Tag Archive: The role of the state

State sponsored climate change is bad

Radical idea here guys, bear with me. Climate change is bad. Supporting the fossil fuel industry, the main reason why we have climate change is also bad. Because climate change is bad, it would be inconceivable to have a government agency supporting the fossil fuel industry. Right? Right?

Enter the ACC.

The ACC has 1 billion invested in the fossil fuel industry. For the record, that’s 1/40th of its entire investments. Yet the fund only has 778 million invested in Green energy. But in any case, the number of dollars going into the fossil fuel industry should be zero.

The ACC, by law, has to invest ethically, so it’s pretty disappointing to see it invest in the fossil fuel industry – the industry which is literally choking the planet. In my opinion, that’s not an ethical industry.

The good news is that Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has called ACC out on this issue. The bad news is that Finance Minister Grant Robertson has refused to use the Crown Entities Act to make the ACC divest from fossil fuels.

Jacinda Ardern said that climate change was her generations “nuclear-free moment.” Yet her government won’t even stop paying those responsible for climate change.

Should the state fund political parties?

As a result of the debacle surrounding NZ First’s dodgy donations, former prime minister Jim Bolger has called for the state funding of political parties.

The basic idea is that if political parties are paid for by the state, then the influence of big corporations and their donations will become obsolete, removing corruption.

I have to say, I really don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand, I do like the idea of political parties not needing to sell out to corporations. On the other, going full hyperbole here, if a nazi party started up in New Zealand, I wouldn’t want my tax dollars going towards that.

Getting rid of donations would remove the possibility of something like what is happening at NZ First at the moment from ever occurring.

On the other hand, removing the need for parties to get donations will further remove parties from the general populace. After all, if you are going to get money regardless, the incentive to focus on the needs of the supporters dissipates.

Not 100% sure of my beliefs in this area. From what I can tell, a mixed model would work best, and the good news is that Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has a members bill in the ballot that takes a step in the right direction.

Ghahraman’s bill would ban foreign donations, as well as forcing all donations above $1000 to be disclosed (as opposed to the current limit of $15000). Her bill would also put a limit of $35000 for donations to a party or candidate per year.

As long as that also extends to organizations, I’m down for this bill. Add a level of state funding for political parties and I think the system would be better.

That said, I’m still not 100% sure of my views on this topic, and I am open to being convinced otherwise. Drop your views in the comments.

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