Should the Left help the Democratic Party to Defeat Bush ?

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Fri Sep 26 09:39:02 MDT 2003


I was thinking about this question of whether the Left should help the
Democratic Party to defeat Bush, on the ground that this would improve the
world situation. And I had to think of my own experience of general
elections for parliament in New Zealand (I was involved a modest way in
several election campaigns, as canvasser and publicist in New Zealand).

Thing was, in 1984, many people wanted the National Party Prime Minister Sir
Robert ("Rob") Muldoon out of power. There was a rent freeze, a wage freeze,
a price freeze, everything was frozen, Muldoon was making overtures to
lovely old pensioners with universal pension schemes, he was attacking the
fall in investment with every government interventionist policy he could
think of, and the new yuppies did not like it. The Left didn't like the fact
that Muldoon had repressed them in all sorts of ways, for example with the
Security Intelligence Service Act.

But the most farsighted bourgeois at that time was Sir Bob Jones, a
millionaire property developer and speculator, who is currently no doubt
making money out of the growth area in the New Zealand economy, namely real
estate. Bob was in a position to do something ? What did Bob Jones actually
do ? Well, he did a bit a political arithmetic. He founded a new party, the
New Zealand Party, and the theme of this party was that Muldoon did not
represent the values of the ordinary New Zealander, and consequently was not
the "real kiwi bloke" that he said he was and therefore did not represent
the national aspirations of New Zealanders. I actually attended a mass
meeting of Bob Jones in the Chritchurch Town Hall.  In various ways, Jones
implied that Muldoon was a cultural scourge, a sore on the body politic, a
reactionary prick although he presented his politics very positively (I was
told by workers from the inside that Muldoon liked very young girls and had
a flower collection, I don't exactly remember which specific type of flower,
maybe Waterlilies or something).

 Jones was a great public speaker who could power on the dialogue. And by
golly, it worked !!! The Left all voted for Labour to oust Muldoon, the
Yuppies voted for the New Zealand Party, and the vote cast for the New
Zealand Party was sufficient to take away enough seats from the National
Party to hand the cabinet to the Labour Party, a bunch of shoddy old men who
had been out of power since, I think, 1975 when Keynesian demand management
did not stop the recession, and subsequently spruced themselves up.

What did the new Labour Party do ? Well, when they assumed parliament
benches, they did not really know what to do, but pretty soon they were
doing it. This involved everything that the IMF dreamed of, and I mean
everything. But the most important thing for Sir Bob Jones was probably the
abolition of restrictions on the import and export of capital and a floating
exchange rate. Hell, you should have seen the money he made !!! The
considerable investment he made in the New Zealand Party really paid off, I
never calculated electoral profitability, but the rate of profit must have
been hundreds of percent at the very least, maybe even thousands of percent.
Lateron Bob Jones shifted his headquarters to Australia.

How relevant might this experience be for the USA ?

Reference: http://www.cup.canterbury.ac.nz/Catalogue/Memories_of_Muldoon.htm



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