John Key is Right, but Politics is a Rich Man’s Sport

John Key is right. It should not be possible to buy a political party in New Zealand. But let’s be honest, politics has become a rich man’s sport.

For many years corporate interests and wealthy individuals have thrown money at political parties they think are biddable. The bar has been raised. Mere bucket-loads of cash are not enough, truckloads are now required to fund effective election campaigns. The difference is that they have done it quietly. Much digging is required to discover who gave what to whom. Dotcom is at least upfront about what he is doing and who he is doing it with. Continue reading

The Election Between Centre Right and Far Left – We Wish!!

Oh the irony of the Prime Minister of a government whose whole trade policy revolves around not doing anything to upset China, describing the upcoming election as a contest between the centre right and far left- as though the far left is the scary part!

Labour and the Greens far left? Only in our wildest dreams. Centre right? National with coalition partners like the Conservatives and ACT. This election is potentially more like far right versus centre left. And that should cause concern to anyone but the mega wealthy. Continue reading

Free GP Visits Should Be On The Agenda This Election

Hospitals are desperate to reduce costs and to free up space, time, and funding for urgent and serious cases. So moves are afoot to transfer more services to GPs.

Community-based health care is a sound policy in most respects. GPs are usually located much closer to where patients live, have the benefit of knowing their patients well, and waiting times for appointments are only a day or so.

However there is the problem of cost. 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

Why We Didn’t Stand In Christchurch East

The Alliance Party has decided not to stand a candidate in the Christchurch East by election because, quite frankly, we think the Left has bigger fish to fry.

The Alliance was sorely tempted to stand a candidate, given that it is the electorate that co leader Kevin Campbell lives in. It would have been an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of the Alliance.

However the Alliance believes that it is imperative that Left – including the Centre Left- work together to avoid another three years of National’s punitive policies for low and middle income earners. We shudder to think what our country will look like after another term under National, especially if as some are predicting, the Conservative Party become coalition partners. Continue reading

Alliance Party throws its support behind Matt McCarten in Mana by-election

Former Alliance Party President Matt McCarten took the Alliance Party by surprise with his last minute decision to stand as an independent candidate in the Mana byelection with the support of UNITE Union.
However the Alliance is backing Matt’s campaign in the interests of a strong left challenge to National and Labour in the by election, despite having already selected its own candidate.

Alliance welcomes Court of Appeal ruling on election closing address

The Alliance Party has welcomed today’s Court of Appeal ruling that found in favour of the Alliance’s complaint on lack of broadcasting time in the 2008 general election.

Alliance Party co-leader Andrew McKenzie says the Electoral Commission did not allocate a television or radio closing address to the Alliance (and other non-parliamentary but registered parties) in the 2008 election.

The Alliance contested this decision but their case was dismissed in the High Court in Wellington.

The Court of Appeal has now upheld their appeal, holding that “Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989 requires the Electoral Commission to allocate time for an opening address and time for a closing address to every political party that qualifies for allocation of time under the Broadcasting Act.”

Mr McKenzie says it is useful that the law has been clarified and the issue was an important one for democratic expression, as a registered political party should receive fair opportunity to convey its policies to the public.

The Alliance accepted the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the outcome cast no doubt on the lawfulness of the 2008 general election, but had implications for future elections.

Alliance offers a new home for Progressive Party members

Alliance Party co leader Kay Murray says that with the announcement that the Progressive Party will no longer be contesting elections, the Alliance Party would welcome any Progressive’s and others who do not wish to take Jim Anderton’s advice and join the Labour Party.

“To all accounts the Progressive Party is winding up. Progressive members who do not feel at home with the Rogernomics style, right wing economic policies of Phil Goff’s Labour Party will find themselves more at home in the Alliance.”

Alliance Party policies including free healthcare and education, affordable housing, progressive taxation, and a liveable wage or benefit, would appeal to those disappointed with the final merging of the Progressive Party into the Labour Party, a process that had long ago occurred in all but name.

“It would make much more sense to join a party that believes in the same things as you do, rather than, as Mr Anderton suggests, join the Labour Party and try to persuade them to adopt your ideas. Labour hasn’t listened in the past so why would you expect them to listen in the future?” Continue reading