The party I will vote for ….

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, December 13th, 2013 - 157 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class war, cost of living, democratic participation, economy, education, employment, greens, infrastructure, local government, poverty, quality of life, sustainability, workers' rights - Tags:

… will be one that has effective policies to make a more equal society, will seriously address the concerns of those least well-off, and not just pander to the narrow concerns of people on, or who aspire to, (comfortable) middle incomes.

This means policies to

* increase the amount of state houses

* ensure affordable rents for those who need or want them

*ensure secure and safe housing for all

* ensure jobs are available for all who need/want them

* re-construct worker friendly and fair employment laws and policies

* rework social security so that it ensures true social security for all New Zealanders

* ensure those most at risk of living in poverty have the concerns taken seriously and relevant policies to ensure they are fully included in our community and social provisions: those at most being Maori, Pacific people, and low income women, especially those with young children.

* ensure that services provided by WINZ and ACC work for New Zealanders, and end the punitive and restrictive approach to responding to the needs of New Zealanders that have been honed by Key’s government

* acknowledge the positive contribution to society and its economy of unpaid work: such as child rearing, care of the elderly, the sick, and those with disabilities, participation in various local and community organisations

* ensure all Kiwis have sufficient income to live on, and to participate in society and local communities

* make a quality education available to all (early childhood, schools, job training, university courses, adult education) throughout their lives

* ensure that all our young people have access to quality education, work, and housing, as a basis for their future lives

* ensure independent and democratic local authorities that serve all of their communities

* ensure democratic governance at a national level

* re-construct public service broadcasting, integrated with online ondemand media and news services

* ensure democratic processes, and the protection of the rights of individuals and organisations in relation to state surveillance services

* ensure that NZ sovereignty is not over-ridden by international trade agreements – meaning that the content of the TPP needs to be made public

* end the selling of state assets  and begin to work to return the powercos to the state

These are some of the most crucial in terms of influencing my party vote, with the ones in red bold having the highest priority.  Other provisions support these priorities and ensure they are achievable.  Economic and financial policies should follow from these highest priorities and ensure they are achievable.

So far, my party vote is still with the Greens, as they come closest to meeting my list of priorities:

on housing;

* on policies to ensure everyone has “decent work, a living wage and [is] treated with respect

* on advocacy for those on lowest incomes, families with children in poverty: Kevin Hague’s recent post, “Reducing child poverty is the best investment

* on advocacy for education: Catherine Delahunty post, “Ideas from Green education forum

 Presenting the Values and Policies

The arguments for a more fair, inclusive and equitable society are already out there.  They are in the book, The Spirit Level (Part Six), as reviewed by Bunji in a series of posts on The Standard in 2010. (Part One; Part Two, Part Three; Part Four; Part Five).

The arguments were addressed in E W Thomas’s Bruce Jesson lecture this year: “Reducing inequality: a strategy for a cause“.

The issue of the inequality gap was presented in a graphic and easily understood an Inside New Zealand documentary on TV3 earlier this year, Bryan Bruce’s “Mind the Gap”.

http://youtu.be/__2EdGFdgTA

These are the kinds of policies and arguments that need to be highlighted and promoted in order for New Zealand to be a livable and secure place for the future of everyone.

Mind the gap zombie economics

And we need a slogan/phrase that can be used and re-used, in order to hang a whole raft of values and policies on.  Any ideas?

157 comments on “The party I will vote for …. ”

  1. Fisiani 1

    Make New Zealand as Great as North Korea

    • Paul 1.1

      Thought you might think of a more original slogan/ insult.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        All indications are that Fisiani can’t think. He certainly has never come up with anything new – just repeats National’s slogans.

    • Rightwing cliches – no original thought required.

      • Isn’t it interesting that, on the one hand, RWNJ’s demonise the unemployted for being “lazy dole bludgers” – but on the other hand, if someone suggests that we “ensure jobs are available for all who need/want them”, then that is North Korean communism?!

        Nothing better epitomises the contradictions of the right wing mind than trying to reconcile issues like these…

  2. shorts 2

    not a big fan of slogans or phrases – but can see the merit for a population that generally isn’t engaged with politics – tbh national has the best slogan… they just refuse to honour it, or amend it to reflect their interests only benefit a very select few

    With ya on the Greens as my party of choice – Labour is my preferred party of choice due to their history and ‘traditional values’ but still haven’t convinced me they won’t leave me regretting giving it to them

    I want to live in a country where we all get given a fair chance of a fulfilling life… that sin’t solely based around consumerism or being a wage slave – a proper better future for all

  3. Bill 3

    Y’know, if we had democracy, all those matters – bar the strengthening of central or remote bureaucratic governance structures, would have been dealt with as a matter of course. Can’t exactly call for democracy though, can we? Not when so many people think that the systems of governance we presently have constitute democracy.

    (sigh) So no good slogans or phrases from this quarter…

    edit. How do you message an end to De-Mock-Crazy or some such? I dunno.

    edit 2. Missed your reply before doing edit 1.

    • karol 3.1

      So maybe we need a phrase that means democracy, but that has wide resonance with the majority of Kiwis?

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Thing with that is that most have been used over the past 100 years or so…socialism (severely tainted and misconstrued)….communism (likewise)…anarchy (same).

        Then there are the secondary impacts of democracy that land themselves to slogans…power (to the people!???). That ones so trashed that people hurt themselves when they fall over laughing.

        And off the top of my head, I’m thinking that anything pertaining to an individual person has been hi-jacked and twisted to refer to bollocks selfishness.

        I think the term ‘democracy’ has to be reclaimed and invested with appropriate meaning. But hey….

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          The neocons/”neoliberals”, 1980s+ have done a very good job of hijacking the language of left wing discourse, in order to imprint their own values, as you indicate. It permeates mainstream political and news discourse as well as popular culture generally.

          How to reclaim the language and discourse of the left, with truly left wing values?

          We have all the research evidence and arguments to support a more democratic society. The problem is how to communicate it to the MSM and the general population.

          • Tat Loo (CV) 3.1.1.1.1

            You focus on concrete issues with moral values that people can understand and participate in. You don’t try and communicate detailed policy facts and figures.

            • Arfamo 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Simple graphs – clear images – these are better than too many facts & figures for reaching the wider voting public. But you need those facts and figures in the background to back you up for the inevitable challenges and counter-images.

              • McFlock

                exactly – it’s a tiered system, imo.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes that idea works. Left wing principles and values at the top of the pyramid, increasing detail going down.

                  • McFlock

                    No, because principles are broader than a chart of a specific policy that affects an individual voter.

                    It’s no good on the hustings taking 15 minutes to get to the point that you’re going to cut the taxes of the workers you’re talking to.

                    The principles are why. Where we fall down is that it’s easier to yell “show me the money” than keep an audience engaged while describing a 5-level system of progressive taxation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You mean like this?

                The correct link for the one in that comment is actually here.

            • karol 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes, but the concrete issues and values need to be able to be backed up with detailed policy, facts, figures etc. Otherwise we end up with empty slogans like “A brighter future”.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’d have to disagree. I’ll begin a bit off the point though: “A Brighter Future” with almost no published policy totally smashed all the detailed policy work Labour had ready in 2011. One reason was because National understood the mood and temperament of the nation better than Labour did.

                So to be clear, concrete issues and concrete values do NOT need to be backed up with detailed policy facts and figures EXCEPT to have them around for the policy wonk types (and journalists) who get thrills from that stuff. But literally 90%-95% of people don’t care.

                Edward Bernays and his relation Sigmund Freud figured this almost out a century ago. However the intellectualised academic policy wonkish Left still doesn’t appear to understand that this is why it is owned at every turn by the Right Wing. The Left even often ends up using the Right’s value frameworks and languaging, it’s so damn persuasive and appealing. It’s quite pathetic to watch, actually.

                So to follow on – let’s use some concrete examples to illustrate. *See what I did there*

                The people who marched against the Tour in 1981. Concrete issue, concrete values, concrete action. How many of the marchers knew the ratio of Blacks to Whites in SA? Knew the history and interplay between the English, Dutch and local tribes? Knew how many political prisoners and deaths had occurred because of Apartheid? Knew the proportion of GDP totally reliant on exploited Black labour? Knew how the system of apartheid had evolved and strengthened over time?

                Doesn’t matter one bit, does it? Racism is wrong, apartheid is wrong, a security state which attacks it’s own people is wrong (values); there is a sports tour of NZ which is happening (concrete issue); STOP THE TOUR!!! (concrete action).

                It’s really fucking simple and NZ has seen it work over and over. Let’s go again.

                NZ nuclear weapons ban: Nuclear weapons and nuclear war are VERY BAD (values), there is a US warship visiting NZ (concrete issue), SAIL OUT THERE AND BLOCK THE FUCKER (concrete action).

                Is this rocket science? Did people need to know the facts and figures behind the warship coming to NZ and estimates of how likely it was to be actually carrying nuclear weapons? NO. It’s IRRELEVANT.

                FFS what has happened to the Left in this country, is it living inside its frickin head these days, because it has no real world muscles left to flex.

                • Arfamo

                  Yup. Keep it simple. Keep it clear. Keep it in the public mind. Constantly. But figure out what it is first. Blip’s list comes to mind. Lots of detail. But what’s the clear & simple message?

                • karol

                  CV, you do a disservice to protesters on those campaigns.

                  I was in the UK at the time of both. however, at the time, many people participating at the forefront of left wing campaigns there (anti Thatcher’s policies on education, mining, employment, welfare, etc) were very familiar with relevant facts and data. They spent a lot of time researching and discussing them.

                  There was less of the distracting element of a society saturated with multi-media back then.

                  • Arfamo

                    How effective were they in getting rid of Thatcher?

                    • karol

                      Good point. They weren’t. But they did succeed in mobilising pretty widespread support. Thatcher’s mob compromised the media, ensuring the messages didn’t become dominant in the MSM.

                      The whole “Anti-nazi league” campaign did get a lot of support, Greenham Common women became well known in their campaigns against US nuclear bases in Britain.

                      The miners strike got constant media attention and a lot of grass roots support.

                    • McFlock

                      The miners strike got constant media attention and a lot of grass roots support.

                      but somewhere along the line they lost the labour party.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      How effective were they in getting rid of Thatcher?

                      Sometimes you resist just because *fuck the other side getting it all their way.*

                  • Colonial Viper

                    many people participating at the forefront of left wing campaigns there

                    Yes I think it is important for the leaders and organisers “at the forefront” of campaigns to have a good grasp of the facts and figures. But that’s a very small minority of people. It’s the values, the symbolism and the concrete action which has made the left wing effective and brought about the masses in the past. Not the facts, figures and policy detail.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      CV, while I agree with your basic point, it is important that the small minority that knows at least some of the technical stuff grows. Otherwise we become hostages to populism and a reliance on philosopher princes and princesses. At least to some extent, this approach is what allowed Douglas to steal the workers’ party. I remember protesting at the time, mainly about GST, and being able to explain to people why it was the worst type of regressive taxation and an attack on the poorer strata of society. This was a case where the right can make a bullshit argument on the basis of fairness and percentages, and the more of us that know a bit of this stuff, the better. The same thing applies to global warming and many other issues today. The right will lie and we need to be able to deflect and uncover their lies. We need people to be able to do this in the pubs, at the markets, at sports clubs, in fact in all places where workers spend time. We can’t rely on overturning their arguments just on blogs.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      and what is the down-side of “philosopher princes and princesses”? Anne Salmond and Michael King come to mind.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi M.O.

                      Agree with your points as well. However I also think that the psychology research is quite clear: even (especially?) intelligent well educated, highly numerate people heavily filter the facts and figures they attend to through the prism of their own values, allegiances and biases.

                  • ghostrider888

                    Reminiscing ; abandon nostalgia other than for entertainment and propaganda.

                • McFlock

                  I think you belittle many of the tour protestors, CV.
                  Many of them knew at least the basics of apartheid, knew the words “Sharpeville” and “Biko”, knew that blacks were the majority in SA (even if they didn’t know the exact percentages) and more importantly had access to people and resources that would go into greater detail if they needed it.

                  I think today we’ve lost that continuum of knowledge, if not depth. But we’re working to get it back.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Many of them knew at least the basics of apartheid, knew the words “Sharpeville” and “Biko”, knew that blacks were the majority in SA (even if they didn’t know the exact percentages) and more importantly had access to people and resources that would go into greater detail

                    I agree with everything you said here. For the activists and organisers it’s crucial to know more and be able to tell more. But for 90% to 95% of the public the values and the symbols are far more important than the facts and figures. “Sharpeville” became a symbol, as did the martyrdom of Biko.

                    • McFlock

                      But they had to know why Biko and Sharpeville were symbols. And they had to be confident that when confronted by the apartheid supporter who called the Biko story a lie or exagerrated, they could know why that guy was full of shit. They had to know some background, and know where to get more info. Otherwise the symbol becomes disconnected from the cause.

                      I really think you’re selling the majority of protestors short. And I think your assumption is why the anti-apartheid campaign had more of an effect and connection with people than “the left” has today. Pro or con, almost everyone had to take a position. They couldn’t pretend it didn’t exist.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Bob Marley loved and resonated with much of the New Zealand he met; (New, now there is a word to leverage, again; well, what else is there? sitting around 34-35% (hope that is close). CV employed “New Labour” around the time of the Curran (Labours IT/C 😀 spokesperson) nonesense.. ‘Cause there certainly aint no New National 😀

                • weka

                  Tat, your analogy with the Tour and the NZ Peace Movement fails, because both those things DID have concrete details backing the protests. As has been discussed, how much people protesting knew the details varied, but the details and analysis were definitely there.

                  The reason it’s not irrelevant is because (a) the people that do know inform how the protest gets developed, and (b) the media will take things much more seriously if there is substance to it. The general public will too.

                  I don’t want to get into why National got away with the Brighter Future thing (that’s a very complex thing), but I do know that Labour get given shit when they produce vacuous slogans and don’t back that up with anything. People want substance. Sure there are lots of people who don’t care about being presented the detail, but there are also lots who do, including people who are influential.

                  Presentation of policy needs to be varied to meet the varied needs of voters. As a Green voter, I’m still appalled by the fact that for a long time I could go to the Labour Party website and not find out policy detail. It’s definitely better now, but still makes me less trustful of Labour and just feels like more of the same neoliberal ethos that Labour knows best and isn’t that transparent with its voters. I’m not suggesting that improving the website will grab the 800,000 voter’s attention. I’m saying it’s a symptom of something that still isn’t quite working right. Why should people trust them to run teh country?

                • ghostrider888

                  was reflecting on those progressions carried out by New Zealand yesterday (Good thread if I don’t find my way back out).

          • Tim 3.1.1.1.2

            …. not JUST the language of LEFT wing discourse karol. They’ve hijacked language generally.
            They steal words and phrases and bastardise them to push an agenda, and/or completely turn them on their head.
            For me it became evident in the 80’s during all that period of ISO 9000 tik-a-box mentality where you could become compliant on paper, and rewarded on that basis, but in reality, completely useless and not fit for purpose.
            They use anything and any idea, process or practice that theoretically has merit, but they corrupt and redefine it to associate it with their specific agendas.

            Kaizen (as in continuous improvement) was one such piece of buzz.

            ….Gawd don’t get me started! …. it’s an endless list of buzz and bullshit – but the latest attempt at neo-liberal mutation is “learnings”.
            Sad to say I heard Cunliffe use it once and it damn near made me put my stake in the ground (there and then) NOT to vote for the bugger! If EVER I hear it again coming from His lips – that’ll be it.

            Reclaiming the language/discourse of the left is high, high, high on the agenda – but it’s not just of the left. It’s reclaiming the language full stop – preventing it from being corrupted in a way that normalises the neo-liberal. It’s the Mathew Hooten/Crosby-Textor raison d’etre.
            All of which means that the reclamation of PS broadcasting/telecasting (a democratic, modern-day Public Sphere) is probably one thing that’s high on the list.

            (Btw – that reclamation can actually be easily achieved without complication or the pissing around that I fear is likely to occur. Not only can it easily be achieved, but it can be done in a way that utterly munts things like Sky monopolies and all those other cosy little deals and nudge nudge wink winks that have been going on within a reasonably short length of time.)

            I LIKE YOUR LIST ….

            I’d add to it though by ensuring that the Public Service is
            DEfcknCORPORATISED!, and returned to a Public (a Citizenry, a collective) S E R V I C E! – NOT a ‘corporate King/master of the Universe service, or a Minister of Parliament’s ‘Service’, or a bizzniss leader ‘service. A Public S E R V I C E representing citizenry and those that actually vote (or don’t, as the case may be).

            EVERYTHING that was promised during that 80’s Public Service reform programme …
            – such as de-politicisation
            – such as fishinsy n fectivniss
            – such as greater accountibility and transparency
            – such as productivity improvements and reduction in bureaucracy
            – etc
            has not come to pass and in fact is actually worse.

            Christ Almighty! – Purchase Agrements for predefined ‘deliverables” FFS!!!! that even extend into areas such as our Healthcare ‘industries’.

            These days, our Public Service/Administrative wing is effectively a series of
            little fiefdoms headed by really really REALLY overpaid (and often incompetent) CEO’s and senior management.
            Rank and file public servants run things in spite of their so-called ‘leadership’, rather than because of them …. struggling under a culture of box-ticking, under-resourcing, cost-reduction at the coal face whilst the seniors and CEO continue to wallow in the trough, being blamed for any failures on the one hand whilst any successes are down to the CEO (or seniors).

            Geez – just take a look at MoBIE for a start! WHAT a bugger’s muddle of an administrative contraption – I mean to say – it’s come to pass that issues of Health and Safety are considered more in ‘economic development’ terms than they are as a social (or societal) issue! MoBIE FFS – perhaps the perfect example of a bullshit castle.

            Then there’s Internal Affairs FFS (currently in the news)! …..
            – redundant permanents replaced by mismanaged contractors – forever growing in number who think nothing of swanning in sometime after 9am, taking banker’s lunches and then slipping away early to avoid the rush;
            – ever increasing number of meetings attended by an ever increasing number of contractors that have no outcomes
            – working on poorly defined projects that are effectively attempting to re-invent the wheel
            – project mismanagement
            – etc!

            I mean …. the ONLY reason that bugger’s muddle has been allowed to tok up its $7m plus
            budget is probably because it’s got an ass-licking ideologue of a Munsta at its helm

            By the way, Does LABOUR have any policies to remedy any of the above? So far – I think not. If I thought it’s do any good – I’d take out a loan to provide a fact-finding musshib to som. ewhere lije Japan, or Iceland, or Norway

            In short tho’ karol – ADD decorporatisation of the PS to your list – and in so doing we might see the ‘servants’ with a livable income whilst the ticket clippers neutered.

            • karol 3.1.1.1.2.1

              I pondered making public service broadcasting a priority. I agree with you on its importance. At the time of posting I decided the other things should have higher priority, but with PSB as a necessary enabling service – to get rid of all the Orwellian hijacking of language and return more honesty and transparent meaning to public discourse.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.2

        Sometimes a tagline makes sense but only in a time and place…
        “Peace, Bread, Land”
        (Soviets charting new territory, down with monarchy and bourgeoisie, up the workers and peasants, a century later history gives its own comment on the outcome in the demonstrably unsuitable first location for a class revolution.)

        “Give Ireland back to the Irish”
        (a class analysis would say which Irish? the bosses as well, when the meaning was clearly hands off Brits and the Irish themselves will sort out the rest, so a nationalist call)

        “Make things happen”
        (Labour led by Norm Kirk 1969 campaign, involving further planned state development)

        “Time for a change”
        (Norm Kirk 1972 campaign.)
        It was literally time for a change just as now is, as several of Karol’s comprehensive pieces and supporting links illustrate. But slogans are now almost in Ron Burgundy territory–ShonKey’s “show us the money”, and the old US–“wheres the beef?”

        Several posters above want “their” country back and therein lies the problem for all cross class parties like it or not. “A fair go for all” is not possible in a capitalist regime. “A fairer go for many” may be possible with a Green/Labour/Mana government. Mana really is the only hard out left parliamentary grouping as a hybrid of Māori Nationalism and marxist left. So then the reality of MMP accommodations come into play with only one Mana MP.

        The three current positive components of an MMP left grouping could say in very general complementary terms (nb I am not a slogan writer) :
        Vote Labour: For union rights, state housing, full social security, fair trade, repeal reserve bank act
        Vote Green: For our neighborhoods and planet, a sustainable Aotearoa, organic future
        Vote Mana: Take back your rights… protect our whenua, no child left behind, universal free healthcare, community development, independent foreign policy

        So no one slogan to rule them all.

      • Flip 3.1.3

        I’ll have a go at a slogan. What about

        ‘You are the government’

        A bit challenging and reminds people of democracy and their responsibility.

      • AmaKiwi 3.1.4

        “Binding referendums,” the ONLY real democracy.

  4. Fair Observer 4

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

    • Bill 4.1

      Does that involve empowering citizens at the same time? Or you just want to throw them to the tender mercies of ‘the market’ as so many ‘rational optimising economic units’ to be chewed up and spat out?

      • Paul 4.1.1

        He won’t answer. He made the classic right wing glib cliche to distract real debate.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Well, the question was kind of rhetorical…I think I can guess his position. Shame if there is no response though. As a person fairly entrenched in a left wing perspective, I don’t particularly savour ‘big government’ or (to put it another way) remote bureaucratic forms of governance either.

          So, on that point, we are on the same page. And the cross-over of left and right isn’t unusual – just give a moment’s thought to Wikileaks and Snowden…the motivation of Assange and Snowdon are similar but their politics worlds apart.

          The glitch with the perspective of many self labelled ‘right wing libertarians’ is that they believe the economy to be a neutral environment. If it was, then I’d be in total agreement with them vis-a-vis diminishing and removing state or bureaucratic structures of governance. But it’s not. To make it neutral would require democratising it. And I’m curious – are ‘right wing libertarians’ consciously anti-democratic? Or do they position themselves where they do because they honestly fail to recognise the anti-democratic and vicious nature of the market economy?

          Maybe they are all basically misanthropic. But then again, maybe they just haven’t thought things through thoroughly enough. And if that’s the case, then there’s more worth to discussion with them than there is with the statists from the ‘old left’…the Stalinists, Leninists et al.

          • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.1.1

            I don’t buy your labelling of the ‘old left’ or the right being more worthy of discussion with.

            One should try and engage with most people, how to handle differences is one of the most important skills of a politically active person. “Work with and struggle against” as an old saying goes.

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh – you don’t have to ‘buy it’. Truth is, I spent years and wasted a lot of time and energy on discussions and dialogue with authoritarian leftists. Their thoughts are invariably locked down (Ye olde ‘party line’) and they exhibit a flexibility of mind and level of intelligence I’d usually associate with religious cultists. (ie, they have not a lot of either) I’m over them. Everything they touch turns to shit and I simply can’t be fucking bothered with them any more.

              • Rogue Trooper

                the master is a servant ; Game Theory, the ‘predators’ succeed in the short term yet unsustainable…oh wait, we could find that out from a historical book 😀

          • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.1.2

            😀 , hmmm

    • karol 4.2

      Please explain how that would decrease the inequality gap and ensure a more democratic and inclusive society? in short, how would it ensure that those with most wealth and power don’t rule in their own interests, and undermine the well being of those with least power and wealth?

      • Rogue Trooper 4.2.1

        ‘explaining is losing’; consider the media environment; The Clash and their marketers knew, slogans and lettrism ; no magic being utilized by ‘the dark side’, just imitation, ’cause they are unable to create sustainable sh*t for themselves; oh no, that wouldn’t do.

    • Arfamo 4.3

      You’ll be voting for the Civilian Party then, by the sound of things.

    • framu 4.4

      what if you reduce govt so much that it allows other powerful entities to interfere with the lives of citizens?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      In a democracy everybody is part of the government thus making it smaller is going from a democracy to oligarchy. Oligarchies are oppressive so what you’re actually saying there is that you want an oppressive, authoritarian government which will most likely be the rich and powerful.

    • Murray Olsen 4.6

      I agree. Make the government smaller by getting rid of Brownlee and Bennett, then Collins and Dunne. There’s a whole alphabet to work through. We have nothing to lose but our feelings of nausea.

    • greywarbler 4.7

      Labour the Party that can turn NZ around.
      Labour the Party that will give you an honoured place in a working society that works for you.

      • AmaKiwi 4.7.1

        I don’t crave “an honoured place in a working society.” I crave a society that works.

        Wouldn’t it be more efficient if we ended the 6 or 9 year swings to one extreme followed by the next 6 or 9 years undoing it and swinging to the opposite extreme?

        Do you really trust politicians (Left and Right) to prioritize anything above bribing their supporters so they can get re-elected?

        What is so frightening about binding referendums?

        • greywarbler 4.7.1.1

          Well it seems to me that people are not respected in the present society and by the present government. And honouring people would mean that government did not act to just throw away jobs in exchange for ‘Market rules Okay’ graffito from economic Talibans. What is wanted and needed too is an economy that provides jobs, that works in a way that people’s work benefits them and that benefit circulates work as they buy things they need from other NZs, and that money circulates between the people, sustaining all. Then you get the jobs that we crave.

          But no the present economy is just for the few in the particular sector that has been chosen to be the winner. And that the NACTs do this is so surprising, in that they have said that planned economies, and picking winners and directing the state to get behind such businesses, is a communist plot. Yet here the NACTs are doing this full-on.

          They are bloody hypocrites and unseeing, unthinking liars, mendacious in the extreme. As you can pick when you hear O’Reiilies and Townsends and Round Table or their proxies. Such as Right Wing Thinkers imported from the best Right Wing Think Tanks overseas where they grow such people in a special bath of nutritive brain-enhancing serum that makes them immune from the reason of thinking of the needs of ordinary people.

  5. Papa Tuanuku 5

    Yep lets turn the dynamic around. we create a check list of what we require, and the parties have to earn our vote.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      The parties write the rules. The parties decide, NOT the people. Which is why that referendum was non-binding.

      • red blooded 5.1.1

        Binding referenda assume that the people voting have all the relevant information, have had a chance to process and discuss it in a respectful forum, have knowledge of linked issues and foresight to predict all possible consequences… We elect governments and pay a professional public service so that we don’t HAVE to have a binding referendum every time there’s a difficult decision to be made. I’m bloody glad that the “bring back the right to smack children” referendum wasn’t binding, for example. The levels of disinformation and mass hysteria that accompanied that (atrociously worded) referendum make me very glad that we do not govern ourselves through binding referenda.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          What you are indicating is a need for more community discourse and better media/information channels.

          Not for devolving more responsibility and authority to Wellington.

  6. Craig Y 6

    Those zombies look too downmarket. Surely if they’re supposed to be neoliberals, they should be dressed in slightly distressed corporate threads?

  7. Natwest 7

    C’mon Karol – what a waste of energy typing your wish list; why not just say I want to vote for a Communist Party!

    Live in a Nanny State – with welfare from craddle to grave.

    Where is individual personal responsibility/ownership on your list, or the term, “if its to be, its up to me”?

    • Paul 7.1

      Further glib slogans from the right. No thought or brain thereby engaged. Diversion intended.
      If only NZ was a nanny state, 29 miners would still be with their families.
      Those neoliberal ****** ripped away the rules that would have protected them.
      Glad to see you don’t care about them NW.

    • bad12 7.2

      Natwest, Where is ‘individual personal responsibility indeed’, were you not watching the TV for the 60 odd seconds of explosive dust blown out of a little place called the Pike River Mine, individual personal responsibility is simply another stick the ‘haves’ use to attempt to beat upon the ‘have not’s,

      When the number of Employment Positions in our Economy match precisely the number of those Able to work, then and only then will i entertain a failed notion of ‘personal responsibility’,

      the abridged version of the above is as usual: Fuck off Noddy…

    • Tat Loo (CV) 7.3

      Hey Natwest what level of “personal responsibility” has the Pike River board and Whitall shown? Yeah, that’s right I already figured you were full of shit.

      • Matthew 7.3.1

        I think you will find many on the right of the political spectrum are in favour of corporate manslaughter legislation

      • TightyRighty 7.3.2

        What level of personal responsibility do you take for drinking champagne by your father in laws pool in remuera while kids go starving at christmas?

    • karol 7.4

      Natwest, I’m all for responsibility…. to our community and society. The righties have a very narrow version of individual responsibility – which means only being responsible for one’s own selfish requirements.

  8. McFlock 8

    “It takes a village to raise a nation”

  9. kenny 9

    Anyone looked at Social Credit’s policies lately? Most of this wish list is covered by them. Labour and Green’s? Phuust!

  10. Liz 10

    Better a Nanny State than a Bully State.

  11. Saarbo 11

    Absolutely superb Karol!!!

  12. Matthew 12

    So we are getting rid of undemocratic Maori Boards??

    If thats the case I’m starting to come around to the socialist thinking!

  13. Tim 13

    “The party I will vote for” …….
    sad sad sad really that you once could have RELIED on that party to have been Labout.
    Even it it’s darkest hours and days, you could be guaranteed of a better outcome than had you explored the limited alternatives under an FPP system.

    Personally, I’ve given Labour every opportunity to stick to its pronciples. I never left them – THEY left me.

    They are a real bugger’s fckn muddle atm! Mainly (probably) because of an ‘old guard’ that just cannot get over themselves – their egos, their senses of entitlement, their stroking of each other’s perceived ‘rights’ (which of course are utterly and completely self-constructed – that is of course, if they subscribe to any democratic sort of principles)

    The Party I will vote for …. is currently NOT Labour (after a lifetime) – and nor will it be 20-something first and second time voters realated to me.
    I considered a Lab/Breen split vote.
    Not even!
    Maybe 2017 ((maybe not)
    The party I will vote for will be a true opposition to the policies of the current junta.
    It’ll be a clear and unambiguous rejection and publicly-announced disdain for an ideology which has had a 30 year trial run and failed, and it’ll be one where it’s MP’s and others in positions of power have been purged (and left to join their offspring in Imperialist “land’s of the Free”, or Wainui pretenders, or Hataitai fag-hags who may have socially liberal values – but who have been captured by neo-lib economic buzz and fear of losing their existing levels of comfort as they near their retirement (all the while with disingenuous appreciation of others fearing their loss of comfort and standard of living).

    The party I will vote for – for the first time ever – will NOT be Labour – i.e. unless a Cunliffe manages to pull enough strokes to ensure the old guard is defunct. And, probably not even entitled to cosy little positions on Health related boards of governance, or Sporting bodies, or academia, or anywhere that simply allows them to keep clipping the ticket on the gravy train to Kiwi Hell.

    Another 3 years of this Natzi and Natzi-lite shite’s going to ensure my renouncing NZ citizenship.

    • Tim 13.1

      (btw lprent – I tried to edit the obvious spelling and grammaticals – but was met with a ‘Not Authorised; response.)

      By the way ….. David Cunliffe has a good line directed towards the Bennet-like assholes – it’s “pulling the ladder up”.

      He should be aware that those pulling the ladder up are not limited to the Natzis – but include the Mallard, Goff, King and Parker contingent

      • Paul 13.1.1

        Until Labour get rid of its ACT neoliberal doctrinaire clique, it will never have my vote or many others. Labour once sought to resist capitalism…no longer

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Labour, no hesitation. Many other well-meaning people will vote Green ‘party’; this time, I’m going Labour / Labour, as I am not of Maori descent.

    • Murray Olsen 14.1

      Nor am I of Maori descent, but Aotearoa is. That’s why at least one of my votes will go to Mana if I’m around.

      • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1

        unable to do that where I live from what I understand. however, all Mana to Hone (and whanau).

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Do you need to be on the Maori roll to vote Mana? I didn’t think so.

          I really like Mana’s policies. I have thought about giving them my vote. They are still a possibility for me. But I still have some concerns about the masculine dominance of the party.

          I like the Green’s democratic and non-macho style. The medium is as important as the message: the means as important as the policies.

          • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1.1.1

            I must clarify this; they have tended to campaign for the Maori seat here; it may be possible to give them a party vote.

            • Murray Olsen 14.1.1.1.1.1

              It is. You can party vote for Mana in any seat.

              As for masculine dominance – yeah, that worries me as well, but I do see signs that it’s changing. A lot of the younger Mana militants coming through are women, both Pakeha and Maori.

              • Rogue Trooper

                well, in that case, votes from me are sorted. Thanks (not sure how I became unclear about this, as in my less-informed days I have given a party vote to the Maori Party). sigh

  15. myrlock 15

    Power to the People.

  16. Chris 16

    The Party I would vote for would take back control of strategic assets i.e. energy, water, transport including rail, coastal shipping, airline, airports and roading.

    They must also ensure any Trade Agreements do not impinge on NZ sovereignty.

    They must not use any agency domestic or otherwise to spy on NZ citizens/ residents for or on behalf of foreign agencies without just cause and must have in place a judicial committee to approve any such surveillance.

    Reverse legislation that has reduced a persons right to legal representation of their choice and the right to being present at trial.

    Plus all of Karols wish list.

    • Paul 16.1

      The party I vote for should represent the interests of ordinary people, nor large multinational corporations.

  17. Ad 17

    My underlying focus would be to make a richer New Zealand (as per Green Party slogan 2008). Addressing inequality would be part of that, but only a part.

    Of course this means addressing housing with building more, continuing to deflate housing as an investment asset class. And I prefer Labour’s proposed programme to achieve that.

    But I would focus more on the following, because Karol’s approach focusses too much on trying to rebuild the country through the state.

    This means policies to:

    – Prefer policies that enable more companies paying higher salaries find New Zealand attractive
    eg Enable universities, Crown Research Institutes and companies to partner and form accelerated growth companies
    eg triple size of NZVIF
    eg Give tax breaks to companies that are domiciled here
    eg confirm Goff’s policy of greatly decreased land sales to foreigners

    – Support the environmentally-based branding of New Zealand
    eg triple the fines of waterway polluters
    eg form a single large national park the length of the South Island
    eg promote higher value tourism, globally

    – Support tax breaks for families and income earners, and a culture of saving
    eg don’t tax first $15,000 of income
    eg the Greens idea of a NZSuper fund default option

    I have no faith that the state really has the current capacity to address inequality in its current state and people can’t wait for the state to rebuild that capacity.

    People need incentives, higher salaries and incomes, ways to get off the bottom faster, and ways to retain more money here.

    • karol 17.1

      The master’s tools.

      • Ad 17.1.1

        Slave

        • karol 17.1.1.1

          You seem to be wanting to use capitalism rather than the state to dismantle capitalist capture of politics.

          “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Audre Lorde

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            “The state” has got us to where we are over the last 100 years. From colonialism, to unrestrained resource extraction and ecosystem destruction, to the plundering of the wealth of foreign nations and peoples, to the ignition of unnecessary and false wars.

            So what makes you believe that “the state” is now prepared to change around 180 degrees?

            “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Audre Lorde

            I know that this is obvious and I know that you know it as well: from Thatcher to Clinton to the Bush’s to Shipley and Key: “the state” has been the most powerful tool at “the master’s” disposal, and of course actually has been since antiquity.

            Given that context, tell me what you think Audre Lorde’s quote actually means.

            You seem to be wanting to use capitalism rather than the state to dismantle capitalist capture of politics.

            Have you thought that many politicians quite like the idea of big money in politics (and especially after politics)?

            Given that, how exactly do you propose that we convince them (force them) to “dismantle the capitalist capture of politics”?

            • karol 17.1.1.1.1.1

              The state is not the same as government and its politicians. It includes, we the people.

              Political/legal definition of “the state”

              As a noun, a people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other states. The section of territory occupied by one of the United States. The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a case, “The State v. A. B.” The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at a given time.

              Can we do away with an organised government as a part of the state? I doubt it.

              But we can strengthen the role of the people within the state: more pressure from below. ad is focusing a lot more on just a re-jigging of the system from above.

              • Rogue Trooper

                real political power seems to concentrate in the hands of the few.

                • karol

                  the power of the non-elites is always in the massive numbers of people.

                  The many working together can be more powerful than the most powerful few.

                  • Ad

                    But in the end it’s the few that make it happen.
                    Someone with a bank account writes the cheque.

                    You can’t crowd-fund the state. It’s too big, too complex, and too important to leave to uninformed opinion other than at the really high level every three years.

                • Flip

                  The key to democracy is that power is granted by the masses/people. Power is meant to serve the people.

                  When power becomes self-serving or used in the service of an elite few and people realise this, it is just a matter of time before the masquerade is exposed in a democracy and the traitor is removed. Secrecy is used to maintaining the mask as long as possible.

                  Power can be maintained by force, fear and apathy. Wealth is a tool used to maintain power.

                  Another slogan to add to the others ….

                  ‘Labour for a better quality of life.’

                  ‘Labour for the people’

                  ‘Labour for …’

                  • Colonial Viper

                    it is just a matter of time before the masquerade is exposed in a democracy and the traitor is removed

                    I don’t think it happens this way; further removing one individual is never effective when the “masquerade” is actually a whole machinery in of itself.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      =

                    • Flip

                      By machinery I’m supposing you are meaning the civil service? So how would you like to see the ‘machinery’ changed or modernised?

                      Because we operate a democratic representative government then those who betray those they represent will be removed and unmasked.

                      Here is a thought…
                      Perhaps a flaw lies in politicians representing geographical areas and not actually people groups……

                      The politicians we have represent a constituency. Perhaps the politicians we have are a reflection of our society. Eeeek that is a horrible thought in some cases.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      both of the concluding two thoughts definitely Warrant consideration.

              • Colonial Viper

                I noticed you side stepped the point that central government is a major tool of “the masters” by using a dictionary definition.

                The state is not the same as government and its politicians. It includes, we the people.

                Maybe it’s just me, but apart from public/civil servants and politicians, I know of no one who refers to themselves or considers themselves part of “the state.”

                And when people talk about “state control” or “state subsidies” or the need for “state action” they mean activity taken by politicians in Wellington, and not the pol sci sense of the Crown representing all of us.

                • karol

                  But the post is all about putting pressure on politicians via our vote. It’s all about people stating publicly what they want from left wing politicians.

                  • Ad

                    You made a very thoughtful post, with clear evaluative criteria.
                    I hope all who vote are as thoughtful, whether they agree with you or not.

              • Ad

                Well the last time what you proposed was actually put in place was the local government reforms, in which all local governments had to report on triple bottom lines, and had to consult on everything. The result is perversely opposite: terms like ‘sustainability’ and ‘consultation’ have been hollowed and degraded of meaning, major consultation exercises such as the Long Term Plan have almost to a year been ignored, and despite it all there’s a fast waning belief in democracy.

                Give people all the free will in the world, all the power, and after a week of happening and scones with their neighbors they will revert to selfishness and accumulation as a permanent state of affairs.

                I would love to think that in a natural state we would all revert to Thomas More’s Utopia. Human practise says otherwise.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Don’t buy into the false neolib theory of “utility maximising individuals.” Behaviour is far more complex than that.

                  Give people all the free will in the world, all the power, and after a week of happening and scones with their neighbors they will revert to selfishness and accumulation as a permanent state of affairs

                  For some perhaps. And that’s because western culture has been deliberately replaced with corporate consumerist culture, and so we are enabling more narcissistic sociopaths than ever.

                  But a lot of NZers still understand perfectly well “he who dies with the most toys, still dies.”

                  • Ad

                    I’ve seen moments of unity in New Zealand that were good, and many that were evil.
                    The previous referendum people were convinced in huge majority of the right to smack their children, and the one before that to utterly reject compulsory superannuation.
                    I ain’t doing futile marches any more. Unions are not in our lifetime going to get beyond 25% of the employed. Be real about the scope for change here.

                    • Arfamo

                      I had a visit yesterday evening from a successful capitalist friend. Had a printing business. Worked all hours in it and made heaps of dosh. Very comfortable. Had to retire recently aged 66 because of health problems so sold the business and did a couple of overseas trips, and now looking for things to do to occupy his time when not doing therapy for his health issues.

                      Mentioned his daughter, 20, had been working part-time on minimum wage at a cafe while she studied. Studies over, can’t get a job in her field. Wants to leave home and start an independent life. She tried to increase her hours at the cafe from 20 to 40 hrs pw. They wouldn’t let her. She thought about getting extra hours at another cafe. Owners told her she can’t – her contract forbids her working for any other employer in the same or similar industry.

                      He hates the Nats now.

                    • lprent []

                      That kind of restraint of trade clause is almost certainly illegal in a part time job.

                    • Arfamo

                      I’ll tell him that. If I recall correctly he said the contract also forbids her working for another cafe for four or it might even be six months after she ceases employment with them. I wonder how widespread this sort of contract is.

                      One of his trips was to Europe. He’s originally from the Netherlands. One of the things he noticed was that people in Europe still have a life to enjoy after work and on weekends, whereas he’s noticing fewer and fewer do here now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah totally unenforceable.

                      Like trying to tell a building labourer that he can’t work for any other construction firms in the city.

                      And the cafe owner would have to demonstrate why that particular employee was so special that their working for another similar employer would materially damage the business (would a whole lot of the cafe’s patrons shift their business to the new cafe to follow the employee for instance? Seems very unlikely).

                    • Arfamo

                      Still, what does she do? If she takes them to the ERA and is successful she’ll have to work for arseholes who’ll do their best to dismiss her for something. And will any other cafe owner employ her if she’s seen as “trouble”.

                      And if she leaves and tries to work for another cafe, what’ll happen when they ask her previous employer for a reference?

                      Still, her dad’s got the dough to fund her fight if he wants to I guess. I still wonder how many others have unlawful contracts like this.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      sshhh, frothing secrets.

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    better to throw the toys out of the cot and concentrate on the surroundings
                    (of to the hikoi now, that has arisen in response to the prevalence of young people taking their own lives ).

                • Rogue Trooper

                  Mike Williams is ‘campaign manager’ for the pro-Amalgamation lobby here in the bay; interesting aside.

                  • Ad

                    Auckland united has forced real change in central government. Some but not all of what it wanted is being achieved. Local government needs the strength to force the hand of the state into open partnership.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      a little secret: I support amalgamation, he he, however, not at the loss of participation (representation? wotteva!, that boat has sailed).

          • Rogue Trooper 17.1.1.1.2

            The intersection of Poetry and theory.

          • Ad 17.1.1.1.3

            A whole lot more fun than your attempt to paint the Cistene Chapel with a roller.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      My underlying focus would be to make a richer New Zealand (as per Green Party slogan 2008). Addressing inequality would be part of that, but only a part.

      Good ideas but getting off fossil fuels, readying for major and inevitable climate impacts, and preparing for the upcoming and massive GFC II must be the absolute top priorities for the nation.

      • Rogue Trooper 17.2.1

        all the richer for what we value.

      • Ad 17.2.2

        In terms of electricity production we are fine for fossil fuels.

        In terms of transport, well, you’d have to make an effort term by term, but it’s incredibly slow. Something like “All public sector fleets including public transport go fully electric” would be a good policy signal to the rest of us. Meanwhile, the market signal of price per barrel would be the fastest market signal by a country mile. And hopefully Scion and Z Energy go into mass production of ethanol from biofuels… but it’s such a long-view hope.

    • Chooky 17.3

      +100….Ad sounds good to me…..from the perches…my political Xmas list

      …..for me the New Zealand environment comes FIRST ( I am sick of anthropocentric politics…. maybe i am a jaded misanthropist… but in fact looking after the environment means all NZers are looked after….the environment is our greatest asset….and quality of life…eg we should all be able to swim in and enjoy our rivers and go freedom camping and fishing …especially the poorest of us….)

      1.) this means vote Green
      2) this means looking after our rivers, coasts,lakes , mountains, wetlands and National Parks ( and stopping the encroachments of the Capitalist dogs whose ‘God is money’ and want to get rich from exploitation and degradation of our natural environment)
      3) this means keeping the population as is…our environment cant take much more !…(nor can those NZers at the bottom of the heap stand increased competition for scarce resources)
      4) this means Tangata Whenua environmental values, ecofeminist values and ecospirituality values
      5) this means Stop ALL sales of NZ Land to non NZers…and make every effort to buy this land back
      6) this means Stop all sales of State Assets…. and where they have been sold …buy them back
      7) this means no more motorways ( they degrade the environment for everyone and the money is better spent elsewhere eg railway system and affordable public transport )
      8) this means a futuristic railway system and public transport system
      9) this means going the Scandinavian/Swiss way ….not the American way
      10) this means looking out for NZers quality of life before profit for the few exploiters
      11) this means a GREEN ECONOMY and GREEN ECONOMICS and GREEN SPIRITUALITY

  18. Chooky 18

    …Yes ( smirk) this Chook is a natural propagandist and pamphleteer….not too subtle … especially at this time of year.

    ….and YES us Chooks love their Greens! (…. pity Winnie is not a Green)

  19. Chooky 19

    @ Rogue Trooper….some distinctions required on the Winnies

    ‘Winnie the Pooh’ is a GREENIE !….he is very concerned about his HONEY POT and the health of BEES….and the irresponsible use of insecticides which kills bees, also biosecurity….so that makes ‘Winnie the Pooh’ a natural Greenie

    (….Piglet and Owl are also GREENIES as is Rabbit and EEYORE …. who have told me so…Christopher Robin also votes Green because of his friends and also because he is a good friend of Charles HRH)

    ‘Winnie the Winston Peters’….. of NZ First is not a Greenie ……But he does share some of Green concerns re population/immigration and sale of State Assets and sale of NZ land to foreigners

  20. Chooky 20

    Thanx RT….Tigger also enjoyed that!

    Tigger wants it known that he is also voting Green in solidarity with all the Tiggers around the world who are concerned about their jungles

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