Dame Anne Salmond - Hero of the week | The Jackal

18 Aug 2012

Dame Anne Salmond - Hero of the week

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Here, the job of running the country is seen as a form of gladiatorial combat. Every three or five years, one side or the other wins an election, claims a mandate and imposes its policies on the electorate, whether or not these enjoy majority support. In the process, the best interests of citizens are often set aside.

In New Zealand, however, many people are fed up with this style of governance. The shift to proportional representation was intended to move away from successive lurches from left to right, towards negotiation across the middle ground. When politicians subvert this, maintaining the old binary arrangements through self-serving deals and using these to impose extreme ideas, they lose the respect of ordinary citizens, who become cynical and/or disengage from the political process.

This is one of the most succinct and accurate descriptions of the problems inherent in the current system that I've ever read. Dame Anne Salmond has really hit the nail on the head, and goes on to outline ways to resolve these issues in an excellent article full of positive solutions.

All too often we see journalism reduced to the same negative snipping and point scoring employed by politicians, which is hardly representative of the current New Zealand, let alone the New Zealand we wish to create.

A prime example of this negative politicking is the article above Dame Anne Salmond's in which Fran O'Sullivan compares David Cunliffe to a former Chinese politician whose wife is guilty of murder. Initially Chinese police tried to cover-up the incident, with the scandal effectively ending the career of the high-flying husband and politician.

Clearly there's no comparison to David Cunnliffe or his wife, and Fran O'Sullivan's motivation behind the incredibly insulting comments should be questioned. In my opinion she and the NZ Herald editor have no journalistic integrity at all for publishing such trash.

After reading that, Dame Anne Salmond's article is a breath of fresh air of intelligent and professional writing. In an all too often stagnant mainstream media, such insightful articles really do stand out. So thanks Dame Anne Salmond, you are undoubtedly a hero and deserving of this week’s award.