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Whose corner is Gareth Morgan in?

The reaction to the launch of the Opportunities Party has illustrated yet again that after 20 years of MMP we remain stuck in the same old two party, left and right system. People struggle to get their heads around anything different and the concept of a parliament working in anything but a deeply adversarial mode remains foreign.

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Despite not having announced any policies, and saying that I would work in a supply and confidence agreement with any governing party or coalition, The Opportunities Party was variably described over the weekend as ‘left wing’ and likely to appeal to the ‘blue-green’ vote.

Most surprising was Andrew Little’s comment that it was ‘great to see him in our corner’. Sorry Andrew but with the Beehive being round, operating out of corners is a little difficult.

The way I see it, both major parties want to see a better New Zealand. At least, that is what they say, and there’s no reason to think otherwise. They just see different ways of achieving that, and those different ways are based around what appeals to their core voters. 

The trouble is that neither of these Establishment parties have the courage to talk about the policies that would actually make a significant difference to New Zealanders. That is because most substantial policies would upset some people and with that some votes would be at risk. As a result we get timid democracy, crowded around the middle ground with everyone afraid of promoting substantial reform. Progress proves to be elusive – most notably for those families that have been on the wrong side of the prosperity surge. Our purpose is to enable all boats to rise.

The status quo is that our major parties opt for incremental policies that sound good, make them look like they are taking action, make them sound like they care, when in fact those policies too often make no difference at all. It’s a natural outcome when you pay greater heed to the polls than to the evidence.

We’ve seen a good example of this with Labour’s policy announcements over the weekend. Make-work schemes sound like a great idea and play well with ‘Middle New Zealand’. “Why are young people sitting around on the dole?” people say. “Make them get out there and earn a living”.

The trouble is that make-work schemes don’t work. Just look at the last attempt at work for the dole, which Labour ironically scrapped back in 2000. They scrapped it because people had worse outcomes on the work for the dole scheme than they did on the dole. So the first question for Labour is why will this new scheme be any different? Why is it so much better than the scheme they scrapped in 2000?

I’m now refining The Opportunities Party’s policies, to be released from 8 December onwards. Who knows how they will go down with ‘Middle New Zealand’ but I’m confident that if implemented they will actually deliver the goods. The question is whether people actually want to do what’s necessary to live in the kind of place that they claim they do?

I just want to talk about what works, and if it turns out that Andrew’s the guy to talk to on that then of course we will. Then again it may be John. Let’s wait and see.  

Showing 38 reactions

  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-14 00:08:24 +1300
    All money is fiat money even if its made from gold or silver. As much as i’d like to be "down with the kids " and in the “in crowd” your ideas are essentially communism. As for merit, that’s how things work now, In general the most qualified person gets the job. I acknowledge all the isum’s you mention and agree we don’t want them in society, Im going finish this now as we are having an eartquaake
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-13 23:23:50 +1300
    @fraser, I have already explained how the governors of sectors would be elected, so I won’t repeat myself. It is also explained in the text I provided a link to.
    As for nationalising the banks, what do you have to fear. The paper is worth nothing already, it is just debt, as it became worthless when it was unpegged from gold in the 70’s. The Monetary System is just a value system, sadly it has become the value of a ‘Fiat’ monetary system, but it is intrinsically worthless. My age should not concern you, stay on point, ad hominen arguments demonstrate your inability for rational discussion. There is no need to ridicule something you don’t yet understand. Remember we are on the same side.

    @peter so what I hear you saying is your fear of giving power to those of merit, proven and selected by their peers, selected by members of society who have demonstrated an understanding of their chosen field of expertise, are to be feared over the current privileged Elite?
    You are correct in saying it will not be an equal outcome, but equal opportunity will be given, it is up to individuals and the collective to ensure success.
    Greed and corruption is created by imperfect systems that create the wrong behaviours driven by the wrong incentives.
    Stalin and Mao were dictators, I suggest you read further on how a Round Table Meritocracy might operate, rather than fear the intellingtia, or knowledge, which is a display of the highest form of ignorance.
    I’m glad you agree there need to be monetary checks and balances to keep the corporates paying their fair share of tax. But imagine a system of 100% inheritance tax, where income tax could be phased out to 0%, as the tax on the dead would provide the community with enough funds to run infrastructure and the State, and at the same time ensure no imbalance of power is allowed to pass onto unworthy heirs.

    Again, I don’t expect to appeal to everyone, but there will be a select few who grasp the information presented or recognise this Truth of Reason, these are the people we will provide further information to, but the oneus is placed on the individual to educate themselves, as anything not earned via ones own efforts is not valued internally.
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-13 22:29:07 +1300
    Well this meritocracy sounds great. How do you decide who decides who is has the most merit ? Or do you already have a name in mind? As soon as we know that we can let the people know about the awesome benefits they can look forward to. 100% death tax Nationalization of the banks and your mate Tim or Bob will say who has the most merit for whatever role needs filling. You will be able to go to your nationalised bank in swim in the pools of notes, its just a shame they wont be worth the paper they are printed on. Are you 12?
  • Peter KImble
    commented 2016-11-13 20:00:02 +1300
    From some of the posts on Meritocracy , I believe that instead of a moneyed elite running the show we will end up with the intelligentia running the show and this will still lead to a corrupt society. The experts will favour other experts and so on. It will not be a system of equality as we are not all born with the same abilities or IQ. It would seem to me that any system of government will eventually become corrupt as we are after all humans and greed, power and control will infect any human system. ideals may be great as were Marx’s original ideals of taking monetary and political power away from the few (owners) and spreading it more equally. We all know where that ended up. Millions reeducated or murdered by Stalin and Chairman Mao. No thanks not for me. I do believe that there should be better checks and balances of the current monetary system, and also a solution to stop corporates or individuals moving their money around to countries to avoid paying their fair share of tax which falls on the backs of the middle and lower classes.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2016-11-13 18:16:18 +1300
    This is where I differ from many people – I don’t think that we are so much worse off. I think it was never a better time to live in than now, particularly in countries like NZ – no famine, no war, no real big problems to deal with, just some homemade annoyances. On average we live longer and healthier and wealthier than ever. But there’s this perception that things are somehow worse when they are actually just different. So all the news about people who are struggling is misleading – yes, some struggle economically, no doubt, and there will always be some who do, but a much larger number actually struggle with change that is currently happening or has already happened.
    I also don’t think that people are voting for change – just the opposite. Trump’s slogan was “Make America great again” – the operative word being “again”. He’s promising a lot of going back to the way things were, not change as such. But the era of the Rust Belt is over – blue collar work will be taken over by robots, use of fossil fuels needs to come to an end sooner rather than later, the old cliché of the exploited worker and the evil entrepreneur doesn’t apply anymore to a world where most of us are already working in the service industry and can become rich or poor all by ourselves by dabbling in share trading or investing in property.
    More often than not it’s not real change people are asking for – it’s changing back to the old ways because of change that is already underway, where we missed the boat and failed to adapt or learn or upskill. Yes, it’s tough, I know – I’ve been working in IT long enough to have learned that lesson, but life was never better than it is now, and we could actually use a lot more change and much faster than what is already happening. to make life even better.
    My parents and grandparents always told me that it was so much better when they were young (and they were talking about much tougher times in the WWII or post-WWII eras), but that’s not true. It’s just our innate inertia that makes us want to keep things the way they are (or were) – but we didn’t get this far in our evolution by doing nothing. Let’s embrace change that moves us forward, not backward.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2016-11-13 15:12:09 +1300
    That’s interesting stuff. Until I started following this thread I had no idea that there is a whole philosophy out there that aligns pretty well with my own personal and admittedly limited view of the world.
    TOP has yet to publish their policies, so it remains to be seen where they will fit in. But as some other people have already posted in this and the other discussion threads, it’s time for something better than what we have now. Looking forward to seeing TOP develop their policy framework over the next few months and discussing it with you and other open-minded people.
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-13 13:17:13 +1300
    It’s all very nice to say you would do this and do that to avoid starting the race, the race is an analogy for life, and the fact of the matter is, and you are participating in the race of life whether you like it or not, and the race is currently rigged.
    What you do have a choice over is how you run your race. How Meritorious you are in running your race – for General Will or Private Will. This is an ideal which can be used for the guidance of good governance to prevent gross abuse by those currently in power ever occurring again. I don’t expect people to flock to this concept overnight, as our society is currently in decay, and until people are able to diagnose the problem rationally, they will be unable to grasp an ideal to make it a reality, progress and healing will not occur. We need to start somewhere, so why not start today? Shuffling around some monetary policy will not solve the problem when it is those that do the shuffling still retain power over the system. A new system needs to be created to eliminate the hold and damage perpetrated by an unelected, privileged few. The mechanism is Meritocracy and this will create other mechanisms as we begin to dismantle the current system.

    By your logic in picking everyone up, and not knocking anyone down, you are condoning the Status Quo, balance needs to be restored, some need to be knocked down from their privileged positions, while some need to be lifted up and given the opportunity to succeed, which I take is what this party is all about? TOP may be able to assist in laying some of the ground work, but it will ultimately be a Meritocratic Party, that will push the Elite over the edge once enough of the population have been educated enough to be able to reason for themselves, and not just do what the Mainstream media and controlling Elite manipulate them to do.

    Just to also clarify 100% inheritance tax will have say a $1m threshold applied, this is so as not to disadvantage ’Mum’s and Dads’ passing on a home to their kids, but its real intention is to break up the powerful family dynasties that exist, and have the money recirculate in society for the good of all, not just a few. Yes, they may spread and shift their assets off shore, but what power do they have with no assets in a country? but what happens when other countries begin to adopt Meritocratic Values? The Elite will be marginalised from society, as the power shifts back to a Meritocratic people.

    Let me take a short excerpt from a website currently being created:

    The Meritocratic Vote and Citizen Examinations

    There is no official voting age in a left wing Meritocracy. A person’s voting power is based off of academic qualifications, work experience, or a citizen’s examination. The more of these a person possesses, the more votes they are permitted. If an individual wishes to vote on a matter outside of their area of expertise, they must sit a citizen examination. This is a test of general knowledge relating to the subject under voting. If the individual demonstrates they have sufficient knowledge of the subject, then they are granted a vote. Such exams are free of charge so that all members of society have equal access.

    The Argument for Meritocracy

    According to the Pythagorean Illuminati, the richest people on earth, whom they call the Old World Order retain their wealth only by keeping the general populous relatively poor. They directly correlate money with power, stating that the people are explicitly not in control of their own destinies, but are instead under the tyranny of banks, corporations, bond markets, dynastic families, monarchs and so forth.

    They claim that money is a proximity phenomenon, in other words the closer you are to the flow of money, the more powerful you are. Contrary to popular belief; the public good, merit, morality, fairness, justice and rationality are not features of consumer capitalism and so are at odds with the Meritocratic values that many Western nations claim to uphold. The say that the ‘dollar’ is in fact a unit of power. Those who are poor are deficient in power and those who are rich have it in abundance. Those who are deficient have no influence and are effectively rendered politically impotent, and those with abundance are deemed to be fully in charge. They commonly refer to Rousseau’s conception of a General Will versus a Private Will. Since a dollar is a unit of power, private capital holders are thus able to rule in favour of the private will. The vast majority of the public however, deficient in Capital and hence power are not able to represent the General Will in politics. The result is that political action will reflect the Private Will, effectively granting the richest in society oligarchical power.

    According to Faust, Meritocracy is needed to replace a money based power system because it better reflects the General Will. They claim that currently, politics is merely repeating the same tried and failed techniques of the past which appointed the same staff and reinforced the same system. It is with this in mind that they claim democracy is no longer a viable option for human government as it is merely a front for a Capitalist Plutocracy. The 100% Inheritance Tax is not designed to raise State revenues, its primary purpose is to prevent dynastic families reemerging and promoting anti-Meritocratic values.

    The 100% Inheritance Tax

    Pythagorean Illuminism views capitalist democracy as dis proportionally favouring rich capital holders over working class people. These advantages are transferred to children through inheritance. Those inheriting a lot have a much greater chance at economic and social success in the future than those that inherit little. In order for left wing Meritocracy to function, inheritance, viewed as a sort of nepotism must be eradicated through the imposition of the 100% inheritance tax. This guarantees that all children have equal opportunities to succeed in the world as none will have any economic advantages over another. The collected inheritance tax will be reinvested in education and other public works.

    In left wing Meritocracy, the dead have no rights. Rights are the sole property of living human beings. The Meritocratic Commonwealth has a right to all assets possessed by the deceased. Inheritance is considered a form of governance from the grave.

    In a Meritocracy all wealth is owned by the Commonwealth and loaned to a person during the span of their life. The Commonwealth owns all things eternally. Loaned wealth upon death of the loaner is to be returned to the Commonwealth, failure to do so is considered theft. Furthermore, anyone who enriches the land in order to benefit their heirs are considered criminals as all land belong to the Commonwealth.

    The Meritocratic Market

    The Pythagorean Illuminati consider modern governments to be controlled by the economic free market. They claim that politicians have no true control over the market, but the market has extreme control over government making capitalist democracies effectively capitalist plutocracies. As a result, democracies are fraudulent because the public’s vote cannot take precedence over market interests. Running against popular belief, in this view democracy and capitalism are incompatible because the free market is extra political and unaccountable to the public. The Pythagorean Illuminati claim that democracy is a myth fed to the public to grant them the illusion of power over political affairs. The richest in society as controllers of the market and as a result, controllers of politics are not considered fit to rule because they act in the name of the particular will over the general will. In a Meritocracy, the State controls money creation and handling thus keeping power in the hands of the people in the name of the general will. Private banks will be strictly prohibited, but small private businesses encouraged.

    The Round Table Government

    In a left wing Meritocracy, the most talented and competent individuals are in charge of that aspect of life in which they are qualified. As a result, there is no one individual who is qualified in everything. The supreme power in a Meritocratic state is a Round Table of qualified governors. It would follow the First Among Equals principle. For example, the most Meritorious bio-scientist would make all decisions relating to bio-science. The best town planner with town planning. The best economist with economics and so on.
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-13 00:43:10 +1300
    I think i’d have a word with the starter , I;d refuse to race , I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of beating me, I’d make it clear I see the unfair advantage and I don’t intend to play their game. So no one wins that race, Fattie knows his cheating is all he has, and I have my integrity and probably the respect of the crowd…. Fattie never crossed the finish line ( I apologise peps) and the two hotties are still standing watching the start line. I give them a wink and ask if they like slumming it .
    Scott im not a proponent for the isum’s you mention, But I want to pick people up, not pull everyone down. Ive said earlier this magic system you offer, will not work the way you expect. You can’t break up the mechanisms without mechanisms to replace them, Don’t be surprised when the majority don’t come running to support impose 100% death tax and deregister the banks, because it will be the majority that want to leave the house to their kids, and whose limited savings are held in the banks, The elites you want to target have already moved their assets offshore or have them in trusts or companies, or gold or diamonds. The banks will no longer need to be nationalised because their is no longer a demand for their services, and your dream is a reality. The rich will have demonstrated their talent to enrich them selves and you will have what you wanted, no more of your isum’s and the majority wil be equal with nothing … It’s brilliant, I wish you well with your party.
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-12 23:24:27 +1300
    The Race you can never win (unless you’re one of “us”):

    You’re the fastest runner in the world and you take your place at the starting line for the most important race of your life. You look up the track and see some obese guy in a suit standing five metres from the finishing tape. You complain to the race organiser but he tells you to mind your own business and concentrate on your own race. You think it must be some bizarre joke and it will all get sorted out later. The starting pistol sounds and you set off, running faster than you ever have in your life. But no matter how fast you run, no matter how good you are, you’ll never beat the fat man, puffing, panting and waddling his way to the finishing line.

    Fattie wins the gold medal, and receives the adulation of the crowd. Two attractive blondes throw themselves at him. Everyone tells him how brilliant he is. He says he owes it all to God and his loving family who bought him a place at the best of schools and paid a million dollars to allow him to start five metres from the finishing line. The crowd cheers and demands that the winner’s parents be allowed to stand on the podium alongside their brilliant son. A reporter asks father, mother and son what they think of the second-placed athlete who broke the world record but still lost. They all shrug and say in unison, “Well, he’s not a member of our family, so who cares.” The crowd, full of like-minded families, rises to acclaim them. “If only we could all be like them,” they sigh. The world-record holder goes back to his housing project and dead end job. His colleagues tell him he’s a loser, and turn their backs on him.

    Welcome to the anti-meritocratic world, this world. What are you going to do about it? Will you stand back and watch while cronyism, nepotism, the old school tie, the private club, the right university, the right accent, the right background, the right secret society, the right religion, the right family, destroy merit so that their chosen ones can prosper at your expense. It’s time to smash the conspiracy. Break up all the mechanisms that allow privileged groups within society to rig the system in their favour and penalise anyone who doesn’t belong to their insidious cliques.

    The Meritocracy Party seeks to ensure that everyone, as far as possible, starts the race of life from the same starting line. Then we’ll see who the fastest runners really are; who deserves the medals, who should justly receive the acclaim and the rewards. At the moment, “who you know” (nepotism and cronyism) is vastly more important than “what you know” (merit). How often do we hear the mantra, “Networking is the fastest way up the ladder.” Meritocracy will push over this toxic ladder. From now on, demonstrable talent, not your social connections, will be the fastest way to make progress in life.
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-12 21:35:30 +1300
    Antarctica marine reserve is also amazing for the ease of cooperation between the usual protagonists, Signing agreements that involve territory with valuable resources , and all nicely agreeing to not allow anyone near for the next 35 years. I’m unsure what the internet has to do with sovereignty, or globalisation. I don’t favour isolation, and your simplification Brexit is a little insulting to the Brits, If the TPPA was a free trade agreement I’d have no issue with it, Id support it, New Zealand has few tariffs or quotas imposed on any countries, All are free to trade with us. But I have a full copy of the TPPA and I have spent many hours reading its legal gobble de gook. Of its 30 chapters , 6 do cover traditional free trade areas. however they give New Zealand almost nothing (est 20 mill) in an export bump. They do gain access to some markets that we could look to build on, But America is not really one of them. We already give these other countries access to our markets. International corporations are already attempting to sue sovereign governments in international trade tribunals, A tobacco company is suing Australia due to its plain packaging requirements, Canadian and mexican corporations were able to sue the US for over 1 billion dollars over nafta related issues… Not in legal systems of these countries but in international tribunals. If a large corporation started business and latter its product was found to be toxic, or pollution causing etc, the government could face costs for its initial set ups costs, and future profits loses. This is just one of a multitude of issues that have nothing to do with free trade and everything to do with the corporate property rights that exceed the rights of the sovereign peoples. I,m all for an even playing field, but I hate running uphill when my competition gets to run downhill.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2016-11-12 20:16:31 +1300
    Let’s not forget that there are issues that extend far beyond the borders of a single nation. At the moment it looks like it is becoming increasingly popular to look after yourself first, for example by leaving a union of nations because you think you’re better off without them (Brexit), or by planning to retract into your shell and get your own house in order, no matter what (Trump’s plan), or by claiming that you have to preserve your sovereignty at all cost (public opposition to TPPA in NZ). But eventually the civilised, developed and educated nations on this planet will have to start working together (again), to tackle the problems nobody can solve on their own, like climate change, pollution and overpopulation (unless we also stop caring about our descendants and their future). I agree that we have to start small, no doubt, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that globalisation has its benefits, too. Imagine where we would be without the internet, for example.
    It always amazes me that, despite all the bickering and posturing and bullying of the “leading” nations on the political and economic battlefields, they can work together peacefully and for the benefit of mankind on the International Space Station (ISS), no matter if the astronauts and scientists are from the US, Russia, China or the EU. Space exploration has become too expensive and difficult to manage for individual nations to be able to compete – but you can still get good work done by pooling your resources. Or look at non-profit projects like Wikipedia, that provide free knowledge at your fingertips and the click of a button, because of many good people all over the world who volunteer their time to write up and edit the world’s collective knowledge. I wonder if there are a few valuable lessons to be learned from that.
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-12 18:55:10 +1300
    Ok Scott , I’ll have a look at your links. And offer a couple of constructive ideas to perhaps help you work towards your ideas. https://diem25.org/ a model for nations to co exsist , and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMk6aVsl8Rs&index=4&list=PLhIWX7Bw0ZeLuRakcOBMCK2Q6ay2L0MB4 Yanis Varoufakis a professor of ecomonics that has some intersting economic models and solutions that could be implemented or redisigned to functionally replace exsisting structure. he has a very interesting idea for a crypto currency that works within the current currency, The new school of economics also have some good ideas.
  • Theo Stephens
    followed this page 2016-11-12 18:52:45 +1300
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-12 18:22:34 +1300
    Fraser, I’ll make the assumption we are both advocating for the Good of the General Will, which I gather from your responses do far, thus we are on the same side.
    I’ll also assume you have yet to read the reference material I posted, so I will also forgive you misunderstanding my proposal, as you will be using your existing frame of reference and experience, rather than applying reason to the situation. It is all laid out and clearly explained within this text.
    Now to respond to your gross categorisation and generalisation of what I propose. Utopian, yes this is the best of what we know now, free, yes citizens will be free provided they don’t harm individuals or the good of the General Will, enterprise, no, it is a state in which you and I are yet to experience, it is yet to be synthesised, albeit the current state of democracy is laying the groundwork as the antithesis for the thesis is a Republic, and the synthesis will be a Meritocratic State. The Dialectic in action. Socialist, in a way yes, social capital is what we propose, for all of Earth’s natural resources to be declared common heritage for the good of all, gulag, no I’m guessing you just applied this as a result of your misunderstanding.
    This is by the way not foreign policy, but to be applied domestically, to allow NZ to become one of many holographic states representing the whole, as above, so below, self-sufficient and self-determining but at the same time reflecting the common good and actualitising the potential of humanity.
    Mr Trump I dare say would actually do well if he purported this, no matter how hypocritical he looks. The USA is in need of these policies to rectify the imbalance of power that has been created by a few of the selfish Global Elite.
    I again don’t expect to take this at face value, if I don’t appeal to your reasoning abilities, then please allow the authors of this book to do so, I don’t claim the be the expert with all the answers. This is a process that requires hard work and dedication to applying logic and rational thinking. From it we will synthesis the ‘third way’ which I am sure Gareth will be interested in.
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-12 17:35:49 +1300
    Scott , In your earlier comments you use words like logical, rational enlightened. Then propose a global utopian free enterprise socialist gulag where the state becomes the elite, the bankers and the government. Even if this psychostate NWO was better than cheese on toast , its maybe not the type of foreign policy gareth is considering. Mr Trump might be interested
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-12 16:46:39 +1300
    Here are a few ideas I propose to begin the erosion and dissolution of the Elite dynasties. Knowledge rational thought, and reason are our best defence and offence to the Establishment, they fear enlightened knowledgeable citizens, so it is all our duty to first educate ourselves, so we won’t be mislead.

    1. 100% estate tax to recoup moneys drawn to the top via neoliberal capitalism, austerity and inheritance. No dynastic elites will be allowed to rise ever again. The moneys recouped will be used to pay off the NZ’s international debts keeping the budget above the deficit in perpetuity.

    2. Provision of free education to all NZ citizens from nursery to PhD level without exception. Existing student debt will be written off and replaced by a government maintenance allowance for all students ensuring that all students have enough to live on without having to waste study time taking menial jobs during term time.

    3. The complete dissolution of the private, for profit education system. Anyone educated privately will be ineligible to hold any public office. Private schools will be fully nationalised by the State for the fair and equal benefit of all citizens.

    4. All political election campaigns will be publicly funded. Receiving private campaign donations will be made illegal. Receiving illegal donations will result in lengthy jail sentences and a life-long ban from politics.

    5. The banking system will be nationalised and all banking staff will be classed as civil servants. Their only purpose will be to manage the economy for the good of all rather than the good of the rich few.

    6. A cap on all public and private sector earnings will be placed at $X per annum.

    7. The complete withdrawal of NZ troops and military from the middle-east. Our defence force will be put to its stated use: for defence only.

    8. A department for recruitment will be established whose purpose is to vet all applicants for public roles and their corresponding jobs in order to find the most qualified and suitable candidate to fill that role. This will ensure that all roles are occupied by those best suited to them in order to produce the maximum productivity. Once vetted, the department will continue to monitor the candidate’s performance annually, removing, promoting or replacing according to needs and the merits of current government workers and new applicants.

    9. A major focus will be placed on small businesses, with local economies given primacy in a social capitalism. Arts and culture and other non-infrastructure consumables will be the main privately traded commodities.

    This is just the beginning… The farce that was the US elections has provided a window of opportunity to enlist those who are currently experiencing cognitive dissonance, the Elite well know this and will try to move quickly to put people back to sleep…
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-12 16:30:08 +1300
    Hi Fraser, yes these ideas have been fully considered, the first step of which is 100% Inheritance tax, applied globally this would be the downfall of the Elite and begin to create equal opportunities for all, but not necessarily equal outcomes, as those with the most merit will be rewarded proportionately. Objective criteria would be applied by rational experts in their field to appoint a peer to help chair/lead the sector, not allowing one person to dictate to all.
    Once Banks are nationalised they become civil servants, and max income and salary caps are applied to stifle the greedy behaviour and lining of one’s own pockets.
    I’m not saying implementing these policies will be without pain, nothing good ever comes easy.
    I don’t ask that you to believe me or take what I say at face value, but I do ask that you fully research and learn for yourself the in depth ideas and knowledge that is being presented here. I’ll leave a starting point here for you… https://www.amazon.com/Meritocracy-Party-Political-Book-ebook/dp/B0045OUHP0
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-12 16:19:59 +1300
    Scott, I’m not sure you have fully considered the implications of your ideas. I don’t think you will arrive at the result you desire. appointing government roles based on merit or ability could be rather subjective in criteria and hand oversight of various sectors to the sectors themselves. eg merchants bankers overseeing banking and finance, As for the 100% death duties, , I doubt you could plug the many loopholes around it, and if you succeed you would drive all capital out of the country. Creating a 3rd world nation over night. Or at best a nation controlled by its bankers 100%
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-12 13:57:20 +1300
    Thanks Oliver, I’m glad you learned something. There is a plethora of information I can introduce you to if you are willing to study it. My suggestion is take the first step here: https://www.amazon.com/Meritocracy-Party-Political-Book-ebook/dp/B0045OUHP0.
    Let me know if you enjoy it. You can find me on FB.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    commented 2016-11-12 13:48:07 +1300
    Very interesting position, Scott, and an approach I could warm up to. Thanks for making me aware of the concept of meritocracy – it is a philosophy that aligns well with my personal view of the world, but until now I didn’t know that there was actually a word for it, so I’ve already learned something.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    followed this page 2016-11-12 13:01:59 +1300
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-10 22:44:50 +1300
    Meritocracy is the answer. Meritocracy is about taking all logical, rational, enlightened steps necessary to end privilege and create equal opportunities for everyone. Meritocracy is not however an ideology of equality. Meritocracy says that everyone should line up at the same starting line and be given an equal opportunity to win, but then the race will be run and some – the most talented – will prove victorious. They will be the people who govern the world, but they will govern it in the interests of everyone, not in their own interests. They will be all about public service and nothing to do with self-service (unlike the current capitalist leaders of the world whose primary objective is to line their own pockets). 100% inheritance tax will ensure that the leaders of society cannot establish family dynasties, or create systems of privilege for themselves and their relatives and cronies. There will never again be a super rich elite class. The prohibition against that will be enshrined in law and enacted via 100% taxation on all private estates: all assets at death are inherited by the Commonwealth – the “Bank of the People” – and redistributed amongst the people (the money will mostly be invested in education.) Since there’s no point in hoarding wealth, the richest members of society will no doubt spend their wealth, i.e. it will be continually recirculating in the economy. The money will therefore always be available to the people and the economy rather than being removed from circulation and used to create vast, permanent assets for the elite. 100% inheritance tax is the measure most feared by the elite. Oddly, it is also feared by ordinary people even though most have few or no assets to pass on anyway. Why do people with no assets fear inheritance tax? – because the elite have brainwashed them to fear it! It’s labelled as a communist policy; as the “evil” State interfering in people’s lives. Who says so? – the elite do. Why? Because 100% inheritance tax destroys them once and for all. It brings to an end the age of the Old World Order of elite dynastic families. It brings to an end the super rich class. It brings to an end the two-tier Society of Privilege. Inheritance tax isn’t even something that the living experience – because you have to be dead before it applies. What decent, moral person would object to having their excess wealth at death surrendered to the Commonwealth for the education and good of the people? Only sick and selfish people would oppose 100% inheritance tax. This tax is the one that will define the New Society. At one stroke, it changes everything. Isn’t it time to put your weight behind a brand new political vision – Meritocracy. Of course, it isn’t actually new at all. It’s just a modern update of Plato’s Republic, Plato’s Laws and Rousseau’s Social Contract.

    https://www.amazon.com/Case-Meritocracy-Political-Book-ebook/dp/B018W0ULVM
  • Scott Gordon
    commented 2016-11-10 22:41:05 +1300
    100% Inheritance Tax
    What do the elite fear above all? – having their wealth removed from them. What does 100% inheritance tax achieve? Precisely that – the complete and irrevocable end of dynastic wealth. Imagine a world in which the rich realised they would lose all of their money and assets to the Commonwealth at their death. They would have to spend, spend, spend, wouldn’t they? A huge amount of cash and assets would be pumped into the economy. Recession would turn into growth and, this time, there would be no boom and bust economic cycle because there would no longer be any point in the rich seeking to bend every rule in the book to make themselves richer, knowing that all of their money would eventually end up with the Commonwealth. The world can be changed overnight – just by stopping the rich elite in their tracks. If you really do believe in the 99% versus the 1% then demand the introduction of the tax that guarantees the victory of the 99% percent – 100% inheritance tax, the bedrock of meritocracy. Anyone who opposes 100% inheritance tax is a friend of privilege and the rich elite. Anyone who opposes 100% inheritance tax is a supporter of a two-tier society where those who can pass on resources are the winners and the rest are losers: permanent second class citizens. Merit or privilege? Meritocracy or democracy? Free-market capitalism or social capitalism? It’s time to choose. 100% inheritance tax could be combined with a general cancellation of debts. The rich are the creditors and the poor are the debtors. Debt cancellation instantly transfers wealth from the elite to the ordinary people. The rich got us into this crisis so why shouldn’t they pay? Debt cancellation would lead to the collapse of the banking system and the stock market. Capitalism would become insolvent. Good!!!! The State could then take control of the banking sector, the stock market and the corporate sector and start implementing social capitalism. The former elite would no longer have any power, wealth, influence or voice. Isn’t that what we all want? Why were the elite bailed out in 2008 and the ordinary people saddled with huge debts to pay for it? Why are bankrupt banks paying out vast bonuses at the taxpayers’ expense?! It’s time for the people to take charge of their own destiny. That means having the courage to say “No” to the elite.
  • Peter KImble
    commented 2016-11-10 17:44:07 +1300
    Gareth, whether people agree with you or not you are a man of your word. You have integrity and do not just follow the middle road. Whether National is in power or Labour, nothing really changes except the rhetoric and political spin. I recall your proposal years ago that a Blue/Green Party was needed, one with business nous and also environmental sustainability. The best of both worlds as it were. Climate Change is here, Floating blocks of Antarctica off the coast of NZ and the changing weather patterns should have alerted climate change deniers that climate change is a reality. I wish you well and could join your new party once more of your policies are articulated and released
  • fraser smith
    commented 2016-11-09 21:26:36 +1300
    Congrats on giving it a go. I am unable to support any of the current parties. Likely I will not vote. I look forward to hearing your policy ideas , if they make sense i’ll be happy to give it a TOP vote. A sovereign New Zealand , open and accessible to all trading nations. retaining our core kiwi values. quality education, healthcare, superannuation and support for those in need. respecting the rights of an individual, free enterprise capitalism, not corporatism. Yanis Varoufakis economics, , utilizing our natural resources sustainably , ecologically, profitably,Remove suppression on New Zealand ancient history, Truth should prevail. Open and transparent government, All parliamentary sessions to be streamed live via internet. To your detractors rolling out the old “your splitting the vote” There is no one to vote for, its VITAL they take their guilt trips and personal agendas and piss off. I will vote for who I want, Every New Zealander is free to run for parliament if they want, Gareth wants,,,,, and that’s the end of it .
  • Lee Apadam
    commented 2016-11-09 10:50:31 +1300
    Gareth in the interests of this country and it’s people it is VITAL to get this current greedy, neo-lib OUT next year. It is all very fine to say that you are neither left nor right but the FACT remains, that this time around, this next election, either a Labour/Green-led or National-led government is going to be the final outcome. For that reason I believe that it is VITAL that you do not splinter the left vote. AFTER the next election, when this current National government has been removed then yes, bring on The Opportunities Party by all means.
  • Matt Sch
    commented 2016-11-09 10:09:09 +1300
    Thankfully MMP ensures NZ politics isn’t as binary as you may potentially be generalising above, but since there is one almost-barely-just-majority party (61 seats with coalitions in a 121 seat parliament), and many elected others whom represent a (fairly) wide range of NZ (Greens probably being most diverse), I don’t think you can correlate NZ politics as being as divisive as other bipartisan countries like UK and USA (and Australia too, really).

    I think one of the main issues you’re raising above is more about framing the issues/policies than you are about what the actual real issues are. While I agree there are some harsh truths and realities where changes need to be made, many people (govt and the entire society that employs them at large) may more in need of gentle education to become aware of issues’ & policies’ potentials for progress to society at large, and of opportunities to enact change and evolve together.

    Perhaps if we employed a system of iterative progress (I assume there’s this kind of system in place already; surely people need to test a system in a small use-case before it can be employed at large) where all the while there’s common trust and respect exercised, as well as checks in place to ensure those abusing/abused by indiscrepancies can be dealt with accordingly. I would love more reforms to happen with WINZ, as the current “business model” NZ is running under is just not person-centric. Perhaps if WINZ was empowered to educate people more about their rights for their benefits in society, rather than chastising those most vulnerable and failed by the system to make the overseers at the top feel their coin isn’t wasted. Ugh! People’s livelihoods should be valued more than mere net profit/loss!

    Maybe the previous “Make-Work” schemes didn’t work because there were some factors that weren’t designed/managed properly (I don’t know, but I would like to know). I think with some kind of testing and evaluation framework (which I’m sure already exists!) adequate measures can be made to adjust and improve (or to scrap it entirely — further transparency of govt would open this information up to the people it serves). But it’s up to those whom we’ve elected and employed to ensure they fulfil their station, not just their superannuation. Encouraging a dialog about the issues and mediating the relationships of how they affect one and another should be the primary skill and most important trait of a government elected politician.

    The divisive cantor you alight to is purely media festooning at its schlockiest; divisive rhetoric only seeks to anger and alienate the moderate/uninterested (or distract), thereby entertaining greater chances of those more interested/less disenfranchised to vote their buddies in. Sadly, I moved away from New Zealand after seeing it consistently tank further away from my vision of an inclusive and respectful NZ society, no matter how I voted or conversed — it’s easy to preach to the converted, but sadly I have no reach or accessibility to those who share different outlooks than mine. Again, it’s about reaching an audience and being able to educate and empower them. Democracy’s weaker when less people are involved or informed, in my opinion, as it really relies on sharing experiences and knowledge and everyone keeping everyone else in check and congruent.

    But thankfully MMP still soldiers on and has some effective role in balancing out NZ’s parliament, however it’s been a bit out of whack for the last 8 (12?) years thanks to media engineering via smear campaigns and general buffoonery getting more free publicity than the actual real issues/policies. Which is all to do with the framing and communication of them!
  • Gordon Ngai
    commented 2016-11-09 05:25:27 +1300
    Any Government has to deal with two issues – productivity and distribution of reward. The National party is concerned with productivity and the Labour party is concerned with distribution of reward. But both issues are important. With Universal Basic Income, both issues will be covered – an equal change for everyone with basic human rights covered.
  • Sharon Aotearoa
    commented 2016-11-09 00:45:23 +1300
    High Five Gareth :) Iv been waiting for you to do this for years :)
  • Sue Pugmire
    commented 2016-11-09 00:15:09 +1300
    Where do you stand on TPPA & The ISDS threat to litigation, our laws and our sovereignty, it’s affect on climate action, people’s rights & needs, & the environment? Would you (& your party) overturn it if it’s ratified? Thanks