The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

some predictions

No, not how the vote is going to fall out - the combination of the closeness of the contest, volatility of the polls, and my own wishful thinking would make any prediction i might care to put out there guaranteed to be wrong.

But I've been thinking about what might happen if National gets in - which of their policies they might have to trade down a size.

Mostly I've been thinking about education policy. I don't think NZ First is going to stand for compulsory bulk funding - Donnelly just doesn't believe it's workable, so that would become voluntary instead. In some ways this would be worse, as National would of course put a lot of money into it at first, and then once many schools have taken the bribe and gone into the scheme the funding will start to shrink, resulting in an acceleration of the creeping privatisation already afflicting our schools. Of course it'll be a one way street - you can opt in to the scheme, but once you're in, that's it, until/unless a change of Government reverses things.

But in the industrial relations arena I don't think NZ First will care much, and United Future certainly won't stand in National's way (especially if Mark Alexander gets back in by some miracle). I suspect that Mapp already has his Employment Contracts Act Mark 2 drafted, and it would be in by Christmas (what a nice present under the tree for bosses). It will of course reverse the recent amendments to the ERA and no doubt we'll see an end to time and a half and a day in lieu for working Christmas Day, no four weeks annual leave, no paid parental leave, and National has just promised to "review" sick leave. Workers currently only get 5 days sick leave a year, unless they are lucky enough to be covered by a collective agreement which gives them more. Five days really aren't very much - that's a cold for you and chicken pox for one of your kids, and it's all gone for the rest of the year.

Brash said on Kim Hill last night that he wasn't intending to review the five Maori agencies but to abolish them - the two which relate to the Treaty settlement process would hang around until 2010 to finish off the job, but Te Puni Kokiri would be gone. I suspect both UF and NZF would vote for this. But in terms of abolishing the Maori seats, I think National would have to hold a referendum to get support from the two centre-right parties. Of course this would be a referendum of all seats, not just the Maori seats, so bye bye to them, and hello to political violence in NZ.

In terms of nuclear-free, I think that will be a second-term attempt. National know they need a few years to change the mood in NZ first.

Any predictions in other areas folks?


STC said...

Dail Jones will wrangle his way to PM, doing the reverse-takeover of National manouver people said John Banks would try through ACT.

Make Tea Not War said...

I have been feeling pretty depressed at the possibility of a National victory but, if they really are that bad, it would be suprising if they got a second term.

span said...

well i don't know - they will use their power to try to wipe out and weaken possible opposition groups in 2008, in particular unions and students' associations (i forgot to add to my predictions list that the right of students to choose whether their association is opt in (voluntary) or opt out (universal/compulsory) will be gone by lunchtime too)

Johnny the Red said...

I keep having visions of the Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob wins the mayoral election. They cut to him standing at the podium at the victory party. Instead of making a speech he just laughs, and laughs ... and laughs maniacally.

... then he rips off the Don Brash mask and reveals he's The Master, and says: