Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A challenge for National Party supporters: What are the top ten ways in which your party promotes freedom and rolls back the state?

As authoritarian as the present government and their coalition colleagues are, is there any assurance that the main alternative on offer would be any better? The truism is that governments aren't elected -- it's their opponents who are thrown out.

So it's a fair question to ask: if and when this lot do get thrown out, how much better will the other lot be?

If talk was action, we'd seem to be a whole lot better off. At last month's National Party conference, for example, John Key told his troops, "we believe in the principles of the National Party. We believe in individual freedom and individual responsibility. We believe the government should underpin our society but not dominate it." Sounds good, doesn't it. And blogger and National Party cheerleader Insolent Prick insisted here at Not PC the other day that "National believes in reducing the size of the state, and encouraging private enterprise."

Now, I'm naturally pleased to hear noises like these, and to hear at least one National supporter with his heart on his suit's sleeve affirming what are supposed to be his party's principles.

I'm pleased, but (given the appallingly statist performance last time the Nats were near the levers of power) I really wonder if a word of it is really true?

At the time he made that statement, I invited Insolent Prick and and any other National Party supporters reading that thread if they could list for me the top ten most substantive ways in which National proposes to reduce the size of the state, and encourage private enterprise.

I got no response.

Assuming he overlooked the challenge, I figured I'd issue it more openly, right here on the front page. Specifically,
what are the top ten most substantive ways in which National proposes to . In what ten ways does the party whose principles promote greater freedom and increased personal responsibility actually plan to roll back the state, and to actually promote greater freedom and reduced coercion?
Feel free to post and let me know, since I'm sure there are readers here as curious as I am to hear what those top ten policy planks are -- or even if there are ten.

And here's a second related challenge:
just how many of the Clark Government's scurrilous attacks on freedom have they clearly and openly pledged to overturn?
I suspect the answers to both challenges will be published on a very small postcard, but please feel free to correct me. I promise to publish all substantive and provably correct answers here on the front page as they appear.

[NB: If any other party supporters wish to promote their own party's policies as judged by the same criteria, then please do feel free. I assume we can take it as read that Libertarianz is one party at least that fits the bill.]

UPDATE: David Farrar offers his contribution to the challenge (about which I'll make no comment at this stage). First, the Nats' top ten planks to reduce the size of the state, and encourage private enterprise:
  1. Lower Taxes
  2. Allow state house tenants to buy their state house
  3. Partial privatisations of some SOEs
  4. Enable private/public partnerships for new roads
  5. Greater subsidies for private schools, allowing more poorer families to attend
  6. Tax Deductions for childcare so parents can choose public or private without discrimination
  7. Use private hospital capacity more in health sector
  8. Move government assistance from universal to targeted in some areas
  9. Reinstate private management of prisons
  10. Allow private sector competition for accident insurance
And the list of scurrilous attacks on freedom brought into law by the Clark Government that the Nats have pledged to overturn:
  1. Repeal the Electoral Finance Act!

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17 Comments:

Blogger David Farrar said...

1 Lower Taxes
2 Allow state house tenants to buy their state house
3 Partial privatisations of some SOEs
4 Enable private/public partnerships for new roads
5 Greater subsidies for private schools, allowing more poorer families to attend
6 Tax Deductions for childcare so parents can choose public or private without discrimination
7) Use private hospital capacity more in health sector
8) Move government assistance from universal to targeted in some areas
9)Reinstates private management of prisons
10) Allow private scetor competition for accident insurance
10) Repeals the Electoral Finance Act!

9/05/2007 01:52:00 pm  
Blogger Duncan Bayne said...

DPF,

I should have guessed we'd see you here :-) I do have a few questions about some of your items:

"1 Lower Taxes"

This leads to the obvious question: where, then, are you pledging to reduce spending?

"5 Greater subsidies for private schools, allowing more poorer families to attend"

You're saying that you'll give more taxpayer money to 'private' schools ... in order to roll back the state? I don't quite understand how this works to reduce the size & scope of Government.

Surely if that was your aim, you'd cut education funding, reduce the red tape surrounding the creation of new schools, liberalize home-schooling (it's currently a bureaucratic nightmare to home-school your children) and scrap the NCEA?

"10) Allow private scetor competition for accident insurance"

That's good - but why not go the whole hog & scrap ACC altogether?

9/05/2007 03:17:00 pm  
Blogger Matt B said...

I would put DPF's 11 at 1. The advantage the EFB gives to incumbency occurs only when the incumbent spends money promoting its policies, which raises the returns to the incumbent to having policies to promote. There is no political benefit in using the benefits of the EFB to promote spending and regulation which is not occurring - all the benefits of the EFB accrue to a government that spends more and exerts greater control.

9/05/2007 03:25:00 pm  
Blogger Matt B said...

Further comments on DPF's list:

2. National has promised to use the proceeds to build more state homes (which is surely in defiance of National's principles), so point 2 does nothing to roll back the state.

5. Strictly, this is expansion of government, but it will lower the barrier to competition between public and private schools. That barrier which exists because state owned schools are (approx.) fully funded. National's policy is sort of a voucher system by proxy, and it ultimately increases competitive pressure on state schools. It would help if National would promise to get rid of school zoning, an absolutely outrageous policy built on the assumption that taking away parent choice and raising demand for bad schools will somehow lead to improvement. Let bad schools die and good schools expand.

8. This is dubious - targeted assistance suffers moral hazard problems.

Agree with all others.

9/05/2007 03:34:00 pm  
Blogger Matt B said...

Duncan

This leads to the obvious question: where, then, are you pledging to reduce spending?

Its not an obvious question. The government is running a large surplus.

You may have missed the point of the posts here.

9/05/2007 04:54:00 pm  
Blogger Duncan Bayne said...

Matt,

Surely National doesn't see "rolling back the state" as simply a matter of reducing the budget surplus???

W.r.t. point 5, it doesn't increase competition, it simply makes all schools de-facto state schools. To claim that point 5 is "rolling back the state" is doublespeak worthy of Clark herself.

9/05/2007 05:29:00 pm  
Blogger Shout Above The Noise said...

PC said - "just how many of the Clark Government's scurrilous attacks on freedom have they [the Nats] clearly and openly pledged to overturn"

I have to admit you've got a point there...

PC, what do you Libs think of ACT, just for my own personal interest ?

9/05/2007 06:09:00 pm  
Blogger Elijah Lineberry said...

I am not a National Party supporter..indeed, have never bothered voting on any Election Day.

I desperately want a change of government but it should be pointed out that at no time, ever, under a National Government has spending or the tax take fallen.

I would like to STRONGLY protest at any attempt to provide subsidies which allow poor people to attend Private Schools! gosh!

The reason we have Private Schools is so children of normal people do not associate with poor people! ...(wake up, will you, David?)

9/05/2007 08:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/05/2007 08:15:00 pm  
Anonymous mikeby said...

Anonymous (Ruth) : As for you Lineberry, since you have insulted my friend I have asked about - and no bastard has heard of you - RBNZ, Seccom, and NZ's top dealers.

Ruth, what the fuck is this unprovoked attack on Mr. Lineberry? Are you a dealer Ruth? It sounds like you are. To become a dealer, you only need to have attended secondary school upto 3rd form level, and that's it. How was your hot dinner with John Key Ruth? Did you discuss dealing money?

9/05/2007 08:29:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Quick score of the DPF list:
1. Fine but let's not be ashamed of it.
2. Only a plus if you stop building new ones, otherwise you're at best not increasing the state as fast.
3. Astound me with the bravery, not even full privatisation of those that WERE private until Labour got in - Air NZ, TrackCo for example. However, it is a step forward.
4. Fail. Already enabled, and hardly rolling back the state when the state pays private companies to build and maintain a road paid for by road taxes. Unless you want to do US style wholesale leasing off highways for 99 years, then you're talking!
5. Like others have said, this increases the state. You could suggest vouchers, but the balls to argue those left with the sacrifice of Ruth Richardson, which of course saw nary a peep from the Nat rank and file.
6. *cough bullshit* Why subsidise breeding? Planning to abolish state funded childcare? no, thought not.
7. Ok, give you this one, timid though it may be.
8. Come on, get some testicles, call it REDUCE government assistance. You get this one too.
9. Another small one, prisons, wow, big ambitions.
10. Wonderful stuff, presumably not just employment based, but motor vehicle and other non-employment.
11. Goes without saying, though frankly rolling it back is not simply backpedalling from Labour making things worse.

Score? Well giving a half score to any that are an advance that isn't tiny (and a full point to tax cuts, the health and ACC ones) means 5.5 out of 10. You dont get the Electoral Finance Act as it isn't law yet, and prisons and roads examples are too tiny to be significant.

I wonder where abolishing tariffs, the bureaucracies Labour set up (e.g. Families Commission) and abolishing Vote Bribes for Families have gone?

9/05/2007 08:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel free to email me if you want more detail mikey or whoever capitalist@paradise.net.nz

This arrogant, classless oaf (a dealer himself, so he says)smears Bryan Gaynor and others in the finance industry to bolster his own ego. I don't want to hijack anthing and I probably shouldn't have posted it here. Carry on.

9/05/2007 08:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elijah said: "The reason we have Private Schools is so children of normal people do not associate with poor people! "

This is absolutely not the reason private schools exist. This may be a reason why you or someone else may send their children to a private school. (Not a good reason in my view however that is your prerogative). Private schools exist for many justifiable and valuable reasons. Providing a quality education being the most important reason.

Julian Darby

9/05/2007 09:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Julian said...
Providing a quality education being the most important reason.

Quality? Umm, state schools are as good as private schools. What differentiate schools are the learning attitudes of students who enrolled in those schools. Under performing students who are enrolled in a top private school would still under perform in a top state school no matter what level of help that are being directed at them.

9/06/2007 05:02:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

This is a challenge the National Party will fail. They are not going to reduce the size of government. Never have. Never will.

When has a parasite ever reduced its parasitism on the host?

What the National Party will do is tell lots of furfies. Anyone who votes for the National socialists is a fool or worse, a believer.



LGM

9/06/2007 06:53:00 am  
Anonymous JC said...

Complaints about National not offering enough surely miss the point. It's a left leaning electorate being pulled further left by a feral left govt. Something of the same is happening in most of the genuine democracies, including America.

National has to get into power, and IMO simply stop the worst excesses of leftism, and that means an acommodation with the realities of the electorate.

Sticking to high principle and pissing and moaning because a Nat opposition isn't taking a serious right turn means a continuation of eventual ruin under Labour.

We are back where we were in the 50s to 70s.. understanding that National has to pull just a bit right against a left slated table and simply holding a line until circumstances and the electorate get the table back to at least level.

That's the reality.

JC

JC

9/06/2007 09:09:00 am  
Anonymous lgm said...

PC

Not the same PC who hosts this site, are you?

---

Either one has principles or one does not. National do not.

The historical record is that it is the Labour Party that sets the direction of the politics of New Zealand. National merely conserves what is already there (that is, what has been set in place by Labour) and tends to continue the drift towards whichever of Labour's socialist ideals happen to be in vogue at the time.

National will do NOTHING to halt the growth of government and WILL always work to eliminate the freedoms that they do not agree with. In other words, National will tend to eliminate freedoms. They are a portion of the illness, not a preventative or cure.

For New Zealand (in its present form) the future is an inevitable impoverishment, a death of a thousand cuts if you will. The faster it occurs, the sooner people will either learn better or get to experience what they truely deserve.

"Democracy is when the people get what they want, good and hard." -Mencken


LGM

9/06/2007 10:40:00 am  

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