ACT

November 29th, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

MPs in

John Banks

MPs out

None were restanding except a party vote candidacy by John Boscawen in Tamaki

Result

3.0/10.

Banks winning Epsom despite the polls keeps alive. It is worth remembering (as I warned) that no public poll has ever shown winning and they have now won it three times. However the failure to get a second MP in, is a huge disappointment, as it brings their future into real question.

Ironically if ACT had not rolled Rodney Hide as Leader, I think they would have had at least three MPs.

In terms of allowing there to be a centre-right Government the ACT result is a 7/10 or higher. In terms of the result for ACT personally it is 3/10.

Challenges

Banks is a great campaigner, and I think he is likely to retain Epsom in 2014. Like Winston John turns 67 this year and I doubt one can expect more than two terms out of him.

The real challenge is that the ACT brand will now inevitable become the Banks brand, as their sole MP. And in my opinion there is nothing wrong with the Banks brand, but it is not the brand that has traditionally been associated with ACT.

ACT have always had two strong components to their brand. On economic issues they were strongly liberal, supporting massive tax cuts, no minimum wage, privatization of all SOEs etc. Those who served with Banks in the National Cabinet say Banks was not a huge supporter of the Richardson camp. He certainly is a fiscal conservative, and centre-right economically. But not someone who would privatize the hospitals.

The other component to the ACT brand has been a degree of social liberalism.  This has been patchy rather than consistent, but overall most ACT MPs have been social liberals. John Banks would not describe himself as a social liberal.

Therefore my conclusion is that ACT, as we know it, is dead. There is talk of a name change for ACT, and that would be a sensible move, both because of the different brand John Banks has, but also because the ACT brand itself is pretty tarnished also.

Banks should move to position ACT as a conservative party, which reflects John Banks. Banks would be a good leader of a conservative party. The challenge of course is you also have a Conservative Party led by Colin Craig. And as I understand it, relations between Craig and Banks are not friendly – Craig took many votes off Banks for the Auckland Mayoralty.

A merger between whatever ACT gets re-named and the Conservatives would be a win-win, if they can work together. Craig has the money and the membership base. Banks has the seat in Parliament which means you do not need to make 5%. However just because it is logical does not mean it will happen. Colin Craig doesn’t strike me as someone who would settle for co-leader.

As for ACT itself, my suggestion is that those who identify as economic and social liberals need to have a get together next year and look at who is willing to commit to a new party, perhaps calling it the Liberal Party, and targeting the 2014 election. Many many especially urban younger New Zealanders are classical liberals (even if they have not heard the phrase) and support lower taxes, a smaller state etc but also don’t think Parliament should be greatly restricting what consenting adults can do.

I’m not about to quit the party I support, but I would be prepared to spend quite a bit of time assisting the formation of a new Liberal Party, and making sure lessons are learnt from the mistakes of the past.

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136 Responses to “ACT”

  1. tas (625 comments) says:

    Basically you are suggesting that ACT splits into a conservative party and a liberal party with the former possibly allying with Colin Craig and the latter having no MP. I would like to see a liberal party, as that’s where my views lie. But will it work? Can we build a party that is not seen as too right or too left for its economic and social views respectively?

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  2. James Butler (74 comments) says:

    ACT’s inability to stay true to its purported ideals has been one of the greatest failures of NZ politics for some time now. I don’t agree much with those ideals, and even less with ACT’s actual stated policies (although I had my hopes around marijuana legalization – I’m a Green, after all); but as you say DPF there is a real constituency for those ideals, and it’s a pity that they have had no-one to properly represent them. A proper, well-run Classical Liberal party should be able to consistently attract a seat or three if the MMP threshold is tweaked.

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  3. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    Question for social liberals – what changes would you like to see in NZ legislation? I don’t see a huge “need” for a socially liberal party, but with the state consuming an ever growing share of the economy, and as we sink further into a miasma of regulation on all fronts, there’s obviously a need for an economically liberal party. National must be very vulnerable to a focused economicailly liberal party. I believe there’s a market for that vote, but I seriously doubt that there’s a significant market for social liberalism.

    Labour is promising more taxes and social engineering interventions in the economy so come 2014 there will be a greater need than ever for an economically liberal party, particular if the Nats continue to disappoint on this front.

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  4. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    A quick aside – saying ACT supported “no minimum wage” is somewhat disingenuous, as they always supported the Universal Minimum Wage concept – which just happened to make legislating a minimum hourly wage to be paid by employers redundant.

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  5. RRM (9,916 comments) says:

    Yes there should definitely be a Liberal Party along those lines in NZ.

    And they should aim to grow into a large parliamentary party capable of being either the main opposition party, or of leading a Government. Not a whiney, misunderstood little pressure party like Act has always been.

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  6. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    freedom101 – entrenchment and enforcement of personal property rights against both corporation and government infringements

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  7. s.russell (1,640 comments) says:

    I agree that there is a significant constituency for a conservative party. Not that I would vote for it. But the evidence of real desire for a classic liberal party looks pretty thin.

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  8. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    I guess the best solution is for Banks and Craig to come to an agreement about leadership. Craig and whoever else is in the running should contest a ‘primary’ like in 2004 when Prebs quit. Until then, John Banks is leader. John Banks retires in 2017, anointing a new ACT leader. The emphasis should be on fiscal conservatisim, not social liberalisim. Leave that up to Labour and the Greens. Such an emphasis would attract some of the saner NZ Worst voters, and would keep the conservative voters on side. Don Brash should step down. His best contribution to NZ was running the Reserve Bank, and killing inflation.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  9. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    RRM – Agree totally!
    Main issue is managing to avoid the “far right” label with which ACT has always been tarred meaning none of their actual policies ever penetrated the conciousness of the general public. I have always received stunned looks every election when pointing out to people what ACTs policy positions are as opposed to what they have conceived them to be because of this.

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  10. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    iiq374 – I see property rights as an economic issue, and one that an economically liberal party would pursue. I don’t see it as a core issue for a socially liberal party.

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  11. Scott (1,792 comments) says:

    Very interesting analysis DPF. I would say that the party that is both socially liberal and economically liberal is National. John Key is basically a free-market kind of guy and over the last three years has done nothing to change the socially liberal policy settings that he inherited from Helen Clark.

    I totally disagree with your comment about “I don’t think Parliament should be greatly concerned about what consenting adults do”.

    In fact it has been social liberals and homosexual activists and feminist activists that have changed what was previously settled social norms. The civil unions bill, the legalisation of prostitution, the elevation of homosexuality into a preferred status as a human right, making smacking illegal — those are all examples where Parliament has intervened to change the social fabric of this nation.

    So there are many things that adults cannot do any more. We cannot smack our children. If we do then we may have as many as six policeman appear on our door. We may be hauled off to the courts. Our children may be taken away from us. All because we smacked our children in a way that was seen as good by previous generations and now is condemned because of the wishes of a few radical activists such as Sue Bradford.

    We cannot as a community decide that prostitution is bad. Under existing law in places like Manurewa there are huge problems with prostitution but the community is not allowed to do what they think is right. They have to abide by what Wellington has decreed.

    Similarly we cannot object to homosexuality. If an employer has a moral objection about homosexuality — too bad! They can be hauled off to the courts.

    The change to marriage by adding the morally bankrupt idea of two homosexuals living in marriage has now further tarnished the image of marriage. But we cannot do anything about this. Our idea of a civilised society has been radically overturned by what was initially a small group of homosexual activists aided and abetted by a liberal urban media.

    So don’t think you have the high ground. Your so-called good society is in my view a terrible society. God denying liberals have foisted their vision and their laws on to the rest of us. And as a nation and as a society we are much the poorer for it, in my opinion.

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  12. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    DPF – it would be an interesting thread to debate what issues fall into which camp (economic, social). You appear to think that there is a reasonable political market for social liberalism but I doubt it.

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  13. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    A new Liberal Party would need a (almost) guaranteed seat to ensure that votes for it weren’t wasted. A couple of days ago I stated my view that National and partners should form a coalition before an election, rather than after it. That is good for transparency and for being up front with voters. Coalition partners would not stand against each other. Under this scenario National would agree to not stand a candidate in Epsom against Banks, assuming Banks and the Conservatives combine forces. And then maybe a liberal sitting National MP could be persuaded to start a Liberal Party, enter a formal coalition with National, and National would not stand a candidate against him or her.

    This coalition would be presenting three similar but different policy choices to the public. Voters could make an informed choice, but know that they were also opting for a right wing government regardless of the precise makeup of the government itself which would be determined by the party vote each partner received.

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  14. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    S. russell the reason the desire looks thin is the moment you say you are a classic liberal or libertarian you get wets looking at you as if you are crazy, all the time they talk with absolute sincerity about how they are going to save the economy with ‘green’ jobs and how the state will make things better, they look at you as if you are mad becuase you don;t want the govt dictating to you about:

    1. whether you have privacy in a private conversation
    2. what shower heads you can use
    3. what lightbulbs you can use
    4. what you put in your own body
    5. how you raise your children
    6. how you negotiate with your employees.

    and the media will listen with absolute rapture at any discussion about state intervention (unless its to curb them), will never question discussion on how regulation will make things safer or better etc, but will shoot down any discussion of personal freedom or fiscal austerity and non intervention as if you were from bizzaro world.

    so thats what a socially liberal party wants, and for me i cannot see how you can be against state intervention socially but completely for it economically (the greens), becuase they are logically inconsistent and it usually means you end up being socially authoritarian (greens again). or how you can be all about the free market but want to tell me how to live, who i can marry, what i ingest etc, again logically inconsistent (which is why i will never understand ‘conservatives’).

    however for me, non state intervention economically and socially is logically consistent and needs to be present in both areas for a classical liberal party to work. now you have to accept the fact that people want a safety net in NZ, but fight tooth and nail to keep it to just that, and fight the expansion of the state in all aspects of our lives.

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  15. trout (939 comments) says:

    You have omitted the most important component of political activism – funding. If Banks strays from right wing economics (as Rodney did) he will lose Act backers. And who else is going to fund a willy woofter liberal party that has ideals but no action plan that kiwis can identify with.

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  16. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    I caught the end of a sound bite of Colin Craig being interviewed this morning and he wasn’t exactly happy with the suggestion that an merger with ACT could be on the cards. In fact, he was quite critical of Banks.

    With egos rampant, is a merger realistic?

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  17. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    DavidP – Unfortunately that would take a huge (and likely to be misunderstood and misrepresented) step by National to sacrifice the party for the good of the nation; yes not totally but I doubt they would be able to make the small sacrifice required for the ultimately large gain

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  18. nzclassicalliberal (34 comments) says:

    @freedom101

    Although I think there is legislation that still needs to be passed with respect to social liberalism, for instance with respect to currently-prohibited narcotics, I think that there is more work to be done on the economic front. I think that this is why a lot of liberals in ACT and National tolerate their parties’ social conservatism: they recognise that economic aspects are currently more important.

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  19. Lindsay (148 comments) says:

    Freedom 101

    How about voluntray euthanasia, cannabis decriminalisation, same sex adoption, education in civic matters, shared parenting, ending state monopolisation of adoption (as with Maori), drinking age to stay at 18, father’s right to DNA tests , abandonment of relationship property laws, a stop to parental prosecution for very loosely defined ‘assault’.

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  20. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    When the polls closed on Saturday night it was all over for ACT. Two hijackings in one year is more than any political party could be expected to stand & Banks has finished it off. As soon as Banks & Craig can kiss & make up it will be swallowed by a religious back group of nutbars determined to lead us back to the future.

    This would leave a vacuum which could be filled by a party espousing minimalist government & civil liberties such as DPF suggests. Many present ACT supporters would fit easily into a Liberal Party.

    There is still hope after all.

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  21. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    “I’m not about to quit the party I support” – this touches on an important issue. Would it be in National’s interest to facilitate the establishment of a complementary party even to the extent of accepting with goodwill that some members (and even a few sitting MP’s) would see that such a new party would better reflect their political aspirations.

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  22. Fost (102 comments) says:

    I have supported ACT for the last few elections until this one. Neither Don Brash or John Banks (the likely 2 MPs) had done the hard yards in ACT or even appeared in the past to have a similar political outlook. That is why I for one, and obviously many other ACT supporters deserted them. Until they pick people to stand that clearly identify as working for ACT and support ACT policies they are unlikely to get my vote back. DPF’s idea of a Liberal party – although I think Liberal is the wrong word – too identified with the 60’s liberation – I would prefer something along the lines of the Small Government Party – this would indicate getting the government out of economic sphere and out of our lives.

    @Toad – I like the ACT action plan (you probably don’t remember the wordy 20 point list, but I do), in the same way I am certain you prefer the Green one. I do not want to get into an argument about who’s plan is better, neither have any chance of convincing the other. But insulting the idea liberal party by calling it ‘willy woofter’ is childish, you are usually far more convincing than resorting to this. Everyone know that you are Green party supporter, which is probably as far politically from my view but I don’t insult your party, even though I happen to disagree with it’s policies. The Greens have every right to put their policies forward and be listened to, seriously, and each voter then decides who they believe/want as their choice of government. I would protest any law or regulation that restrict this for the Greens as for any other political view.

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  23. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Lindsay

    Everything you say & possibly more. The state should stay out of peoples’ private lives including their bedrooms.

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  24. David Garrett (7,270 comments) says:

    DPF: you omitted the law and order “thread” which was always a major component of ACT – which they now seem to have abandoned to the Conservatives. The uninformed – of whom you are not one – have often said that the “law and order ACT party” began with me: absolutely not so. Three strikes and zero tolerance policing were ACT policies long before I became involved. In fact to a considerable extent, my work on three strikes was just putting the finishing touches to what Stephen Franks and Prebble had championed.

    And before the even more ill informed leap in, hard line law and order stance is completely consistent with core ACT philosophy, and classical liberalism. There is a a section of the ACT constitution which says something like “the first and primary duty of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens.” That is what three strikes and zero tolerance policing is all about – removing scumbags from the streets and neighbourhoods so law abiding citizens can get on with their pursuit of happiness. Whatever they might perceive that to be.

    To put it in one sentence, as I understand it classical liberalism holds that you have the right to do whatever you like – with the major caveat that you must not, in indulging your “rights”, infringe the rights of others.

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  25. Paul1 (32 comments) says:

    I honestly don’t think there is that much demand for a classically liberal party in New Zealand. Most of Act’s voters seemed to be disenchanted National supporters who wanted Act to have more of a say as National was too centrist for them. The problem for Act was that most of the general public never got where they were coming from. They were simply labelled as a party for the rich.

    I don’t think we need a Conservative Party, even though National needs a right wing ally. I mean, most of National’s members are conservative enough already. A Liberal Party makes a lot more sense but there doesn’t seem to be the demand for one.

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  26. swan (665 comments) says:

    freedom101

    I think property rights and the sovereignty over ones own body are the cornerstone of personal liberty. I dont think you can split the two (economic/ personal)very easily.

    Social liberalism is, I think, an ambiguous term. In the US at least, social liberalism refers to social democracy as I understand it. In some circles it is about liberty of the “collective”, hence at odds with classical liberalism, and really a corruption of the term. However as DPF is using it, it means individual liberty that isnt directly concerned with economic policy. So anti-nanny statism, drug reform etc would fall into this category.

    In my mind an economic (but not a social) liberal is basically a utilitarian who understands that markets provide the best outcomes economically. If it was the case that fascism worked better then such a person would likely support that. A classical liberal supports free-markets not just because they are economically efficient but also because they basically mean “human interaction without any/much interference by the state”.

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  27. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    “Social liberalism” to me is simply code for legalising drugs, which, while I’m in favour of it, is no basis for a political party, nor is it the most important issue facing the nation. Banks’ main problem is his lack of belief in Friedmanite economics, not anything he believes about drugs or gay people.

    If ACT are smart they will allow Banks to go into cabinet (it will keep him busy and mean he has to shut up), while appointing a leader, or co-leader outside parliament. I think they should recruit Stephen Franks to do it, or should persuade Isaac to change her mind. (Ironically, we should have made him leader in 2004, but better late than never). And they need to reform the party organization so it is more grassroots and less politburo.

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  28. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    “The Greens have every right to put their policies forward and be listened to” – and if only they did that they wouldn’t get anywhere as much of the vote. One of the greatest shames around the EB affair was that the Greens and Labour managed to divert the spotlight from the content of the EB pamphlet which was actually a pretty good expose (although there was one out of 10 points that was factually incorrect).

    If the Greens actually supported the environment in their policy focus more than their authoritarian social policies; or were more public about their actions I would probably be less vitriolic toward them.

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  29. Australis (101 comments) says:

    If one is constructing a political party (as opposed to a think-tank) one needs to find a gap in the existing market. That gap is obviously to the right of National. This is not too hard, because National sets out to be a broad church stretching from 90° (probably 80° actually) to 180°. The 1-100° space is occupied by NZ First, Maori, Labour, Greens and Mana.

    In the first few MMP elections, the major parties stood pat and allowed others to scrap over the centre. Then Helen woke up and, following the German model, decided Labour should move to (just) cover the centre line and squeeze any competition over to her left. Finally, in 2008, the National Party followed suit – but its right “wingman” was shot down in 2011.

    Who needs another “socially liberal” party, to add to the existing pile? The Conservative Party picked up the 2-3% that always goes to the Christian-favoured party, but gleaned virtually no other support.

    Which party fought the anti-smacking bill, the Electoral Finance Act and introduced “three strikes”?

    The gap in the spectrum is for a party which reflects classic liberalism in economics and property terms, while allowing conscience votes on “culture war” issues. It should, however, lean to the social conservatism that John Banks will reflect.

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  30. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    I would have thought the Conservative party had more in common with United Future than ACT and should have entered into a deal with Dunne; between them they had 3.5% of the votes (and 5 MPs)

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  31. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    BlairM

    “social Liberalism” can also include the points ‘Lindsay’ made in her 3.48pm. It is all about keeping the busybody power seekers from parliament & their associated bureaucracy at bay. There’s not much that you & I agree on but I would suggest that data collection & profiling threatens the freedoms of Christian & atheist alike.

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  32. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    A proper social liberal party should be able to work with any of the main parties on a case by case basis depending on whether legislation is going ot result in more individual freedom or less.

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  33. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    Interesting that DPF gave ACT a better mark than Labour!

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  34. big bruv (13,882 comments) says:

    If ACT combine with the Conservatives then I would rather vote Labour than see them as part of the government.

    I will never support a party that has the support (and funding) from the religious right and the anti abortion lobby.

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  35. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    @JamesS – I’ve been saying much the same here; been wondering if Colin made his tilt this election just so he could get enough party vote to convince Dunne to hand over Ohariruru

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  36. freedom101 (504 comments) says:

    Lindsay – “Freedom 101: How about voluntray euthanasia, cannabis decriminalisation, same sex adoption, education in civic matters, shared parenting, ending state monopolisation of adoption (as with Maori), drinking age to stay at 18, father’s right to DNA tests , abandonment of relationship property laws, a stop to parental prosecution for very loosely defined ‘assault’.

    Fine, but how big is the political market for these issues? That’s the point I’m making. Smacking law was big for awhile but I detect a major yawn when it’s discussed these days (that doesn’t make it any less abhorent, I grant you).

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  37. James Butler (74 comments) says:

    Interesting that DPF gave ACT a better mark than Labour!

    Labour had a tiny chance of winning. ACT had a tiny chance of surviving. It’s all relative.

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  38. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    @bigbruv
    Agree totally – it’s an argument that makes sense from a numbers position only; never a policy or support analysis!

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  39. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Australis, what existing socially liberal parties?

    labour, greens, Mana, maori, national, nz1st, united future, progressive are all either conservative or authoritarian or both.

    Blairm there is a lot more to being socially liberal than drug reform, such as lindsay already listed:

    >
    How about voluntray euthanasia, cannabis decriminalisation, same sex adoption, education in civic matters, shared parenting, ending state monopolisation of adoption (as with Maori), drinking age to stay at 18, father’s right to DNA tests , abandonment of relationship property laws, a stop to parental prosecution for very loosely defined ‘assault’.
    >

    i would add in lightbulbs and showerheads, and continuing removal of personal responsibility by the state, and over extension of welfare leading to entrenched poverty, control over education and how you can access it as well.

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  40. V (719 comments) says:

    Speaking of renaming parties, National should be renamed “the dead rat party” due to all the dead rats it has swallowed over the years from the Labour Party.

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  41. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    JamesS: I would have thought the Conservative party had more in common with United Future

    Why do you think that? I think they are quite different. For example on http://valueyourvote.org.nz/ Conservatives scored 93%, and United Future scored 37%.

    Craig claims not to be a Christian party but they are very closely aligned with the ‘Christian’lobby, and UF found out the hard way they are not good to do politics with so ditched the hardcore Christian connection.

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  42. swan (665 comments) says:

    freedom 101,

    I think the market is pretty reasonable. It is the consistency of the message as well that is important. If you consistently stand for personal freedom, people will be able to understand that. If you restrict yourself to economic freedom you will be painted as “far-right” which will turn people off who are indoctrinated with “left-right” conventional thinking. People do want to vote on some sort of principles. Not many people well versed in Chicago school economics unfortunately.

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  43. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “Banks has the seat in Parliament which means you do not need to make 5%.”

    Not necessarily. There is a review in the next three years of MMP which should be looking at that very rule. The hammering given to United, Act, Mana and Maori in the party vote should give some clue as to how the electorate feels about that particular loophole.
    If John Key maintains that rule in order to squeak a manufactured conservative coalition partner in under the 5% threshold in 2014 I would expect to see him be similarly punished by the electorate. Once the loophole dissapears Mana, United and potentially John Banks can go back to being what they really are which is independent electorate candidates. Leaving a 5 party parliament with 4 parties on the left and the National party on the right.

    National ate their coalition partners this election and have a razor this majority in the house. They will lose in 2014 unless they find/create some parliamentary friends in the next three years.

    I agree completely that liberal values without leftist economic views is a political constituency without a party, but that space is heavily occupied by John Key currently. Creating two new coalition partners in one election is risky and one or both could fail to reach 5%. I think National need to pick whether they want to be Conservative or Liberal on social issues you can’t easily be both. A manufactured moral crisis in the next three years (like a Labour or the Greens adoption law reform bill being drawn from the ballot) could fracture the very broad blue coalition. If he’s smart JK will use the crisis as an opportunity break off the conservative wing of the National party and shore up a new decent sized conservative party coalition partner while keeping National in the mainstream liberal space (that is the voters they took from Labour that give them the ability to govern).

    Sponsoring a liberal party is risky strategy for National long term as there is no guarantee they would not find it equally easy to form a government with a liberal Labour and Green coalition. A liberal National party could run a minority government with support from the Conservatives on economic issues and the Greens on social issues.

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  44. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    I hate to be a pedant DPF, but Banks said on TV last night that he turns 65 this week, and that he will be refusing his National Superannuation.

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  45. Lindsay (148 comments) says:

    Freedom 101

    “…how big is the political market for these issues?”

    Voluntary euthanasia was always a big issue at Meet the Candidate meetings; cannabis decriminalisation is very important to the big section of the population who use it daily and who want to use it medicinally; shared parenting would make a huge difference to separating couples in respect of no bitter family court rows (as would a father’s inherent right to paternity testing); and what I saw at a recent Family First conference in respect to three couples who had been utterly persecuted by the state doesn’t indicate to me that the anti-smacking laws are workable even if you think they are now a ‘yawn’ for the public.

    But the test can only ever be in the successful establishment of such a party. A re-branded ACT isn’t it.

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  46. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @Fost: It wasn’t toad (Green supporter) that made those “willy woofter” comments, it was trout (National supporter). Both coldblooded, but quite different in their political outlook!

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  47. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    People who have attacked what they see as my narrow definition of social liberalism have missed the entire point of what I was saying. I don’t care how you define it at all or how broad you want to make that term, it’s a red herring. This whole thread seems to have spectacularly missed the point. People are having some sort of ivory tower debate about words and it is all very Wittgensteinian, but it’s not what the real issue or the real problem is.

    New Zealand’s big problem is that it now does not have a party of the Right. By that I mean a party that wants to reduce the size and role of government, wants to lower and flatten taxes, wants to increase property and self-defense rights, wants to increase choice and the role of the private sector in health and education, and wants to end welfare as we know it. John Banks has a very poor track record in all of these areas, and that was his problem, not any other airey-fairey concern about being “liberal”. I think ACT could still be that Right Wing party if it wants to be, but they cannot trust that job to John Banks, and they need to seriously reform their party structure, and make sure they have a Leader outside Parliament who can be trusted to do that job. If they do that, they can hold on for three years and make a comeback. Otherwise, if the let Banks make ACT his personal fiefdom, then we need a new party to be the sole party of the Right in New Zealand.

    My personal view is that you agree with me you should join National and seek a nomination in 2014. If you are serious about real change in this country you should be playing 48% politics, not 1% politics with a third party. But I’m happy to have a faux-“Right” party like Colin Craig’s do whatever they want to do.

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  48. swan (665 comments) says:

    So BlairM, where does your party of the right stand on road-pricing, the right of developers to build high density in existing urban environments, the right of maori to test their claims to ownership of lands in court etc etc?

    Words and principles do matter. A party isnt just a collection of issues, it acts based on a set of principles. If you bring people together based on one list of issues, what happens when the next issue comes up? A party without some sort of raison detre is not durable.

    You presumably have a set of principles that you are calling “right wing”, which is what your party would be based on. “Right wing” isnt any less connotative or better defined than “liberalism”. You cant escape the fact that a debate on principles needs to be had.

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  49. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    BlairM

    No one could spin hard enough or fast enough to depict Banks as other than an egotistical, religious Nat. Therefore your prophesy that Banks will make ACT his personal fiefdom is spot on & I confidently predict that his ego will absorb the party & make it a turnoff for the average voter. The member for Epsom may have sufficient backing within Auckland to stay elected but South of the Bombay Hills he doesn’t cut it.

    Banks/ACT/Crazy Craig will survive regardless of what accommodation National makes for them & they have no one other than the Nats to side with in parliament. A party espousing social liberalism, economic conservatism & perhaps displaying a tinge of Green values would mop up the remnants of ACT, disaffected Nats & perhaps a few who vote Green because it is fashionable rather than practical.

    As long as they don’t drift left & create further competition for the centre voter all would be well.

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  50. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    swan – huh? I just listed what I thought were pretty mainstream sorts of principles that generally parties of what is called the “Right” coalesce around. If you really think we need to debate lower taxes, less government, more property rights, choice and more private sector involvement in health and education, and ending open-ended welfare, then this thread is not for you. Go off and worry about what Labour are doing because they oppose all this stuff.

    I think there should be a party that espouses these principles in New Zealand. I want that party to be National, but I will settle for ACT or some other vehicle rather than no vehicle at all. I only want to make the point that if you have to fight within a party for those principles, surely it makes sense to fight within the 48% party rather than the 1% party (or the 0.01%)? If you win your fight, you get a lot more percent!

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  51. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    I think Key made a major stuff up in holding his support to the last minute. I think ACT is going to have a hard time rebuild with the tactics the libertarian faction have used. Some silly young girl on Saturday told me that the problem with ACT was internal fighting. I told her her idea of peace was like the Muslim idea – just cave in an capitulate.

    She had been in the party about 5 minutes and basically told me I shot fuck off if I was not prepared to accept that ACT was a libertarian party. If the libertarians in the party continue with that typical attitude it will cease to exist.

    ACT could have maybe come through will a couple of MPs after the coup if it was not for Perigo and his nutty libertarian mates managed to convince Don to spring the cannabis surprise.

    I know Colin Craig and he is a nice guy. I support a lot of his views on moral issues but he is not a team player. I think Key would find him a difficult a coalition partner as Peters.

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  52. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    misunderstood little pressure party like Act has always been.

    iiq374 (213) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    RRM – Agree totally!
    Main issue is managing to avoid the “far right” label with which ACT has always been tarred meaning none of their actual policies ever penetrated the conciousness of the general public. I have always received stunned looks every election when pointing out to people what ACTs policy positions are as opposed to what they have conceived them to be because of this.

    Absolutely agre with both statements.
    Act has never been a right wing party and has always been misunderstood.
    The issue really was/is one of perception and a poorly managed pr and information centre.
    Had they bothered to listen to John Ansel who so many bagged ACT would be in Parliament with their 15%.

    Message is everything.
    The Greens are credited with the best advertising campagn. What did they use. As always EMOTION.
    The sayiong goes, emotion opens the mind, logic the cheque book.
    Did ACT do that? NO
    Did Labour, to a small degree,
    Did National, hardly at all.

    You have to win hearts and minds.

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  53. wreck1080 (3,905 comments) says:

    How good at campaigning is Banks ? Lost the Auckland mayoralty to Len.

    He only won Epsom because National endorsed him.

    Act should just dismantle, the brand is tainted. What we need, is a new non-religious right of centre environmentally aware party (as opposed to center national). Take some of the vote from the greens.

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  54. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    Scott (895) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I totally disagree with your comment about “I don’t think Parliament should be greatly concerned about what consenting adults do”.

    In fact it has been social liberals and homosexual activists and feminist activists that have changed what was previously settled social norms. The civil unions bill, the legalisation of prostitution, the elevation of homosexuality into a preferred status as a human right, making smacking illegal — those are all examples where Parliament has intervened to change the social fabric of this nation.

    Not at all. what it has done is recognise the reality of the situation and if that displeases others that’s just tough for them. The reality is life. No bloody Christian dogooder has ever changed it. Indeed history shows that they are just as involved in their clandestine way.

    So there are many things that adults cannot do any more. We cannot smack our children. If we do then we may have as many as six policeman appear on our door. We may be hauled off to the courts. Our children may be taken away from us. All because we smacked our children in a way that was seen as good by previous generations and now is condemned because of the wishes of a few radical activists such as Sue Bradford.

    The difference with the second is that these laws have prescribed and crimminalised ordinary people for no gain.
    They have pit the state against its citizens in a way that is unacceptable and was indeed voted very strongly against.

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  55. Martin Gibson (246 comments) says:

    The idea of starting a Liberal Party reminds me of that saying: “Just because there’s a gap in the market, it don’t mean there’s a market in the gap”.

    I thought United Future would be a good prospect for this. At one time Peter Dunne was invited to join ACT, but didn’t like their “Devil take the hindmost” social angle, and that pretty much fits my politics, although I am skeptical about making plants illegal.

    Pete George and I both thought there was a need for more localised links with Wellington, and I still think that with a centrist, liberal base this idea has real merit, whether through United Future or another party.

    That said, my conclusions after the weekend is that the energy might be better spent setting up local organisations and getting governments to buy into their actions rather than trying to plumb up Wellington institutions to do what they were never designed to do.

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  56. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    From Wikipaedia

    …..”ACT bases its philosophy on individual freedom and on personal responsibility. ACT states its principles as:

    Principles:

    That individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent freedoms and responsibilities
    That the proper purpose of government is to protect such freedoms and not to assume such responsibilities.”……

    Therefore I would think that your “silly young girl” might not have been far off the pace when she espoused libertarian views. Whether Don was wise to dive into the marijuana debate on the eve of an election is a moot point but it is only one part of what should be a push by a so called party of personal responsibility to keep the government out of the personal lives of its citizens.

    I may be wrong but you come across as pushing for economic freedom but quite happy for the state to dictate morals & standards.

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  57. Manolo (13,743 comments) says:

    It seems to me that ACT, as a brand, has been mortally wounded. Time will tell.

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  58. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Why do you ACT people not shrug your shoulders, realise the game is up – and henceforth support National?

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  59. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    “Whether Don was wise to dive into the marijuana debate on the eve of an election is a moot point ”

    That is my main point. Most of the so called future leaders who were spokesmen for ACT would fail politics 101.

    ACT was mad to employ Perigo. He has continually rubbished ACT. If ACT was to consider introducing such a policy it should have been discussed with the board. These young libertarians live on a different planet and discount normal human reactions. Surely common sense should have predicted Banksie’s reaction and how the public would react.

    I think the vast majority of the population believe there should be some controls on drugs. Libertarians believe there should be no controls on any drugs including heroin and P. If ACT adopted such a policy they would end up with a share of the vote close to LibertarianNZ.

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  60. Someone Else (135 comments) says:

    @ BlairM

    Your suggestion that Banks should go into Cabinet in order to shut him up is the best suggestion I’ve heard. Brilliant!

    Man, it will be fun being a fly on the wall in Act’s Parliamentary Office as the staff play musical chairs. Let the purge begin!

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  61. Manolo (13,743 comments) says:

    Why do you ACT people not shrug your shoulders, realise the game is up – and henceforth support National?

    Today’s National Party stands to the left of where once was (to the right of the political spectrum), after having betrayed its founding principles. That’s why.

    Not without reason is called Labour lite.

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  62. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    I think the vast majority of the population believe there should be some controls on drugs. Libertarians believe there should be no controls on any drugs including heroin and P. If ACT adopted such a policy they would end up with a share of the vote close to LibertarianNZ.

    apparently not. 70% of adults have or still use marijuana.

    You didn’t get the message did you. People like you destroyed ACT with your anti personal freedom crusade.

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  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    V2

    Simply Brash was the wrong guy at what should have been the right time. They were within a gnats dick of getting my party vote but I he had run such an abysmal campaign ( even died in the woollers like yourself have to admit that.) that I knew that it was a wasted vote.

    Nobody wrecked ACT except itself over the last three years, ego’s ego’s and then a bit of ego.

    If Brash had stood in Epsom National would have taken the seat.

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  64. fatman43us (166 comments) says:

    “conservative” means to me an upholding of the traditions of the past (say three generations). It means a group to which all people can happily belong, whether from Labour or National. And so it was in the beginning of ACT. Many, Prebble, and others came from the Labour Government of 1984 to 1990. There is a need for those with a more strict interpretation of economics than National, who believe that there needs to be some personal responsibility in life, but whether you need to be so open minded your brain falls out when you shake your head is questionable. What I am convinced of is that National needs a Party to its Right to cater for those who would cause severe angst to the purple hair colours and white turtle neck shirts in National. Whatever, we need to support John Banks, because for many of us he is the only game in town right now.

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  65. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    I agree that timing is everything in politics but ACT has constantly shot its collective self in both feet by trying to be all things to all people. Being conservative is to favour the status quo….being liberal involves having the guts to put principles before pragmatism which is one advantage that a small ginger party has. Prebble & Douglas gave ACT a solid base but since their influence waned it has waffled all over the spectrum until now it stands for nothing. Coincidentally, near nothing to count in the ballot box is the way the electorate rewards such straying from principles.

    ACT or its reincarnation as a liberal party need to get a message & stick to it…if selling state assets is the chosen policy, so be it. If people are to be allowed the right to responsibility for their own bodies then leaving the use of marijuana & social drugs as criminal offences is inconsistent with its core principles.

    If there is a lesson to be learnt from ACT self destruction it is to find some bedrock principles & stick to them.

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  66. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    I am interested in all this talk about “a party to the right of National”; in Government ACT has not been seen to stand up to National on any issue (or nothing important) and threaten to cross the floor because the policy in question was too left wing.

    Is Banks going to vote for myriad of policies well to the left of his personal views? yes, at least four times per week.

    This is why I suggested you all throw in the towel and support National – because you always will ‘between’ elections whilst pretending you are somehow or other ‘right wing’.
    When it comes to the crunch you would support full scale Nationalisation of industry if it became National government policy.

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  67. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    The start reality is that act does not have a constiiency. It has no moral right to be in parliament. Banks is there because the Nats put him there.

    As a party the have strayed away from those things that they stood for originally. They were the rogernomics party, became the perkbuster party, and now are the Nats in disguise party and what a thin disguise it is.

    Banks is not the man to lead the party forward but they have little option being a one man band. Of they were to survive which is hard to imagine they need to get back to their core values. Look at what got them into parliament in the first place and occupy the right that Key has vacated.

    They also need to look at their structure. The corporatized look of the all powerful board is antough fit with a democratic system. It looks too much like a boys club rather than a party that has established a party constituency that is listened to and can generate genuine ideas.

    The ultimate condemnation of their structure was the takeover orchestrated by Brash as a corporate raid. That process killed the party and they never recovered.

    I can’t see a way back. NZ First did it but on the back of an established loyal following
    Of Peters. Can’t see anyone following Banks into the trenches.

    Rant over

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  68. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Marty, I think the election result adds weight to the sense in us going for it locally and building up and out from there.

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  69. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    “Many … younger New Zealanders are classical liberals … and support lower taxes, a smaller state etc but also don’t think Parliament should be greatly restricting what consenting adults can do.”

    Yeah I don’t even expect my representatives to take a view on social issues. Whether they personally are conservative or liberal socially, I really don’t care, so long as they are for free-markets.

    It’s pretty annoying to say the least that ACT over the years was disrupted by squabbling along such lines. And then Don Brash who already destroyed ACT in the past taking the leadership this time around and then raving on and on about Maori issues… It’s the economy stoopid!

    The absence of a viable party representing my views is the main reason I didn’t bother to put in my special vote. Hopefully I’ll have representation next time.

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  70. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    @Keeping Stock: I hate to be a pedant, but one has to apply to receive New Zealand Superannuation. It is not offered automatically. John Banks will not be refusing it. He will, apparently, not be applying to receive it.

    As for talk of there being no constituency for a social and economically liberal party, Crampton had an interesting analysis a while back: http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.com/2010/06/is-act-liberal.html I am not sure how relevant it would be now. I would certainly consider voting for a social and economically liberal party. It is, in fact, the only kind of party I have any interest in giving my vote to.

    Given a significant percentage of the population did not vote, there is definitely a significant untapped constituency or untapped constituencies. Maybe next election the parties will actually work for the vote. Maybe the media will provide much needed substantive analysis of policies and trade-offs. Maybe I am dreaming.

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  71. pq (728 comments) says:

    Farrar, as I haVE SAI ELSEWHEREsay always,
    you don’t think NZ Fiurst

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  72. reid (16,440 comments) says:

    Banks is there because the Nats put him there.

    No, Epsom put him there and if he wants to, he’ll win next time, as well.

    The cup of tea was never even necessary. Epsom people don’t need a “signal” to tell them what to do. You see, they’re not populated mostly by morons like most of the electorates in the country are.

    This is something the media have never understood because they’re all idiots.

    Agree with you on many things though Mark, I wonder if the SuperCity could become a branding thing for them, if the numbers pan out?

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  73. pq (728 comments) says:

    NZ first have a ten per cent following.
    NZ first will make coalition with Maori, and Mana
    write about that Farrar
    lose 5% in 2014
    also by then NZ First is 12%
    suck that
    no asset sales

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  74. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    The term “free-market” encompasses both economic and social freedom….there is no dichotomy…indeed it is impossible to separate the two and have a free market. ACT tried to disregard social liberalism to appease Conservatives in the party and what it precieved as a mainly socially conservative electorate….this was and has always been a failure as the electorate is actually far more liberal in general and the future is going to be young and liberal while the rapidly receding conservative past is dying by the day.

    David Garrett…well said….you got it. Those who claim you as being a hard line social conservative look like idiots now.

    Lindsay Mitchell….well said too….Yes the market for socially liberal policies in NZ is vast across many issues….and if a party arises and promotes those values it will ATTRACT the vote of these people.

    Chuck Bird…..bugger off to the conservatives….you represent all that’s been wrong with ACT for years.

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  75. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    “You didn’t get the message did you. People like you destroyed ACT with your anti personal freedom crusade.”

    Is that right Bud? Where were you Saturday night? What have you done for ACT? Why do you hide behind a pseudonym?

    You pass through Ngaruawahia look me up. Call by the Waipa Tavern and ask for me. It is a country pub, conservative with mixed clientele – Maori and European. I would bet you would not have the balls to spout your racist crap about cannibalism that Ansell promoted to them face to face.

    What is your real name?

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  76. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >Coalition partners would not stand against each other.

    National aren’t going to sacrifice winnable seats if there’s a chance of ruling outright.
    Voters would not be happy if their chosen party wasn’t standing locally and they were effectively being made to vote for a candidate with policies they didn’t like.

    A true Liberal party would be centrist and able to work with either National or Labour and wouldn’t want to tie its hands by agreeing to a coalition with either before the election.

    ‘Liberal’ is as misunderstood/mis-applied as those who call themselves libertarians when they just mean ‘the right to do as I please and screw everyone else’. (forgetting the bit about respecting the equal rights of others).

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  77. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Missed a line!

    …and in marginal seats, I think voters would rather choose to vote tactically than have it chosen for them.

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  78. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    I gave Act my two ticks.

    But I think Act is broken as a party. They keep appointing moonbats as MPs and party officials eg Huata, Garrett, Roy et al.

    How hard can it be to find representatives that can engage the media. Rodney mastered the black arts of dealing with the media and could present a credible message. Nobody else in the party has ever come close.

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  79. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Mary Rose

    The current bunch of knob jockeys running Libertarianz turn the party into a laughing stock every time they issue a press release. Having said that everyone should have the right to do whatever they wish with the obvious caveat that no one should be adversely effected by these actions. There is no reason for you or a government official to have jurisdiction in my private affairs.

    There is no point in positioning a liberal party in the centre of the political spectrum…a liberal is by definition one who values freedom yet the left are to a man/woman control freaks.

    Few potential converts there.

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  80. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Mary Rose: Liberal’ is as misunderstood/mis-applied as those who call themselves libertarians when they just mean ‘the right to do as I please and screw everyone else’. (forgetting the bit about respecting the equal rights of others).

    Bullshit. Libertarians understand that EVERY individual has the right to life for themselves and pursue their own happiness without being obligated by compulsion to enslave themselves and their property to others simply because they ARE others….in short they reject the poisonous claim of altruistic self-sacrifice as being a “virtue”.

    Liberals/Libertarians are neither Left not Right wing…those labels are redundant to them. They oppose both sides efforts at imposing force upon others either socially or economically.

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  81. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    I am a liberal. I am not a libertarian.

    Libertarianism is like a loaded gun – it can cause tremendous damage in the wrong hands.

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  82. big bruv (13,882 comments) says:

    I wonder if I am the only one who thinks that the previous ACT member for Epsom might just be a little pissed off that Banks won the seat?

    While many of us (including me) are happy to give stick to Dr Brash for fucking things up we should not forget that the man who started the demise of ACT is none other than Winston Hide.

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  83. pq (728 comments) says:

    excuse me people, but ACT pastry has a 1 per cent following in New Zealand,
    especially since Catherine germanic Judd came in ,
    and Don, also, and the madness between that bitch
    put simply ACT is fucked, its goodbye ACT,
    goodbye,
    John Banks will associate with NAt NZ Govr

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  84. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    The Scorned – your post reads like a teenager who has just discovered Ayn Rand.

    If you believe that altruistic self-sacrifice is “poisonous” then I’m afraid you’re not going to enjoy being in a relationship…

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  85. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    The Scorned

    …”Liberals/Libertarians are neither Left not Right wing…those labels are redundant to them.”…

    Which rather neatly explains why they received 1405 votes as counted on Saturday night. By not engaging with the Left Or Right side of NZ politics they have starved themselves of publicity.

    This staunchness may keep their ideology pure but it makes sure that no one hears the message.

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  86. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    The Scorned >Liberals/Libertarians are neither Left not Right wing…

    Which is why in a coaltion, they could work with either the Nats or Labour.

    Your definiton of Libertarian rather seems to prove my point than being bullshit.

    >in short they reject the poisonous claim of altruistic self-sacrifice as being a “virtue”.

    Then I truly hope you never fall on hard times (bad stuff can happen to anyone) and need anyone else to help you.
    They’re not likely to be queuing up.

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  87. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Gump……I am a long time Rand fan thanks. And if you think a relationship worthy of having involves “self sacrifice” of anything then you haven’t much hope of having a good and satisfying one.

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  88. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Mary rose….People help others from a sense of self…not selfless obligation. Its because we feel things OURSELVES and can empathise how others must feel that we act to aid them…we have placed a personally held value upon the well-being of others we like and love ,….no “self sacrifice” required.

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  89. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Nasska>There is no point in positioning a liberal party in the centre of the political spectrum…a liberal is by definition one who values freedom yet the left are to a man/woman control freaks.
    >Few potential converts there.

    They do just that in the UK. And are currently in government.

    I’m not sure there IS a need/market for a Liberal party in NZ.
    I was just pointing out that if there were, they might not (as others above seemed to assume) ally themselves with the right – economically, yes. Socially, no.
    Agreed as to the left being control freaks full stop, of course.

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  90. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Nasska….. don’t confuse the hermits of the Libertarianz party with the much wider community of Libertarians in NZ. If you must put them on a spectrum they would be “above”…..meaning they don’t wallow in the use of force to achieve their goals…unlike all other party’s do to various degrees. Their is in fact the only moral political position one can take….and by default its also the only practical one to….reality forbidding a contradiction.

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  91. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    I would actually vote for a party that supported –

    – free trade
    – gay marriage
    – school choice (not just for those that can afford it)
    – minimum standards in education (with transparency, otherwise whats the point?)
    – youth minimum wage (nothing like forcing young people into unemployment)
    – legalising and regulating the sale and consumption of marijuana
    – private provision of some government services
    – genuine conservation
    – a general reduction in bureaucracy
    – removing absurd incentives in welfare
    – and lately removed from the list, voluntary student union membership (those against this hate freedom)

    There is no party for me.

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  92. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Libertarianism is like a loaded gun – it can cause tremendous damage in the wrong hands.

    A lack of power is dangerous in the wrong hands? The desire to allow you to do what you want is dangerous in the wrong hands? The belief that people have a right to make their own choices about how they live their lives is dangerous in the wrong hands?

    Yep, and atheism is a religion, sloth is a sport, and OFF is a TV channel.

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  93. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Kimble….a good,but mild start. ;-)

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  94. Tauhei Notts (1,710 comments) says:

    Mea culpa.
    I voted for Rodney to lead the party, against Stephen Franks in 2004.
    Such a silly mistake and it will live with me for some time.
    But Ngaruawahia is not far from Tauhei so I may try and pay Chuck Bird a visit. My locals are all Ngati Haua so I may just have give those Tainui a round up.
    7th May 1995; I commenced my monthly automatic payment to the Act Party. I will review that decision before 7th March 2012.
    Hey! Bloody good accounting records, eh?

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  95. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Mary Rose

    I’m no expert on English politics but from what I can gather the “Liberals” there are more of a brand than an ideology. I was rather hoping that should a liberal party see the light of day in NZ it would at least stand for something rather than doing reef fish impressions chasing the MSM’s worm.

    The Scorned

    The irony is that by staying out of the fray, by accident or design, the broad libertarian church never unites, never seriously tests its ideas against the public & thus never refines its policy.

    You wander in the wilderness, spectators & not participants.

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  96. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    The Scorned

    Your argument is off-topic and misses my original point completely.

    I said there are Libertarians who define it as pure self-interest, without regard for the equal rights of others.

    I didn’t say ALL Libertarians define things this way or that.

    How you define it is up to you.

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  97. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    & thus never refines its policy.

    You mean its policy not to have policies?

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  98. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    Kimble said:

    A lack of power is dangerous in the wrong hands? The desire to allow you to do what you want is dangerous in the wrong hands? The belief that people have a right to make their own choices about how they live their lives is dangerous in the wrong hands?

    ——————

    Anders Breivik was a libertarian. I’ll let you draw you own conclusions.

    BTW are you Kim Schmitz?

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  99. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    MR: Libz certainly join in the debate fray….make no mistake. But they don’t join in the lolly scramble of stolen goods which is basically what an election has come to represent. They offer no bribes gouged from others pockets of property.

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  100. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts

    For your sin against humanity in 2004 your penance will be great.

    Kimble

    Yeah…it does get a bit complicated.

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  101. bka (135 comments) says:

    Banks got elected on the Act ticket, but saying several times in the interview I saw that he was there to support brand John Key. I think his mandate is mainly to do what National tells him to. If he goes to join or merge with another party that raises the question of a by election, it’s not compulsory, but other MPs have had them after changing their party status.

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  102. swan (665 comments) says:

    Mary Rose (152) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    Nasska>There is no point in positioning a liberal party in the centre of the political spectrum…a liberal is by definition one who values freedom yet the left are to a man/woman control freaks.
    >Few potential converts there.

    They do just that in the UK. And are currently in government.

    Mary Rose. You are confused. The Liberal Democrats of the UK are a left wing party that have NOTHING to do with the sort of values being debated here.

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  103. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Mary: Your argument is off-topic and misses my original point completely.

    I said there are Libertarians who define it as pure self-interest, without regard for the equal rights of others.

    I didn’t say ALL Libertarians define things this way or that.

    How you define it is up to you.

    Then by definition those people are NOT Libertarians. To be a Libertarian is to HAVE to accept that all human beings by virtue of being as human as oneself have the exact same rights as you,no more or less.

    I wonder what definition of ‘rights” you are using to make you point..

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  104. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Anders Breivik was a libertarian. I’ll let you draw you own conclusions.

    He was also a man. More conclusions?

    BTW are you Kim Schmitz?

    Who? No.

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  105. Disraeli Gladstone (5 comments) says:

    swan (178) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Mary Rose. You are confused. The Liberal Democrats of the UK are a left wing party that have NOTHING to do with the sort of values being debated here.

    —-

    As a former member of the Lib Dems before I moved, that’s not exactly true. The Lib Dems are a coalition in of themselves. You have the Social Democrats, which you correctly identified as a left-wing grouping. However the Liberals, and specifically the Orange Bookers Liberal who occupy the majority of the leadership positions within the party (but not the party itself) would probably be described as centre to centre-right.

    Personally I would love to see a Liberal Party based off the Orange Book written by these British Liberals, which is a mixture of economic and social liberalism. As a classical liberal or a Liberal conservative or a liberal Conservative or whatever it is described as these days, I find myself voting National but purely because its the economy stupid and I have to grit my teeth at some of their social policies.

    I also agree with DPF that there’s probably a market for such a Liberal Party, especially amongst the young/student Middle Class that often form a sizable and largely silent bloc within universities campus between the raving leftie Greens and the ‘Did you know you’re a horrible person for not campaigning for pro-life’ religious right.

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  106. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Anders Breivik was a libertarian. I’ll let you draw you own conclusions.

    Fuck off he was! To make that claim reveals a level of pig ignorance breath taking in its stupidity…

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  107. francis (712 comments) says:

    I’d be very interested to see how many people in NZ understand the phrase “economic liberal” the way you do, David. Or even “social liberal”.

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  108. Tautaioleua (304 comments) says:

    There are already reports that Banks has approached the Conservative Party, at least the guy doesn’t waste anytime lol.

    ACT was already a sinking ship BEFORE the election.

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  109. Someone Else (135 comments) says:

    Would all you Act twirps just stop commenting and clean out your desks. New Zealand First need a place for their pool table and whisky bar!

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  110. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Already wheels are in motion for a post ACT Liberty movement to really push freedom in NZ….

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-cresswell/a-party-of-all-talents-talking-points-draft-11/10150395476288787

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  111. David Garrett (7,270 comments) says:

    Gump: if you think it’s so firkin easy being an MP sonny (or lassie), why dont you stand yourself? Of course step 1 will be to come out from under the security blanket of your pseud….

    Given that by definition all politicians have an ego larger than most, my experience was that the only one in our caucus – and I include Rodney – whose ego was at least 10 times their actual ability was the blonde former physio and sucker for men in military uniforms….

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  112. Clint Heine (1,570 comments) says:

    David Garrett is right, Good riddance to Heather Roy and her poison. I’m glad she got pushed out before the list was voted on.

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  113. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    “But Ngaruawahia is not far from Tauhei so I may try and pay Chuck Bird a visit. My locals are all Ngati Haua so I may just have give those Tainui a round up.”

    We already met at a ACT party meeting. You had plenty chance to say something then. I forget your name but I could easily find out. I assume you only use one pseudonym and not Viking who I addressed.

    If you have a problem with my latest post you are free to disagree and not make some stupid comment about visiting me with a group of people.

    I accept some people use a pseudonym because of there job. But using them to abuse someone or make implied threats does not impress me. Why not use you real name?

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  114. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    @PeterDunneMP
    Puzzled by calls to form true Liberal Party – we already have one: UnitedFuture. See our principles/policies at http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/about-us/

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  115. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Is there REALLY a need for a liberal party? liberal economically and socially?

    The reason I question the need is that everything has already been done.

    The economy was reformed years ago by Douglas and co; in social areas gays, tarts, Maoris, abortions, bill of rights act etc was all liberalised years ago too.

    Nothing left to do that I can see.

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  116. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    I think it would be helpful to phrase all these various political and social viewpoints as ‘leanings’ rather than doctrinaire ideological positions. If you look at it this way, I think a huge proportion of NZ would see themselves as ‘leaning towards’ less government interference in our lives, less regulation and red tape, less rfeliance on welfare etc etc etc.

    I think there is huge potential for such a party, but two important considerations are:

    1) This has to be done independently of National and not as National’s obedient poodle otherwise the electorate will see through the sham and treat them with the distain they deserve

    2) ACT is absolutely fucked in the eyes (and hearts) of the electorate and any attempt to resurrect it is doomed to failure. It doesn’t matter what Young Brilliance they might be able to come up with in their meetings etc (if any), its what the VOTER thinks that matters towards votes and the VOTER despises ACT as can be seen from their abysmal electoral performance. To turn around ACT’s brand image would be as hard as convincing the public that smoking makes you more handsome and attractive….. its just to hard to do, frankly.

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  117. Scott (1,792 comments) says:

    Good question James S. I don’t think there is a need for a Liberal party. We have all the liberalism anybody could possibly want. Apart from the stone heads who want drugs legalised.

    I usually think that social liberalism is incompatible with free-market liberalism. Free-market liberalism presupposes free markets, a much smaller government and people taking responsibility for themselves. Because a smaller government means that people have to look after themselves. They have to get up in the morning, go to work, earn a living and provide for their families. They don’t rely on the government to do it.

    However social liberalism is completely different. It presupposes gay marriage, cohabitation, have sex with whoever you want, abortion etc. All of those things are really harmful to the family. They spawn dysfunctional families, solo parenthood, child abuse, violence and crime. Therefore you need a huge welfare state to pay benefits to all of these people. You also need a lot of police because there is a lot of crime. You also need a lot of laws and bureaucrats to regulate everything. In other words you need a really big welfare state.

    For an example we can look right here at New Zealand. We had a much smaller state back in the 1950s. This was because people looked after themselves. The population was broadly Christian and therefore people got married, stayed married and looked after their children. They didn’t rely on the government to do it.

    With the rise of social liberalism we have much greater social expenditure, a huge welfare state, myriads of regulations and a much bigger government. So social liberalism has led to the erosion of free-market liberalism. We can’t have a small government with social liberalism. The two are incompatible.

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  118. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Scott:….what you are calling “social liberalism” is nothing of the sort…its in fact permissive socialist largess made possible by a over generous welfare state….something that would not exist in a true liberal society. Liberalism is not license to do what you want at others expense with no thought for the consequences…quite the reverse.

    Its because others have the same rights as you do that social liberalism hold the person responsible for their OWN actions….and doesn’t pass the buck onto others to make good. It would be a society of VOLUNTARY contribution to private welfare providers…and that would make all the difference.

    However social liberalism is completely different. It presupposes gay marriage, cohabitation, have sex with whoever you want, abortion etc. All of those things are really harmful to the family.

    How so? Define “family”….. which is only a non existent abstraction from the objective fact that only INDIVIDUALS exist as thinking,living beings…and then they go on to form larger groupings out of their own self interest in gaining values from doing so.

    Its the involvement of the state, not actual social liberalism that cause the issues you refer to…and its that that must be addressed by removal of the state from the equation altogether.

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  119. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Jamess: Is there REALLY a need for a liberal party? liberal economically and socially?

    The reason I question the need is that everything has already been done.

    Oh please! There are many,many things that need changing and reforming to bring about the maximum amount of individual freedom in this over controlled socialist backwater….both economically and socially. Tax,labour laws, licencing laws, HoS,RMA, ETS, Euthanasia,abortion,drug legalization, race issues etc etc etc…the list is a long one.

    The economy was reformed years ago by Douglas and co; in social areas gays, tarts, Maoris, abortions, bill of rights act etc was all liberalised years ago too.

    Nothing left to do that I can see.

    Open your eyes then…..idiot.

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  120. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ Pete George

    If I didn’t know better I would find your joke to be very amusing.

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  121. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ JamesS

    If there is nothing left to do, what is the state busily doing with 1/3rd of the nations production?

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  122. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Scorned, there will always be ‘one issue’ special interests and nutters who think their niche cause deserves special attention, is vitally important (so much so they bore their friends and family to death with it) and NZ is heading to hell in a handcart until a law change for the benefit of a small special interest group or band of nutters is undertaken by Parliament.

    Just look at the 1500 Social Credit voters last Saturday.

    I am talking about structural changes to NZ; eg floating the NZ dollar was a structural change to the economy, but repealing the RMA would not be; legalising gay sex or abortion was a structural change in NZ society, whereas legalising pot would not be.

    Take out all the one issue/nutter/special interest group things and tell me what structural change is still left to do in NZ?

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  123. swan (665 comments) says:

    JamesS, I think you may somewhat underestimate the effect of lift the prohibition on drugs. Let me put it another way – would prohibiting alcohol and tobacco cause a “structural change” in NZ society?

    Repealing the RMA. Do you realise how much land use is restricted and controlled in NZ? It completely shapes our urban form for one.

    I would say the RMA issue in particular would have a profound effect on NZ, likely greater than the NZ dollar float.

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  124. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    The removal of the state from the economy…big enough for ya jamesS?

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  125. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Scorned, did any party advocate that at the general election? if so, how many votes did they get?

    One universal fact of one issue nutters and special interest groups is their total disregard for democracy; the fact few people support them is somehow seen as not a sign of democracy but mass ignorance of the 99.9% of the population with a contrary opinion on something.

    We could debate this until the cows come home and will probably still disagree – I am a “Tory” National supporter since the 1990 election when I turned 18; I have no time for ‘liberal’ parties like ACT and that is my right.
    I do not see anything particularly wrong with NZ at the moment and am very happy with the status quo.

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  126. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ JamesS

    So you are a National supporter from the age of 18. Do you really think back in ’84 you would have voted for Lange et al? No you would have been making the same arguments then as you are now. Think about it.

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  127. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Swan I remember the 1984 election fairly clearly, found it all great fun, and there is no way would I have voted Labour and was genuinely upset at the change of government.

    You should read Michael Basset’s book “Working With David” and you will see that vast numbers of people were ‘willing dupes who swallowed it whole’ when it comes to that Government.

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  128. big bruv (13,882 comments) says:

    JamesS

    “I do not see anything particularly wrong with NZ at the moment and am very happy with the status quo.”

    You are happy with us borrowing 1 billion a month?
    You are happy that the Nat’s have done nothing about WFF and Interest Free Student loans?
    You are happy being told to place your brain in a jar and cheer on command?

    Is your real name Adolf? [DPF: To clarify Big bruv is talking about Adolf F, not the German one]

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  129. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Big Bruv to answer your questions in turn –

    1. No
    2. What is WFF?
    3. No one is telling me anything of the sort
    4. Some people could find that very offensive

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  130. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    So JamesS has no time for individual freedom and rights…ok…so you won’t be spoiling ANZAC day services with your odious presence then…? It would be rather hypocritical of you to show up huh..?

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  131. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Scorned we have enormous freedoms and rights in this country. This is New Zealand not North Korea.

    If you read my previous comments you will see why I am not surprised to be called ‘odious’ for no reason other than I do not agree with you ha ha

    I suspect your idea of rights and freedoms is the freedom to make vast profits exploiting others, the freedom to live in splendor and take the view that 1/3 of the population have the right and freedom to live in Dickensian conditions and feel grateful.

    No I do not agree with you about recreating the Victorian era and the discord and social problems.

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  132. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Some other things I do not agree with you about –

    That some 2 year old girl with a heart defect should simply die because ACT (or some other libertarian party) abolished the health system and her parents are poor

    That the Police should be protecting rich people from rampaging masses of rather hungry people being paid $2 per hour because minimum wages were abolished

    That slimey wide boy scumbags can manipulate financial markets to become centimillionaires instead of engaging in productive activities because we abolished taxation

    That people who are brown skinned (let’s be honest here) will live in poverty because they are no match for the sharpies and we abolished the welfare system

    That we started mining National parks so 8 people can become billionaires but 100,000 people in the tourism industry lost their jobs

    That ‘freedom’ means the freedom to become a billionaire at the expense of 4 million honest, decent, salt of the earth people who are not fuckwits

    That ‘rights’ mean the right to sell heroin to school children so you can buy the latest Bentley

    shall I go on with more things I disagree with you about?

    I do not support the ACT view of enriching a small number of disgusting, despicable, mean spirited, nasty, gauche wide boy spivs at the expense of everyone else so long as they donate a generous sum to ACT party funds and pass that off as ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’.

    No, I am a ‘Tory’ who believes in society, who believes in duties to the less fortunate, who believes in public services and a civil society without extremes. That is how I sleep at night.

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  133. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    JamesS,

    I don’t recall ACT proposing the abolishment of the health system. Doing it a different, more efficient way, yes, not abolishing it.

    If someone’s labour is only worth $2 per hour, they sure as heck won’t be employed under a $15 per hour minimum wage scheme, anyway, will they? Unless they got a government job perhaps :)

    Abolish taxation? Change the tax system, yes, not abolish it. You know what the “T” in ACT stood for, I imagine.

    Outside a few individuals like Warren Buffett, central bankers and finance ministers, no one can “manipulate financial markets”.

    etc etc… Your statement about “the freedom to become a billionaire at the expense of 4 million” is not the sort that one normally sees from a true National voter. I’m just sayin.

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  134. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    JamesS…..its a sad indictment of your world view,and your shocking historical ignorance that you can look about you and only see what the state provides people. The private sector long preceded the state in providing healthcare,education, housing,food, etc etc…and did it far better and without the need of coercive violence being employed.

    If you need someone to wipe you bum and provide you with a titty to suck on then go find that…but the rest of us don’t and won’t enslave ourselves to you to do so.

    That you think its fine to use force against people to extract from them what you want is disgusting and immoral…shame on you.

    Grow up.

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  135. Scott (1,792 comments) says:

    Scorned at 2:58 PM. Many thanks for your thoughts. Liberalism is the dominant mindset today. It presupposes freedom of the individual to do what they will without constraints from family, church or community. People should be free to do whatever they want.

    Now the difficulty with liberalism is that it operates from a wrong foundation. It presupposes that “people are basically good”. Therefore if basically good people are freed from the oppressive constraints of family, church and community, then they will flourish and we will have a good society.

    Now Christianity and the political philosophy called “Conservatism” are not the same but they both share this one philosophical presupposition. That is that “people are basically not good”. This philosophical presupposition has its roots in the Christian doctrine of “original sin”. From a Christian point of view we are basically sinners in need of a saviour.

    The outworking in conservatism is that the individual needs the civilising constraints of family, church and community. With strong families, strong churches and strong communities people will basically look after themselves and support one another. Therefore there is not the need for a massive welfare state. The vision would be for a smaller government that looks after law and order and defends the nation. I believe this is a much better way for our nation to go.

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  136. rosscalverley (83 comments) says:

    Why would the Conservative Party ally itself with a party with a toxic brand? Yes ACT does have a seat in Parliament, but it relied on National to run it’s main election campaign – the tea party saga between Banks and Key. The Conservative Party gained 2.8% of the vote, when it was only registered 2 months before the election, clearly it can run it’s own campaigns.

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