New Zealand is shortly to have a non binding referendum on the sale of its state assets. In all likelihood there will be a huge majority in favour of retaining public ownership despite a prevailing political sentiment of private ownership and free market economics.
This disparity seems to suggest that our population have not truly engaged the consequences of change.
A majority would prefer retaining the status quo by retaining the assets for their dividend flow whilst the proponents of change would argue that the sales are necessary to improve the Governments balance sheets through the reduction of debt.
Neither of these arguments seems to have much to do with the real effects upon the ordinary citizen on the street.
Our standard of living can only be improved if the services being provided can be be made more efficiently and at a lesser cost than they are at present. It is inconsequential as to who might be the owner of the asset that produces the service.
The voting public however does not have the information either way to make such an informed decision.
State owned organisation have never been accountable to the public for their performance.
The prospect that a 49% private ownership would at least address the free markets demand for such information, should mean that the proponents of democracy favour the proposed changes.
To retain state ownership would seemingly keep us in the Dark Ages.
We now live on a world stage - lets be worldly, and accept that it is now the market demand for services that drives our economy - not the ownership of the assets from which those services are derived.
Times have changed.