Monday, October 31, 2011

'if you want a good reason for voting for MMP, all you need to do is look at the people campaigning against it'

This was one of the best remarks made at the time of the 1993 referendum when the 'no' campaign was headed by the Chairman of Telecon/m, Peter Shirtcliffe.

On the weekend we were treated to the entertaining spectacle of a short TV One interview with former Finance Minister from the 1990s, Ruth 'Ruthless' Richardson, also voicing her opposition to MMP (the form of parliamentary proportional representation used in Germany and NZ) -- "We need to have strong government!" she proclaimed.  From this and her demeanour, you get the impression that her ideal is a one-party fascist dictatorship.

One of the best known quotes of US President Abraham Lincoln was, 'the government which governs best is that which governs least' -- government is all about compelling people to do things or not do things by force, so the less government, the more freedom there is.  Obviously this is an idealistic view and in reality there are so many people only interested in themselves and no-one else that government is needed to limit their negative impact on society.  Still, the statement remains true in principle.

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