Archive for August, 2012

There is good reason for the advocates of individual liberty to be rejoicing tonight, as the alcohol purchase age stays at 18 for both on and off license purchases. I was considerably nervous bout the prospects of keeping the status quo as public opinion and the media are clearly overwhelmingly in favour of an increase back to 20. So as well as rejoicing in the vote I am also relieved.
John Banks, Leader of the Act Party, has failed in his attempt to reduce individual freedom by voting to increase the off-license alcohol purchase age. Yes, the sole MP of a party which claims to stand for liberalism and freedom cast a vote in favour of reducing individual freedom. Then, when that vote failed, he voted to keep the purchase age 18. What choice did he have? His party’s youth wing had threatened to walk, but Banks doesn’t believe in individual liberty. He even had the cheek to vote for as much of a decrease in freedom as he thought he could get away with. So the Act membership must be pissed right?

Actually no. Right now, many of them are patting themselves on the back because Act helped to achieve keeping the purchase age 18. What the fuck? The age stayed at 18 despite the Act party, not because of it. What would they be saying right now if the split purchase age, which their leader actually preferred was passed? I don’t know to be honest, because it appears that many of them will grasp onto whatever pitiful excuse they can to stick with the sinking ship! The leader of the Act party voted to increase the off-license alcohol purchase age and those in Act who threatened to walk are now sticking by him because he failed and then voted to keep the age 18.

Now I’ve had my time as a quantum leap libertarian advocating a jump to minarchy within 10 years. It was incredibly unsuccessful. I accept being pragmatic and principled as seeking to achieve smaller government in bite size chunks. A lot of people in Act support the same approach but they delude themselves that this is what they are getting with a Banks lead Act party. They are not. All the Act party has achieved is the establishment of charter schools, which is the spending of taxpayer dollars on something other than state schools, as well as a meaningless pledge to cap Government spending increases with enough provisos to be worthless. The recognition of the right of homosexuals to marry is not an Act initiative and their leader took a lot of threats and convincing not to vote 20/20 on the alcohol purchase age. Nothing has even been achieved in this vote – it is just one of those rare occassions where the state hasn’t got larger.

The real option for the liberals in Act to achieve something in 2014 is to jump ship now, while there is still time to organise a liberal alternative prior to the 2014 election. When you’re threatening and blackmailing your leader to stop him from increasing state control over the lives of individuals, you’re in the wrong political party. When you consider your party leader’s failed vote to decrease liberty an achievement, you’re deluded. If the Act liberals don’t jump ship now, they’ll be dragged into the 2014 election swallowing their own bile, campaigning to elect a man who despises what they value in the hope a John Key led Government will chuck them a couple of crumbs.

Courage, clarity and conviction is the answer for true liberals. A new political party that takes a pragmatic approach to advocate for more freedom and less government is the right path. The opportunity to be part of this new party is just weeks away…
http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/conference-2012/

 

 

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Liberty Conference 2012

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

Liberty Conference 2012 – Towards a True Liberal Bloc in Parliament

‘Not your usual Libertarianz conference’

The 2012 conference will be different from those of the past. It’s not just for Libertarianz members — it’s a symposium for all people who believe we need a new political party in Parliament presenting small-government answers to the issues of today; a party which consistently advocates liberal solutions to problems such as our current economic malaise as well as taking a small-government approach to what individuals do in their private lives.

We will be confronting the urgent need for a new liberal party at both the national and local body level. Ever since local government was granted Power of General Incompetence in 2002, we have seen an explosion in its spending and power. In Auckland the C&R City Vision duopoly has run amok, overseeing year after year of enormous increases in rates and spending. There is room in local councils across the country for a party that really protects ratepayers’ wallets, property and liberties.

This year’s conference is shaping up to be historic. We have fantastic speakers lining up to have their say on the design of a new, united, truly liberal force in New Zealand politics.

Whether you be libertarian, liberal, a cannabis law reform advocate or disillusioned with the formerly semi-liberal ACT, you should help write New Zealand political history by attending this year!

Note: Persons who wish to attend this conference have the opportunity to make submissions on the name, branding and policies of a new national and local level political party at the conference. Anyone wishing to be part of the submission process can email conference@libertarianz.org.nz with their personal/organisation details and the content of their submission.

When:
Saturday, 6 October 2012 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Where:
Crowne Plaza Auckland
128 Albert Street, Auckland

Schedule (Provisional):
09:00 AGM
09:15 President’s Address
09:30 Sean Fitzpatrick
09:50 Julian Pistorius
10:10 Richard McGrath
10:30 Morning Tea
10:45 (to be confirmed)
11:15 Lindsay Perigo
12:00 Peter Cresswell
12:30 Lunch
13:00 Stephen Berry on party re-brand and chairing of submissions
15:00 Afternoon Tea
15:15 Cameron Slater
15:45 Submissions on local body elections
17:00 Conclusions
17:30 END

Cost:
$59 Full price (Includes morning & afternoon tea & lunch)
$49 Early bird special; pay by 31st August
$39 Student/youth rate

Bank account:
Libertarianz
02 0278 0151989 00

Or send cheque to:
PO Box 6173
Wellesley St
Auckland 1036

Please email conference@libertarianz.org.nz to confirm.

(Or credit card/Paypal – See Eventbrite link below)

Online Registration:

Go to the page below to register:
Libertarianz Conference 2012 – Eventbrite Registration Page

http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/conference-2012

Warming to Labour?

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

What the hell is going on? Within the same calendar month, I find myself agreeing with two Labour private members bills. Admittedly only one of them has been drawn from the ballot so far, but I’m sure the drawing of the second one is only a matter of time. The first bill is Louisa Wall’s bill which would require the state to recognise gay marriage, The second is Maryan Street’s bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia. Now all they have to do is cut taxes, legalise cannabis and sell state assets; I’ll become a life member!

But seriously. With the granting of civil unions several years ago, I would have thought that the issue of gay marriage would be effectively neutralised. The difference between marriage and civil union really is a matter of mere window dressing. The rights before the law are effectively the same. However, there is still a tinge of discrimination in having the difference. Heterosexual individuals get a choice, yet homosexual individuals don’t. While I absolutely respect the right of free indiviuals to discriminate against other individuals, however irrational their reasons for doing so, the state most certainly does not have that right. It should recognise everybody’s right to be equally miserable.

What this debate ultimately comes down to though, isn’t one about marriage and the vulgarities of organised religion. The fundamental concept here is contracts. Individuals should have the right to freely enter into any contract they wish with any other free individual. The role of the state is not to set conditions on what the contract contains, like it does with employment law. The role of the state is simply to protect the sanctity of contract and ensure anyone who is faulted, when one party to the contract violates the agreement, is protected.

Finally, the state really should not be defining relationships at all. It should be leaving individuals alone to choose what relationships they have, on what terms they have them and only taking steps to uphold the rights of a faulted party. Colin Craig is absolutely right when he says that if we are going to legalise gay marriage then we will have to legalise polygamy as well. I completely agree that we should legalise polygamy. How is your life adversely impacted by several individuals deciding to enter into a loving relationship together and raise a family? Why are their lives any of your damn business?`

The euthanasia debate seems to come in cycles like economic booms and busts. Every few years another politician will get it drawn from the ballot and it will be defeated. Odd considering voluntary euthanasia legalisation actually polls quite well. Without delving for sources, my observations are that support for legalisation generally polls well into the seventies.

This debate comes down to a very simple philosophical question. Do you own your life? If so, then why can’t you choose when to end if you wish to do so? If not, well, that’s just stupid. Of course you own your own life. I was amused to hear Maryan Street’s justification for her stance; mainly for its blatant irony. “I think there are more people who want to be as self-determining at their end point as they have been during their life and I for one don’t think they should be told they can’t be.”

It would be amusing were it not so tragic. In  Ms. Street’s world, we cannot self-determine what we do with our money, what we do with our property, what we put into our bodies or what employment contracts we wish to sign. Quite simply, we aren’t allowed to choose how we want to live our own fricken lives without interference from her gang of socialist nitpickers, unless we’re asking to die. The only difference between her and Stalin is who gets to choose the time of death.

Still, she does rank slightly above the irrational religious tyrants who not only control your life but also prohibit you choosing death. Promoting palliative care over legalising euthanasia really is as stupid as it gets. Let’s stop making people making their own decisions about their own bodies because we think we have a way t make a long drawn out undignified death full of suffering that bit more drawn out and slightly less painful. Piss off you evil meddling bastards.

I am heartened to see these two bills becoming part of the public debate and I sincerely hope that both pass Parliament. It’s almost enough to make you vote Labour, but not quite.

How long will it take until Statutory Commissioners get called in to run Auckland City Council? While admittedly Kaipara Distrct Council has a smaller budget and revenue stream, their $80 million debt has proven enough for Kaipara District councillors to resign and request the Government appoint commissioners. Auckland City Council, in addition to passing a budget spending $58 billion, has voted to increase their debt limit ceiling to 275% of total revenue and set interests costs at a maximum of 15% of total revenue!

It’s disturbing to think that, in the short term, rates increases would have been higher were it not for the Council borrowing money to fund Len Brown’s grandiose schemes. It’s terrifying to think that in the long term rates will have to skyrocket to service the interest on over one hundred billion dollars of debt. The long term future for Auckland ratepayers will be one of crushing rates and no hope of relief as big spending socialists go to town on other people’s money.

While there has been a band of a few councillors consistently opposing this level of foolish spending (Brewer, Stewart, Penrose, Wood, Quax), nobody has been pushing actual rates cuts. Even those who are opposing Brown’s budget were themselves only proposing smaller rates increases. Every year it is the same, public outrage fuelled by another round of crushing rates increases which voters forget by election time and vote the same parasitical bastards back in again!

We really need to properly reassess what the role of local Government should actually be when writing the next budget, remembering that this money comes from the pockets of property owners. It isn’t a freebie for politicians to stoke their egos and salivate over their legacies. Making the next budget a rates cutting budget isn’t difficult with a bit of testicular fortitude and an acceptance that the role of Council is to convey sewerage, dispose of rubbish and maintain footpaths. Unfortunately for the poor ratepayer, there isn’t enough glamour in the basics for Brown and comrades.

Did you know the Council had a budget of $8 million to provide financial advice to people for retro-fitting their homes? Neither did I! When the hell did that become a role of the Council? Retired widows can’t afford the rates bill to stay in their own home, yet they’re being robbed so someone else can afford to retrofit theirs!

Len Brown has also managed to get part of his pet project for subsidised swimming pools Auckland wide. Children aged under 16 will now not have to pay to visit a public swimming pool. Is there a shortage of water? Are there no safe beaches to swim at? Why are others having to fund your child’s recreation?

Where cuts absolutely have to be made are to the funding of the disgustingly racist unelected Maori Statutory Board. After these tribalist trough feeders had audited themselves and found themselves to be failing in their duty to Maori, they convinced half the Council to give them another $2 million in order to be able to fix the issues they identified after auditing themselves. The deciding vote that ensured the motion passed (excuse the pun) was cast by John Tamihere who has not even been elected!!! I propose that a future Council vote to reduce the budget for the Maori Statutory Board to zero – including salary payments for its members.

The current council really is a duopoly for Citizens and Ratepayers and City Vision. Both vote for more regulation and more big ticket spending. Out of the five councillors I identified above, none are from Citizens and Ratepayers. Ratepayers need a new ticket at the next local body elections. Ratepayers need representatives who will actually CUT RATES – not just reduce the level of increases. We need to elect people who will take an axe to ludicrous spending like the $200,000 spent on the Botany Garden Festival. The next lot of councillors need the goddamn balls to take on the apartheid Maori Statutory Board and eliminate their funding.

Or, if all else fails, can we just send in the commissioners please?