Holding to account, or heaves of destruction?

Everyone will probably agree that we need to hold our MPs to account. This results in a sometimes extreme levels of scrutiny – to an extent that’s the just nature of the beast. Everyone standing for parliament should be aware of the exposure they are risking.

One of the key jobs of the opposition parties is to hold the Government to account, to carefully examine their policies, procedures and personnel. Some opposition MPs do this more than others, and some parties do it more than others. For example Trevor Mallard operates quite differently to, say, David Shearer, and NZ First operates quite differently to the Green Party.

When MPs, the media and bloggers get into frenzies of attack it ain’t pretty. There’s a line somewhere between holding to account and trying to destroy people, careers and Government, to bring them down and make a mess of them. That line is crossed ofdten and by a long way.

The current ACC/Pullar seems to be bringing out the worst in parties, broadcast and print media and online, as did Carter, Wong, Hughes, Heatley, cafe meetings, paintings and speeding calvalcades.

To MPs and party operators this is the game. It’s a winners take all, stuff the consequences game of attack and attrition, always with the hope that winning each battle will led to winning the next war.

“Winning” means getting into the supreme position of power. The wider consequences and collateral damage (damage to democracy and damage to people) are just road kill on the highway to hell.

The wider public – those whose heads aren’t buried in sands of apathy – are often aghast at the leaders of our country acting more like drunk in an alley scufflers than example setters.

Another analogy – instead of a sporting game with strong but fair tackles our politics often descends into what appears more like foot tripping, repeat attempted spear tackles, and bottom of the ruck boots in the hewad, eye gouging and biting off noses in spite.

And what happens when a dissillusioned spectator points this out? I tried this yesterday at The Standard.

I don’t think it’s “great fun to watch”.

Parliament is supposd to be the cream of democracy running the country. I think it’s very sad to see how so many keep trying to push as many others onto the track as possible in the hope they will cause a train wreck. Too bad about the good of the country.

It’s a real shame when the dirty deeds of politics take precedence (and sadly pride of place for some) over decent governance.

Some of the reactions were not unexpected. Like:

felix:
Of course you don’t like it, they’re on your team. Your nasty, dirty, toxic team.
The more of you that push each other onto the tracks, the better.

Colonial Viper:
PG is all for civilised government, civilised politics and civil politicians!!!
PG can you point to a time that actually happened? Nixon’s day? Napolean’s day? Caesar’s day?

muzza:
You really are deluded, was that a lame attempt to fluff your boss? Look at the state of those who crave the control of others, they are pushed into the postions they are in, and do not deserve to be there. Until NZ’ers redress this, then it can only decline further, and that is a very ugly thought!

Pascal’s bookie
Parliament is supposd to be the cream of democracy running the country.
sez who?
So when and where has such a decent democracy and country existed?
Who gets to decide who the cream is?
Sounds more like romantic idealised notions of aristocracy than democracy to me.

More “it’s just how it is so just accept  it”. And Jackal highlights a major part of the problem:

Any damage to the political system is entirely the fault of those abusing our democracy for their own ends.

If you truly believe in a decent democracy Pete George, you would not support the current government who have proven themselves unworthy of their positions. It’s obvious that they don’t have the best interest of our country and it’s people as a priority. They are in fact self serving narcissistic back stabbing capitalist running dogs… creaming our so-called democracy for their own benefit.

National have no comprehension of what morals, honour and accountability stand for… it’s a vague notion that does not register in their befuddled and bigoted minds. To quote Nick Smith, they should do us all a favour by throwing themselves under a train.

Muzza is absolutely correct when he/she says New Zealander’s must address the problem… and presently the National led government is the problem.

Ironic – if I believed in decent democracy I shouldn’t support our democratically elected government?

A major part of the problem is that some in politics – people and parties – seem to believe that the other lot are all bad and regardless of votes should never be in power, and that they are the only ones who can lead the current and do the right things.

That’s extreme political arrogance. Add to that a mindset that any tactic, any nastiness, any destructiveness of careers or parties is justifed because they think they should hold supreme power. They think they deserve to dictate and won’t accept any alternatives.

Yes, it is up to New Zealanders to address the problem. Decent reasonable politicians like Pita Sharples, Peter Dunne and David Shearer who lead better examples and call for better get shouted out by the old school bullies.

So if New Zealanders want better from our politicians than we need to insist that they deliver better. Not Jackal extremism. Decent respectful inclusive democracy and leadership. Some things deserve strong challenges and insistence on accountability for sure.

For that happen the political heavies, the thugs and bullies, need to be called to account. They’ll resist and throw abuse and try and shout down any threat to their alley tactics and to their patch of alley. They only know attack as a means of defence.

The political heaves of destruction need to be given the heave ho. Then people will feel like it’s their democracy and their parliament, not an endless playground spat.

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