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Thread: Special representation?

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    Special representation?

    Do you believe certain ethnic groups (i.e, Natives) deserve to have reserved seats in government, where they are guaranteed that seat for their ethnic group, whereas other ethnic groups have to be elected?

    In Parliament, New Zealand has 7 Maori seats, reserved for Maori voters, and candidates of Maori descent, really. Currently, 6 of the 7 Maori seats are occupied by the Maori Party, and 1 occupied by the Labour Party.

    The Government is thinking of creating a supercity that encompasses the whole Auckland region, and it's also thinking of removing the 3 reserved Maori Council seats originally planned, the Maori aren't happy with this, as seen in this article.

    Their arguments are that they are "Tangata Whenua", or people of the land, as Natives they deserve the seats, and whatnot. Apparently, it's also a right assured by the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's supreme founding document.

    My personal opinion is that no group, whether ethnic natives or otherwise deserve reserved seats in Government on all levels, it's just not fair. As far as the Maori Seats goes, I'm with the National Government, who are thinking of abolishing the seats, I don't think it's democratic that a minority deserves reserved seats, and the rest of the people have to be elected in normal seats.

    On the top of my head, I can only think of New Zealand and India that have special ethnic seats, for Maori and Anglo-Indians, respectively.

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    Re: Special representation?

    I don't believe in ethnic groups. I believe that every nation should have its own state, and if two separate peoples share a single state that the aim of the State should be mutual assimilation and the formation of a single nation.

    However, if special ethnic representation is necessary by the terms of a signed treaty and both nations are committed to a separate existence under the same state, it can hardly be considered honorable to deny them what they are owed.

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    Re: Special representation?

    Representation among people needs to above all things be proportionate, however that representation is divided (by proximity, by ethnicity, by registration to a party, etc) is all a matter of what's most effective. I mean, if hypothetically blacks in the US made up 10% of the population, and they were spread out across the country so that they never really made up more than 10% of any given city or area, they would never really be able to elect a representative that reflects their beliefs under the area/proximity mode of representation we go under now. But who is to say that if they were spread in that sort of manner they would necessarily have beliefs specifically associated with their ethnicity? It's tricky to imagine a perfect solution.

    Maybe any person in the country can vote for any candidate who is running for congressional seating regardless of where they are from. All candidates who reach a certain amount of votes, let's say maybe 10,000, can be seated OR perhaps the 200 (or some other arbitrary number) who get the most votes are seated. Instead of having each rep. equaling 1 vote, you have each rep. equal a proportion, a gross percent (total population of people whose candidate was seated divided by the amount of votes they received).

    If a quarter of the people vote for one guy to represent them, he would get 25% of the voting power on bills. I don't know, there is always the prospect that more than half will vote for one guy, and that he could run the table single handedly on passing bills? But then again, that doesn't seem likely that more than half the country would agree so accordingly that would all want the same guy out of a vast field of candidates. But maybe all bills would pass with 65% to counter this, if 65% of the people in this country would all vote for the same guy, maybe he deserves to run the tables?
    Last edited by Unrein; 04-16-09 at 02:20 AM.

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    Re: Special representation?

    As a Conservative Englishmen I certainly don't think the people should be treated as an arithmetical mass. I think that representing groupings and associations like England does with the lords spiritual and geographical representation, and once did with the hereditary peers and the universities, is a good thing. In fact I'd like to see far more of this. However I'm weary of a lot of this PC stuff like privileging"oppressed" minorities and immigrants.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 04-16-09 at 02:09 AM.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Special representation?

    No ethnic groups shouldn't get special representation in government. The government should be color blind. If we tell our kids that racism is bad and that we shouldn't judge people by the color of their skin then race/ethnicity should not be a issue when it comes to representation.Obama for example represents the whole country regardless of skin color,ethnicity and political ideology.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Special representation?

    My representative district was mapped out to assure a black representative, assuming that people voted along racial lines.

    For the first time a non black was elected because William Jefferson and his family were under indictment for stealing from charities and taking bribes. He had lost the support of most of the black ministers and leaders.

    So the people elected the first Vietnamese member of congress, Joseph Cao.

    I don't think a lot of people had even heard of him till a week before the vote.

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    Re: Special representation?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    No ethnic groups shouldn't get special representation in government.
    Should people who live in small states get special representation, in other words, disproportioned representation?

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    Re: Special representation?

    Quote Originally Posted by George VI View Post
    Do you believe certain ethnic groups (i.e, Natives) deserve to have reserved seats in government, where they are guaranteed that seat for their ethnic group, whereas other ethnic groups have to be elected?

    In Parliament, New Zealand has 7 Maori seats, reserved for Maori voters, and candidates of Maori descent, really. Currently, 6 of the 7 Maori seats are occupied by the Maori Party, and 1 occupied by the Labour Party.

    The Government is thinking of creating a supercity that encompasses the whole Auckland region, and it's also thinking of removing the 3 reserved Maori Council seats originally planned, the Maori aren't happy with this, as seen in this article.

    Their arguments are that they are "Tangata Whenua", or people of the land, as Natives they deserve the seats, and whatnot. Apparently, it's also a right assured by the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's supreme founding document.

    My personal opinion is that no group, whether ethnic natives or otherwise deserve reserved seats in Government on all levels, it's just not fair. As far as the Maori Seats goes, I'm with the National Government, who are thinking of abolishing the seats, I don't think it's democratic that a minority deserves reserved seats, and the rest of the people have to be elected in normal seats.

    On the top of my head, I can only think of New Zealand and India that have special ethnic seats, for Maori and Anglo-Indians, respectively.
    Sure, give them their reserved 7 seats but only allow them those seven seats even if one happens to get elected to another seat. If they relinquish the reserved seats, then they can be allowed election in any number of the rest of the seats.

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    Re: Special representation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    Should people who live in small states get special representation, in other words, disproportioned representation?
    Certainly, to avoid politics becoming too much of a mass thing.

    It all depends on the context though. The Welsh or Scots or Cornish for instance deserve special representation and autonomy whereas recent Polish immigrants to England do not because of the history, geographical settlement etc.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Special representation?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Sure, give them their reserved 7 seats but only allow them those seven seats even if one happens to get elected to another seat. If they relinquish the reserved seats, then they can be allowed election in any number of the rest of the seats.
    That is the best idea I have ever heard. Seriously, but the Government won't do it, because either way, the Maori will complain about it being not democratic. If they are restricted to 7 seats, they'll complain. If they lose the seats, they'll complain. It's sooooo fustrating.

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