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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Govt. constitution website - comments activated

The Government's website for the Constitutional Arrangements Committee is now publishing comments from the skeptical on-line public.

It is open season! You can comment on the 48 submissions (including my own overly laconic submission) or make your own comment on pretty much anything, ie. a submission in all but name.

Someone has written their own preamble to a constitution. This is a good place to start and many people may be able to come up with a sentence or two that strikes a resonant note which can be put into the process when it commences properly.

Ultimately, as the Chairman (Peter Dunne) has said, the committee won't make it past the election. But, as a starting point and as an historic record, we have an opportunity to speak our mind in an official forum. I suggest, if you have any ideas, that you use it.

Any proper constitution, ie. a unitary document describing our republic, will come from a series of public forums - only the final one needs to have governmental input. That is the way forward as I see it. These fora are usually legalese wank-fests run by wankers for wankers and result in wanky wankery (Hat tip: Holden Republic's post). The other forum is an annual event held on our national day that traditionally descends into confrontation without much meaningful or productive discussion: Waitangi Day. This .govt website is the State's forum. Perhaps bloggers and others can use it to start off an internet round of constitutional discussions, presentation of ideas, debate, draft texts etc. as a lead up to a more formalised physical round of discussions.

I will be monitoring it with interest.

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