In late 2008 Helen Clark passed on the keys to her ninth floor Beehive office and the strings to Nanny State's apron to her successor, “smiling assassin” John Key.
Since then, the current Prime Minister has recycled most of Clark's collectivist policies, coating them with ever-thicker layers of blandness and a finishing coat of blancmange. His Labour counterparts and the mainstream media however would have us believe there has been radical change of direction, that the National Socialist Party represents the free market running rampant.
Like hell it does.
Over the past month, it is the Libertarianz Party who have taken the present administration to task for abandoning its stated values. It is the Libertarianz Party who has pointed out John Key is just Helen Clark in drag. It is the Libertarianz Party who have marketed policies the antithesis of John Key's big government agenda. It is the Libertarianz Party who have pointed out that “Brand Key” and its supporters are empty vessels. It is the Libertarianz Party who have identified that this government is doing to Christchurch what the earthquake did not, and to the economy what even Michael Cullen would not.
Unlike the representatives of every other party, our candidates have argued consistently for freedom in economics and in our private lives—that government must be kept out of the board room and out of the bedroom.
We have taken unorthodox stances on issues such as asset sales, share giveaways, carbon taxes, income taxes, minimum wage laws and welfare reform. Always, we have ensured that principle took precedence over pragmatism.
A few days remain until the polling booths open and the voters speak once again. Whether our party does well or remains mired below the margin of error is entirely up to you voters. There is little doubt however that even if libertarian MPS are not voted into parliament, libertarian ideas are slowly diffusing into the public consciousness.
When Frederic Bastiat is quoted in a NZ First MP's maiden speech (Bill Gudgeon, 2002) you realise that libertarian thought can emanate from the most unlikely of places.
When professional trougher Charles Chauvel calls fellow trougher Peter Dunne "Ayn Rand with hair," people ask each other who Ayn Rand was.
There is some satisfaction in knowing that even if the Libertarianz Party is not represented in the next parliament, our ideas are permeating into the national consciousness, one (usually) enlightened soul at a time.
Those of you reading this who are already Libertarianz members, thank you for supporting the party of freedom, responsibility and tolerance with your membership. In the week leading up to election day, make our name known to as many voters as you can, and make sure you turn up on Saturday yourself!
To those of you not yet in that enlightened band, I urge you to think carefully on Saturday who actually runs the country,* and then vote to get politicians off their backs and out of their pockets … and yours. To think about the defining characteristic of government, force, and consider whether any of the creatures on offer in your electorate deserve your mandate to wield it. To think about who really owns your life**, and then vote to give substance to that knowledge.
Because if all you vote for is more of the same—more spending, more debts, more nannying, from either Blue Team or Read—then you really do have no justification for complaining. Because it’s clear that you’re happy to give ownership of your life away.
And why would you want to do that?
Richard McGrath - Libertarianz Party leader
* Q: Who runs the country?
A: You do, of course. Each of you runs your part of it—or as much of it as you’re allowed to.
** Q: Who owns your life?
A: It depends …