Thursday, February 10, 2011

Religion in New Zealand politics

I love New Zealand politics. First, LibertariaNZ seeks alliance with the Jedi Church:
Libertarianz Request Audience With Jedi Religious Leaders

Monday, 7 February 2011, 3:08 pm
Press Release: Libertarianz Party
Libertarianz Request Audience With Jedi Religious Leaders

In the wake of what he describes as “the annual farce played out at the Ratana marae, where Labour and National leaders fall over each other to ingratiate themselves and buy votes,” Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath said he would like to prostrate himself before the hierarchy of this country’s Jedi religion to which - according to the 2001 census - 1.5% of New Zealanders were affiliated. [note: I think I listed my religion as Jedi on Eleanor's birth certificate]

“The Church of Jedi will be feeling alienated in their own country, with no politicians queueing up at their doorstep to participate in a vote auction,” he said.

“I can’t see why the people of Ratana should be a special case when there are other religions out there whose members whose votes, like those of Ratana, could also be purchased using taxpayer dollars,” he added.

He suggests religious organizations register with TradeMe so that political parties can bid online for the votes of their membership, as this would save a lot of unnecessary travelling and allow political parties to allocate their vote-buying budgets in a more planned and strategic manner.
Then, the Jedi responded:
Jedi Council rejects Libertarianz overtures

Tuesday, 8 February 2011, 9:35 am
Press Release: Jedi High Council
[Parody]
Jedi Council rejects Libertarianz overtures
Monday, 7 February 2011, 5:30 pm
Press Release: Jedi High Council

The Jedi High Council has rejected a recent overture from the Libertarianz party.

"Believe in universal compassion, we do," said Master Yoda, leader of the Council. "Attachment, possession, forbidden they are".

Master Yoda went on to criticise the Libertarianz' fundamental philosophy: "Fear. Selfishness. Greed. Manifestations of the Dark Side, they are," he said. "Greed leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. That is the way of the Dark Side"

A spokesperson for the Council said that a Jedi Knight would be dispatched to monitor the "Dark Side cult" and restore balance to the force if necessary.
No way that the Jedi are libertarian. They're basically the Republic's secret police.

Then, the LibertariaNZ suggest that the above press release wasn't from the real Jedi:
Jedi High Council Statement Challenged

Thursday, 10 February 2011, 11:45 am
Press Release: Libertarianz Party
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Religious Freedom

Jedi High Council Statement Challenged

Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath suggested a press statement from an entity known as Master Yoda - who claimed to represent the ‘Jedi High Council’ - was a hoax, after receiving a private communication from the Jedi Church.

“The Libertarianz Party and the Jedi Church are now in discussion, and will be releasing a joint statement outlining common concerns regarding freedom of speech, freedom of religious choice and the need for government to respect the personal beliefs of New Zealanders,” he said.

Dr McGrath said both the Libertarianz Party and the Jedi Church have serious concerns about the upcoming five-yearly census, and his party is planning a repeat of the organized civil disobedience – including the burning of census papers - that followed previous attempts by the government to forcibly gather information about people’s private activities.
As always, the Sith have the final word:
Sith laugh evilly at Libertarianz

Thursday, 10 February 2011, 1:44 pm
Press Release: Sith Conclave
10 Feburary 2011

Sith laugh evilly at Libertarianz

Press release in response to http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00082/jedi-high-council-statement-challenged.htm

The Libertarianz party of New Zealand is destined to be one of mediocrity and will never truly know the power of the Dark Side, the New Zealand Sith Conclave said today.

"By seeking an alliance with the Jedi Council the Libertarianz have confirmed their weakness," Sith Lord Darth Vader said.

"We care not for freedom of speech, freedom of religious choice and the need for government to respect the personal beliefs of New Zealanders — we believe only in power.

"By not having any power, whatsoever, at all, in New Zealand politics we are sure that the Libertarianz are not practitioners of either side of the force.

'The Sith Conclave was invited to their AGM last year. I have never seen a more wretched hive of scum and villany.

Mr Vader was quick to point out that the Sith Conclave is very active in New Zealand politics.

"The Sith are great. While we don't generally operate in the open, I think it is safe to lay claim to destroying the rebel Alliance in 2002.

"We're also lucky that not all of the Brash emails were leaked — that could've been very embarassing," Mr Vader chuckled.

Mr Vader was quick to point out that he was not Libertarianz Leader, Richard McGrath's father.
This is the most awesome political exchange I've read all year. Can we just appoint the authors of the press releases to Cabinet?

I far prefer political debate over which parties are Jedi and Sith allied, taken in fun, to serious political discussion over whether some candidate is actually a witch. Count this as another win for New Zealand.

HT: @LyndonHood

Update: The Official Jedi Church has replied. As expected, they're hardly libertarian.

8 comments:

  1. "This is the most awesome political exchange I've read all year. Can we just appoint the authors of the press releases to Cabinet?"

    I second this motion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jackson, that was you? Excellent. Would you take the cabinet spot if the Libz got the other? I'll say we get rid of Collins and Turia or Power.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's even better if you try the Sith Release in a Darth Vader voice. If you're good at it, your friends will crack up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1 social liberal collectivist and 1 libertarian to replace two social conservative collectivists?

    Done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh yes... that is very good... will forward this link all around!

    ReplyDelete
  6. And the official church response here
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00110/official-jedi-church-of-nz-response-to-libertarianz-party.htm

    ReplyDelete

As I randomly delete anonymous comments, please use a handle. Comments on older posts go into moderation; sorry if there are delays in hoisting your comment from the moderation pool.