Wednesday, April 20, 2005



Second response

From Philip Howison, the LibertariaNZ candidate for Hutt South:

If you could ensure the passage of one act on one issue in the next Parliament, what would it be?

This is a difficult question because parts of the Libertarianz agenda have to stand together - for example, privatising health and education would be unjust unless supported by massive tax cuts, and abolishing tax while not privatising would leave health and education without funding. Given that, I would pass a bill allowing freedom in education, but leaving education funding in government hands until I'm allowed to pass another act! The parents at Orauta School in Northland would benefit, as would all other parents who care about their children's education and want more choice. Basically we would hand the keys of each state school to the individual Boards of Trustees.

Education is a particular concern of mine especially since I sat the NCEA a couple of years ago and I know how stupid it is. That's one of the reasons why I chose to stand against Education Minister Trevor Mallard in Hutt South.

What three other electoral candidates or sitting MPs do you think are most similar to you in their political views?

Rodney Hide (Act)
Bernard Darnton (Libertarianz)
Stephen Berry (Libertarianz)

MMP is about coalitions: What sitting MP who is NOT in your party do you think is most similar to you in their political views?

Rodney Hide, as in the previous question. He is a strong libertarian though not in a libertarian party. Libertarianz policy is not to support coalitions, however. We will not compromise on matters of principle but will support any law change that increases freedom or rule of law (including the principle of equality before the law).

Do you support or oppose:

...raising the drinking age?

Oppose.

...legalising marijuana (or pharmaceuticals based on it) for medical use?

Support.

...decriminalising or legalising marijuana for recreational use?

Support

...allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?

Support.

...amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Support, because of the principle of equality before the law. But ultimately the Marriage Act should be repealed. Keep the government out of my bedroom!

...allowing voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide?

Support.

...state funding of integrated schools?

Oppose. But it's unfair that people who pay for private education are taxed for public schools. While public schools and taxation are phased out over 2 or 3 years, Libertarianz would give these parents tax breaks.

...the retention of sedition as a crime in the Crimes Act?

Oppose. The government must maintain the rule of law, but violating freedom of speech won't help it achieve that goal. Throwing an axe through a window should be illegal because it's vandalism, not because it's the Prime Minister's window.

...the retention of blasphemous libel as a crime in the Crimes Act?

Oppose.

...further restrictions on hate speech?

Oppose.

...the use of indefinite detention without trial for those subject to a security risk certificate?

Oppose.

...restoring the death penalty for serious crime?

Oppose.

...Georgina Beyer's Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill?

Oppose. I don't agree with gender-identity discrimination personally but if other people want to be bigoted that's their own business. The government, though, should never discriminate - equality before the law.

...Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill?

Support. Freedom is nothing without the right to own property

...entrenching the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act as supreme law?

Oppose. We need a bill of rights, but a constitution, perhaps based on the US constitution, should be our starting point, along with the English common law.

...New Zealand's participation in the International Criminal Court?

Oppose. The court is toothless and this sort of international organisation is pointless in my opinion.

...lowering MMP's threshold from the present 5%?

Support. Obviously this would benefit the Libertarianz, but we believe having a threshold is undemocratic, too. Minor parties have a place in the system and they should not be excluded if they have significant support but it falls below an arbitrary level.

Finally,

With the benefit of hindsight, how should the government have handled the Ahmed Zaoui case?

Sent him back unless he was prepared to undergo a fair trial for his alleged crimes - which are serious. He was convicted of associating with the terrorist group responsible for killing several people in the Paris subway bombings and hijacking an airliner which they threatened to fly into the Eiffel Tower. Those charges may not be true, but they should have been publicly investigated before we let a suspected terrorist into the country. Holding the man without trial for so long, however, was a terrible violation of the principles of justice and the rule of law.

Anyone without a serious conviction should face no obstacle in immigrating - the Libertarianz believe in open borders.

So, I wonder who else is going to come forward...

9 comments:

Philip, your intellect & wisdom belies your age in years. This is a brilliant response, & one of the clearest summaries of Libertarian politics I've read.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 4/20/2005 01:06:00 PM

How do you undergo a fair trial for alleged crimes. Do you perhaps undergo a hypothetical trial with hallucinatory witnesses and made up judges?

Posted by Kevin : 4/20/2005 02:35:00 PM

"convicted of associating with" - I didn't think Libertarians believed in guilt by association.

Posted by Rich : 4/20/2005 04:18:00 PM

Kevin- Are not all crimes alleged until proved in court? I realise there's the odd mis-carriage of justice, but arent the majority of trials in NZ (and in many other places) fair? They are all for alleged crimes.

Posted by Fletch : 4/20/2005 04:33:00 PM

Kevin- Are not all crimes alleged until proved in court? I realise there's the odd mis-carriage of justice, but arent the majority of trials in NZ (and in many other places) fair? They are all for alleged crimes.

Posted by Fletch : 4/20/2005 04:33:00 PM

Mine will be with you soon.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/20/2005 11:46:00 PM

Wow, he sat the NCEA a couple of years ago, did he? I must say that's fairly impressive, since it wasn't rolled out on all levels until last year. So what's he's saying is that if by "some years ago" he means "more than six months", he hasn't got his seventh form qualification? Or he only has NCEA Level One and Two? Or did he resit NCEA LEvel One for kicks and giggles?

... pay attention, o libertarian.

T

Posted by Anonymous : 4/21/2005 12:23:00 AM

T,
There are some other options you haven't considered - including the correct one. But I don't see why my educational history, rather than my views, should be the topic for debate!
If you're really interested, I was in the first class to sit NCEA, but I left school for university a year early. I was able to do this because I sat UB, a better qualification, while in Years 11 and 12 (ie, fifth and sixth form) at the same time as I sat NCEA L1 and 2. In fact, I passed NCEA, School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, University Bursary, and even some National Certificate and Unit Standard courses during my short time at high school - so I consider myself qualified to compare these systems, if nothing else.

Posted by Philip Howison : 4/21/2005 02:00:00 PM

T,
There are some other options you haven't considered - including the correct one. But I don't see why my educational history, rather than my views, should be the topic for debate!
If you're really interested, I was in the first class to sit NCEA, but I left school for university a year early. I was able to do this because I sat UB, a better qualification, while in Years 11 and 12 (ie, fifth and sixth form) at the same time as I sat NCEA L1 and 2. In fact, I passed NCEA, School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, University Bursary, and even some National Certificate and Unit Standard courses during my short time at high school - so I consider myself qualified to compare these systems, if nothing else.

Posted by Philip Howison : 4/21/2005 02:17:00 PM