13 Reasons for Voting No!

From Friday the 22nd of November voting papers for the citizens initiated referendum on state asset sales will be arriving in letter boxes. It is important that everyone eligible to vote does so, and votes NO,  for the following reasons:
1) It is a civic responsibility to engage in any democratic process to ensure that they continue to be used. CIRs are a useful way of establishing the public feeling on a single important issue whether they are binding or not.
2) Governments need to be able to be held to account between elections, no Government has a mandate to ignore the people who they are supposed to represent after they are elected.
3) It is important that the current Government is in no doubt about the public feeling around selling our state assets. All independent polls have shown around 70% opposition and this referendum is necessary to confirm that.
4) The whole idea of selling almost half of our power companies was flawed from the beginning as the dividends gained through retaining full ownership would bring in more revenue over time.
5) Losing partial ownership of our Power Companies would shift the focus even more towards ensuring shareholder dividends are strong and this would mean little incentive to drop power prices for ordinary consumers.
6) Many shareholders will be off shore, which would mean there will be another stream of money leaving our country that won't necessarily be spent in our local economy.
7) The fact that ownership of our power companies is not solely with the Government will make it more difficult for the Government to intervene if power charges increase unnecessarily.
8) Private control of our energy supply is not a good idea. The French have maintained state control over their power company and it is now a dominant player globally.
9) This Government has become increasingly arrogant and has been forcing through legislation that has not been well supported by research and evidence and abusing its slim majority to do so. A strong NO vote will remind the National Party that New Zealand is more than their small group of privileged mates.
10) We need to stop the flow of wealth to a privileged few. All of New Zealand did own these assets and growing inequities caused by tax cuts to the rich and keeping wages low has meant that ownership of important state assets is only going to those who can afford to buy shares. The mum and dad investor promotion was dishonest when around 25% of New Zealanders survive on less than the living wage. Only 2% of New Zealanders have bought any of the shares so far.
11)  The Government needs to also stop selling the assets in a share market that is currently saturated with new shares, not only will this depress the potential revenue from the sales but it will mean more shares will go off shore. Treasury has also warned the Government about this and yet they still went ahead with the Meridian sales.
12) The Government has spent well over their budget in progressing the sales and has now spent $250 million.
13) We don't need to sell the assets to get enough money to invest in our schools and hospitals, shifting some of the $12 billion being spent on unnecessary motorways would do the trick.

I challenge anyone to come up with as many strong reasons for not voting no and would welcome any additions to my list.


PM of NZ said…
I only need one reason to vote Yes. That reason is that those on the left say no.
bsprout said…
PM, your rationale is a good example of why a change of Government is necessary. We need a government that makes decisions based on evidence and sound analysis, not emotion and blinkered ideology. Good grief!
Shane Pleasance said…
The left vs the right. And we wonder why we are doomed.

"Everything will all be fine if we just vote for the colour of government that I support."
bsprout said…
I won't start a debate about what constitutes left and right, but will say that is now a simplistic description of politics and we probably need to redefine what defines our current parties.

Where would you put Libertarians on the right/left continuum, Shane?
PM of NZ said…
Yes Shane, the colour of the hoardings is the only visible difference. All offerings are the same. Politicians of all stripes only wish to extract yet more tax to pay for their ludicrous social engineering implementations and failed ideologies.
robertguyton said…
Will you vote in the referendum, Shane?
Which way?
(I'm voting no, and I want the people of New Zealand to be able to see a reliable reflection of their broad position on what the Government has done and is doing with our energy assets.)
robertguyton said…
Plus, are we 'doomed', Shane?
Please explain. It sounds serious!
Shane Pleasance said…
Shane Pleasance said…
I will not vote in the referendum. I do not support the sale of 49% of the power companies.
Open Economy said…
Thirteen reasons why NZ will go nowhere under a Greens/Labour government if we are unlucky enough to get one next year.
bsprout said…
Open Economy, judging by your name you will also be a supporter of the TTPA and the possible selling out of New Zealand to US drug companies.

A Green Government would mean supporting and promoting sustainable businesses and jobs and ensuring New Zealand businesses were supported through procurement practices. A Green Government would support living wages that didn't require employer subsidies. A Green Government would support everyone sharing the fruits of their labors and not allow wages to drop behind increases in productivity. A Green Government would work towards a broad, diverse economy that wasn't dependent on just one or two industries. And a Green Government would support adding greater value to our raw commodities and working towards a smart, high tech future that also values our environment.

The vision for National appears to be mine, drill, irrigate and sell assets. Sustainable, I think not!
Shane Pleasance said…
"A Green Government would support everyone sharing the fruits of their labors and not allow wages to drop behind increases in productivity."

How would you do that?
bsprout said…
Shane, as is being suggested in Switzerland, no CEO can earn more than twelve times their lowest paid employee. That way everyone shares the fruits of their labors
Shane Pleasance said…
So the Greens would cap employees wages?
bsprout said…
You do arrive at some strange conclusions, Shane.
Shane Pleasance said…
"...no CEO can earn more than twelve times their lowest paid employee"

You would be capping the wages of an employee. Your conclusion, not mine.

Is this what the greens would do? If so, how?
bsprout said…
This isn't Green policy, this is just a reflection of global frustrations around the capture of the worlds wealth by a few and growing inequalities. The idea came from Switzerland.
Shane Pleasance said…
"A Green Government would support everyone sharing the fruits of their labors and not allow wages to drop behind increases in productivity."

How would you do that?

bsprout said…
Shane, I probably couldn't quote a single policy but social justice and fairness are a big part of how we operate. How would the Libertarianz approach inequity and wages that don't respect the work done? My guess is nothing.
Shane Pleasance said…
No, we certainly do not propose to do anything of the sort, and never would intefere with the private lives of peaceful people.

But you do.

If you have no actual strategy to "...support everyone sharing the fruits of their labors and not allow wages to drop behind increases in productivity", your statement is rhetoric.
bsprout said…
Shane, countries that achieve a balance between the rights of workers and employers have employment law where collective bargaining and good faith are crucial. If you were the government of India, for example, how would you stop the existence of sweat shops? Even in New Zealand we have employers who abuse the system to keep employees on unlivable wages even when they can easily pay more. It is a form of violence when workers are exploited. Sadly it does take regulation to deal with the worst cases of exploitation. Good employers recognise that treating their employees well will bring good will and improve productivity.
Shane Pleasance said…
Broad, emotionally appealling (to the uninitiated) statements without any means for identifying delivery.

I look forward to dissecting more of your rhetoric.
bsprout said…
Shane, we often get improved employment law at different times in history and it results in less inequality. Generally under a National Government employment law is weakened and the reverse happens. There is currently an effort to allow employers to remove themselves from collective bargaining and to make tea and lunch breaks not compulsory. It isn't that complicated to have good law and definitely not empty rhetoric.

I also notice that you rarely answer my questions our explain how you would manage extreme inequality. You have a blind faith in the goodness and honesty of the individual that is rarely seen in reality.
Shane Pleasance said…
What you said was pure rhetoric, and completely without basis in fact.

I have largely given up attempting to explain to you 'what a Libertarian Government would do', as it is a waste of time.

You have no ability to understand.
I no longer think that you just wilfully disregard the rights of individuals, but are INCAPABLE of understanding that concept.
It is the Dunning-Kruger effect, and you have displayed it widely and wildly about your blog - about numerous subjects.
These are the 'useful idiots', apparently.

My enquiries are always an attempt to learn your values, how you think, and how you (or the group you are aligned with) would behave.

That said, I prefer unconcious incompetence to those who DO understand the concepts of human rights and personal Liberty but still are prepared to wield the leviathan and monopolistic powers of the state against any individual or group they choose. These are the truly evil.

But I do not expect you to understand this.

You have already proven you cannot, and are unable to take advice even from those of your own statist ilk.
bsprout said…
Thanks for putting me in my place, Shane, I have read the links you have provided for me and find your libertarian philosophy involves unbelievable trust that people are naturally altruistic. While people can be kind, greed generally dominates the way the world works. Your idealism is wonderful but sadly unrealistic.
Paranormal said…
And BS, how is your idealism any different or better?
Unknown said…
We live in a society or community that must be able to place expectations on the community members. Usually that is done by imposing laws unfortunately because we have become insular and tend to interact as a community nowadays than we did years ago. We will never be a mature enough society to be able to all live to our own values without respect to the community values. Everyday we respect things like speed limits but every Kiwi bloke things he is a Greg Murphy. Let them all behave the way they would like and we would have chaos Shane
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane Pleasance said…
Interesting reply, Philip, thank you.
Of course your premise of anarchy is quite wrong.

Liberty does not give license for 'them' to behave as they see fit, and law and order are key functions of a Libertarian society and government.

There is an interesting discussion going on here at a local blog - discussing 'left Libertarianism'.


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