Arguments continue about whether Labour is targeting the centre, and if it should. As some on the right claim National is a leftish party there are those on the left who claim Labour is beyond centre to the right, and that New Zealand politics is too far right. For example:
The issue for me is that the “Center” is now so far to the right that the political shape of NZ politics is incredibly skewed.
I guess it’s all relative to one’s own views. People who see themselves as left or right seem to have trouble understanding the centre.
- Sam Buchanan
August 14th, 2012 at 3:24 pm What is ‘left’ ‘right’ and ‘centrist’ changes all the time. I’m sure a lot of people like to say they are in the centre, but its pretty meaningless unless we know what they actually mean by that.
I had a go at explaining what I mean:
For me being ‘centre’ is really just an idealistic starting. Likely to be moderate on many policies, but judge each on it’s merits. I tend more left than most on social policy here, and tend more right on economic/business policy than at The Standard.
I don’t think of myself as left, or right. Just call things as I see them.
I get accused of fence sitting but I usually make decisions, some very strong positions, I just usually take longer than some to arrive at them.
Those who are staunch left or right are like the fundamental religious, they start all their decisions based on their belief in god/socialism/capitalism/liberalism, usually make their decisions quickly and are unlikely to change them.
I’m more of a political atheist, will try and learn and guage the merits of any issue, and may change positiion if evidence changes.
Hard left and hard right see politics more as black and white. I see far more complexity, and look for the best patterns in a kaleidoscope.
The open minded and flexible approach seems to annoy the hell out of the the black and white brigades.
I think in reality most MPs who achieve much are more centre than left/right most of the time. To succeed, no matter what your personal position, you have to accommodate other views as well.
Centre doesn’t meam moderate
Being centrish-ish doesn’t mean having to be moderate on everything. For example I’d like to see a radical overhaul of tax/welfare, aiming at a much simplified well balanced (centrerish) system. Best done in prosperous times, but needs advance preparation.
And I’d also like to see parties radically overhaul their way of doing democracy. Any system is only as good as how it is used/abused. My ultimate aim is a more communicative and responsive system still based on representative democracy. It requires little if any structural/legal changes, just a change of attitude from politicians and voters.