Libertarianz discusses a free state with Wikinews

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Craig Milmine has been a member of Libertarianz since joining in 1998.
Since the founding of Libertarianz in 1996, Bernard Darnton has been a member.

Libertarianz party president, Craig Milmine, and the party leader, Bernard Darnton, spoke exclusively to Wikinews journalist Gabriel Pollard about the political philosophy, libertarianism in New Zealand. This article follows on from interviews with republican, Lewis Holden; and monarchist, Noel Cox.

The idea of libertarianism is where consent is required for all actions between people, and that these interactions are voluntary. Over four million people will be given freedom to run their own lives as Mr Milmine said. He says the Government doesn't follow this generally accepted principle. "They take money without consent, order us around, and tell us what we can and cannot put in our bodies." Their party website states, “We will put paid to bloated government bureaucracy and its authoritarian inclinations.”

Mr Darnton said that one of the biggest jobs of Libertarianz is to show New Zealanders how their lives could be better. "Most parties complain when others steal their policies. We just smile and get on with the next thing." Libertarianz is, as Mr Milmine says, “principled opposition to the idea of a large nanny-state government in New Zealand.

“A burglar stealing your TV is in the wrong because they are taking without permission. The government steals a proportion of your wealth every year, the fact that they allow a minor amount of input from you into how they are going to distribute the stolen loot does not change the fact that they stole it in the first place.”

Mr Darnton also describes the current system of governance as a game. “What's right or wrong doesn't really matter as long as the red team or the blue team or whoever is scoring more points. I think that's a terrible way to approach government."

The reason this political philosophy, underpinned by objectivism, isn't well accepted in the New Zealand culture is because New Zealanders are generally wary of major change, vote for the party they always have, and vote for the party they think will win, not the one they want to win, Mr Darton believes. "These sorts of behaviour reinforce the big parties, even though neither have much to offer,” Mr Darton said, “What Libertarianz is proposing is something quite different to anything any other party is putting forward.” Mr Milmine sees New Zealanders accepting libertarianism because, “Slowly people see that the government doesn’t solve their problems, it caused them in the first place.” And when this is followed by a significant minority, Mr Milmine says, the change will happen very quickly.

Although Mr Milmine does say that he cannot predict what will happen to New Zealand if it were to change to a libertarianism state, "because it is asking me to predict the interactions of over four million people when they are given freedom to run their own lives."

As well as changing the system of Government, Libertarianz also propose New Zealand becoming a republic and removing the constitutional monarchy. Mr Darnton said, “The monarchy is so distant in New Zealand that I don't think becoming a republic would make a big difference in many people's lives.” Mr Milmine says, “A head of state has a valid role to play as a check on the power on the government, but it cannot perform this role if it is toothless.”

Although Mr Darnton believes that New Zealand will eventually become a republic, he is wary of making a push to it too quickly. He cites anti-prosperity and the governmental interference as issues that could make it into a written constitution and making it harder to shift later. While Mr Milmine says they would run into problems with people disagreeing with the Treaty of Waitangi if it were placed into a written constitution. But says a written constitution is needed, “There are examples of where [a written constitution] has worked and there are plenty of examples of the government ignoring the rights in our Bill of Rights because of the lack of a written constitution.”

And the final question asked to both Craig Milmine and Bernard Darnton was whether they were a Holden or a Ford fan. Mr Milmine said he preferred “Subaru – I prefer the rallies – they allow more freedom” while Mr Darnton bluntly said, "No, I'm not."


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.