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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

25 September 1992. Thought for the Week: "By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion."
Lord Acton

NEW ZEALAND ELECTORS IN GROWING REVOLT

Mr. Eric Butler returned to Australia from New Zealand last Sunday, having observed New Zealanders voting to let their politicians know at the referendum on Saturday, September 19th, that they want changes!

It is worth recording that the New Zealand referendum on electoral reform took place on the exact date, 99 years ago, when New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the vote. In what was obviously an exercise in attempted confusion, the Bolger Government presented New Zealanders last Saturday with the opportunity to vote, first, on whether they wanted change to their present electoral system, and, secondly, on four alternative systems. There was widespread confusion and clearly large numbers had difficulty in understanding what was involved. It was not surprising, therefore, that some observers felt that there could be a low turn out. (New Zealand does not have compulsory voting.)
But, considering the widespread confusion, there was a relatively good turn out of over 50 percent and one could not help feeling that New Zealanders generally are so disgusted with all their politicians that they seized the opportunity of going to the polls and casting what basically was a vote of protest.

Both the Government and Labour Opposition had indicated that they felt that the present first-past-the-post voting system should be sustained. 85 percent of those voting rejected this proposal. This vote was a massive rebuff to both the major parties. 70 percent of those who voted for change opted for an electoral system similar to that operating in Germany. Support for the Australian system of preferential voting was minimal. My own observations lead me to believe that relatively few of those supporting the German option understood its implications. But the option received the powerful support of all the smaller political groups, who dominated the propaganda battle, skillfully suggesting that minority groups would have a better chance of being represented. I found it significant that prominent Marxist strategists were backing the German option.

Relatively few voices were heard stressing that in the absence of some effective mechanism for controlling individual politicians, there is no guarantee that a change in electoral system automatically improves the position of the individual in relationship to the government. There is certainly no evidence that suggests that the German people have any more effective control of their governments than have New Zealanders.

The major political parties in New Zealand are united in their resistance to the growing concept of electors having the right, as in Switzerland, to veto the policies of their governments by demanding through petitions a binding referendum on their governments. This is the big issue now emerging from the grassroots in New Zealand.

The big protest last Saturday indicates that the mood of the people is moving towards a more ready acceptance of the concept of the Electors Veto. They are now faced with the opportunity at next year's general elections to insist that this concept be forced onto the ballot paper as a genuine electoral reform. I suggested before I left New Zealand that one of the most effective ways to do this would be by a massive write in at the elections. They must also send to Wellington a number of representatives, firmly pledged in writing, to work and vote for the introduction of the Electors' Veto. It can be predicted with absolute certainty that there are stirring times ahead in New Zealand as a growing electoral revolt gathers momentum.


BEHIND THE BOSNIA TRAGEDY

Brilliant South African born news analyst Ivor Benson has provided the answer to a question confusing many people: Why has Saddam Hussein been allowed to stay in power in Iraq and why do the Western powers seem unable to exert any influence against Serbia in the tragedy engulfing Bosnia? The answer concerns the rising tide of fundamentalism throughout the Islamic world, which the internationalists fear. Saddam Hussein was originally backed to restrain the threat of Islamic fundamentalism from Iran and is still needed to restrain the fundamentalist She'ites inside Iraq. Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" programme is tolerated because it ensures that a Muslim dominated Bosnia does not emerge in the Balkans. The basic difference in the Balkans is not race or language - but religion. Islam is emerging as a major factor in the world drama.

BRITAIN AND THE "EUROPEAN MADNESS
As we go to press the undecided vote for the Maastricht Treaty last Sunday merely increases European uncertainty about future economic and political union. The record of the 'trend' toward European union has been one of high level decision making on complex issues, while the individual has not been consulted. In the only cases where the individual has been consulted, nations have proved to be deeply split on the issue. The Danes actually voted against union, and the French vote was originally supposed to be an opportunity to firmly emphasise heavy support for "Europe". The French did not have to call their referendum; it was designed to make a strong point, which it failed to do.

WHAT IS "MAASTRICHT"?
It is an international European treaty signed in the Dutch town of Maastricht last year, which provides the "constitution" for an economically, financially and politically unified State in Europe by the turn of the century. It will mean a single European currency, managed by a European central bank, which will have enormous influence on regional finance and economic policies. It provides for a federal structure in Europe, in which individual nations all but disappear. The "E.R.M." is the present Exchange Rate Mechanism, designed to ''manage'' the European currencies by locking them into a narrow range of values as a forerunner to a single European currency, monetary union of all nations, and eventually political union. The next step, if Europe can sustain it, is the establishment of a European monetary institute as a forerunner to a European central bank.

THE EUROPEAN CURRENCY CRISIS
Last week's crisis, in which interest rates fluctuated wildly (up to 500 percent) and currency values plunged, was sparked by the perception that French voters might reject the Treaty, especially after the French National Front held a huge rally denouncing it. The German economy has suffered dramatically as a result of Mr. Kohl's re-unification programme. This has meant shackling the strong West Germany with a weak post communist East Germany, which has required massive funds from West Germans to support a collapsing industry and unemployment rate of up to 40%. Khol promised not to raise taxes to support East Germany, but it now appears that the German value added tax (that is, the G.S.T.) will have to be jacked up. The German central bank, the Bundesbank, has locked itself into orthodox financial answers to increases in the German money supply (presumed to be inflationary) and has kept interest rates artificially high. This has made the German mark an attractive investment for currency speculators, but since other currencies are tied to the mark, through the E.R.M., other countries have been forced to raise interest rates to protect their own currencies. Thus, the British were forced to raise interest rates last week, and then capitulated by suspending membership of the E.R.M., and permitting the pound to devalue. It slumped by 10 percent, amid what financial reporters refer to as "heavy profit taking". It is not clear who is making "heavy" profits from all this.

BRITAIN IS THE KEY
As other countries move towards ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, it remains to be seen what the British will do. It would appear that Mr. Major, who championed British membership of the E.R.M., will have the greatest difficulty having legislation passed to accept Maastricht. He faces a backbench revolt. Baroness Thatcher emerges as the British politician with the surest instincts. She was sacked from No.10 for resisting the single currency, but has now been vindicated. Lady Thatcher urged the French to read the fine print of Maastricht, warning that Britain and France will be reduced to "regions", having lost their national sovereignty. The lessons from Europe are becoming clearer. International integration of financial, or economic controls erode national sovereignty. The British now face a drop in their standard of living because of what occurs in Germany. Europe, the home of the nation state, is set to become heavily centralised - doomed to follow the "experiment" of the Soviet Union, unless the British "jack up".
Electoral Comment authorised by Eric D. Butler, 145 Russell Street, Melbourne, 3000


FROM 'BUSINESS AUSTRALIAN'

September 18th 'Banks' Mystical Creative Power'
"According to your correspondent in London, in the article 'Battered Bankers Rethink the Business' (Business Australian, 25/8), 'For decades banks have attracted savings from individuals and lent them to cash hungry companies and benefited from the margin - a simple process that brought enormous profits'. "But according to the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, banks differ from thrift institutions (building societies), credit unions, mutual savings banks and saving and loan associations. Unlike banks, these organisations take in savers' money and lend it out again. They loan out existing funds.
"Most people, including your correspondent, believe that commercial banks are money middlemen too. "This is not correct. "Banks do keep savings accounts, but they do not lend out the money from these accounts to borrowers. "When a customer comes into a commercial bank for the loan, the money he receives, when he signs the loan agreement, is money which the bank has created for him.
"Mr. R. Hawtrey, previously Assistant Under Secretary to the British Treasury, in his book "The Art of Central Banking" (writes): 'When a bank lends, it creates credit. Against the advance, which it enters amongst its assets, there is a deposit entered in its liabilities.' "But other lenders have not this mystical power of creating the means of payment out of nothing. "What they lend must be money they have acquired through their economic activities. "Lord Keynes, the economist, and wartime Governor of the Bank of England, states: 'There can be no doubt that all deposits are created by the banks.'" (John Horrocks, Seaforth, N.S.W.)

CANADIAN SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ZUNDEL CONVICTION

from 'The Canadian Intelligence Service', September 1992
The Supreme Court of Canada last week (August 27th) overturned the 1988 conviction of Ernst Zundel of Toronto in an Ontario court for allegedly spreading 'false news', ruling that Section 181 of the Criminal Code under which he was charged contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is therefore unconstitutional.

"The 7 judges were unanimous that Section 181 limits free speech, but 3 of them (Mr. Justice Peter Cory, Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci, and Mr. Justice Charles Gonthier) dissented from the majority verdict overturning the Zundel conviction, arguing that the limit on free speech is justified by Parliament's objective of preventing social harm caused by the dissemination of 'false news'. "The 4 judges finding the 'false news' law unconstitutional were Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin, Madam Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dube, Mr. Justice John Sopinka and Mr. Justice Gerald LaForest.

"Our June 1988 Supplementary Section carried a report on the incredibly biased charge to the jury by Judge Ronald Thomas at Mr. Zundel's 1988 Toronto trial. It was, in our view, a demonstration of sophistry and non-sequiturs on such an outrageous scale as to itself amount to a classic example of 'false news'.

"It is significant to note that the Charter of Rights, ostensibly designed to protect individual rights and freedoms, has done no such thing. In fact, it has proved to be a handy instrument for an attack upon individual rights and freedoms. "Surely we've noted that it's only in this last decade, since the entrenchment of the Charter, that our courts have been used by an aggressive special interest group to waste countless millions of taxpayers' dollars harassing, prosecuting and persecuting elderly citizens of European extraction for alleged 'crimes' committed half a century ago, under the stress and duress of war and military occupation in distant war torn lands.
"And it's only since the advent of the Charter that our own citizens have been attacked for 'thought crimes' and for exercising their ancient right of freedom of speech. All of which constitutes a long step backwards towards the all powerful totalitarian state…."


BRIEF COMMENT

from New Zealand On Target, September 10th
As we have often stressed, all forms of monopoly are anti-social. The trade union monopoly is one example, but while it is easy to point to the evils, which flow from this monopoly, as it is to point to the evils associated with other monopolies, the 'economic rationalists' claim that the trade union monopoly is the source of most of New Zealand's economic problems. This is a dangerous and superficial view, completely ignoring basic causes. The power of all forms of monopoly is eroded if financial and economic policies decentralise power and place the individual in the position where he is economically secure and can make decisions for himself. Some of the much publicised 'go slow' work practices stem from the fear that greater real efficiency would deprive wage earners of their jobs and incomes. If men are not required for economic activities, then the simplest thing to do is to pay them a 'social dividend'.

It was the Marxist strategist Lenin who said that one of the basic requirements for a completely socialised State was a centralised, State-controlled electricity grid, with all dependent on the one source for electric power. The monopolists claim that this leads to efficiency. In this sense 'efficiency' must mean that New Zealanders have no control over the cost they pay for electricity. If there is one fact shown by the recent electricity shortage crisis, it is that monopoly is not only not necessarily efficient, but when bad and short-sighted decisions are made by those controlling the monopoly, the effects will be very widespread.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159