In this essay, we re going to discuss the similarities and differences of policies between the Clark Labor Government and the Key Government from the aspect of ideology. Social Policy Social policies, are mouthpieces of the government to present what they really concern and externalities the guiding ideologies that they believe. Social policies can be defined as “actions that affect the well-being of members of a society through shaping the distribution of and access to goods and resources in that society (Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008, up).
They including engagements of housing, health, education, employment, social security and so on. Chambers and Bonk (2013) also claim that social policies are to tackle diverse social problems. They are influenced by what kinds of economic context of the society, what Individuals and social groups need, what kinds of theories and Ideologies guiding the government, what constitutional and political systems operating, and what kinds of outcomes and drawbacks of the current policies (Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008).
Moreover, the interactions between theoretical perspectives and social policies are of great significance for comparing and contrasting two different governments. Theoretical perspectives, as guidelines of decision-making for the government, are conceptual models for social policies. Social policies, reflecting the gains and losses of various kinds of social groups, are perceived as the embodiment of theoretical perspectives. Ideologies The Clark Labor Government was called “a classic example of the development of Third war (Nolan, 2010, pop).
The Third way can be defined as “a new form of political economy that seeks to provide an alternative to both neo-liberal and traditional democratic polices” (Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008). Obviously, the Third Way Is not a simple mixture or compromise of neo-liberalism and social democracy. It Is complementary that collects the advantages of both neo-liberalism and social democracy and then tries the best to prevent their drawbacks. Nolan between Old Left which emphasizes on social equality and Justice and New Right that acknowledges the efficiency and effectiveness of market. He Clark Labor Government as a representative of the Third Way put emphases on four values and four goals as Jordan(2000) proposes. All human beings have rights to receive equal opportunities in their daily life and to ask for assistances when being in deed; everyone has rights to pursue individual freedom and political liberty; all people have their civic rights with their civic obligations and can be included in society; and all citizens are empowered to pursue quality of life.
Four goals along Ninth these values contain that the government invests in social services; citizens exercise their rights with corresponding obligations; the government provide employment opportunities for citizens to enhance their independence; and the government offers assistances for the one who is really in need Road, 2000). This theory was used by Tony Blair the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 , and in New Zealand it had been promoted by Helen Clark from 1999 to 2008.
The Clark Labor Government believed that they can promote social equality and Justice while chasing choices and freedom of individuals. So they not only admitted that the market is the most effective and efficient way to create wealth and develop economy, but also promised to provide social welfare like paying more attention to health care, education, employment, the limitation of the gaps between Maori and Peaked, and other kinds of social services.
Actually, the Clark Labor Government got a number of positive outcomes during its days and had achieved an acceleration in the rate of economic growth, the lowest rate of unemployment and the realization of treasury surpluses under the Third Way(Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008). On the other hand, under the economy background of global financial crisis and economic recession in New Zealand, the Key Government took over the government from the Clark Labor Government in 2008.
Being different from Clark Labor Government, the Key Government has been considered as a practitioner of neo- verbalism. Neo-liberalism has been defined by David Harvey (2005, up)as : ‘ a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets and free trade. There is no doubt that neo-liberals In belief, the state’s intervention will really destroy freedoms, equalities, and liberties, this intervention can only emerge when necessary, and individuals should not depend on government services but to take susceptibilities for themselves, according to neo-liberals’ views. Nile asserting the flexibility of neo-liberalism to promote freedom and choices, responsibilities of state means more duties of individuals which may lead to lower incomes and insecure Job conditions.
Ninth the crucial economic climate in 2008 and the direction of neo-liberalism, the Key Government is going to focus on “a more business-friendly environment in New Zealand”(as cited in Roper, 2011). The Key Government believes that economic growth Nil benefit individuals’ incomes and the security of employment so that the state can roved better social services. They believe in the role of market that should be maximized its functions openly and freely to pursue profit minimization, and insist the defect of the state of intervention.
Market has an invisible hand like the atmospheric systems that can manage and recover the market , social supply and demand. Harvey (2005) claims that the duties of the state are to protect the market functioning normally to create a market if needed but do not interrupt it. He believes that the intervention of the government Nil generate negative impacts due to the benefit-oriented purpose of some interest ropes which possess more power in this society.
Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade (2008) also believe that market freedom can advance individual freedom that the state should not intervene both the operation of the market and social services but provide basic legal guarantees for them. Leaded by this ideology, the current government also considers the reform of welfare systems to encourage individuals to get a Job rather than to end up on welfare (Bennett, 2012). Similarities ere elements of Justice, need, risk, equality, freedom, citizenship, sustainable development and resilience have been considered as goals of welfare. Comparing
Ninth the Clark Labor Government (1999-2008) and the Key Government (2008- present), we need to focus on the similarities of ideologies and goals of them. Under the capitalist system, both governments promote liberal free-market policies due to the believe of free-market that is the best way to create wealth. And they both believe that the necessary condition for promoting social welfare is the development of economy. Signing the provisions of free trade and admitting the global economy, the Clark Labor Government presented the Growth and Innovation Framework to promote economic growth(Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008).
While the Key Government would like to promote the mixed ownership which is a tendency and elementary requirement in current economy to increase the economic growth(Key, 2012). Moreover, although neo-liberals criticize the interventions of the states, they do not firmly squash it. Instead, they also acknowledge like the Clark Labor Government, in manner, the role of the state as a rescuer. According to Cheyenne, O’Brien & eelgrass(2008), the Key government accepted the policies of social democracy that promoted by the Clark Labor Government.
Roper(2011) also points out that the Key overspent has promised to maintain some of the Clacks policies like student debt Furthermore, the Clark Labor Government believed like the Key government that the state should not provide direct goods and resources but offered a Just way for citizens to access and distribute them. In Roper’s(2011) point of view, the similarities of this two government is inevitable because no matter the Clark Labor Government Nailing in the Third Way or the Key government led by neo-liberalism, there is no Change under the inalienable policy regime.
Differences Although there are a number of similarities of these two government, it still has some preferences between them especially in the goals of freedom, equalities and citizenship. ere Clark government insisted on positive freedom which concerned on outcomes of freedom not Just procedures, on the equality for getting opportunities and social services, and on the negative citizenship which advocated citizens, to some extent, to depend on the state.
Therefore, it brought back the income-based housing rentals, the nationalization of AC, the abolishment of the Employment Contracts Act, the promotion of health care and the enhancement of the level of pension. These actions mimed to provide fair conditions for people to pursue freedom(Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008). For instance, the Clark Labor Government promoted the Employment Relations Act in 2000 aiming to create a fair environment for both employers and employees under good faith instead of indulging the unequal power of employment relationships (Employment Relations Act, 2000).
However, the Key government believes in the negative freedom that more focuses on procedures of freedom. They considered that everyone has the right of self- determination without any interferences by others or interfering others. This overspent also encourages active citizenship which means citizens undertake responsibilities for themselves, for family and for the state (Cheyenne, O’Brien & Belgrade, 2008).
In order to realize these goals, the Key government, for examples, promote the Employment Relations Amendment Bill to become a provision of the law that the employers can fire the employees within 90 days (Employment Relations Amendment Act, 2008). Wilkinson declared to the public that the provision does not restrict employees’ rights but provides opportunities for both employers and employees (House of Representatives, 2008). Obviously, it is a typical viewpoint of neo-liberalism differing from what the Clark Government did in 2000.
In addition, the Key Government also introduced welfare reform programmer in 2012 to provide social services like Youth Service, Domestic Purposes Benefit to support New Slanderer to find a Job and participate in the society, not Just rely on social Unlearns(Bennett, 2012). Key(2013) also claims that the government is trying the best to achieve the reduction of long-term welfare dependency. He said the population of citizens who depend on public relief has decreased from 78,154 to 74,559 in 2013. All o take responsibilities to themselves and to pursue individual freedom.
Conclusion In conclusion, both Clark Labor Government and Key government explore the ways not only to promote the health and effective economic growth, to meet challenges of the global development, but also to development social welfare. They both try the best to find a balance with interventions of the state and freedoms of people. Although they are led by different ideologies and we can even find some differences between them, they tend to converge in the “Middle” because of the context , needs and challenges of current society.