Roger Douglas Supports Competitive Government

The architect of New Zealand’s free-market reforms of the 1980s now advoctates an end to the geographic monopoly of local councils:

Sir Roger Douglas wants ratepayers to be able to shop around for the best local council, saying that being able to defect to one nearby even if they do not live there will invoke the spirit of competition.

Sir Roger told a parliamentary select committee considering legislation setting up Auckland’s Super City that there should be a flexible community council structure with ratepayers able to decide its size and even set up their own councils.

Groups of ratepayers who lived next to another community council should also be able to opt out and join another council.

“The capacity to change council will create competition for ratepayers, which is likely to see value for money being delivered by local government,” Sir Roger said.

If choice is a good thing, why not open the market to new entrants competing with existing councils and central government? A truly free market in governance replaces coercion with choice (i.e. government in the Weberian sense ceases to exist).

Come on, Roger. Admit you’re an anarchist.

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