Look­ing at the chang­ing na­ture of po­lit­i­cal trust

North Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - AMY BAKER

Do you still trust in the po­lit­i­cal process? And how might that af­fect your vot­ing in the Septem­ber elec­tion?

The is­sue of trust and dis­trust, viewed through a po­lit­i­cal lens, is one Massey Univer­sity as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor Grant Duncan thinks is worth dis­cussing, es­pe­cially in an elec­tion year.

He and two col­leagues will be lead­ing the lat­est pub­lic lec­ture, ‘Trust, dis­trust and the end of pol­i­tics are we knew it’ - the third in a se­ries or­gan­ised by the univer­sity’s col­lege of hu­man­i­ties and so­cial sciences.

Duncan said the theme was par­tic­u­larly salient and came from a de­sire to re­flect on re­cent na­tional and in­ter­na­tional events.

‘‘Any elec­tion is about trust, but I think that’s par­tic­u­larly true at the mo­ment.’’

While not want­ing to cast pre­dic­tions, Duncan said he frames his dis­cus­sion in terms of the ques­tion of po­lit­i­cal trust and dis­trust, ex­plor­ing fac­tors that might af­fect New Zealand in the up­com­ing elec­tion.

He ex­am­ines the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal his­tory from 1890 on­wards and aims to high­light trans­for­ma­tive mo­ments, such as the estab­lish­ment of a twoparty du­op­oly and shift to MMP vot­ing.

Duncan also asks whether the ef­fect of MMP and in­flu­ences from trends over­seas will draw the coun­try into a more frag­mented po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

He said a chang­ing eco­nomic sys­tem, new tech­nolo­gies and ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion has meant a flow-on ef­fect to the po­lit­i­cal sphere, lead­ing to ques­tions about po­lit­i­cal le­git­i­macy and ex­per­tise.

‘‘The na­ture of democ­racy is be­ing shifted and no one re­ally knows where it’s lead­ing.’’

Step­ping back and look­ing at the sys­tem as a whole, he sug­gests, needs to hap­pen re­gard­less of party af­fil­i­a­tion.

Dr War­wick Tie will also be speak­ing on the per­ceived shift from class al­le­giances to the con­test be­tween na­tion­al­ist in­ter­ests ver­sus glob­al­i­sa­tion.

A ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion will be chaired by Dr Damien Rogers.


Massey Univer­sity as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor Grant Duncan said eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal changes are hav­ing a flow-on ef­fect to pol­i­tics.

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