The Guardian December 1, 1999


Left and centre make advance in NZ

Bill Anderson, National Secretary of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa in 
a statement to The Guardian says that "the election of a 
Labour/Alliance Party Government follows nine years of a very right-wing 
`New Zealand Experiment' National Government and six years of a `free 
market' right-wing Labour Government.

"The Labour Party has subjected itself to a thorough review of its previous 
economic policies and has rejected a number of the previous 'free-
marketeers' from its top ranks", says Mr Anderson.

"The left-wing presence of the Alliance will have a positive effect. The 
growing political relationship between the Labour and Alliance leaderships 
has substantially filtered down to the respectful memberships with 
significant effect."

Mr Anderson gives the example of the Wellington Central seat where the 
well-known Alliance candidate (Phillida Bunkle) withdrew her nomination to 
permit a united left effort to dislodge right-winger Richard Prebble who 
leads the most extreme right-wing party, the Association of Consumers and 
Taxpayers (ACT). He was narrowly defeated by the combined centre-left 
forces.

Agreement

"This action and a generally well-observed agreement between Labour and the 
Alliance not to conduct head to head attacks on one another while putting 
forward their own policies has substantially strengthened the left and 
left-centre forces who will now form government", says Mr Anderson.

"While the Alliance has a much more left policy than Labour, they both have 
common policies including:

* new industrial legislation that will permit much more trade union 
freedom;
* more finance to public health and education;
* state house rents down to 25 per cent of income;
* increased taxation after $60,000 p.a.
* improved eldercare."

The Socialist Party of Aotearoa (SPA) did not stand candidates but embraced 
the policy of Labour and Alliance while most trade unions worked for a 
Labour/Alliance government.

Mr Anderson said that the "SPA has called for the formation of 
accountability and recall structures to be built. These structures in (say) 
health, education, key industries, farming, small business, race relations 
and so on would be formed by each sector regionally, being composed of 
elected delegates from the constituent groups.

"Each sector would deliver their sector strategy requirements to the 
relevant Cabinet Minister (or deputy) and the local MP and both would be 
required to report back at appointed intervals.

"In certain circumstances the assigned MP could be the subject of a recall 
provision if she/he did not perform up to the appropriate standards of 
political responsibility.

"It is a planned advance to develop the main theatre of political activity 
outside of Parliament, that is, on the worksites, in the communities and in 
the streets", concluded Mr Anderson.

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