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Pretty Relaxed, Except...

Entry 1677, on 2014-09-09 at 11:43:58 (Rating 4, Politics)

The general election in New Zealand isn't too far away and it seems that no matter what happens the current party in power, National, continues to be popular and that the main opposition party, Labour, just isn't getting any credibility.

I recently took a web-based survey on my opinions and it recommended I should vote Labour or Green, which I probably will, but I will probably be backing the losing side. However I am pretty relaxed about that because National, which is a center-right party, is a lot more moderate than in the past and if they win will probably be OK, even if not great.

However there is one potential problem: the only party on the right still supporting the tired, old extreme monetarist policies of the past. The policies which we know don't work and which have caused a lot of pain to most New Zealanders.

That party is Act and they have no hope of succeeding on their own and so have relied on a dirty deal with National to have any chance of success at the election, an incredibly ironic action considering how they espouse the principles of individual merit and fair competition. Apparently this applies to everyone except themselves!

So I would be pretty relaxed with National winning, even with the sleazy John Key in charge. But I would have big problems with any policies likely to come from a partnership with Act. Another irony on the situation is how National warn of a left-leaning coalition involving what they claim are nutty parties like the Greens, but at the same time thinking that their own possible coalition with the ultimate nutters is OK.

In fact the Greens are quite a moderate party now, and are far less left-leaning than Act is right-leaning. In many ways I think they have come too far to the center although that just seems to be a requirement for political success in recent years.

National have certainly succeeded because they have abandoned exactly the policies which Act support. And that's the danger. I think many in National really want to return to the more extreme policies of the 80s and 90s but that doesn't fit in with National's new moderate and reasonable image. But if they were "forced" into implementing some extreme policies by their partner they couldn't really be blamed, just like they hoped to avoid blame for the dirty tricks they had their blogging friends carry out on their behalf.

New Zealand is in a reasonably good economic position right now, but that really isn't much to do with the government. Only two things have saved us: good dairy prices and the Christchurch earthquake rebuild. Neither of these are the result of government policies and in fact as dairy prices fall and as the rebuild is gradually completed those benefits will be gone leaving us with nothing.

Statistics indicate that Labour has been at least as good at economic management as National so if Labour had governed for the last 8 years I think we might be better off and in a better position to recover from poor dairy prices. But if Act (or previous, more extreme, incarnations of National) had been in charge we would certainly be a lot worse off.

So yes, I'm fairly relaxed about either a National or Labour lead government. All I really want from this election is the final death of Act, a party only surviving because of cynical and manipulative deals done with National for years. They are the real nutters!

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