United sensibility

I’m going to stick my neck out here.

Whether National are returned to power as widely expected, or Labour pull off a policy coup that exceeds all expectations, we need other party options in parliament. Most options are not looking great.

  • Act seem to have lurched from strongarmed upheaval to creative blunder.
  • NZ First, especially at leadership level, looks well past it’s “use by” date.
  • Maori/Mana is at an interesting stage and caters for a specific demographic.
  • The Green Party has it’s place, should keep it’s place, but that’s more as a niche party

There’s one other party that is likely to be in parliament after the election. United Future has quietly operated, mostly beneath the media radar, steadily and with some success. Peter Dunne is criticised as being sensible, moderate, and willing to work with the government of the day.

Your NZ was set up to cater for an obvious need for a responsive, more representative party, especially in the New Zealand heartland. The concept has been well received. Other small parties are promoting varieties of better democracy.

Good ideas, even though they obviously have appeal, will struggle to get they attention they need to achieve anything. Fragments of sensibility will be far more successful if they are combined into a united force.

A solid unifying structure is already in place, with a sensible leader. It makes sense to me to support Peter Dunne and United Future as I feel they are the best option for a strong non-ideological common sense centre party.

I personally want to pledge my support for United Future. I’m standing for the Dunedin North electorate and am setting up a new model of regional representation. If successful it makes sense to me that I work with with United Future as much as possible, allying with a party with compatible aims will give me an opportunity to represent Dunedin North even better in parliament.

It’s time for the quiet achievers, working for the ordinary people of the country, to combine their strengths and offer a real, sensible alternative, united.

What’s the best way to influence MPs?

– that’s the heading of a Dim-Post topic.  It closes with this astounding revelation:

A staffer for a senior politician writes:

Without a doubt though, the best way to influence an MP is through face to face discussions. However, it is incredibly difficult to obtain a meeting even with the lowliest of backbenchers.

You either have to be somebody or you have to know somebody. This option is not available to ordinary folk.

Ultimately, if you want to influence an MP you need to know how their office works or how Parliament works. So if a person was serious about getting something done ones best bet would be to enlist someone who knows the inner workings of Parliament. Again, this isn’t an option available to most people though.

Well, not so much a revelation, but an admission of  how distant MPs have become from their constituents. I think this is terrible, especially for electorate MPs, and is exactly what Your NZ is addressing.

What’s the best way to influence MPs? Vote in MPs whose primary objective is to be available to ordinary folk.

Is there a United Future?

United Future is sort of remembered but it mostly seems ignored. Or forgotten. Why? It is also known as the Peter Dunne party and the perception is it share’s his attributes – a workhorse rather than a show pony. That’s why Dunne and United Future don’t get much publicity, they’re quietly doing the business rather than making much ado and achieving nothing.

Dependable, reliable, practical and  pragmatic seems hard to make popular, or at least not to get headlines and glossy media coverage.No mudslinging, no promises of policies that are pie in the sky that will never get their feet on the legislative ground

United Future say they represent middle New Zealand and share a common trait with much of middle New Zealand, quietly going about their business largely unnoticed. It’s the noisy activists and protesters and dirty tricks brigades that get the attention – but don’t make much progress.

Your NZ has quite a bit in common with United Future. They both have moderate approaches without  polarising ideology and can appeal to a wide band of the population – if they are noticed and understood.

Your NZ takes much of the simple practicalness of United Future and modernises it, staking out a new future for responsive democracy. United Future is probably too conservative to grow into the future,  it needs a new party make real and innovative changes.

Your NZ is offering what many ordinary New Zealanders are quietly saying they want from politics and from politicians – a more consultative, more  responsive democracy. And they are demonstrating how that can be done, now.

 

For the List and the Leadership

Your NZ has been set up to provide an umbrella structure for independent people to get active and create a real alternative. It is designed based on what many have been saying we need, on blogs and in person, without ideological restrictions. We need something different to the same old.

I’ve been working on multiple parts of the project but want to focus on Dunedin and the Dunedin North electorate, so I intend to get others to run the whole party and the party list.

We have advertised on Trademe for party list candidates – this is about to close – and have had interest, advice, support,  assistance and membership from around the  country as well as from Australia and Switzerland.

The time has come to get more people to step up and get actively involved.

If you have been keeping an eye on what’s happening and have thought of joining in then now’s the time to do it. We’re interested in:

  • more for the party list
  • party leadership (democratically selected from within the party)
  • more candidates in selected electorates
  • electorate or regional communication hubs – see yourdunedin.org
  • active promoters

We’ve talked. And talked. Now it’s time for action – we can create a real alternative.

Please email contact.yournz@gmail.com or ring on 027 327 3468 and make a difference too.

Time for ordinary people to make themselves heard

There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with politics, but little is being done about making real change.

Until now.

Your NZ is an umbrella party allowing independent electorate representation.
Your NZ has a system of electorate communication that will make a real difference.

If you want to make a real difference, give people more of a voice in our politics, get involved.
Spread the word.
Become a member.
Start a Your NZ group in your area or electorate – see yourdunedin.org
Or join the Your NZ list to address national issues.

The time to change things – for us – is now.

Referendums

This year along with the general election we also have a referendum on whether to keep MMP or change to another system. Whichever way you vote on the referendum, dont expect the government to listen or act.

The reason I say not to expect to much is because the government dont care how we vote on a referendum. In 1999 we had 2 referendums one to reduce the number of MP’s from 120 to 99 the majority voted in favor of this (81.47)%.  The other asked “Should there be a reform of our Justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them and imposing minimum sentences and hard labour for all serious violent offenses”. 91.78% voted in favor of this.

12 years later, although ordinary people clearly want these implemented we still have a 120 member House, the needs of victims are not adequately met and we havent begun to impose minimum sentences with hard labour for serious violent offenses. This needs to change, the ordinary people of this country deserve better than being ignored by their MP’s and their government.

Support building

Getting ordinary people in person and on Facebook behind us is easy, they readily identify with and pick up on what we’re offering.

Politically interested people more often have an initially negative reaction, but with discussion and explanation that can often be turned to at least respect for what we’re doing, and increasingly open support (and more behind the scenes). For example:

Rex Widerstrom:
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David Garrett asks:

Pete George: Been an MP have you? A City Councillor? A member of a Community Board? School Committee?

Ah I see… evidence of moral decay as a prerequisite for office 😉 Seriously though, if Pete had pushed himself forward for any and every office going I’d immediately flag that as an indicator that he’s probably not worth voting for.

I don’t know what he has done, but hopefully it’s something in the real world, like earning an honest living or running a small business; perhaps struggled on the dole for a bit; maybe played up a bit as a youngster rather than emerging from the womb with his eye firmly fixed on the public teat.

If you knew anything at all about politics you wouldn’t be deluding yourself you can start a one man party and take a seat first time up… That IS you isn’t it?

No it isn’t. Pete is trying to start a political movement which will be responsive to the will of its grassroots membership – unlike any of the present parties (the Greens come close in some respects, but not others). He’s advertised for other candidates and he’s standing himself with a view to generating publicity for the idea.

I do hope you took the time to read and understand the material you were required to consider as an MP, as you’ve clearly missed the entire point of what Pete is endeavouring to do.

[Disclaimer: Pete has sought, and I’ve privately offered, some advice (for what it’s worth) and broadly support the principles of what he’s trying to do. The commitment to grassroots control is the closest I’ve seen anyone get to the Founding Principles of NZ First since they abandoned them in 1996]

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/06/general_debate_19_june_2011.html#comment-844064
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David Garrett:

Pete George: I was too harsh…call it Sunday Morning Dyspepsia…

Good upon you for having a go…but be careful what you wish for mate!

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/06/general_debate_19_june_2011.html#comment-844065
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Rex Widerstrom:

“If Pete George succeeds in attracting even a handful of such people, and getting them elected, it will change the face of politics in NZ for the better.”

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/06/general_debate_19_june_2011.html#comment-844068
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Incidentally Your NZ is not a “one man band” – I started it but we have widening support, and we appointed an acting party leader Jason Ashley last week who among other things will manage the list formation, is contributing to this blog and is promoting the party.

The House of Representatives

In New Zealand we have a Government formed from a democratically elected House of Representatives.

The name “House of Representatives” seems to suggest that those who are elected to the House should represent the people who elected them. Mostly what they actually represent is a party or ideology and not the people.

Members of Parliament seek a mandate every 3 years and then they don’t ask or care what ordinary people think or want for another 3 years. It only becomes important for them when they want to get elected again. When they election is over they go back to working for the party or for an ideology and not for the people.

 It is time the ordinary people were represented properly in the House of Representatives. YourNZ will represent ordinary people by putting in place systems to poll on issues and get feedback on those issues, not once every 3 years but constantly. This way we will know what ordinary people think.

Comparing manifestos

Comparing party manifestos…

Traditional party manifesto:

Your NZ party manifesto:

Your NZ acting leader appointed

Your NZ has appointed Jason Ashley as acting leader. This enables Your NZ to be managed until membership has been built up and candidates have been chosen. In August party leadership will be democratically elected from party list candidates.

Jason will also manage the formation of the party list. Your NZ is currently advertising on Trademe Jobs for more people interested in being on the party list. Response to that has been very good.

Your NZ founder Pete George was recently confirmed as a candidate for the Dunedin North Electorate. He sees the appointment of an acting leader as an important step in setting up the structure of the party.

Pete will oversee the establishment of other electorates for Your NZ, and once that is done he will be focussing on the Dunedin North campaign. Details will soon be released of the model of interactive democracy that will be set up.

Interest in Your NZ is spreading, by word of mouth and on social networks, and is proving research that indicated there are many people ready to look for a real alternative to the established parties.