What was potentially a good news story, about ACT returning to its liberal roots, has been over-shadowed by the fact other candidates were unaware of Dr Brash’s speech advocating a change from the current cannabis laws.
The issue isn’t so much that there is a diversity of opinion within ACT on this issue, but that the rest of the ACT team were in the dark about the speech.
It is absolutely basic political management that a major speech from the leader should have been circulated in advance to key people in the party. To be fair to ACT, it is more difficult when your candidates are not the same as your caucus, as this is bread and butter parliamentary stuff. But regardless it was a major failure to not have had anyone run the speech through John Banks and other top candidates.
This is not to give them a veto on the speech, but to make sure there are no surprises, and you know what each will say. It was 100% predictable that the media would ask Banks for his view. Now if they were smart, Don would have even mentioned in his speech that John Banks doesn’t agree with him, but that he is (for example) open to having a debate and a conscience vote on the issue. And again with better political management, you would have had Banks have his response to the media prepared in advance.
If you don’t get basic political management right, potential supporters will be deterred from supporting your party, even if they agree on policies.Tags: ACT