

Momentum is growing for mid-term elections at Environment Canterbury (ECan) that could result in some elected members being back there in the first half of next year.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday confirmed Cabinet was considering options and would "make that call relatively soon".

He was conscious people wanted democracy returned at ECan.

"People should be entitled to elect their officials and have them carry out their work."

Of course, Key didn't think that when he was stripping Cantabrians of the right to elect officials accountable to them - but pointing that out probably means I hate democracy. As will pointing out that the government is only considering this because their handpicked dictators have given away all of Canterbury's water to farmers, so the dictatorship has fulfilled its purpose.

And even then, it may be a "democracy" in name only: rural mayors want a council stacked with government appointees to ensure that the will of the people (who live overwhelmingly in Christchurch and have a rather different perspective on freshwater management than rural farmers who make money by poisoning other people's water supply and sucking the rivers dry) is kept in check. Which suggests some rather troubling attitudes to democracy in farmville.

Meanwhile, Labour's local government spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, likes the idea of elections, but won't go so far as promising them. Which shows you how weak Labour is on what should be a fundamental.