Are Race based Political Parties OK?

This will no doubt stir up a hornet’s nest, but it’s something I have been pondering about. It seems it’s “un-PC” to even question things like this, but screw it.

In New Zealand recently, a new political party was formed to contest at the next general election, which is later on this year.
Currently, the NZ political system provides 2 Electoral Rolls, 1 General and 1 Maori (which is the indigenous race of New Zealand). In addition to the allocated Maori seats in parliment (which are allocated from the Maori Roll votes), there are also quite a number of general seats held by maori polititians, who are members of the mainstream left and right political parties. It has been widely known that the Socialist Labour Party was popular among Maori voters, but recently there has been some discord regarding various historical issues, the latest and most prominent being an attempt to claim ownership and restrict access rights of New Zealand’s beaches and foreshore.

So, recently a party was set up called the “Maori Party”, which is gaining quite a bit of momentum in the NZ political scene. It appears that this party may have a reasonable impact at the next general election. If anything it may in fact split the Maori vote from Labour which will acheive the opposite effect, but that’s beside the point.

My question is this: Is it OK to create a Political Party and target a particular race (by name even)? It seems to me that this in itself is racist when the ethic group concerned current has fully equal voting rights, and even has special allocation in parliment to guarantee racial representation no matter what the election results are.
Isn’t it a breach of basic human rights to segregate political views based on race?..and then allow a vehicle to encourage segregation.

What would be the reaction if an “Anglo Saxon” or “White New Zealander” party was created - surely THAT would be considered racist right? Isn’t this the beginnings of Apartheid?

mmmm, minority representation in any government is crucial to creating a balance. irrespective of what they call themselves. It is good that they choose to represent themselves rather than just being delegated specific seats and numbers.
The question as to whether it is racist is difficult. Yes it is about race, as in the name, but it would IMO only be a racist party if I could not join them as a caucasian. Perhaps you should see if you can become a member and decide on how racist they are after you get your reply?

… from their website. Little different from racist or white superority parties, gell?

Interesting question.

My reading of the material indicates membership of the party is open to all citizens of New Zealand - therefore it is not a racist party as such. It seems to be basically a party whose aim is to promote Maori rights. To me this makes it a ‘single-interest’ party along the lines of the Shooters’ Party or similar.

I don’t think there’s ever been a “White Australia” party, but IMHO parties such as Australians Against Further Immigration, One Nation, Australia First etc. have come pretty close in all but name.

Yes, it is potentially divisive, but they obviously think it’s worth it to push their interests :idunno:

De lady from Queensland, she say “YES!”

I don’t think government should be allowed to regulate who can and cannot form an organization to promote their own interests. In a democratic system everyone’s interests needs to be taken into account.

I hate the KKK. I hate its ideology, its goals, its rhetoric. But I think it should have legal rights to promote its purposes within the bounds of law.*

If the KKK wanted to try and openly campaign to get seats I think they should be allowed a place on a ballot. They can have an open platform of trying to kick every non-white person out of the US and restore slavery. That is about as against what I believe as I can imagine anything being, but I believe they should be allowed their aims and goals and be put on a political ballot. I’d vote against them, march in protest against their election (since they do not represent me), and if they actually won all they desired I’d ultimately give up my citizenship in the US and move elsewhere (permanently this time). But I think they should have the right to political representation.

*But I’m glad the KKK is regulated because they have a dark history of using illegal means to promote their goals. They have used murder, terror, violence, corruption, and intimidation to promote their ends. For this, they deserve to have been disbanded and deserve to be forced into hiding.

If the NAACP wants to start a “Black Party” and restrict membership to non-whites (which they wouldn’t do) and have a stated purpose of throwing down the Man and having white people as slaves for 3 generations as a retribution for grievances past, I think they should be allowed to form their political party and to put a candidate on the ballot. As long at they use entirely legal means, let democracty work.

So, with the Maori party being a lot more benign than what I’ve just mentioned, I think they should have their party, even with the existence of affirmative action seats already existing in the parliament. I say that from principle.

Nice post puiwaihin. But keep in mind how important your second sentence is. To me, this is a cogent reminder that a good government is not one in which the majority can vote to do whatever they want.

In order to protect against a tyranny of the majority, protections are put in place to ensure that even if a KKK party were to be elected by a majority, that party would not have the power to force non-whites into slavery. They could elect all 100 Senators, all 435 Representatives, and the President, and they still wouldn’t have the power to force even a single person into slavery. Do do so, would be to deprive that person of rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution, a document that is in large part designed to ensure that the majority cannot victimize the minority. (A document, in other words, that is intended to restrict the power of the majority.)

“Well what happens if the KKK then elects majorities in every state legislature and then amends the Constitution?” you ask. One option, as you mentioned, would be to run. Another option would be to stay and fight. In either case, the bottom line is that in constitutional representative democracy there are limits on what a legitimate government can do. And those limits are not affected by whether or not a certain policy happens to have a majority of citizens supporting it.

A democracy in which “the majority will” was the final word on what became law would be a truly terrifying form of government.

Good posts so far. I thought I’d also mention that in the mid 90s, NZ changed it’s political system to Mix Member Proportional(MMP), to (attempt to)rectify some of the inherent problems minorities face with the First Past the Post (FPP) system.

Some info:

You should change your Forumosa name to “Madison”. :wink:

In order to protect against a tyranny of the majority, protections are put in place to ensure that even if a KKK party were to be elected by a majority, that party would not have the power to force non-whites into slavery.[/quote]
But didn’t they do just that anyway?

Yeah, they did didn’t they?

I guess the big-picture answer to your question is that no piece of paper, however august, is a magic solution to the tendency of human beings to crap on each other. A good form of government that is established to protect certain fundamental rights is an important piece in the puzzle, but it still requires us all to try and be a little decent. (Or as you math types might put it, a constitution (or some other established law protecting minority rights) appears to be a “neccessary but not sufficient condition” to keeping such rights intact.)

The small-picture (is there such a thing?) answer to your question is that eventually people decided that the existing language of the Constitution wasn’t really cutting it on the point of slavery. So after the Civil War they added a couple sentences saying:

  • Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a
    punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,
    shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their


  • Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
    appropriate legislation.


I thought the Constitution was replaced by the Patriot Act and that “enemy combatant” thing.

I could’a sworn. Could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Anyway, I’m sure that after 9/11 it was rephrased or whatever the legal term is as being more of one of those ‘do as we say, not as we do’ legal theories that are handy for beating your adversaries over the head with and not so much the impediment to effective government it was before.

Race based organizaztions exist even at the highest level of the US Dov’t.
For example - The Black Congressional Caucus. Membership is exclusively black. Black Congressional Caucus.

[quote]The Caucus is officially non-partisan, but in practice it has been almost exclusively composed of Democrats, and tends to function as a lobbying group with the wider Congressional Democratic Party. Only three black Republicans have been elected to Congress since the Caucus was founded: Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts and Representatives Gary Franks of Connecticut and J.C. Watts, Jr. of Oklahoma. Watts refused to join the Caucus, calling black Democrats “race-hustling poverty pimps.”[/quote]

There is no corresponding “White Congressional Caucus.”

Oh…The United States of America is a representative REPUBLIC, not a democracy, It follows a democratic form of governance. A democracy is a mob.

A Republic, not a Democracy…just to keep things straight.

Now…about those Maoris…?

Very good point to keep in mind. I’d still say we are a democracy, but not a pure democracy. We are a republic, but democracy is one of the central principles by which the republic is run (along with separation of powers and guaranteed rights).

I know what you mean, but there is a point to having choices made by a majority. It’s far better than having choices made by a small minority without consulting the majority…

So, in the case of the Maoris, I don’t think there should be a control put on any group to say that they can’t form a political organization to promote themselves.

(In the case of the white majority in the States, thus far there hasn’t needed to be an official political entity to represent us. There’s been already enough working behind the scenes to benefit us-- or at least the top 1% of us).

Guaranteeing seats in a government to any specific race is blatantly racist. It was done originally to make up for past injustices, of course, but replacing one injustice with another is a mistake, unless you want to deny opportunity to the capable and guarantee it to the incompetent, unless you want to create and maintain potentialy destructive divisions between people where cooperation and unity could otherwise develop.

in the US, the national women’s party was instrumental in the women’s rights movement. it was necessary because neither of the big parties took women’s issues seriously. (they do now–ask a soccer/security mom.)

I don’t know much about kiwi politics, but perhaps the reason the Maori party was formed was becuase their issues were being ingored (or receiveing only lip service). If the prospect of a Maori Party bothers you that much, I would suggest taking their cause up with the other Parties in NZ and demand that your elected officials support treaty rights or whatever it is the Maori Party wants.

Until that happens, I say good for them. If there were a minority party in the US, the Democrats would have to start walking the walk instead of just threatening minority folks with the “evils” of Republicans, while they do nothing to really help the brown and poor.

It doesn’t bother me, I was just curious to know if race based organisations have a place in 2005. Obviously from the reponses so far they do, but only if the race is a minority, is that right?
What about in Africa then. Are there “White African” political parties, (being a minority there) - or would that be considered racist?

Ohhhh man…this should be good… :smiley: (where the hell is that box of popcorn smiley gif?)

Isn’t anything with the word “white” in it considered racist?

[quote=“truant”]It doesn’t bother me, I was just curious to know if race based organisations have a place in 2005. Obviously from the reponses so far they do, but only if the race is a minority, is that right?
What about in Africa then. Are there “White African” political parties, (being a minority there) - or would that be considered racist?[/quote]
I don’t think it’s so much that “only if the race is a minority” as much as the majority doesn’t need a special group looking out for their rights. Generally the vote will benefit the majority, and if that isn’t enough there are racist extremists working hard to keep the little man down.

I think any sort of “white” group would quickly get labeled as racist, even if it were in a country where white’s are a minority. Not everyone would accept that label, but there are some who are reactionists, and reactionists have loud voices.