No, I’m not outing Rodney as gay, (although his lovely yellow jacket may have done my work for me there) rather I am pointing out that he wants suggestions on what laws to scrap.
This should point out even further (as if we needed it pointed out) that Rodney is an ideologue completely disconnected from his own agenda. He needs suggestions on low-hanging fruit? If there was as much waste as his campaign suggested, he would have been able to easily find a good ten to twenty examples of programmes that could be cut without loss to the public just by searching government websites- there are some neat tricks using google that could’ve made him able to get a great overview in just a day. And that’s just the stuff that us amateurs resort to- a party with 5 MPs ought to have the dedicated volunteers who would’ve helped them out with this sort of research before their campaign started so that they were sure their talking points were on solid ground.
The situation we find ourselves in however, is a little different. He was sure there was waste in government because as a hard-right libertarian, he doesn’t believe government should be spending much of our money anyway. From there, however, rather than argue that the government shouldn’t spend on anything other than law and order and defense, he goes for an easy way out. Instead of justifying this position with research, evidence, time and effort, he instead brings up the soft target of “waste” in spending without bothering to find specific examples.
Government waste is a great spectre to bring up to divide and conquer those who support a reasonable level of government spending, because nobody will ever agree on what the priorities are for what the government should fund. When I might support increased cultural funding for Maori broadcasting to help with cultural diversity and anti-racism, you might want to subsidies for our more successful businesses to further specialise New Zealand’s interests, yet we might both call each others’ interests “wasteful” because our ideologies lead to very different priorities.
I would suggest that rather than merely spending from an ideology we don’t agree with, waste is the tendency to overspend on overly-broad reviews for initiatives we are already committed to, or creating ministries without specific policy aims or evidence-based justification, or in more general terms, spending government time or funds on things we haven’t already identified a real need for in research. Especially things that we can only justify with highly partisan research.