NZ Freedom Party?

Stephen Berry's picture
Submitted by Stephen Berry on Tue, 2012-03-27 09:46

Following the 2011 election, it has become clear that Act, with an authoritarian conservative as its sole MP, is dead as a force of freedom. Attempts to form a new libertarian party with disaffected Act members have failed, as those individuals have gotten over their disappointment and folded back into the flock. My own attempts at forming a local body libertarian party are also currently unsuccessful.

While New Zealand does have an established libertarian party, in the form of Libertarianz, it is clear that this party lacks public credibility and any chance of having even minor electoral impact. It is obvious that advocates of freedom need to try something new. The clearest option left now, is that Libertarianz re-brands as a party advocating individual freedom in bite-sized moderate chunks.

The re-brand should be with a simple, easily recognisable name and just a few short, punchy policy proposals that include the concepts of economic as well as personal freedom. At this stage, I propose that the new party should be named Freedom Party, however I am completely open to any other suggestions.

Policy positions should be based on incremental improvements in individual freedom as opposed to the current Libertarianz strategy of proposing the end result in one giant leap. We should be advocating tax cuts instead of tax elimination; cannabis legalisation instead of heroin and methamphetamine legalisation. We need a simple punch card of a few policies which all increase individual freedom, without the need to explain objectivist epistemology.

I suggest:
• 15,15,15, - $15,000 income tax free threshold, 15% income tax, 15% company tax.
• Legalisation of cannabis
• One law for all
• Property rights
• Legalisation of euthanasia

A Libertarianz AGM should be held to legitimise the re-brand and act as the launch for a new Freedom Party.


Ross Elliot's picture

"However a Ron Paul approach won't work in New Zealand."

It didn't work in the US either!

But now they have the nice safe conservative Romney. And no doubt he'll do better in the debates. God forbid we have the inarticulate Paul over the coiffured Romney.

And let's pray--cos that's all we've got now--that he'll be enough.

Ron Paul's campaign has been

Stephen Berry's picture

Ron Paul's campaign has been very useful in speading libertarian ideas and it has certainly gotten some attention in New Zealand. However a Ron Paul approach won't work in New Zealand. The USA once was a constitutionally libertarian nation, while NZ has none of that history.

Agreed on targetting youth.

The Occupy movement was a fricken disaster in NZ. Even I was quietly rooting for the council in their desire to move that sludge off the park.

Certainly would be interested in having you involved in 2014...or even 2013 when we run a local body tcket.

Good Plan

XayneP_G's picture

Hi steven,

I myself have been thinking about the need for exactly what you are proposing for some time now. With act continuing on their self destructive campaign to sell their credibility to the highest bidder, and liberterianz remaining an ideological party rather than a political party, their indeed seems to be a neiche in the market of new zealand politics for a sincere, electable libertarian party. If I may offer a few thoughts:

- Ron Pauls campaign has created a lot of momentum for Libertarian politics, and the political climate is right to capitalise on this. I believe that Don Brash's advisers were taking notes from Pauls campaign when they engineered his decriminalize cannabis platform. The problem was Brash lacked sincerity, as well as party consistency (not to mention charisma). The romanticism of Ron Pauls against-all-odds, grassroots campaign, as well as the mans honesty and integrity is very influential, and has converted many dissatisfied democrats in the states. A similar campaign has the power to do the same here, but only if built on a firm foundation of integrity and sincerity.

- The international 'occupy' campaign has demonstrated that people are waking up to the the reality and consequences of crony capitalism. True, their anger has been misplaced at capitalism, and their proposed solution of more government can only perpetuate the rot, but the fact that so many people are aware of the situation and desire change can only be seen as a good thing. AoC took the approach of Trolling the occupy movement. This approach will only further perpetuate the sincerely held belief among this sector that liberal economics is a tool of oppression wielded by the rich and greedy. Rather, the occupy movement and the momentum it has created should be seen as an opportunity to educate and spread the Libertarian message.

- The target audience for the Libertarian message should be the youth vote. It is a total myth that New Zealand youth are apathetic towards politics. The message I keep hearing from young people is that all politicians are the same and nothing ever changes so there is no point in voting. It is a position of nihilism, not apathy. I believe that it is this demographic who will be most sympathetic towards the message of less regulation, less government intervention, more civil liberty and a market with fewer barriers to entry. Despite what certain dinosaurs commenting on this post are saying, social media is indeed the most effective means of communication for reaching this demographic and Facebook will serve as the most significant electoral battleground.

- On the name: to me personally the word 'freedom' carries too many nasty connotations. Though it is hardly fair, the word has been highjacked by those who espouse social conservatism. The word Libertarian and its derivatives (liberal, neo-liberal, liberty) seem to be far sexier in the current zeitgeist.

If such a party could be organized, I would only be too willing to do what I can to lend support to the campaign, or to run as a candidate, in the 2014 general election.


Ross Elliot's picture sense of it is that they are a Nationalist party, something like NZ First in NZ.

That said, I have no problem with a Britain divorced from Europe.


Marcus's picture might have heard that UKIP are a libertarian party, but they are not.

They are no more libertarian than the current conservative party from which they sprung.

Their only difference is they want to leave the EU, whereas the conservatives just want to decrease its power over the UK.

UKIP believe in protecting so-called "front-line" state services. By this they mean health, education and welfare.

The line that they won big in the local elections this month is wrong too.

They may have averaged 13% of the vote, but they have won not one extra council seat.

And they only had five to begin with and they still have only five. Remember there are about 3000 council seats in the UK.

So a great success? I think not.

Ross - Here is an example of UKIP LEADERSHIP

Sandi's picture

I am surprised you were not aware of the statesman Mr.Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage back in 2010


I have no idea...

Ross Elliot's picture

...who the UKIP are, but Nigel Farage's interview on RT was pretty good. Starts at 4:00. They could just be another nationalistic crony-capitalist clusterfuck like NZ First is for all I know. His comments on the wine were pretty good, at 20:15.

How about a tele-conference?

Sandi's picture

The principal purpose being, to identify an agenda according to priority action and to establish some direction.

Rand Paul has picked up on Agenda 21 bull dozing its way through private property rights and is campaigning magnificently.

Stephen, you'll have to forgive Lindsay...

Ross Elliot's picture he doesn't quite understand the opportunity he is missing.

Forget Facebook, he needs to get Twitter. I'll explain it for Lindsay just in case he's unsure. The process is this:

-Lindsay signs up for Twitter (no, not the silly Twitter name he has now, but something meaningful). Perhaps he could use his actual name...
-Others will follow him on Twitter because he already has a popular site. Why? Because he will advertise it here.
-He now has a captive audience
-When he makes a tweet, hundreds and eventually thousands will see it and they will come to SOLOPassion or go to the links he has tweeted
-His power and influence will increase (not the best outcome, I'll admit)

Of course, he may not want to broadcast himself to this captive audience, but it's an option.


Damien Grant's picture

Not sure what is wrong with facebook but I enjoyed being reacquainted with the word Misanthropy.

In my humble view, I would advocate everyone with a libertarian mind-set signing up to the National Party and seizing control of the beast from within.

Heading up National, Brash came within a whisker of becoming PM (what a government that would have been), heading up Act he failed to get past the starting gate.

There appears to be inertia in politics so why not use that inertia rather than fight it? After all, look what happened when Roger Douglas found himself heading up Labour. So, if you wanted results and not purity, I’d hold your nose and wear a blue rosette.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Why can't you leave me to be a grumpy greeny old luddite-fart in peace?

As I had occasion to write previously:

That's it. My misanthropy—which was always, of course, wholly rational—has just attained new heights of intensity ... and vindication.

Someone for whom I previously had respect—someone right here on SOLO—has just asked me to be his friend on Faecesbook.

Faecesbook. The ultimate homage to the Age of the Airhead. Faecesbook. Wankers in pursuit of wankbuddies.

Faecesbook. The pathetic in pursuit of the prosaic. Faecesbook. The half-witted in pursuit of the humdrum.

Faecesbook. The unspeakable in pursuit of the unimportant.

Does it occur to the retarded wretches who post on Faecesbook that they are a travesty of the technology that makes it possible for them to indulge their execrable exhibitionism? Do they seriously imagine that anyone with a brain and a life is remotely interested in the tiresome minutiae of their and their babies' ablutions? Do they not realize they are the cyber-equivalent of Country-and-Western yowlers who nasalize that their wives have left them for their horses (a very good trade-up in all likelihood)? Is their fathomless philistinism truly matched only by their infinite infantilism?

Yes, so-and-so can be my friend on Faecesbook. I usually say yes to such requests in deference to anyone who imagines he could put up with me, anywhere. And of course I'm barking beyond my bite. But honestly, seriously, is anyone here able to visit that place without bracing himself for, and shuddering in anticipation of, an avalanche of inanity?

But I yield. There are times it has its uses, and this is one of them. Bah, humbug!

I'm concerned that folk there are trying to rush the process, and have the new party be simply Libz Mk 2. That's no good. We have to have some prominent ACT people on board, and funding lined up, etc. Problem with Libz was that it was only ever amateur.

I would love

Jules Troy's picture

I would love to see you succeed,  it would be a clarion call to many that are just hoping for something like this to vote for and support.

Lindsay...Facebook is simply

Stephen Berry's picture

Lindsay...Facebook is simply a means of communication like the telephone or the internet. It is a valuable tool.

To reject it is to embrace Greeny ludditism.

Another thing's for sure ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's astonishing (not) just who chooses to remain silent at times like this.

One thing's for sure ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Nothing good can come from something that relies on Faecesbook. This project requires intellectual and emotional grunt. There's not a lot of that around, generally—there's absolutely none on Faecesbook.

Glad I could help...

Marcus's picture

...local government is a good start.

Another suggestion would be to make your five pledges non-negotiatiable. It is unfortunate that politicians these days are willing to sell their ideas down the river in order to get a taste of power in government.

"Pragmatism" is not a virtue when it comes to politics.

You're right about the

Stephen Berry's picture

You're right about the property rights part. A committment to scrapping the RMA would be good. I think we should also wait and see exactly what National plans to do with local Government. Could be a fantastic opportunity for a new Freedom party, especially if it decides to contest local body elections next year.

Freedom Party...

Marcus's picture

...sounds like a good name.

I like the idea of the punchy promises.

The UK govt is increasing income tax allowance to £10 000 ($20 000), so I think you can reasonably aim for a higher number. Although I see why you want to keep with the 15 000 number, ala Herman Cain.

"Property rights" is not a very specifc pledge. How about scrapping the EMA? Today the UK Govt is reforming the planning laws in favour of the developer over the nimby and the environmentalist. You have a precedent right there.

Call me cynical, but I think a pledge to remove all taxes from pensions or other savings or investments from pensioners would pick up a lot of grey votes.

Anyway, good luck with this. I look forward to seeing your progress.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Look at this sickening cronyist bullshit as an example of how irredeemable NACT under Banks is:

I think ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... this is the right approach. Except, of course, it should be voluntary euthanasia we're seeking to legalise. (An exception could arguably be made for John Banks.) And of course the 15/15/15/15 includes 15% GST. Dropping two and a half per cent a year for six years till it's gone. Same with Company Tax. As you know, this is what I urged upon NACT. Although I started at 17.5. They, however, weren't prepared to commit to a damn thing. Brash got captured by the Oleaginites.

Problem is, Stephen, you're taking on the ghastly NACT Peter McCaffrey types *and* the entrenched all or nothing Libz fuckwits simultaneously. But it's the right thing to do. This is what all freedom-lovers should get behind.

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