I object – I am an objector. I oppose because I don’t agree. No, I oppose because I am the opposition, writes Ruta Mave.
In a democratic elected government there exists in
direct opposite to the those sitting in Government those sitting in Opposition.
Joe Biden the American President represents the
Democrat Party. In very vocal opposition are the Republicans, who appear to disagree
for the purpose of undermining the Democrat party. Regardless of their
intentions, it opens up chambers for robust debate not as eloquent as the Roman
forum but nevertheless back and forth discussion occurs.
The purpose of the Opposition
in politics is to keep the governing body in check, to question their policies
and procedures and ensure the best laws or proposals are created and submitted
with a balance, of what the government want to achieve and what the people want
to be achieved.
The National government have been a constant voice
against the past Labour government’s proposals on three waters, soft sentencing
in courts and it appears smokefree New Zealand. Now National are in charge all
three are going to be axed – and you can be sure the now opposing Labour Party
will have something to say about it. They earn their salaries.
Members of Parliament are elected by the voting people
to work on their behalf for better conditions. Opposition members are supposed
to stand up for their voting public when the government appears to be pulling
the wool over their eyes. The bitter pill is they both are.
If only we had such an opposition sitting in
Parliament that would vocally call out, criticise and create discussions on government
decisions. Our opposition should be constantly putting forward other options on
the table to be discussed for every proposal the government offers. Take the
latest from the Prime Minister to add two more members to his Cabinet. This
will cost poor taxpayers more than they will ever earn with no guarantee they
will successfully deliver.
Instead, they should oppose and demand present Cabinet
Ministers have better skills before they are first given the job and they
constantly and actively improve their abilities so they can fulfill the basic
tasks of reading and understanding. Then they can create and control the
narrative to implement the portfolios they are given.
The Opposition could use this as a platform to call
for the reduce number of seats in Parliament especially when the outer islands
of small village numbers hold an equal and powerful weight in the decision
making, over the majority of people living in larger areas. Oh, but back up the
truck that can’t happen because for self-preservation the Opposition only exist
because of three villages in Mangaia – one having only 40 voters.
Where was the opposition to the costly waste of $1.7
million for electric cars that are essentially powered by diesel? Where was the
Opposition to Members of Parliament using up all the allotted travel funding in
the first three months? Oh, whoops that’s right, they are also guilty
themselves for using the funds for family and spouses to fly with them and stay
in hotels paid for by the taxpayer.
It would almost be acceptable if travelling Members of
Parliament brought back the positives of what they discussed or learnt at these
expensive conferences in New York and Mongolia to our community. Women’s equity
and leadership conferences were attended by women from both sides of the
political field so where are the follow up programmes to be implemented and
where are the emerging leaders? What a sweet wicket the opposition holds – all
the benefits, none of the accountability.
A boat has headed to Pukapuka with a price tag of
$640,000 of supposedly government funding. The Leader of the Opposition posed
some dialogue towards it which confusingly looks less like Opposition and more
like a whining enquiry as to how did you get to do that? And how can I do that
for my constituency, so I too can ensure my political ticket on the gravy train
is not interrupted.
Scientists say the one thing that has allowed homo sapiens
– humans – to advance further than other similar animals like apes is our
opposing thumbs. It is the ability to work across in diagonals that allow us to
hold tools and weapons more easily. It is the opposing forces that make us a
more dynamic and progressive species.
It is the opposition of minds and ideas that can
create a brainstorm and environment for growth and progress suitably
integrating the wants, needs and desires of a vast cross-section of people.
We need more people to stand up and question and oppose
and not accept everything as a given from the government. It is said, if you
don’t stand up for something then you will fall for anything.