Monday, 16 June 2008

Housing value crunch: a tipping point for politics in NZ

The home value crunch may well become a tipping point for politics in New Zealand. 

For a long time the stability of the two-party system (plus a few MMP add-ons) has been based in large part on the belief by a large section of the grassroots that they can work their way into their own home, which will then rise in value. This belief, which has been under siege for quite a while, may now start to collapse altogether for most people, including many in the middle class as well as the working class.  

When that happens, it's not just an economic crisis we're talking about. We're also talking an entrenched political crisis and an associated crisis in traditional hegemonic belief systems, such as "the market knows best" and "the market means democracy".  

This opens up space for a broad left party to connect with grassroots people and provide leadership that helps build mass-based resistance to the market's efforts to place the burdens of crisis on the shoulders of ordimary people, and to collectively project a human-centred alternative to an out-of-control market.

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