Getting Active

Came across this post on the Ben.geek.nz blog. Found it a bit of a dag becuase it sounds like me. Yes I admit to once voting ACT, but that was a long time ago and entirely becuase I got me 5 year old son to cast my ballot as a protest and there wasn’t much choice in the Pahiatua electorate under FPP.

I just listened to John Key’s 2013 opening speech. It was vacuous, condescending, and shouty. Listen to it again. It sounds like an opposition speech, belittling his opponents and complaining about their policies. Thing is John, opposition policies are irrelevant. It’s your policies and plans to help New Zealand we need to hear about. Apparently you have none.

Back when I voted ACT, my reasoning was that everyone should be able to bootstrap themselves. Just get the government out of the way and people will succeed. Anyone who didn’t was just lazy. A lot has changed since then, both in my own philosophy and in the world. You’d be mad not to see that hands-off government leads to a raft of issues from leaky buildings to fucked-up banking behaviour collapsing entire economies.

Also, the dirty secret is that at a macro level, “left” vs “right” policies make little or no difference to the performance of a country over the long term. Countries have performed exceedingly well under high tax loads (and poorly under low). What this tells me is that business will thrive in pretty much any market condition.

To my mind, the difference between left and right lie solely in two areas: regulation and social justice. Regulation means holding people to account for the true cost of their behaviour, whether that be using the wrong building materials, building unsafe vehicles, letting their cows shit in streams, or their use of diminishing resources. Social justice is an understanding that we cannot exist as individuals, rather that we owe our well-being and prosperity to this larger organism we call society, in all its glorious, smelly miasma.

I’ve never been a member of a political party. I’ve voted in every election, and in my time have voted for ACT (yes, really), National, Labour and The Greens. I’m what you might call a swing voter. Although to be fair, I’m more of a “trajectory voter”, having swung from ACT to Green. I don’t see myself swinging back.

I’ve had enough of this hands-off “market knows best” bullshit. It’s utterly bankrupt and a pile of lies. John Key’s pointless, wandering 2013 opening speech was the straw that finally made my camel lose its shit. As a result, I’m signing up as a member of The Green Party. You should too.

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