Don’t Just Get Tough on Crime, Get Rid of Crime

Come election time there is always at least one party, sometimes more, that insists the way to prevent crime and keep everybody safe is to lock up anyone who looks a bit dodgy and throw away the key. This election is no exception.

There are many problems with this mentality, vote grabber though it may be. Yes, there is crime in New Zealand, and even one crime a year is one crime to many. But crime rates are not, on the whole, going up. Locking up people for minor offences costs the country a fortune and turns them into hardened criminals who will commit more crimes on release.

Getting tough on crime will never get rid of crime. It will always be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. No one can be locked up until they have actually committed a crime. By that time it’s too late. Continue reading

Mary O’Neill to Stand for the Alliance in Napier

The Alliance Party has confirmed Mary O’Neill as the Alliance candidate in the Napier Electorate for the 2014 election.

Party co-leader Kay Murray says that the party is delighted Mary is willing to stand for the Alliance this election. Mary is very creative and hardworking. She has been a long-time Alliance member and enthusiastic supporter of the party. Mary is extremely concerned about the environment and social issues such as unemployment, inequality, and fair treatment for the elderly, particularly as they relate to the Napier electorate. Continue reading

New Zealanders Don’t Like Inequality But They Vote For It

New Zealanders don’t like inequality. Nigel Latta’s programme on inequality on TV1 recently drew so many donations for the people featured on the programme that he has had to start a trust to deal with the excess funds. Every time Campbell Live on TV3 runs a programme about someone down on their luck the donations come pouring in. The programme raised many times the amount needed for a young boy’s orthodontics; a family whose house was attacked by termites were given enough for a new home. The list goes on.

When confronted by concrete examples of the effects of inequality on people’s lives i.e. people not able to afford the necessities of life out of their own income, New Zealanders dig into their pockets and try to make things right. We want everyone to have a fair go, to have a decent life.

What gets lost, though, is the connection between politics and inequality. Continue reading

Company Tax Rates, Alliance Style

ACT has thrown company tax rates into the election circus. The reaction from other parties has been muted to say the least. No one seems to know how to respond.

The Alliance Party has never been afraid of controversy. Let’s look at company tax rates, and trust tax rates too for that matter. But let’s look at them from the viewpoint of reducing inequality and increasing the common good, as opposed to enabling companies to increase their profits per se. Continue reading

Are We Having an Election or a Game of Trivial Pursuit?

Are we having an election or a game of Trivial Pursuit? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

We had the fixation with scarves and men who say they’re sorry. Apparently it’s not manly. Though most women would argue that men don’t say ‘sorry’ half often enough. And red scarves are an unforgivable fashion faux pas – who knew? Continue reading