Democracy failing in Canterbury
The Press has a powerful editorial explaining why the Government's decision to continue suspending democracy at Environment Canterbury is so wrong:
For another four years voters will be unable to elect ECan councillors, meaning a basic right will have been denied citizens for more than half a decade. In that time, ECan will have gathered something like $450 million in rates and spent it without the input of the providers. It will without voter guidance have set the rules on the use of water, issued and denied thousands of consents, changed the province's transport system, ruled on how people heat their homes – and they are just some of the important functions in the organisation's dictatorial purview. On some of those issues, rights of appeal will continue to be curtailed.
Claims that democracy is inefficient should not be tolerated:
Instead, it relies on the assertion that the commissioners provide efficiency, strong governance, effectiveness, problem-solving, stability. Those are the justifications of every tin-pot dictator, echoing the sentiments of Suva. They count as nothing against the imperative of citizens controlling their governors by means of the ballot box, the free flow of information and the right of appeal.
I agree with The Press and believe that the Government has made the wrong decision.