to this weeks poll |
Send to friend
an election is not enough
friendly version (PDF)
World Cup is showing New Zealanders what is possible when we
all unite behind a common purpose. Imagine how far we could go
as a country if we all got behind a goal like lifting our
living standards! Becoming a wealthy county again would
certainly be within our reach.
The problem we face is not that such a goal is impossible –
it is in fact very achievable. Our problem is a lack of
history the hallmark of great political leaders has been that
rare ability to unify a nation into a single common purpose.
It is a failing of contemporary New Zealand politics that no
such leadership has emerged over recent years.
Nowadays, of course, John Key is winning the popularity stakes
hands down (although without any serious challenger).
Unfortunately he has not used that popularity to undertake
real and serious economic reform. His focus instead appears to
be in offering the hand of friendship to extremist minorities
like the Maori Party and the Green Party, in order to isolate
The reality is that ever since their election in 2008,
National has shied away from a battle of ideas, even though it
is ideas not parties that shape nations. As a result they have
allowed the New Zealand public to believe that the
big-spending socialism that seriously
weakened our economy while Labour
was in control and made us vulnerable to the global economic
crisis, is normal. Since most of the former Labour
government’s expensive socialist policies - such as the
Emissions Trading Scheme, interest free student loans, and
working for families subsidies – have been left in place,
National has failed to reduce government spending down to
affordable levels. It’s as though National is now supporting
policies it criticised while in opposition.
collectivist ideas and Labour’s profligate spending agenda,
National has become part of the problem, borrowing almost $1
billion a month to cover its overspending. It’s therefore no
surprise that the major credit rating agencies Fitch and
Standard and Poors have both downgraded our credit rating,
highlighting the fact that there is now an increased risk of
New Zealand defaulting on its debt obligations (albeit still a
reversing the belief that governments can borrow and spend
their way out of their problems National has perpetuated a
false faith in big government. As a result a large proportion
of the population remain more suspicious of the private sector
than they do of government - and they fail to understand that
it is the private sector that creates wealth, while it is the
government that consumes it. The fact that so many people do
not understand the inextricable connection between personal
freedom and a strong economy, better education, better
healthcare and a cleaner environment, is a tragedy in itself.
National has continued Labour’s spending agenda, the Prime
Minister has not been able to deliver to New Zealanders a
higher standard of living, to make good his election promise
to close the income gap with Australia.
It is the
nature of politics that causes politicians to lose sight of
what’s right, in order to focus instead on winning the
election by convincing voters that they would be better off
with ‘us’ rather than ‘them’ - although to be fair,
that’s an easy sell for National at the present time given
that Labour is no longer a coherent political force.
election less than seven weeks away, we need to better
understand who the ‘us’ and ‘them’ actually are, since
under MMP - as the country has found out to our cost – the
main parties are not averse to entering into all sorts of
unlikely arrangements with disparate parties in an attempt to
cobble together a government.
for New Zealand is that in the past, these coalition parties
are often not united in the interests of the common good, but
only in the interest of pursuing their own niche agenda - be
it the racial agenda of the Maori Party or the socialist
agenda of the Greens.
over-riding belief in doing what is good for the country does
not appear be a priority for governing parties in MMP politics
– at least in the way that it has been practiced to date.
points to a failure of political leadership, where coalition
support parties are allowed to impose radical and unpopular
policies - which are supported by only the smallest minority
of voters – onto the whole country with the blessing of the
main governing party. This is not responsible government at
all. The Maori Party’s policy to privatise the foreshore and
seabed, and the Green Party’s ban on smacking, are both
examples of law changes imposed by minor coalition partners
that have had a huge and detrimental impact on the whole
serve to remind us how vulnerable the public are under MMP and
how desperately some safeguards are needed, so we can protect
ourselves from the radical demands of minority coalition
partners - when main parties are irresponsible enough to allow
extreme coalition proposals to become law.
Citizens Initiated Referenda binding to give voters the power
to veto such radical law changes would provide a much needed
safeguard. Should MMP win the November referendum,
establishing such a safeguard should be a major proposal to be
put forward in the planned review.
week’s Guest Commentator is Owen McShane the director of the
Centre for Resource Management Studies and regular contributor
to our Breaking Views blog. Owen provides a backgrounder on
Green environmentalism to remind us that the Green Movement is
not as harmless as many people think, but has a dangerous and
extremely radical side:
“As election year moves into full gear our MMP system means
the voters will want to know how post-election coalitions
might emerge and just who might end up in Government. The
Green Party has managed to present itself as representing a
group of kindly folk who want to keep New Zealand clean and
green, but are essentially harmless – and many of them are.
However, we need to be aware that the Dark Side of the Green
movement is becoming more vocal in its declaration that we
must move beyond democracy if we are to save the planet from
concludes his article with a warning that should resonate with
the public, “So any party contemplating the Green Party as a
coalition partner should press hard to establish the party’s
attitudes to the principles of liberal democracy and the role
of science in modern society.” You can read Owen’s article
“Beware the Dark Greens”, which reminds us that the Green
Movement had its origins in Nazi Germany here
to our rugby analogy, imagine the chaos if the All Blacks team
was made up of a disparate coalition of independent players
who had nothing in common except a desire to be the
playmakers. Would there be any chance of them winning the
game? No, not a hope in hell – not even against Namibia!
If that All
Blacks team was made up of a coalition of the Greens, the Mana
Party, and the Maori Party, there would be no hope of unity.
Hone Harawira, John Minto, and Sue Bradford would not want to
play ball. The Greens would make sure that no-one wins –
winning is not PC nor environmentally sustainable! The Maori
Party would only want Maori to win.
As a society we don’t want radicals who are relentlessly
driven by self interest or are anti-establishment anywhere
near the levers of government power. In this respect – in
the worst of all scenarios - having a radical in a reserved
Parliamentary seat bringing through other radicals who want to
destroy rather than build, is yet another issue that needs to
be addressed in the MMP review.
Zealanders need to recognise the need for unity in government
and an agreed economic plan. We need an open debate not only
about economic management, but also about the damage that is
being done by the imposition of racial privilege – which has
now escalated into a naked grab for public resources.
needs to be drawn. Yes, we need to respect the Maori culture
– it is a well-developed brand that is being successfully
sold to tourists as they hit the arrival gates. But that is
quite different from saying that Maori own the beaches or that
they need to be paid resource consent fees – which are again
based on greed. Or from having the Treaty of Waitangi and the
Maori seats entrenched in a new constitution to deliver
preferential treatment to Maori for ever more.
More than anything this on-going constitutional review and the
stacked review team reminds us that when a ruling party allows
radical ideas to gain ascendancy and become law, then it is no
longer acting in a responsible manner. It reaffirms that the
political agendas in Wellington are far removed from the aims
and ideals of everyday New Zealanders. Such occurrences serve
to widen the growing gulf between the political elites and the
public, as more and more people turn off politics and turn on
the tellie to watch the rugby, disillusioned that Parliament
is no longer working in the best interest of citizens, but is
working in the interests of politicians.
is that the key to New Zealand’s fortunes is a sensible plan
for the future so that this country becomes a better place
tomorrow than it is today. What we’ve had over recent years
is not good enough. The public would get behind a good plan,
if our politicians had the courage to suggest one - and the
charisma to advocate for its support. The onus is on our
political leaders to deliver.
are obviously many facets to this, the most important is being
able to make a decent living. That’s the prime reason why so
many good people are leaving New Zealand – because they can
do better living overseas. This exodus needs to be reversed
and the public need to be encouraged to understand that
contrary to what Labour, the Greens, the Mana Party and other
advocates of the left say, policies that make the rich poorer
do not make the poor richer – all
they do is make the state stronger!
week’s poll asks: Do you believe
Parliament is working for you? Click here for poll >>>
Skip to top Skip
to this weeks poll
Send to friend
comments will be posted on the NZCPR Forum page click
to view >>>
Skip to top Skip
to this weeks poll
to a friend: