Friday, November 07, 2008

Think of what politics is

Why do people get into politics? It is a truly filthy sport. It is about trying to convince the greatest number of heads that what you and your party want to do to them is the right thing.

Most who enter politics claim to do so out of "service". You heard that a lot in the US campaign, both Obama and McCain talked about serving their country. I don't mean the military, I mean politics.

However what IS politics? It is the pursuit of power - power to make laws, power to take money from people and spend it on what you think is best for them. Take it from me, the people who do this are no better than most of you - they are mostly average - most are not particularly clever or bright - yet so many of you trust them.

The power they wield is enormous. Passing laws means that if people go against them, they could be fined or imprisoned. That is not something you can do to people, it is called using force.

Politicians seek the power to use force, to use violence.

If your business or charity or other voluntary organisation wants money, it has to earn it, persuade people to buy your services or persuade them to donate money.

Politicians don't do that, they can make you pay for what they want - not only do they do that, but they have made it so you're guilty till proven innocent if you get it wrong. Taxes are the tool of the politician. Statists say it is the price of a civilised society, as if it is civilised to make people pay for that which you cannot convince them of.

Across the spectrum they have plans for you and your money, the things they don't want you to do, the things they want you to pay for - for your own good.

The Greens for example have a long list of things they want to ban, subsidise and compel. They are control freaks par excellence. Labour isn't far behind, it believes it knows best to buy you health care, control your children's education and to save for your retirement. It buys you a railway that you didn't want to buy. The Maori Party also believes it knows best.

National will do less, but it wont reverse anything. Most disturbingly it wants the state to maintain a database of DNA of everyone arrested of certain offences, whether guilty or not. The state shouldn't be spying on you if you've not broken the law. National also thinks it can pick winners in spending your money on infrastructure whether or not you will use it. It offers nothing more than a better version of Labour - beyond the Electoral Finance Act, National will repeal nothing of substance that Labour has done.

I would like politics to be peripheral. Government is essential. The state provides for law and order, to protect us from those who will do violence to us, who will defraud us. That is a given and the priority. However, beyond that government is incompetent. I know it will take a long time for people to take responsibility, for their healthcare, for their kids education, to consider charity instead of welfare, and to stop thinking the government can fix problems they can't solve.

Politicians who promise they can change and fix things by spending your money and making people do what they want are shysters. Your only chance to say no to this advance auction of stolen goods is to vote for less of it.

Helen Clark and the Greens participate in it, gloriously and argue strongly that it is the only way things should be.

National participates in it, somewhat reluctantly, unable and unwilling to say no. Unable to say - sorry the government can't fix this, but it can get out of the way of those who might have a chance.

The government you get after the election tomorrow will be different, it could be John Key leading a semi-fresh team, of which he is probably the best person in it. I honestly wish him well, and I hope that all of the vote gathering is style not substance, and Key will change New Zealand for the better by getting the government out of the way and changing the culture of dependency on the state. Sadly I see little to prove to me that he will, even if a handful of ACT MPs push him a little further.

If Helen Clark and the Greens and Maori Party get elected then you'll see change, and it wont be pretty. However you can watch the next three years like I have watched the last 9, and see National unwilling to reverse almost everything Labour did.

Politics you see, is a nasty game. A game of surrendering principle, of kissing babies and promising to people that you'll give them things, without being honest about what you're taking from them. It is about kidding the vast masses of people that you can make their lives better, when the truth is people can really only do this themselves.

The election is about counting heads, not what was in them, but I hope you too will enjoy at least the sight of many politicians losing power, the sight of Helen Clark probably no longer being able to claim to be a victim of her own success as a popular and competent Prime Minister.

However as you do so, remember these people only have the power you have granted them. That is power you granted through your vote. I voted Libertarianz as the only power I want the state to have is to protect me. What power have you said you want the state to have over your life?

No comments: