Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lucia Single Issue Voting - The Abortion Issue

Right Reason has highly amusing post about single issue voting in NZ: Single Issue Voting and Killing Poor Coloured People. Though, "poor coloured people" is not a normal phrase commonly used in NZ, but then maybe that was the point.

A highlight:

As we travel further towards the right, we reach the heavily populated centre zone. Before reaching the middle, we encounter the Naybour Party, arrayed in red. The Naybours’ focus on good old-fashioned social democratic values: Good social services and strong welfare, giving everybody a fair go no matter where you come from. Social engineering (i.e. progress) towards the Naybours’ vision of utopia is what this party is about.

I think Glenn is missing his calling as a satirist. He really ought to do more of this stuff and give The Civilian a serious run for his money.

In all seriousness, though, Glenn's post is about the validity of single issue voting, whereby "poor coloured people" are presumably substituted for babies killed through abortion in NZ. The "poor coloured people" are popped in there to gain attention.

I personally don't think that laws around abortion will change in NZ until enough people are clamouring for a law change.  Also, in general I believe that change should not occur from the top down, but from bottom up. Society needs to change before the laws do, because that's how it should work in democracies - laws reflect the will of the people. Anything else could be considered totalitarianism, or faux morality (thinking gay marriage for the last example).  Except, if I were hypothetically in a position of power, able to tighten up the abortion laws in NZ, I would do so, because when it comes down to it, you do the right thing, no matter what.

Also, just to be clear, the abortion laws in NZ are very conservative.  Abortion is only legal if there is a threat to the mental or physical health of the mother.  This threat has to be verified by TWO certifying consultants.  When this law was passed, it was considered a safeguard against abortion on demand.  The only reason we in effect have abortion on demand is because the two consultants do not consider each case seriously enough and just sign off on each abortion as if it meets the very stringent criteria as demanded by Parliament.  As far as I know, no abortion request has been denied in NZ, which is contrary to the original intent.  Which goes to my original point - if there is no widespread support for a particular position, then it's almost useless (though, not completely) legislating for it, because people can be oh so inventive in finding ways around it.

On single issue voting, consider the following position (source: Are you impressed with Internet-Mana? ~ The Herald:

I am of the "student loan" generation and the announcement around wiping student loan debt has seen my entire circle of Uni' friends and those still studying switch their party vote to Internet Mana."

This is naked self-interest at work, wider issues be damned. The same people have presumably ignored Minto's desire for 100% tax above $250K, an income rate that many educated people might otherwise be eligible for. For starters.

Should I feel contempt for these people? What if a party were promising to wipe out my mortgage - completely? Would I be tempted to be a single issue voter? I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be because my mortgage is scary and any political party promising to stick it to those bankers would warrant serious consideration. Except, I would have to think - what else to they want to do? Is my issue worth it? What about everyone else in the country? I could vote for my single issue and thereby condemn everyone in NZ to a worse fate because I don't care about anything else than my single issue and everyone else be damned. Whether for naked self interest or holier than thou issues.

Ultimately, I think, we put too much emphasis political solutions and not enough on societal change. The focus on politics means that too much power is given to the lawmakers, hence NZ's obsession with rules and laws. We should instead make sure the political sphere is assigned it's proper place and vote according to the lesser of all the evils rather than expecting it to be all there is, when it is not, and just vote strategically rather than puritanically.

3 comment(s):

Michael Charles said...

Well said Lucia. I have had 3 children who paid off their student loans in full. It was a major advantage to their respective careers in regards to choice and opportunity.
I am truly sorry that very few other students see the truth in this. Naked self interest is not Christian and as such the people who act in that way will never be happy or satisfied as they will never be truly blessed.
keep up your excellent work, remember God blesses you always

Craig Malcolm Richardson said...

Scrapping student loans and debt is not necessarily selfish. The policy no doubt believes education should be free. If the baby-boomers got it, why shouldn't later youth get it. To suggest it's now unaffordable is to simply say the baby-boomers have decided to give themselves executive salaries over $100k and that this is more important than free education. In other words they have been selfish. Their parents and grand-parents however were humbled by the wars and were far more egalitarian and nationalistic- working for the good of the country. These days interest groups are more inclined to think of themselves and sacrifice the common good. The gross blow-out in inequality is proof that the baby-boomer generation is probably the most selfish in recent NZ history.

Apolonia said...

The Green party wants to decriminalise abortion and have abortion on demand up until 20 weeks gestation. They will be supported by Labour and half or more of the National caucus. The only party that will oppose this in the next parliament is the Conservatives. A vote for National is a vote for more and later abortions.

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