Latest posts

2015

Lilley’s option for Auckland

In the interest of better links between Auckland and London, it would be worth importing Lilley’s option to New Zealand. Before our politicians, both at council and at the national level, commit to any new initiatives, they should always consider the idea of not doing anything. [...]

‘Constructive ambiguity’ will not save Europe

Europe is well past the stage at which it needs constructive ambiguity. It needs actions. It needs decisions. And it needs them now, not in four months’ time. Please, can we finally see the last act in this Greek drama? [...]

Lernen von Schweiz und Schwyz

Aus schweizerischer Sicht kann man sich wohl kaum vorstellen, wie faszinierend, spannend und attraktiv die kleinteilige politische Gliederung des Landes in der Aussensicht erscheint – und dass man sich im Ausland durchaus für die Arbeit der Schweizer Kantone und Gemeinden interessieren, ja begeistern kann. [...]

The political rookies gambling with Greece’s future

Tsipras and Varoufakis may not realise it but their gamble with Europe has the potential of backfiring on them and their country. Their actions could even make even the most plausible alternative scenarios to staying within the eurozone look unappealing. [...]

Learning from Switzerland and Schwyz

From a Swiss point of view, it must be hard to imagine how fascinating, thrilling and attractive the small-scale political structure of the country appears from the outside – and that foreigners looking at Switzerland may find the workings of Swiss cantons and councils interesting or even inspiring. [...]

Australia’s destabilisation a concern for NZ

Australian politics always enjoys a reputation for being just a little more vicious than elsewhere. You only need to think of the way in which Abbott’s Labor predecessors Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard fought each other between 2008 and 2014. But even by Australian standards, recent developments across the Tasman were quite brutal. [...]

When German order met Greek disorder

For Varoufakis and Schäuble, there really is little hope of finding any common ground. They are personally too different to bridge the gap between their upbringings and beliefs. If they do not even agree to disagree, that is probably the best anyone can hope for. Indeed, had they agreed to disagree, it is only likely they would have misunderstood each other. [...]

Culture of co-operation makes more sense than amalgamation

By amalgamating all Wellington councils, there are few efficiencies to gain but a lot of local autonomy and diversity to lose. To realise some limited network effects, we should encourage better co-operation between neighbouring councils – without forcing them to merge. [...]

Syriza’s wrong-headed approach to Greece’s problems

Barely sworn in, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ new cabinet went straight to work trying to turn their country upside down -- and the European Union with it. By fighting austerity and pushing for debt relief, they are attempting to lead Greece out of its five-year long depression and solve its economic woes. Unfortunately, the Tsipras government is fighting the wrong crisis. [...]