What’s Dotcom Got The Alliance Hasn’t?

What has Dotcom got that the Alliance Party hasn’t? He is the founder of a yet unregistered political party which like the Alliance fails to rate a mention in opinion polls. His feelings on the GCSB and our government spying on behalf of the US are the same as ours.

We too recognize that access to information is a vital tool in reducing inequality and support access to better internet services for everyone. We also support fair use of content and a robust public domain. We are no fans of patents and copyrights that allow holders inflate the cost of everything and deny people access to such essentials as lifesaving medications or technologies. Continue reading

Sorry Mr Farrar, We Disagree

Pay rates should primarily be determined by demand and supply – not by legislation, so says prominent blogger David Farrar. This is why he objects to the Employment Court ruling that aged care workers are entitled to equal pay.

It is a point of view that does not sit well with the Alliance Party. Our commitment to the common good means that we believe that everyone is entitled to a liveable income no matter what. In any case for aged care workers, and many other occupations, the supply and demand ship has long since sailed. Continue reading

The Left Don’t Want Leftovers; Or Why Metiria Should Keep Her Jacket!

If anyone still wonders why so many people can’t be bothered to vote, the last few days has probably answered provided the answer. The debate amongst senior politicians over an MP’s dress sense was banal and rude, and from a woman’s perspective, just plain embarrassing. Some of the comments were so mean they would have had teenage girls called immediately to the Principal’s Office.

However it did highlight another issue, the misconception amongst the political right that activist groups and political parties concerned with fighting poverty and inequality, such as the Greens and the Alliance, demand austerity – that we believe that no one should have any fun or treats or own nice things. Continue reading

We Need to Think Big

The relationship between poverty and low educational achievement is complex. Education is a basic human right, and everyone should have access to good schools and tertiary training. But it is an oversimplification to say that the way out of poverty is education. People are poor because they don’t have enough money. The quickest and easiest way out of poverty is to make sure people have enough money to live on. Continue reading

Vote National Out!

Once again we are in an election year. The calls to vote out the National government are coming thick and fast. And the Alliance Party endorses them wholeheartedly. The trouble is the calls are coming from people who have never voted for National and have no intention of ever doing so. In a sense, they don’t count.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the only people who can vote out the National government are the people who voted them in. So any campaign for a change of government needs also be a campaign to change the minds of at least some of the people who voted for John Key and the National Party in the last two elections. Continue reading

Arguments We Need to Win in 2014

What’s good for business is good for everyone, right? Wrong, actually.

Businesses that pay all workers a liveable wage, that provide a healthy and safe working environment, that tread lightly on environment, that turn out quality products or services that we actually need, and that pay a decent tax on their profits can benefit us all.

Businesses that pay low wages except to an elite few (usually offshore) directors and shareholders, that are unsafe for workers, that wreck the environment, that churn out junk, and that use every trick in the book to avoid paying their fair share of taxes cost the country and the planet. Continue reading

Care Work Is A Career Not Women’s Work Done On The Cheap

The Alliance Party is delighted that things are hotting up in the equal pay for aged care workers campaign. The appeal to the Employment Court ruling is due to be heard at the end of January. Many more workers have come forward and further applications have been lodged with the Employment Relations Authority. According the unions involved, thousands more are expected to join the action in the new year. Continue reading