How quickly people forget. After the disaster that was Helen Clark (who finished as Prime Minister of New Zealand on 19 November 2008), New Zealand has benefited from strong governments under John Key and now Bill English who have helped turn around NZ’s fortunes with sensible policies including tax cuts.
Until recently the polls showed that the English government would be easily re-elected at the 23 September 2017 election.
And then comes along a new opposition leader, Jacinda Ardern (37 years old compared to Bill English’s 55 years) who has a degree in public relations, joined Labour quite young and has worked mostly in Labour parliamentary offices (including in the UK in Tony Blair’s office). She has also been president of the International Union of Socialist Youth.
And for some reason she is popular and has a good chance of defeating the English Government. That’s weird, why throw out a decent government for some inexperienced socialist who has no experience outside politics? Don’t they study history – how Clark’s policies damaged NZ’s economy which had been set up well by Roger Douglas?
The political cycle seems to be:
- sensible limited government, good policies, sound budgetary position
- new bright thing comes along promising to spend other people’s money and we have got complacent so let’s elect the bring new thing
- economy goes backwards, budget deficits and debt
- ultimately a new sensible limited government gets elected and repairs the budgetary position with some tough measures; OR become Greece
I’ve used this quote before, but H.L. Mencken has it spot on
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.