So where’s the election news? Main stream media seems more obsessed about David Cunliffe’s holiday than the policies that his party is promoting. If I want to read about where he is vacationing and why, then let’s read it in “On holiday with David” in a women’s magazine, not the (so called) serious papers!
We are two month’s out from an election and the best we get is an announcement of a new policy by an opposition party, the Government reaction (usually “you can’t throw money at it”, “where’s the money coming from” or “It’s cr*p”) and then silence.
A serious paper should be investigating the proposals and analyse the likely effects. They should be providing the information that the voters need to help decide the future of the country. Instead the media appears prepared to play the National Party game of lambasting the politicians rather than answering the policies. We have got to the stage where they are feeding created stories of discontent with follow ups from various politicians denying they are involved in the discontent!
Let’s talk policies
For example, NZ First’s plan to scrap GST: Even superficially we can see that this would benefit the poor most, but impact on the Government’s purse. How significant would the benefit be (i.e. compare the effects of the increase by 2.5% and multiply it)? Would the Government need to increase taxes or would the effect of the extra money in circulation help to stimulate the recovery?
The Green’s proposal to increase early childhood education: will this enable solo mum’s to find work more easily? Will the preparation of the children save money later when they come to school better socially aware? Or does it need to be combined with clinical services to catch early symptoms of pneumatic fever?
Labour’s plan to expand house building: Does it go far enough? Will they back it up with large scale apprenticeship schemes? Should they consider replicating the policies of the 1930’s to match equally stressful times?
National’s plan to build more roads in the regions: Should the policy include parallel rail links? Could industry be more de-centralised from Auckland to boost regional employment? Are they looking to develop the regions or just quicker routes for commuting longer distances?
Come on Dom Post and Herald, you can do a lot better. We shouldn’t have to go searching for sites like Bryan Bruce to see what the various parties thoughts are on aspects of child poverty. This, and all of the potential subjects, should be in the mainstream.
Charles de Gaulle said “I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.”
He is right. Our papers need to step up, and quickly.
- Nick Wright