Looking into the future the single biggest issue for politicians is going to be how to they manage to cut government spending to levels we can afford. John Key may not think superannuation is a problem, and it may not be for him, but it is for future generations, and future generations of politicians. They will be forced to deal with increased superannuation which will put huge pressure on other spending areas. Sometimes sacred cows have to be slaughtered and this is one such sacred cow…perhaps we might find that scared cows make the best hamburgers…but we never will while we dither on the issue.
A political environment where the voters are tired of deficits and profligate governments poses interesting problems for all across the political spectrum. National may actually have to do something rather than incrementally move at glacial pace for fear of offending someone. Even if that someone is Sue Bradford, John Minto or the union movement National quivers with fear at the thought of offending them.
Labour dominated by unionists will discover the unpalatable truth, without a productive economy the state cannot spend as much. Much in the same way the last really good government, the Lange/Douglas government, reformed New Zealand for the better a modern Labour government might do what National won’t and man up to the difficult issues. Being Labour they may also screw things up royally, but give them credit, they will have a crack.
The Greens will be badly bruised by their first term in government and will either have to become realistic or they will wither. Greens have nice ideas but they aren’t very practical in the real world, which means they are best suited to opposition. Other minor parties may not be in parliament.
Over the next few weeks I will blog about this issue, and will welcome guest posts or comments on this subject.