18 August 2008

Even Austria's left-right coalition privatises

Austria has a grand coalition government, in that the two main parties of right and left are working together. The Social Democratic Party on the left would surely not look far out of place alongside the NZ Labour Party, and the Austrian People's Party is a conservative party of the right.

Their government has just voted to privatise the remaining state owned shares in Austrian Airlines, which is already 57% privately owned. Presumably it doesn't fear an invasion of foreigners (apparently Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines are both interested) despoiling the sovereignty of Austria.

Yet the National Party, seeking to govern alone, wont even engage on privatisation. Why is this? is it:
- The abject failure of the acolytes of privatisation to publicise its successes, demolish the arguments of its failures;
- The braindead ineptness of the mainstream media which so often parrots what politicians and lobby groups say, and rarely investigates what politicians claim unless it is about scandals and juicy titbits that have next to no impact on the general populace;
- National's complete intellectual bankruptcy, in that it doesn't have the confidence or capability to argue against the leftwing "common knowledge" about privatisation in New Zealand;
- National really having a secret agenda to privatise, because it holds the voting public in contempt - much as it did in 1990 when it promised to abolish student fees and the superannuation surtax, but really didn't intend to do so.

If it is the first two, then those of us who believe in less government need to confront, head on, the bankrupt arguments and outright distortions of the left. It means a sustained effort to be bold - it is not a task the National Party is equipped to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How Austrian nation will behave? Will they elect leading parties again, or will it be a surprise victory of another party? http://www.votetheday.com/europe-21/austrias-parliamentary-election--291