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New Zealand

Fix the super roof while the sun is still shining

Far, far from the troubles at the home front, Prime Minister John Key was visibly enjoying the military honours and his joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel on his visit to Berlin last week. A better use of his time would have been studying the effects of delaying superannuation reforms. [...]

Aristotle in Dunedin

Aristotle was right. A great city does not need a big population. It can even be as small as Dunedin’s. But every great city needs a population that is passionate about itself, ambitious for its future, and optimistic about its outlook. [...]

MMP, made in Germany

German constituency MPs thus also lack the degree of personal independence that we would often find in countries with a first-past-the-post system. The grip of political parties on the political process in Germany is much stronger than in countries like Britain, the US, or New Zealand. [...]

New Zealand is in a dangerous debt spiral

The financial crisis has made us remember some half-forgotten truths. One of them is that countries with negative net foreign assets and large government liabilities are in danger of being shut out of capital markets. [...]

Confessions of a political disaster tourist

It is a very useful experience to travel to the scenes of political disaster. Because they hold lessons for us to learn. At least that’s my own experience travelling between Europe and Australia. [...]

The perils of multi-party Australia

It may be nerve-wrecking for the Australian public to watch the negotiations between the parties and the independents in the wake of the federal election. However, there is no reason to believe that the election result poses a fundamental challenge to Australia’s political system. Other countries have managed and are managing with far more complicated political situations. [...]

MMP struggles in Germany and here

Given Germany's experience, it is high time New Zealand starting thinking carefully about the future of its electoral system. Has MMP cured the ills it was meant to or has it just made the system more complex? [...]