1. National’s principles. A belief that people know best how to run their lives, their property, their families and that government should err on the side of not intervening, not regulating and not taxing.
2. Private property rights. That the right to own, alter, sell and give away your own property is fundamental to New Zealand society and the creation of wealth. People must be able to own the fruits of their minds and do with them as they please, as long as they do not trespass on the property of others. That the best way to protect the environment is the application of private property rights. The role of the state is to intervene when these rights are breached, and the RMA needs to be amended or replaced to recognise this.
3. Personal freedom. All New Zealanders have the right to live their lives in peace as they see fit, regardless of race, religion or no religion, culture, politics or sexuality. This right is only limited by respecting the right of others to do the same in peace. The state should not dictate what adults do with their bodies, regulate their personal relationships or interfere with families, until people start abusing others physically or sexually.
4. One law for all. How it is not racist to say that the state should be colour-blind. Why laws or government funding should say that people should not get treated differently because of racial backgrounds, or that religious groups or individuals (or non religious ones) should not be given preferences. Assert it is a thoroughly liberal notion that the state should be colourblind, and that this does not mean that some people are mainstream and others are not, this does not mean that if you are Maori you do not exist as being Maori, but that the state treats you no less than if you are Caucasian, Samoan, Indian, Chinese or Arab. How there shouldn't be separate Maori seats, but how all MPs should be listening to their Maori constituents.
5. Less government is better. Assert that there is too much regulation and too much bureaucracy and that New Zealanders are paying for too much government. Say that a National government will undertake a thorough review of government departments and programmes and ask them to justify what they are all spending taxpayers' money on, and why certain laws exist. Say that National will reduce the state’s ownership of businesses it owns, either by sales or distribution of shares to the public.
6. More choice in education. Schools should operate more independently, and funding should follow the student, with parents making the decisions about what is best for their child.
7. There should be less tax. Explain how taxes are not the government’s money, it is the money of the people who own it. How the government should take less, and do less and leave people to act on their own.
8. Dependency on the state is not a virtue. Explain how welfare needs to be reformed to remove incentives to remain on benefits, how the Working for Families package should be replaced with tax cuts and why government should not aspire to be the country’s biggest landlord.
9. Law and order is a vital role of government. People should expect the police and criminal justice system to respond to real crimes. This should be the number one goal of government – to get better performance out of the criminal justice system, and for government to not be above the law.
So there are some clues. By the way, if you say any of the following, I wont be interested anymore:
1. "Government needs to be smarter". Trotting out phrases about doing things in smarter ways, thinking innovatively, finding new solutions, blech. Government is dumb, which is why it doesn’t do most things very well.
2. "Government needs to listen". Forget consultation, the only people who respond to consultation are lobbyists and the lazy “got nothing better to do” left. Just damned well do it, if Lange and Douglas listened our GDP would be less today and we'd still be arguing.
3. "The environment is critical". No it is not, it is better now than it has been in recent history. People are critical.
4. "Government needs to engage with families". No it doesn’t, leave families alone. Most function well without you sticking your beak in.
5. "Government needs to help the innovators, creators and employment producers by providing funding…." No to corporate welfare! It needs to help them by lowering taxes and getting out of their way.
6. "More money for health and education". Money down a black hole John, you need to start weaning people off of the state – but you’ll just waste more no doubt.
7. "Corporate social responsibility". Say that phrase and you deserve your head smacked in. Businesses are responsible to those who own them. They have no more social responsibility that trade unions, or private individuals.
8. "Inclusiveness". Means nothing.
9. "Climate change is the biggest challenge in our time". No it is not, at worst it is a change that we will have to adapt to, at best it is a scare.
What’s the bet that he’ll say most of what is in the second list and little of what is in the first?