Time for a Change


The extraordinary events of the past week, in which a popular prime minister elected by a record majority, has been subjected to such vileness as to make her resign, is a symptom of our flawed “democratic” system. A system which, by its peculiar nature, made such an outcome entirely predictable

Back in the 1972, when the newly-elected Labour government’s election slogan had been “Time for a Change”, NZ Herald cartoonist, Minhinnick, greeted the result with a cartoon cynically rearranging the words to read “Change for a Time.” And given the nature of our political system, however contemptuous his cartoon was of the electorate’s decision, the cartoonist was absolutely right – it was “change for a time” – and isn’t that our problem?

Isn’t the system that we so fiercely defend, believing that it represents the very best principles of “a free and just society”, actually the greatest obstacle to that free and just society ever being fully achieved?  

How did we ever come to be convinced that being given a chance every three years to choose between opposing political ideologies, carrying with them the possibility of everything one has done being undone by the other, as being the very definition of a “democracy” and the only path to a better tomorrow? 

Is that really the best we can do? 

A poor excuse for the principle Lincoln expressed in his Gettysburg address; “Government of the people, for the people by the people”, our democracy is a sham. 

Based on our blind trust in a false narrative, we are victims of what Gramsci called “Cultural hegemony”, wherein the society’s understanding of itself is surreptitiously manipulated by “the Establishment”, to have us believe that its “world view” is the one and only, and so it becomes the accepted norm. 

Similarly, Noam Chomsky, one of the great political thinkers of our age, described our society as having long been the victim a similarly all-pervasive propaganda model designed to produce our “Manufactured Consent” to continue wearing the chains that bind us, without recognizing them for what they are.

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But perhaps “The People”, are beginning to stir, beginning to see through the smoke and mirrors of our “democracy” for the disgraceful self-serving, (for the establishment) charade that it is.  

Perhaps people are starting to question a system which, to function, requires that we prey on our fellow man, a system that says for some to profit, most must lose. As system in which, lacking a manufacturing sector, the necessities of life itself have become tradable commodities on which our economy depends to function. 

That’s Feudalism – the system that prevailed when when we were ruled over by “landed gentry”, and which our forebears fled here to escape. (The fact that we then imposed that system on the people we found here is another story)

As the phrase “landed gentry” suggests, people in those days were defined as those who had property and those who didn’t – and isn’t that what has come to define us today?  In effect we are devouring ourselves to survive – a process which by its very nature increases the disparity between the haves and the have-nots, and so speeds us towards ever greater calamity.

Another way to describe how our systems works is to say we are devouring our children’s tomorrows.

Whatever, there has to be a better way and fundamental to finding that “Better Way” must be a frank and fair discussion about the purpose of society, a concept which the odious Margaret Thatcher, one of the architects of neo-liberalism, said doesn’t exist. 

Suffice it to say, we need to redress the worst outcomes of our present system, which, as Dr. Susan St John’s many posts on TDB make so very clear, is an ever-expanding poverty demographic.

But how do we do that?

How do we stop the system from devouring our children’s future?

We make it so every politician’s tenure in the job is dependent on them actually addressing the problem, not just paying lip-service to it.

But how do we do that?

Give every child a vote!

Demeny voting is named after demographer Paul Demeny, who came up with the idea in 1986. Demeny argued that children “should not be left disenfranchised for some 18 years and that custodial parents should exercise the children’s voting rights until they come of age”. Demeny’s motivation behind proposing such a system was to make the political system more responsive to the plight of those most adversely affected by it, but who had no voice.  Read more about it here;

Imagine it. Immediately people, many with big families, who, almost by definition, are the system’s greatest victims, would immediately have real power at the ballot box, instead of that which, under the current system, cheats them.

Suddenly our poorer communities would see changes made and those currently benefitting at their expense would have to find other, more productive, wys to provide the lifestyles they’ve become accustomed to.

But of course, since politicians would be involved in determining if such a system was ever considered, and given the previously described “cultural hegemony” The Establishment has over our “explanations, perceptions values and mores”, it won’t ever happen.

In the meantime we have lost someone who, despite herself being part of the system, deserved better than the vileness she was subjected to. 


  1. “Give every child a vote!” Ah yes Malcolm, no doubt your spiritual godfather Mr. Gramsci would love that idea.

    Titania McGrath saw you coming several years ago when “she” tweeted “It’s our children who will bear the brunt of Brexit. So there should be a second referendum for under-12s only.

  2. Interesting thoughts & you are correct that the current system is broken in that the use of wealth has an undue influence on any so-called democratic result.
    With all due respect, there has been a movement for thousands of years trying to convince people that whatever current “worldview” the majority of the population observed was never going to last & only one way exists to enable us the prosperous, happy secure eternal future that we desire.

  3. Give every child a vote??

    This is a case of good intentions, poor reflections.

    The questions that need to be asked are:

    Do teenagers want to vote
    If yes … why ?
    If no …. why?

    Would teenagers know what they are voting for?

    • Have you considered reading the article you goober? Unlike morons who think the voting age should be lowered to 16, Malcolm makes an actually sensible suggestion.

      Ideally, I would support raising the voting age to 21 for those not in full-time employment, but our polity is quite selfish enough regarding tertiary education (which should be entirely free for those who can benefit) already.

  4. If we were actually “given a chance every three years to choose between opposing political ideologies”, this would be a major improvement — a selection of five, barely distinguishable neoliberal parties is hardly a real choice!

    Since feudalism was exhausted and gave way to capitalism, we’ve always been “defined as those who had property and those who didn’t”. The businessmen who own the economy form the ruling class, and the workers are the toilers (who own virtually nothing).

    This is the very reason the trade unions formed a ‘Labour Party’ in the first place. The problem is that party no longer represents working people in any meaningful way, and the unions are in disarray.

    In some ways we have returned to the 19th Century politically — the labour movement is in ruins, the workers no longer have any powerful representatives, and most workers don’t even have a trade union membership card.

  5. Better off still. Give everyone a home!

    MMP has done its dash. Its failed in all aspects.
    Time to move on from that failed experiment and implement Governance/Government by referendum.
    Eliminate list MPs. Have 120 electoral seats.
    MPs become representatives of those 120 seats and are only administrators effectively.
    A term limit of 2.
    The politburo gets defanged and they too get administrative powers only. No decision making at all.

    The current system is a failure. There is no public trust in the system either.

    If that’s the kind of change Malcom that you mean. I’m in.

    Something Radical. Not incremental.

    • Indeed. As it is, we could have a referendum to abolish usury voted through by 75% of citizens at the next election, and the usual old crowd would find a way to block it, by hook or crook. Not acceptable.

    • No jobs in think tanks, consultancy agencies, UN, etc at least for 18 month after resigning, quitting or being selected out of Parliament. Stay home. Do nothing. Get a rest, re-organise your life, be a hands on parent or something like that.
      Then when a bit of time has passed and the issue of ‘conflict of interest’ is less conflicting and upsetting, than the retired MPs can send out CVs to the movers and shakers and see if they and their rolodex are employable.

  6. We, et al, might be reaching our *equilibrium. [Our] politics has done its job by giving even the dullest, dumbest, meanest, nastiest morons i.e. many of whom are our neighbours and most our families, their voice, and what a voice it is. A grunt-squeak speckled with loose hair and cum. We’ve become **Idiocratic. Where the mass of Morons has succeeded in its directionless quest to root itself into a dominant position at the human zoo. And by root, I mean fornicate, of course.
    If Jacinda Adern was indeed genuine, generally, then the spit, spite and vitriol would have almost certainly been scripted and delivered like venom through the fangs of non elected, influencer capitalist fascists. Their minions, the National Party and ACT would be there, leading and guiding and advising. The spit bucket that’s the MSM would be filled to overflow as the evil beige came out from under their oily rocks with all guns blazing. And what little guns they would be, but lethal never the less. Aye Boys?
    If Adern was threatening the wealth and status of the monied status quo then of course the status quo would push back.
    What am I talking about ? What’s my point, right?
    Money, of course. 50,000 farmers have it and 5,150,000 others need it. And of those 5,150,000, nine of them are now multi BILLIONAIRES and will be bedded down with the four trading banks, now foreign owned, who steal billions of dollars in net profits from our economy out from under our noses then fuck off with it over seas.
    It’s been the National Party all the way. The National Party, not really a political party at all but more a gang of self legitimising crooks who do this to us. It’s always been the National Party, since about the mid 1930’s. Other political parties have come and gone of course, but The National Party are enduring because they must be, at all costs. It’s the National Party who steal away with the money. All that lovely, free and easy money, and any attempt by anyone at any time will be met with stiff opposition and not the good kind.
    The National Party need to be investigated. It’s members and politicians need to be investigated. Their connections, both here and abroad, need to be investigated. Their social connections to the hyper wealthy, again, both here and abroad need to be investigated. Roger Douglas, as the one time two term Labour finance minister needs to be investigated.
    I believe the abuse ( if indeed there was any ) levelled at Adern might be as a result of Adern’s honest-politics endeavours. It wouldn’t be difficult to bury Adern in influencer generated abuse if she was trying to steer us into an honest world. Everything’s connected to everything else, right?
    Jacinda Adern should have adopted a pub car park brawl mentality. Go in hard and don’t stop until you’re the last one standing.
    The National Party are a husk. A carcass infested by the now hyper riche and so consequently unnervingly powerful and influential. Think a Trojan Horse stuffed with the hyper rich, their bankers, their lawyers and their all bought and paid for politicians. This is what I mean.
    rnz. The chittering little pro natzo caged MSM bird of choice.
    “US billionaire spent 12 days in NZ before citizenship
    US billionaire Peter Thiel spent 12 days in New Zealand before being granted citizenship by the then Internal Affairs Minister in 2011.”
    The entrepreneur was granted citizenship in June 2011 under exceptional circumstances despite not having lived in the country previously and not intending to do so in the future.
    “Exceptional circumstances…” What the actual fuck does that mean?
    “12 June, 2013 – Then-Prime Minister John Key responds to questions in Parliament about Mr Thiel, saying he had met Mr Thiel on “a few occasions” and their relationship was cordial. Mr Thiel was “extremely generous” after the Christchurch earthquakes, Mr Key said.
    2015 – Mr Thiel purchases land in Wanaka. Due to his citizenship status, it does not require Overseas Investment Office approval.
    October 2016 – Mr Thiel donates $NZ1.7m to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

    Bahaahhaaha ahahah ! OMG!
    If Adern’s gubbimint’s been after the truth of back then, then no wonder she’s being ritualistically abused and threatened.
    If the natzo’s get [in] we’re fucked. I mean, we’re fucked now, but OMG! We’re going to be fuckeder.
    The reality is we need help. We really, really, really, need help. Probably in the form of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, or Aliens. We should take what we can get. We’re on the very cusp, the edge, the teetering precipice of losing our AO/NZ to U$A corporate interests, if we’ve not already done so.

  7. Malcolm, I think you identified the problem with our “democracy” by mentioning “family”.
    The system under which we live is liberal democratic market capitalism. It reduces us to individual market participants / voters. Whether you vote left or right matters not, you are merely an individual market participant (or not).

    This system is antithetical to all non market functions and deliverables. Family. Society. Associations. Unions. Marriage. Culture. Religion. Nationhood.
    Hence the faux promotion the individual as an identity.
    The only solution is for institutions such as the State to seize functions away from the market. Such as fractional banking. Nationalise monopolies. Break cartels. Promote families and social functions. Keep the market where it delivers best, elsewhere its not needed.

    • ” The system under which we live is liberal democratic market capitalism. It reduces us to individual market participants / voters. Whether you vote left or right matters not, you are merely an individual market participant (or not). ”

      Yes Nick very perceptive and excellent points.

  8. Children’s votes, interesting idea. We’d have Catholic Maori families holding the balance of power! “Option for the poor”.

    • As a young single man with a relatively high income, who has gotten over the disgusting perversion that is a libertarian world view, I personally can’t see any problem with this. We do have a society, you know.

  9. “Noam Chomsky, one of the great political thinkers of our age” – Have you watched him lately? During Covid lock-downs, he wanted anti vaxx locked up…great political thinker my arse!

      • Greywarbler – Perhaps you need to check your history books, people demanding other people to be locked up over differences in opinion, are mostly scumbags…as for the arse thinking bit – it’s better than what is is coming out of Noam of late

  10. Personally I would not entertain the notion of the voting age being any lower than 15 years with our current three year parliamentary term or 14 years with a four year parliamentary term.

    • Thanks for your feedback Dan but I think you’re missing the point. The proposal is not about giving the vote to minors, or those too young to comprehend its significance, but about all parents being accorded voting rights on behalf of each child, thus ensuring a real majority consensus. Check out the links to learn more

      • You will find that a conservative families have more children. That might not work to your advantage.

  11. Heres an idea if we really want to go down this route, why not issue allocations of votes to citizens (of any age) based on net paid each year, would deal with those structuring avoidance arrangements at the same time,

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