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The Nats and their lack of economic policy: a reason

This is primarily an economics blog, not a politics one. However to the extent the two overlap, we do some political commentary. Since perhaps the biggest single barrier to the development of exciting, innovative economic policies in this country has come from our Members of Parliament being too scared to take risks and promote new ideas.


This issue is at the heart of the current dysfunction that exists within the National Party. And the past few days have put this problem, which is tearing the Nats apart, out into the open:


On the one hand, Leader Judith Collins stated at her Party's annual conference, "We have zero tolerance to disunity. We expect everyone to toe the party line." On the other hand, her entire keynote conference speech was about "Demand the Debate".


In my opinion, the two are completely incompatible. Why ever become a Member of Parliament in this country if you have a vision for a better future, together with a set of policies to go with it, only to find your proposals are at odds with "the party line", and that you must either shut up under a zero tolerance rule, or get out?


If there is one factor holding the country back, this is it. It has stopped a new generation of Kiwis with bold new ideas for our future from coming forth.