by Steve Maharey

In part three, after the new right revolution of the 1980s, social democratic parties such as Labour were searching their souls. Then came new ideas and new 'third way' leaders such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, with answers to the identity crisis

First way – the state, Keynesian demand management, the working class as the base of support. Second way – free-market, reduce the scope of the state and cut taxes, relative indifference to social justice. Third Way – well that's the question.

In part two, the development of New Times thinking in reaction to urgent changes in the late 20th century, as those on the left struggled to respond to social upheaval, globalisation and the rise of a new politics dominated by the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Roger Douglas

"Third way politics is above all an endeavour to respond to change...New Times meant the whole leagacy of socilalist and social democratic thought would have to be recast" (1). 

Across the globe, politics seems to be a battle between strongmen, populists and those eager to make socialism great again. But there is another way. A third way. And it's time not merely to resurrect ideas from the 1990s, but to reimagine them

The Giddens Project has its origins in my association with 'Third Way' politics during my time as a member of the New Zealand parliament between 1990 and 2008.

Social democracy is in trouble. Social democratic parties have been annihilated in Greece, reduced to a shadow in France and struggle in Scandinavia. Corbyn in Britian and Sanders in the United States have support but can't get elected. Can New Zealand Labour show that it is not only possible to form a government but also to save social democracy? 

Social democrats like to do good. That is why they seek to be in government. They can use the resources of the state to improve lives. 

The announcement by Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford that they will be parents this year for the first time suggests a Rubicon is about to be crossed. Some progress has been made toward women being able to be mothers and in paid employment but there is some way to go.  Given Ardern and Gayford's prominence they may be about to make the tectonic plates of our society shift. 

Imagine a world that is organised so that we took it for granted that mothers could be in paid employment. It is easy - but you do have to try. 

Hearing the use of the Maori language on mainstream media during Maori Language Week provoked Don Brash to again demand that we be "one people" united in our Britishness. No doubt there are many people who agree with him. But is the tide of history leading to a more diverse society and is Maori language and culture becoming part of all of our lives? 

Don Brash has been here before. In his (in)famous Orewa Rotary speech he argued that there was too much Maori "privilege" and everyone should be treated equally. As part of the Hobson's Pledge organisation he promoted the view that we are all "one people". Now he is telling us, via his Facebook page, that only one language - English - should be used by the mainstream media.

A dislike of capitalism is something that unites the partners in the new government. They believe it has done more harm than good. But what do they actually mean? And what is their alternative? Over the next three years we will find out and whether our lives can be better. 

Capitalism is a "blatant failure" when it comes to housing the poor - Jacinda Ardern.

"Far too many New Zealanders have come to view today's capitalism not as their friend but as their foe" Winston Peters.

"...free market capitalism is dead" James Shaw. 

Maybe there will be a government this week. Maybe not. To fill the vacuum speculation is the only alternative. 

This is the week we will be told what parties will make up the governing coalition and who will sit on the opposition benches of Parliament. Of this I am sure. 

It has been 21 years since the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election. But we do not seem to be learning how to get the best from the system. We are treating it like First-Past-the-Post (FPP). It is time to relax and play to strengths of MMP. 

It is an unfortunate feature of the 2017 coalition negotiations that the country seems to be a mad rush to form a government. "Here we are", lament commentators, "days after the election and we still don't know who is going to run the country!!' (Actually, it is the job of the public service to "mind the store" in the absence of a government in all democratic countries). 

All politicians, even those who say otherwise, raise taxes and spend money. The question this election is - what do they spend the money on? Politicians need to tell us not just what they will do but also explain why it will make a difference.

It was an odd thing to say. During an interview with Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking labelled her a "tax and spend" politician. It wasn't a compliment. But doesn't that label apply to all politicians? They raise tax and spend it.