Mike's Minute: Little glaringly compromised on referendum votes

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Nov 2019, 9:45AM

Mike's Minute: Little glaringly compromised on referendum votes

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Nov 2019, 9:45AM

Looks like Andrew Little has already dug himself into a hole over his hair-brained scheme to monitor, and somehow regulate, our views and opinions next year when it comes to votes on weed, euthanasia and the government itself. 

The first and obvious red flag was his desire to have his own Ministry do the job. What's the first rule of good oversight when it comes to government operations? Independence.

What is independent about a Ministry? And what's independent about a Ministry overseen by the Minister who wants the regulations in place?

And just to drive that danger home, Little has now publicly expressed his doubts over the Advertising Standards Authority to do their job in this area.

Why does he have doubts? Because he took a case to them and lost. So is the Authority not up to it? Or is he a sore loser?

In this small scrap is your classic problem with what Little is trying to do. You simply cannot escape the doubt, that if you're dealing with government led votes on highly contentious things like drugs and death, to have that very government, whether it be through a Ministry or not, oversee what is said and how it's said and whether it is ruled acceptable or not is the work of the communists.

It’s the sort of system you'd expect in North Korea and China.

You can understand what's driving it all. On Facebook you can say what you like accurate or not, legal or not. But then that's another problem for Little, what platforms are applicable in his overarching zealousness? Can he control Facebook or Twitter?

Another major problem is to be found in his criticism of the ASA. What he objected to is their guidance. The guidance, he says, is that if you believe something is true then it is.

Now I believe, and I believe based on a lot of reading and various examples, that if you deregulate dope you'll increase demand, you'll also see the price drop and mental health issues increase.

But I fully accept that if you're a yes voter you'll be able to find material that says something different. So who's right? Who rules on that? And what criteria do they use to rule? Fact is one thing, opinion mixed with fact is another.

And every time a controversial decision is made in a debate like this, and let's be honest every decision will be controversial, you'll be accused of yet more controversy that a state department is gerrymandering a state run vote and manipulating what is said, and by who.

The biggest problem Little faces though right here right now, is that he doesn’t appear to be able to see this.

He is so obviously and glaringly compromised, you have to wonder if he should be in charge of any of this to start with.