Thought I’d share my wisdom on the policy front.
Crime: Add into the justice system a “career criminal” classification, where someone who clearly has no interest in being a member of society is treated differently in the system to ordinary folks who happen to have committed a crime. For the high end, we currently have preventative detention, but this doesn’t cover the lower end where someone may have decided that petty crime is easier than working for a living. I don’t necessarily think that means such people should be locked up forever, but even that’s a better idea than letting them go simply to have to go to all the expense of putting them back inside.
(After I wrote the above I actually wondered if there is already something like this. Maybe there is?)
Treaty Issues: Decree that in 100 years, all land is returned to the local maori tribe. That way there’s no arguement of “insufficient compensation”. Token rents to start in 50 years, working up to full market rents. The time frame gives plenty of time to sort out the details in the meantime, and lets face it we’ll all be dead by then so who cares? It’s taken 150+ years to get into the current mess, so why are we in such a hurry to sort it out?
Health: Give people the option of having their public operation immediately, by the government loaning the money now rather than waiting until it’s available with the beneficiary paying the interest calculated (at govt rates) on that loan up front. So instead of taking a year to wait for funding to come available for a $10,000 operation, the patient can pay $400 (4%) to have it now.
In addition, separate out taxes for health into a separate levy. This can be discounted for people purchasing private health insurance at a rate which still leaves the public system better off.
Road Safety: Young people (under 25) have to have an endorsement on their licence in order to be allowed to drive a car over 1.5l engine size. Endorsement should be conditional on having done 100 hours of community service and good character references, and revoked if involved in any boy racer activities.
Also, rename the learner’s licence to learner’s permit. It’s not a licence. Even better, print it on an A4 size card.
Referendums: Bring the tough choices to the people. If people seriously want to mortgage their children’s future, then let them vote for that, if they want the government to live within it’s means, give the government a direct mandate to cut wasteful programs.
Social Welfare: Give a reasonably decent benefit for a mother with one child, with no or trivial increases for each subsequent child.
People who have a consistent policy of trashing state houses should be placed in spartan units with concrete walls and floors etc. Include under floor heating, but no carpet or anything that can be ruined by staining. Include a classroom to teach practical life skills every night.