Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Death by ideology

People are dying because of a failed ideology, says MacDoctor - "an attitude that places ideology above patient care," and support for the failed public hospital system above any genuine concern with the die-while-you-wait figures that are the result. 

Libertarianz oppose the die-while-you-wait system. "Healthcare is far too important to be left in government hands," declared Libertarianz Health Spokesman and Masterton GP Richard McGrath yesterday as he reiterated the principles behind, and details of, his party's health policies.

The principles upon which all Libertarianz policy is founded are:

  • Economic and personal freedom
  • Individual responsibility
  • Tolerance of other people's life choices
  • Protection of people's equal rights by the government
The core tenets of Libertarianz health policy are:
  • Distributing shares in state-owned health facilities to the communities that use them
  • Tax relief – making the first $50k of earnings tax-free for 5 years, with no income tax thereafter - so that New Zealanders can purchase health insurance or make other arrangements for the costs of their health care
  • Establishment of medical savings accounts, with gradual phasing out of automatic funding over 5 years
  • Allowing private competitors to ACC and other state monopolies in the health bureaucracy to establish themselves in the marketplace, thus putting downward pressure on prices
  • Abolition of statutory bodies such as the Medical Council, to be replaced by consumer groups more in-tune with the concerns of health service consumers
  • Phased removal of subsidies from health care, in order to establish a level playing field for providers of alternative therapies

Sounds good to me. It's enough to make me vote Libertarianz.


  1. That is all very well and good, and I've enjoyed reading your blog for over a year.

    But if you actually do vote Libertarian on Saturday, you are merely making a hollow gesture that will have no influence whatsoever on the outcome of the NZ General election. A small matter of thresholds.

    I'm sure you are smart enough to work this out.

    When you take your idealistic hat off, and put your pragmatic one on, can we count on you and your colleagues casting votes that actually count? Even if it means supporting a party that in your eyes is grossly imperfect?

  2. Davidinnz

    Since when has voting for a party that closely aligns with your views and values been a hollow gesture??

    The hollow gesture you speak of is to vote for the same failed policies and politicians of the past in the hope they'll throw you a bone...the blind faith to believe John Key is the answer to NZ's problems, or that he will deliver anything other than a paler version of the socialism of the past 9 years?

    And if he doesn't, what will you do in 2011?

  3. Since when has voting for a party that closely aligns with your views and values been a hollow gesture??
    When that party attracts less than 5% of the party vote and wins no electorate seats.

    I am questioning the advocacy on this blog for voting for Libertarianz (who are in that category).

    I am not advocating voting for National, though in the absence of Act, I would.

    Yes, Act is imperfect. No, Act does not measure up to the libertarian standards espoused on this blog. But at least voting for them will not be a "hollow gesture" -- it will have some effect on the outcome of the election, and the composition of the next govt.

  4. davidinnz

    Voting ACT is a complete and utter waste of a vote, just as it was last time, just as it was the time before that- it's a proved waste, ineffectual. They have had many opportunities already- years and years of wasted chances.

    When will you self-proclaimed range of the moment pragmatists take off your blindfolds, sober up and start to deal with reality? Projecting your dreams and hopes and wishes onto ACT or John Key or Winston Peters etc is delusional. They don't know who you are. You are unimportant to them, as are your values, hopes, dreams, plans, life and career. All they seek is the power. they've had plenty of opportunity already. They do not deserve any more.

    Stop with the blind faith and get real already!


  5. Voting ACT is a complete and utter waste of a vote

    And your superior course of action on election day is what?

    It is one thing to denigrate a proposed course of action, purely via invective and completely devoid of rational argument. That achieves nothing.

    I challenge you to suggest something better, based on the facts and the alternatives we have before us.

  6. davidinnz once again proves that the so called "pragmatics" are in fact nothing of the sort.

    Voting for evil results in evil. Expecting a different result this time is simply insane.

  7. I used to think that Libertarians were highly logical. Now I'm beginning to wonder.

    This Saturday we have an opportunity (the only real one we get, every 3 years) to have an influence on the governance of our country.

    You have denigrated my intention to vote for Act.

    I am still waiting for to hear what your superior course of action on election day is going to be?

    1. Abstain? or
    2. Vote for a party that will NOT make the threshold?
    3. Vote for a party that WILL - even if it is not perfect?

  8. David,

    Your logic breaks down here:

    You assume that changing the govt is good.

    Libz see no difference to evil being perpertuted under labour vs the evil that will be contnued under national (Key has already ruled out any real change).

    You first assumption is false and thereby transfers its falisitivity to your conclusion.

  9. David,

    You make some incorrect assumptions:

    1. That you have to be in parliament to make an impact

    2. That ACT or National actually believe in individual freedom

    3. That Libertarianz shares the same political philosophy as ACT or National

    5. That I would vote for ACT or National if the Libertarian option did not exist

    6. That freedom is divisible and that I am willing to compromise on the principle of my freedoms

    7. That I consider the gesture of voting for freedom (that which many people have fought to protect) to be a hollow gesture and a waste of time

    8. That National and ACT will drive a philosophical change in the mindsets of New Zealanders that will lead to New Zealanders embracing individual freedom and capitalism.

    9. That the principle of freedom is not as powerful as the ideas of compromise and pragmatism.

    10. That voting for anything other than Libertarianz (if you share the same values) will do no harm to the promotion and advancement of these values.


  10. Well done -- I'm happy to see some reasoning now. Good.

    Sean, you see no difference at all between Labour and National. While I agree that they are very similar (too much for my liking), I still see shades of grey. For example, I don't think that National would've bought NZ Rail, or blocked the sale of Auckland Airport shares. Small differences, I admit.

    I regard John Key as smart (slightly more than Helen), with experience in the world of business (unlike Helen), higher standards of ethics (evidenced by their different attitudes towards Winston), and a higher regard to encouraging the generation of wealth. No, I don't like all the dead rats he swallowed, especially his "compromise" over the anti-smacking bill.

    Julian, you make some interesting points. My first observation is a sense of concern about the numeracy skills of Libertarianz. What happened to point #4? (Sorry, just a good-natured dig there.)

    1. What impact have you made so far? (But for the retrospective legislation, I'll grant you that the Darnton v Clark case would've been significant.)

    2. Yes, I'm assuming that Act believes in individual freedom. At least, I'm assuming that they will protect it more than Labour ever would (quite the opposite).

    3. No, I'm not assuming that "Libertarianz shares the same political philosophy as ACT or National". But I am assuming that Libertarianz and Act are on the same side of the political spectrum (analogous to, if you were an Alliance supporter, you'd be unwise to party vote Alliance, as it would be wasted, and instead you'd give your vote to the Greens as a pragmatic alternative to represent you).

    From your other assumptions about my assumptions I assume... no, this is a silly way to debate. Better to state what you do or do not believe. Or ask questions. I don't have time to try to change people's minds, if they are already made up.

    I see Labour+Greens+Maori as being worse (bigger State, more control, less freedom) than National+Act. Thus, in my eyes, National+Act would be a more desirable govt -- of the two alternatives.

    Would you rather live in a country led by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford, while cherishing your dreams of a Libertarian utopia? When they impose State control of all blogs and other media, won't that make your goal even more remote?

    What is the plan for achieving a Libertarian state?

  11. That is very amusing.

    David asks for some logic (a fair enough request). Sean and Julian generously respond with logical analysis (which consists of checking assumptions and premises). David decides "no, this is a silly way to debate".

    I will let the readers decide which side is in favour of reason, logic and the practical and which side is in favour of wishfull thinking and the status quo.

  12. Hi David .. I often upset people on blogs, and I suspect I might do so again, today. Never was a scaredy. ;)

    I'm libertarian to the bone & obviously share the views already presented. No need to rehash.

    But I know exactly what you mean. Lots of people with whom I've spoken have expressed similar concerns. They acknowledge our views & even accept them, but their *first* goal - their primary goal - is to limit the bleeding & get rid of the hard left. They believe the only way to do that is go with the Nats or ACT, in spite of their deficiencies.

    I know that you know the fall-out in that thinking. But I said myself three years ago on this very blog that I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'd be happier, (not ecstatic, just happier!) waking up on Sunday morning with Don Brash in charge. I thought, and still do, that Brash was the best thing to happen to the Nats for ages.

    Do I think the same of John Key? No, but I'd be delighted to stand corrected in time. Labour & the Greens scare me big-time, though. They did from the very day they were elected in '99.

    However, I look at things a bit differently. Spkg personally, I think it would great for the *Libz* if the govt changes. I think we do best with a centre-right(ish) govt in power in order to really show what our philosophy is about, and how it differs. It's our chance to highlight the socialism of the National & ACT parties.

    If the Nats & ACT have done their job, enough people will vote for them because they want to - and then *we* go to work. But I'm not prepared to compromise my vote for voting for a party I don't fully support.

    That's really what it comes down to.


  13. Error: s/be ... not prepare to compromise my vote by voting ...


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