There are very few people who are all liberal or all conservative. I tend to ﬁnd people are a mixture—it would be wrong to say there’s even a continuum between left and right. We tend to be a pick-and-mix people, coloured by our experiences and our hopes. We change our views as we age.
Last year, I stood in the General Election for a left-wing party but am one of the more centrist members in the Alliance.
I tend to say I am Confucian, which some people have mistaken for socialist when in fact it is closer to libertarian. And some folks think libertarian is an inherently right-wing idea. Yet both the Alliance and the right-wing ACT Party here in New Zealand have incorporated libertarian ideas, if one deﬁnes that as maximizing personal liberty. There are areas where the two diametrically opposed parties agree as a result. They simply disagree on how that liberty is to be achieved: the Alliance believing in the necessity of some state mechanisms and nationalization of some industries for the sake of job creation. ACT is a monetarist, technocratic party, and I think some of you know how I feel about that.
I love the ideals of patriotism and freedom, I believe more in Keynes than the technocracy, and I wish to put people ﬁrst. When it comes to running this country I want to see locally owned businesses get better breaks than foreign-owned ones, whether at the local level or the national level. I want to encourage domestic ownership of international businesses, rather than the other way around. I believe in the innovative spirit of New Zealanders, and that everyone should have pride in themselves and their culture.
So am I right-wing or left-wing, liberal or conservative? Other than economic theory I think both sides would agree that the majority of the last paragraph applies to them. If we have a sense of right and wrong, then I am not sure it is that important we belong in a “camp”. Even the words are meaningless: across the Tasman our Australian friends have a Liberal Party—and that’s the conservatives.
Fight corruption, support the good, build friendships, piss off the evil. Not a bad strategy to have through life. Posted by Jack Yan, 10:32
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