Look at me being topical and totally not populist for my very first actual blog post.
Over the last few months in the lead up to flag referendum, I’ve found myself embroiled in a sea of crippling apathy in regards to two of New Zealand’s largest current news stories. These issues are the Flag Referendum and the TPPA. Now I won’t be talking about the controversial clauses of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement in this piece however you can probably expect something on that in the future. In this piece I’ll be ranting and raving about the referenda, the 2017 General Election and ultimately what flag I will be voting for.
The journey to finding an actual opinion.
In the early stages on the flag referendum I found it particularly difficult to form an opinion of the referendum itself. For starters $26 million is a lot of money, money that could and perhaps should have been spent elsewhere. Keeping that in mind, I don’t believe the government could have changed the flag without such a referendum. Changing the nation’s flag is such a key question of nationhood, to perform it any way that didn’t ensure maximum public participation would demonstrate a government acting beyond its mandate. So do I think a referendum was necessary? Yes. Do I think the use of $26 million was necessary? Well I haven’t been able to find much information about the expenditure of previous referenda. This leads me to believe that the government expenditure for anything beyond promotion wasn’t noteworthy enough to become newsworthy and subsequently I can infer that the $26million is something of an anomaly. An anomaly that could have been prevented through effective leadership.
I should add that I generally support the idea of a flag referendum. I personally identify as a republican* and I believe the Union Jack in the top left corner of our flag serves only to undermine New Zealand’s legitimacy as an independent state.
An opinion formed (rejoice!)
Fast forward to the 15th of December where the New Zealand public made the inspired decision to elect this monstrosity as their champion.
The chances of me voting for a glorified tea towel to represent our nation on international stage are quite slim. So I think the decision has already been extensively made that I will and have voted to keep the current flag. However my reasoning is a little stronger than liking flag a) more than flag b).
I am not voting for a flag I particularly like. I am voting to keep a government held to account for the unnecessary use of $26 million.
If the flag does change, National is more or less guaranteed to win the 2017 Election. The $26 million will be ignored and we’ll have three more years of a government that focuses far more on spin than substance. Voting to keep the current flag is the best opportunity we have to challenge the National government because we all know the Labour Party won’t do a good job of it.
So lets shake up the public discourse and hold the National Government accountable for their misuse of the taxpayer’s $26 million.
*I’m a republican in that I support the idea of New Zealand becoming a republic. Don’t start thinking I’m some gun-toting xenophobic yokel who doesn’t believe in climate change.
Rest in peace laser kiwi, you were always my first choice.