Immigrant-centric NZ: The colonial relic just keeps on taking
Only citizens should be able to vote in our elections. To my mind that is the definition of citizenship: the exclusive group constituting the political body of a nation state.
We allow permanent residents to vote, and even dogs to be voters (if the latest stupidity is to be considered at face value). This is part of the reason why this country is so politically dismal. It is just one of many colonial relics that continue to haunt us: an immigrant culture. The mythological status of the immigrant is prevalent.
With "We need immigrants" as a core doctrine of the country along with other facile notions like "We are all immigrants," is it any wonder that non-citizens - immigrants who have no sworn loyalty to the nation - have an equal say in determining the tennets of our sovereignty? Is it any wonder that people who have no understanding of an official language, have no intention of staying in the country more than a few years, are given - and the authorities go out of their way to facilitate - their "right" to vote. What sort of a country would do that? Would let those not committed to the destiny of the country determine it's fate? A self-destructive one. A foolish one. One not confident enough to trust themselves. One who values foreigners so much they are prepared to surrender their rights to them. One forever seeking the approval of the outsider for validation, for guidance, for instruction. One who sees improvement coming from outside instead of from within. One who is so quick to empower outsiders, and yet so ruthless in supressing natives. A colonial regime.
These non-citizen voters are courted by political parties and politicians. Promises are made. Deals are done. Ministers assisting law-breaking overstayers to get back in the country, Act's Chinese and Korean petition to abolish the language requirements, one dodgy person being able to bring in a dozen or more, potential Labour candidates (allegedly) selling offices of state to his own community... the list goes on. If you do not need the votes of foreigners then we can stop giving them undue influence over the affairs rightly determined exclusively by citizens.
We have a devalued citizenship.
As for the usual idiotic arguments about taxation and representation etc. they can be found on this blog on which I am temporarily banned. These are typical of the comments; many of whom are not citizens and yet, so empowered, currently have a right to tell citizens what to think. They seem to have absolutely no understanding of the privilege they have been given as non-citizens.:
I strongly approve of us allowing permanent residents to vote. The validity of a democracy partly comes from its inclusiveness - and people with permanent resident status are living and paying taxes here like everyone else. - Beagle
I would point out that permanent residents of which I am one pay taxes the same as citizens. I don't get off paying taxes because I am not a citizen. Why should I not be allowed to vote. There are many reasons why residents choose not to take citizenship but contribiute just as much as those born here. -Bob Howard
I'm too a permanent resident and been living 99% of my last 8 years in NZ. I've been working in the last 4 years and pay tax just like NZ citizens. Why shouldn't I vote? -Scott
and it's the same in England. I spent most of the 90's there, never became a citizen but paid my share of taxes. I took part in several elections. Why not! -Gatoh
There is some benefit to having residents vote. It's a country built on immigrants so sure they should have a place in the political system. -Stef
On taxation: Foreigners start paying tax even before they are out of the airport - so what? Some fine citizens might end up the year in a net tax surplus - should they have their vote suspended? To equate political rights with one's monetary contribution is rather an obsession of American proportions.
So if a politician wanted citizen-only voting they run the risk of being defeated by Permanent Resident voters, esp. those wanting to get the rest of the extended family in. Is this "inclusiveness"? This is a disgraceful situation that we should not be in. We have not so much lost control of our democracy, but given it away.
Immigrants "have a place in the political system" once they stop being immigrants and have become citizens.
We need a shake-up.