Citizens for Rowling

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Citizens for Rowling
Citizens for Rowling.jpg
AuthorDavid Exel
CountryNew Zealand
LanguageEnglish
Publication date
October 1975

The Citizens for Rowling campaign was a failed campaign to stop Robert Muldoon winning the 1975 New Zealand election. It was named after then Labour Prime Minister Bill Rowling in the lead-up to the 1975 general election. Members of the campaign publicly signed the "Citizens for Rowling" petition warning against a National government led by Muldoon. The campaign was largely organised by David Exel, a former television producer and current affairs interviewer.

Political campaign attempt to influence the decision making process within a specific group

A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, by which representatives are chosen or referendums are decided. In modern politics, the most high-profile political campaigns are focused on general elections and candidates for head of state or head of government, often a president or prime minister.

Robert Muldoon Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Robert David Muldoon, also known as Rob Muldoon, was a New Zealand politician who served as the 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand, from 1975 to 1984, while Leader of the National Party.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Contents

Central to the campaign was a booklet, in the form of a petition, which attacked Muldoon's leadership style, which was stated as being "divisive" and "moving towards factional strife". Ads were run in major papers around New Zealand asking people to 'stand up and be counted' as supporting Bill Rowling and the campaign. Many offshoot groups were formed, such as Lawyers for Rowling and Clergy for Rowling. Rowling's eldest son, Carl, also joined the campaign.

Prominent members

Prominent members of the campaign included:

Edmund Hillary New Zealand mountaineer

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. From 1985 to 1988 he served as New Zealand's High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh and concurrently as Ambassador to Nepal.

John Jeffries (judge) New Zealand politician, civil servant and judge

Sir John Francis Jeffries is a former New Zealand local politician, civil servant and later a Judge of the High Court.

Geoffrey Palmer (politician) Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician, academic

Sir Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer is a New Zealand lawyer, legal academic, and past politician, who was a member of Parliament from 1979 to 1990. He served as the 33rd Prime Minister of New Zealand for a little over a year, from August 1989 until September 1990, leading the Fourth Labour Government. As Minister of Justice from 1984 to 1989, Palmer was responsible for considerable reforms of the country's legal and constitutional framework, such as the creation of the Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Bill of Rights, Imperial Laws Application Act, and the State Sector Act. He served as president of the New Zealand Law Commission, from 2005 to 2010.

Outcome

Despite gaining a lot of press for Labour, the campaign did not succeed, with Muldoon launching a public denial of the claims and stating, "The average chap doesn't want to be told how to vote." [3] Labour went on to lose power after the 1975 general election.

1975 New Zealand general election

The 1975 New Zealand general election was held on 29 November to elect MPs to the 38th session of the New Zealand Parliament. It was the first general election in New Zealand where 18- to 20-year-olds and all permanent residents of New Zealand were eligible to vote, although only citizens were able to be elected.

The publication came up again after the controversial decision by Muldoon to appoint Keith Holyoake as Governor-General in 1977. Rowling said that should Labour win the 1978 general election, he would remove Holyoake as Governor-General and openly stated that he would have appointed Sir Edmund Hillary to the post. [4] That was criticised by Muldoon's government, as Hillary had notably backed Labour in the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign in 1975. [5] Fellow Citizen Sir Paul Reeves was appointed Governor-General by the Fourth Labour Government in 1985.

Keith Holyoake 20th-century Viceroy, Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.

1978 New Zealand general election

The 1978 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to elect the 39th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Robert Muldoon, retain office, but the opposition Labour Party won the largest share of the vote. Reorganisation of the enrolment system caused major problems with the electoral rolls, which left a legacy of unreliable information about voting levels in this election.

Paul Reeves Viceroy, cleric

Sir Paul Alfred Reeves was a clergyman and civil servant, serving as Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and 15th Governor-General of New Zealand from 22 November 1985 to 20 November 1990. He later served as the third Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology, from 2005 until his death.

See also

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References

  1. The Listener, Ask that Philosopher, 1–7 May 2004, Volume 193, Number 3338 Source
  2. du Fresne, Karl (16 February 2019). "Sir John Jeffries: From school failure to career overachiever". Stuff.co.nz .
  3. Rowling: The man and the myth by John Henderson, Australia New Zealand Press, 1980
  4. Henderson, 1980.
  5. Ross Doughty (1977). The Holyoake years. Feilding.

Bibliography