Last night I had a wistful musing about starting a political party in New Zealand, due to my constant annoyance of my perception of everyone in parliament treading the line and being too paralysed/cynical/stupid to really change anything. Tatjna made the insightful comment that this is naturally what happens when people enter politics, entering with high ideals and wanting to change the world, but gradually having to compromise while working at small changes to the original goal ends up diluting that former grand goal.
When I was 19 I wanted to start a political party. Yeah, at the time, I mostly I thought it’d be a hoot. I wasn’t at all political (except for the general bafflement at politician’s idiocy at times), and I wasn’t one of those students that joined the clubs of other political parties. I did once run for student president at Canterbury University, except that was also a joke campaign: “1 of 5 New Zealanders have a mental illness, and I’m representing them”, “I will fight off pirates with my l33t ninja skillz”… a whole 100 people voted for me! Which surprised me, given that I didn’t even know 100 people and not everyone who was my friend was comfortable voting for my madness.
However, I still have those thoughts about starting a party. And then I also thought, “Hey! I also know a lot of intelligent and sometimes outspoken people who’ve got personal campaigns of things they want changed”. So maybe I will, after all. What would be my stance be on various topics? Well, I’d have to think about it some more, but generally, I will have a number of wild, outlandish ideas so that on the off chance I did get in, and even if politics diluted my idealism, one of those wild ideas might filter through…
First, I’ll be honest – I don’t fucking care if this isn’t the way of things now. Ask me about my life and I’ll answer it with the truth. If the public can’t handle that, then they need to grow up.
I’ll also swearand insult the public when they deserve it (as demonstrated above). But that’d okay, because nobody is actually “the public”, so no one will get hurt. We’re all unique, just like everyone else, and I’ll get to vent my frustration, thus it’s a win-win situation.
I’ll tell other politicians they’re idiots when they act like idiots (I was going to link each word of this sentence to examples of idiocy, but then I realised I didn’t want to waste my time on other people’s idiocy).
I’ll frequently change my mind. I’m a human being, and I’m also open-minded. That means that my opinions and thoughts are not set in stone. If a reporter asks me why my stance has changed, I’ll say “Because I’m human, not a list of policy decisions”.
Okay, so none of the above are actual campaign positions. So perhaps I should share some of those:
– Universal living allowance: everybody has the right to shelter and food. I don’t care if your parents earn too much money, I won’t penalise you while going to university for having “rich” parents. I have friends that got through University on a student allowance – whereas I got a $55k student loan. Although I received some support from my parents, I didn’t receive the amount some of my friends received. This isn’t just meant to be in terms of University though, it’s essentially a replacement for the dole. I also believe that people naturally want to work or do something, and although some people may take advantage of not having to work, the living allowance would be for subsistence only.
– Larger investment in technology. Real technology too. Stop focussing on value-added agriculture, instead focus on a knowledge and future-tech economy. Lots of smart people want to come to New Zealand, but we don’t have enough interesting jobs to bring them here (I’m not saying that there are no interesting jobs, but I sometimes get envious of the crazy projects my friends get to work on, despite working on AI myself). This wouldn’t be much of a problem if people could look beyond a 5 year time frame (for things other than climate change, where I’ve seen some research papers make ridiculous 100 year projections – it was ridiculous enough when I projected 80 years into the future for a biometeorology paper I wrote).
– Abolish antiquated copyright and IP law. Record companies won’t be able to sue individuals for millions of dollars just for sharing mp3s online. Companies won’t be able to patent genes that exist in nature (and we’ll ignore the gene patents of other countries).
– Drug reform – drug prohibition does more harm than good. It gives money to criminals (and removes a large taxable income), takes a large amount of policing effort that could be targeting crimes that actually have victims, makes successful and productive members of society criminals (purely from wanting to have the freedom to put what they want in their body), makes the act of taking drugs more dangerous due to them being unregulated (you’ve got no idea what you are taking because criminals control the quality).
I’m well aware that I don’t know all the factors in all these issues. But that’s why I wrote the above about my opinion changing. I’m a human, not a list of policies.