Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« CHRC vs. Pankiw: Big Sister wins | Main | The Perfect* Stimulus Metaphor »

Monday, March 09, 2009

The New Zealand Prime Minister: the last true conservative leader

I have often referred to New Zealand as my plan B. When the revolution comes to Canada, it is to New Zealand that I plan to flee. After reading this Wall Street Journal article I might preempt the revolution and move there now.

As far as I know New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is the only national leader who is responding rationally to the economic crisis.

Mr. Key's program focuses first on personal income tax cuts, which -- given that the new top rate, as of April 1, will be 38% -- are still high, especially when compared to Hong Kong and Singapore. "We just think it's good tax policy to lower and flatten your tax curve," he says. "People will move in labor markets and they look at their after-tax incomes."

Cutting the corporate tax rate -- which is now 30% -- isn't as crucial just now as keeping liquidity flowing, Mr. Key argues. "A lot of [companies] won't pay tax if they don't make money," he reasons. "So they might be slightly less focused on corporate tax in the immediate future. Longer-term, they will be." Why? Corporate money is "mobile." "If you really are out of whack with the prevailing corporate tax rates, and there's been a global shift toward countries lowering their corporate tax rate, then you're not likely to attract capital, or you're likely to lose capital." Mr. Key and his coalition partner, the ACT Party -- Mr. Douglas's party -- want to eventually align personal, trust and company tax rates at 30%.

For now, the prime minister is focusing on chipping away entrenched regulations that drive away foreign capital -- a contrast to the U.S. and Australia, which are reregulating their markets in the wake of the financial crisis. "Good regulatory reform can be an important catalyst toward driving economic growth and coming out of the recession faster," Mr. Key says. His government is revising legislation meant to protect New Zealand's pristine environment from private-sector development but misused by greens to stymie all stripes of business plans.

Big government is also coming under the gun. Mr. Key launched a "line-by-line review" of every government department, and committed the government to cap new spending in its May budget. "If we want to fund new initiatives, we by definition have to stop [funding] some of the things we don't think were working. . . . We're just getting better value for money."

Obviously this man is nothing but an ideological nut...or maybe not.

Mr. Key's coalition government, which includes parties to the right and left of the Nationals, has moved fast to implement a program of tax cuts, regulatory reform and government retooling. He won't label it supply-side economics and smiles when I ask if he's a Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek acolyte. "I'm not deeply ideologically driven," he says. "I believe in good center right politics."

I can get behind this sort of 'center right' policy.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on March 9, 2009 | Permalink


New Zealand with it's small population and export driven economy is particularly vulnerable to global economic ups and downs. Key's seems to be trying to avert a major increase in unemployment, which is forecast to rise to near 12%. He should be congratulated for lowering taxes and deregulating. He is not however looking at changing New Zealand's tough immigration laws, which is a good thing. You won't be seeing Jamaicans in New Zealand anytime soon.

A note for Zebulon Punk. The New Zealand national rugby team are know as the "All Blacks". The name comes from the colour of their uniform. No blacks actually play or have played for them.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 11:43:58 AM

Stig, there actually has been black members of the "All Black" team.

Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-09 11:52:17 AM

It is not so much the size of the government that matters, but how good a job it does, how little money it does it with, and that it interfere to the minimum degree possible to preserve justice, security, and prosperity for as many of its people as possible.

Of course, interpretation of those three nouns varies broadly, by politician and voter alike, with a consequently disparate approach by different governments. New Zealand has torpedoed its economy before. I'd watch very closely for positive results before attempting to adapt any of its policies for Canada.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 11:58:37 AM

Stig, there actually has been black members of the "All Black" team.
Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-09 11:52:17 AM

Such as?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 12:45:26 PM

Joe Rockococo, just to name one.

Posted by: c | 2009-03-09 12:52:19 PM

Joe Rockococo, just to name one.
Posted by: c | 2009-03-09 12:52:19 PM

He's from Fiji.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 1:04:30 PM

Well, as long as he's not from Jamaica!!

(Are we seriously having this conversation?)

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-09 1:11:58 PM

(Are we seriously having this conversation?)
Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-09 1:11:58 PM

You going to shut down this thread too?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 1:18:07 PM

All sarcasm aside, Mr. Key is obviously looking to attract outside labour. That's - gasp! - immigrants. Something tells me he cares a lot more about whether or not they will contribute to the New Zealand economy than where they're from, which is good news for New Zealand.

The spending cap is also good news. With policy like that you can more easily cut wasteful social programs and remove incentives for people to go there for the social programs. Rather, they will go there for a better opportunity: to work.

When that's the policy your country is run on you can really loosen up immigration policy, which is great for labour markets, economic productivity and human prosperity. If this is the course he takes, we might really have to jump the gun on the revolution.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-09 1:30:03 PM

Stig: If it was my post and xenophobic comments were all that was left 200 comments in, I would shut down commenting. This is Hugh's post, though, so it's up to him.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-09 1:31:12 PM

A lot of John Key's policies are being influenced by the center-right ACT party(a coalition partner). The ACT Party considers itself libertarian on economic and most social issues(allows free votes) but to the right on crime and defense issues. The ACT party favors a flat tax. Key is following the ACT party line on privatizing prisons, cutting taxes, reducing spending, opposing cap and trade, and reforming the ACC(Accident Compensation Board which is being widely abused). Also, it was ACT that first called for 90 day trial periods for new employees. In addition, ACT is influencing crime policy. They just passed a law allowing life sentences with no possibility of parole(no parole after 25 years) Also, they have toughened laws on bail and youth crime. Key is from the centrist wing of the conservative National Party. It is ACT that is pushing him to adopt these policies.
New Zealand is a unique country. Gun ownership rates are considerably higher than in Canada. There is a lot less gun control. Also, prostitution is legal. There are a larger percentage of children in private and public schools(about 15%) than in Canada. Gay marriage is illegal but civil unions do exist. So, in some ways, New Zealand is more libertarian.
New Zealand is also more conservative in some ways. Abortion is considerably more restricted than in Canada. Abortion is allowed only for life, health, mental health, fetal defect, and rape. New Zealanders are not particularly religious(5-10% attend weekly mass). However, school prayer and religious classes are permitted in public schools. English and Maori are the country's official languages. Immigration restrictions are tight. There is fear among some(represented by parties like NZ First) that fear the growing Asian population. So, social conservatism has an influence in the country.
There are some troubling issues in New Zealand. First, the former Labor government passed legislation outlawing spanking in both home and the schools. This occurred despite the opposition of 83% of the country. Second, there are racial tensions between Maori and pakeha(white New Zealanders). The crime rate is considerably higher among Maori. So, is the birthrate. There are also land(current conflict over shorebeds ownership) and parlimentary seats that are set aside just for the Maori. Also, both groups have issues with Asians(high birthrates + dominate immigration numbers). Finally, the country has a ban on all ships with nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons(this was originally aimed at the U.S. navy) from entering their ports. The ACT party is trying to do away with this. If you want to learn more about New Zealand, you can listen to their main talk radio station(NewstalkZB) on the web. The site can be googled.

Posted by: Bill | 2009-03-09 2:37:32 PM

I worked with a couple of Kiwis over the years. They have very high expectations of their employers, and don't appreciate it when their employers expect productivity in return. They're a classic example of folks that grew up in a socialist environment. They don't do well in Canada.

That being said, I'd still like to spend time there. I've heard it's almost perfect, as far as weather is concerned.

In the early 80s, a lot of Albertans moved over there to work on their developing natural gas industry. They were liguifying gas for vehicles, I believe. It required a lot of expertise, and technology, that southern Alberta had developed.

Janet- Keep dreaming that uncontrolled immigration is a wonderful thing. By the time you wake up, you'll be just in time to kiss Canada goodbye.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 2:39:37 PM

BTW- The natural gas fields in New Zealand were all owned by the government, back then. I'm not sure if that's changed, or not.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 2:40:55 PM

" xeno " is activity in the hospitality relationship between a host and their guest or stranger--it is not concerning activity between two guests in the hosts house- or on their forum..
so the host locking their stranger guests out is the generator of all Xenofobic energies--

Xenophobia--fear of the stranger

our thanks Komisar, for saving us from ourselves.
Specially smooth was to do it arbitrarily in the wee hours of the morning- a dawn raid - classic jackboots
however- who really cares? we are free peop[e who can easily out manouver crabby fussy switch flippers.

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-09 2:44:33 PM

Janet, how is displacing domestic labour with imported labour good for any country? It's not that there are no Kiwis available to take these jobs. It's that there are few Kiwis willing to do them for the wages immigrants will work for.

That may be please a few corporate bean counters, but socially, it's a disaster in the making. You have unskilled and semiskilled people with who knows what political baggage working for lower wages who will then have to support the unemployed Kiwis whose jobs they have replaced. Then the newcomers will be resentful when public opinion turns against them and they can't get the really good jobs. They may even turn round and attack their own hosts, as Islamic youths are increasingly doing in Europe.

New Zealand has no duty of care to anyone's people but New Zealand's. And that's true of any country. Importing 200,000 people a year, as Canada does, to offset a low birth rate caused, among other things, by 100,000 abortions a year, is tantamount to giving your country away. That's not racism. That's math.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 2:58:12 PM

Shane- You can scream 'til you're blue in the face. Some people just won't get it.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 3:07:13 PM

C, Fijians are not negroid, but Polynesian. Their skin can be as dark as any African's (as can an Australoid's), but they, like their Australian Aborigine cousins, are not ethnically related to the African peoples.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 3:30:40 PM

P.S. That should be "Negroid." My mistake.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 3:30:53 PM

Funny how this thread degraded into a debate about race because of a team name.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-03-09 4:17:55 PM

I was about to say funny how this degraded into a series of semi-racist rants.

I am increasingly losing patients with some of the people that comment on this blog. The comments never seem to be about the topic that I post. In fact the topic always seems to be either about burning down Toronto or about how people who are different are scary.

If certain people don't stop spamming the comment section (and that is what you are doing) I am going to impliment a new policy. I will delete any comment that is outrageously off topic (ie the ethnic make up of a sports team)

Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-09 4:45:50 PM

Put me on your list-

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-09 4:52:32 PM

...what's wrong with Toronto?

Whoops, I mean New Zealand?

Posted by: tomax7 | 2009-03-09 5:00:46 PM

Looks like I'm out too.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 5:05:53 PM

Actually the name of the All Blacks team does not stem from their uniform at all!! It comes from a time several decades ago where a journalist (in the UK I think) wrote a head line about the visiting All Blacks Team which was supposed to read "A Team of All Backs" referring to the style of game they played. However an error was made and the headline became "All Blacks" instead of "All Backs". The name stuck and the uniform goes with it....
As a small business owner in Auckland, NZ (the largest city) I am currently with-holding judgement on John Keys efforts. Only the policy of a 90 day employment trial has any effect on me or my business. All other policy shifts are geared toward much larger business than mine.....although 95% of business' in NZ are classified as micro-business (like mine). He seems strong on economic policy but weak on social policy. I don't agree with making it easier for big business to build massive landscape/ecosystem destroying projects where ever they like. Tourism is big bucks in this country and chucking coal fired power stations in prime tourist spots is short sighted and frankly, just bad business!!
As for the guy who said Kiwis are afraid of hard work - RUBBISH!! Go to the UK and see what productivity levels they achieve!! Kiwis are sought after over there for their excellent work ethic and NEVER have trouble getting a job...

Posted by: blimeyvicki | 2009-03-09 5:13:06 PM

Sorry blimey, off topic, you're banished. Dr. MacIntyre has lost enough patients.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 5:24:37 PM

I am increasingly losing patients with some of the people that comment on this blog.
Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-09 4:45:50 PM

I'm sorry that you've lost patients because of the comments. I'll strive to stay on topic. BTW. How many patients did you lose?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 5:31:40 PM

Again instead of talking about the issue at hand (or even the issue brought up in my comment)people are talking about a mistake I made.

I would like to hear more about people's opinion of Mr. Key's policies, rather than being bogged down in silliness.

Thank you blimeyvicki for your interesting comment.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-03-09 5:41:15 PM

how many of the posters here have actually been to NZ?

Not trying to stir either way. Regardless of whether you like john key or not, a lot of the assertions about NZ are just plain wrong.

eg: "center-right ACT party"

- actually they are a hard right/neo liberal party who got only about 3% of the popular vote at the last election. (yet they have disproportinate influence in the current ruling coalition)

Their founding member was Rodger Douglas (who used to be a labour party member) who pushed through what has become known in NZ as rodgernomics (privatise everything, EVERYTHING!) and this coupled with "ruthenasia" is now widely argued to be one of, if not the major, causes of our bad economic situation (since rodgernomics started in the 80s till current credit crunch).


the article your linking to is wildly inaccurate, economic with the truth and loose with its conclusions.

also you should keep in mind that john key is regularly regarded (even by rightish media pundits)as someone who likes to be liked - so says what his audience wants to hear. you need to run that filter over everything said about, or by him - good or bad

Posted by: fraser | 2009-03-09 5:57:37 PM

is this an epidemic or a reign of terror ? ?

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-09 6:17:01 PM

Oops- Sir- Permission to stray off topic

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-09 6:18:06 PM

No offence, BlimeyVicki, but "British-style trade unionism" is a pejorative term for a reason. In fact productivity reached appalling lows in the early 1970s, with the entire country virtually at a standstill. It took Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher several years of pure iron-fisted will (as well as some helpful court rulings) to win the right to say "no" to employing unionized miners to dig coal no one wanted. If the Kiwi work ethic compares favourably only to that, they might have trouble finding work in Canada or America.

In fact, I seem to recall New Zealand going virtually bankrupt a generation back, owing to British-style policy of socialist, cradle-to-grave security. People marched in the streets to keep handouts they neither deserved nor needed. The correction was quite a drastic one, I hear, the medicine particularly bitter. But it was most necessary, at the time.

Small businesses make up a very large majority of the businesses in most western nations, including both America and Canada. So that's not unique to NZ. Furthermore, your post seems to suggest that help for small business = good economic policy, but that help for big business = bad social policy. (You leave unsaid whether help for small business is also bad social policy.)

By the way. Everything from the computer on which you knocked off this message to the electricity that powers it are the products of big business. You couldn't do your job without big business. So unless you power your home and business with wind turbines, biofuel generators, or some other method that affords you complete independence from the main power grid, it is hypocritical of you to rail at the evils of power plants.

As for Mr. Key's policies, I'm reserving judgement at this stage. The overall vision appears sensible, but as they say, the devil's in the details. Encouraging sustainable growth is good; fostering dependence on imported labour is bad (because it's not sustainable). Furthermore, even good policy, poorly implemented, is indistinguishable from bad policy. The verdict depends on circumstances as yet unborn. We shall see.

Is that acceptable, Hugh?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 6:22:28 PM

how many of the posters here have actually been to NZ?
Posted by: fraser | 2009-03-09 5:57:37 PM

I have many times. Beautiful scenery, great golf courses and the second best rugby team in the world. The fush and chups are pretty good to.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 6:51:48 PM

Stig- Do you know if they have a lot of poisonous snakes?

Oops, sorry

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 7:01:49 PM

Stig- Do you know if they have a lot of poisonous snakes?
Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 7:01:49 PM

(Science Content)They don't have any snakes in New Zealand. If you do want to see poisonous snakes you need to go to Oz. Crikey, they have lots of them there.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-09 7:21:28 PM

( psst- hey prisoner dp.. if you want to stay in the discussion, use as many two digit numbers as you possibly can, - no more. no less but each time followed by this magic sign--" : % : " - it works, nobody knows why ... )

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-09 7:25:02 PM

oh I'm sorry is it too much to ask that people actually comment on the topic of a blog? Is it unreasonable to be sick of reading idiotic arguments between two mentally underdeveloped fools?

Seriously Stig and Pike's moronic back and forths are cutting any chance for any debate on this blog.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-03-09 7:26:37 PM

Wow, Mr Shane Matthews - I am rendered almost speechless by your stunningly sensationalist, one eyed views - you must be a politician. As a person who has live and worked in the UK, Canada and NZ I think I am fairly qualified to have a relevant opinion on this topic.
The example of a power station was merely that - an example, something you appear unfamiliar with. I did not say I run a small business and that most business in this country is small business - I said MICRO business. And generally what is good for big business is not good social policy. Let's privatise NZ Telecom and allow no competition - a situation that has been on going for a couple of decades, this is not good for anybody except big business!!
I am not speaking of NZ's economic situation a generation ago but of the here and now where I live! I am not an economist or a politician, merely a hard working person trying to feed my family and to keep up to date with politics.
I consider myself a fairly educated person and if my country were similar to America (which you are seeming to say Canada is) I would be ashamed to admit it and would have no desire to live there!
Being a Kiwi I am well travelled and have been to all the countries of which we speak and have some understanding of their culture so once again, feel I have a right to express an opinion of this nature. (By the way I have also worked in the 2 largest power generation companies in NZ)!!
Somebody mentioned previously that Mr Key likes to be liked and I think this is a very good description of him - he's a very nice man - but can he deliver the goods??? Once again - I am with holding judgement.

Posted by: blimeyvicki | 2009-03-09 7:32:44 PM

No, Hugh. What is cutting the chance for meaningful debate is your ham-fisted attempts to referee it.

If I may take the liberty, it does not appear that this new direction in which you and Janet apparently want to take the Shotgun is being received very well. Administrators are expected to be impartial and professional, insofar as their regulation of the blog and their treatment of its contributors are concerned; the actual debate is a separate matter. Instead, Janet rattles off a grossly one-sided parting rant and then retreats behind a slammed door, while you threaten to start banning posts, and when that attracts the scorn it deserves, start calling names.

Did you two expect this behaviour to win you respect? Or increase the quality of the debating on this blog? Whatever happens from this point forward, I can assure you of one thing. Any action the two of you take will bring no discredit to others, but may well to the Western Standard, and certainly you.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 7:55:34 PM

blimey- Is David Tua scheduled for any big fights? That guy was the heir apparent to Tyson's belt. He's a Maori, isn't he? I think he'd be a great Prime Minister.

Do you think the lack of snakes has an influence on the attitude of small business? I once heard a theory that Ireland would have less political srife, if there were poisonous snakes to occupy the population a bit. 23 :%:

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 8:04:49 PM

Shane you are a regular reader, do I really need to go back and quote you the non-sensical incoherent rants that had nothing to do with the post content.

A moderator's job is to keep the debate going and to cut out any material that is overly offensive. I think I have been very accepting and tolerant of the'debate' on some of my blog posts. Notice for example that I didn't delete any of the posts attacking my declaration?

I am, for example, tired of suggestions that my home town be burned down or that Toronto is full of fascists. Any further posts of that manner or similar pointless rants will be deleted. Everything else will continue as before.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-03-09 8:10:08 PM


First of all, a microbusiness is defined as an enterprise of 5 employees or fewer with limited access to commercial banking, "side" or "home" businesses being typical examples. That is a thin line to draw, perhaps an overly thin one.

Secondly, you appear to subscribe to a double standard. What's good for businesses your size is good social policy; what's good for the big businesses that employ vast numbers of people and create the goods that make modern life possible, bad social policy. The true enemy is not privatization, but monopolies, whether state- or corporate-run. Competition breeds excellence and low prices, and stifling it is very bad for the consumer, and that is bad social policy. Because everyone, government employee, corporate employee, microbusiness owner, or two-minute-old infant, everyone in society is a consumer.

Thirdly, I did not ask you what reputation you had with yourself, nor was it my intention to provoke an emotional outburst. I did not ask to see the credentials of your education, nor would I have paid any heed had you provided them unasked. I am addressing what I perceive to be the deficiencies in this argument you have put forth, in the "here and now, where you live." As your fellow debater, that's my job. If you don't want your views challenged, you would do better to start your own blog and allow no one to post there but you.

You have a right to express your opinions, including the one that Canadians ought to be ashamed of themselves for having anything in common with America. I never challenged that right. I challenged your argument on its own merits. And I find your counterchallenge wanting, especially inasmuch as it does not seem to take issue with the content of my post, but that I made one at all.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 8:16:22 PM

You don't need to quote me anything, Hugh. Among those expressing dismay at this turn of events are those that regularly submit thoughtful posts. Background static is a normal part of cyberspace. If it becomes oppressive, you can remove it without ado. But angry, epithet-laden threats to bring down the cudgel, or making faces from behind resounding doorslams, will rightly make you the object of scorn and ridicule. It was not your motive that touched off this powderkeg, but your methods.

Incidentally, had Zebulon suggested burning Montréal instead of Toronto, would you have taken less offence? :-)

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-09 8:26:14 PM

I would take offense to the proposal of destroying anyone's home.

I think you are exagerating what I wrote. All I did was to serve notice that I will no longer tolerate the distracting 'background static.' It has indeed become oppressive and I think I am right to be annoyed at those who have caused it.

I would not call that a cudgel or a closed door. I think the fact that this conversation, and your criticism, is being posted unedited demonstrates that.

Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-03-09 8:49:31 PM

For entertainment's sake it is always good to have a variety of opinions. There are some excellent posts here. As grownups, we have learned to ignore the fools.

Posted by: peterj | 2009-03-09 9:03:56 PM

Wow, it must be lonely up there in the vice-principal's office.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 9:10:01 PM

What exactly is your objection dp?

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-03-09 9:24:02 PM

In NZ Micro business is defined as an enterprise of 5 FTE's or less. Full stop. A small business has up to 50 FTE's. I would say that is a BIG difference.
I believe what is good for small business may well be good social policy because most people who are employed by this sector make up the lower paid sections of our society. In NZ's case this is a significant number of people. I would also argue that there would be a vast difference between what is cosidered small business in NZ and in America or any other large economy.
I can see you are proponent of big business – good on you. I enjoy the comforts of life that these companies bring as much as the next person. Maybe you don't understand that in NZ we don't have a lot of “big business” as you are used to in a much larger economy. Power generators and retailers are State Owned Enterprises. The agricultural/horticultural sector is probably our biggest export dollar earner. These sectors are made up of thousands of Micro and Small business with the offshore selling and marketing being taken care of by “Single Desk Marketers” which are heavily regulated by the government. The kiwifruit industry in this country returns approx $600 to $700 million dollars per year to the sector – this is achieved with around 200 full time equivalent staff – worldwide.
I agree competition breeds excellence – once again we operate in a very small economy compared to what you may be used to and in a lot of instances there is very little room for much competition.
I don't mind at all having my views challenged. However I made a mention of a company putting up environment compromising power stations in our country and that I felt it was bad business (as it compromises the millions of dollars we earn from the tourism industry). The use of a power station was by way of an example. Your response was:
“By the way. Everything from the computer on which you knocked off this message to the electricity that powers it are the products of big business. You couldn't do your job without big business. So unless you power your home and business with wind turbines, biofuel generators, or some other method that affords you complete independence from the main power grid, it is hypocritical of you to rail at the evils of power plants.”
A little bit of an emotional over reaction don't you think.....?

Posted by: blimeyvicki | 2009-03-09 9:41:43 PM

Oh look, now you have the hall monitor to talk to. Outa here.

Posted by: dp | 2009-03-09 9:44:06 PM

Thanks DP, at least Shane and Peter are being constructive with their criticisms.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-03-09 9:48:53 PM

Blimeyvicki and Fraser, I have some questions that I would appreciate your answering if possible.
1.) Wasn't Rogernomics simply a response to the failed economic policies of Muldoon? Robert Muldoon(National Party) was the Prime Minister who was a social conservative but supported high tariffs, wage and price controls, and big government spending projects(Think Big). In 1984, Labor defeated him based largely on economics and the nuclear freeze zone issue. They implemented Rogernomics which was pro-free trade, pro-privatization, pro-tax cut, and cutting regulations. The policy was continued when NAtional returned to power in 1990. It has only been under Helen Clark's Labor government(1999-2008) that we saw some backtracking.
2.) While ACT polls only under 4% isn't its real role in parlimentary politics to bring forth issues that neither party has the will to discuss(same with New Zealand First)? For example, the strong amount of anti-crime legislation that has been implemented had wide public support. However, it seemed that it was ACT(more than National) that was addressing this issue.
3.) How can ACT be considered hard right when most of its mps voted for civil unions and legalizing prostitution? Also, Rodney Hide has expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana.
4.) Do you think that John Key uses ACT to push a more conservative agenda than he would ever admit to? The previous National Party leader Don Brash blew a 10 pt lead in 2005 when Labor started attacking him as a far right racist. If I understand correctly, Brash spoke out about racial seperatists in his Orewa speech. Also, he clearly stated that all races should be treated equally under the law. Yet, Helen Clark attacked him as racist.
Also, Blimeyvicki a little word of advice. I would ask you to be respectful to other peoples countries. I am an American who likes New Zealand and is also proud to be a U.S. citizen. I think that the people of New Zealand are kind and level headed. There are certain people like Helen Clark that I don't like. However, I would never let her overshadow my view of New Zealand. I am that most unique and misunderstood of people: an American conservative(Republican). I am pro-death penalty, pro-gun rights, opposed to abortion, support school prayer, pro-free trade, pro flat tax, and oppose affirmative action. I am both a religious and well educated man. My convictions are deeply held. Too often, I have found that people outside my country have a distorted view of the type of person I am and why I have such views. This was most clearly shown to me by three British guys I bumped into in southern Spain. They seemed a lot more respectful and sympathetic to my views when I explained them. I would ask for the same openmindedness from you. P.S. Canada is a lot more socially liberal than America.

Posted by: David | 2009-03-09 9:53:21 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.