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"Common Sense" replaces Democracy

© Peter Zohrab 2008

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OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND

The Right Honourable Helen Clark
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

Dear Prime Minister,

I was informed by Samuel Jennings, a New Zealand Police Legal Adviser, in a letter dated 18 October 2007, that the Police do not hold any information as regards a specific decision that the Police should be "reflective of New Zealand society," although this policy is the Police's reason for increasing the number of female police officers by discriminatorily having lower physical entry standards for female recruits than for male recruits.

In the same letter, he also informed me that it is "common sense" that the Police should be "reflective of New Zealand society."

Under the Official Information Act, could you please inform me:

1. What proportion of government policies exist as a result of "common sense", as opposed to a formal and transparent decision-making process?
2. What proportion of government policies exist as a result of some process other than specific decisions made by specific persons at specific times?
3. Whether your Government and Parliament intend to dissolve themselves, since the Public Service appears to be able to reach "common sense" decisions which are made at no particular time and by no particular person, which, in turn, means that they cannot be democratically scrutinised (the function of government and Parliament being to control the Executive and allow it to be democratically controlled)?
4. Whether it is only areas of government where women (as opposed to men) want to have more participation that there is a policy that those areas should be "reflective of New Zealand society?"
5. In what other areas of government (and I suggest teaching, nursing, the state media, the prison population, and Domestic Purposes Benefit beneficiaries as examples) is there a policy that those areas should be "reflective of New Zealand society?"

 

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4 August 2015

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