In last Monday’s New Zealand Herald John Armstrong ridiculed the “jiggery-pokery” which started the Greens conference on Saturday (Hello spirits … woops, goodbye National). He said: “Any party which begins its conference by lighting a candle so it can be guided by the “symbolic gesture of a flame” while “calling in the spirits” of Rod Donald, the Treaty, the sun, and just about everything else bar the kitchen sink would seem to be in fruitcake territory, as in nutty as.”
He suggests that such behaviour should send potential coalition partners into a rapid retreat: “..observing them invoke “the eternal golden thread” which apparently links past and present would have been enough to have National running in the opposite direction.”
I agree. While symbolic ceremonies are important that can appear ridiculous and nutty when they descend to empty appeals to the supernatural.
But why pick on the Greens? To me their ceremony appears to have much more meaning than the Christian prayer used to open New Zealand parliamentary sessions, and probably also used to open New Zealand National Party Conferences.
The Christian prayer is surely just an empty appeal to the supernatural. To many of us it appears “nutty.” And having appeal to only part of the community (possible a minority of the community) it is also divisive.
Franky, I would prefer the Green’s candle.