TPP and a lack of democracy

There were a number of TPP protests around the country today. Some protesters  need to learn what democracy means.

In Christchurch their stunt was to have a burial for democracy.

‘Democracy buried’ at anti-TPPA protest in Christchurch

Anti-TPPA protesters have “buried Democracy” in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon, as part of a mass rally against the trade deal.

Nearly 1000 people showed up at Cathedral Square around 2pm.

More arrived as an enactment of Prime Minister John Key burying ‘Democracy’ took place during the rally.

“If the TPPA treaty is implemented then a substantial portion of our democracy will be dead,” It’s Our Future Christchurch’s Charles Drace said.

I don’t think this sort of overkill helps their cause. Democracy has survived a number of other trade agreements in the past and I don’t think the TPP will affect it either.

Meanwhile in Dunedin their stunt was Octagon declared a ‘TPP-free zone’.

Up to 250 people have declared the Octagon a Trans Pacific Partnership-free zone at an ”action event” in Dunedin this afternoon.

Event organiser Jen Olsen said Dunedin should follow suit and become the first city to declare itself TPP-free.

How democratic is this declaration?

The handout at last night’s meeting said:

In Aotearoa New Zealand a majority of Kiwis reject the TPPA.

That hasn’t been democraticly determined as far as I’m aware.

We will use democracy to protect democracy.

You couldn’t get much more undemocratic than making a unilateral declaration without even consulting with all the people.

Perhaps the Christchurch protesters should come down for a burial in Dunedin. Activist groups declaring things without consulting with or getting a vote from the people of the city is quite undemocratic.

Leave a comment


  1. kittycatkin

     /  30th January 2016

    Any government has to make decisions that not everyone will like, how can they not ? Some people seem to think that democracy means that everyone will have what they want. I don’t expect to be consulted about every Parliamentary decision-it would be a nightmare, we’d all be doing nothing else.

  2. Zedd

     /  30th January 2016

    The TPPA was negotiated in secret. Now ‘Team Key’ intend to ram it through without any further public debate..
    democracy is one thing, but widespread APATHY is the enemy of democracy & this is what I perceive is really happening here !! 😦

    • There will be plenty of public debate, and there will be the opportunity for the public to make submissions to the select committee.

      The Government was democratically elected and negotiated the TPPA similar to past governments have negotiated trade agreements.

      Anti-TPPA grouips exercise their right to speak and protest, that’s possible in a healthy democracy. But the don’t speak or act for everyone.

      • Blazer

         /  30th January 2016

        ‘There will be plenty of public debate, and there will be the opportunity for the public to make submissions to the select committee.’….and none of it will make any difference as far as this govt is concerned…going through the motions.

    • kittycatkin

       /  30th January 2016

      People who disagree with you aren’t by definition apathetic, they just feel differently to you.

  3. Zedd

     /  30th January 2016


    I hear that the TPPA is being ‘signed off’ at Sky-City (Akld) on Thursday ?!
    I’m guessing that as far as ‘Team Key’ are concerned.. the debate is over.. done & dusted 😦

    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  30th January 2016

      Shows that you don’t know what you are talking about either………Here’s a clue: research what they are actually signing on that date and what happens after that.

      • Blazer

         /  30th January 2016

        you know what he means.Lets just hope the U.S wont ratify it.Without them in it ,it may have some appeal.

    • Zedd, in your enthusiasm to denigrate the process, you have completely ignored that the signing is by Trade Ministers and will initiate the processes within each of the participating Governments need to follow to become Law in pheir countries. It marks the start of formal consultation that each country needs to follow in their legal processes in order that all sectors of the community are consulted and the majority of them agree. Those that rave on about “secrecy” have no understanding of real negotiations where each country jealously protects their final position so that they can maximise benefits accruing to thaeir side. This means that “secrecy” (actually confidentaility) is normal for all such high level interactions between Governments. Kelsey et al know this, and hopefully the Leaders of the Labour Parliamentary party also know it to be true. I conclude that this clearly means their accusations of secrecy has no merit, and they know it!!

    • No the signing just allows each country to take it through their processes of legislation leading to ratification.

  4. Rob

     /  30th January 2016

    “The handout at last night’s meeting said:

    In Aotearoa New Zealand a majority of Kiwis reject the TPPA.”
    If that were true PG, what would you suggest we do about it.

  5. Pantsdownbrown

     /  30th January 2016

    If true why would that matter when 99% of those people don’t even know what the agreement is about?


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