The question was this: How left wing would you rate yourself out of a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being Karl Marx and 1 being the love child of Roger Douglas and Milton Friedman.
The question was a little tongue in cheek but I was interested to see where each of the politicians placed themselves in terms of the direct intervention of the state.
With our currency being pimped as the new gold and Nouriel Roubini predicting the next bubble that will catastrophically collapse the global economy, how our left wing Parties intend to reform Capitalism is crucial if NZ is to survive the new economic normal.
Some politicians were thoughtful.
The very erudite Rajen Prasad wouldn’t give me a ranking, but he did give me this…
From my perspective I find your question difficult to answer as any answer will pigeon hole my position on all matters forever rather than be more nuanced. . I believe in the importance of addressing both social and economic factors that affect development. I believe that in the modern complex world many factors are under the control of individuals and families but there are just as many influences to their lives that are outside their control but nevertheless exert powerful influences on individuals. I believe policy should address all those factors.
I do not accept that the market is capable of addressing all of our development needs and that it often needs to be humanised through other principles and policies.
I believe that the state has an important role to play and in a democratic society and that it needs to do the bidding of citizens without unnecessarily limiting the rights of individuals and families.
I strongly believe in the rights of people and the protections that goes along with that. I value diversity and see it as a central aspect of life in the 21st century and something that needs t be celebrated because we now look like the world.
I could go on. I would have to characterise the right in a particular way to position myself on the left right continuum. If I positioned the current national government as a right government than I am clearly on the left. How far left…Hummm. I think centre left would describe me. I am a liberal on many issues but I do believe in individual responsibility for those matters that are in my ambit to influence.
This probably does not help.
…Chris Hipkins continued this line…
I’ve been contemplating it. The problem is the question is pretty ambiguous. Marx thought it acceptable to use a person’s sexuality to ridicule them, an approach I don’t think reflects modern ‘left wing’ values at all… I would describe myself as quite left wing on economic and environmental issues, and very liberal on moral issues. So I reject the notion of a linear political spectrum. Not sure that answers your question though…
Hone Harawira was the highest self ranked leader of a Political Party at 100, which should help make any foreign investors intending to plunder our assets think twice.
Clare Curran’s same self ranked answer of 100 made my left wing heart flutter and pupils dilate. Being 10 times the socialist Marx was means that if Clare ever becomes Broadcasting Minister, we will be able to see the new Radio NZ offices from the Moon and TVNZ will have a broadcast reach to Alpha Centauri.
Megan Woods decided her answer was 1000, making her 100 times the socialist Marx was. My guess is that’s what happens when you hang around Jim Anderton’s electorate too long. Bless.
David Cunliffe and Phil Twyford both ranked themselves at 8 while Rino Tirikatene said a solid 7. Darien after a lot of prodding finally gave me a 10 and Maryan Street came out of the idealogical closet bravely declaring herself a 6.
The delightful Gareth Hughes fronted for the Greens, and as is the hive mentality of their party, they had decided to answer collectively. Kind of like the Borg, but armed with tofu.
Their answer was very funny and clever – but also interestingly revealing about their free market cornerstones…
I chatted to my colleagues, and we thought the left- right spectrum is a bit more complex than a couple of polar opposite white guys from history. Here’s where we think we stand as a Green Caucus:
The Green MPs
- on eco warrior spectrum from Exxon Mobil to Jeanette Fitzsimons ( we are at least a 9)
- on economic spectrum from Ayn Rand to Hugo Chavez ( maybe 7)
- on cultural rights spectrum from Richard Prosser to Annette Sykes (8 )
- on gender from Silvio Berlusconi to Caitlin Moran ( 10 – we’re great!)
…on Monday I will post up my interview with co-leader Russel Norman and I put to him their answer of 7 on the economy and question how important free market principles are to their economic platform. It’s an interesting insight.
Annette King rated herself alongside Norm Kirk but Ruth Dyson & Clayton Cosgrove were gloriously dour and humourless…
Hiya. Sorry but too shallow and meaningless for me. Spending today remembering the 185 lives and thousands of homes lost in our region 2 years ago, many of whom were friends. You know my voting record. So does my electorate and Party. That’s a good steer from me!
And Clayton says ditto.
…charmers aren’t they?
What was more fascinating than what was said, was what wasn’t said. Shearer, Robertson (both of them), Jones, Mahuta, Goff, O’Connor, Parker, Mallard, Moroney, Lees-Galloway, Sio, Mackey, Horomia, Dalziel, Faafoi, Huo, Wall, Clark and Little didn’t want to announce their ‘left-ness’.
Even the Princess Leia of the Left, Jacinda Ardern didn’t want to rank herself, other than pointing out that she was the ex president of the international union of socialist youth.
Who would have ever foretold the day when Labour MPs were fearful of showing their leftwing leanings? That sound you hear is Norm Kirk is rolling in his grave.
Labour’s political identity crisis helps explain its lack of traction in the polls. Their fear of mentioning ideology to a consumer culture has seen them drag their philosophical anchor all over the spectrum from beneficiaries on the roof to wanting to give away 100 000 affordable roofs.
What they seem to have not picked up yet is that when people can’t afford to be consumers, they remember they want to be citizens.
In his brilliant essay critiquing the 25 year experiment of neoliberalism in NZ, Brian Easton argues that the left in NZ need to create an economic argument that goes beyond the failed free market dogma.
The Greens are leading that debate and MANA is contributing with the Financial Transaction Tax, but Labour’s fear over who they are confuses voters as to what the Party stands for.
800 000 enrolled voters didn’t bother to vote in the last election making it one of the lowest voter turn outs on record and most of them were former Labour Party voters. The grassroots base want a Party far more to the left where as the Leadership seem to think fishing for National voters is the winning strategy.
Labour have 18 months to work out who they are and what they stand for, I will ask this question of all politicians in the 3 left wing parties again next year to see if they have made up their minds.