Are there any ACT members involved in the Brash bid?

April 25th, 2011 at 12:49 pm by David Farrar

Derek Cheng reports:

Former National Party leader will seek the backing of the board on Saturday for an attempt to oust the leader of the party – which he has yet to even join.

It is understood he will form a new party if his bid for the Act leadership fails.

If I was a member of the ACT Board, I would be asking why are all these National Party members trying to take over ACT.

Don Brash and John Banks are both members of National. The rumoured financial backer is not a member of ACT as far as I know.

It is understood he will form a new party if his bid for the Act leadership fails.

Not exactly a deep devotion to ACT then. I won’t join your party unless you agree in advance to make me leader, and if you don’t I wiill set up my own party.

Can you imagine if ACT get 3% but loses Epsom and a Brash led party gets 4%. That 7% wasted vote helping Phil Goff and Winston Peters form a Government.

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192 Responses to “Are there any ACT members involved in the Brash bid?”

  1. Linda Reid (341 comments) says:

    The trouble is, ACT have sullied their brand, National will not go far enough to actually make a real difference to the economy, and people who previously voted ACT feel they have nowhere to go.

    I can’t see ACT even maintaining their vote this year under the current leadership. I know John Boscowan has a good head on his shoulders, but is he a leader? I simply don’t know. The answer is probably not Don Brash or John Banks – but then I don’t know what the answer is.

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  2. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    As the bard might put it – “A leader, a leader, my party for a leader !”

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  3. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    Can you imagine if ACT get 3% but loses Epsom and a Brash led party gets 4%. That 7% wasted vote helping Phil Goff and Winston Peters form a Government.

    So what are you suggesting DPF ?

    The days of a two horse race with a red and a blue team might have been exactly what the red and blue team wanted – it’s unfortunate that our electoral system can create situations where 7% of the vote can be wasted – but that’s hardly a reason for a TWO-Ticks for a two horse race campaign.

    [DPF: I want a classical liberal party in Parliament. If two parties (call them Reform and ACT) are both competing for the same vote, the likely outcome is neither will get there]

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  4. dime (10,222 comments) says:

    Well, when you put it like that, we should all pledge allegiance to National ffs

    The Dons timing seems right to me.

    I like Rodney, I just dont think he should be leader. Keep him there, keep him as the Epsom guy.

    The Don should run on the north shore. Mapp is standing down isnt he?

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  5. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    “that’s hardly a reason for a TWO-Ticks for a two horse race campaign”

    Appropriate that Winston and horses are mentioned in the same comment. Will that donation be paid by Cash, Cheque or Credit Card?

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  6. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    I think still this is a trojan horse exercise by Brash on Behalf of National to nail Hide to the mast without it looking like an open challenge to Rodney.
    As I’ve opined before – this whole process – including this kiwiblog airing of the subject is all part of it.

    [DPF: Don’t be an idiot. Most people in National are furious with Brash]

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  7. Matthew Hooton (135 comments) says:

    “Can you imagine if ACT get 3% but loses Epsom and a Brash led party gets 4%. That 7% wasted vote helping Phil Goff and Winston Peters form a Government.”

    David – you keep ignoring the fundamental point: there is no possibility of Rodney Hide winning Epsom, especially now that Don Brash, John Banks, Roger Douglas and who-knows-who-is-next have all expressed a lack of confidence in him. And the idea Act could win 3% after a new right-wing party was launched is plain silly. Act won only 3.65% in 2008 and since then its leader has disgraced himself several times.

    Act is finished in its current form and it cerainly can’t survive if it rejects the Brash challenge.

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  8. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    @Lee C – Do you believe Don Brash would be that calculating?

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  9. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    I think Brash would win Epsom in a canter if he stood, whatever party he belonged to. So the idea that there would be a 7% wasted vote is nonsense. And a Brash led party, ACT or otherwise, would surely get 5%.

    [DPF: I would not be so sure about Epsom. I think National would then campaign to win the seat, and do so]

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  10. Viking2 (11,684 comments) says:

    The Prime Min­is­ter, now off a plane and back into cir­cu­la­tion, has done what ninth floor sources sug­gested he would, hos­ing down the stu­pid Bill Eng­lish lines that a vote for Brash was a vote for Goff and other mes­sages that makes this blog ques­tion how he man­aged to even win 21% in 2002.

    Mr Key would not say whether he would work with Dr Brash: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” He revealed he was aware of rumours that Dr Brash was plan­ning a come­back when he said last week that National would seek to keep ACT afloat by cam­paign­ing only for the party vote in Mr Hide’s Epsom electorate.

    I may not agree with John Key’s pol­icy direc­tion, being far to wet for the lik­ing of a fis­cally con­ser­v­a­tive blog­ger, but like I admired Helen Clark for her deter­mi­na­tion to win at all costs while fuck­ing up the coun­try and break­ing any rule that got in her way, I also admire John Key for being an once in a gen­er­a­tion politician.

    It is not pos­si­ble to believe that a man as polit­i­cally astute as John Key hasn’t worked out what will hap­pen if his poll & focus group dri­ven, fuzzy mes­sage National Party comes up against a party that has clear prin­ci­ples and a clear mes­sage. Unlike the face­less peo­ple in Welling­ton who do not get out around the coun­try talk­ing to actual peo­ple, and espe­cially National Party mem­bers, John has had to bear the brunt of crit­i­cism over the ETS, being soft on Maoris and mas­sive gov­ern­ment spending.

    He also knows National donors are refus­ing to give as freely as they did in the past, and a lot of this money will go direct to Don Brash. A well funded party lead by Don that has clear, sim­ple mes­sages based on good prin­ci­ples will likely take a rump of right wing sup­port from National. This will free up John to move to the cen­tre occu­py­ing the ground vacated by Labour, broad­en­ing the cen­tre right vote and pre­serv­ing Johns chances of being a three term Prime Minister.

    Hat tip Whaleoil.

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  11. Sector 7g (242 comments) says:

    “If I was a supporter of National, I would be asking why are all these Labour Party supporters, supporting National.”

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  12. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    Rodders

    It can be paid anyway you like – however it won’t be declared until a) It can’t be denied that it was received anymore. b) When the statute of limitations has expired for prosecutions resulting from incorrect returns.

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  13. Matthew Hooton (135 comments) says:

    BlairM/Viking2 – correct. What David is writing here is very odd and I’m not sure I understand his motivation.

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  14. Paulus (2,712 comments) says:

    Did not John Banks say yesterday that he would not stand in Epsom ?

    Brash could secure Epsom but can Hide ?

    I would consider my party vote for ACT if Brash stood, but would not for Hide.

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  15. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    Matthew Hooton

    I think he’s saying we should pretend we have FPP because that would be best for National in this particular election.

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  16. Matthew Hooton (135 comments) says:

    Paulus – according to the DomPost today, Banks has come on board the Brash initiative and is saying very nice things about Epsom and its people.

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  17. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    So if Brash gets involved with ACT will Brash pick “one big bad thing” to campaign on then once elected do exactly that “one big bad thing” himself ?

    Hey he could tell us all for years how when caught with your pants around your ankles saying “sorry – move on” isn’t enough then when caught himself he could say “sorry – move on” rather than resign like he had demanded from others so many times.

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  18. Viking2 (11,684 comments) says:

    No One needs Banks.
    The only reason Laws changed horses is because the radio media couldn’t have two loud mouth National pricks on at the same time.

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  19. Viking2 (11,684 comments) says:

    Talking about National. Still on topic DPF
    Who said this on his recent appointment.
    For a start, —- proudly announces himself as a Bluegreen, at the same time as he states he is “committed to National’s core principles”.

    . Sorry —-. You have to be one or the other. Nick Smith is the leader of the Bluegreens, and he runs around taking money from some enterprises and dolling it out to others. This is what Bluegreens do, when they’re not introducing crazy unscientific regulations or lunatic schemes like Smith’s carbon trading plan.

    And a reminder of the National Party’s founding Principles.

    #
    NZ National Party Founding Principles 1936
    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

    Used to be displayed on their website.
    Sadly its been removed.

    ( the answer is to be found here.)
    http://truebluenz.com/2011/04/25/paul-foster-bell-nats-wellington-central-candidate-a-comfortable-fit/#more-5780

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  20. pmofnz (14 comments) says:

    “… Most people in National are furious with Brash]”

    And even more soon to be ex-Nat voters are furious at Key wasting 3 years at the helm smiling and waving to the masses. Rodney, Brash or Banks as yesterday’s men are not the answer.

    Another term on the opposition benches might just move the Nats back to their principles.

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,913 comments) says:

    “I think still this is a trojan horse exercise by Brash on Behalf of National to nail Hide to the mast without it looking like an open challenge to Rodney.
    As I’ve opined before – this whole process – including this kiwiblog airing of the subject is all part of it.”

    Do you think 9/11 was an inside job?

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  22. s.russell (1,650 comments) says:

    I can’t agree with DPF’s analysis on this. Not entirely, anyway.

    A resurgent Act led by Brash carries great dangers for National, because middle-of-the-road voters will fear (wrongly, I believe) that could force National to the right. I seriously doubt that it would help National gain votes in the centre because it is already there.

    But why would Act embrace Brash? For survival of course! The threat of a new party may be galling, but if the Act board is rational rather than emotional in its reactions, it makes Brash’s case more compelling.

    This is the choice:
    a) Accept Brash’s offer. Whatever his flaws, Brash has major vote-pulling power on the right. Act would give itself an excellent chance of both leaping the 5% threshold, and of winning a backstop seat if Brash (or Banks) were to stand in Epsom (or another true blue seat). Brash would give the party a fresh start, a pile of cash, media attention, and lots of votes.
    b) Stick with Hide. Whatever his qualities, his name is mud. Many of the people who like Act’s philosophy wont vote for it while Hide is leader. It is highly unlikely it can come anywhere near its meagre 3.65% of 2008. It is highly unlikely that Hide can retain Epsom. A new party led by Brash would steal away much of Act’s remaining support (membership, money and votes). Hide would have zero chance in Epsom because National won’t need Act at all. Tactical voters will back Brash/Banks instead. Result: the end of the Act Party.

    Conclusion: Act would be mad to reject Brash.

    Now, like DPF, I do not see this as a wonderful thing, because I support National. My preferred option would be for National to win outright and not need any partners. But if you ask what is the rational thing for those who think National is too soft to do, the answer is simple. Hide must go.

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  23. Inventory2 (9,384 comments) says:

    PMofNZ said

    And even more soon to be ex-Nat voters are furious at Key wasting 3 years at the helm smiling and waving to the masses. Rodney, Brash or Banks as yesterday’s men are not the answer.

    Another term on the opposition benches might just move the Nats back to their principles.

    And Winston Peters (entered Parliament in 1978) and Phil Goff (1981) are New Zealand’s future? Be careful what you wish for ;-)

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  24. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    I think DPF’s motivation is he believes that ACT should be beholden to National and not that National should be beholden to ACT.

    [DPF: Nope. I’d just rather not have a huge amount of wasted vote on the right. And I’m not sure how having National Party embers take over ACT will make ACT more independent]

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  25. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    If he forms his own party, I’d be very inclined to vote for it if ACT were unlikely to survive. I wish him well.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  26. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    I reckon DPF is applying a sort of “divide and conquer” logic here to defend his beloved National Party.

    Definitely, there is a possibility that a number of citizens disillusioned with the feeble Labour lite government could vote ACT, if lead by Brash.

    Another option is for National Party members to reclaim their party, return to ots founding principles, and turf out the current namby pamby leaders (starting with Bill English and Nick Smith.)

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  27. All_on_Red (1,751 comments) says:

    Agree with S Russell. Brash becomes leader. Hide steps back to the list. Brash stands in Epsom. He’d probably win too. Doesnt he live in the area as well?

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  28. pmofnz (14 comments) says:

    “IV2: Be careful what you wish for”

    At least they are up front with their principled stand on more Nanny State and higher taxes for the unwashed.

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  29. robcarr (84 comments) says:

    Can’t imagine ACT getting 3% next election in its current state let alone if there was another right wing party.

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  30. publicwatchdog (3,156 comments) says:

    You don’t think that Don Brash wanting to lead ACT while still a member of National might put off a number of Epsom National Party supporters?

    Doesn’t this political ‘revolving door’ help to prove in practice that there is indeed very little difference in both the policies (and personnel) of ACT and National?

    That despite Roger Douglas not being given any Ministerial role – we’ve still been getting ‘Rogernomic$’ pro-corporate policies delivered in the same old ‘Rogernomic$’ blitzkreig style?

    eg: the not-so ‘$upercity’?

    Once Epsom voters are aware that they are facing a proposed Auckland Council 4.9% rates increase on their high value properties (and before you jump in and blame Len Brown and the ‘left-leaning’ Auckland Council – I suggest you check out the votes of the Citizen and Ratepayer representatives on this issue), I predict that National will ‘cop it’.

    BIG time.

    Despite ‘Teflon John’s best efforts to use Rodney Hide as the ‘flak catcher’ for the Auckland $upercity – the fact remains that the Auckland $upercity happened on John Key’s ‘watch’.

    The underpinning Tamaki Makarau Reorganisation Act which set up the Auckland $upercity legislative framework, was railroaded through Parliament, under urgency, with the full support of the National Party.

    (Just to let you know, I am working on something right now, that will help to focus the minds of the voting public on EXACTLY this point.)

    I for one, do not believe that (former?) National Party supporters in Epsom will have the stomach to swallow this 4.9% proposed RATe increase the size of an elephant, when they never had their lawful right to a binding vote on whether they wanted this ‘$uper ripoff’ in the first place, and the suggested ‘economies of scale’ from the forced abolition of eight former Auckland Councils – have proven to be just so much ‘hot air’.

    Why would Epsom (former?) National Party voters politically ‘feed the mouth that bites them’? (as it were).

    A 4.9% rate increase will indeed bite – HARD.

    Mark my words – when citizens and ratepayers of the Auckland region find out about this 4.9% Auckland Council rates increase – they will NOT be happy – particularly those living in the higher-valued properties.

    And for whom do a lot of those people usually vote …………..?

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  31. publicwatchdog (3,156 comments) says:

    “The rumoured financial backer is not a member of ACT as far as I know.”

    It isn’t Colin Craig is it?

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  32. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Congratulations Penny. You win today’s Godwin at 2.35pm ;)

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  33. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Matthew Hooton:
    “David – you keep ignoring the fundamental point: there is no possibility of Rodney Hide winning Epsom”

    Hooton (hawker around town of a new right wing party and taker of coin from the Maori statutory board in Auckland) is as unreliable on this as he is on most things.

    There is no such polling evidence held by either National or ACT. And the polling that they are pushing is pretty bogus stuff funded by the Colin Craig ($400K on the very limp march of democracy and 500k+ on a failed bid for the Mayoralty).

    Mr Hooton has decided which way Epsom voters will vote before giving them a say. Epsom voters will want to hear the case madeout and make a judgment on how best to secure a second term of a John Key National led Government.

    Consider Hootie’s record: on a Friday he states National will announce it will take Hide out in Epsom (two ticks for National)– it was behind a paywall so it must be true.

    On the following Monday PM’s Media Conference, Prime Minister Key says National primary focus is on the Party vote in Epsom and declares ACT to have been “loyal to National in Government.”

    Hootie then gets his dander up (he has a reputation for that) and declares that the PM doesn’t mean what he says: that it’s all about conning Hide through the budget process and the PM never meant to convey the clear message that he publicly sent. Pretty nasty little assessment of John Key’s character and morality by this National Party booster.

    Now we have the spectacle of Banksie being in, then out (by his own statement), and now in according to Hooton today, back in again. All we have from Banksie is that he backs Brash (and will follow him into the Cross Benches? presumably).

    And there is dear old Don Brash who wants to be leader of a Party he cannot muster up the fortitude to even join and who comes (maybe or maybe not) with a job lot of Banksie on the side. No process needed it is all done by presumptive Leader fiat; he is after all the Augustus of the Right – albeit an old one.

    Dear old Don then announces (I assume as presumptive ACT leader, or if not, leader of another Party formed by Mr Hooton/Banks and Craig?) that unless Prime Minister Key makes him a Minister and deals with him he would take the ACT Party (or whatever Party he leads) into the Cross Benches (i.e. on confidence and supply matters the Prime Minister (hopefully we assume that’s Key) would not know from day to day whether he has the confidence of the House. Man no need to discuss this with either of these Parties or its MPs – he is a Caesar after all – its all about him. Stupidly it also invites Key to publicly check any substantial flow of support for any political vehicle to which Brash is involved.

    As DPF observes none of this Dads Army brigade is actually in the ACT Party they are all Nats on the outer reaches of the National Party. I did laugh when DPF noted National’s loyalty and discipline. Perhaps he was only referring to the current National Caucus and when National is a winning team.

    I am sure the ACT Board will be horrified by the ineptitude and amateurishness of this. Changing leader in a small party is the hardest thing to do it requires high levels of tact, subtly and sophistication -qualities Brash has not displayed. ACT and the Greens are the only small Parliamentary parties to have done it and survived the process.

    Brash talks about Country almost as an aside but his actions are all about the person; about him and ‘getting at’ Key in whom he appears to be both higly disappointed and angered with. He is diminished by that.

    If he truly cared about the nation he would join ACT and offer to go to Parliament to play whatever role both ACT and National offer him through the democratic system – the nation requires that sort of service – we are imperilled. That is real leadership.

    He is the lesser man for not taking his approach.

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  34. David in Chch (523 comments) says:

    I find it interesting how a number of people here commented on how National has somehow abandoned its principles, and the evidence is that so many ex-Labour supporters voted for them.

    Might I point out that you can have all the principles you want, but if you can’t win the majority of the voters over to your cause, then you cannot implement any of it. National governed on a go-easy platform, and they have pretty much stuck to that, thus earning the trust of the majority of the voters. So that in the upcoming election, people will, to a large extent, conclude that they will be able to believe the National party. We are not so sure about Labour.

    So what would you prefer? To have won the election and then run roughshod over the platform for which people voted? That would have guaranteed a one-term government, and the changes made would likely have been reversed almost immediately.

    As for ACT and/or a new right-wing party, I suspect it will take away a chunk of the right-wing of the National Party, but I don’t think it will scare the centre voters that National need to win to be able to form a government. ACT has largely been tamed during this government, and I suspect most people would expect the same in any subsequent government. The tail does not wag the dog, unless it is Winston First.

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  35. publicwatchdog (3,156 comments) says:

    # Rodders (809) Says:
    April 25th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Congratulations Penny. You win today’s Godwin at 2.35pm ;)”

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Was it the word’ blitzkreig’ that did it for you Rodders?

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  36. Psycho Milt (2,429 comments) says:

    Can you imagine if ACT get 3% but loses Epsom and a Brash led party gets 4%. That 7% wasted vote helping Phil Goff and Winston Peters form a Government.

    I’m attempting to picture the sense in which this would be significantly worse than John Key, Rodney Hide and Tariana Turia forming a govt, but can’t.

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  37. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Indeed Penny (& don’t forget – “i before e except after c”) :)

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  38. Inventory2 (9,384 comments) says:

    Chris raises some interesting points. Don Brash will be 71 when the 2011 election is contested. He has never won an electorate seat, having been twice defeated in East Coast Bays in a by-election (1980) and a general election (1981). He entered Parliament in 2002 via National’s list.

    Brash is being petulant when he says that Act can either have him as leader or not at all. He is not a member of the Act Party, nor is he a member of any fledgeling party. He is however a member of the National Party. Surely that creates credibility problems for Act at a time when Act’s credibility is already problematic.

    If Brash wants to join Act and seek an electorate nomination and a place on the list, good on him. The ham-fisted way that he is going about this though suggests that he has yet to master the game which is party politics. I am neither an Act voter nor do I particularly support Rodney Hide, who has badly damaged Act’s brand during this term of Parliament, but it seems absurd for a party to have a leader outside of Parliament in the run-up to the election.

    As a closing comment, I can only note that it would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall at John Boscawen’s place just at the moment, given that his vote will be so crucial to Act’s decision.

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  39. publicwatchdog (3,156 comments) says:

    Interesting point.

    Can National Party members hold ‘dual membership’ of two different political parties?

    Can ACT Party members hold ‘dual membership’ of two different political parties?

    I suppose that would help to stop people accusing Banks and Brash of ‘disloyalty’ – if they can simultaneously be members of both National and ACT?

    Mind you – if neither are currently members of the ACT Party – I guess that becomes slightly tricky – especially if you want to lead the ACT party as Mr ‘Born to Rule’ Brash wants to do?

    ‘The will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government’ – but not of the ACT Party if Bra$h gets his way?

    Fascinating.

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  40. Inventory2 (9,384 comments) says:

    @ Penny – good question. It has to be noted that Phillip Field only became persona non grata with the Labour Party when he started dropping hints that he was forming a new party. They could obviously tolerate his corrupt behaviour whilst he was loyal to Labour, which speaks volumes!

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  41. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    I am sure the ACT Board will be horrified by the ineptitude and amateurishness of this.

    Since when has ACT been anything other than inept and amateurish? Why buck a trend?

    The lifeboat is pulling away from the Titanic, Chris, and if you’re not on it, you’ll go down with the captain.

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  42. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Very good comment “David in Chch @ 3:10 pm”. You pretty much summed it up. I would add that say a reform party sounds good as ACT is now a carcass. Stand in Epsom and bring in policy that is missing and in the next term we may get something closer to right of centre on some policy. The key is that the majority of NZder’s must agree with the direction.
    ACT voters would change to the new party as the policies would be similar.
    Rodney… go.

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  43. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Brash is being petulant when he says that Act can either have him as leader or not at all. He is not a member of the Act Party, nor is he a member of any fledgeling party. He is however a member of the National Party. Surely that creates credibility problems for Act at a time when Act’s credibility is already problematic.

    I don’t think he is being petulant at all. If he didn’t have the political pull he does, then yes his behaviour would be petulant. But he is Don Brash, so he is therefore simply being realistic about his ability to win votes. He is offering ACT a chance to survive. They can take it and survive, or they can compete against him for votes and fail. Either way is fine by me.

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  44. Zarchoff (97 comments) says:

    Actually Penny, under the ACT constitution, a member of ACT is allowed to be a member of another party. My understanding is this not true of the National Party but that doesn’t seem to stop people belonging to both parties.

    Brash could set up a new centre-right party and wipe ACT out but it will cost quite a bit. OR, Brash could join ACT with the promise of a big funding boost in return for taking over the leadership and getting ACT back to the 7-10% range. I think most in ACT prefer the latter. However, Hide will bully the board into rejecting the Brash offer. Actually, the decision should be made by the whole party but I doubt Hide will let that happen.

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  45. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    ACT is languishing. Maybe Brash is the best way forward. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but I like Rodney as well.

    Getting bogged down in the whole Auckland supercity thing has been a poison chalice for Rodney. You’re going to piss off a whole bunch of people no matter how good your solution. Better if he’d been given a portfolio for economic development. That way he could have spent the last couple of years slashing red tape.

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  46. Nigel (493 comments) says:

    It’s fascinating, I think it changes the political landscape hugely, the question is though. Is brash doing a bob jones ( new zealand party ) and trying to take out national or are his motives to reinvigorate a right wing economic alternative party, if it’s the second I wish him well, nz needs that choice, if it’s the first I somehow doubt the revenge will be sweet.

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  47. Anthony (768 comments) says:

    Rodney has a new wife and baby so might be quite happy to step aside as leader given Brash is one of the few potential leaders who are likely to ensure the party survives. I also like Rodney and think he is far more competent than given credit for – but he is never going to be liked by much of the population.

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  48. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    BlairM:

    Mmmm is that the same Blair that was a member of ACT, then National, then ACT, then National but not National when Don Brash was leader.

    Indicates certain level of commitment phobia Blair.

    Are you actually a member of National or will you join ACT or join Hooties new right-wing party. Are you claiming attempting a leadership coup on a party ones doesn’t belong to from outside parliament isn’t the very definition of incompetent.

    It should be about the Country and a big part of being a modern Leader is gaining a democratic mandate. Don has indicated it’s all about his issues with John Key.

    Tell me, if ACT did not make the appointment of Hon Sir Roger Douglas as a Minister a condition of any confidence and supply aggrement with National, why would it do so for Don Brash? Surely this would need to be discussed by Party Board and Caucus and not just annouced prior to even joining or being elected (sorry crowned leader)?

    Again it’s about the Country.

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  49. Michael (913 comments) says:

    It’s not National taking over – it’s the ACT members who defected to National coming home…

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  50. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    “Getting bogged down in the whole Auckland supercity thing has been a poison chalice for Rodney”

    You’re very charitable Wat. I wouldn’t call it so much getting bogged down as completely fucking it up in veering away from the RC recommendation and going out of his way to create the inevitable; our largest city the hands of Mad Mayor Brown; someone of questionable credentials in a number of respects. In the process he left everyone pissed off.

    The outcome was predictable when all that was actually required was a regional approach to key infrastructure issues. Hide charged at it like a man possessed and wound up face first in the mud.

    That’s before you even get to his epic Mr Perkbuster fail, the Garrett business and his inability to manage a caucus that could fit into a shopping trolley. Goff rightly gets a routine pounding for his serial stupidity. But then he has somewhat of a larger job. The mind boggles at how Rodney Caesar would cope with managing anything more serious than a boy scout troup.

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  51. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    What a joke! What a circus! Hope it leaves town soon. I am sick of hearing about it.

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  52. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    “Brash could set up a new centre-right party”

    I assume Colin Craig went to him with that in January when he was hawking around a suspect poll. Man oh man there is untapped political lift in the smacking issue after all.

    Of course it requires Don to actually make a decision – first of which is to resign from National. He then has to outline his plan and how he would achieve that in close concert with a Key led National Government (therein seems to lay a problem; the Govt is Key led)

    We have a hint on the latter part: Key has to take him into the Ministry (absent of any policy programme thus far) or there is no confidence and supply aggreement. No one seems to know whether Key would be prepared to operate under these circumstances – I suspect it would tax his and his senior collegues political skills – trying to determine Don’s mind – or perhaps easier dealing with the Maori Party. All at a time when many of the policy choices open to the Cabinet at are all hard and many will be unpopular.

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  53. pq (728 comments) says:

    I agree with

    BlairM (1,220) who Says:
    April 25th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t think he [ Brash ] is being petulant at all. If he didn’t have the political pull he does, then yes his behaviour would be petulant. But he is Don Brash, so he is therefore simply being realistic about his ability to win votes. He is offering ACT a chance to survive. They can take it and survive, or they can compete against him for votes and fail. Either way is fine by me.

    I like Rodney a lot, but before this I would vote for Peters NZF, on the foreshore question, and the currency problem we have
    Brash is the only person in New Zealand who can kick arse even when your foot hurts.

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  54. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Zarchoff

    Is that me old mate Peter Tashkoff.

    Actually the ACT Constitution does not permit officeholders to be a member of another political party. Or should that requirement be waived for our Caesar Augustus.

    Don Brash has to resign from National. Whats the holdup? Or is the proposal that he be made Leader prior to joining.

    Talk about Dad’s Army.

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  55. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Michael

    It’s not National taking over – it’s the ACT members who defected to National coming home…”

    Actually Don can’t bring himself to join ACT not even for a first time.

    As for ACT Members coming home : Banksie isn’t a member of ACT and nor has he ever been a member of ACT, same with Hooton, same with Colin Craig.

    Blair who last I heard was a member of National (but could well have resigned again) might tell us whether he would join ACT as led by Don Brash (which would be odd as he didn’t join National led by Don Brash).

    Old Whaleoil resigned from National and isn’t a member of ACT and nor has he ever been.

    I would like to know who these ACT people who are coming home are?

    As far as I can tell and as DPF observes, all these guys seems to come from the neither regions of the National Party. There common beef seems to be a personal one with John Key.

    As for Brash’s voter appeal – get a grip most available centre right votes are being vacuumed up by John Key (those that swing between Labour and National wont shift to any Brash vehicle). Whats the old story about rising twice.

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  56. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    I would be interested to know how much encouragement Sir Roger has given to Don’s takeover bid.

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  57. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    DPF – [DPF: Don’t be an idiot. Most people in National are furious with Brash]

    Seriously? And how did Brash feel when he got shit-canned post election. What does he exactly owe National?

    Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it..

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  58. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Seeing Brash dithering on Q+A reminded me why I didn’t support him in 2005. This little Easter surprise is starting to make Labour look not quite so disorganised.

    I can imagine Nats would be worried by this sort of brash amateur hour to the right of them. I agree that we need a small right-ish party representation in parliament, and this is about the worst way to ensure that.

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  59. pq (728 comments) says:

    Chris Diack questions Brash voter appeal,
    and it is a good question.
    Why are New Zealanders antagonistic to policies which would make New Zealand great again.

    Should we lower further Chris, lower and lower until Romania has better currency?

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  60. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Lee C said “And how did Brash feel when he got shit-canned post election”

    Don Brash remained as leader for 14 months post election.

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  61. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    This blog is really starting to go down the drain. I know DPF is constantly being a cheerleader for the National party but the apologetics here is just getting too much. It appears his sole argument is: “If we have a principled minor party then votes may be lost and National may lose its majority.” So what? The challenge is to overcome that – not pussy out. The National government in its current form is no better than the previous Labour government – socialist and left-wing to the core.

    What exactly have they achieved this term? I can only think of the trial period off the top of my head.

    As I mentioned in another thread – the saddest thing about the political analysis surrounding this situation appears to be that people like David Farrar are afraid of Don Brash becoming a leader of a minor party because: “It will drive away left-wing National supporters who do not want to see a National-ACT coalition with Brash steering the policy”. What does that say about the majority of National supporters?

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  62. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Brash has never received due credit for being something of a trend-setting politician when he became leader of National. When he was asked a question, he gave an immediate and straight answer. I wonder how much this contributed to his success? Despite the criticisms, Key continues to do this in large part.

    In contrast, the weasel Goff suffers from being unable to either give a straight answer or, when he takes the plunge, avoid making a complete and utter arse of himself.

    In that sense, the Brash legacy lives on in the polls and continues to make Labour look completely dated. Contrast that again with Labour in Australia where Gillard has had the gumption to speak out on … shock horror … sitting at home on your arse at the taxpayers’ expense and not doing anything.

    Just another example of the main game starting on No 1 and the pointless flapping seagull shrieking “look at me, look at me” over on no. 2 when everyone has left or gone into the clubhouse to get on the piss.

    Postscript —-

    Yikes, PG, I didn’t see Q+A. Maybe he just isn’t match fit? Do I need to take it all back??

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  63. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Courage Wolf,

    Amen. You sound like Penn Jillette. And boy is that a good thing.

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  64. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    On one level watching this is quite amusing..There are very few here – unless there are some ex-MP’s or close advisors using pseuds – who have any real idea what they are talking about. Chris Diack is one exception, since he has actually BEEN INVOLVED in the process of being a minor party IN GOVERNMENT. That, boys and girls, is a constant juggling act, and one which no-one who hasnt been “at the coal face” has any real idea about. People like Tashkoff, Mulholland et al. who may have been involved with ACT for years have little idea if any idea.

    Its politics 101, but in opposition it doesnt really make a rats of difference how you vote; how good your questions in the House are; how many followers you might have on your Facebook page. You can have been in opposition for 20 years, and even have served as a competent Minister, but make a complete hash of being a leader. Look no further than Goff.

    I hardly know The Don. Rodney and I have never been friends. But anyone who thinks that if Don was the leader Key’s direction would radically change the month – or even the year – after the election are in la la land. As Chris has noted, if they wouldn’t have Roger in cabinet – in any capacity – why would they make Don Finance Minister? And unlike most, I know the gamesmanship and bluff calling that went on when we were trying to negotiate a confidence and supply agreement that had Roger with a role. It didnt happen.

    Don with Roy as his deputy? Dad’s Army is hardly an adequate description for that scenario, nowithstanding Ewing-Jarvie’s “interesting” military career.

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  65. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Mmmm is that the same Blair that was a member of ACT, then National, then ACT, then National but not National when Don Brash was leader.

    Indicates certain level of commitment phobia Blair.

    Chris, I don’t think a party fidelity pissing contest with me (or in fact, anyone) would be wise for you to engage in. Both C&R, and the Onehunga LEC might have some things to say about that.

    I’ve been a member of National for over five years now, including when Brash was leader. I was also a member of ACT briefly in 2008, based entirely on the fact that Roger Douglas was a candidate, but did not renew my membership.

    Are you actually a member of National or will you join ACT or join Hooties new right-wing party.

    I’m a proud member of the National Party, and anticipate staying that way for a very long time.

    Are you claiming attempting a leadership coup on a party ones doesn’t belong to from outside parliament isn’t the very definition of incompetent.

    The man has balls! There’s nothing incompetent about it at all. It might be incompetent if say, Peter Tashkoff were to do it, but when Don Brash does it, it’s the very definition of competence. He’s not begging for the leadership of a party, he’s asking the party if it wants to remain in existence and survive, and offering to save it. It’s a good offer. I’d take it if I were you ;-)

    It should be about the Country and a big part of being a modern Leader is gaining a democratic mandate. Don has indicated it’s all about his issues with John Key.

    Well John Key is also the Prime Minister, so it is inevitably going to be all about his issues with John Key. Phil Goff and the whole Labour Party have issues with John Key, or they wouldn’t bother getting out of bed in the morning.

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  66. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Are there any ACT members involved in the Brash bid? If I was a member of the ACT Board, I would be asking why are all these National Party members trying to take over ACT.

    And what does it matter if they are members of ACT or not? I used to be a member but stopped joining up each year after Rodney Hide went on Dancing with the Stars (he seems to think that was what helped his popularity in Epsom – not that it actually helped increase ACT’s poll ratings). I’ve only ever voted for ACT but have not been active. I would seriously consider going back and volunteering again if Don Brash took over. I’m sure there are many ACT supporters who are in the same position.

    Why would you be asking why they’re trying to take over ACT? Obviously because they are not happy with the current government and our sterile Prime Minister.

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  67. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    This might clarify a few things for Mr Diack et. al.

    http://clintheine.blogspot.com/2011/04/brashgasm.html

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  68. pq (728 comments) says:

    quite interesting to hear from Dave Garrett,
    scary also

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  69. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    pq

    You actually ask a serious question.

    First point to observe is that each election is different. History is interesting. Trends help but each campaign has its own dynamic.

    Brash’s successful performance as Leader of the Opposition taking over National at it’s rock bottom and coinciding with the nation seriously starting to tire of Helen Clark isn’t a good guide to future prospects. Most centre right voters will probably conclude that they like Key and trust him and so will remain where they are; many will look upon Don’s previous achievement with gratitude but conclude he is somewhat past it. His current behaviour is a tad erratic that might lower his attractiveness to potential voters.

    The vast vast bulk of centre right voters like Key’s personality and trust his political judgement. He is the big political planet which at the moment is causing derangement syndromes to break out on both left and right in our political solar system.

    Any party on the centre right (other than National) must have as part of its programme some element that can be picked up and run with by a Key led National Government. While Key maintains high levels of voter support for him personally and the Government he leads he must be allowed to manage the politics of his government. And that means basically – no personnel demands. There is zero polling evidence to suggest the voters want John Key significantly bridled by Don Brash or anyone else.

    Don has already made personnel demands without even getting elected. Nor do we know what programme Don is offering either as a potential leader of ACT or Leader of another Party (if he cannot get the ACT Leadership) nor any evidence that whatever programme he is offering has any substantial voter appeal on the centre right. At the moment Don is offering his biography.

    Again this basic stuff; be a member, democratic processes, programme with researched voter appeal to your target voters; elements of programme adoptable by Govt led by major Party; personal and political compatibility with the key figures in the major Party within ones bloc, are all necessary elements of leading a small party.

    Its pretty basic really.

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  70. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    davinci, read the transcript of Brash on Q+A and see what you think about his leadership potential.

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  71. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    What does that say about the majority of National supporters?

    That the clippers were applied and castration succeeded. That’s why not a squeak of opposition to Key or English can be heard inside Labour-lite’s caucus or membership.

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  72. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    pq: I have never posted on a blog or written a letter to the editor without my name on it. What’s scary about that?

    I have just read the piece by Clint Heine linked from Mulholland’s post…very interesting, and I agree with much of it, but I dont quite see how it “clarifies things for Mr Diack et al…” As I read it, Clint is endorsing the “push from inside the tent” approach that ACT has followed since 2008. Diack has been a part of that strategy.

    As to that, I can tell you this: EVERYTHING the Nats have done that is remotely adventurous has been driven by ACT: starting with three strikes (Power went around parliament saying it would pass over his dead body, and look what has happened there); the 90 day trial period extended to all employers not just those with less than 50 employees; the Employment Relations Authority being required to act judicially and allow cross examination as of right (not very significant unless you happen to be an employer facing a bullshit PG claim); the tentative moves toward school choice – ironically one of Roy’s few wins- and so on. Chris will be able to remember some that I cant.

    This has just occured to me. Its entirely possible that Don could achieve more seats in the House than Hide…but I very much doubt he would get more policy wins. Even with my good mate John B behind him. John lives in the real world too.

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  73. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Some excerpts:

    “Well, I looked around at the possibilities, and I thought, ‘How can I best make a contribution to this situation?’ And it seemed to me that the ACT Party was one vehicle through which I could work.”

    “The first question is can I make a contribution to policy in this country through the ACT Party? And that’s to be determined. I don’t know the answer to that question yet.”

    “You can often achieve more from being on the crossbenches than being part of a deal, part of a government.”

    “Wait a minute, I was the former leader of the National Party. I came within a hair’s breadth of winning the 2005 election. Why would he rule me out?”

    “Well, clearly, that’s what I’d like to do, but I have not yet discussed that with the party president. I have spoken to the party president, of course. I have not yet talked about the possibility of making an appearance at the board meeting.”

    I wonder if he woke up on Sunday morning and thought that he should be offered the leadership of Act or if they won’t have them have a new part install him as leader, so he tottled on down to TVNZ for an interview.

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  74. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    PG said “read the transcript of Brash on Q+A and see what you think about his leadership potential”

    Watching the interview itself is even less inspiring.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/interview-don-brash-6-12-video-4139359

    btw nice to have a rest from Holmes (& his ego)

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  75. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    David, I wrote the post, not Clint! Clint is still a member of ACT.

    I did like your line “…is endorsing the “push from inside the tent” approach that ACT has followed since 2008.” That begs the question: Why should ACT exist at all? Why not just join National and stand for a seat nomination? And of course, I would say the same about a Brash Party, although it also seems obvious to me that Brash has absolutely nothing to lose by doing what he is doing now, and I wish him well with it.

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  76. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Blair

    I am please you are a member of National they deserve your invaluable contribution. I note however you have no plans of follow Don. Therefore you are suggesting a leader for a Party you are unwilling yourself to join or as a good National Party member to vote for.

    C&R hardly counts as an organised political party.

    I have only ever been a member of two Parliamentary parties and proud of my involvement with both. And I have only ever resigned from one – pretty good for 28yrs of membership.

    No No Blair. Don seems to have “ISSUES” with John Key not at all in the same manner as Phil and Labour; for them its just professional. In fact when Labour get personal with Key they are less effective. Big lesson there.

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  77. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Rodders fair point – I meant the plummet to obscurity following Key’s rise. A s for idiot – I looked this up:
    “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” Mark Twain,

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  78. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    Don Brash is a yesterday man with flawed economic thinking and a racial attitude from , he has been behind New Zealand’s flawed economic policy.

    I believe if NZ First put a good candidate in the area it could be an interesting outcome as most people in Epsom are independent thinkers and are not lemmings!!!

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  79. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    David Garret,

    Good points.

    ACT has such a small share of the vote, yet has had some good policy wins.

    (and thank you for being part of the solution.)

    We often forget that we’re the weirdos, pondering issues like liberty and the proper role of government.

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  80. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    @rakuraku – NZ First had no candidate in Epsom in 2008 and only got 557 party votes.
    Could they achieve a worse result than that?

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  81. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Blair: the answer to your questions “why should ACT exist at all” and “Why not just join National and seek a seat nomination” can be found in our fairly recent political history.

    The late Mike Minogue, Marilyn Waring and Derek Quigley all followed that path. While Minogue had a great deal of respect from many, he would never have influencedin any way the behemoth that is a major party. ditto Waring, and she quit in frustration. Quigley quit too – and helped form ACT

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  82. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Don Brash is a yesterday man with flawed economic thinking and a racial attitude

    Perhaps you could explain how his economic thinking is flawed, and what makes you think he is a racist?

    For the record, his economic grasp is exceptional and he called for an end to racist policies.

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  83. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    “Within a whisker of winning in 2005″ has been mentioned a few times.

    He may be polarising, but Brash’s electoral allure is such that he could potentially take ACT above the 5 per cent threshold to survive in Parliament. He took National within a whisker of victory in 2005 and many of National’s new MPs were drawn to the party by the Brash leadership.

    I see it differently – I think Brash was a significant reason why National lost an election they should have won.

    Hide is seen as toxic to women voters in particular in Epsom – I don’t see how a dithery old bugger will appeal any more to women. Or young people. Or many men. Does anyone actually know how wide his appeal would be? Or are they wishful thinking?

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  84. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Pete George,

    Yes, Brash is not charismatic. His policy prescriptions are very sound, but he’s swimming with sharks.

    Lying charlatans like Winston have more popular appeal than honest, intelligent contributors like Brash,

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  85. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Therefore you are suggesting a leader for a Party you are unwilling yourself to join or as a good National Party member to vote for.

    One can give advice to assist in outcomes where one has no stake, and it makes the advice no less valuable for it. If Brash becomes ACT Leader, that would be fine by me. If he forms his own party and gets into parliament that way, also fine by me. If he fails, also no skin off my nose. I’m not even sure I’m bothered if, as in Farrar’s nightmare scenario, the two parties take 7% of the vote between them and cost National the election, because it would almost certainly mean the death of MMP, which would help National (and laissez faire policies) enormously in the long term.

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  86. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Wat: two very good points: he is a walrus swimming with sharks; and Winston is a living illustration of one of Churchill’s lesser known quotes, that the best argument against democracy is a 15 minute conversation with the average voter.

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  87. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Thanks wat @ 6.01pm. As succinct a description of Winston as I have ever read.

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  88. shady (246 comments) says:

    I agree with you Courage Wolf. Stopped when Rodney became leader. ACT only just got my party tick last election – I couldn’t bring myself to give National both ticks (wasteful). However under current leadership and form – I would give both ticks to National – through lack of alternative. Negatives of National to me – Bill English and Nick Smith.

    And I saw Brash on Q & A and thought he came across very well. He was articulate and answered everything directly – even the question of whether he was gunning for the ACT leadership. He has a thoughtful/measured way of speaking – always has had – that to someone looking for fault could call dithering.

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  89. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Pete

    “Hide is seen as toxic to women voters in particular in Epsom”

    Yes I have seen that claim. Actually I suspect women voters in Epsom will vote to secure a John Key/National led Government.

    They are disappointed their MP used the travel perk as he was entitled to but in breach of his own standards. He gets points for paying it back and apologising. And remember they didn’t elect him on that basis.

    I doubt they are concerned about who exercised the spouces/partners travel – Hide’s personal life is not that racy.

    Epsom voters secured John Key as PM on election night in 2008. They will want to do the same again in 2011. All this other stuff doesnt matter

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  90. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    David, it’s nice you mention those examples, but omit all the good ones – Ruth Richardson, Lockwood Smith, Max Bradford, Maurice Williamson, who had a combined influence on their colleagues which made the ’90s National government a very good one. They also pulled people like Shipley, Upton and Birch to the right in much of what they were doing. You get a good group of people in a National caucus with sound conservative philosophy behind them and the effect will be huge, much more so than that of an external third party. And Minogue and Waring were both wets anyway!

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  91. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Perhaps it all comes down to how ACT responds.

    If they positively embrace Brash then it could be a very good thing. Great, even.

    But if it has the appearance of a hostile takeover then Brash will take the ship down with him.

    Truly, not an easy decision.

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  92. big bruv (14,224 comments) says:

    DPF is doing his best to scare the right into thinking that there is no alternative to Hide as ACT party leader, he even goes so far as to suggest that if we vote for a Don Brash led ACT party then we will be ushering in a Goff/Winston government.

    The question I have (given the way the Nat’s have handled the economy) is this…..would anybody notice the difference?

    Sure Key is a nice guy, and yes, it is great to have a PM who can connect with ordinary people unlike the beast that preceded him, however, he has failed to do anything about tackling the real problems this nation faces.

    As bad as it might seem perhaps another term of Labour fucking the Nation might be what we need, it might be what finally shakes us into accepting that third world status is rapidly approaching.

    Should ACT be smart enough to realise they are fucked under Winston Hide and replace him with Brash then they will get both of my votes, if not…then the next election will be the first one in which I will not cast a vote.

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  93. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Blair: Not being or never having been a National insider I have no idea whether those you cite actually had the influence you claim.

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  94. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Blair

    FPT helps laissez faire policies – try selling that bs in the UK. Nor does the growth of the welfare state or Muldoon help your case here. For the rare Thatchers, Reagans, Douglases, and Richardsons there are many more Callahans, Carters, Muldoons.

    Actually its underlying values that helps freedom more than electoral systems per se. Exept for two clear crisises in NZ our recent FPTP parliaments showed no interest in addressing national decline.

    Heavens no skin in the game with regard ACT. Similar to Dr Brash then.

    Not even John Armstrong of the Herald can really contemplate that Don Brash would try this sort of stuff without sounding out the Party he intends to take over. HELLO. That seems to be the case. First rule of any coup – do the numbers. That requires joining and subjecting oneself to democractic processes.

    So what if the ACT party democracratically determined not to make Don Brash leader ahead of his election to Parliament should be abide by the will of the Party?

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  95. publicwatchdog (3,156 comments) says:

    Just watched Brash on Q & A.

    Don Brash is attempting an ACT ‘regime change’ without even being a member of the ACT party?

    Reminds me of Iraq and Libya.

    Who ACT decide to lead them is their internal business.

    Just like Iraq and Libya?

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  96. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Oh Dear.

    Blair invents history.

    Tell me Blair what were Bolger and Birch doing under a Muldoon Govt?

    For all the good they did in the early 1990’s they had a lot to make up for.

    What most of the Brash boosters here dont seem to recognise is this key led Government is more in line with previous National led Governments (excluding Muldoon and Bolger 1990 – 1993).

    Key’s big challange is to manage the politics of taking some very tough choices in the near future. National has achieved in breaking its 1993 near loss pattern, but there is now hard stuff to be done – while maintaining significant levels of political support (bedding in that policy).

    Having Don behaving like a bull in the china shop doesn’t help. Having “issues” is a big no no.

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  97. Viking2 (11,684 comments) says:

    A note from about old fella’s by a young Lady.

    Seventy is not “very old”. In fact, believing that says more about the outlook of the person who said it than the subject of the claim. The statement tends to fall into that collectivist-thinking basket of ideas I hate so much. It’s ageist. Some people in their seventies may be very old – near death’s door because of physical and mental ailments and deteriorating health. Others have good health, sound minds and decades of life experience under their belts. Above all they have a living memory of a New Zealand when values were different. Some better, some worse.

    And here’s another thing. The population is ageing. For those who don’t properly comprehend that term – possibly the owner of the ageist attitude – the proportion of people over 65 is growing in relation to those under.

    And they all have a vote.
    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/

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  98. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Chris Diack,

    Well, yes.

    But how to tell the difference between a left-wing National government and one which is actually playing the long game?

    In the UK the Conservatives are rife with statist/EU/don’t-care-as-long-as-I-get-my-perks types, which sold themselves on the not-the-Labour-Party ticket.

    NZ simply cannot afford the long game.

    Time for honesty.

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  99. Viking2 (11,684 comments) says:

    http://agreatinvercargill.blogspot.com/2011/04/democracy-needs-to-be-subjugated.html

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  100. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Oh Dear.

    Blair invents history.

    Tell me Blair what were Bolger and Birch doing under a Muldoon Govt?

    I never said anything about Bolger, but the point I was making applied to him also. Both Bolger and Birch found it much easier to be right wing, or adopt that modus operandi at least, when they had a group in caucus who were pushing in that direction. No such group existed under Muldoon. And surely, flawed as they were, you would rather have Bolger and Birch running the country than Key and English? Of course it’s all relative, but I know what I would prefer.

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  101. shady (246 comments) says:

    Thanks V2 – I agree with Lindsay. 71 is not old – my parents were both very active in their 70’s and totally mentally competant. (It was their 80’s that got them!)

    Also – as a female voter – Brash does not scare me off. Hide does though – having seen him in action over the years, it’s all just a big game to see who gets the upper hand. Unfortunately for him, the perk buster got busted.

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  102. MT_Tinman (3,322 comments) says:

    Don Brash, the man who couldn’t win an unloseable election, the man who advised all New Zealanders that home ownership was a silly investment and all people should rent.

    I have no time for Hide, in fact I consider him a handicap to ACT but I’m fucking sure I won’t vote for any party containing Brash and would seriously consider whether to vote for a team including Banks.

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  103. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Don Brash, the man who couldn’t win an unloseable election, the man who advised all New Zealanders that home ownership was a silly investment and all people should rent.

    I am not sure how the 2005 election was “unloseable” for National. Are you suggesting Bill English could have won it? That he would have doubled his 2002 score, as Brash did?

    National lost because Labour overspent and cheated, and National ran out of money in the last week. Hardly Brash’s fault.

    And home ownership is a silly investment! You do much better to rent and own investment properties for a net gain. That was his point. But you must have missed it.

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  104. Gooner (919 comments) says:

    First rule of any coup – do the numbers. That requires joining and subjecting oneself to democractic processes.

    Second rule: Read the party’s constitution and find out if you can become leader if not an MP.

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  105. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    If you take Brash at his word, this isn’t about him (or Hide for that matter), it’s about policy. Surely though, a former National leader and influential party member could simply get a high place on National’s list? That’d make all this go away, right? And why so little discussion about policy, in both interviews it’s very vague. Only National’s position on the ETS gets much a mention.

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  106. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    wat dabney:

    I think we are imperilled – I have no doubt about that.

    Key/National have taken NZ through very difficult times that actually started prior to the last election. They inherited a bloated government, dropping revenue and are facing a significant natural disaster. The only “luck” is that Labour is still to find its place in a post Clark world.

    The Government haven’t done everything I thing they should have; but the PM has the public mandate I don’t. I recognised he must take the bulk of New Zealanders with him – I am a tiny minority.

    I also think the most testing times are surely ahead. It will require all of the political skill the PM and senior Cabinet Ministers can muster.

    Key will be tested. But he is all we have on the broad centre right – he connects with and maintains the confidence of most of the New Zealand public in a way the no other politician on the left or right does.

    Those on the centre right should be part of the solutions not add to the any problems Key must manage.

    At the moment Don seems more of a problem than playing a part in the solution. Placing conditions on both ones role in ACT and in Parliament definitely weigh in favour of being a problem more than being part of the solution.

    Easter is curious relevant; there seems to be a bit of the Saviour complex from the son of a Presbyterian Moderator. ACT is not and nor has it ever been the Church of Rodney Hide, it should not be the Church of Don Brash.

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  107. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    BlairM

    Actually no academic literature supports your contention – all other things being equal campaign activity (overspends or otherwise) only makes the marginal difference.

    The reason the Nats moved Brash on was that the voting demographic that votes between Labour and National principally fell all to Labour in 2005. Key offered the chance to win that demographic over – they decided the 2005 election by mostly sticking with Clark.

    Secondly for reasons of internal politics.

    As to whom I would rather seem being PM and Finance Minster: Bolger/Birch verses Key/English. What an odd question. First who knows that things are like in the universe where I can determine such matters. But to answer your question – it all depends really. I am interested in policy direction not biography. If pressed actually I think Key has a good prospect of being a better PM than Bolger who allowed spending to bloom out in 1996 to buy of Winston First and I must confess I have always liked Bill English no disrespect to Bill Birch.

    Politics has generational cycles Key and English are much more of my generation than Bolger/Birch or Brash.

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  108. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams:

    You nail it: Brash is offering biography not a policy programme. Its about him and Key its dissapointment and anger at his status being ignored. Any programme would have to await his coronation as ACT Leader assuming the Party survives that process. One would also have to watch the competitive response from National (assuming ACT survived) if Brash got any traction.

    National’s big problem is that its crap shooting with a Don Brash led ACT; ACT’s votes may only be available on the Cross Benches.

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  109. Inventory2 (9,384 comments) says:

    @ Gooner; so what’s the answer? Can you?

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  110. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Chris, that’s how it appears. His criticisms were about Key, about National’s failings, he’s in fact surprisingly polite about Hide. In both interviews he’s specifically mentions the “failure to catch up with Australia” as his motivation.

    I assume means Key’s trip to the royal wedding is off (I’d love to see Irish Catholic English go in his stead)

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  111. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Gooner

    The ACT constitution contemplates a Leader not in Parliament. However all Parliamentary matters will fall to one or another of the ACT MP’s.

    Love to read Don’s carefully prepared paper on how that all works; how to exit the current leader without destroying the show – what is the democratic progress – Hide was endorsed by vote of ACT Members, then Board then Caucus. Its also unclear whether Banksie would be subject to a democratic pocess in Epsom among ACT members Hide might like to remain “simply the MP for Epsom” and ACT members might like that. And then there is a draft plateform, some polling evidence on that and an indication from the Nats which parts of the putative programme they might run with.

    Don will have of course done all the homework that someone who wants to be Leader of ACT does along with paying a membership fee which subjects him to the democratic control of the Party under its constitution. There isn’t any such thing as a conditional membership (say contingent on making someone a Leader).

    So the first step is to join and subject oneself to the Constitution of ACT which of course Don has read.

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  112. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    It would be a shame if ACT’s constitution got in the way of its development…

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  113. grumpyoldhori (2,205 comments) says:

    The ex leader of the Nats joining another party as leader ? may we live in interesting times.

    Now the only portfolio where Brash could make any real differences would be finance, now dear extreme right wingers the chances of Key giving Brash that ministry is fucking nil.

    If Brash believes he is so right and Key is so wrong why bother trying to lead a small party, why not a coup from outside parliament against Key ?
    Oh, because in numbers you are well short, oh dear too bad.

    If Brash does become ACT leader I can see him stating to Key that he will not join a coalition with the Maori party being a part of it.

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  114. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Chris, there’s a comparable scenario in Queensland politics right now. Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman is seeking preselection for a Qld seat and has said he’ll then contest the leadership. He similarly announced it publicly. There’s an investigation into possible fraud, based on suggestions that the current leader has been offered inducements to have him stand aside.

    What’s Hide been offered to step aside and by whom?

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  115. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    These are the trials and tribulations of a party which doesn’t represent special interest groups and doesn’t promise to go a’plundering on their behalf…

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  116. dime (10,222 comments) says:

    bruv – good point, not unlike the one i made on friday :)

    id notice though – labour would have me paying 40%+ tax

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  117. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams:

    “he’s in fact surprisingly polite about Hide”

    In that interview but he told the Royal NZ Herald that Hide’s branding was toxic and recited the frequent leftwing journo charge sheet as if Epsom voters and centre right voters totally lack in judgement on what actually matters.

    I would love to start pairing out this toxicity issue I suspect the public know a lot more about Rodney Hide’s personal life than they know about Don Brash’s. A Don Brash led ACT would be replying on a much provoked National Party to hold its tongue and exhibit DPF’s much vaunted discipline. ACT might have to learn a bit from the Clinton Campaign’s bimbo erruption’s management approach.

    Paul any NZ PM that didn’t go to this Royal Wedding would be seriously out of step with most New Zealanders expectations – watch the tv ratings.

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  118. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    It would be a shame if ACT’s constitution got in the way of its development…

    It would be a shame if that attitude got anywhere near government.

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  119. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Paul any NZ PM that didn’t go to this Royal Wedding would be seriously out of step with most New Zealanders expectations – watch the tv ratings.

    Key and ratings, yeah, I see your point. So who’ll answer Brash’s charges? That National’s policies won’t deliver?

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  120. pq (728 comments) says:

    I want New Zealand to be well and prosper.

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  121. Shazzadude (531 comments) says:

    David Garrett-“I hardly know The Don. Rodney and I have never been friends. But anyone who thinks that if Don was the leader Key’s “direction would radically change the month – or even the year – after the election are in la la land. As Chris has noted, if they wouldn’t have Roger in cabinet – in any capacity – why would they make Don Finance Minister? And unlike most, I know the gamesmanship and bluff calling that went on when we were trying to negotiate a confidence and supply agreement that had Roger with a role. It didnt happen.”

    But wasn’t the issue there simply a lack of leverage where ACT was concerned? National had the luxury of being able to neutralise ACT’s bargaining power against the Maori Party and vice versa. In a scenario where National were on say 42% and ACT were on 8% for example, ACT would be in a very powerful position to negotiate.

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  122. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams:

    “What’s Hide been offered to step aside and by whom?”

    It isnt the way ACT or Hide operates.

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  123. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Chris, Brash himself says he was offered co-leadership.

    MR BRASH Well, I mean, this happened yesterday. I think it originated from a story in the Dominion Post where I said that I had been offered the position of co-leader of the ACT Party, and I said that I was not willing to accept that position, but I would be willing to accept the leadership. Now, the ACT Party board meet next Saturday.

    That’s from the Espiner interview. Is Brash correct, was there a deal and who’s prosecuting it since clearly Hide’s not.

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  124. Caleb (480 comments) says:

    If Brash does not have the full support of Rodney and ACT, he should not bother.
    The last thing he needs, is to be undermined.

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  125. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    # pq (142) Says:
    April 25th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I want New Zealand to be well and prosper.

    The loony left has arrived!

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  126. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams

    “So who’ll answer Brash’s charges? That National’s policies won’t deliver?”

    But this is merely to state the obvious. So what. I don’t think even the Nats think current policy setting will do it.

    The answer isn’t biography plus “I am the salvation”. And look at the 2025 taskforce it has ZERO popular resonance. In some ways heading that up is a bit like being a minor party leader – one has to persuade; Brash has been unable to despite some good ideas.

    One of the reasons Brash did well as LoTO was the signifcant institutional support packed around him by the Parliamentary and organisational National Party. That and timing. Its much much harder being a minor Party Leader.

    In addition politicans are never any good the second time around – the only exception I can think of is Richard Prebble who reinvented himself for a new electoral system and parliament.

    The bigger issue is what polling idenfies large numbers of centre right voters looking for what Don Brash offers. We have some clue on that; what % of the vote ACT got when he was National Leader verses what % of the vote ACT got when Key led National.

    All polling evidence suggest most voters to the right of Key are happy to trust him into a second term – the undecided voters seem to be mostly ex Labour supporters – Brash has zero appeal for these voters.

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  127. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Shazza: Yes, you make a very good point. It is fair to say that everyone in the room – except me funnily enough – were stunned when Rodney took a call informing him Key had done a deal with the Maoris. I still dont know that they would appoint Brash finance minister – and to make any radical changes he would have to be that, or at least be in the inner circle of cabinet – regardless of ACT’s numbers or whether they had the Maoris as an alternative.

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  128. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    All polling evidence suggest most voters to the right of Key are happy to trust him into a second term – the undecided voters seem to be mostly ex Labour supporters – Brash has zero appeal for these voters.

    Chris, how will Key get a second term without a coalition partner or three. If Hide can’t guarantee his seat, and presumably that’s what this is really about, National is in trouble. Clearly you’re closer to this than me, but this only makes sense if Brash can get ACT above the threshold or win an electorate seat. Either way, messy coalitions don’t survive.

    Certainly I agree your general point about retreading politicians.

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  129. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    David Garrett, “the Maoris”? Groan.

    I thought National were wise to deal with the Maori Party. Tactically, it gives them an option to the centre, even if a young party is tough to deal with and broadens their base.

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  130. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Paul, do you really think politicians of any stripe refer to them as “the Maori Party” ? It’s shorthand son, like “the Nats”……

    Of course it was tactically brilliant…

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  131. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Some interesting history…

    John Armstrong’s 2003 article was entitled Brash shows how not to plot a coup. A few days later, Brash launched his successful coup against then National leader Bill English.

    To be fair to Armstrong, a Brash leadership of National had seemed improbable. Brash’s thinking aloud was, to put it mildly, unconventional. Another Herald story from 25 October 2003 was headlined Brash’s clumsy coup bid puts National in turmoil.

    Will history repeat?

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  132. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams:

    “offered the position of co-leader of the ACT Party”

    First there isn’t such a position contemplated by the ACT Constitution thus I suspect Brash was actually asked to consider that as a option.

    There would then have to be a process put in place that allowed ACT members to approve this or not and a change in the Constitution. The key point is this would be an ACT Party driven process not external to it. The fact is that co leadership works quite well for the Greens and worked for them which a Leader both in Parliament and outside it. ACT has always been open to what works for other smaller parties.

    While I cannot say for certain I suspect the idea was floated by Rodney Hide because Brash can be a bit of a Mr Magoo – the Nats know this as does ACT – he would need considerable looking after as ACT lacks the huge institution resources of the National Party. I suspect on the basis of the former personal relationship between them they could have offered each other personal support.

    Brash also presents very significant succession issues for any Party he leads outright. The moment he hits Parliament the drum beat will be that he’s only got a term in him.

    And as an MP Brash could always challange for the leadership outright at anytime.

    I suspect it’s a nod also to Key’s possible preferences and would have ensured Brash didn’t get personal with Key or rehash old National party issues. All of this is speculation on my part.

    I suspect that Brash dismissed this because he isn’t taking advice from anyone who actually knows how ACT functions or indeed relates to this National Led Govt. I also think his ego precludes it. He is in Saviour mode (as he was for National so he will be for ACT so he must be for the Nation). Saviours are by their nature unreasonable. Hence the coup approach and working Hide over from Trog Nats most of whom are new right wing party supporters.

    By pushing Brash to be muscular they essentially damage ACT whether he becomes leader or not. All the better for the new anti Key rightwing party – ACT’s a curtain raiser for the big one in 2014 when they assume Key will be weak or gone; and Brash is all used up. There is a reason why most of these guys are on the outer of the Nats – they are not pretty or nice people. I also think Brash is taking advice from a few of his direct comtempories; there is a grumpy old man set – its a generational thing as much as anything – they are pretty hard on Key; they are ward room warriors.

    To adapt another apt phrase: forgive him Lord for he knows not what he does.

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  133. reid (16,737 comments) says:

    appoint Brash finance minister – and to make any radical changes he would have to be that, or at least be in the inner circle of cabinet – regardless of ACT’s numbers or whether they had the Maoris as an alternative.

    Well that’s the key isn’t it David. What could Brash or any other ACT MP do. See no-one says it has to be Brash in Cabinet. But who else might it be were not he?

    Brash also brings to the table an I-think-unjustified-but-nevertheless-real-anathema which would prevent the MP from ever working with him.

    How could this possibly be in the coalition?

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  134. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    Pete George said:

    Hide is seen as toxic to women voters in particular in Epsom – I don’t see how a dithery old bugger will appeal any more to women. Or young people. Or many men. Does anyone actually know how wide his appeal would be? Or are they wishful thinking?

    Clearly you don’t know many Epsom voters Petey gal. Most women I know in Epsom would have Hide over anyone, as they are intelligent enough to see through the MSM bullshit, unlike yourself.

    Epsom voters actually know and understand the value of the contribution that Hide gives.

    Notwithstanding that, the Epsom voters I am involved with would have Brash over Hide any day, and this has certainly been the the result of the dinner party conversations I have been involved with.

    Interestingly, I was out with a pretty seasoned lefty voter last night who hates Hide, but shocked me when she said she would vote Brash/ACT if Brash were leader. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Chris Diack…. Do the best for the party and the country Chris, and support Brash. I’m a big fan of Rodney’s, but if Brash is leading ACT I will actively campaign on ACTs behalf, as I know that I can get votes for ACT with Brash leading. If Rodney is leading the party however, I will not campaign for ACT, as I feel I will be wasting my breath.

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  135. Falafulu Fisi (2,141 comments) says:

    If Rodney steps down from the leadership to give way to Don, I think it is best to retain him there in the ACT party because he’s got visions. The party shouldn’t abandon him. Rodney shouldn’t retreat but re-load.

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  136. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mattyroo: Who would you see as Brash’s deputy? I have gone through all the scenarios (Check out my post on Whale if you are interested) and I just cant see it…other than Brash/ Rodney..

    Love Hide or loath him (or whatever in between) the guy has got huge skills in the things that no-one sees or knows about, but which have to be done to make a party in parliament – as opposed to the party in the electorate – function.

    Chris D is quite right when he says being the leader of a small party with limited resources is a very different thing from being the titular head of the National Party…and let’s not forget, the Don had his share of clangers when he was that, notwithstanding an army of minders…can anyone forget his stunned mullet impression when Mallard yelled out “How’s Dianne?” in the House? Thats bloody mild…And no-one can mind you in the House..

    Is his personal life any tidier than it was in 2006?

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  137. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    So Brash was the answer.

    But what was the question?

    Whatever it was, it was enough to get die hard right wingers into a prolonged fit at exactly the time when all seemed so easy – ride out winter, win the World Cup, sleepwalk to victory.

    Then along came Don…

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  138. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    David G

    Brash/Roy would be my pick.

    I think that would be an attractive pairing.

    The problem for Key is that Brash wouldn’t compromise for baubles.

    And will there still be a Maori Party after the election?

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  139. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Shazzadude

    “In a scenario where National were on say 42% and ACT were on 8% for example, ACT would be in a very powerful position to negotiate.”

    Look the key thing to understand here is that ones influence is in direct porportion to the % of the vote. However the rest is about formal and interpersonal relationships.

    In post Clark Governments, minor parties only get any policy progress when the PM puts his or her weight behind it. Gone are the phone book C&S or Coalition agreeements – they don’t work. Instead we now have relationship and process agreements – an innovation largely pushed along by ACT.

    Government support parties actually invest in the mana of the Prime Minister; they are more than ever the chief political managers; nothing much happens in Government without their support. Only a sucessful PM can persuade Cabinet to agree with the PM’s judgment regarding minor party policy proposals.

    And one should not assume that a popular PM will actually be bridled by a support Party in the manner you suggest.

    For ACT to get anything changed ACT needs a sucessful PM. That’s Key.

    And the second realisation is that minor support parties are all about policy changes on the margins; National must be pemitted to make good its electoral commitments as it broadly sees fit. While it maintains very high levels of voter support even more so.

    John Key cannot be see to be jumping around to Don Brash or anyone elses tune; the voters wont stand for it and nor I suspect would Key put up with it.

    The third thing is that one never threatens a PM irrespective of ones % of the vote as a minor Party because PM’s are charged with providing stable predictable government – that is why that person holds this very high office in our system of Government. So it helps for PM’s to know where a minor Party stands on confidence and supply matters; and if it makes commitments to know that it will keep its word. This stuff is at the core of the role of being PM.

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  140. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    Don Brash, ……. the man who advised all New Zealanders that home ownership was a silly investment and all people should rent.

    Well, he’s dead fucking right. It’s just that most Kiwi’s are too fucking stupid to use/play the stockmarket to their betterment – they would rather kick all the tall poppies that have done well for themselves by investing wisely, rather than rush into a mortgage they cannot afford, on an overpriced papier-mâché box.

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  141. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    First there isn’t such a position contemplated by the ACT Constitution thus I suspect Brash was actually asked to consider that as a option…. While I cannot say for certain I suspect the idea was floated by Rodney Hide because Brash can be a bit of a Mr Magoo – the Nats know this as does ACT

    That’s plausible but bizarre. Douglas hasn’t particularly fired, why would Hide think Brash would perform better? Also, it’s not just Brash who thinks he is the saviour, it’s also ACT voters commenting here and National voters who see Key has Labour-lite. The point is neither Douglas nor Brash can instantly revive a party when it’s slid so far.

    By pushing Brash to be muscular they essentially damage ACT whether he becomes leader or not. All the better for the new anti Key rightwing party – ACT’s a curtain raiser for the big one in 2014 when they assume Key will be weak or gone; and Brash is all used up.

    This also is plausible. In this scenario Brash wouldn’t say he’s gone muscular, he’d say he’s being open with the public. It’s part of his, “I’m above the fray” strategy, I’ve never been convinced. But where’s the electoral benefit?

    Key needs to manage this; Hone’s causing the Maori Party troubles, now Brash is undermining ACT. All the while, the real politics, the stuff that actually matters, like helping people in Christchurch and getting the economy back on track, is stuck in second place.

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  142. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    David Garret: I haven’t seen your post on whale’s blog, but will check it out.

    I agree that for you and I the best leadership duo for the party would be Brash (1) and Hide (2), but for the voting public (outside Epsom), I’m pretty sure they want rid of Hide. Therefore, in a pragmatic world, Hide has to go. Don’t get me wrong, I like Hide and have a lot of time for him, and would continue to vote for him, but, I seriously have to question whether I can put my vote to better use. Once Brash comes into the equation, that question is bloody easy to answer…..

    How about Lindsay Mitchell, Muriel Newman, or one whom I have long regarded as have electoral milage: Gareth Morgan? The beauty about Gareth Morgan is he is a media darling. I don’t agree with everything he says, but on the financial side of things he and Brash are very similar.

    I agree that leading a smaller party (such as ACT or the gweens) is vastly different to leading a well established ‘behemoth’ such as the National party, but I believe this is primarily because of the many factions involved in the smaller parties. The factions are attracted to the smaller parties, because they think they will get more traction there…. However, you have to wonder whether they really do, or do they not just become destructive to the cause, case in point, the current Labour party.

    This is where I think if Brash gets it right, then he can make ACT strong, by primarily focussing on an electoral need, something like: “financial discipline”. However, I am not sure that Brash is the man to ‘destroy’ all the factions in the process and come out with a clear direction and the party as a whole “on message”.

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  143. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    I think it might be past your bedtime Paul….

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  144. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    mattyroo

    Never rely on your magnetic personality with leftwing women to gauge whether they would vote ACT as led by Don Brash.

    The Nats have lots of polling on how attractive Brash is to Labour voting demographics – and the truth is that he has very limited appeal – they mostly take Labour’s line on him – he’s heartless.

    As I understand it Don comes as a job lot with Banksie (on again, off again and on again) as the Epsom candidate. I have not picked up how one de selects a sittling MP and replaces him with another candidate – it must be quite some magic trick. Or perhaps Don is expected Rodney Hide to be more co-operative and subtle than Don is capable of.

    And even then Don might well take Epsom into the cross benches (for its first time ever as a seat since one would probably have to go back to nineteeth century Parliaments) if Key wont take him into the Ministry (but silent on Banksie on that point – perhaps he’s negotiable on that).

    Cant see the Nats not going hard in Epsom at that point – total dysfunction in ACT – unusually in this case caused by then (suppose) ex Nats. So much for discipline.

    But Don wouldn’t need Epsom anyway as the voters will come romping towards him. So I guess it wouldn’t matter.

    And the key thing is that Epsom would no longer be insuring a Key led National Government.

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  145. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Chris D: Yes! Everyone seems to be forgetting two fundmentals: a week is a long time in politics; and secondly it is seven months until Don can “bring” anyone else in to parliament….If Rodney resigns tomorrow I suppose there would be a by-election? From my little knowledge of him I cant see that happening any time soon…

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  146. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    Chris, I don’t expect Brash to pick up many, if any, votes from the left. As I said, I was shocked when this lady (who I would class as a left footed lesbian liberal) said that she would vote for Brash. However, every guy in the room had a grin from ear-to-ear and nodded profusely whenever Brash was nominated over Hide in the discussion.

    I cannot see Don taking ACT (or a new party he starts) onto the crossbenches, as in my opinion, the size of the vote that Brash would take from National would be too great. National would not make government if there were a right leaning party led by Brash that did not support National. Do you think either National or Brash would stomach that?

    Perhaps this is what we need, 3 more years of Labour to totally fuck the country, then the IMF comes and takes over.

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  147. Mr Elbow (30 comments) says:

    There is no way Brash and Banks aren’t a package deal. Through my online travels I’ve found it astonishing how so many ACT on Campus people – the self-titled ‘classical liberal’ wing of the party – are so happy to sell their souls to this duo, especially the ultra-conservative, twice-defeated former Auckland Mayor.

    The funniest thing I’ve seen however is Hooton wondering out loud about DPF’s agenda. What a coincidence – I’ve been wondering about Hooton’s motivation on this for a couple of weeks now, ever since his NBR column on ACT/Epsom. No way he thought of all this stuff on his own.

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  148. Radman (143 comments) says:

    Exactly as I see it Mr Elbow.

    The Act board should stare Brash down; if the members like Brash/Banks/Newman/Franks et al so much and are willing to bend over and take one for them, then it’s an easy choice. You tell Brash to fuck off. Why can’t he just join and go on the list like all other potential candidates? If Brash doesn’t take it and forms his own party, well if you were one of those who were willing to bend over and take one, you’d be happy at that because if he didn’t you win and Brash joins Act; and if he did and was successful with Banks et al then you go and join that party after the election don’t you?

    This is a revisit of 2003. All the Act party has to do is read a bit of history from then to see how it will play out and have a plan to counter it. History is a beautiful subject, because as Split Enz says – History Never Repeats!!

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  149. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    That’s enought for one night for this disgraced MP…a most interesting day in the cauldron that is politics…

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  150. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    Chris, I’ve appreciated your insights, thank you. I’ve got family in Epsom, some of whom voted for Hide but probably won’t this time for many of the reasons Brash cites. That said, chopping and changing leaders is seldom successful and both Brash and Banks have plenty of baggage.

    Hey David, your last post to me might’ve been amusing but for the fact that I live in Sydney.

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  151. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Paul Williams:

    You should ask Roger why he hasn’t really fired. I suspect its mostly generational; its partly Sir Roger’s ambition to change things big time, partly his formative years in previous Parliaments and a previous Govt and in big part circumstances and simple timing.

    Going second time around isn’t easy its very hard and takes a major adjustment. There is no simple recipe to personal political success. Sir Roger was the centre of a Govt for four years and in large part reshaped modern New Zealand. That is difficult to replicate; his expectations about making a real difference for New Zealand in a policy sense might have been unrealistic – I really cant give you a definitive answer.

    I suspect that Hide’s assessment is that Brash might have been able to make the adjustment to a second time around run in a minor party given that he went out of Parliament more recently. I suspect Hide has a good understanding of both his and Brash’s strenghts and weakness and the former good personal relationship between them. He will also have in mind Brash’s former status and Brash’s problematic relationship with senior Nats. Brash might have played a post Douglas Douglas role – take up Sir Roger’s mantle with his approval.

    I say Brash’s is being incompetently muscular and you say he’s being direct with the public. There in a nutshell is the problem; becoming leader of a political party isn’t a public process its a Party one. Its even tougher in a small party where its MPs and culture is individualistic.

    I would agree that Brash has created a circus – its all very Dad’s Army. He’s also made it all about him and Key (and Key’s lack of gratitude). This diminishes Brash.

    Yes its about the Country not status, position or percieved slights.

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  152. smttc (767 comments) says:

    Big Bruv, Manolo, etc abstain at the election because you cannot get your way and you give Phil Goff a mandate for your marginal tax rates to go up. But oh well don’t let that get in your way of being petulant about John Key and National.

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  153. reid (16,737 comments) says:

    I can see this is going to get quite sensational.

    Is this what conservatives really need right now, or would we rather have the papers full of Liarbore’s problems, or is this merely the news cycle in elegant operation?

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  154. freedom101 (513 comments) says:

    Unfortunately Rodney’s brand is stuffed and ACT will be gone after the next election. That’s the reality facing the ACT board next weekend. A major circuit breaker is required. Rodney has shown extremely poor judgement on three occasions:
    (1) not informing the ACT board of David Garrett’s past;
    (2) Not insisting that David Garrett come clean about his past prior to the last election, instead naiively imagining that this could be kept secret when in fact it was a ticking bomb (ironically if David G had come clean before the election it could have been a plus rather than a devastating minus);
    (3) Taking the travel perk for an overseas trip. While entirely legal, the public quite correctly saw this as hypocrisy of the highest order.

    The ACT board have some very serious thinking to do prior to next weekend. The bottom line is that ACT under Rodney will be gone come the next election.

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  155. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Time for New blood.Peter McCaffery is the man….a real classical liberal without the baggage of everyone else.ACT needs to rediscover its founding principles,and then explain them to the voter.

    Rodney’s done enough for the Kiwi taxpayer…and been treated shabbily for it….time for him to go and enjoy the pleasures of life with a new wife and baby.He can walk into a high paying job anywhere and leave the dross far behind him.

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  156. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    mattyroo

    Geeze mate I will have some of what you are smoking.

    I think you underestimate Key’s broad appeal and the likihood of a competitive response from National to check any unabaited rise in support for Brash.

    They will not allow Brash to attempt a pettycoat government – which is the implication of his public statements directed towards Key and gets the wardroom warriors all excited.

    I suspect the first thing Key will do is rule him out of the Ministry – as he did with Sir Roger. This is about votes that shift between Labour and National not National and ACT. At the moment Labour/National swing voters like Key he wont want to risk them with likely new Labour leader. They are the vital to National’s re-election chances in 2014, where Labour is likely to be much more competitive. Key will make his preferences pretty clear prior to the election.

    Frankly there is no polling evidence to support the contention that there are lots of centre right voters looking to the alternative you suggest. Thus he’s got to pull them away from decided National voters. These are tough voters to shift when they are happy with the Nats. There is no evidence of high numbers of spit voting Nats who tactically vote party vote for ACT when they are fundamentally supportive and happy with National. Naturally ACT’s support is best when National is doing poorest. The converse is the case. Brash will not change this.

    I also think the public scrutiny on Brash will be significantly higher and this time he has none of the support systems that National offered him – no covering for Mr Magoo. I also suspect the Nats will leak on him as they regard his behaviour is pretty unhelpful and dishonourable – they wont feel obliged to keep his secrets anymore. As I have said a Brash led ACT will be running a full time bimbo erruptions type operation.

    And if I were the Greens I would talk about nothing else; they would do well where Labour isn’t performing and Brash is wanting to bridle Key. We know Brash motivates leftwing voters. They could well get over 10% on tactical left wing voters motivated by Brash – I can just hear Chris Trotter now.

    Brash would have required careful management even if he operated in co operation with the ACT Party.

    And as yet you don’t even know what programme Brash is offering – all your statesments are based on biography which is considerable he is after all 72 (73 at the next election).

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  157. Chris Diack (680 comments) says:

    Freedom101:

    1. The full ACT caucus knew about David Garrett’s conviction and suppression order. It was a collective judgement that they proceed to support him as candidate on the basis that if a judge had given David a second chance after a passport offence then he should be judged on what he might achieve in Parliament; its called redemption. And actually David Garrett achieved a lot in a short time; and behaved honourably when he decided he could no longer remain in Parliament as an ACT MP. I know of least two other occasions personally where David Garrett made a real policy difference where in a small way New Zealand will be better for his presence in Parliament.
    2 See above.
    3. Well actually a lot better judgement than most MPs who are entitled to this travel. I note the scheme is being wound up because of Rodney Hide setting the precedent that unacceptable use (as determined by public opinion) had to be refunded. Thanks to Hide and the Speaker releasing the info, all MPs knew from then on the scheme was a goner.

    You should be thanking David Garrett and Rodney Hide actually. And both have had more impact on public policy than Don Brash.

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  158. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Well said Chris. Bringing in Brash without going through the correct procedures would be the death of ACT….it screams desperation and last chance saloon.Bring in some new blood from AOC….that’s where any future for ACT lies…with the young and enthused educating the country on ACTs values and principles.Recycling wishy washy conservative fossils ain’t going to do it.

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  159. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Chris D: thanks for your responses to Matty. You missed one thing, which you may not actually know. One member of the Board was present when I revealed my past problems. That person clearly shared the view of the rest of them that it was something that happened more than 25 years before and was irrelevant. In any event, the then president is on record as saying he did not know. I have no reason to doubt him.

    The only person in the caucus who continued to worry about the fallout if (when) it came out was me.

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  160. Clint Heine (1,495 comments) says:

    It’s all quite an interesting situation. It looks like a bunch of Nats have had enough of ACT and are agitating for change. These are most likely ex ACT supporters who cannot leave National unless they have a mini me ACT party to feel comfortable voting for. You grab a few pro Nat media hacks into it, as well as Hooton to run black ops for Banksie to keep the story going that Hide is an immense failure and suddenly you have the National Party staging a coup for another party. The worst thing is that history is being rewritten before the ink has been dried. Chris Diack is right – Hide didn’t keep Davids past deeds secret from everybody – and yet people are repeating the line that he did in order to push the coup to succeed.

    If Don Brash wants to lead ACT he needs to join the party first. He needs to present to the membership his vision for taking the party ahead. He almost won the 05 election with policies he took from ACT, so if anything he needs the ACT brand just as much as some think ACT needs him.

    *Some* ex Nats need to remember that they have left ACT and will not return. The funny part is that people call Hides loyalists as “populists” and left ACT, only for them to be the first to put their hands up to say they would rejoin ACT when it becomes more…. popular! If this means the return of Tashkoff and Campbell then how can that be good for ACT?

    And as above, I have not written a post about this. That was my co-blogger Blair who has every right to say what he thinks, even if we disagree on the matter.

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  161. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    Saying “make me your leader or I will destroy your party” is an odd way to get support, he may be backed by some in the party but it’s sure to upset others. How will the relationship continue – “do it my way or I will leave and then you will be in the shit”?

    Who could trust someone with this approach in a coalition? “My policies or I’ll take the government down”?

    He makes it sound like the Act party structure is just a convenient tool for his ambitions.

    “The party’s already established, it has a constitution, a membership … It’s got all those things that are easier to take over than to try and create from scratch. I don’t doubt I could do it but it would just be much more convenient to assume the leadership of Act.”

    His business buddies are more used to taking over companies than taking over parties and countries.

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  162. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Brash failed miserably as leader of the national party. It is hard to recall a national party leader as far out of touch with the voting public. This move, however it ends, is more than likely the death knell for ACT. If the ACT party accept the Brash ultimatum then they are finished as a viable political party. It would be seen as the party prepared to fold its principles at the first threat. More akin to a corporate takeover than a political one. As brash has said he is not interested in their policies as such but the vehicle is already established and a takeover would save him the inconvenience if starting from scratch.

    If ACT does not accept the Brash ultimatum it is probably finished in any event. Hide has seen to that. The only shred of credibility he had was as the perk buster and we saw where the principles went at the very first opportunity.

    If brash does follow through with his threat it will split what is a very small far right constituency. If in the worst case it also ate into the national hard liners you may see ACT and Brash failing to get into parliament and the Nats eroded.

    The last and most obvious reason the Brash bid must fail is the man has the political charisma of a shoe lace. This he ably demonstrated as leader of the Nats

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  163. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mark: That’s got to me the most ill informed post on this whole thread…which camp are you from: the socialists or the dope smokers?

    Brash doubled the Nat vote in 2005 AND collapsed ACT’s vote at the same time…how that equates to a lack of electoral appeal escapes me…

    doesnt mean he can be the leader of ACT though….

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  164. Dave Mann (1,246 comments) says:

    I find it fascinating that much of the comment here seems to place National as a centre right party when in fact they are almost identical in many ways with Labour (which is centre left) – but with the added stench of race based privilege overlaid on their policies.

    At present there is no effective right wing or even centre right political voice being heard in New Zealand so the field is wide open for Dr Brash…. but I am beginning to wonder whether he would be shooting himself in the foot to attempt to resurrect this dysfunctional party of clowns.

    Probably a new start (Reform) would be more successful where he wouldn’t be weighed down with a lot of baggage right from the word go.

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  165. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    If the ACT party accept the Brash ultimatum then they are finished as a viable political party. It would be seen as the party prepared to fold its principles at the first threat.

    They are finished regardless. They are faced with a choice that is not ideal and will severely dent their egos, but will ensure their survival, versus turning up their noses at what has been offered and becoming martyrs. I’d hold my nose and choose life if I were them.

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  166. Pete George (23,833 comments) says:

    How some people will see Brash move:

    “The country’s already established, it has a government, some people … It’s got all those things that are easier to take over than to try and create from scratch. I don’t doubt I could do it but it would just be much more convenient to assume the leadership. Rule by threat.”

    But Act could call Brash’s bluff and pick up on his idea – by asking for the best leadership offer. Why not put it on the open market.

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  167. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Dave – National is an authoritarian right-wing party. Its systematic if incremental attack on civil liberties and human rights proves that it is authoritarian. Its approach to the economy is similarly incremental, but no less destructive. The plan is to find opinions in the public that are popular, but latent/not fully developed, then play to those prejudices. i.e. People who receive income-support from the state are the baddies who live a life of privilege whilst you toil hard. Then it’s up to National’s press people to feed that thought with images and stories of beneficiaries who have been abusing the system. They become the stock image that appears in news stories. This warped vision of welfare then provides National with the opportunity to cut state support, and deliver ever more of the pie to the elite. Once you figure out that this is National’s approach to everything, then you can understand the party hierarchy. Make no mistake – it is a right-wing party. It’s just realistic about its ability to fuck with peoples minds and opinions. They know that it can only happen incrementally. Hope that helps.

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  168. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    MB: you left out reference to “the tories”…

    I forget…are you a member of the “class struggle isnt over” party or the “world will end next thursday” party?

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  169. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    No Mr Garret. I’m a member of the repressed homo-erotic moustache party. Moustache ride anyone? WOOP WOOP! Party time!

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  170. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Oh and David – magic also missed a “capitalism is evil” rant this time as well.

    Tell us magic are you a Clark accolite? One of Goff’s cheerleaders? Or a watermelon Green? Who’se your preferred PM?

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  171. happy-jacko (64 comments) says:

    Its all interesting opinion but the reality is no matter which party hits the big time this year, the voters (us) are putting our lives on the line, while we allow the current system to roll over election after election. Right wing / left wing / middle green / where ever one sits we will continue to be dead in the water allowing all the corrution that we do. The people have their heads in the sand over where we are heading………may as well be giving our war heros the middle finger as we have no democracy anymore or freedom for that matter.

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  172. Dave Mann (1,246 comments) says:

    @magic bullett…. yawn…. where do you get the idea that right wing political philosophy is ‘authoritarian’ by nature ffs? Read again Viking2’s excellent reminder at 1.43pm of the National party’s founding principles:

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

    I would suggest that if Dr Brash were looking for a political philosophy to publicise he couldn’t do any better that use this as a starting point and rework it a little to bring it into modern relevance (for example, by substituting ‘communisn’ with ‘greenism’ for a start). In fact, almost everything that I have heard Don Brash say publicly has incorporated one or more of these tenets – and this has always resonated strongly with the a significant percentage of the electorate.

    By contrast, the National party today actually acts on NONE of the above principles….. in fact, their whole thrust is in exactly the OPPOSITE direction.

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  173. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    MB: oh bugger …you said you would never out me…

    I think I would hold the “repressed homo-erotic” references just now though, with Darren’s case still under investigation…

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  174. Dave Mann (1,246 comments) says:

    David, very good! I like your sense of humour….. and I also appreciate the fact that you openly share your views and your identity. Thank you.

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  175. sagenz (18 comments) says:

    Fascinating discussion. The Brash/ACT fit is obvious. Banks far less so. Perhaps this proposed takeover is simply scene setting for a fiscally and socially conservative party to the right of the National Party. Brash can be quite honest in his statement that taking over ACT would be simpler. It is reasonably obvious that Hide has had his day. Supercity is a disaster in the making, the Tories are going completely the opposite way in the UK and starting to achieve real traction. Never mind all his personal issues.

    It seems reasonably clear that the presence of Banks and the Brash/Maori narrative are aimed at that socially conservative voter previously attracted to Winston First as well as the far more obvious true liberals who were attracted to ACT.

    ACT have destroyed their liberal values branding. John Key’s pragmatic approach to policy making is simply not compatible with the perceived ideology of Douglas and Brash on fiscal matters. As some commenters have suggested it is easy to see Brash being ruled out of a Key lead cabinet. The National Maori Party alliance is good for the long term social future of the country but it necessarily centrist in the medium term and certainly leaves a space for a well lead Brash/Banks party.

    If Brash does not get the ACT leadership the narrative will simply be that “at least we tried and were refused” when the inevitable accusations of vote splitting that dpf highlights are raised.

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  176. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    KIA – i don’t adhere to anyone’s truths but my own. My belief is that, if everyone did this, within the bounds of the law, we could have a system built on direct participation in democracy and society. A very robust one as well.

    I believe that the American system of monopoly capitalism, which underpins much of the global economy, is extremely unstable and is in its dying days. Power at an international level, resides primarily with banking interests and their corporate underlings. They seem bent on accumulating ever more of the earth’s abundant, but mostly finite wealth. They demand free access to any country’ natural bounty, then proceed to strip as much of it as is possible, for as little cost as is possible. Much of the subsequent surplus is spent on keeping NATO the premier military power-block in the world. Control of capital is sustained through the federal reserve system of the US which serves as a magic chequebook for the US federal reserve banks. They print trillions, which are loaned-out to government and private institutions around the world. Not only does this provide the US banking elite with hundreds of billions in interest payments, but they loan out at least ten times the reserves that they hold, meaning that their wealth, which they didn’t work for anyway, is then multiplied many times over. Meanwhile, the value of the US dollar is propped up by its status as the world’s premier reserve and trade currency. This allows the federal reserve to keep printing like mad, whilst the value of the dollar is barely affected. These advantages are used to suck in much of the world’s capital wealth, which supports the grandiose, super-human lifestyles of America’s top 5% of income earners.

    China however is slowly unpicking this system with its own currency manipulation, and strictly disciplined labour force, whose wages are kept low, so that a massive trade surplus allows them to suck many billions in western capital to their shores every year. This is what is happening in the world. The US derivatives bubble, which was also artificially inflating the American economy has burst, revealing the true state of affairs. The US and China are running a marathon, but the strict, steady and disciplined Chinese are catching up to the Americans, who started off the race at a cracking speed, on all sorts of artificial stimulants that are wearing off. The only hope for either of the runners however, is to start chilling out a bit, otherwise both will expire their energy resources, and destroy their bodies in the process. In New Zealand, our job is to encourage the runners to do so, by living the example, by building a robust and sustainable social-economy which has popular democratic public participation at its heart. A “new deal” that is demanded by popular opinion. These are my political beliefs in a nutshell. Hope that helps?

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  177. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    *Some* ex Nats need to remember that they have left ACT and will not return. The funny part is that people call Hides loyalists as “populists” and left ACT, only for them to be the first to put their hands up to say they would rejoin ACT when it becomes more…. popular! If this means the return of Tashkoff and Campbell then how can that be good for ACT?

    What a load of bullshit – who calls loyalists populists? Hide loyalists are simply delusionists who think ACT can still make a difference after the next election. I’d much rather give up my loyalty to Hide for there to be a chance of ACT gaining at least 5% of the vote than continue to support Hide. If anything, I have far more confidence in Brash’s economic vision than whatever the heck Rodney stands for these days – it seems to me that all he’s interested in now is dieting and fitness and certainly no long as passionate about economics as he used to be.

    Who cares about Tashkoff and Campbell – their existence is just about as empty as yours, what good are you for? You just have a crappy blog.

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  178. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    magic
    You political beliefs and world view are quite predictable. In this debate about real live politics on the ground in New Zealand, who is your preferred PM and who did you give your party vote to in the last 2 NZ elections?

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  179. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    KIA

    “You political beliefs and world view are quite predictable.”

    So they’re consistent with what you’ve read of my contributions here. Well thank you. I do notice that no one here is able to challenge the fundamentals of my analysis. I’d say because i study the real world, and don’t just bend-it to suit my own preconceptions.

    The other information i choose not to give out, because many people here will simply use such information to make idiotic and clinched ad hominem attacks rather than engage in interesting debate.

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  180. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    magic
    Don’t take my failure to challenge your world view as an inablity to do so – it is because it is time wasted and you reveal yourself to be at times an unserious student of world politics and economics because some of your core beliefs are built around well disproven conspiracy theories. You are unwilling to debate real world political realities hence your decision to hide your voting patterns because you’d be forced to debate the philosophies of those you chose to support. You are a true believer in your world view not a sincere seeker for the truth or for what really works.

    Oh and btw if you so fear ad hominem attacks the try not making them yourself – accusing me of hating vaginas was one of the more pathetic attacks seen on this blog.

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  181. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    KIA: hating vaginas? I thought he wanted to ride my moustache! This guy (?) Bullett is a very confused unit…

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  182. Clint Heine (1,495 comments) says:

    Courage Wolf, I take it you’re a reader of the blog then? Please don’t hold back now, what are you doing to help the ACT party?

    Geeze all these pseudonyms on kiwiblog are doing my head in.

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  183. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    David
    In a thread about Labour’s own goal over the STOP signs I talked about the influence of the sisterhood on the Labour party and of the childless feminists that dominate their inner circle and how they are out of touch with mainstream kiwis and cant understand Key’s connection with the electorate that underpins his popularity plus how they drummed out of Labour the last remaining middle class, business owning heterosexual members and he accused me of hating vaginas – which of course I vehemently denied!!

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  184. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    You need to be mad to hate vaginas. Ooops, membership of the Rainbow branch of the Labour Party will suffice.

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  185. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    I’m with you on the pseudonyms Clint…I dont know if you are old enough to remember, but in the dim past newspapers accepted letters to the editor from “Ratepayer” and “mother of 10″…they have insisted on names for a long time…do you reckon there’s a place for a blogsite which only accepts comments from those of us who are prepared to stand behind our opinions by using our real names?

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  186. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    lol KIA. What tripe. You’re trying to turn this in to personality politics. This just doesn’t appeal, because it then turns in to ego-based projection bullshit. I’ve seen it a million times before. I thought your dissembling technique would be somewhat more sophisticated.

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  187. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    I’m with you on the pseudonyms Clint…I dont know if you are old enough to remember, but in the dim past newspapers accepted letters to the editor from “Ratepayer” and “mother of 10″…they have insisted on names for a long time…do you reckon there’s a place for a blogsite which only accepts comments from those of us who are prepared to stand behind our opinions by using our real names?

    DPF experimented with that here for a little while. It was interesting, but put too many people off, I think. I just do it to remind myself that I’m accountable for whatever I say.

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  188. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Ryan: well some of them could do with being put off! But then I guess Penny is living proof that using ones own name doesnt necessarily lead to quality debate…

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  189. Manolo (14,179 comments) says:

    But then I guess Penny is living proof that using ones own name doesnt necessarily lead to quality debate

    I would say it slightly different.
    Your kindness and generosity cannot go unnoticed, David Garrett. :D

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  190. comsumist (15 comments) says:

    Heh, Chris Diack playing the man (sniping at Blair, Don and anyone else who has a different opinion) rather than the message…nothing ever changes, hence the shite ACT is in.

    For too long ACT has been about personalities rather than policy.

    ACT lost it’s way and this was always the risk given that a clear personality cult mentality developed when Rodney became leader. The trouble with this is that the personalities are innately flawed and the eventual hypocrisy and fall from grace was inevitable.

    Time to move on.

    It’s a bit sad that there isn’t some new face to lead a Classical Liberal party, but Brash will have to do, it’s either that or watch ACT disappear up it’s own backside!

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  191. Willie_Escaped (29 comments) says:

    @Mathew Hooton
    “David – you keep ignoring the fundamental point: there is no possibility of Rodney Hide winning Epsom”

    —-
    Yes, I absolutely agree. In 96 there was no possibility ACT would make it to parliament.

    Not to mention how funny the idea ACT would make it in 99 was.

    Of course there was no possibility of ACT making it in 2002. None!

    Yes, I know, humiliating failure had been predicted many times before, but *this* time it was true.

    Really, it was.

    And finally, the idea that Rodney Hide could beat Richard Worth in 2005, to quote respected political commentator John Armstrong, was the biggest slice of baloney in the 2005 election.

    Oh, wait…

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  192. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    # David Garrett (226) Says:
    April 26th, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Mark: That’s got to me the most ill informed post on this whole thread…which camp are you from: the socialists or the dope smokers?

    Brash doubled the Nat vote in 2005 AND collapsed ACT’s vote at the same time…how that equates to a lack of electoral appeal escapes me…

    doesn’t mean he can be the leader of ACT though….

    Is that right David. Doubling the Nat vote in 2005 was not really the riveting achievement you would like to give it given where they were left at the previous election. The reality of the election was that Brash lost. Rightly the Nats realised that Brash was unlikely to lead them to victory. Collapsing the Act vote was not a winning strategy. Act were going to support a national lead government so collapsing their vote was of limited import, of more important was his inability to attract the center vote from Labour. If you think that the far right of the political spectrum is the voter base that will win the nats control good luck as it will be a first for NZ politics.

    Act has completely lost its appeal under Hide and the Brash move, whatever the outcome is likely to see the end of ACT as a viable political player.

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