Big Boys Noise or Open Class War?
The farce of selecting a new Speaker and the threats to use the Select Committees to shut down the Government show up what a sham parliament is as ‘representative democracy’.
The NACT opposition has promised to de-stabilise the Coalition Government by any means necessary. Is this just a fit of pique by the gentrified elite that runs NZ that is best ignored as a ‘sore loser’, or is it really something more like the first shots in a class war?
The way to deal with the NACTs threats to bring down the Government is to drop the delusion of parliament as bi-partisan and go into class war mode. Parliament is a bourgeois institution designed to defend the property rights of the capitalist class. When those rights are challenged, even meekly as in the case of the Coalition, they respond with fire.
So anyone who is serious about redistributing wealth in NZ has to meet fire with fire.
Put all of the 100 days legislation into one Bill and put it through under urgency, and then repeat every 100 days for each year that the NACTs in power ran their ruthless ruling class rule over working people.
Some object that to use urgency like this would be to turn the exceptional use by the NACTs in power into the norm, and that ‘democracy’ would suffer as a result. Yet how can the loss of the select committees under urgency threaten democracy when they can be used to sabotage the Coalitions mandate?
Isn’t the urgency that is requires to fix the damage of decades of neo-liberal attacks on working people different from the urgency of the NACTs in rorting their crony capitalism?
When the tiny minority corporate 1% and their hangers-on can use dirty politics with impunity to swing voters, when they control the corporate media to amplify their lies, when most opinion makers embed neo-liberal assumptions into the popular culture, making a phony appeal to select committees as ‘democratic’ is like painting a turd.
The committees reflect the make-up of Government. There is no better democracy on offer from the bourgeoisie than a unicameral parliament under Proportional Representation. The screams of anger coming from the right that their election has been stolen bty MMP is evidence of this. And when was the last time that any significant modification of Government bills was altered through select committees?
Under the NACTs and Billy Liar’s threat to destabilise the Government, select committees are turned into their opposite, an undemocratic sabotage of effective government.
NZ democracy has become rule by cabinet, which under Key became rule by PM. Cabinet subordinates parliament (and committees are rendered hollow) and the bureaucracy is now much more under cabinet control.
It is not a question of turning a bad precedent into a bad practice. Committees cannot be seen in isolation. The NACTs used urgency as a matter of course to get their minority agenda pushed through because the growing crisis of international capital demands the jettisoning of democracy to force working people to pay for the crisis of capitalism.
If you want to counter-pose real democracy, to the rotten unrepresentative parliamentary democracy, look not to checks and balances in the government institutions where power rests finally with the big corporates, but to the checks and balances of the majority of working people, whose interests are not represented by parliament.
We should see ‘urgency’ for what it is – urgency on behalf of one or the other class. The NACTs used urgency to serve their bourgeois class interests. The Coalition need the guts to use urgency to serve the interests of working people.
Without the strong pressure from below of working people organising to hold the Coalition accountable to its weak reformist program, and to force through that program through urgency against all sabotage by the NACTs, it will self-censor itself for fear of being accused of being ‘undemocratic’ by dirty politicians and a corrupt media.
That why all the grass roots organisations that have been vocal about the TPPA, climate change, inequality, punitive welfare, water, privatisation, suicide, jails, etc etc., have to double down, coordinate their efforts in own own ‘select committees’ and tell the Coalition what they need and why they need it now.