Rodney Hide explains why governments like making new Ministries

?We? as in the people don?t have ministers ? the government does. That?s a crucial distinction. The interests of government ? and by that I mean politicians and civil servants ? seldom align with those of the people either as a whole or in part.

The driving force with politicians is votes. Without votes they can?t be politicians. They certainly can?t be in government. Sure, they want to ?do good? but to ?do good? they first must win. And that means votes.

Politicians chasing votes make different choices to politicians out to increase, say, freedom and prosperity, or just the general welfare as they see it.

For politicians winning votes must trump ?doing good.?

Indeed, a good politician these days is one good at winning votes rather than good at governing or making tough decisions. The distinction is a sharp one.

And so the question is not why do ?we? have a Minister of Women?s Affairs, Ethnic Affairs, etc. The question is why do politicians? And to ask the question is to answer it: votes.

A Minister of Women?s Affairs shows you care about women. Don Brash as leader of the National Party advocated getting rid of the ministry only to be lambasted as anti-women by members of his own party. Read more »


Silencing Free Speech isn’t the same as changing people’s minds


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Have you ever been to someone’s home for dinner where the host or hostess dominated the conversation? Have you noticed guests limiting their interactions or saying nothing because it is easier than trying to get a word in? I feel that way about Twitter. The conversation is dominated by Left wing views and it is easier to not interact at all.

When I was a High School teacher my viewpoint was consistently a minority view in the staffroom and I learned to pick my battles as it was as pointless as shouting into the abyss. Because I had stopped questioning the commonly expressed opinions in the staffroom many assumed that they had changed my mind. They hadn’t.

It never occurred to me that anyone had been influenced by what I had said but one day a fellow teacher approached me. She wanted to know who to vote for on the PPTA. I was taken aback and said,” I am the wrong person to ask. I disagree with how the PPTA are always wanting us to strike. I will be voting for the person who is least militant.” “I know,” she replied “I have listened to you during meetings. I want to vote for who you think will be best.” My jaw almost hit the floor.This woman had never taken part in any discussions but she had been listening.

The point I am trying to make here is you cannot assume that silence means agreement with the vocal viewpoint.

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