John Key pledges to not listen

Is Key becoming another arrogant politician?

Prime Minister John Key says a change to the oath of allegiance to include a reference to the Treaty of Waitangi is not going to happen anytime soon.

… Mr Key says it’s not something he’s considered.

He says the oath of allegiance has been in existence for a very long time and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

I’d like to know what that statement’s based on – does Key think that as leader he can rule out public opinion simply because he hasn’t considered it?

This illustrates one of Key’s biggest weaknesses – making his own decisions without bothering to consider what the people of the country might think or want. He’s done it with the age of Super eligibility, he jumped to a decision on CGT, and this is a further example.

Communicate, listen, represent! Or become just another politician too obsessed with your own opinion and  power.

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10 Comments

  1. I’m finding your project more and more perplexing Peter.

    This blog and your comments elsewhere seem to be increasingly attacks on other politicians, isn’t this one of the things your party is against?

    Also the examples you give of Key’s not bothering with other views just seem to be holding an opinion. Do you really think politicians response to every policy issue should be, “I’ll just go with what’s popular”?

    Reply
    • Fair comment Richard. It’s a difficult balance at times, but I too can express my opinion.

      It can be necessary to raise awareness of issues to deal with them. I think in this case it was valid to raise this issue. It wasn’t a personal attack, it was questioning an important point of democracy.

      One thing I push strongly on is proper consultation from politicians. As reported it appeared that Key was making a decision on his own off the cuff. On constitutional issues particularly that isn’t something that should be just accepted, even from the Prime Minister.

      Reply
      • I think you may have picked a poor example for that point. The oath of allegiance is almost certainly something Key, or anyone much, had recently considered deeply up until a few days ago. Given it’s not a priority issue, for anyone bar Hone, stating it won’t change anytime soon seems entirely reasonable. Unless that is, you’re suggesting that as soon as any issue is raised politicians must suspend their own judgment and say they’re going to the people to see if it needs addressing now. The wording of the oath isn’t a matter that has much effect in any case.

        One of the most important aspects of consultation is knowing when to consult and when not to. At any time the govt is consulting on dozens of matters. Were politicians to suspend their judgement on what to consult on and what and when not to, you would create a situation where it would be extremely difficult for citizens to engage among all the noise.

        Reply
  2. You think a constitutional matter is unimportant enough to make on-the-fly decisions? I don’t. Surely he should at least consult with his cabinet. Key can express his own opinion for sure, but he should acknowledge that it’s not just up to him to make a decision on it.

    “One of the most important aspects of consultation is knowing when to consult and when not to. At any time the govt is consulting on dozens of matters. ”

    That’s quite different to the PM deciding on his own in interviews.

    I think there are more people than Hone who are not happy with the current oath.

    Reply
  3. You think a constitutional matter is unimportant enough to make on-the-fly decisions? I don’t.

    If the wording of the oath were changed tomorrow to “cheese cheese cheese” it would have no practical effect on New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements. Sure, I don’t like the oath either but it’s such a minor matter saying it’s not going to be dealt with “anytime soon” just shows the PM has a view on what’s a priority and what is not.

    But let’s say he was a Your NZ PM or MP. A journo asks a question about a matter the Your NZ PM/MP has not considered, that doesn’t have a particularly big impact nor a large groundswell of support. Would the Your NZ PM/MP immediately say, “I cannot give you my view on what I might do or what I think, I must consult”? This illustrates the problem with your political concept, it can’t offer strategy or a set of priorities. To vote for Your NZ people must being willing to accept an absence of leader, vision and values. Aside from the value of doing whatever’s popular on the day.

    Reply
    • There’s nothing to stop a Your NZ PM/MP giving their opinion on anything. They can have independent thoughts and free speech (unlike in some parties). They can try and guide other’s opinions if the like.

      They just shouldn’t assume that their opinion should be the default position of government.

      To vote for Your NZ people must being willing to accept an absence of leader, vision and values.

      Is that an attempted put down or do you not understand?

      Leadership, vision and values should be strong with any MP – most parties squash that with part whipping. It’s possible to be a strong leader – and to listen to people and take notice of what they are saying. That’s the difference between leadership and dictatorship.

      Reply
  4. Leadership, vision and values should be strong with any MP – most parties squash that with part whipping.

    Yet Your NZ is all about squashing any leadership, vision or values an MP might have when it comes to whatever is the direction of public opinion on the day. Where’s the vision for New Zealand amongst Your NZ’s principles other than a plan to do what’s popular? What values does Your NZ have other than a commitment to do what’s popular? How can you show leadership if you’ll suspend your own judgement and values in the face of what’s popular?

    If you’re just proposing that MPs listen then your battle is already won. MPs do listen, they are always consulting both through their own devices and parliamentary mechanisms such as Select Committees. It’s notable that this website doesn’t actually put forward much of a case that current parties aren’t listening.

    Reply
    • Many people think politicians do as they please and don’t listen. Yes, there is a consultative system in place, and it’s used a bit (but cynically at times) – but that does not address consultation at electorate level which is where Your NZ is focused.

      Richard, why is your prime if not only objective, here and on your blog, to try and rubbish and run down small parties and alternate ideas? Is it a personal wish to diss, or a wider agenda? It sounds like part of the current political arrogance that a lot of people, especially out in the regions, are thoroughly fed up with.

      Reply
      • And look, I’m not the only one who notice’s Key’s off the cuff weakness.

        That’s a different point from the one you made in this post. The comments in that article do not your assertion that Key is an arrogant politician who rules out public opinion. It says he makes
        inept statements due to not thinking enough before he speaks.

        Richard, why is your prime if not only objective, here and on your blog, to try and rubbish and run down small parties and alternate ideas? Is it a personal wish to diss, or a wider agenda?

        My agenda, if you could call it that, is just what is says on my blog. I’m interested in what drives people to pursue the doomed political projects that are minnow parties. As the parties I follow are ones that I consider certain to fail, it’s entirely unsurprising I’m critical. In any case I do compliment them where they deserve it, like I did for the Libz, Kiwi Party and ALCP in my last post.

        The driver behind my above comments are largely seeking to ferret out the logic behind your view that voters would want a policyless party that’ll just do what’s popular. While you identify voter dissatisfaction with aspects of politics as usual I’m still yet to see a clear rationale for why they’ll sacrifice any political, social or economic views they might have for representation by people who’ll just do what’s popular.

        As for whether this is all part of a wider agenda, what possible wider agenda would include an unread blog about political parties that are, unfairly or not, ignored by the media;)

        Reply
  5. And look, I’m not the only one who notice’s Key’s off the cuff weakness.

    Editorial: PM’s inept reply fuels spying doubts

    “One of John Key’s shortcomings when he entered politics was in the area of verbal precision. His off-the-cuff response to questioning sometimes betrayed a lack of due consideration. As Prime Minister, his performance has improved – but now the trait has come back to bite him. “

    Reply

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