Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What would Party X do about the environment?

- Rolling back the state with environmental judo (Intro)

Starting this morning, I'm serialising my 'Free Radical' article on 'Environmental Judo' - seven environmental policies that a genuine opposition party could adopt if they were serious about rolling back the state. This morning, the introduction:

Wouldn’t it be good if there were a real opposition party, one that really represented genuine opposition? Thinking of John Key’s National Party in that manner stretches the imagination a bit too far, but how about a “Party X” that did genuinely fit that bill. Ayn Rand offers the prescription for such a party:
Party X would oppose statism and would advocate free enterprise. But it would know that one cannot win anybody’s support by repeating that slogan until it turns into a stale, hypocritical platitude—while simultaneously accepting and endorsing every step in the growth of government controls.

Party X would know that opposition does not consist of declaring to the voters: “The Administration plans to tighten the leash around your throats until you choke—but we’re lovers of freedom and we’re opposed to it, so we’ll tighten it only a couple of inches.”

Party X would not act as Exhibit A for its enemies, when they charge that it is passive, stagnant, “me-tooing” and has no solutions for the country’s problems. It would offer the voters concrete solutions and specific proposals, based on the principles of free enterprise. The opportunities to do so are countless, and Party X would not miss them.
As New Zealand opposition parties are slowly recognising, a local Party X would need to recognise the MMP environment – but that’s no reason to withdraw from a commitment to removing the leash from around our throats. Quite the opposite in fact, as it offers opportunities to use other party’s strengths in the same way that a judo master recognises opportunity in the strength of his adversary: a way to use his opponent’s strength against them.

Let’s suppose you wished to formulate concrete solutions and specific proposals to deregulate the environment along the principles of free enterprise — an area which I’m sure readers will agree is one of increasing urgency. You wish to ensure that the leash is loosened without introducing any further tightening; to achieve specific and concrete gains in freedom, with no new elements of coercion.

I can suggest at least seven specific proposals that will fit the bill. For instance . . .

[Tune in tomorrow for policy proposal number one: Eco Untaxes.]

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