We’re all getting a bit sick of the whole ‘change the flag’ debate, but I’m adding my two cents worth.
I’m against changing our flag – I have both patriotic and financial arguments against the change, but my biggest argument against changing the flag is the process.
There has been a complete lack of consultation with the New Zealand public in this issue, and a few public meetings really don’t cut it in this circumstance. I resent the way that these inordinately expensive referendums are taking place. $26 million in this economy when we are so far in debt (and sinking) is profligate at best. I think that there is a (not-so) subtle manipulation happening. Requiring the public to rank their preferences for a new flag asks the voters to buy in – to make a choice and select a new flag before deciding if a new flag is on the cards. There is a condescension inherent in the process, and that rankles.
(The conspiracy theorist that usually lays dormant deep within me is also whispering in my ear that the flag debate is a useful distraction by the incumbent government to displace attention from another hot topic on the table at the moment….the TPPA. )
I find myself in a bit of a quandary with this whole situation. I’m a passionate advocate of the democratic process and I have very strong memories of my Mum telling me that if you choose not to vote, then you are negating your right to complain. I’m struggling a little because I don’t want to vote for any of the final four new flag options when I don’t believe that we need a new flag, but I believe in taking part in the democratic process. I’m left with little choice – I can effectively select a flag in which I don’t believe and give life to the lie that ‘New Zealand has chosen option (insert flag number here)’, or I can not take part in the referendum and lose out on my chance to have a say. I don’t know what I’m going to do at this point, but I do know that there are many who are in the same position as I am and I am interested to see what the outcome will be.
What are your thoughts?