What Greece shows is that the economic conditions have to deteriorate significantly and the contempt in the current elites incredibly intense before people dump being consumers and suddenly become citizens.
The poor need to see their lot as getting worse while the inequalities in a NZ led by a multi-millionaire money speculator so grotesque that people demand a State that will step in and put people first not corporations.
Is NZ at that level? At one extent it is. Those being thrown off welfare in their thousands and those too ill to work being threatened with ongoing and intrusive work testing are running out of options and becoming more desperate at the bureaucratic cruelty Departments met out to them.
Key is pretty safe in knowing their rage won’t crystallise into anything. But if the working poor are suddenly thrown a curve ball by the economy like collapsing dairy prices, Auckland property bubble burst or the end of the Christchurch rebuild, that could hurt first time home owners hardest and the failed promised prosperity from property speculation could fuel political calls far more demanding than the current political Left are proposing.
So the necessary environment for the possibility of a Radical Left anti-austerity party would be a jump in the unemployment rate, students too broke to study and a climbing mortgagee sales rate. If you don’t have those, things have not gotten bad enough for people to be angry.
But if that does happen, what are the possibilities of MANA filling that space?
Currently I think the possibility of a Left wing progressive Government in 2017 are thin. If Labour plus Greens are the majority, then I think we would see a strong Left Government, but if the majority requires Winston, the Silver Fox will negotiate a Labour-NZ First Minority Government and promise some policy wins to the Greens in return for their vote on Supply and Confidence.
It’s not like the Greens could say no.
A Labour-NZ First minority Government would not go anywhere near the kind of structural economic models that are required if we want to be serious about inequality, poverty and climate change.
The Greens would need to get 15% and Labour 36% to win a majority. How possible is that?
MANA could easily hold their current economic platform up as proof that they could be a Radical Left anti-poverty Party. But would MANA go down that road again? One possible way back for MANA is a sit down talk with Marama Fox from the Maori Party to look at co-operating in the Maori seats to win them back from Labour. This would require Flavell either eating a lot of humble pie or retiring at the election.
Tripping up a newly right leaning Labour for the Foreshore legislation and knifing Hone would be a great pay back for both parties.
So MANA may not necessarily adopt the mantel of a NZ Syriza.
Any NZ version that did launch if MANA was focused on just the Maori seats however could have a policy platform like this…
-free tertiary education
-feeding the poorest kids in the poorest schools
-new state houses
-increase in benefits
-warrant of fitness on houses
-clear food labelling
-financial transaction tax
-environmental research and development
-recognition of the role of the Treaty as a founding document with the necessary constitutional changes
-more free health care
-making public education truly free
-Worker Levy to give Unions more resources and power
-independent foreign policy