Friday, January 06, 2006
A New Year - time for new ideas?
What will the New Year bring us?
We are a week into a new year - what will unfold for us this year?
Last years election turned in a cynical battle of who could promise the most to the voters and resulted in the narrow election of a third term Labour Government.
Will this result in 2006 in a tired government with few new ideas or will the government be inspired to develop New Zealand into a leading ‘post modern’ 21stC country?
Major world wide changes seem to evolve every forty or so years; after the depression and World War 2 evolved the security of the modern welfare state. The welfare state seemed an ideal solution but over the decades it fell prey to its own success, its burgeoning bureaucracy and a ‘we know best what is good for you attitude’ which stifled innovation and creativity and, ironically, the very basis of democratic values.
A return to a 'free market' ideology was seen worldwide as the answer to freeing up creativity (and returning power and profit to big business!). We were told 'there was no alternative' (TINA) but what has eventuated has been a 'winners and losers' society based on narrow eurocentric, economic and materialistic values. Not the best environment to ensure a future sustainable multicultural society?
Recently we have had the ‘third way’ – a melding of the best of capitalistic greed and social responsibity. It has been a messy combination at best. The power still resides at ‘the top’; with those in power whether private or governmental.
I hope the ‘new’ Labour Government are using their holiday time to reflect on what kind of country we ought we become rather than just continuing to tinker their way into the future. They need to consider: how to value and include all citizens; how to value and celebrate our cultural diversity; and how to ensure a sustainable environment.Most of all they need to consider what conditions wil be necessary for the ideas, talents and dreams of all citizens to be realized.
Such new thinking ought to focus around the personalization of all services so that those who need assistance can be helped to take a growing responsibility for their own development.
And, in all this, the role of a new perspective on education would seem to be the key.
This can’t be left to politicians – they need to begin a 'conversation' with us all.
It time for another dramatic change – and New Zealand could lead it if we had the wit, imagination and the courage.