Sunday, September 11, 2005

Why I am voting Libertarianz and it is not a wasted vote

I am voting Libertarianz for my party vote, and Bernard Darnton for my electorate vote for Wellington Central. Why? Most people would say I am wasting my votes in both cases.

For the electorate vote it is relatively easy - either vote to oust Marian Hobbs as local MP (but not list MP) and vote for Mark Blumsky, or vote for someone I like. Given that Marian and Mark are both assured election under the party vote (assuming the Nats pull in 35% plus), and that I don't think Blumsky is much more than a marketing showman (though a clever one and certainly with more neurons than Hobbs), it was easy to choose Bernard. He's a nice guy, I like him a lot and he has had the balls to run in an electorate where the Greens get over 10% of the vote as a matter of course - and I want him to beat Stephen Hay the Communist, and hopefully the Social Credit, Progressive and Alliance candidates too - though it might be a big call. Stephen Franks honestly doesn't want the electorate vote, so I think it is time for every liberal rightwing voter to tick Bernard - Blumsky is in anyway.

For the party vote- the argument usually is "if you are so against the Clark government, why don't you vote National to change the government?" ACT supporters also ask, why not support ACT - ACT has more often than not led support for a liberal view in Parliament.

To that I say, hmmm sometimes.

I'm voting Libertarianz because I believe the only legitimate role of the state is to protect citizens from each other and invasion - in other words, defence, justice, police. I am willing to debate ways of transitioning to that - about privatisation, education, health, welfare - as long as the trend is for the state to get out of the way. I want a shrinking government, central and local, and I want to elect politicians who will do that, consistently, in ALL areas. Economic, social and personal freedom being enhanced.

I am NOT voting ACT because, despite Rodney Hide being a man who I respect and trust, and who is light years ahead of Richard Prebble (who I did vote for in 1996 and 1999 for my electorate candidate), because ACT does NOT believe the state should shrink in all areas of life. ACT MPs in the last term voted on the civil union bill and prostitution reform bill by conscience - never did ACT state that prostitution (adults only) should not be a matter for the criminal law, never did ACT state that marriage or civil unions should not be a matter for state prescription, but simply contracts between consenting adults, of EITHER sex. ACT does not support the decriminalisation of cannabis.

So why does that matter? I don't use prostitutes or work as one, I am not gay, and I'm not a drug user. However, all of these are very important as they cut to the heart of being libertarian and being human - it is about the state telling adults what to do with their bodies or their relationships, and that offends me more intensely than having public hospitals, owning Air New Zealand or the 111 system. How DARE politicians tell me I cannot act in a way that does not hurt or harm anyone else- it is NOT their business whether I want to pay for or sell sex, get married or ingest something into my body. How COULD it be? If ACT declared that, I'd feel Libertarianz had done its job. I know ACT has done much to outline poor government spending, but it never says the state should get out of so many areas - have you heard ACT advocating an end to state funding for the arts and broadcasting?

So I cannot vote for ACT. I voted ACT for party vote in 1996 because it had a flat tax policy, and had been saying most of the right things up to that point, and I wanted to give Prebble's lot a chance. They delivered on responding to the left, but not in advocating freedom - I voted ACT for the party vote because Libertarianz did not stand (the Secretary of the day was incompetent with the paperwork) and there was some hope that Rodney Hide would shift ACT closer to individual freedom, he sort of did - but not enough for me.

PC has suggested what ACT could do now to gain some true freedom credentials, but I doubt it will happen. It would grab some headlines, and make me think carefully about voting ACT, because ACT would truly believe in freedom then. I'm not holding my breath.

I'm not voting National because I want more than shifts in tax scales, I want a commitment to getting rid of the envy tax rate of 39%, I want schools to be controlled locally by parents and teachers, and the state to work its way out of its social engineering through that system. I want a commitment to shrinking the state, and I do NOT agree with toughening up the war on drugs. Don Brash is a good man, who would be the best Prime Minister in many years, but he is surrounded by too many petty fascists - like Nick Smith, Tony Ryall and Brian Connell - men who don't understand freedom one little bit. National is a conservative party led by a liberal man, advised by conservative pragmatists.

So back to the main point - why isn't a vote for a party with bugger all chance of getting into Parliament this time, a wasted vote? The only reason it is seen as wasted is because of what others do - for your vote not to be "wasted" around 100,000 others have to vote the same way - your individual vote makes virtually NO difference to the election, the marginal effect is tiny. The total effect of all votes cast is immense - so your vote is a chance to be honest with yourself and what you believe in. Many people will decide whether or not to vote ACT PURELY on the polls - If ACT rises to around 5% or Rodney looks like he will win Epsom, more will vote ACT than otherwise. If ACT looks like a lost cause, it wont do more than 1% - sort of where Libertarianz is aiming at. If Libertarianz get 1% this time I will be thrilled, though 0.5% is a more realistic goal. Think that is a joke? Peter Dunne's United Party got about that in 1999, barely enough to justify him not being an overhang MP.

So I am voting Libertarianz because it is what I believe in - in its own marginal way, I am telling the main parties that I believe in freedom, and I know several thousand other New Zealanders will do the same - at a time when there is immense pressure to vote for National to get rid of the People's Republic of Clarkistan - I will vote according to what I want, not third best!

Libertyscott

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