So Winston's going to sit on the fence about the coalition question, and trust that no-one notices the scars on his backside. Fortunately, the more he evades, the more irrelevant he becomes. The thing is, if he had principles he would be fine. How so? Let me explain by pointing out how I would see a Libertarianz caucus of six behaving in parliament. It would be unlike that of any other party, and something only a party of principle could manage.
First of all, we would declare that we would support every single measure of any party--every one--that advanced freedom by any degree, just AS LONG AS IT INVOLVED NO NEW COERCION. None. At all.
Simple. And who could be against that? This would offer certainty--absolute cast-iron assurance--to any politician themselves eager to take the state's foot off our throat, but too timid to go the whole way. And at the same time it would focus attention from politicians, media and commentators alike on what 'freedom' and 'coercion' actually look like.
Have a look yourself at those two links above defining 'freedom' and 'coercion'--if our support were needed, those definitions would become very well aired indeed, and once aired the question of why ANYONE would support any coercion would become a real one. Why would they? (More on this including more links here.)
Our support would not be bought by promises of paper tigers like a 'Freedom Commission' or a '2025 Office' whose recommendations would be ignored, but only by real, concrete gains in freedom and the inexorable, ratchet-like removal of state coercion.
This principled policy would over time bring about principled change.
Second, our caucus of six would not waste our time throwing mud in Parliament's chamber, asleep in Select Committees, or engaged in endless meetings in Bowen House and Bellamy's bar, none of which have done or can do any freedom movements any good at all.
We might open a shop-front MPs office on Lambton Quay, but of Bellamy's and Bowen House there'd be little seen.
We libertarians realise that if we are to effect any long-term change in New Zealand in the direction of freedom that cultural change is the real key to that change, and that being in parliament would simply offer another, higher-profile platform to help us effect that cultural change: A bully pulpit for the sort of revolution John Adams realised was the real revolution in the battle for America's independence, the one inside people's heads. “What do we mean by the Revolution?" asked Adams of Thomas Jefferson many years later. "The war? That was no part of the Revolution. It was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775.”
The revolution our own country needs is the one inside people's heads, a revolution in which understanding of and a demand for liberty set brush fires in people's minds.
How then would we use parliament to set the brush ablaze?
By this means: What motivates libertarians across the country is the injustice and iniquity we see across the country. A property owner whose life's dream is taken away by bureaucrats and busybodies; a business owner ruined by Inland Revenue or red tape; a bar owner shut down for allowing people to smoke on his property; young people giving up and heading to Australia because of the suffocating nannyism that has taken wing in this formerly blessed country; a farmer whose farm is confiscated for having a hidden marijuana crop on it.
A caucus of libertarians would fan out across the country and put these people up on the steps of parliament and in front of the country's media and the faces of television viewers and say "LOOK!" "Look what your laws and regulations and bossiness and busybodying has done to this person. THIS is what your vote achieved: this person's ruin!"
We wouldn't root out hidden scandals about what Cabinet Ministers did in a school room many years in the past, or about how fast a PM was driving, or about what the PM said to a journalist about a policeman... we'd highlight instead the scandals that are right out there in the open when these politicians go to work: the laws they pass, the coercion they empower, and the good people they are doing over. We'd highlight these iniquities, and we'd make sure everyone in the country knows that THEIR VOTE helped in the ruin of these people--YOUR vote--and we'd explain carefully and simply how the philosophy of libertarianism and the ideas of Jefferson, Rand, Mises, Locke (John), Blackstone et al would make such ruin by government a thing of history.
All libertarian political activism is primarily about cultural change, not political change--as John Adams recognised, that is the real revolution.
Are you up for it?