We blogged earlier in the week about "Eddie" at The Standard, and his/her obsession with John Key. Today, Labour list MP Darien Fenton (graduate of our old friends, the Service and Food Workers' Union) continues the theme in this post at Labour's official blog, Red Alert - she says:
Summer is the time when road safety is big on the news, with accidents solemnly reported on the news every day.
The latest this week has been the call for tourists to be better educated in New Zealand road safety before they get behind the wheel. This does of course assume that foreign drivers are not as safe as New Zealanders and I’m not sure that’s true. There have been some awful crashes involving tourists this summer, but in most cases, it was not their driving that caused the accident.
So I was interested to read in the NZ Herald today that European countries are pegging speeding fines to income as a way to punish wealthy offenders who ignore tickets. Apparently, Swiss voters approved a 2007 penal law overhaul that lets judges fine people based on personal income and wealth for moderate offences including excessive speeding and drunk driving.
The latest is a millionaire Ferrari driver in Switzerald, described as a “traffic thug” by the Swiss Court, who was fined F295,000 (NZ $392,000)
She the concludes with this "interesting piece of logic:
I haven’t noticed a lot of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other luxury cars speeding dangerously around New Zealand roads, but I am intrigued by the idea of fining people who break the law according to their wealth. Something for Mr Joyce to think about as he prepares his policy announcements on the 2020 Transport Safety Strategy.
It seems to us that what Ms Fenton is suggesting is typical leftist politics - take from the rich and give to the Consolidated Fund. It's no surprise either that the countries she is taking her lead from are predominantly ones who embrace the concept of socialism.
Personally we think that the authorities here should focus their enforcement efforts against those who actually incur the bulk of traffic fines, and especially that sector of the community - the youth element - which treats the justice system with contempt, and treats the imposition of fines as a badge of honour. Interestingly, this sector generally chooses not to drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis, preferring instead Subarus, Nissans and Mazdas, in highly modified and often illegal states. When one hears that annually hundreds of thousand of dollars of fines are being written off, it is clear that the system isn't working.
Then again, if society is going to punish people for their wealth, perhaps we need a review of the concept of universal franchise - the richer you are, the more votes you get - hmm, could be some merit in that, d'ya think?