Friday, July 22, 2005

Policy

Heh, people wondering why women don't seem to be as 'political' as men might like to consider how long it's taken me to get back here during the school holidays.

So, being a student-loaned household, we looked forward to the announcement of National's promised policy eagerly. Not so much for itself, because I couldn't picture them doing anything significant enough to make it worth my while financially to vote for them, but because maybe they could shame/scare Labour into responding with something real.

Well. What a pisser. After the build-up, the policy turns out to be totally meaningless. Who's going to not move to Sydney for a $200 rebate? Our own personal benefit from the policy would be a much smaller rebate than that, and not worth the reduced income on a week by week basis I see coming from a National government, given that we're a family that benefits from Working for Families.

With this, and their childcare rebate, National seemed to have missed the fact that, for ordinary, "mainstream" families, a little bit extra in your pocket every week is a lot handier than a moderate chunk of money at the end of the year. A tax rebate doesn't actually HELP you pay for childcare. So once again, they're actually benefiting the people who need it least.

What would have actually helped us with the student loan burden? Not getting so much debt in the first place. That means a universal allowance, so it's not financially better to be unemployed than studying. A higher repayment threshhold, adjusted for inflation, and no interest incurred until you pass the repayment threshhold. Because if you're making less than $20k a year? You're probably not using your degree.

The one policy of the week that seemed sound and significant was the Greens' drug policy. I don't want my kids carrying a criminal conviction because they had a joint as a teenager. Oh, sorry, because they got CAUGHT, because more than half of New Zealanders have smoked dope. If everyone who'd committed that crime carried a conviction for it, that'd be an awful lot of productive members of society. And me as well. And I inhaled.



Now, this is going to sound awful, but I'm putting my emotions aside for a moment and just being pragmatic. Has anyone seriously considered what'll happen to the poll ratings should David Lange die in the run-up to the election? Because it doesn't seem out of the question.

Really wish the government would stop being coy and just announce the election date. And say, no, we don't want to have it sooner, we have stuff we need to get done first.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Seth said...

Hmmm, good question on David dying. I really hope he doesn't, for it would be a loss of a great man, but given the inevitable eulogies, retrospectives and so on I'll take a punt and say it would probably result in a 3~4% swing to Labour! Particularly since Brash is weak on the Nuclear issue and the American influence, and a lot of Kiwis still respect David for telling the Americans where they could stick their nuke-boats...

4:09 am  
Blogger span said...

I was wondering about Lange too - glad you said it. It could be a bad thing too in terms of reminders of the Fourth Labour Government...

7:29 pm  
Blogger Ghet said...

Well, yes and no. And yeah, I have been thinking about this a lot. If there was still a real viable presence in the Alliance position, then maybe. But I think it's more likely to remind people that the party pushing those particular 80s policies now is National, not Labour. And yes, the man managed (often despite his best efforts) to leave us a foreign policy legacy that most Kiwis are pretty proud of and don't want touched.

11:32 am  
Anonymous TP said...

I'm really struggling with this whole childcare thing. My whole work and political life has involvled fighting for childcare so women could access it - but somehow it's got a more sinister aura. I mean, it was all meant to be a choice - now I'm being asked to feel like a bludger by not working, and I personally don't want the flippin free childcare, some cash would be nicer... and don't get me started what these policies mean for my beloved Playcentre.

2:06 pm  
Blogger span said...

i whole heartedly agree about the foreign policy legacy - i think many Kiwis are very proud of it and when it comes down to it don't want these things changed. we're the Little Nation That Could (TM).

but too many shots of Lange and Douglas, as opposed to the uranium quip and the cup of tea quote could be a problem.

12:39 pm  
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5:58 pm  
Anonymous joel said...

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7:10 am  

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