- Head of State debate
- The case for a New Zealand republic
- Defending the monarchy
- The facts
- Constitutional review
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Commonwealth membership
- Common Cause
Shutdown! (or why we shouldn't adopt the US model)
The US federal government is currently in "shutdown", where the "non-essential" services of the federal government are suspended and federal workers have been sent home. The shutdown has come about because of a dispute between the executive - the Democrat President and his cabinet - and the legislature, or at least the one house controlled by the Republican Party. The shutdown underlines the flaws in the US presidential model, which are often cited by opponents of an independent head of State for New Zealand.
Essentially, the flaw in this case is that the US system, with its "pure" division of powers between the head of State and head of Government (US President Obama) and the US House of Representatives assumes the executive and legislature can work together to pass the federal budget. Since that isn't happening the US has been forced into the ridiculous situation - unique among western nations - of having a government that can't actually operate. With the executive and legislature at loggerheads, there's no resolution yet in sight.
Contrast this with parliamentary systems where the executive is divided between a largely ceremonial head of State (a monarch or an elected head of State) with a few constitutional powers, separate from the head of Government (usually called the Prime Minister), who is also a member of the legislature. Disagreement over budgets is rare in parliamentary systems because the government of the day usually can get the budgetary legislation passed (sometimes they can't, or a stroppy upper house keeps postponing voting on it, which was the genesis of the Whitlam dismissal in Australia in 1975.)
What this emphasises again is that our policy statement is on the right track. A US style presidency wouldn't be appropriate for New Zealand - an important part of our campaign is emphasising that there are many different forms of government, and we're campaigning for the one we believe - from example such as this one - is the best way forward for Kiwis. Continuing the evolution of our government is at the core of our campaign.