When the table is set, the meal laid out, the wine paid for and the candles lit; it is irredeemably rude to walk out before taking a mouthful.
The flag referendum is here. If you want to be part of it or not it is here, and the proverbial table is set. Instead of muddling through a list of reasons why you should take part and take an interest in democracy – even if it is limited to selecting textiles (paisley flag please) – let’s examine why not.
It’s not important. That is a given. Apart from giving a bit of certainty as to which flag belongs to New Zealand or Australia, this flag debate isn’t quite pregnant with importance. That being said the current flag is a symbol of colonial ownership. Britain literally possessing New Zealand, which is actually stated in the rules around colonial flags, but is utterly wrong and doesn’t keep pleasant company with New Zealand identity.
It’s expensive. No it isn’t. It costs $26 million, grow up. And the money has already been spent so it’s a non-argument in the first place.
We have more important things to focus on. Like what? Richie McCaw’s retirement? Jonah Lomu’s death? Neither of these things puts food in the mouths of hungry children, yet attention is lavished on them like they are the pivot points of civilisation. The flag is at least as important as those things.
I don’t like the designs. Good! Say so. That is the bloody point of this thing. Rank them in order of which ones you hate least and send in the ballot. Then you can vote it down at the next referendum and the people will have spoken.
This is direct democracy. A referendum that binds the government to a specific course of action. The table is set ladies and gentlemen, sit down and dine.