Over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of talk in New Zealand about the problems of Westerners going off to Syria and fighting for ISIL or ISIS or Al-Qaida or something else.
So, the government is trying to push through a new law (with the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill) that lets the government spy on citizens and cancel passports when holders are out of the country.
I’m aware the terrorism is a problem but in most cases I feel that overall the fear of terrorism is usually worse than the reality.
The New Zealand government is trying to push the law through under urgency, meaning that there is a two-day deadline for public submissions. This is really only paying lip-service to public submissions and makes a mockery of the whole concept of participatory democracy.
Because of this, I realised that I needed to make a submission against this bill. I’m doubtful that anyone will read or take any heed of my submission but it feels good to get involved in the democratic process beyond just voting in an election.