One of Audrey Young’s more lucid pieces:
Voltaire was not required reading at Hawera High School, so when Trade Minister Tim Groser invited the media, during the TPP press conference in Atlanta this week, to ”remember the old phrase … The excellent is almost always the enemy of the good …” I couldn’t.
Before getting a second to think about it, discussion had moved on to the significance of the Canadian election on the TPP deal.
It wasn’t until NZ First leader Winston Peters started talking on Morning Report a day later that Voltaire’s words hit home.
Mr Peters attacked the deal, effectively because it was less than excellent.
He invoked the words of latter day philosopher and writer Stevie Wonder to suggest ”Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours” was the negotiating plank of the Government.
On the issue of perfection, Mr Peters is right.
We haven’t seen the deal, but we know enough to know it did not land in the ”high quality, ambitious and comprehensive” zone agreed upon four years ago by the 12 parties.
The US, Japan, Canada reneged on that commitment.
If comprehensive and high quality were the test, New Zealand would not sign it.
The question, in the absence of perfection, is what the test should be.
The only rational answer to that is: ”Will New Zealand be better off by signing the TPP or by not signing it?”
Correct. And to expect an agreement where every country walks away with ‘excellence’ is simply undo-able. The only way to have winners is to have losers. And to have no losers, you need compromise. Read more »