Title: Two plus two equals... Five?? Credit: Craig Young Features Tuesday 12th July 2005 - 12:00pm1121126400 Article: 813 Rights
Do National's tax cuts propaganda and New Zealand First's binding citizens initiated referenda bottom line add up? Why has no-one in the straight media bothered to ask this basic question about one of key preconditions of any policy agreement on the centre-right? Be that as it may, I'm asking it now. I believe Michael Cullen when he says that National's tax cut propaganda has no real content, because the Opposition cannot afford both tax cuts and maintenance of current social services spending without serious damage to the latter. Moreover, what about the apparent contradiction between National's tax cuts propaganda and New Zealand First's binding citizens initiated referenda policy platform? After all, if we're going to embark on a string of binding CIRs, then they'll cost taxpayers money, and what are the preconditions involved? Will groups that have already swilled at the CIR trough be allowed a second go? I'm thinking primarily of the male backlash fanatics proposals to attack domestic violence escape routes ("shared parenting") and the Copeland/Baldock referendum against prostitution law reform, both of which failed, even though the anti-sexworker referendum petition was able to obtain an extension. How much will all this cost the taxpayer? Will any social conservative fringe group be pandered to, no matter how tiny their membership, and how low will the threshold be for any CIR-related petition or voter turnout? How many of these will we have to endure? And what will it do to the Opposition's tax cuts promises? Yes, I wondered that too. Why aren't the politicians asking this question? Winston is playing coy, and Labour's current polling deficit is not yet irreversible, so it may have to deal with them. Muriel Newman is a populist flake whose enthusiasm for the CIR option has meant that ACT can claim no fiscal responsibility dividend over this issue. United Future's snout is already at the trough. As for National, Don Brash has said he sees nothing wrong with BCIRs. So, what happens if National yields to New Zealand First over BCIRs as the cost of a coalition or confidence-supply arrangement? I think voters and taxpayers would have something to say if Nana couldn't have her triple-bypass heart operation because some fringoid anti-immigrant outfit wanted money for a racist referendum proposal, or Paedophiles For "Life" wanted to attack the reproductive rights of pregnant teenage incest survivors again, or Brian Tamaki wanted to run a BCIR against civil unions... What was that populist claptrap about the Labour Party's social pluralism? And right now, doesn't it look somewhat hypocritical? Recommended Reading: Australian League of Rights Voters Voice Action Group (BCIR junkies) National Party New Zealand First Craig Young - 12th July 2005    
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