If voters learnt anything from the 9 years of the Labour Government that ended in an economic and social heap of dung, they learnt that socialism doesn't work.
It is interfering, demoralizing, it leads to social problems and perhaps more importantly to hardworking ratepayers/taxpayers, it is very expensive.
In respect to the local body elections in the race for Major for the new Auckland "Super City", voters have a choice between the two leading contenders, John Banks and Len Brown.
While John Banks is connected to the National Party and pushes their agenda of personal responsibility, business, efficiency and smaller Government (his actions belie the last part) Len Brown is another kettle of fish altogether.
Len is a socialist. Nothing wrong with that if you follow this extreme political line but it is bad news for the bulk of us who don't.
Len has for the last 3 years as Mayor, and years before that as Councillor, overseen a Manukau City Council that has raked up record debt by spending ratepayer cash on free swimming pools, cash handouts to special interest groups, koha to political friends and racial favouritism, not to mention his own personal spending on the ratepayer credit card.
For the supercity he wants to expand all this and add some really expensive toys that just don't add up financially.
He wants an Auckland wide rail system, free swimming pools for all (who pays for those again?) he wants all council business to be council controlled rather than privately owned, bigger roads, bigger parks and much, much more... in short a much bigger council.
He also want to continue what he calls positive discrimination, that is, he wants to favour Maori and Pacific Islanders by allowing them representation and input on the council without them being voted in.
I call that racist but hey that is what socialism does. It creates imbalances when it tries to make everyone the same.
Auckland voters have to make a wise decision this September.
Vote for John Banks and you will get much the same that you have got from his time as mayor of the smaller Auckland but vote for Len Brown and you will end up with a mess much the same as was left behind by the last Labour Government.
c Darren Rickard 2010