- The New Zealand economy is facing the most challenging international circumstances since the 1930s. To get through it with a minimum of damage to people’s jobs and incomes will require a Government that has an unrelenting focus on economic growth – just as Kevin Rudd does.
- Winston. If Governments get away with tolerating Ministers who blatantly lie, then the message it will send is that you get rewarded for lying to the public, The behaviour of Peters has been a disgrace, and only exceeded by the Prime Minister’s tolerance and defence of it. It will be healthy for Labour to get punished at the polls, so that next time they are in this situation their response will be not to tolerate corruption instead of making excuses for it. Rewarding Labour with a fourth term for covering up for Winston would be an awful message to send.
- Healthcare. The ideological jihad against the private sector must stop. It is literally killing people. A coordinated approach to using all the resources out there will lead to better outcomes for those who need top quality healthcare.
- Tax. If Labour is returned it is almost inevitable they will massively increase taxes in their secret December mini-budget. They have shown an inability to keep a lid on spending over the last nine years. The best you can get under Labour is that they will not cancel the tax cuts already legislated. Under National you will have a Government that knows it is spending your money and will work hard to reduce taxes so families have more in their pockets.
- The Electoral Finance Act. Need more be said. National will repeal it immediately (while leaving in place transparency around donations). Labour will make it worse, exempt their own MPs from much of it, and introduce full taxpayer funding of political parties.
- Law & Order. We saw this week that Brad Shipton gets out in under three years for a pack rape with a sentence of almost nine year. Sickening. But this is no accident. Labour deliberately changed the law in 2001 to allow rapists and violent criminals to get parole after one third instead of two thirds of their sentence. I have no idea why, but they did. We don’t necessarily have a lot of criminals in NZ – we just keep letting them out to keep committing crimes. National will I am sure will be tougher on criminals. Labour have said they see no need for further changes and that the status quo is acceptable.
- Public Service Independence. Where does one start? The Police Commissioner hounded out of office on Helen Clark’s lies (this is beyond dispute). Madeleine Setchell and Erin Leigh. The attacks on the Auditor-General for doing his job over the illegal Parliamentary spending. The disgraceful behaviour towards the Director of the Serious Fraud Office because he exposed the truth about Winston’s donations. A neutral and independent public service is preferable to the US model where politicians appoint their supporters to everything. Throwing out Labour will help restore an independent public service.
- Education. By the time kids are at secondary school, it is too late if they can not read or write. Their future prospects are blighted and wasted. National’s focus on early detection and intervention for children who can not read, write or count could be the most important thing they do. National will spend more money on eight year olds that can’t vote than 18 year olds that can.
- Moderation or Radicalism? A John Key led Government will change direction and policies from Labour, but not radically so. The focus will be on improving economic growth, jobs and incomes. National looks to make up around 95% of a National-led Government. The alternative will be an unstable radical Government where Labour makes up less than 75% of it, and economic growth will be well down the list of priorities of its coalition partners. National, ACT and United Future may disagree somewhat on the policies for economic growth but they all see them as vital. The Green Party sees economic growth as a necessary evil, and to be tolerated only under duress. Chris Trotter said that a Labour/Green/Maori Party Government would be the most leftwing Government in 70 years, and he was right.
- John Key. He will be a great Prime Minister. Give him the chance to prove it.
I decided to stop at 10. I should probably also mention the 75% of homes to have fibre within six years as another reason. This is achievable and it will make a huge difference to New Zealand in terms of competitive advantage, plus changing where and how we work.
No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote tomorrow.
DPF from somewhere near Cambridge!