About two weeks ago I had the priviledge of attending a forum on poverty organised by the Palmerston North Catholic community. My speech notes can be found here. Although the philosophical meanderings of some of my fellow political represenatives did nothing to advance the cause of eliminating poverty some did make a little sense. The need to invest in the plight of the less fortunate was apparant. Where I differed from my collueges at the forum was how we should go about it. The question before us what about how best to assist those who are less fortunate. While some said that they should be left to their own devices others outlined the need to reallocate resources. What they didn’t do, but we did, was to outline how this would be achieved.
As a result of this forum I am concerened that the public of New Zealand will be entering the polling booths in an informational vacuum. We must ask all candidates how they intend to eliminate poverty. What is their plan? If they cannot come up with something as basic as a taxation plan or even a budget for how they would do things if in power, then alarm bells should ring.
Societies are often judged on how well they take care of the poor and sick. How well does New Zealand take care of its por and sick? Can we do better? Yes we can. Ask your candidates what they intend to do about those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder.