Whittington on ACT

December 3rd, 2011 at 3:26 pm by David Farrar

Derek Cheng writes in the NZ Herald:

An candidate touted as a future leader has declared the party all but dead and represented by an “economically ignorant” who wants to “suck up” to National.

, 25, ran in Wellington Central and was seventh on the party list. Along with number five on the list, David Seymour, he was regarded as a future star.

On his Facebook page Mr Whittington called Mr Banks “economically ignorant and interventionist”, in response to the Epsom MP’s comments opening the door to Conservative Party leader Colin Craig. …

Mr Banks declined to comment, but party president Chris Simmons said Mr Whittington was wrong.

“The bottom line is that the party has a lot of work to do. In Parliament we’re represented by only one person, and John Banks signed up to represent Act and Act’s principles and he’s working really hard at exactly that.”

He believed the party would survive.

“Will it be a liberal party? Yes, it will be. Will it be the liberal party that Stephen Whittington thought it would be? I’m not really sure about that.”

Mr Whittington said Act needed a counterbalance to Mr Banks to maintain a consistent liberal message.

I think Steven’s comments are somewhat unfair to John Banks, even though I agree with his overall position that ACT as we know it is no more.

The problem is not that John Banks won Epsom. That is what stopped ACT being wiped out entirely. The problem is that ACT failed to win enough party vote to get a second MP in. A further 0.1% would have got Don Brash into Parliament. Brash inevitably would have made way before long for Catherine Isaac, and the combination of Isaac and Banks would have been a workable one for ACT.

I called the Brash coup a “cluster fuck” back in April. I think few would now disagree. If there had been some sort of deal where Don became co-leader with Rodney Hide, then it is quite possible ACT would have done well in the party vote. But the very nature of the coup where someone who is not even a party member demands he be made leader or else he will destroy the party was repulsive to even the most loyal supporter of ACT’s policies.

Having failed to get a second MP into Parliament, the brand of ACT will be the brand of Banks. That’s a perfectly good brand, but it is not the brand traditionally associated with ACT. I still think the best way forward is for ACT to rename itself and look at some sort of co-operation with the Conservative Party, and those who are economic and social liberals to form a new party without the baggage of the past.

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101 Responses to “Whittington on ACT”

  1. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    The conservatives pretty much have Labours economic policies and the exclusive bretherens social policy. they are appalling and if you believe that they are totally funded by Colin Craig then you must be on drugs. There are some deep pocketed churches behind him which no doubt given Acts stupidity they will join up with and come a cropper.

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  2. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    An economic and social liberal party is a dead duck. Social liberals dominate both National and Labour. There is room for a social conservative party combined with economic authordoxy. Banks captures that well. Somewhere there is room for Banks, the Conservatives and Winston.

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  3. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Whittington is showing his age and inexperience – he needs to STFU if he ever wants to be an MP.

    I was appalled when Brash suggested Banks for Epsom, and he was the main reason why I did not Party Vote ACT. However, now Banks is ACT’s only MP. You ACToids are stuck with him for three years, so learn to like him and learn to work with him. Do you want to fight over your crappy little 1% party with endless debates over social liberal conservative libertarianism, or do you actually want to reduce taxes, reduce the size of government, offer choice in health and education, reform welfare, and protect property rights? If you answered the latter, you had better learn to love Banks – he is the one who is going to have to do the business all the way until 2014. Deal with it!

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    I’d vote for a socially and economically liberal party. There just isn’t one.

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  5. gravedodger (1,510 comments) says:

    So thats a simple solution then, Form the liberal conservative party or should that be the conservative liberal party.

    What ever, you can Bank(S) on the egos and political naivity that got things to this point will continue to put diesel on the smoldering heap of ashes with the logical outcome that promises.

    Has anyone taken The Parsons Son to the secure facility for the demented yet, society needs protecting and him from himself.

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  6. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Banks has never embraced ACT principles. He was wrongly chosen by Brash, who should’ve run himself in Epsom.
    Banks is just a National Party member in drag, wearing yellow.

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  7. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Mightn’t it be better to wait and see what Banks does as ACT’s sole MP before criticising him for not being conservative classical social liberal enough?! But of course, these are the same people who shut their traps real tight when Rodney Hide voted for the gang patch legislation and David Garrett stood up in parliament and demanded we remove the property rights of Iwi who own beaches. Apparently all this was fine because Hide secretly wanted to legalize dope, or something. Oh no, it’s BANKS who is not classical conservative libertarian social justice enough!!! Well thanks for clearing that up.

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  8. Australis (99 comments) says:

    Banks is a social conservative, and there’s no getting around that. If he is to be the face of the reformed re-named ACT, then it will have to be either conservative or wishy-washy on social issues. If it is conservative, it might pick up that 2% Christian vote which has never yet found a party with a seat in Parliament. Should at least double ACT’s starting vote.

    ACT has always been very conservative on law and order. One of its basic principles is “individual responsibility” which also smacks of social conservatism. When Brash advocated decriminalizing marijuana, it was the ACT vote that fled in droves. In general, the party’s radicalism has long been confined to the economic area.

    Many supporters of a liberal economic policy (small government, market-led, private enterprise, etc) are also socially liberal. Perhaps their needs can be met by the party having a standing policy to allow members a conscience vote on divisive social issues. If not, then those voters can find a home with National. ACT’s successor only needs 5-10% to be a useful Minor Party.

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  9. Griff (6,712 comments) says:

    No more act membership dues from me. Banks is a conservative nut job. Whoever thought so little of the views of the liberal right as to inflict banks on the act party has totally wreaked an all ready tainted brand. Hopefully we will have a viable alternative by the next election.

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  10. George Patton (347 comments) says:

    So much for Whittington being a principled politician.

    This guy happily stood for ACT, with a very high list ranking for a 25 year old – just behind Banks on the ACT list. He even starred in TV commercials alongside Banks, with what I recall as a lead role in the final ACT ad.

    I don’t recall him speaking out before the election, or, indeed at any time, presumably because he thought it might affect his chances with a good list ranking, or cause embarrassment to his leader, the good Don, by speaking out against Banks.

    Whittington was perfectly happily to keep his trap shut and endorse Banks as his lifeline to a political career.

    Now, he’s turned feral.

    What an unprincipled, deceptive, nasty little bugger. He deserves a career in the law.

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  11. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    ACT has not really stood for anything since the days of Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble. It has no function other than to support the party to which it owes its continued existence.

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  12. wf (372 comments) says:

    Whittington is a shining example why we shouldn’t pay too much heed to youngsters with a flattering sense of their own political intelligence. I wonder if we will see him in 3 years time?

    Remember the lad who went on his OE, came back after 10 years, and was surprised how much his dad had learnt while he was away?

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  13. Murth (27 comments) says:

    My hat is off to Whittington for pointing out the obvious – Banks does not share the values of the ACT party. I used to admire ACTs principled and consistent liberal stance. Banks is not a liberal. He demonstrated that when he advocated very vocally against decriminalising homosexual sex. Banks is someone who probably would be more comfortable in the Conservative Party. I think Whittington has astutely pointed out that if Banks is ACT (as he is essentially as the sole MP) then a new liberal party is needed.

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  14. Richard Hurst (754 comments) says:

    Ahhh..ACT.
    Still at each other throats. And that is why they did so badly in the election and why ACT will dissolve before the end of this term of govt finishes.

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  15. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    What does one say? Lots to agree with among the comments here and little to disagree with…What I find very puzzling is why Whittington was chosen as the law and order spokesman! As a couple of commenters have observed, ACT has always had a strong law and order component…not only does this lad know nothing about the area, but if memory serves, he told me once that law and order issues had no place in the ACT philosophy….there followed a lecture from me along the lines of the fact that a flat tax or whatever piece of economic brilliance he was expounding upon on that particular day was of no use if you were dead at the hands of some thug….

    BlairM: is that Blair Mulholland, multiple joiner of mulitple parties, currently a Christian fundy? A bit like playing for the AB’s Blair…..there are no shortage of armchair experts on how the game should be played, but its a bit different actually being out on the paddock…

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  16. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Have you commenced proceedings against the fugly cunt Williams yet David?

    Turds need to be flushed or buried! :)

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  17. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Having been a witness to Master Whittington’s performance in the Wellington Central campaign, I can attest that he showed the same ‘maturity’ in his local campaign strategy and tactics.

    From my perspective, he showed he is a young lad who still has much to learn about the real world outside of the comfort of the familial home and school. His coterie of supporters seemed of a similar age – both in years and maturity of understanding.

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  18. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    Simply renaming itself won’t be enough. They would still be tainted by all the ACT baggage and the electorate wouldn’t buy it for a moment. What is needed is a huge noisy dirty shit fight out of which a NEW PARTY is formed otherwise it’ll still be the same tired old failure.

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  19. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Johnboy: He turned out to be the wrong Williams! A minor bureaucrat at the NSW TAFE who just happens to have a law degree from somewhere from what I could work out…but I am hard at work on Garrett v Fairfax Media….it will test a branch of defamation law which ….nah….better keep my powder dry. Suffice it to say if Williams and his mates thinks I am blowing smoke he will see different….there comes a point where one must say “enough”, and that point has been reached for me….

    I love a quote from Elton John who, after extracting 2 million pounds from the Sun for falsely claiming he had held orgies invovling young boys at his mansion said, on the steps of the court:

    “They can call me a fat poof who can’t sing, but they mustn’t tell lies about me…”

    As much as any monetary compensation, I look forward very much to be able to enuniciate my version of that….

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  20. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    bhudson: It’s probably that WE are becoming old codgers, but it does become quickly apparent when dealing with the yoof that, no matter how intelligent or clever they might be, it is very rare to know everything at 25….although even those of us who had lived a great deal more life than he has thought we did at that age….

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  21. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Kia kaha David.

    Some may call you a cunt. But you are our cunt now. :)

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  22. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    ACT began their demise with their ‘The Liberal Party’ carry on.

    It fall apart because things went like this – most of their members and supporters simply wanted a balanced budget, a tax cut down to about 15%, and dislike solo mothers and long term unemployed people, and it was like that all the way back to 1993.

    Over the years a few loons became members because they took some things literally; unable to make a go of legitimate businesses (property developments in Queenstown, for instance) they wanted to go into business selling heroin to school children so they could get the money to buy a new Rolls Royce.
    Their view was to rebrand themselves as “liberals” and pass their activities off as the free market in action (and the resulting vast number of 12 year old addicts are simply ‘individuals’ making a choice what to do with their own bodies – no more harmful than eating smarties or a moro bar)

    The ACT members with half a brain (or even a quarter) realised the illogicality of certain assumptions and so there have been endless bunfights ever since.

    Those opposed to selling heroin to 12 year olds are written off as old fashioned fuddy duddies by the so called ‘liberals’, and the failed businessmen are derided as lunatics by those slightly higher up the foodchain (the Terry Clarks of the World being bottom feeder low lifes).

    Never the twain have met in around a decade and it all ended in tears last Saturday.

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  23. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Well said Whittington…bang on…and a sign of a decent and principled man who has just put his name forward as one to watch as a future leader of a much needed new liberal party in NZ politics. Banks is bigoted evil filth….and most people including those in ACT knew if from day one.

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  24. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Gee: JamesS. Even less people are reading your deeply insightful insight into the failings of the ACT party than the number of people who read my treatise on the shape and smell of all the turds I shat last week.

    Funny that! :)

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  25. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” Having failed to get a second MP into Parliament, the brand of ACT will be the brand of Banks. ”

    I think Banks will work very hard to keep ACT brand foremost if for no other reason than he is an honorable man, he came a long way in his second term as mayor and I actually surprised myself by voting for him, that is due to being an Auckland rate payer rather than being ideologically in Banks camp but also because he said he would be more inclusive and more compromising. He did that. He has said he will back core ACT policies. Key should give him a a ministry that is uncontroversial but one in which he can make some impact in. Somebody like Issac’s or Nicolson should be given the leadership. I can’t imagine Nicolson supporting decriminalisation of dope without first warning Banks he was doing it.

    Ele over at http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/ Homepaddock blogged Nicolson’s speech to the ACT party conference a while back and I rang him about it with a request that he agreed to immediately given the time frame I gave him I was surprised he didn’t tell me to go and play footie on the northern motorway at rush hour at Greenlane.

    Banks needs to be a hard working uncontroversial minister and excellent local MP who can win Epsom next time and the party needs to lift the party vote. Can Banks do it ? Yes. Can ACT do it ? If Nicolson who I have dealt with is in the picture yes. From what I have read about Issac’s yes.

    As for Brash, Don Mana need help. Oh hang on this is Dim-Post territory.

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  26. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Well more fool them, Johnboy; it has been well known in business circles for about 15 years that if you do a credit check on the average ACT member you learn all you need to know about their business acumen and honesty.

    The ACT party has an amazing number of members living abroad; credit checks and tearful unpaid creditors littering NZ can tell you why (whilst they live in London pretending to be business tycoons and deriding New Zealanders – you know, New Zealanders like their unpaid creditors)

    The ACT party also has an amazing number of members living abroad who vow never to return to live in NZ and blaming Helen Clark and socialism as being the reason – I will leave it up to you to work out the ‘real’ reason.

    We in National have known all along what the ACT people were really like when it comes to the crunch.

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  27. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    No one believes you IHStewart.

    Least of all JB. :)

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  28. reid (15,918 comments) says:

    What a tragedy though for ideas such as what ACT represents or used to, consequently to get trashed as a result of this temporary aberration.

    I mean who else but ACT is ever going to represent hard-nosed business interests since apparently, Key’s tummy’s turned all soft and squishy?

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  29. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Yes JamesS. I was one myself a few years ago till my sheep told me to get patriotic. :)

    Nothing like lots of cash in the bank to make you a patriotic GodsZoner. :)

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  30. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    JamesS: Got those books out yet? did you learn anything last night?

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  31. transmogrifier (520 comments) says:

    I didn’t vote this election, mainly because there was no party for me to vote for. (I did work at a polling place though, as my contribution to democracy). I would love to vote for a socially and economically liberal party, but there is nothing out there. I can’t stand parties that advocate allowing business freedom to do what it wants on one hand, and then putting as many restrictions as possible on what consenting individuals can do. (and vice versa, obviously).

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  32. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Funny you should say that David; was in the Wellington library today and have ordered your book – the librarian lady I was speaking to about it did a search and said it was out; keen to read it.

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  33. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    That is a shame John Boy because everything I said is true or something I believe will be true. Sure Banks could do something insane but I don’t think it is very likely. If you could be more specific in your disbelief of me it would be useful.

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  34. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    I will be interested in your review James..you obviously have an interest in and some knowledge of the subject… The chapter on CP in NZ in Newbold’s book is good background….but he reveals his ideological bias a bit which is a shame……and before you say it, mine is a polemic which by definition promotes a point of view; his is supposed to be objective…

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  35. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    I also have an open mind, David, and have never bought into the ‘innocent man being executed’ routine so many get into; I just happen to think, as I said last night, that in terms of punishment a long term of imprisonment is such a punishment (imagine being arrested for murder now – right now – and spending 22 hours per day in a cell, every day between today and 2030. That is a punishment in my view)

    I am genuinely interested in reading what you have to say on the topic.

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  36. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @David G.

    I still have far more to learn that I have years available. (Hopefully, I will be thinking the same at the end.)

    Whether Stephen Whittington is one or not I cannot say, but I have seen, in my industry, many an intelligent and (potentially) capable youngster given too much ‘air time’ too soon, leading to a ‘run before they can walk’ mentality and outcome.

    There is a time to be reserved and a time to be outspoken. Generally speaking, they are delineated by age/years experience.

    I have 17 years in my industry and much, much less in and around the field of politics. I am much more outspoken about ICT than I am about the mechanics of politics.

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  37. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    This better be our last exchange here on this James…threadjacking and all that…if you’d stayed with it last night you would have seen that for various reasons I have come to the same view as you….but I stand by most of what I wrote 12 years ago…

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  38. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    bhudson: yep…whatever one’s level of ability or intelligence I have found the old dog can still teach the new a thing or two…I like to think I discovered that reality a lot earlier than my peers…perhaps Sir Roger’s admiration of Whittington’s intellect when to his already somewhat swollen head…

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  39. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    JB will revert to type and do what is best for JB IHS.

    Much as I like your fervour for ACT It just won’t happen.

    JB is an old man and will do what all old men do. Take the easy option.

    John Key is the master at giving support parties the easy option.

    I hope I am wrong but I don’t think so. :)

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  40. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @David G,

    On Sir Rodger’s (continued) endorsement… It is difficult now, some 25 years later, not to admire the hard decisions Sir Rodger had to make and the potential they unlocked in our economy [albeit at some pain in the '80s - I can remember that.]

    If there is one thing the young up and comers have in common from my experience, it is that that they all spout the things their promoters want to hear. To paraphrase an old Speights ad: “You can call me [young] boy, but you can’t call me stupid.”

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  41. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    hudson: I quite agree with you re what Roger (do “d” in his name old boy) did back in the 80′s….the thing that always shut the socialists up in the House was my (our) taunt of “tell what he did that Labour ever changed”…

    Has Roger come out and endorsed Whittington’s rush of blood to the head?

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  42. adamsmith1922 (888 comments) says:

    It would be easier to afford credence, if any, to bhudson at 7:00 pm if he could actually spell Roger as in Roger Douglas. He spells the name Rodger, no doubt he has a dog of that name.

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  43. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @David G,

    Is there some simple procedural reason why John Boscawen accompanied John Banks to the confidence & supply discussions? I have been pondering on the survival of ACT as ACT and wondered if, perhaps, the key there might be for John Boscawen to take over the Presidency with an eye to being the Leader in 2014.

    Economically liberal / socially moderate – that is the ACT I remember that took the scene by storm in the ’90s. John Boscawen seems to fit there a little bit easier than toking on a doobie or two. Perhaps he is a better proposition to keep the original brand alive.

    Surely ACT in 2011 has shown that money [financial backing] can’t buy votes. Perhaps solid and palatable policy (with reasonable funding) could?

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  44. adamsmith1922 (888 comments) says:

    ACT failed the moment the so-called Board caved into the bizarre coup of Brash. They sealed the fate of ACT, not Key, not Banks but the ACT board and the weirdo called Don Brash.

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  45. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    hudson: No idea mate….I havent been persona grata at ACT HQ lately…ever since they decided Mr Whittington might know more about law and order policy than moi….

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  46. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Davd G,

    “Has Roger come out and endorsed Whittington’s rush of blood to the head?”

    Yes, it appears he has – in a manner of speaking: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10769531

    Party co-founder Sir Roger Douglas, who has long believed in pushing the message of economic liberalism, said the party was not terminal. He said the Saturday result was disappointing and that the party had failed to capitalise on the momentum of Dr Brash taking over the leadership in April.

    … It amounts to one and the same thing…

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  47. backster (2,076 comments) says:

    WHITTINGTON ““economically ignorant” John Banks,

    Er Banks started with neither education nor money and is a multi millionaire (reputedly)

    Whittington probably started with a silver spoon and a wealth of arrogance which he still possesses at 25 years of age, perhaps he should display his economic superiority when he approaches Banks present age.

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  48. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @admasmith1922,

    Re: “Roger” vs “Rodger”

    Good to see you focus on the things that matter. On that it seems you have much in common with the Labour Party election campaign… (refer whaleoil.co.nz)

    [For what it is worth, I agree with you completely on the ACT Board's acquiescence to Don's cheap Sopranos trick.]

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  49. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    bhudson, your comments on Whittington are not very charitable. Even less so coming from a magnanimous person like you. :-)

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  50. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    bhudson: I am not the must subtle chap in the world, but I am not sure Roger’s reported comments could exactly be seen as endorsing the boy wonder’s comments…

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  51. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Hi Manolo,

    Please do not misinterpret… My comments here in no way reflect on what Stephen can achieve in the future. Quite the contrary – for what it is worth, I think he has the potential to be a very strong politician, should he choose to continue with it.

    My point tonight is that he (and his advisers) failed to perceive where his (relative) inexperience was out of step with the real world.

    Put simply: you don’t win votes by being (intellectually) superior or correct – you win votes by bringing people with you. That takes a greater combination of intellect, understanding, experience and empathy [not to mentioned a host of other factors that also interweave.]

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  52. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    “Put simply: you don’t win votes by being (intellectually) superior or correct ”

    Worked for Helen. :)

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  53. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Johboy you are an idiot.

    ” JB will revert to type and do what is best for JB IHS.”

    What the fuck are you on about ? Could I sugest you make an aquaintance with reality ? From my perspective National is a much better option personaly and the worst option socially for fucks I am a Labour but I am not fucking Labour that extends working for families, I am not Labour that plays silly buggers with fruit and veges and GST. Hell as far as I can see Red Alert have banned me but I am Labour.

    They are not me and until they become me they are unelectable ( god how arrogant is that ) It is true though

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  54. Nostalgia-NZ (4,902 comments) says:

    Whittington sure sounds like he wants to blame somebody for not being in Parliament despite having his eyes wide open with the opportunity until about 9pm last Saturday.
    Not defending Banks but he knows what side his bread is buttered on.

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  55. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Crikey…bit early for drug fueled rants?

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  56. Mike Readman (356 comments) says:

    “the combination of Isaac and Banks would have been a workable one for ACT.”

    Could you PLEASE tell me DPF, why do you keep ignoring 2005′s result? All she did was piss off voters and members.

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  57. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @David G,

    Fair point – It was a conflation. Both of what Sir Roger has said lately and also Catherine Issac.

    Sir Roger brought Stephen into the ACT higher echelon and promoted his high ranking. He also promoted Don Brash’s takeover of the party. He defended the takeover of ACT by Brash again today. (Which is – by extension a defence of Stephen who has also defended the social and economic liberal positions Brash appeared to take [that part I can attest to hearing personally.])

    (Interestingly, he [Sir Roger] doesn’t associate the ACT election outcome with that takeover – rather it is the fault of ‘others’ (a little like a bunch of Labour supporters have been saying about their own fortunes.)

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  58. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    “ACT failed the moment the so-called Board caved into the bizarre coup of Brash. They sealed the fate of ACT, not Key, not Banks but the ACT board and the weirdo called Don Brash.”

    Adam, are you a member? Have you read the constitution? If you followed the situation Rodney resigned rightly or wrongly. What do you think the board should have done. I think they have done pretty well with the cards they were dealt.

    However, they obviously made a big mistake with Whittington. Hopefully they will rectify it smartly and remove him as spokesman on law and order.

    Whatever one this of changing the law on cannabis it was a bad mistake to raise it at the time. Don accepts that was an error if listening to Perigo and a strongly suspect Whittington. Perhaps he would like to comment on this thread and he may learn something about loyalty.

    He timely great. The party has enough to sort out without having to deal with a petulant child who think he is a mature adult.

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  59. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Yes IHS!!

    Whatever you just said!!! :)

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  60. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Chuck Bird,

    Neither am I a member. But…

    Surely when Don held the (mythical) gun to the Board’s head and said (to paraphrase): “Make me leader or I will start a rival party and destroy you”, they could have said “Sure, Don. Go right ahead. Do you need some assistance with the paperwork?”

    As Colin Craig showed (and I suspect Don Brash knew before he issued his ultimatum), it just isn’t as easy as creating a new party and suddenly appearing in Parliament.

    Put simply (from the outside): the Board should have backed Rodney and told Don to “do his worst”

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  61. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Put simply (from the outside): the Board should have backed Rodney and told Don to “do his worst”

    I disagree.
    Rodney Hide himself inflicted enormous damage to ACT with his prima-donna antics and use of ministerial perks. ACT was treading water before Brash’s intervention. Sad, but true.

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  62. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Manolo,

    “ACT was treading water before Brash’s intervention”

    True, perhaps. But anyway you look at it, treading water is a damn sight better than being forced to swallow [breathe] it

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  63. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    I still think ACT would have got more votes with Rodney at the helm than poor old Don Manolo.

    He really gives the impression of a doddering old fart and seems to be a complete turn off to women (apart from his numerous tarts). :)

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  64. Nostalgia-NZ (4,902 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird 7.56

    All of which assumes Douglas didn’t have a hand in things.
    Whatever the case, better for Whittington to have held tight on his views. If he’d done that he might have had the chance to waka-jump himself at an opportune moment after making a ‘thoughtful’ decision, even if there seem to be no wakas in sight for him – more so because of his recent dummy spitting.

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  65. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    “I think Steven’s comments are somewhat unfair to John Banks,”

    Key difference, Whittington can say what he chooses, DPF.. cannot.

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  66. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Johnboy: aint it just a mystery who appeals to women?? I remember this guy at school…Matthew X…he 1) was a pom, in the era when that was not cool; 2) he wasnt very bright; 3) he didnt play sport; 4) he had only a passing acquaintance with the shower 4) he didnt seem to have any great chat up lines..he did have a motorbike, but then so did lots of other guys…

    The prick could walk into a party and walk out with the girl everyone had been hitting on all night without success…a firkin mystery to the rest of us…

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  67. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Chuck: You are more “in” than I am at the moment….do you know whose bright idea it was to appoint Whittington justice spokesman when, inter alia, he knows nothing about law and order issues, and doesnt thing they have any place in the ACT pantheon??

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  68. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Probably let the rumour slip that he was hung like a donkey David.

    Once the girls find out it isn’t true it’s too late. :)

    Course maybe he was hung like a donkey! :)

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  69. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    bhudson, things happened very quickly. It is clear from watching telly that Douglas and Roy a hand in things they were spotted with Calvert. Rodney choose to resign for the sake of the party. The board then had little option. Douglas claimed to me on the phone a couple of days ago he had nothing to do with this second coup until it happened but I know he had major part to play in forcing Rodney out but letting others do his dirty work.

    I have not the slightest doubt if Douglas had of properly supported Rodney after he made a serious error in his overseas trip which he genuinely apologized for ACT would have had at least 3 MPs. Instead he organised the failed coup with Roy and white anted Rodney in a variety of ways. I was not going to go public about Douglas but when I see this young fool that Douglas helped get a high list rating ahead of others is being disloyal to the leader Douglas wanted I changed my mind.

    I let Douglas know what I thought first by email then I followed up with a phone call. I suggest we met face to face at the ACT with others present. To paraphrase our conversion the disaster on Saturday was everybody’s fault but his and he does not have to justify himself to peasants.

    Since he did not want to meet me I suggest he join this conversation. I am still an ACT member and at this point in time I owe my loyalty to the leader at least till he has had to prove himself one way or another.

    My message to Master Whittington is to resign from ACT and do not join another party till you grow up.

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  70. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Should have kept Rodney Chuck. Obvious to all except the fuckwits that run ACT.

    That’s why I stopped sending them money.

    Folks don’t like too many changes.

    Continuity is king.

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  71. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Ah chuck…just who IS the leader at the moment?? Don has resigned and his resignation has been accepted….I suppose John Boscawen is technically still the deputy?

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  72. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    David, as I understand Banks is leader. I am not sure if there is a deputy outside Parliament. There of course in not normally a leader outside Parliament. To be fair to Banksie I read that he would have been happy for Issac to be leader but she declined.

    I say give the man and the board a fair go.

    I have nothing but contempt for people like Douglas, Roy, Calvert and now Whittington who are happy to get into Parliament or attempt to get in on someone’s coattails then show total disloyalty to that person.

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  73. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Chuck: do you know whose idea it was to appoint Whittington as justice spokesman? His appointment – together with his speech launching the law and order policy – pretty much guaranteed that no SST supporter would have party voted ACT…

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  74. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @Chuck,

    Well done for speaking your mind. I don’t think anyone who has read or commented here for some time would question your loyalty to the Party.

    I am afraid that the response you got just serves to show that the takeover was doomed from the outset.

    As an analogy – as a young man in the late ’80s I perceived that the fallout between Lange and Douglas was due to Lange buying into his own press and thinking he (and his stature) was bigger than the caucus, cabinet and party. Your recollection of your personal conversation does make me wonder if, some 22-odd years later we have a case of history repeating itself.

    I take it you are still very actively involved. My 5c worth is you can retain and reinvigorate the ACT brand. John Boscawen would seem to be a good rallying point (if you can convince him to take over.)

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  75. Radman (129 comments) says:

    If Chuck is correct then it all makes sense. This has Mad Roger Douglas’s footprints all over this!! My spies in Wellington (that has just had a BIG shake!!) tell me Mad Roger was a big fan of Whittington and pushed his promotion on the list and he also pushed hard for Banks to be the Epsom candidate!!! Then he sets his BOY on Banks through the media!! This is typical Mad Roger!! Creating turmoil wherever he goes!! No wonder the Nats didn’t want him after 2008!! Along with Mad Heather the Act Party was sure to be buggered!! And now they have Mad Whittington. What a Dick!!

    My Nats need Act but not if Mad Roger is involved. The Act Board should sack Mad Dick Whittington!!

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  76. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    Radman drop me an email please chuckbirdnz@gmail.com

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  77. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Whittington embodies ACTs real spirit…the rest of the knockers can fuck off and die.

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  78. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @The Scorned,

    And that shows exactly why the result was what it was…

    Why don’t you try real hard to grow up? [If mummy lets you]

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  79. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    BlairM: is that Blair Mulholland, multiple joiner of mulitple parties, currently a Christian fundy?

    Yawn… whenever I make a cutting point it seems that the last resort of the target is to accuse me of being a member of two separate political parties in the last ten years, which is true. The implication is that I am indecisive, but people can judge for themselves whether it is I or the ACT Party who are more assured of the principles they believe in. It’s no contest really, is it?

    I am not sure what my Christian faith has to do with anything, since I am an advocate of greater freedom and more individual responsibility in politics, which only restricts the use of force or fraud on others and otherwise allows people to behave as morally or immorally as they please in the eyes of God. I am responsible for my own behaviour and faith, and not accountable to God for the behaviour of others, so therefore I do not advocate that government control or influence the faith and behaviour of others. So why bring it up? Says more about you than me, David.

    A bit like playing for the AB’s Blair…..there are no shortage of armchair experts on how the game should be played, but its a bit different actually being out on the paddock…

    I’m a little more than an armchair expert, David, I worked for ACT for three years, and I can tell you that Prebs would never have allowed you fools to pull the silly stunts you did over the last parliamentary term. Seeing the Prebble caucus versus the Hide one is like comparing the ABs with the Waikikamukau First Fifteen. Prebs would never have allowed you to ask those questions in the House.

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  80. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Ohhh…you worked for ACT for three years! As what?

    “The Prebs caucus…” who pray – other than Prebble himself – were the standouts in that group?

    “Prebs would have never let you ask those questions in the House…” which ones were they? Do you mean the ONE question where, due to time pressure (you wouldnt understand, you have never been in a caucus) we didnt research our facts properly on private title to land adjoining the foreshore as opposed to the foreshore itself?

    And what “silly stunts” did we pull? Getting three strikes passed when all the “experts” said the Nats would never go for it; a policy which is already bearing dividends, such that the Nats now claim it as their own? Do tell us Blair….

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  81. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Oh bhudson piss off and die you limp cunt. ACT has failed because its been a sell out to conservative pragmatism. That is dead. RIP….now….let a real freedom/liberal party arise…

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  82. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist David, my original comment wasn’t even directed at you, it was a mention in passing criticising those who claim ACT has only recently become unprincipled, when the truth is that the rot had set in years ago. You’re entitled to your opinions and your beliefs, obviously I disagree with you, but my observation was that Prebble’s caucus was much more tightly whipped than Hide’s. I know several of the MPs had views that they were simply not allowed to express because they differed from party principles, and I think that is fair enough. When you have a disciplined team, anyone can fake competency. ;-)

    I remain very fond of Stephen Franks and Muriel Newman, and it is the country’s loss that they are no longer in Parliament. And nobody can take your Three Strikes achievement away from you – a stellar achievement indeed.

    My history with ACT is detailed here: http://www.blairmulholland.co.nz/about.html

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  83. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    And furthermore – my issues with ACT in the last term: http://clintheine.blogspot.com/2011/03/national-but-more-staunch-party.html

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  84. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Blair: Fair enough…I don’t know Muriel at all, but admire her work as they say…I count Steve Franks as a friend; my work on three strikes was really the culmination of what he began, and I have always given him credit for that.

    I am sure you disagree, but I think Hide is a flawed genius….even as something of an insider you really have no idea how difficult it was for the bastard with Roy ….and it must be said Roger…undermining him constantly from the beginning. I fimrly believe that if you had to ascribe ACT’s dire state to one person – and it is more than one person – Miss Roy and her delusions about her ability is the culprit. And she would never have been able to indulge those delusions unless they were fostered….

    And thanks for your gracious acknowledgement re three strikes…I personally feel that at least some of the obsession the media has for me – still – is payback because they all so smugly predicted the Nats would never go for it.

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  85. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Hide rocked…fuck Roy…all done. Move on now.

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  86. Nookin (3,034 comments) says:

    David Garret @ 8.28 pm

    I knew a guy like that. Always picked up the ladies in the pub. He didnt even chat them up. Just sat at the bar licking his eyebrows.

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  87. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Nookin: LOL….of course we wouldnt have known at that stage what talent that hid, but I dont recall Matthew having a tongue like that….mind you God is kind…he is now a minor bureaucrat, still living in Gisborne (my home town)…School days were his glory days…

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  88. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    BlairM: I have read the post you link to…yours from March last attacking John B on the Consumer Rights Bill…the one huge thing you miss – and with respect, you dont understand coz you have never been in the House – is that IF ACT had stayed a pressure group working with National as you suggest, and worked within National to get “Actoid” candidates picked and elected….NOTHING would have happened… because of whipping.

    The classic example is the so called Borrows amendment to the anti smacking bill…despite most of the “right” side of the House thinking it was an excellent compromise, Borrows himself had to vote against his own amendment, because the whips decreed that they would’nt support it…mind you, Borrows is a gutless duplicitous bastard, but Alan Peachey had the some problems, and he wasnt….

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  89. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    “– Miss Roy and her delusions about her ability is the culprit. And she would never have been able to indulge those delusions unless they were fostered….”

    Quite right on both points. Roy would never have been able to try her silly coup without support.

    She was almost certainly involved in your past going public which you had offered to make public earlier on. It killed two birds with one stone. You had called her a liar in response to Tashkoff preforming at a meeting on the North Shore. Two or three days later the news about you was leaked. An added benefit was that it discredited Rodney.

    I of course cannot prove it but if one read Whale Oil about the dirt Simon Ewen-Jarvie collected it seem almost certain she was involved. It is speculation who else may have been involved.

    Politics is a dirty game and I can understand parties leaking information on opposition members. However, it is another thing to do that to a member of your team.

    In regards your query about Whittington someone else suggested it was Roger. I would not be surprised. Roger managed to get back on the board after Don’s coup.

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  90. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Interesting reading the posts of the defenders of what ACT has become, fighting it out with the defenders of what ACT originally stood for. Act is now a conservative party, so I suppose they’d better rewrite their core principles, because their constitution no longer reflects what they have evolved into being.

    Whittington, as a true liberal, has every right to express his dissatisfaction with what ACT as it stands, and I suspect he will be leaving shortly to join a new party. I applaud his stance.

    There is definitely room on the political spectrum for a secular classical liberal party. It simply needs a catalyst in the form of prominent, principled founder. David Farrar would be ideal, yet he remains wedded to the Nats for some reason.

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  91. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    I hope you are right Scott and the sooner the better. There all ready is a secular classical liberal party. It is called Libertariannz and it got about 1200 votes.

    Parties evolve. ACT focused first on economic issues but then it took others like law and order, one law for all and the ETS. Issues like euthanasia and homosexual marriage and adoption were never ACT policy. Whittington used the 30 second time at the end of Back Benches to push his personal view instead of ACT policy.

    Members are free to hold their own views on these issues but you can be sure Banksie will not be promoting them.

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  92. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Chuck: thanks for that…lets all not forget 1) the “Ewing Jarvie dossier” – containing the most outlandish and defamatory allegations agaisnt John Boscawewn – exists. I have seen it – complete with the dickhead’s e-mail addy at the top. No MSM or blog ever published it because John would have sued the pants of them and won big time, since he is such a lovely guy with a very valuable and well deserved reputation to protect; 2) Heather Roy was closely associated with Ewing Jarvie, and “denounced” his admitted leaking of his shit sheet to the media… Her denouncing him didn’t end her association with him; 3) Roy is a compusive liar, even when she doesnt need to…

    Oh do please sue Heather! The parade of witnesses – both willing and subpeoned – as to your lying and other ….ah… behaviour would parade through the High Court for a week….If you think you’d get a “policy job” after that, you are even more delusional than I ever thought….

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  93. Nostalgia-NZ (4,902 comments) says:

    So no surprise with Roger, certainly had a record of conflict within his political life.
    But what about the recent record? As it remains there seem to be ACT members who see their life’s work completed by the 3 Strikes Legislation, really?
    What the average punter probably remembers about ACT and the 2008 election is ONLY the 3 Strikes legislation. Move forward to even before the turbulence, no blue print of what were Act was actually standing for, a significant opinion they were National by proxy, Rodney all tuck up in bed. Then of course the very pubic unwinding followed by ill disciplined in-fighting resulting in a general impression they might be dead on the water. Don featuring in a classic night of the long-knives which ultimately was self-destructive yet probably still able to influence a good portion of those wanting to see the economy held-tight and built upon. Even his ‘error’ about legalising marijuana was hardly significant if the party were behind but they weren’t, Banks was already gone and many others still smarting over the coup. All of this on the eve of the Election, no disciplined voice from within, no ability to have the public see the party as unified (despite this being the critical time.) Just on this point some, soothing language from Banks post ‘tea cups’ may have shown the unity that the doubters didn’t see, maybe picked up 1 or 2% of those former voters who were reluctantly considering moving away.
    Oh yes, on cue Judith Collins, and JK claiming the 3 Strikes ‘plaudits’ and who were Act again and what were their policies?
    That’s right, some kind of right wingers with identity and credibility problems. Trust them, well no they’re not even talking among themselves and aren’t they extremists of some type.

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  94. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird says:- “There all ready is a secular classical liberal party. It is called Libertariannz and it got about 1200 votes.”

    There are many more than 1200 classical liberals in New Zealand, so one would assume that the Libertarianz brand was a dud. Too much focus on Ayn Rand whining and gay issues and not enough focus on freedom and self determination IMO.

    If Banks throws in his lot with the Conservatives, then ACT will bleed a few seculars, but will gain a much greater voter share, thus making room for a liberal party, who would be a natural ally on some economic issues at least. Seems MMP is here to stay, so having at least two parties to the right of the Nats makes political sense.

    You could call the new party ContACT…

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  95. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    I think Rodney Hide’s ascension was the beginning of the end for ACT. Good as an MP, but terrible as party leader.

    Hide disappointed in so many fronts.

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  96. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    Scott, I do not know the difference between a classical liberal and a libertarian and don’t much care. They all see pretty nutty.

    One prominent ACT member who shall remain nameless got me to fill in a questionnaire. One question was “Do you agree all sex between consenting adults should be legal?” I said before I answer I need clarification. I then said that could include incest. To paraphrase him he said what is the problem there are test to check for birth defects. I mentioned this to another libertarian – not an ACT member recently. He said I of course would not want to fuck my sister but if an adult brother and both choose to do so what business is it of anyone else? So what it causes problems within the family.

    On the issue of drugs cannabis is just the a first step. Many if not most libertarians beleive all drugs should be legal including heroin, cocaine and P.

    I do not want to discuss the merits of these ideas but suggest these is not a market for such a party.

    I suggest those who think like that form their own party or join Libertarianz and argue with them.

    I cannot see ACT joining with the Conservatives or visa versa.

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  97. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    @ChuckBird @David Garrett

    While I don’t disagree with everything you have said about ACT and some of its former MP’s, I can say there are some things that you don’t know. David will not be aware for instance that long before the bust up between Heather and Rodney, Rodney and John were planning David’s demise. You see David, they realized you had become a liability because of some of your “antics”. That is straight from one of the two horses mouths at the time. Heather just made the whole thing convenient, so perhaps it is worth rethinking whether she in fact was the leaker. Many commentators didn’t think so.

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  98. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    All you national voters – how many of you voted for national when Don Brash was leading and how many voted for John Key? Those two leaders had completely conflicting policies yet you still voted national? The National party has absolutely no philosophy and the only desire is to stay in power for as long as possible rather than make a positive change. If you voted for both Don Brash then John Key then you really are more interested in voting for a party and not policy. You have no spine and are nothing more than drones following their dear blue leader.

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  99. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    The birth defect argument against consenting adult incest is silly and redundant. Contraceptives exist….and birth defects occur in babies born to unrelated parents too….so its a piss weak argument against violating peoples sexual rights .

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  100. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    The Scorned, I wonder if Master Whittington would agree with you.

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  101. weizguy (120 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    “And what “silly stunts” did we pull? Getting three strikes passed when all the “experts” said the Nats would never go for it; a policy which is already bearing dividends, such that the Nats now claim it as their own?”

    Please stop lying about three strikes – you know that there is no evidence that it has made a difference to anything. Regardless of whether or not you think it will, there simply hasn’t been enough time to evaluate its effect.

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