A reader writes: an endorsement

by Guest Post
He also looks badass in this photo (credit: stuff.co.nz)

He also looks badass in this photo (credit: stuff.co.nz)

A long time reader has written the following. It’s interesting.

So I’ll tell you who I’m going to be voting for. I’ve never voted for a party that isn’t Labour or the Greens. This year after much consideration I’ve decided I’m going to be voting for Labour. The turning point for me away from the Greens is their hypocritic stance around fluoridation/vaccinations and climate change. For the latter they say there should be no debate and that the science is settled. For the former they say we should have a debate. Well from my perspective the science is settled.

That said, I hope the Greens make up a number of the cabinet members (ironically I hope Kevin Hague gets Minister of Health, I just hope that the policy he had written for him isn’t one he has to advocate).

When there was all that ballyhooing around Labour’s immigration policy I got really turned off because I thought it was somewhat xenophobic. However having now looked into it, I found that actually it wasn’t anything like it was reported or construed by either the media or the National party. So with that hiccough out of the way it was just a case of what did I think would be best for New Zealand.And I think that’s key here (ha! Key!). When you go to the polling booth, don’t just stop and vote for who you think is best for you, but think on who you think is best for the country. Because what’s good for the country has got to be good for all of us, right? And I say you should always judge a country based on how it treats its worst-off citizens.

If I look at National’s record on how it treats its citizens, it’s not good. And if you want a more detailed look at that, then please go and read any number of Sarah Wilson’s posts at her blog, writehanded.org. She has been to hell and back lately and it has not been made any easier by a system that almost seems designed out of spite. And some people go on about how we have to stop people bludging and just sitting on their fat asses lazily taking benefit money as they roll joints, breed for more benefits, then play pokies and leave their children in cars with the window rolled down a crack. But do you know how much benefit fraud is costing us, mums and dads, kiwis of all ages, why it costs us $5 each per year (source) and while tax evasion is hard to quantify because you don’t know what you don’t know, well it’s estimated that it costs us about $1,500 per New Zealander. And yet we haven’t seen National tighten up on the ol’ white collar crime. If anything they’ve been more relaxed about it given they took funding away from the SFO.

Labour have also come out with a clear policy around the electoral process. They’ll abolish the coat-tailing rule, and they’ll lower the threshold to 4% to get parties in. I support both of these as creating a more democratic representative parliament.

Also, given Labour’s low polling there is a strong chance that some really talented people may miss out. David Parker and Jacinda Ardern could find themselves without a job following the election if Labour end up on 23% and I think that would be a shame.

The Dirty Politics saga has had a little impact on me, but I think it just confirmed my beliefs rather than change anything. Same with the GCSB stuff. I don’t really understand it, but I get that what’s going on isn’t good.

I don’t think Labour has a strong chance of forming the Government. But you never know. One can hope.



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Raymond A Francis September 18, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Is that you David

Kevin Hague September 18, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Hmmm. Well nice to be endorsed (I think!) but I’m puzzled by the comments on vaccination and fluoridation. There certainly are a few members of our Party who think the science isn’t settled (as there are, no doubt, in other parties, definitely including Labour) but this is not the Party’s position. On most individual techniques or treatments our policy is silent – it would be kind of weird if it weren’t. Instead we say what happens in the health sector should be evidence-based. Vaccination (subject to some variability around individual vaccines of course) is well-established evidence-based medicine and the Greens have voted consistently with this position whenever an issue has arisen at least over the past six years. There is a debate over compulsory vaccination. We generally oppose this, but not because we think the science isn’t settled; rather because of a belief in the importance of informed consent. Actually I can’t think offhand of anyone advocating compulsory vaccination (leaving aside hypothetical situations) and certainly no political party supports it.

On fluoridation I guess it’s true that, again, there are members of the Party who think the science isn’t settled, but the majority position of the Party is reflected in the policy which instructs MPs to give primary consideration to the public health benefits of fluoridation. We are also instructed to take account of the need to ensure people aren’t exposed to excessive concentrations. I am okay with this for a very practical reason: some reticulation networks are old and idiosyncratic, so care needs to be taken to ensure that locations close to source are not subject to particularly high concentrations. We also say it’s desirable for people to be able to opt out if they wish to. Again that’s not driven from a sense that the science isn’t settled, but rather from acknowledging that there are autonomy/rights considerations here as well as science.

Hope that’s useful.

Hamish September 19, 2014 - 8:53 am

And that’s the reason I’ll be voting Green tomorrow.


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