Why I gave 2 ticks to Labour
Kevin P Clements
When I answered all the questions on TVNZ’s political compass I miraculously came out as having political views that were most closely represented by the Greens and Mana!! In 2011 I voted for the Labour Candidate and Green Party. This year, however, I gave my two votes to the Labour Party.
The big question is why? Am I voting against my own values? Am I being politically nostalgic and voting for the party of my parents and grandparents? Am I wasting my vote instead of being smart and tactical?
These are all good questions so let me try and explain why I gave my two ticks to Labour.
- In terms of leadership. David Cunliffe is the son of an Anglican Priest I am the son of a Methodist Minister. There is something about being a Parson’s Kid that distinguishes you from those who are the children of doctors, lawyers, or business executives. Being a Parson’s Kid is likely to make you , altruistic and open to the needs and interests of those in need , marginalised and poor. So that’s a plus for me. The downside of this is that it can sometimes make you seem a bit moralistic and preachy and I can see that in some of David’s comments but this is not a terminal condition . It can be and normally is addressed with age!. Anyway, I tend to prefer leaders who have some life long and empathetic connection with the poor rather than the privileged.
- There is some nostalgia involved as well. I have been a Labour man all my life. I can’t abandon my tribe just because they are down in the polls or spurned by a significant chunk of the voting population. I am in favour of a return to more class based politics. There is no other party based on organised and disorganised labour. I am in favour of reviving the Union Movement so that the interests of working people can be represented robustly and justly. The bias has been drifting towards Employers and Capital for far too long. Organised labour was responsible for most of the significant social and political changes of the 20th There would be no universal education, welfare , or womb to tomb security had labour not promoted these things over the course of the 20th century. So I am in favour of Labour rediscovering its working class roots, shifting itself leftwards, and working to eliminate child poverty and adult poverty as well as inequality , subordination and domination at all levels of social life.
- I am in favour of key state assets like power, airlines, railways, telecommunications being returned to public ownership.
- I am in favour of higher and fairer taxation processes. We do need a Capital Gains Tax to tax wealth as well as income. This is not something that needs to be defended cautiously. A CGT is common sense and a tax levied by most other industrialised countries many years ago.The OECD is also recommending it for NZ.
- I am in favour of more protection of the privacy of every individual citizen of this country. We need political parties that are committed to expanding and protecting Civil Liberties. I am astonished at how many liberties seem to have been eroded in NZ over the 17 years I was away. Labour needs to be a bit more pro active on this issue but its making the right progressive noises.
- In addition to a Royal Commission on the powers of the GSCB. I would like its mandate to be extended to the costs and benefits of membership of the UKUSA intelligence arrangement. I’m not at all persuaded that the security gained by “Five Eyes” is worth the liberty lost with all the electronic surveillance available to the state and New Zealand’s largest companies.
- I’m in favour of regions like Dunedin receiving strong state support for the revival of Hillside, the retention of Invermay and the relocation of some significant Government departments . Its about time that we started thinking of more holistic development for New Zealand . Far too many government policies are being guided by Auckland’s needs and interests rather than the interests of the whole country. Labour has directed some attention towards the revival of Dunedin’s hospitals, research capacities and industry. This is a start but the momentum must be continued.
- I’m in favour of clean government and an end to dirty tricks and ad hominem politics. I was appalled and disgusted at the revelations in Dirty Politics. I see no hint of remorse or real regret on the part of the current Prime Minister at any of the whale oil revelations. I do see some desire on the part of Labour to move beyond negative adversarial politics towards politics.
- I think that David Cunliffe and the Labour Party made a major tactical and strategic mistake by not accepting the Green’s Offer of a formal coalition. I think that this would have animated the election campaign in ways that would have resulted in the polls jumping for a Red-Green Alliance. I am voting Labour this year, however, so that the Greens have a political partner large enough to result in a change of Government. If Labour’s party vote collapses and they do not win all their electorate seats then there will be no Red-Green coalition on the 21st There is more chance of a change of government with an expanded Labour vote than an expanded green vote.
- I am voting Labour in faith and in the hope that all that I have talked about will come to pass.
- I am hoping that David will become a servant leader of a strong and disciplined labour movement.
- I am hoping that a Red Green coalition will be able to overcome the democratic deficit, rekindle popular faith in democratic processes and rebuild trust and confidence in politicians and politics.
- I am hoping that a Red Green coalition will be able to state its preferences for the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed and develop policies that will serve their interests. I am hoping that the politics of compassion rather than consumption and greed will prevail in the 20th
- I am hoping that our politicians will be advocates for policies of emancipation rather than the politics of fear and I am hoping that every citizen of Aotearoa-New Zealand will become active agents of their own political destiny.
- I am also hoping that a change of government will result in more enlightened leadership on the international stage.
- I know that I am hoping a lot but without hope and vision the people will perish . If I can’t be hopeful in the rationality and wisdom of the people then I’ll need to do some fundamental rethinking about motivation and the drivers of change.
- I am hopeful, however, that my compatriots-even at this late stage — will realise that its time for a change and that we can reverse the tide of greed, self interest, short term thinking and fearfulness.
- I am hopeful that we will wake to a red sunrise and a clean , green and pleasant land on the 21st I know I’m hoping for a lot and I’ve given 2 precious ticks to labour in confidence that some of my lot will be realised. If its not mmmmmm what were my value preferences??????