Above, some of my fellow candidates speak on why they are standing for the Alliance Party, as I am.
The important thing about politics these days is not so much capitalism versus socialism, but the values of transparency, humanism and reciprocity (between citizenry and government). Which party is willing to exhibit them, and live their brand?
As I said to a friend of mine in the US, capitalism only works when transparency is present; its greatest failures (the crashes of 1987 and 2008) have been due to a lack of transparency. The derivatives market is all about covering up the security of tradeable risks.
I am a believer that the argument over left and right is well over and that in many nations the distinction is no longer meaningful. This is true in the US, with all presidential candidates largely on the right (by international standards). Here, too, the major parties are right-wing. The important thing for government to realize is that some enterprise must take shape with national support, but this does not necessarily mean pure capitalism. Public–private partnerships have yielded superb results in many nations: Hong Kong and Singapore are excellent examples.
New Zealand was the poster boy for the freest markets in the world in the 1980s and 1990s, far freer in most respects excepting healthcare and education than what the US has seen. Even prisoner transportation is done privately here.
It is very clear that monetarism has failed this country in terms of standard of living (dropping in the OECD) and social stability (murder rate and crime are up, and the rich–poor gap has widened). But the exact opposite is anathema, too. Thinking about life and government in terms of left and right should be restricted to textbooks only.
Transparency, humanism and reciprocity are the three qualities that grew the Asian tigers, from what I can see; ditto the growth of China during the Sung Dynasty, and even New Zealand in the 1950s when we led (or were among the top of) the charts on standard of living (with single-digit unemployment). The monolith of Labour–National cannot see this, and it seems that only the smaller parties do. Posted by Jack Yan, 04:59
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