Twenty-five years ago, this month, New Zealand embarked on one of its most significant electoral reforms to address inequity by implementing the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system of governmental democracy.
I started writing this on 20 April 2020; the globe suffering in the malicious clutches of the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand in week four of its Level 4 lockdown, and the world coming to terms with redefining the meaning of such things as community, healthcare, economic recovery, and humanity.
“By putting ourselves into the story of people who on the surface appear different from us, we can recognise our common humanity with them. And that can trigger empathy in a really natural way.”
The 'End of Life Choice Bill' has passed its third reading in New Zealand Parliament, and a binding referendum will be held at the 2020 general election to decide whether to implement this bill into law.
The issues to consider in this process are complex and emotive.
“We might neglect our future selves because of some failure of belief or imagination.”
This statement from the English philosopher Derek Parfit highlights the challenges we face when considering issues of prevention. How do we best prepare for the future when it seems so far away? The future we need to prepare for may be one of a crisis, or simply the challenges of normal living.
The majority of medical graduates swear some kind of oath, usually at graduation. The traditional Hippocratic Oath is used by a diminishing number, with a version of this, the Geneva Declaration and other prayers forming more popular commitments by new doctors and nurses.
One of the contemporary world’s most well-known musicians is Yo-yo Ma, the superstar cellist. A profoundly influential project of his has been the creation of the Silkroad Ensemble, a collective of composers and musicians from over 20 countries.
We all have had that experience of walking into a room wondering what it was we came for. Most of us may look puzzled, then slightly annoyed, maybe smile or laugh in mock-frustration, then back out to retrace our steps to remind ourselves of the task.