Mandatory helmets, cycling policies and who to vote for.

19 11 2011

The good people at Helmet Freedom have taken perhaps the inevitable step of subtitling the Fall of Berlin movie, noting the failure of the Melbourne and Brisbane helmet schemes especially in regards to mandatory bike helmets.

So where do the parties stand on cycling in their policy statements:

Labour hardly seem to mention it other than the bland statement “Promoting walking and cycling as credible active transport options”

National’s transport policy doesn’t mention cycling, just motorways, and more motorways.

ACT don’t mention cycling. Instead they talk of their “commitment to mobility”. So as far as cycling goes, along with their philosophy of encouraging the selfish and the juvenile, I read that as code that they don’t want you to drive anything smaller than a fat-arse SUV.

The NZ Greens aren’t perfect on cycling policy (what with the piccy of Kevin Hague in a helmet still being used for instance, and no mention of the repeal of mandatory helmet laws in NZ, but they’re the closest) but uniquely amongst the NZ political parties they actually have a cycling policy.

National want to spend $25 billion on grandiose motorway projects, and nothing on cycling other than signposting a few token tourist routes way away from the towns and cities that need decent cycling infrastructure.

Remember that the Greens have stated they’ll match any roads spending on public transport, cycling and walking dollar for dollar. So if you want the country to go forwards instead of backwards vote Green.

Give the Greens your party vote, as they’re still the best all round for cycling, and for all general policies. Party vote Green. Electorate vote to do the most damage to National. i.e. vote Labour, except in Epsom where you should vote National. If there are any Epsom voters who’ll do that, I offer to post you a peg in the mail, so you can hold your nose whilst doing so.

Keep MMP in the referendum question. We need to fix MMP, but wait til later. There are people (National) who want to get rid of proportional representation completely and go back to some unfair system that overrepresents the conservative vote. MMP has some good points for making the parliament more representative.  It does need reform since the recommendation above  to vote strategically in the electorate seats are because the electorate seats are first past the post. They need to go to preferential voting so we can vote positively for the party we want, ranking the other parties as we see them. I really think FFP on the electorate seats skew the results towards the conservative parties and an electoral system that doesn’t purely reflect the inspirations of the electorate is undemocratic.

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