Protesters hold forum

The first attempt at what its proponents say is an example of "real democracy" developed into a small and sometimes passionate discussion in the Octagon yesterday.

The "Occupied Cities of Aotearoa", the various groups around New Zealand protesting corporate greed and social inequality, organised the "People's Parliament" yesterday.

The event was advertised as a contrast to the politicians' Parliament at the Beehive, "where a select few make decisions on behalf of everyone else".

The people's parliament was an open public discussion forum in which everyone had an equal voice and decisions were not made on behalf of others.

The Octagon version attracted 11 people.

Burt Holmes called for topics, with the monetary system, the "fallacy that economic growth will solve all our problems", the trickle-down effect and the use of "blind trusts" by politicians all raised.

Prime Minister John Key appeared unpopular with the attendees.

One woman said a vote for the Greens was "a vote for National", but another woman said she was a member of the Greens, and that was not true.

Mr Holmes suggested a move away from "entrenched political views", back to the topics of conversation, and a young man suggested a committee to "ensure productive decisions are made".

A standard for what a productive decision was needed to be considered.

Another idea was to limit the role of politicians to explaining issues, then people would vote on each issue in a referendum-style system.

It was proposed everyone who participated in the system would get a free cellphone to be used to send their votes.




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