Family First rates the Leaders

September 20th, 2008 at 12:09 pm by David Farrar

Family First has rated every party leader for their “family friendliness” as they see it. This is a great idea, as those who agree with ’s values can use it as a positive guide, and those who disagree can use it as a negative guide. More lobby groups should do this sort of stuff.

The overall ratings (in order) for each Leader is:

  1. Winston Peters 77%
  2. 69%
  3. 57%
  4. 54%
  5. John Key 54%
  6. 38%
  7. 31%
  8. 15%
  9. 8%

Winston is the poster boy for social conservatism which is why it is so hilarious that so many on the left are doing everything possible to defend him.

There were 13 issues or votes they judged the Leaders on. I list them below, along with how I would have voted on it if I was an MP.

  1. Bill- DPF support – 0
  2. Civil Unions – DPF support – 0
  3. Relationships Bill – DPF support – 0
  4. Parental Notification for under 16 abortions – DPF support – 1 (I support notification, not approval)
  5. – DPF support – 0
  6. Care of Children – DPF oppose – 1
  7. Marriage Amendment (define as man/woman only) – DPF oppose – 0
  8. Anti-Smacking – DPF oppose – 1
  9. Easter Trading – DPF support – 0
  10. Easter Sunday Trading – DPF support – 0
  11. Drinking Age to 20 – DPF oppose – 0
  12. Street Prostitution (Manukau) – DPF oppose – 0
  13. Electoral Finance – DPF oppose – 1

So if I was a party leader I would be scored 4/13 or 31% – the same as Rodney Hide.

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67 Responses to “Family First rates the Leaders”

  1. Vinick (216 comments) says:

    Great to see Rodney Hide sticking up for right-wing liberalism. Sadly being a right winger these days it is automatically assumed you are also a conservative.

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  2. dad4justice (8,214 comments) says:

    Oppose 6, 7, 8 great stuff, as this trifecta shows the orchestrated attack on the Family Unit by Labour. Freeze that social engineer up Miss Clark.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    A demonstration of just how confused the political landscape is in New Zealand after a decade of inarticulate capitulation to pseudo liberalism from the National Party.

    Anyone here imagine Sarah Palin (or Ann Coulter) supporting Winston Peters or Peter Dunne? She’d kick their useless compromising wet liberal left wing arses over to the Soviet Union where they belong.

    The challenge is to return to real Conservative roots as this is the only real counter to the left. To suggest that politicians who have sustained their career by creating alliances with the gang of fervent progressives that are the Klark regime are representative of true Conservatives is nothing short of idiotic. It could only occur in a country starved of real political discussion, and with a severely limited political spectrum.

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  4. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Redbaiter –

    Just a question, when you refer to conservatives here are you talking about the right wing in general? Conservatism is often used interchangeably with right-wing.

    )r are you using conservatism to mean right-wing and socially conservative (more authoritarian as opposed to being classically liberal)?

    I’m assuming you mean the second (i.e. you’re right wing and socially conservative), but just wanted to clarify your position in my own mind.

    :)

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  5. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Can they not see their glaring inconsistency? On the one hand they (quite rightly) want the state to butt out of how people raise their children, for instance, even though one could advance the argument that the anti-smacking legislation somehow magically “protected” children when it does no such thing. But still, it has a logical motive and even an admirable aim, it’s just hopelessly flawed in its execution, fails in that aim, and criminalises otherwise innocent people.

    Their motive for their stance on this is that they say – correctly – the state does not know best when it comes to matters of conscience and morality.

    On the other they want the state to interfere in a financial transaction for sex between two consenting adults which, provided there’s no coercion and it’s taking place away from schools etc., is none of the state’s damned business.

    Their entire basis for the position in this instance is that the state does know best – provided it’s them that’s the state.

    Have they considered seeking treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder?

    Still, their official campaign anthem is quite catchy. :-D

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  6. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Slightly misleading. The incons don’t necessarily represent whether the party voted for the legislation or not, they represent whether the party is consistent with Family Firsts position on the legislation

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  7. Link Whore (1 comment) says:

    Christopher: good point.

    It always surprises me when members of “the left” like Lailla Harre of Unite or Clinton Smith of the Prime Ministers office describe themselves as liberals and put themselves in opposition to people like Matthew Hooton or David Farrar. The left, if represented by the Green Party or the NZ Labour Party, are anything but liberal.

    I am also interested that there is an assumption that those on “the rigfht” are also socially/morally conservative. That may be the case in the U.S. but certainly not here. I know many people who are economic rationalists (putting them on the right) and socially liberal (putting them on the left).

    It just shows the pointlessness of simple labels and the ignorant arrogance of those who use them. Someone who supports privatization of state assets & slashing the size of the state sector may also support legalization of prostitution and gay marriage. That doesn’t make them a “pinko turd burglar” to use the kind of epithet often flung around on this board.

    Bryan Spondre

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  8. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    Have you every wondered why Labour and the Greens have so many anti-family policies? Click here to find the answer:
    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/finding-out-which-politicians-are-family-friendly-and-why-the-rest-arent/

    Rex: I quite agree. I am a classical liberalist and that provides a consistent approach to all the issues.

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  9. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Kiwipolemicist and Rex – in principle, I also agree.

    That said, we do have to remember that the State does have some legitimate roles, and the boundaries are not always clear.

    I think that cannabis legalization is an example of this. Now, I think that adults possessed of all their mental faculties should be able to smoke their brains away all they like (provided they use their own money to do it). Yet cannabis use impacts on us all in a variety of ways.

    For example, legalization might legitimize its use by young people, whose brains will be more adversely affected as they are still growing. Another issue is what becomes of the right to smoke cannabis in your own home, when you have underage children present?

    Personally, I think such issues can be clearly resolved on classical liberal principles, and with a minimum of fuss and bother.

    My point is rather that sometimes the State does have to interfere with out private lives, and that it has a legitimate role in doing so, especially when it comes to the protection of other people.

    Like you, as a classical liberal I take the view that such interference should be minimal and controlled, but we need to bear in mind that we shouldn’t, necessarily, always be able to behave exactly as we please.

    In this, I think there is certainly room for debate between social conservatives and social liberals.

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  10. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    I am assuming that this is based on the extent to which Family Frist policies have been reflected in support for legislation – rather than on the personal attributes and beliefs of these leaders. I do not profess a detailed understanding of Family First’s core principles – but what little I know (combined with my knowledge of some of these politicans and their family lives) suggests that Family First would have very little in common with some of these supposed champions of family values!!

    Winston’s support of family values is as hollow as his railing against funding of other political parties. When you penetrate the rhetoric, his true beliefs are often diametrically opposed to the public persona he has so elaborately tried to maintain.

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  11. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter – Just a question, when you refer to conservatives here”

    I’m glad you tacked the “here” on the end of that phrase Christopher, because of course perceptions relating to Conservatism are severely limited in NZ and tainted by leftist propaganda that has largely, because of the inarticulateness of the opposition, gone unchallenged.

    I have spent a long time in the company of Americans in the US and elsewhere in the globe. I’ve come to appreciate true Conservatism for what it really is, and understand that if you truly want relief from high taxing ever growing regulating and interfering government, then the only real antidote is traditional Conservatism. That political ideal that has its roots in age old concepts of liberty originating from England and crossing the ocean to America and arising from the ashes of the War of Independence.

    I was once a Libertarian, until I realised they were self obsessed children playing egotistical games. I once worked (unpaid) for ACT, but grew disillusioned with their embracement of ideas I saw as leftist pseudo-liberalism. Hence I gave up on all NZ political parties and decided to use the internet to promote the idea of traditional American Conservatism. The same ideas as promoted by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

    The Nationals are not a Conservative Party, although they once were orientated that way. The current British opposition are not Conservatives. The Republicans are not a Conservative Party. Once they were, but not today. They have all failed us, and through their ideological capitulation (thanks to pseudo liberal infiltration) led us to the state we are in today. That is at the mercy of a massive corrupt and cronyist government structure robbing us of our liberty our property and our income. More so as each day goes by.

    This massive corrupt and powerful machine cannot be defeated by putting faith in the very structures and people who have led us to this sorry state. We don’t need more of the same old dysfunctional ideas. We need a clean political slate, and it starts with the ideas that underpin traditional American style Conservatism. Anything else is a destructive compromise.

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  12. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    At 15% this is exactly why the Greens have no moral right to use images of children on their billboards.

    And at 8% can I suggest that is exactly the type of unfriendly family policies you get from a childless Prime Minister and a caucus dominated by lesbians and homosexuals.

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  13. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    Since when has euthanasia, consensual prostution between adults, civil unions/gay marraige, easter shop trading effected the raising of children? These are choices that adults make and don’t effect children.

    Real Family friendly policies would include school choice (families choosing how best to educate their children), lower tax (families choosing how to spend their own money), sustainably helping families out of poverty/welfare dependence with upskilling and training into real jobs (not pushing people off welfare to make them retail assistants). In the end, Family First and Labour are equally telling families raise their kids their way, not giving families the independence to make their own choices.

    Labeling Christian Social Conservatism as “family friendly” policies is as misleading as labeling hard-core socialist policies as “Green” policy.

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  14. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    We need a clean political slate, and it starts with the ideas that underpin traditional American style Conservatism. Anything else is a destructive compromise.

    Do you happen to have any links to pieces which clearly and succinctly differentiate American-Style Conservatism from Classical Liberalism?

    From what I know about American conservatives, most are fiercely patriotic, religious, anti-abortion and support the teaching of creationism in schools.

    This, however, is simply what I’ve heard from the media, and as the media is notoriously left-wing, I’m not confident that the picture is accurate.

    Both of us, you and I, are clearly economically right-wing/conservative/classically liberal (in the sense that both of us believe in low taxation, private property, small welfare state etc), so I’m more interested in what your Conservatism involves on a libertarian/authoritarian scale.

    From my brief research on the internet, much of American Conservatism seems to be tied up with moral codes dictated by Christianity, and that many Conservative stances (e.g. abortion) arise primarily from religious belief.

    Is this a fair description?

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  15. toms (299 comments) says:

    Just a little heads up Redbaiter – the Soviet Union doesn’t exist.

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  16. Vinick (216 comments) says:

    democracymum,

    To be fair to Labour and the Greens (god, I can’t believe i’m saying that), Family First have been pretty selective in the legislation they have chosen to rank politicians against. They have certainly taken a fairly right-wing conservative view (as is their right).

    One would suspect that the Child Poverty Action Group could publish it’s own list of family/child friendly legislation and have National right near the bottom.

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  17. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “From my brief research on the internet, much of American Conservatism seems to be tied up with moral codes dictated by Christianity, and that many Conservative stances (e.g. abortion) arise primarily from religious belief.”

    One has to acknowledge the existence of basic moral codes. Whether one sees the source of those codes as religion or elsewhere does not matter. The idea is to live by moral codes. You do not compel other people to live as you do, but you do not resile from judgement of immorality. Combine those ideas with government being as small and unnoticeable as you can make it, and a strong defence force, and you’ve more or less got it. (well that’s the concise version that is all I have time for right now) I’m not religious, but I acknowledge Christianity as a positive force in society, and providing a heritage we should be thankful for.

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  18. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Just a little heads up Redbaiter – the Soviet Union doesn’t exist.”

    Fuck off. You’re a political dinosaur with no idea.

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  19. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    So you have turned into a screaming fundie christian Red dear boy, much like
    your hero man hands Coulter is.
    Joined the AOG have you, speaking in tongues yet ?
    Oh, I notice your other hero Palin is now into inviting witch hunters from Kenya
    to Alaska.
    Damn, it is almost worth it to watch her try and be a US president, her going up
    against Vlad the impaler over Georgia would be fun

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  20. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    Michael E “Since when has euthanasia, consensual prostution between adults, civil unions/gay marraige, easter shop trading effected the raising of children? These are choices that adults make and don’t effect children.”

    So is your position that there would be no effect on the kids if mum decided to put an ad in the paper inviting people to come over and pay for sex with her? Or no effect if dad decided to marry another bloke. Are you seriously saying that these sort of decisions would have no effect on the children?

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  21. dave (988 comments) says:

    what is interesting that of all the parties likely to get into Parliament after the election with more than one seat, the Maori Party leaders are the most family friendly. Interestingly too, the most family friendly political leader didn’t attend the recent family first conference for an hour, as did most of the other party leaders

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  22. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    So is your position that there would be no effect on the kids if mum decided to put an ad in the paper inviting people to come over and pay for sex with her? Or no effect if dad decided to marry another bloke.

    There would also be an effect on the children if (a) mum put an ad in the paper inviting people to come over and have sex with her for free, and (b) if dad decided to marry another sheila.

    You can argue for a society in which people are not allowed to engage in activity which would have an effect on their children (good luck with that), or a society in which people are allowed to make their own decisions about what is right for them and their families.

    Family First are arguing for a society in which activities that they personally dislike are illegal and trying to use some nebulous concept of ‘family values’ to promote their ideas.

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  23. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Christopher asked…

    “Do you happen to have any links to pieces which clearly and succinctly differentiate American-Style Conservatism from Classical Liberalism?”

    Try here Chris…..and there are others here to that point out the differences between classical liberalism and Conservatism.

    http://www.liberalvalues.org.nz/index.php?action=view_journal&journal_id=246

    The main point is that Conservatives and Socialists only disagree about means…not ends as such. Both actually tag team each other on the way to less freedom and more State control.

    My mate Redbaiter claims he’s a Conservative while sounding like a Classic liberal for all money. His point about moral codes is spot on and sounds very Objectivist and Ayn Randian. ;-)

    Heres what he said…

    “One has to acknowledge the existence of basic moral codes. Whether one sees the source of those codes as religion or elsewhere does not matter. The idea is to live by moral codes. You do not compel other people to live as you do, but you do not resile from judgement of immorality. Combine those ideas with government being as small and unnoticeable as you can make it, and a strong defence force, and you’ve more or less got it. (well that’s the concise version that is all I have time for right now) I’m not religious, but I acknowledge Christianity as a positive force in society, and providing a heritage we should be thankful for.”

    I can’t disagree with him at all….well said Red…….On the Christianity/positive force we may haggle but otherwise…;-)

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  24. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    Christopher says “My point is rather that sometimes the State does have to interfere with out private lives, and that it has a legitimate role in doing so, especially when it comes to the protection of other people.

    Like you, as a classical liberal I take the view that such interference should be minimal and controlled, but we need to bear in mind that we shouldn’t, necessarily, always be able to behave exactly as we please.”

    With respect, allowing *any* State interference in our lives is not classical liberalism (it is minarchism), and it is a view that has an internally inconsistent logic.

    If you say that we shouldn’t be able to behave exactly as we please then where do you draw the line to stop state interference? History will show that if you give the State an inch it will take a mile.

    Classical liberalism does not allow people to behave exactly as they please, rather it allows people to behave exactly as they please as long as they don’t harm the person and property of others (the non-aggression axiom).

    This post and my comments will explain more:
    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/legalising-p/#comment-200

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  25. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    James says “The main point is that Conservatives and Socialists only disagree about means…not ends as such. Both actually tag team each other on the way to less freedom and more State control.” he is right: both are Statists.

    Ayn Rand was a minarchist.

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  26. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    Christoper

    Perhaps this will help answer your question about American Conservatism and classical liberalism:
    http://mises.org/story/1674

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  27. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Family First is flying the flag for the non existent abstarction called ‘the family”. Like “society” there is no such thing.Only individuals exist and therefore only individuals have rights….the protection of which is the States SOUL legitimate reason for being.

    Protect the existing individuals rights and you strengthen and solidify the family,society,nation,culture etc that flow from that stating point. Humans come as single,independent entitys who must think and reason ( actiions only individuals can preform) if they are to live,grow and prosper.

    ACT is the party in parliment that most repects the rights of the individual….therefore ACT is the best option for achieving more stable and less disfunctional familys.Partys that have collective abstarctions as their focus ,ie; Maori,Family First etc are doomed to fail and achieve nothing for their favoured groups except negatives.

    As Danyl pointed out…..”Family First are arguing for a society in which activities that they personally dislike are illegal and trying to use some nebulous concept of ‘family values’ to promote their ideas.”

    They are wanting acts that are not crimes…ie: those without an unconsenting victim whos had their rights violated,that they find offensive (Vices) to be treated the same as those acts that DO have an unconsenting victim (Crimes).

    The failure to make the distinction between the two is at the heart of many of our societys problems and it’s failures to resolve them, ie: the failure of the war on drugs and their growing prevalence in NZ.

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  28. LabourDoesntWork (290 comments) says:

    “From my brief research on the internet, much of American Conservatism seems to be tied up with moral codes dictated by Christianity, and that many Conservative stances (e.g. abortion) arise primarily from religious belief.”

    No; opposition to abortion is based on the scientific facts. The lack of a moral grounding is what is indicated by knee-jerk defenses of things such as abortion, accompanied by a total lack of scientific arguments. It speaks volumes of the intellectual bankruptcy of “pro-choicers”, so-called, that they use choice alone as the big argument to justify abortion, even late-term abortion, abortion of minors without parental knowledge, and opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. And yet they *oppose* choice on the following issues: school choice, child discipline, spending choice (lower taxes), private property rights, food choice, smoking choice, energy exploration, media freedom (no gvnt in broadcasting), election freedom (no EFA criminalising what has been leegal for decades), lightbulb (!) choice…and a bunch of others.

    Given defenders of abortion are generally leftwing they clearly don’t believe their own bullshit about “choice”, else choice would justify ALL of the above, as well as abortion. Choice is a lie, and yet it’s typically all they use to justify abortion. The only issue leftists are “pro-choice” on IS abortion! (and homosexual marriage. But since only a minority of a 1-3% minority are even interested in marriage, we can pretty much ignore that one.)

    Basically, pro-abortion leftists are hypocrites. They have attacked fundamentalist Christians for decades yet embrace Sharia-law supporting Islamists, even as Europe descends into darkness… Leftism is a scam, they’re anti-choice hypocrites who defend child-killing with a slogan.

    Note that rightwingers don’t use “choice” to justify the above because we use explicit arguments directly justifying choice on each issue. So-called pro-choicers have only a slogan because the facts of child-killing aren’t on their side.

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  29. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Rand accepted the fact that for freedom and Capitalism to work an objective body was needed to protect the rights of the people involved…..just as a referee is required in a sporting event…..without one you get chaos.

    That body(the State) needed to be entrusted with the citizens right to self defence,meaning retalitory force,and to use it objectively in the defence of an individuals rights whilst being blind to all other factors such as race,sex,wealth,religion,political view etc etc…

    The State is a nessessary evil……and it must be strictly restrained and limited in what it can do and how if civilisation and freedom are to be preserved.

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  30. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Kiwipolemicist and James – thank you for your links, I have been reading them, and thank you to Redbaiter for his summaries.

    With respect, allowing *any* State interference in our lives is not classical liberalism (it is minarchism), and it is a view that has an internally inconsistent logic.

    Yes, I see what you mean about having internally consistent logic. It’s something which I have pondered before, but I have always had trouble defining the point at which various behaviours become harmful to others.

    For example, the smoking of cannabis in public (or cigarettes for that matter). I would say it is harmful to those who wish to legitimately use the streets, parks and other public places to be exposed to smoke from those who wish to smoke cannabis in public, and at that point I would have to say that something must be done to ensure that smoking of cannabis is done in a way which does not impact on others.

    I note an interesting point in the mises.org article referring to voluntary constraints evolving from societal pressure as the proper way to enforce societal norms (rather than legislation).

    If you agree with me that smoking cannabis in a busy public street is harmful to others, would you not also agree that we need something stronger than societal pressure to stop such people?

    Under a classically liberal approach, as I understand it, I would be entitled to take increasingly severe forms of action against such a person: asking them to stop, shouting at them to stop, smashing them in the face etc. (although my understanding could be faulty).

    If we want to both prohibit the behaviour in question, and wish to do so without regulation, surely we fall into a situation of lawlessness where people have no choice but to use force to prevent such harmful behaviour?

    Is it not more efficacious and efficient to simply restrict the freedom of the cannabis smoker by law, to the point at which his smoking no longer harms others, even though this impinges on his private freedom?

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  31. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Note that rightwingers don’t use “choice” to justify the above because we use explicit arguments directly justifying choice on each issue. So-called pro-choicers have only a slogan because the facts of child-killing aren’t on their side.”

    Can’t agree.Im no lefty and I support and understand that it IS a Womans right to choose to abort or not….for the simple reason that she is the one with the rights….not a fetus that has no rights because its not a reasoning,conceptualising being….yet.

    Its her body….no one elses….the unwanted fetus is no different to cancer in that its in the womans body against her will.

    Now don’t think I love abortion…I don’t. I think its nasty and in this day and age of contraception and information totally unessessary in a modern,Western country….but there you go….people aren’t perfect.

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  32. dave (988 comments) says:

    The most unfriendly politicians in this parliament according to Family First are Pete Hodson and Steve Chadwick, followed by Benson-Pope, Burton, Clark Goff and Maharey – then then most of the Greens. Its known that Family First is a Christian group but not so well known that on of the most family unfriendly MPs has a Christian ministerial advisor, so I guess all Christians cant be lumped into sameness with regard to family policies.

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  33. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Christopher…..this essay is also worth a read if you haven’t already…

    The bankruptcy of conservatism.

    http://www.liberalvalues.org.nz/index.php?action=view_journal&journal_id=244

    the underlying principle of your example that is not acknowledged is… who owns the street?…and what do they want to happen on it. Classic Liberals are in favour of PRIVATE property rights….not Public (State) ownership.The former allows decisions to be made and clearly delineates what behaviour is allowed and what isn’t…..and allows everyone to decide what they will do in rela

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  34. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Given defenders of abortion are generally leftwing they clearly don’t believe their own bullshit about “choice”, else choice would justify ALL of the above, as well as abortion. Choice is a lie, and yet it’s typically all they use to justify abortion. The only issue leftists are “pro-choice” on IS abortion! (and homosexual marriage. But since only a minority of a 1-3% minority are even interested in marriage, we can pretty much ignore that one.)

    Certainly I will agree with you that leftist philosophy is horribly illogical and inconsistent, especially when it comes to choice.

    No; opposition to abortion is based on the scientific facts. The lack of a moral grounding is what is indicated by knee-jerk defenses of things such as abortion, accompanied by a total lack of scientific arguments.

    So, supposing that in some hypothetical world, scientists were clearly able to identify a point at which a foetus becomes a human being (clearly meaning incontrovertibly and without opposition), then would you say that abortions before that point are fine and abortions after it are not?

    (NB: I’m not talking about the realistic possibility of finding such a point, just what you would say if such a point were to be discovered)

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  35. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    Who gives a shit what the Family Party thinks or how it rates?

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  36. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    **James: Rand was wrong about the State being necessary to prevent chaos: people have managed just fine in places where there is no State. If you say that an overarching authority is necssary to prevent chaos then you need a World Government to oversee the relations between countries, and who oversees the relationships within the World Government? it’s an infinite regression.

    **Christopher: one of my pet hates is people who sit down beside me at the bus stop and light a cigarette. “Do I look like I want a free dose of carcinogens?”

    A truly classical liberal country would not have public streets, because to have public streets you have to have a State. The street would be privately owned and the owner would set the rules regarding smoking. If it’s a non-smoking street then the smoker is in breach of contract and subject to removal by the owner. Just as shopping malls have security guards, private streets are likely to have security guards to deal with the smoker.

    All the curly questions of classical liberalism can be solved by a logical application of the non-aggression axiom and the principle of property rigts..

    Now, you’re probably think that I’m cracked talking about private roads. For a short explanation see here:
    http://mises.org/story/1704
    For a long explanation see here:
    http://mises.org/rothbard/newliberty10.asp

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  37. James (1,338 comments) says:

    **James: Rand was wrong about the State being necessary to prevent chaos: people have managed just fine in places where there is no State.”

    But they still needed a form of Government to enforce rulers of conduct etc….be that a tribal council etc……an authority is required what ever sistuation you are in….

    ” If you say that an overarching authority is necssary to prevent chaos then you need a World Government to oversee the relations between countries, and who oversees the relationships within the World Government? it’s an infinite regression.”

    Not true…..countries are abstarctions….lines on a map.People are individuals with rights….protect those and everthing else follows….

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  38. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    the underlying principle of your example that is not acknowledged is… who owns the street?…and what do they want to happen on it. Classic Liberals are in favour of PRIVATE property rights….not Public (State) ownership.

    I take your point, but as I understand it (and again my understanding may be faulty), classical liberals do not oppose the provision of certain goods which are most efficiently provided by a centralized body which can view overall objectives and make investments accordingly (the State would be an obvious example).

    I can certainly imagine a world in which roads are constructed by private individuals, and those who wish to use them enter into private contracts with said individuals to use the road. However, surely you must agree that such a system is open to exploitation which cannot, under any terms, be considered legitimate or logical. Suppose, for example, that there is a valley in which various people live and own properties and businesses with only one mountain pass allowing entry or exit. If only individual were to come along and occupy that land, declaring it to be his, and build a road upon it, he would be entitled to charge whatever price he liked for travle upon it, or indeed permit no travel whatsoever.

    The ownership of such a road is of a fundamentally different kind from ownership of private property. For example, if I spy an unused patch of land, to which nobody currently has a claim, and I till it and sell the crops, then those profits are mine. Furhtermore, if I then contract with others to increase the profitability of my farm, and use profits to purchase other assets (such as a horse and cart, or whatever) then equally such items are mine. (NB: socialists would disagree with this).

    Ownership of assets which are unique, and through which ownership is only derived from having got there first, is surely of a different nature from the ownership described above.

    It is the uniqueness of roads (or rather, their ability to permit travel from one area to another), and of things such as rivers and lakes, oceans and mountains, which, I would argue, sets them apart from other property.

    I would argue, therefore, that it is legitimate to have State ownership of such unique assets, as individuals are ill-positioned to exploit them efficiently.

    Private ownership of roads must rest on a premise of economic rationality. Surely we know by now that people are often irrational!

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  39. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    MMP was suppose to be about better representation of New Zealanders in parliament

    That is exactly why Labour must go.
    Although I am a Christian I have no problem accepting homosexuals and lesbians,
    but one group should not dominate in parliament.

    Imagine if we had a parliament made up of Winston’s old dearies,
    What sort of warped policies would they push on the NZ public.

    And guys, believing that a family is the best place to raise children and form stable
    relationships, isn’t some radical religious theory, it just happens to be the facts.

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  40. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    I’d see a poor rating from family first as a badge of honor

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  41. JC (955 comments) says:

    For me Conservatism means what it suggests.. a reluctance to change as opposed to evolution of ways and means that grow out of the conservative, the traditional and the cultural.

    I can illustrate this with the Speakers Prayer in our Parliament:

    “Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    84% of MPs recently voted to retain the prayer as is because:

    1. They didn’t want something starting with “Almighty Helen” and finishing with “Through Michael Cullen our Lord. Amen”

    2. To their credit they recognized Parliament stands for something bigger than them, was bigger than a rort of Standing Orders and provided them with some guidance in their affairs and judgments.

    3. Part of that prayer emphasizes worthwhile objectives that are difficult to express in a daily dry recital of Standing Order No 156, sec B para 27.

    4. They understand that their power and perquisites emanate from a tradition and culture and legal jurisprudence that also grew out of a religion that encompasses Greek, Roman and Western thought.

    5. It tells every MP of whatever colour, culture, ideology and religion to wipe his shoes and leave his baggage at the door and get on with his responsibilities. The prayer should be amended to get rid of the Queen and perhaps reference to Jesus Christ but these are evolutions that don’t alter the basic objectives of it.

    So you could argue that this one example is deeply conservative yet is respected by a clear majority of MPs who surely cover atheism, agnosticism and religious indifference. And I think we can extend from there to certain other conservative features from whence the prayer emanates..

    Lets take one of them.. abortion.. a classic conservative attitude is “mind your own business”, and so should the left wing Family First after telling everyone that abortion mostly indicates stupidity for ignoring contraception. You can go down most of DPFs list and make the same sort of comments. The only time a conservative should be upset is when people try to impose their views on the rest of us.. then we should get out the rope, say a suitable prayer and hang the pricks.

    JC

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  42. Lucyna (35 comments) says:

    Ten Conservative Principles will give you what I consider the best explanation of conservatism. I have it linked off our about page as well.

    Summarised, those principles are:

    1) There exists an enduring moral order – order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

    2) Adherence to custom, convention, and continuity – order and justice and freedom are the artificial products of a long social experience, the result of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice.

    3) The principle of prescription – of things established by immemorial usage, such as rights to property. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for the great mysterious incorporation of the human race has acquired a prescriptive wisdom far greater than any man’s petty private rationality.

    4) Principle of prudence – any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.

    5) Principle of variety – for the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality.

    6) Principle of imperfectability – Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination ..

    7) Freedom and property are closely linked – upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth.

    8 ) Uphold voluntary community and oppose involuntary collectivism – a nation is no stronger than the numerous little communities of which it is composed. A central administration, or a corps of select managers and civil servants, however well intentioned and well trained, cannot confer justice and prosperity and tranquility upon a mass of men and women deprived of their old responsibilities.

    9) Prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions – Knowing human nature for a mixture of good and evil, the conservative does not put his trust in mere benevolence. Constitutional restrictions, political checks and balances, adequate enforcement of the laws, the old intricate web of restraints upon will and appetite—these the conservative approves as instruments of freedom and order.

    10) Permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society – The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression.

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  43. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..5) Principle of variety – for the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality..”

    oh..so that’s how you justify your ‘widows and orphans to the gutter’ social policies/beliefs..eh..?

    ..they must be of a lower class than you..?..eh..?

    and therefor not deserving of any state support..

    it’s sink or swim for them..eh..?

    (news for you darling..if you live/were born here..you are a peasant..eh..?..end of story..!..)

    and..um..gee ..lucyna..let’s think the unthinkable..and your marriage ends..

    ..do you think you will then be so opposed to/advocating the scrapping of..the support for sole parents..?

    (and of course..to retain your ideological purity..you wouldn’t have applied for any of that ‘dirty’ ‘working for families’ money..?

    ..would you lucyna..?

    that would be below someone of your ‘class’..eh..?

    (brilliant..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  44. georgebolwing (845 comments) says:

    Warning: a long and potentially boring (to non-economists) post here, but I think it is necessary to have a very clear understanding of the liberal view of what should and shouldn’t be owned by the state.

    Classic economic liberals would have the state limited to a very small group of functions — called “public goods” in economics — that cannot be supplied efficiently by markets because of two very special, and rarely seen, conditions: (a) non-excludability and (b) non-rivalry.

    Non-excludable goods are those where is is not possible to stop one person using the good when another does. Defence is the classic example: you can’t say to the invading army “only shoot the people who have not paid their taxes”. The simple example of an excludable good is a movie: if you don’t pay for your ticket, you can’t see the movie because it is shown inside the theatre.

    Non-rivalry means that ones person’s consumption does not prevent another’s. Food is rival in consumption: if I eat an apple, no one else can. Knowledge is non-rivalrous: my knowing how to cook a cake doesn’t impact on your ability to do so.

    There are very few goods that are both non-rivalrous and non-excludable.

    The point about public goods is not that the owners of them may make excessive profits (the common argument for public ownership, as in the example of roads above). In fact, it is the very opposite: it is impossible to earn any return from providing such a good. Non-excludability is the key here: if you make the good available to one person, you make it available to all and while one person might be willing to pay to be the first use the good, the second and every other person will not pay, because they can get the good for free.

    The existence of natural monopolies, where excludability is present by definition, is not a reason for state ownership. You just end up with the worst of all words: a monopolist, who is lazy and uncaring about the cares of consumers, owned by a government, which is also often lazy, uncaring about the cares of consumers and is probably more likely to try and make monopoly profits, to finance other goals. State owned telephone companies in Africa and state-owned oil companies in the middle east are prime examples.

    Again, there are few true natural monopoly goods. The liberal would still have them in private ownership, but with regulation to ensure that the worst aspects of the monopoly are absent.

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  45. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    What does the EFA have to do with families ?

    [DPF: It has a “chilling effect” on their ability to participate in the election process I would guess”

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  46. Lucyna (35 comments) says:

    Philu, why is it I always get this image of you dancing around drooling as you talk. It must the multiple dots, they have a salivatory expression to them. Do you really want to know the answer to your question, or are you going to do the usual of ignoring anything I say, apart from the small bits that appear to support your conclusion? If so, I’m not playing.

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  47. Duxton (651 comments) says:

    Put it away

    The EFA is directly linked to families in the sense that organisations that might wish to advocate on behalf of family issues face severe restrictions in an election year. It is perfectly reasonable for Family First to include it in their list

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  48. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    “What does the EFA have to do with families ?

    [DPF: It has a “chilling effect” on their ability to participate in the election process I would guess””

    But it has the same chilling effect on homosexuals, satanists, goat molesters, hippie communes and wife swappers as it does on families. It strikes me as neutral as far as being pro or anti family. Maybe I’m putting too much effort into expecting Family First to make sense ?

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  49. Mike (158 comments) says:

    “At 15% this is exactly why the Greens have no moral right to use images of children on their billboards.”

    No, the Greens only scoring 15% shows that Family First have no legitimate claim to deciding whats best for families.

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  50. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    Fuck Family First. They have no problem taking away everyone elses rights but the moment it affects them, suddenly they’re all about freedom of speech and democracy. What a bunch of hypocrites. Freedom, as Dick Cheney once said, means freedom for everyone. Not just fundamentalist Christians.

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  51. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Yep, when those tossers from family first state that it would be a good
    idea to burn bastards like Capil and other bible bashing kiddie fiddlers at
    the stake, then I may listen to their advice, till then fuck em.
    Oh, and add those arseholes from that destiny mob to the fire
    And any prick of a religious missionary who disturbs me in any way.
    Nothing like a good rant :-)

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  52. dave (988 comments) says:

    “What does the EFA have to do with families ?

    I actually asked Family First why they used the EFA. I’ve put their response here

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  53. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I find I’m in agreement with philu here. Any philosophy which not just accepts the reality of inequality but exalts it and writes it off as “diversity” rather than constantly striving to eliminate it (albeit that that’s probably a utopian ideal) gives me the s**ts.

    I’ve been so poor I had to steal food and drink. I’ve been (briefly) homeless. I’ve stood there searching the pockets of all the jackets in my wardrobe trying to find enough change to give my kids to buy a loaf of bread to toast for their breakfast. I’ve been evicted, along with my partner and family, because I couldn’t pay the rent. (And I’ve seen people in far, far worse situations through no real fault of their own).

    I didn’t feel at all “diverse” at those times, strangely enough. I felt hungry and thirsty and cold and stressed and, at times, scared.

    I’m not talking about everyone having a plasma. But if people don’t enter politics determined to do what they can to eliminate inequality in terms of access to the necessities of life, then they don’t belong there.

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  54. Lucyna (35 comments) says:

    Rex, you say you were so poor you had to steal. Did you never ask people for help rather than stealing from them?

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  55. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Georgebolwing – thanks for your comment, I found it both interesting and informative!

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  56. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    “Its her body….no one elses….the unwanted fetus is no different to cancer in that its in the womans body against her will.

    Now don’t think I love abortion…I don’t. I think its nasty and in this day and age of contraception and information totally unessessary in a modern,Western country….but there you go….people aren’t perfect.” James

    Well, which one is it?…..Fucken baby killer!

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  57. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom, where do you live? Obviously not a welfare state like NZ. Having been raised on the DPB in my teenage years in the 80s, where my mother NEVER went out and brought a new “uncle” home every weekend, and we two kids always managed to have milk, fresh fruit and proper home-cooked meals with vegetables every day, to being made redundant three times in the 90s and at times relying on the unemployment benefit, I find it hard to believe that ANYONE in New Zealand over the 30 years has HAD to steal food. There is ample welfare, food banks and other charities in present NZ society, whereas in my part of SE Asia I currently reside, there are elderly amputees and homeless mothers with drugged babies begging for change on the footpath – and they STILL don’t steal.

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  58. Mike (158 comments) says:

    Hi DPF,

    I note for abortion you write “I support notification, not approval” I tend to take a pretty pessimistic view of parental notification, I see it as if we can’t require parental approval we will try our best to have the parents force thier daughter to keep the baby.

    What would be your position on notification but only after the abortion has been carried out?

    [DPF: Yeah that would be fine]

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  59. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Well, which one is it?…..Fucken baby killer!”

    Oh we have a real rocket scientist here……one suspects fetal alcohol syndrome….

    And why all this concern for other peoples fetues..? dodgy….

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  60. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    That list just makes relieved that the majority in this country are atheist. Family values are the antithesis of personal freedom and i welcome their demise

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  61. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    I am somewhat surprised that no one has suggested that the politicians have no more right to have a say on conscience issues than the voter. There was some excuse for MPs making conscience votes under FPP – they were meant to represent their electorate. However, there is no excuse under MMP. The average MP has no more of a conscience that the average voter, many would say they do not have one period.

    When I was at the Family First Forum I managed to get a question to Rodney about ACT’s policy on referenda. He said that he was in favour of referenda for conscience issues. I applaud him for his stance. However, that is not ACT policy at present. I have tried very hard without success to get an answer on this matter.

    I find it hard to believe that ACT wants my vote when they continually ignore my emails and phone messages. Perhaps some of the ACT supporters on this blog will tell one how to get an answer regarding ACT policy that is not on their website – and please do not repeat that I should look at their 20 point plan.

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  62. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Lucyna / ISeeRed: Yes, some of those things I refer to I resorted to in the “welfare state” of NZ. I don’t smoke, I never gamble (aside from a raffle ticket for charities when I cann afford to do so), I’ve never taken drugs and I drink (moderately) only when I can afford to do that, too. But when WINZ (or DSW as it was in those days) sees fit to impose “stand down periods” before you’re eligible for any assistance and you have three or four children to feed then you do what you have to do.

    The stand downs were (and still are, for all I know) imposed because you were supposed to have been prescient enough to see that some employer would have a hissy fit and sack you. To cite but one instance, I was fired on the spot because I’d used the company car – which I was specifically permitted to use privately – to take some food to my horse and the boss noticed a few strands of hay in the boot. That amounted to “not taking proper care of the vehicle”. At least that was the excuse that was given – the reality was that I failed to feign sufficient awe at his repeated mentions of the fact he’d “once been in the army, ya know” or to be impressed by the pistol he waved around.

    Sure you can sue such people and maybe even get the Employment Court to believe that a grown man behaves like a petulant child, but while you’re waiting for the pay-out and you’re deemed to have “caused your own dismissal” you could wait anything up to six months for a benefit. And if you’re renting privately and raising children and you’ve minimal or no savings, the “welfare” system is no such thing. So I’d lift the occasional loaf of bread or bottle of milk from a letterbox. Never the same place twice, and with an enormous feeling of guilt and shame.

    While there most certainly are those who get together and share a house so they can pool their benefits to buy drugs – and all the other stereotypes you no doubt can reference – there are also people who living in appalling conditions.

    Are they supposed to be cheered by the fact there’s legless beggars in other countries?! I’m afraid I don’t base my welfare philosophy on Monty Python’s “Four Yorkshiremen” sketch.

    I prefer to base it on reality and compassion, and of course the idea that those who enter politics should do so wanting to raise us all, not take from those at the top and hand it to those at the bottom, nor – as you seem to – sit atop a perch at the top and look down upon those below while celebrating their “diversity”.

    And yes, I did ask for help. My family, as always, were magnificent. My “friends” at the time… well it seems they shared your philosophy, and a friends no more.

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  63. Vinick (216 comments) says:

    “When I was at the Family First Forum I managed to get a question to Rodney about ACT’s policy on referenda. He said that he was in favour of referenda for conscience issues. I applaud him for his stance. However, that is not ACT policy at present. I have tried very hard without success to get an answer on this matter.”

    So you are saying that MPs can’t have a view that is not party policy? Perhaps Rodney is in favour of it, but cannot get it adopted as policy. Or it just isn’t seen as a big deal.

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  64. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    Vinick, even Winston would not twist what I said that badly. Rodney is of course part leader and is entitled to his own opinion. However he should be able to say whether the issue is party policy. He should also be able to say this is my opinion but I do not see it as a big deal and we have far more importan policy deciasions than that.

    The piont that I am making is that if a party is serious about getting votes they need to be able to answer potential voters questions. The issue of referenda for example may be no big deal to you but it is not only to me but a significance number of voters.

    I asked if referenda on conscience issues was ACT policy. Rodney basically answered a different question which gave the impression to a conservative audience that the answer to my queation was yes.

    Rodney should be able to dictate a reply in a couple of minutes if my email was given to him. If it wasn’t their is something wrong with with his staff.

    If the answer to my question was yes I would certainly be voting ACT. However, if a party is unable or unwilling to give a simple answer to a question running up to an election how much effort would they make to listen to ones concerns after the election.

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  65. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    While there most certainly are those who get together and share a house so they can pool their benefits to buy drugs – and all the other stereotypes you no doubt can reference – there are also people who living in appalling conditions.

    Rex,

    Would you be more in favour of a benefit which is coupon-based, but of high value (i.e. you can immediately begin purchasing more-than adequate amounts of high-quality food, clothing, medical supplies etc) which cuts off after a period of, say, 6 months?

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  66. Lucyna (35 comments) says:

    Rex, the principle of variety is really the recognition that no matter how much you try to equalise society, that you will fail. And in the trying will make either everyone poorer and/or introduce a totalitarian system (such as communism). The principle doesn’t ENFORCE variety, it merely recognises it’s existence.

    The problem as I see with welfare is that it is administered by a SYSTEM and by individuals that are PAID to administer that system. Those people do not do the job because they want to help people, they do the job to get paid. They have no emotional attachment to those they are supposed to serve, and so any leeway they may give as to your personal situation is very much determined by the rules of the system. Welfare therefore becomes very cold and impersonal.

    In my ideal world, government would not be responsible for welfare, instead the Churches would step into the breech and care for those in need. If you are going to people for help who love you, they will help you (as you found with your family). Think of the medieval monastery as an example of the type of place you could go to.

    Of course, if for some reason I managed to get into power, I would implement my ideal because as a conservative, I recognise that you can’t just change a whole way of life for people. It would be cruel to take the benefit away from those who rely on it. Though, I would make it a heck of a lot more difficult for new people coming onto it so it doesn’t become a lifestyle choice.

    My solution therefore would be to gradually make it possible through lower taxes for a person to be able to work and support a family on a working wage that does not need government assistance. So my minimum standard would be self-sufficiency – anything lower is poverty. Right now in NZ we have massive poverty if you include all the people that require government assistance just to get by.

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  67. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Christopher: In favour of coupons / vouchers absolutely, yes. Private charities are increasingly handing out plastic cards that can be used like EFTPOS cards at the supermarket for anything but booze and cigarettes (or Lotto if sold) and I don’t see why the government shouldn’t be equally careful with our taxes.

    Automatic cut-off, no. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Impose strict rules on having to apply for jobs (really apply, not just copy down details from the sitsvac ads knowing that even if they’re asked the employer will probably have received so many applications they’ll say they got one from the beneficiary, as I’ve seen some bludgers do) by all means. Impose stringent tests on eligibility for sickness and invalids benefits, yes. But assume that everyone can magically sort themselevs out in 6 months, no. Most perhaps, but not all.

    Lucyna – what about an ideal world where the recipient is, like me, an avowed atheist? I’m sure most Christians true to their principles would help nonetheless, but I’d feel a compete fraud. I was offered help from church sources and turned much of it down for that reason. And while I agree the rules are restrictive at least they avoid the capriciousness which would infect private charity. I don’t want to be given a handout based on my morals, my appearance, or the degree to which I’m deemed to display suitable gratitude, thanks. If I deserve it because my circumstances fit the criteria then I deserve it regardless.

    I agree completely with your last paragraph, however. The ultimate aim of policy should be total self-sufficiency… that’s why I lept on the description of inequality as nothing more than “diversity”. It’s not – it’s a failing of society and blithe acceptance (as was implied by what you quoted but not it seems, in your own personal philosophy, I accept) I find intolerable.

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