Reform: It’s time to think beyond the obvious

Friday April 20, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In 20 years of discussing political reform, no-one ever seems to get beyond the thought of cutting some constituencies out and reducing seats.

 

That’s pretty limited thinking and it is never enacted because of party politics - MPs just jockeying for existence and to keep their seat, parties for the numbers game.

Let’s face it, it is not going to happen if they have the final say, which of course is why the decision needs to be taken out of their hands and returned to the people as has been suggested. Technically returning the nation to a true democracy from its present extremely distorted version of the Westminster system where the public tell the government what they want, the politicians promise every election to do it, then just ignore their promises once they are elected.

This, I’m sorry to say, has applied to both parties in the past and appears unlikely to change where reform is concerned.

So where to from here? There are many forms of democratic government around the world. Go Google! There is no reason we can’t change ours to something more suited to the Cook Islands. It will take time and discussion, something that’s not happening. Most people complain, most I think don’t believe there are any options. This is both incorrect and sad.

First people need to agree on some basics.  I believe firmly that every outer island should have a representative, but only one. Government ministers, especially the prime minister, should be elected by national vote, not a political party and 75 votes.

I have lots to add but can we start the debate and quit saying, “It won’t work! It can’t be done”.

I know some people will enjoy shooting down my suggestions. Just as long as you give reasons, fine, I expect it, but please make some alternative suggestions.

                Voter

                (Name and address supplied)

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