This week New Zealand moved further into level 2 life heading (hopefully) towards some sort of new (post covid) normal following the post covid rebuild budget and signals that level 1 is on the horizon.
In his weekly newspaper column, Dr Steve Elers, a senior lecturer in journalism at Massey University explains the importance of recognising the underlying philosophy that drives those who are running our country. He says:
“We would be fools to believe political decisions are primarily evidence based. Given we are facing what is likely to be many years of economic turmoil and hardship, the political ideology of our Government needs to be laid bare so we can gain insights into what a post-Covid-19 New Zealand economy might look like.”
Since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plays such a pivotal role in this Government, Dr Elers believes understanding what motivates her will help us to better appreciate the direction in which she is taking New Zealand:
“It’s a fair assumption to suggest that at the time of entering Parliament, an MP’s political views and beliefs are set and are the motivation to enter politics in the first place. Accordingly, to understand Ardern’s political ideology it is important to revisit 2008, when she entered Parliament as a Labour list-MP.”
He explains that it was in 2008 that Jacinda Ardern was elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, a movement whose purpose is to “defend and spread core socialist principles”.
In early 2009, just two months after becoming an MP, she presided over the union’s World Council annual meeting in her capacity as president. At that meeting attendees discussed “progressive answers to the financial crisis”.
Dr Elers wonders whether those answers might be guiding us through this post-Covid-19 period:
“So, what ‘progressive answers to the financial crisis’ did Ardern and her comrades come up with? (I have used ‘comrade’ because it is how union members referred to themselves throughout the 2009 meeting.) Did they propose ideas that would stimulate the economy so businesses could thrive thereby creating job opportunities?
“Not quite. Instead, Ardern and her comrades stated: ‘Redistribution will lead to more financial stability and justice. As IUSY we struggle for redistribution between the poor and the rich, because we believe in equality and justice… Human beings are born with unequal resources available. We as young socialists believe in a social democratic system which secures a redistribution of resources’.”
Dr Elers concludes, “Ardern and her comrades think it’s best that everyone is equal and this is achieved through securing a ‘redistribution of resources’.”
It is this redistribution agenda to achieve equality that is likely to underpin the Government’s recovery plan. There is no doubt the mass unemployment and social disruption caused by the Prime Minister’s “go early, go hard” response to COVID-19 has created an environment conducive to radical economic and social reform. It is an opportunity no politician who has sworn an allegiance to a “social democratic system” would ignore. Read full article here.