Friday, September 17, 2010

Pesky Democracy

Those with a passing interest in minutiae like the rule of law will have their curiosity piqued by the New Zealand Parliament's decision, through the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act, to let Gerry Brownlee do pretty much whatever he likes, which in turn "may not be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court".

Good critical commentary from Gordon Campbell, The Standard, Kiwipolitico, No Right Turn and, yes, The Herald. Scoop's Lyndon Hood is apparently the author of the much-posted "with apologies to Hans Holbein" portrait.

The idea of a former St Bedes woodwork teacher being granted absolute power has elements of Monty Python, though not really in a good way. As everyone says, the point is not necessarily that Gerry Brownlee might decide to restore slavery, but the blitheness with which every party in New Zealand's Parliament would agree to overturn checks and balances which go back to the Magna Carta.

As a commenter on Kiwipolitico says:

Although I must say that some where the ghost of Charles 1 will be wishing he had thought of this instead of that damned stupid ship money tax.

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