The huge win is a fundamental shift in the psychology of the NZ electorate – Labour won back all the female vote they lost to Key for 9 years and the younger demographic dynamics have ended Boomer control of NZ elections.
The National Party campaign was a train wreck dumpster fire that collided with a school bus that exploded next to a pet store.
It was a disaster night for the Right.
With NZ rewarding Labour with a majority Government, Jacinda not only has a mandate for change, but she has an obligation and responsibility for change.
The pandemic is the first wave of unstable late stage capitalism where the biosphere simply breaks down and causes enormous damage.
The climate crisis is in acceleration mode. It only gets worse with every passing month.
The pandemic is a symptom of that climate crisis. It is generated by species transfer due to over crowding and habitat destruction.
Radical change is required, I know that is frightening, but we have no options now and if Labour have been entrusted with a Democratic Majority, then that transformative change requires an immediate harvest to sustain it.
People are frightened, people are stressed out, change is uncomfortable and painful for many.
Kindness has been our strength.
We have an urgent need for kindness right now.
With Labour gaining a democratic majority, the rest of the activist Left have to move right now to exert pressure on Labour to pass some immediate change in their first 100 days.
If it doesn’t happen in the first 100 days, the neoliberal State stymies the change.
The activist Left need to gather for a Summer Hui of Hope, agree on a platform and demand Labour push it through.
Here are some ideas.
-Lower Voting Age to 16
To strengthen the franchise of democracy we need to expand it to 16 year olds. They will live with the realities of the climate crisis, they need a voice at the table. The naked truth is that Political Parties will only listen to their concerns when there are votes in it. At a time when our democracy is going to be stressed most, we need young peoples drive and vision to consistently challenge the foot dragging.
-Double Welfare Payments
We have been kind to the newly unemployed by providing them with a welfare payment that is twice that f the ‘normal’ benefit. This has painfully reminded everyone of the hurt being unemployed generates. We must be kind right now. This pandemic isn’t ending until there is a vaccine, and that’s not going to be until the end of 2022 – and that’s the best case scenario. We need to lift ALL benefits to the higher level until there is a vaccine universally available. We can not pretend this economic downturn doesn’t damage the poorest amongst us hardest. We must support them during this pandemic or the social damage will be explosive.
-Free mental health counselling services
The stress that is rupturing throughout our communities comes on top of a mental health landscape that is blighted by some of the worst stats. We simply need to expand counselling and make it free. Not targeted. Free. It is incredibly important that these services are all universal because that’s the only way to ensure the need is being met. Free counselling services are one of the ways the State can safeguard the mental health of the nation during this crisis.
-Free Public Transport for registered Hop Cards
One of the problems with the public transport system during the current lockdown is that unregistered hop cards provide no info to the track and trace teams. Make all public transport free but only with a registered Hop card. This would reduce costs to public transport users while providing essential information during an outbreak.
We have over 11 000 overstayers and tens of thousands more migrant workers and tourists currently in NZ. Until a vaccine is available, we must have an overstayer amnesty, we can’t have effective track and trace if people are too frightened to come froward. Just pass an amnesty for everyone currently here. It’s not right to force people out of a country that doesn’t have Covid into a world full of it. That’s not us as a people.
-30 000 new green State Houses plus rent to own options for state tenants
The only way the failed rental market can self correct is if the desperation is removed from the bottom of the market. Remove beneficiaries and the working poor out of the private rental market and the slumlords will be forced to upgrade their slums. Provide a State House for life with a means to own that house via rent to own methods and we could lift an entire class of NZers out of poverty. Building the state houses in the most sustainable way is an immediate need.
-Freeze on all rents until a vaccine is available
The amputation of vast chunks of our economy can’t be ignored. Expecting renters of commercial or residential properties to pay more in rentals is free market capitalism at its most broken. This moment requires an agreed understanding that the rents don’t go up until a vaccine is available, and when I say agreed, I mean the renters. Landlords will get told what we’ve agreed to.
-Carbon neutral with agricultural emissions included by 2030
The current plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 is a mockery of the problem we face with the climate crisis. I appreciate the climate crisis is an issue in of itself, but the urgency that it demands requires a change of gear expressed in the first 100 days. Bring it forward to 2030. Include agricultural emissions. History is watching.
-Feed the Kids – free breakfast and lunches across all schools
Feed all our children healthy food that will provide them with the best fuel to learn while building community with the breaking of bread daily. It is obscene that we aren’t doing this already. This isn’t about letting parents off from feeding their children, it is providing the basic level of kindness we extend to all our children.
-Remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables
This truncated economy and elongated hardship requires changes that are immediate and long lasting. Removing GST from fruit and vegetables is a way of making good choices at stressful times easier. That’s what the State is supposed to provide. Reward people for making better choices.
These sugar pimps who push an addictive and lethal drug must be hit with a 20% tax. Everyone has to help pay for the damage they do and it’s time Big Sugar paid for their damage.
-Free Dental for all children & beneficiaries
This is urgent and needed now.
-Digital tax on Facebook/Google used to fund NZ Journalism
We have seen an explosion of conspiracy theories damage the credibility of our democracy. This is being driven via Facebook and Google, two international entities that currently gut the mainstream media’s revenue streams. We must join with Australia and hit them with a media tax which is ring fenced and ploughed into NZ journalism alongside a major boost for public broadcasting including a youth radio station and 24hour TV News service.
-Financial Transaction Tax
The wealthy speculate off the exploitation of greed. Tax them with a Financial Transaction Tax, bring in huge sums of revenue from those who speculate so we can afford these social programs and actively attempt to rebalance the inequalities.
-Immediate expansion of State capacity
35 years of amputation under neoliberalism has left a state barely able to function. The NZ public sector employs 295 800, the pandemic has highlighted what that shortage of capacity does. We need a wholesale boost to the capacity of the State so that we can handle this ongoing issue and have the capacity to deal with the next crisis.
-10 sick days
Just do it.
History is watching. The Left need to force Jacinda to implement change or it will be another 3 years of tepid policy that does nothing transformative.
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