tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Send the Minister a friendly postcard day!

I got another one of those letters from the University saying "Congratulations on getting a top mark in X course" (in this case it was the Drug Policy one I've been bleating about for the last few months - the one I wasn't happy with how I was doing in). I'm not sure how many that is now - it's kind of validating to get them, but I really wish I knew what their parameters were for sending one out. Did I get the top mark? In the top 10? Does anybody who gets an A get one? Enquiring (and self-doubting) minds want to know! But I would feel like a wanker ringing them up and asking them.

"This is because you are a wanker, Tats!" I hear you say.

Yes, yes I am. But notice I haven't actually rung them to ask. I do have some concept of etiquette, see?

Those of you who've been here a while may have seen me ranting about the sad state of media in NZ and the stupid copyright situation that keeps it that way. You may also have seen me ranting about the Trans-Pacific Partnership so-called agreement that NZ is involved in.

It's not actually agreed, it's in negotiation. It's between a bunch of Pacific rim countries and has very little to do with trade and everything to do with negotiating the conditions of foreign investment. Things that concern me are mostly related to sovereignty issues and corporate rights - if this goes through, large corporations will likely have the right to sue governments for making laws that affect their profits. NZ has already made some laws that place corporate rights over human rights in the area of copyright and filesharing, just to show willing.

More information on the negotiations here for those who care.

Anyway, I don't think it's right for our government to negotiate a 'trade agreement' that has so many red flags for our sovereignty and wellbeing, in secret, then sign it and ratify it, all without letting the people affected by it (ie, us) know what's in it. I wrote to my MP and was patted on the head and told that our law making process would allow us to have our say. However, our law-making process has been subverted by urgency (that is, laws put through without public consultation) more times by this government than ever before, and how is the public to have an educated say when we don't know the content of what we're submitting on anyway? So no, I do not trust our lawmaking process to give us a chance to veto this should it be too negatively influential on our lives.

What does that leave us? Things like this. This site deals mainly with the intellectual property section of the TPP, which is indeed one of the more onerous parts. You get to choose a postcard and in 140 characters say what you think about it. If they get 5000 responses, they'll be printed and sent to the Minister of Trade. Objection to the TPP is growing, but like many activities of this government, they are still trying to pretend they have a mandate. Please send a postcard (even if you're not in one of the countries that's party to the TPP - seriously, we don't want this kind of agreement to become the global standard), and help register an objection on behalf of every small country that gets crapped on so that corporations can profit.

Here's what I sent: Allowing US distributors to dictate what NZ is allowed to see creates more piracy. New business model needed, not draconian laws!
Tags: corporate vs human rights, don't sign away my wellbeing, secret negotiations, tpp
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