I was impressed that Andrew Little tweeted a supportive response to Mandy Hager’s open letter to Labour Leader Andrew Little. I fully agree with Ms Hager that the Labour leader must show passion and fire.
I just watched President Barack Obama sing Amazing Grace in a church as part of a eulogy. It’s a rare and thrilling thing to express political emotion perfectly, and in a perfect political moment.
Late into his Presidency, in this last week, Obama has seen many of his great ambitions finally realized. They have impact far beyond Washington: the changes he has set in motion in health, trade, discrimination, defence, and race relations will continue for many, many years to come. Not saying I agree with everything, but he’s peaking perfectly with America.
So what frustrated me about the direction of the open letter was not its plea for political passion, but its focus on what the state’s powers can do for us, and where the state’s powers should be limited.
I want an alternative government to reach for something greater than that. But it’s not for me to define it.
I would like to see James Shaw, Winston Peters, and Andrew Little give us a glimpse of their future not only of the state, but of New Zealand’s whole economy. A peek at the promise of 2017’s alternative government.
I was intrigued two elections ago that the Green Party called for “a wealthier New Zealand”. They sought to broaden the concept of wealth. Good challenge.
I understand the current government’s plan to improve our “wealth”, in their terms. They will facilitate hard and soft networks, they will cut deals, and they will keep the financial and regulatory framework as stable as possible. So far, New Zealanders voted for this in overwhelming percentages.
What is the ambition of Andrew Little, James Shaw, and Winston Peters, for a vision of a wealthier New Zealand beyond the concerns of the public service and Parliament?
Can they articulate that, and give us the faith that – like President Obama – it might take several years to kick in, but it really will kick in, and it will be astounding.