New Zealand, like many countries, has been living beyond its means in recent years. Our government is borrowing $300m per week to make ends meet and we are headed for an economic oblivion similar to that currently being experienced by the "PIGS" countries - Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain (a very appropriate acronym).
The problem is our form of democracy and in particular our Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system that gives every minor political grievance party an inordinate influence in our House of Representatives.
Benjamin Franklin said democracy was "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch" and this is perhaps truer of 21st Century Western democracy than it was of 18th Century America. In our democracy a diminishing minority of the populace are held to ransom through the tax system by an increasing, unproductive majority.
We need to introduce fiscal responsibility to our system of government and I believe the only way to do this is to give greater political power to those who pay the bills.
I would like to see a revision to our electoral system, call it a new form of proportional representation if you like, where you get to vote in proportion to the taxes you pay. Under this system, taxation could become voluntary but if you wanted to influence the political system you would have to pay taxes to, in effect, buy votes. Each $1000 you paid in taxes would buy you one electoral vote. The average of your tax contribution over the three years prior to the election would be taken to avoid stacking the votes in the last year of an electoral cycle. If you paid no taxes, you would get no votes. I see no reason why corporations shouldn't be given votes in proportion to the taxes they pay as well.
This system would solve our nation's fiscal problems in short order and would ensure policies that promoted the economic well-being of the country.