What follows is a New Zealand article with all the sharp-edged whimsy of Irishman Johnathan Swift’s 1729 anonymous publication of A Modest Proposal.1 Here’s a New Zealand proposal that is not quite as controversial, perhaps, as eating babies, but from a politician point of view quite probably getting close: the suggestion is that Members of Parliament (or Senators, or Members of Congress, as your political system suits) should be required to reside in public housing in lieu of an allowance. Surprisingly, it was not made not by some irate, frustrated public housing constituent, but by a newly minted parliamentarian: Ricardo Menéndez March.
What better way to:
1) turn parliamentarians into stakeholders in public housing, where they might achieve greater understanding of the lived experience of their now-neighbours, and
2) discourage so many parliamentarians from dabbling in price-escalating housing investment in their spare time (apparently a problem in New Zealand).
Read more on this suggestion at Newshub: Have your say: Should MPs be put in public housing?
The above article includes a poll seeking the opinion of Newshub’s public. We haven’t seen the results reported anywhere yet. For some reason we doubt the proposal will ever see the light of day, even if every single citizen in New Zealand agrees with it.
- Here is a summary of this satirical work: A Modest Proposal