Monday, 19 September 2005

Red v Blue: What's the difference?

A Labour minority Government, with support from minor parties on an issue-by-issue basis, is what we've had for the last three years, and it's looking increasingly likely that a Labour minority Government working on a similar basis could be pulled together, but would likely be more hamstrung.

A hamstrung Government is good. It means that existing legislation doing us over won't be repealed, but at least it makes more difficult the imposition of new legislation that does us over.

In any case, an analysis of real policy differences between Red Team and Blue Team is instructive. Substantive policy differences between National and Labour come down to differences over tax, and over racial legislation. On all other issues you can hardly pass a sheet of blue policy paper between the parties. A minority National Government would find it near-impossible to pass its flagship One Law for All policy and probably even its tax cuts as promised, and the chances of Maori Party MPs supporting a minority Government wanting to abolish the Maori seats is about the same as Keith Locke's naked run bringing an offer from Steve Crow to star in Vixen Production's next porn flick.

So in that sense, a minority government of either hue would look much the same. And both would be hamstrung, at least for a while. That may be the best outcome we could have hoped for.

1 comment:

  1. Untrue about red and blue being similar on all other policies.

    The Nat's immigration policy certainly lost it votes amongst immigrant communities, who hate it. That may not matter to you, but it certainly matters to many New Zealanders.

    Labour's energy policy isn't great, but National doesn't really have one ("we'll dig and find oil" - that's not a policy it's a wish!).

    Labour's transport policy includes a focuson alternatives to cars. The Nats do not.

    The Nats education policies for primary schools was an invitation to disaster. Another poorly-regulated fake market in education - it's going so badly in the tertiary sector, let's do it for primary too! I like free markets, but "fake" markets (like voucher schemes) take a _lot_ of careful thought and oversight to set them up right - the Nats showed no evidence of having done the work.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.