ACT dead, aged 18

May 4th, 2012 at 11:25 am by David Farrar

My Herald column is online here. It is written in quite a different style to my normal columns. An extract:

The Association of Consumers and Taxpayers was born in 1993 to Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley, in one of the nation’s first “queer” marriages. Prior to 1993, a National and Labour politician had never had a child together.

The new born infant was precocious, abbreviating its name to before it even attended primary school. At three years old it got elected to Parliament despite having no current MPs there – something not achieved since 1978.

ACT’s parliamentary childhood was reasonably healthy, from 1996 to 2004. It reached 11 years of age looking forward to adolescence. However the pre-teen years saw the start of its trouble years.

Stepdad Richard Prebble moved out, and Father Roger disapproved of Rodney, the new stepdad. They started to argue in front of the kids. Even worse, suave Don stole away ACT’s first girlfriend, so at age 12 ACT got reduced to two MPs in 2005.

And the penultimate paragraph:

ACT’s friends are very sad at this prognosis. They recall the good times they had with ACT. They remember the good things ACT achieved. They don’t want to see ACT dead and buried, but they know that true friends don’t let mates suffer in agony. They know it is time to turn off the life support, and let ACT die.

This is not a call for anything to be done now. It is simply a recognition of reality.

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100 Responses to “ACT dead, aged 18”

  1. Griff (8,194 comments) says:

    Nature abhors a vacuum

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  2. Nick R (510 comments) says:

    Heh. Tough, but fair.

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  3. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Winston was dead and buried. Never a wooden stake when you need one.

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  4. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    That is very very good DPF. Well done. I am of course admiring your writing style and not indulging in nasty schadenfreude….

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  5. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    How appropriate, given that @DrBrash died earlier this week.

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  6. big bruv (14,149 comments) says:

    I agree with DPF, ACT are indeed dead and almost buried.

    However, this proves just how fucking stupid National party people are. If the right (or what passes for the right given the insipid left leaning government we have currently) do not want to stay in opposition for a decade (a decade that will see NZ’s economy destroyed by a Labour/Green government) then they need to make room for another party to the right of them on the political landscape.
    Because Kiwi’s are stupid we have an electoral system that will always favour the left, the Nat’s need to start working that system in their favour.
    Another party (as long as it is not a bible based “Conservative” party) needs to be encouraged by the Nat’s and they (the Nat’s) need to gift them at least four or five seats at each election.
    In those four or five seats the Nat’s should not stand a candidate, these seats should be left for the new right wing party to win with ease and thus ensure that the “right” has a chance of forming a government.
    By doing this the Nat’s would ensure that those who cast their party vote for the new right wing party would not see their vote wasted.

    Is a suggestion like that slightly unethical?…well yes, but we simply cannot afford another left wing government (it is bad enough with the left wing government we have at the moment) and Labour did a similar thing in Wigram anyway.

    The right needs to play the hand it has been dealt.

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  7. RRM (10,018 comments) says:

    Winston is a personality cult Slightlyrighty. A bit different.

    Act is a cause, a good one, but seriously lacking in any competent, effective advocacy.

    This leftie might have voted for them, if they hadn’t been such an unlikeable clique of obnoxious arseholes.
    (Garrett excepted, he seems a bit more real than the rest of them.)
    All they ever seemed to do was tell us, in haughty, sneering rich prick / rich bitch tones, all about what we don’t deserve and how lazy the poor are.
    No wonder few ever voted for them.
    Shame.

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  8. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Sounds about right, except the last sentence…

    At the next election, National must stand in Epsom, and stand to win the seat.

    …might have the timing wrong.

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  9. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Someone had to start writing funny satire after Danyl lost the art.

    Just like Roger and Derek, he was much more fun before he had a baby.

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  10. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Excellent.

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  11. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    So what have we left? Not a lot to cheer about.

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

    They remember the good things ACT achieved.

    Got me on that one :-)

    ACT started out as a negative, remained a negative, and will soon fade from the pages of history, ashes to ashes – which will be its first positive: carbon storage.

    ACT was always faithful in disservice to New Zealand.

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  13. RRM (10,018 comments) says:

    So ACT was forced to become friends with Don and Don then got ACT stoned on cannabis. Some kids can handle cannabis, but not ACT.

    :-) :LOL: Gold!

    They’ll stone you and then they’ll stay, “Good Luck”…

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  14. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    What chance Rodney’s going to come back to save us all. It has been held since he was rolled that he, and his office, thought he could reclaim the throne from Brash.

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  15. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    The problem with ACT is that they sold out long ago to business interests and that they had morphed into the parliamentary wing of big business and not consumers and taxpayers that they originally appealed to.
    The public were not fooled by the shenanigans of the Brash takeover and that was reflected in November’s poll.
    There still is room in the political spectrum for a party like ACT but not in it’s current form with Bank’s as the centrepiece, there was a time when ACT was a credible alternative but not now.

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  16. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    They lost my support when John Ansell resigned as their advertising director.

    http://johnansell.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/40-facts-the-dompost-would-not-let-voters-read-but-charged-act-for-anyway/

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  17. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    “At the next election, National must stand in Epsom, and stand to win the seat.”

    Yes. Including the looming by-election. That will make National honest again.

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  18. KiwiGreg (3,259 comments) says:

    Raionally, National shouold form a “Rural” party which stands only in rural electorate seats and encourages its voters to give their party vote to National. National wouldn’t stand electorate candidates in those electorates.

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  19. Steve Wrathall (285 comments) says:

    Pfft. Another day, another cheesy obituary. Just like we’ve read periodically over the last 18 years.
    But as you point out DPF, getting into parliament without existing MP is extraordinarily difficult. And yet the option you advocate of killing off ACT, leaves what as National’s 2014 strategy? Get 50% when they didn’t even achieve that in 2011? Throw a seat to Colin Craig (who opposes asset sales) or be beholden to Winston or the Maori Party. And what makes you think that any “replacement ACT” would not face the exact same challenges as ACT has always had?

    [DPF: A new party with new people will not have the tainted brand. Even if ACT could win Epsom, I see no chance they could bring in a List MP]

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  20. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    Dead at 18, so sad. Just proves we need to raise the thinking age to 20.

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  21. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    The damage that Act keeps doing to National clearly outweighs the benefits it provides. National might have won 50% of the vote last year if not for Banks’ cup of tea. The party is a rotting zombie, and National is being contaminated by the stench.
    As for the prospect of a new party on the right, it must create itself. A fake created for the purpose of supporting National will just attract contempt, and canibalise National votes.

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  22. Steve Wrathall (285 comments) says:

    S Russell, you’re dreaming. No party under MMP will get 50%, which is why ACT will still be there after 2014 , and beyond, while the next tranche of obituary-writers get writers’ cramp.
    And funny how these fantacisers about a “new party on the right” always expect someone else to do it.
    As someone who has been in ACT since the beginning, I know exactly how much work it is to set up a party from scratch. Oh yeah, and I hope they’ve got deeper pockets than Colin Craig.

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  23. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    RRM: You illustrate one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – problem ACT always had and was never able to surmount. The impression that it was a party of rich pricks FOR rich pricks.

    Well, I could write a book about that (in fact I just might) but let me tell you, as an insider – albeit for a short time – and a person who is most definitely NOT a rich prick [hopeless at business and not prepared to do 15 hour days 5 1/2 days a week as a lawyer and never see my kids awake] that perception that you and half the electorate have could not be more wrong.

    At least in my time, NO-ONE in the ACT caucus or board was interested in policies that favoured “rich pricks” above everyone else. I remember Roger telling me once how Gibbs was hugely pissed off at him because of the reforms that Roger put in place in the 80’s..You know the ones: GST; removing farm and manufacturing subsidies; removal of tariffs and the import licensing rort…all those policies that have never been changed in all the years since. Gibbs said removal of manufacturing subsidies had cost him $15 million (in 1984 dollars) and he wasn’t right pleased about it.

    The Roger Douglas I came to know 25 years later was the same guy – wanting to raise everybody’s standard of living, not just the rich.

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  24. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    I don’t buy the “National needs ACT to govern” meme.

    Two possibilities – CCConservatives or someone else on the right gets a lot more attention & therefore votes, or

    we have a few decades of pendulum swinging between stable 1 party right wing governments and volatile 4-5 party left wing governments.

    There’ll still be the left / right vote. When ACT deservedly dies, it’s voters aren’t going to suddenly vote Green.

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  25. Mikey (13 comments) says:

    Big Bruv said “Because Kiwi’s are stupid we have an electoral system that will always favour the left…”

    Its called democracy.

    I agree with KevinH about ACT selling out. They long ago stopped representing the rights of consumers and taxpayers and instead represented no-one but big business. I am left-leaning, and believe that government can fill a range of roles much more effectively than private enterprise – but I would value the introduction of a genuine and principled party of small government here in NZ.

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  26. Dave Mann (1,251 comments) says:

    @s.russell

    A fake created for the purpose of supporting National will just attract contempt, and canibalise National votes.

    YES… I agree completely! This is exactly what happened at the last election when the electorate comprehensively (at a national level anyway) expressed their utter contempt for them after that ridiculous Brash coup and the utterly demeaning ‘cup of tea’ affair.

    The sad fact is that there is no credible centre-right party here. National is actually centre-left, Labour is far left and the Greens are more or less Communists. And of course, there’s Winston, but don’t lets go there…. LOL

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  27. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Goodriddance..
    a few strange men with a few strange ideas..They never had wide public support..How can you succeed in politics when the majority of people don’t like your ideas and don’t trust you.?? The word hypocrisy always seems to dog them..and now Banks is thrashing any semblance of honesty with his new lie everyday policy. He is showing contempt for ordinary people. Does he really think they are that thick?
    How long can this circus go on? It is really tainting Key. Has he forgotten that his previous antics have turned the media against him?

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  28. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Mikey: OK matey…please do tell us one ACT policy at either the 2008 or 2011 elections that “favoured big business”?

    three strikes? No, that one “favoured” everyone except recidivist violent criminals

    school choice? No…that one was designed to let every parent send their kid to the school they thought best for them

    One law for all? That “favoured” everyone except those who think New Zealanders should be treated differently according to their skin colour, or when exactly their ancestors arrived here..

    Abolish the ETS? that would favour the ordinary citizen who could arrange their affairs to avoid liability…

    Which have I missed?

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  29. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    The claim that ACT was a party of big business is absurd in the extreme. BB hated the 80’s reforms and are quite happy with government interference in the market, especially if it is in its favour.

    ACT is certainly dead in the water. Personally I think that has been the case for a while now, it just took a long time to die.

    National must have a viable party to its right. But I am not convinced that another liberal party such as ACT is the answer. A genuine conservative party, in every sense of the word, is a far more likely prospect.

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  30. Alan Wilkinson (1,889 comments) says:

    I think ACT was always bedevilled by its conservatives. That was the main reason it was easily dismissed as favouring the rich establishment. Although its policies would have benefited the poor most of all they were seized on by the conspicuously wealthy first and that permanently tainted them.

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  31. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Alan W: Some of the most “conservative” people I know are working class Islanders…which is why Labour has so lost its way…Mrs Fatialofa from Otahuhu is not much interested in policies that assist the “Rainbow Community”…oh and btw “pasifika” is not a word used outside little groups of middle class lefties…

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  32. Elaycee (4,409 comments) says:

    joana says: “They never had wide public support..How can you succeed in politics when the majority of people don’t like your ideas and don’t trust you.?? The word hypocrisy always seems to dog them.”

    For a moment, I thought she’d seen the light and was writing about Winston…

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  33. Mikey (13 comments) says:

    I’m not trying to pick a fight David, but that is certainly the impression I have had. It has been informed by the anti-regulatory stance (which invariably favours big business over the rights of the consumer) and also ACT’s sources of campaign finance. The latter has been particularly problematic from my perspective, and my concerns came well before the John Banks fiasco. Mostly, it is the amount of anonymous campaign money that has sloshed into its coffers, and its refusal at the last election to answer a question about whether it had accepted any money from the tobacco industry. That all stinks of being in the pocket of big business to me.

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  34. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    ” It has been informed by the anti-regulatory stance (which invariably favours big business over the rights of the consumer)”

    Regulations almost never favour the consumer.

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  35. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Mikey: Fair enough…I can’t answer the question about the tobacco industry…simply because I don’t know. All I do know for sure is we were ALWAYS struggling for money, which is the exact opposite position we were supposedly in.

    And the anti regulatory thing is very much a two edged sword…while it costs “big business” (or small business for that matter) to comply with regulations, ALL businesses pass on those costs to the consumer who ultimately pays those compliance costs…

    And you quite coincidentally point to one of the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” problems ACT had…a significant faction in the party didn’t think we should have accepted the portfolio of Minister of Consumer Affairs…because they didn’t think we should have such a position!

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  36. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Mickey said…

    which invariably favours big business over the rights of the consumer

    This misconception runs havoc in the psyche of the general public in which dumb politicians fall for it.

    First, consumers don’t have rights (even if the law say so – the law is wrong there) over someone else’s properties (products or services in the markets). The producers have all the rights to what they own in a just moral society. If you don’t like the smart phone that Apple sells in the market because of price, functionality or whatever, this doesn’t mean you (consumer) have a right to demand politicians or Govt to punish Apple by regulating it (including other similar businesses in that sector) simply because you don’t like how they run their services (or sell their products). Who own/s the products in the markets? Producers!!! Who’s got the rights to those products (or services) ? They are properties that belong to the producers (businesses), not the consumers and definitely not busy-body politicians nor the Govt.

    Now, here is an objective philosophical take on what I’m talking about.

    Drop the Antitrust Case Against Microsoft

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  37. Fox (206 comments) says:

    In my view the biggest problem ACT has always had is it’s ability to communicate it’s policies to voters.

    The two main reasons for this are:
    1) it’s marketing of policies has been downright woeful
    2) the inherant left wing bias of the media results in reduced coverage of the party and it’s policies, and where coverage is provided, it’s often in a negative light.

    The policies themselves have never been the problem.

    If you look at the general gist of ACT’s policies, they’re actually very well aligned with the views of the majority of voters;

    – lower taxes
    – tougher on crime
    – less red tape / bureacracy
    – tougher on welfare

    And yet the party languishes at 1% in the polls.
    Have the people within ACT ever wondered why this huge disparity exists?

    If ACT was less absorbed in crafting overly clever policies, and instead spent more time actually selling them, I believe their fortunes would change.

    As Labour has often proved, you can have the most redundant and ill-thought-out policies imaginable, but if you do the hard yards in terms of marketing, they can still win you votes.

    I do believe there is a place for a true centre-right/right wing party in this country, if only to stop National doing stupid things like introducing anti-smacking laws, slamming our already fragile economy with carbon taxes or capitulating on mining at the slightest sign of resistance.

    Oh, and John Banks has to go, but that’s a no-brainer.

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  38. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “In my view the biggest problem ACT has always had is it’s ability to communicate it’s policies to voters.”

    Spot on. It is an interesting experiment to propose to someone a specific ACT policy but without saying where it comes from. They often agree with the policy, until you tell them its ACT, then they are less sure.

    ACT has rarely had much success in marketing itself.

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  39. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    The problem for National with Act was, all they could do was take votes off National.

    The advantage for National with a party like the Conservatives, is that they will not only take votes off National, but will also take socially conservative voters from NZ First and Labour.

    Also any party would have a better quality of MP than those Act inflicted parliament with.

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

    David Garrett (1,527) Says:

    May 4th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Therin lies ACT’s problem – it now rest its laurels on misguided social policies, which could just as easily find homes in the fringes of the main parties, when its legacy could have been an important contribution to the regulatory, finance and taxation fields.

    Three strikes is a judicial abomination; extreme choice in schools was enacted during the term of the previous Bolger/Shipley government and was a disaster, quietly abandoned; one law for all would cement in the inferior status of our indigenous people.

    ACT morphed from a principled, albeit wrongheaded, tax and regulatory emphasis, into a party bent on importing failed polices from overseas jurisdictions with track records of profound failure.

    May God not have mercy on ACT’s soul.

    In my humble opinion.

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  41. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Fox: Absolutely agree…but at least in my time we simply could never get “cut through”…none of us could…there was never any shortage of theories of what we were doing wrong communications wise or how we could do better..

    And although a lot of people think it is simply sour grapes, the massive left wing bias of the media is a huge factor…think back to the massively different media treatment of my downfall and Darren Hughes’…one was front page for days, with the joke “journal of record” up here running front page stories with various photoshopped versions of how I might have looked 27 years ago with black hair and no mo…leading the TV news of both channels, my being followed through airport terminals…what publicity do you recall about Hughes? I recall absolutely none, but then I was in the thick of it and thus cannot be objective…But I know for sure there were no photos of various sized swiss balls and diagrams of one might do with them…

    Turns out he was shacking up at Paul Henry’s bach in Hawkes Bay…how hard can he have been to find? Seen any lurid press speculation about what Darren might have been up to one drunken night in Miramar? Any follow ups on what he is doing now? Me neither…

    but as I say, I cannot be objective…

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  42. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Luc: to borrow a well worn quote, you clearly have a great deal to be humble about….funnily enough though I was speaking to a High Court Judge just yesterday…far from being “a judicial abomination”, he thought three strikes was working exactly as it was designed to do, and he couldn’t see any reason for the fuss from the lefties like you …but then he is a very sensible chap, born of the working class, like me…

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  43. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Three strikes is a judicial abomination”

    Rubbish. Three strikes was a reasonable and moral response to a serious and ongoing problem. Violence, rapes and murders by repeat offenders, some with dozens of convictions for the same offence, was a blight on our society and a travesty of justice, one that was ignored by gutless politicians until ACT’s legislation.

    The public was fed up with healines like “man rapes women while on bail” or “repeat rapist muders mother”. Only latte liberals did not care.

    “extreme choice in schools was enacted during the term of the previous Bolger/Shipley government and was a disaster”

    What is “extreme” about parents having the right to choose where their children get an education? And no such policy was enacted by the Bolger/Shiply government. They simply did away with zoning. The reality was that parents were still faced with a state run/union dominated monopoly. Hardly real choice, let alone “extreme”.

    ” one law for all would cement in the inferior status of our indigenous people.”

    Anyone born in New Zealand is indigenous to New Zealand. And the so-called “inferior” status or Maori is a result of paternalistic welfare and decades of victim based left wing ideology.

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  44. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    bringbackdemocracy: I was holding back wanting to let someone else have a go ( me being a big believer in democracy…) but you make a very good point…I recall guys who were clearly working class sidling up to me after meetings during the 2008 campaign…looking over their shoulders to make sure none of their mates saw they were talking to the right wing guy…they all thought three strikes was a great idea….or to be more accurate, that we were too soft, and it should only be one strike… those sort of guys are looking for a natural home…and it surely isn’t with Grant Robertson and his band of …ah…brothers…

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  45. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    Thank God for ACT, for no one else in parliament had the fortitude to do what needed to be done.
    The judiciary had failed the NZ public and the law was being brought into disrepute by them.
    Three shrikes has and will restore some element of faith in the law albeit without the help it should have got from the judiciary.
    I personally think it should have applied to all crimes.

    but then I’m not of the left but of the centre.

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  46. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    I admit to having doubts about three strikes when it was proposed and when it became law, but I’ve come round to thinking that it’s reasonable.

    Sure over time we may get someone who’s a bit hard done by by quirks of the law and mix of offences, but they will almost certainly be a proven criminal so too bad, life aint always fair. Life especially ain’t fair for the innocent victims of crimes who by quirks of being an unlucky target or in the wrong place at the wrong time get dealt a heap of crap, or maimed or killed.

    So far the law isn’t providing untoward results, an indication it may have been reasonably well thought through and implemented (unless it’s too soon to tell).

    Three strikes could be a god pointer to euthanasia law – all sorts of terrible predictions, but if done properly it affects only a few people in much the way that was intended.

    And three strikes is only a small solution amongst a big problem, proper policing, in prison treatment and rehab always need to be done better, the same with euthanasia with palliative and elderly care improvements being required.

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  47. RRM (10,018 comments) says:

    I personally think it should have applied to all crimes.

    but then I’m not of the left but of the centre.

    Well I consider myself “of the left” and I think 3 strikes should have applied to all crimes, and probably 2 strikes max for “serious” offending – so there! :-P

    You would have to be a fkwit to think the political left “loves criminals”…. and yet… proponents of the right are forever whining about how the left supposedly “loves criminals”; net result: real people think “the right” are a bunch of fkwits, and vote for national instead!

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  48. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    RRM: I always thought that somehow you had got more than your share of the usual allotment of leftie brains!

    BTW…you won’t hear much about 3S from the left these days…because there ARE and never will be any suitable poster boys to expose the “injustice” of a carefully thought out law…. there are more than 1000 “strikers” doing time right now…IF the Nats survive the next election we will have a few third strikers inside by 2017, and I will bet the farm they will all richly deserve to be there…

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  49. xy (190 comments) says:

    I think there’s a reasonable number of people who like the idea of ACT as a party focussed on economic liberalism, and were instantly turned off by the tough-on-crime nonsense.

    I have a lot of sympathy for ACT on Campus. Poor bastards.

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  50. thedavincimode (6,876 comments) says:

    RRM

    But you’re the only leftie that I’ve noticed who has ever supported 3 strikes. Normal reception is the Luc Jehadi remark; hence the perception regarding the political left in this matter. It is fair to say that across the pinko spectrum, anything that compromises criminals and recognises the interests and rights of victims and society generally, attracts a robust negative reaction. (Although in fairness, the reverse is true in the case of those on the other side of the dividing line.)

    One can almost glean a sense of political solidarity with criminals; that they too are part of the class struggle WTFTI.

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  51. Michael (911 comments) says:

    I can’t see how several people here are suggesting the Colin Craig Conservative Party as a replacement for ACT. As a long time ACT voter, I’d vote for the Greens before the CCCP. The CCCP are big government psuedo-socialist bigots, the Greens big government socialist liberals.

    Ironic that Don Brash was the start and end of the cancer that killed ACT – First as a National leader who stole ACT policy, then as ACT Leader who bumbled everything while he was in charge.

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  52. Mikey (13 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi said:

    “The producers have all the rights to what they own in a just moral society. If you don’t like the smart phone that Apple sells in the market because of price, functionality or whatever, this doesn’t mean you (consumer) have a right to demand politicians or Govt to punish Apple by regulating it (including other similar businesses in that sector) simply because you don’t like how they run their services (or sell their products). Who own/s the products in the markets? Producers!!! Who’s got the rights to those products (or services) ? They are properties that belong to the producers (businesses), not the consumers and definitely not busy-body politicians nor the Govt.”

    What if you are not talking smartphones? What if you are talking complex, dangerous medicines? Or addictive drugs? You could argue that regulation provides little more than a barrier to entry in a truly free market – but there is rarely such a thing. There is often an imbalance in knowledge / power between consumers and providers, and regulation is needed to counter that. Can you truly argue that unfettered direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines (something ACT supported) could have any positive benefit on anything except for drug company bottom lines?

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  53. thedavincimode (6,876 comments) says:

    xy

    I don’t see why in principle you think that being focussed on crime is somehow inconsistent with economic “liberalism”, or indeed liberalism generally. I’m not a big fan of these isms and the meaningful inverse nomenclature that politics attracts (if you are hard on crime you’re a right winger because “the left” thinks its wrong.)

    In reality, being tough on crime is simply recognition of the entitlement of the community at large to go about its business unmolested by criminal activity.

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  54. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    ACT – died young and most definately didn’t leave a good looking corpse

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  55. Rightandleft (670 comments) says:

    I have mixed feelings on ACT. Some if their policies were good and only they had the guts to say them. I actually think three strikes was too easy. We’re far too easy on violent criminals even with the current legislation in place. One law for all makes perfect sense to me. Anything else seems patently racist. The existense of Maori seats is demeaning and unnecessary. The party’s support for libertarian principles was also commendable and something we don’t see enough in nanny state NZ.

    It was on their economic policies where I think they lost most Kiwis. Their determination to strip away much of the welfare state didn’t match with the country’s long history of being a social laboratory for welfare policies. Since the 19th Century NZ has promoted itself as a sort of workers’ paradise built on egalitarianism. The public feeling towards so-called Rogernomics is not good, even if Helen’s Labour followed similar policies.

    The one ACT principle I disagreed with was ending school zoning. School choice already exists. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be buses taking kids from Kumeu to Westlake or from Ponsonby to Northcote for school. The zones only exist to ensure every kid has at least one school that must take them in. Otherwise schools could refuse local students with behavioural or academic problems. Those aren’t the kind of kids you want roaming the streets with nothing to do all day. Making schools take the locals doesn’t diminish anyone’s choice.

    In any case ACT is definitely dead now, but I would hate to see it replaced by the Conservatives. NZ has done a good job avoiding the awful culture war being waged in the US between the Christian Right and everyone else. As has been pointed out the Conservatives are big-government. In the US George W. Bush grew the federal govt to never before imagined size, stripped away civil liberties and ran up an incredible deficit. Compassionate conservatives like that can be just as economically socialist as the Greens.

    The Conservatives also call for binding referendums. I like this idea a lot, but it can’t be done until we have a written Constitution with inalienable rights. Otherwise we would be just asking for a tyranny of the majority.

    As earlier commenters have said, National can’t just be seen to prop up another new right-wing party. Doing that is an insult to the voters. National should continue to the be the big-tent centrist party that it is today. If ACT voters aren’t happy with that they can split their vote between the Conservatives (a more natural home for Banks I would think) and maybe a new Libertarian party.

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  56. rg (214 comments) says:

    The well used quote, “talk of my death is premature ” comes to mind. Usually commentators base their predictions on wishful thinking rather than logical analysis. Without ACT’s Epsom seat we will have a Labour /Green/ NZ First government.
    Some of ACT’s cronies may be gone but they were the problem, infighting, ill disciplined and flakey. There is still plenty of support for ACT and its principles. The sad thing about last election was that ACT had some very high quality candidates, new blood, the new future of ACT. What other party stands for Small Govt, One Law for All, individual responsibility and prosperity for all with no one left behind. National certainly do not stand for those ideals any more.
    National just thinks it can do socialism better than Labour, but they can’t, socialism is the equal sharing of misery. John Key is the captain of a sinking ship (NZ) and he and his party are doimg nothing to stop that..National’s support for workings for family, an unaffordable universal super, interest free student loans for rich kids , kiwisaver subsidies for thr wealthy, and all teh BIG GOVT extravagancies which mortgage our children are the problem and that is why we need ACT.
    The concessions this ACT Party got are fantastic, nothing has changed the country will be the better for ACT. The left hate ACT and will throw all sorts of things at it, unsubstantiated alllegations will not kill ACT. The media beat up (hotel room) demonstrates how keen the media are to kill ACT. Farrar amongst them it seems. RIP Kiwiblog

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  57. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    xy: Please explain what you mean by “the tough on crime nonsense”..while you are at it, do you mind disclosing how old you are? I am 54

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  58. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    Maybe Act has gone maybe not. When I think about it I have a view similar to xy above but the broader picture is very interesting because it shows the electorate does respond to a clear message, and a party aligned to the right (or left of course but not in Epsom) with a policy that resonates across the electorate can find a place in Parliament under MMP. Act could still be a vehicle for that. I’d hope the policy was an economic fillip rather than a negative campaign for a number of reasons, mostly because a smaller party can achieve in that area as they become absorbed into a coalition, and, as we’ve seen, become synonymous with that policy and the benefits which the electorate recognised.

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  59. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    rg: serious question from a former ACT MP…please list the “high quality candidates” ACT had last time…I recall hearing David Seymour speak…clearly a highly intelligent young fellow who needed (needs) a bit of life experience to be credible…Stephen Whittington,a beatiful example of “book smart, street stupid” was inexplicably made justice spokesman …perhaps because he had been admitted to the bar 3 weeks earlier….This was the guy who told me – albeit after consuming a wine or three – that ACT had no business seeking the law and order vote…the result? McVicar, a person who influences 150,000 members or supporters of Sensible Sentencing, effectively told his members not to vote ACT…the result? Conservative: 2.8% ACT 1.3%…or was it only 1.2? And that was smart was it?

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  60. Keeping Stock (10,432 comments) says:

    Act’s probably pining for the fjords….

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  61. Tom Barker (145 comments) says:

    Ah, ACT – how I’ll miss that lurid excrescence on the body politic. From the slender and charming Donna Awatere-Huata through to Rodney the Rorter and now the deeply bizarre Banksie, you always knew where to find an ACT Mp – just check the trough for a snout.

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  62. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    “Tom Barker”: Well that’s one point of view…as I believe the leftie wankers (at least of my generation) used to say

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  63. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Mickey said…

    What if you are talking complex, dangerous medicines?

    Mickey, you should think before you post. What’s your definition of dangerous medicine? Do you think that an entrepreneur will sell poisonous medicine in the free markets? He will go out of business the next day. No sane business person will do that. If you say, he is misleading the markets in selling poisonous medicine that kills people, that’s a different matter. That’s fraud, which is illegal. Do you get that?

    Or addictive drugs?

    Again, that’s vague and non-objective. Do you mean that tobacco is addictive? The consumer is free to buy and free to poison themselves if they want to smoke. It is not the role of the government to look after people’s stupidity and that’s what ACT principles are which is stated in its constitution.

    that the proper purpose of government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities

    There is often an imbalance in knowledge / power between consumers and providers, and regulation is needed to counter that.

    Have you heard of Adam Smith invisible hand? In modern day language It is called self-organization (originated from complexity theory in physics). Imbalance (or non equilibrium in the economic system itself) leads to change or phase transition. This is the very reason that innovation spreads in the markets and society is better for that. Innovation starts locally (local or neighborhood interaction of economic agents in the markets) which then spreads globally (price signals) and the society benefits as a whole. You don’t need regulation for that.

    I noted that you didn’t address what I said in my previous post. Who owns the products that are available in the markets? Think in terms of property rights which will give you a hint. Once you understand that, then you know that consumers don’t have rights.

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  64. nasska (11,804 comments) says:

    Although I have no doubt that Rodney Hide was an astute politician he suffered from an affliction common to the majority of ACT MPs, Douglas & Prebble excepted. He lacked that essential charisma, that tiny chink of ones personality that dictates success in selling political ideas.

    Once Rodney tripped up by taking a perk he was gone & there was no one who could hope to replace him. Initially I thought Don might make it but the second the smarmy arrogant Banks slimed on board the writing was on the wall.

    Like it or lump it……presidential type politics is here & here to stay. No matter how good the party’s ideas, without a figurehead with the X factor needed to connect with the electorate nothing will happen.

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  65. Fox (206 comments) says:

    I don’t believe ACT is necessarily dead.

    Surely if we’ve learnt one thing from MMP, it’s how incredibly volatile the vote for minor parties is, and how quickly their fortunes can change.

    How many times have ‘expert surgeons’ (journalists/commentators) pronounced NZ First and Winston Peters dead, only to have Winston jump up from the operating table and start dancing the Boogie?

    There are many centre-right minded people who are itching to vote for a credible party to provide John Key with a much-needed splint for his jelly spine.
    It wouldn’t take much for ACT to win them over, provided it got it’s act together (npi).

    However, I would say that ACT in it’s current form, with John Banks as leader, is as good as dead.

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  66. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    nasska: lot of wisdom there…you either have it or you dont…as Brian Edwards said the other day..”After media training a weak bill rowling looked like a weak man who had had media training”…or something like that….One of the several things I always liked about Roger…he had no presentation skills or charisma, and he knew it….trouble is the lads he chose to articulate the message had even less…of both…

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  67. nasska (11,804 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    I reckon Douglas would have been a fairly abrasive character to deal with, & I’ve no doubt that dogs cringed & beneficiaries became incontinent when he approached. He did have a certain ability to articulate an idea without sending his audience to sleep.

    Brian Edward’s comments re Rowling are apt. People are attracted or repulsed by personality & if you can’t sell yourself then you haven’t an icebergs chance in Hell of selling your idea.

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  68. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    nasska
    7.0pm

    Doesn’t it go back earlier to when Rodney Hide decided (assuming it was him particular) that he couldn’t trust the electorate to accept DG as he was, warts and all? Wasn’t that the first card to fall? As time has proven he had a persuasive argument for DG’s situation to be absorbed by voters. On reflection it seems he didn’t understand the full power the 3s legislation would bring, or that its author’s chequered journey to parliament could possibly have never been of more focus that the proposal and may have actually enhanced it. There was actually a very strong message that would have ‘shouted’ down objections to DG, with ‘do-gooders’ and all the usual terms, as to what they didn’t appreciate and whom they were therefore supporting and being ‘soft’ on.

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  69. nasska (11,804 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    ACT as a party have always struggled to present a united front but to a large extent any leader can only work with the hand he is dealt. They had a run of bad luck under Rodney’s reign & with the benefit of hindsight things could have been handled better.

    For DG’s past to be readily forgiven by the electorate , a level of humiliation & wearing of sackcloth that could have enveloped the party may have been necessary. It would have been a gamble.

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  70. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    ACT is gone….too far gone. Its brand is too tarnished in most people minds….

    There are murmurings of a new, principled classical liberal movement/party being formed…watch this space. There is a vital need for it in this country of default socialism of all stripes.

    This new movement MUST educate the voting populace as to what it stands for and why….that’s what ACT failed to achieve and it killed it. It must be equally active in its advocacy on both economic and social liberty….its failure to support and advance the latter for years cost ACT with the young….and they are the future and the voters who matter. The reaction Brashes cannabis musings got were the most positive reaction I ever saw to ACT from the public on an issue….and the fact that they died a quick death spoke volumes about ACT’s inevitable doom.

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  71. Viking2 (11,565 comments) says:

    Fox (78) Says:
    May 4th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    In my view the biggest problem ACT has always had is it’s ability to communicate it’s policies to voters.

    The two main reasons for this are:
    1) it’s marketing of policies has been downright woeful
    2) the inherant left wing bias of the media results in reduced coverage of the party and it’s policies, and where coverage is provided, it’s often in a negative light.

    The policies themselves have never been the problem.

    I agree with all that.

    When John Ansell pointed that out and suggested that Act made the effort to connect with people in an upfront way, look at what happened. The soft cock bleeding heart types that had infiltrated the place couldn’t stand the heat. The Banks’s (who by the way shouldn’t even exist in ACT), put a stop to it just like they did the debate that Don started to publicizse on the dope laws. The dopes won in that case preventing a srong discourse with the voters. Act was fucked from that point on in that election. Now wether Key had a say in that ot in Banks ear about it we won’t know.

    ACT in recent elections wasted their advertizing budget completely by wimping out on its efforts to get the message across. Douglass certainly had the right ideas but no one ever found out what they were, unless of course you were given and took the time to read his books. Waste of effort becuase while the messages were well explained no one other than the faithful ever bothered. Advertizing doesn’t work that way.

    If and it’s a now a huge if, Act survive and rid themselves of indesirables and gain robust people who will say what they mean and then they go back to Ansell and use his skills to get the message across they can have a huge say. Failing that we will almost certainly revert to labour or even worse a Labour /National coalition. Remeber even Don said they only needed 10% to really make a difference and that is still correct.
    If the greens eat away at Labour they will have few alternatives to survival and like it or not without the arsewipes like Mallard and a few of them they can be reasonable people.
    et al. A future that fill me with consternation.

    someone earlier said elections were going to be and remain presidential in style.
    How do you disrupt that. Create huge distractions. That’s what Ansels adverts would have done. They would have created the debate that has been lacking in elections since the time of Lange and Muldoon.(e.g. how did hell pizza with a just average peice of food trounce the established pizza companies with their average bits of food. Distraction Marketing. Clever and works and would have worked for ACT.)

    If ya customers aren’t talkin bout ya then do somfin about it. Voters are potential customers of your Party. Want more then do somethin to talk to them about what you have to offer.

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  72. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    Nasska.

    Depends how it was presented, I don’t think a sackcloth would have been the way to go – no sense of weakness, but rather of informed mind and experience. A misjudged exercise, odd rather than deliberate by a young man, later working on rigs, education, toughing it out in Tonga – hard to pick holes in, particularly where the alternative is murderers and rapists roaming the streets as the result of ‘soft’ sentencing. Certainly a message hard to disagree with in most provinces.

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  73. Mike Readman (365 comments) says:

    Really good, except for the part about Catherine. How the heck can she be a new friend to ACT after she had already served as president?

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  74. nasska (11,804 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    If they’d done as you suggested they may have got away with it but as things have panned out & with Banks as sole MP I reckon the fat lady must be due to give us a song. Even so with his nose stuck firmly in the trough until 2014 I can’t see the slimey one departing gracefully. It will totally stuff an already knackered brand.

    I hope another party, preferably socially liberal yet fiscally conservative can be launched. Marketed correctly it is not going to seek the far right votes of the Christian Conservatives…..there is little point in chasing them as they have not the numbers commensurate with their noise & are never moving from their present political position.

    The party I envisage as benefiting the Right would draw votes from a relatively wealthy yet socially liberal group currently favouring the Greens & Labour. They’ll never cross to National but they make strange bedfellows with unionists & Green commies.

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  75. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    Of course Act might have adopted 3s without its author. Likewise, they could now acknowledge that Banks should go because he has betrayed their core values. There would be sympathy from Act members and former voters that they had rid themselves of the National Party implant, or rejected mayor for example, and could therefore progress toward the next election with confidence that they had ‘seen and acted.’ Better to align the party than watch Banks squirm as though he alone was representative of the brand Act when most would argue that he never was.

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  76. nasska (11,804 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    Have you noticed on these & other forums frequent comments to the effect that National has abandoned its ideals & should move back to the Right to claim their traditional territory?

    I wonder if they stop to think that there’s no more votes to be had to the Right of National. ACT or CC’s Conservatives are going to mop them up & there is no way that those parties can remain viable without giving supply to National.

    The electorate has been picked up, as if by a giant hand & has been moved quite a few degrees to the Left. Even while chasing the swinging vote well into the territory of the Left the Right aided by all possible allies barely clings to power. To remain relevant National have no option other than carry on with the present course.

    Why can’t these armchair experts see the realities?

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  77. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    The one law for all policy was a NZFirst policy years before it was an Act policy. On top of everything else , they were short on original ideas..

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  78. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    ACT died and has been dead ever since I retired. Whoever advised me that having an affair would make me lose credibility anyway? I don’t think anyone ever had a problem with it nor had anything to say about it besides Nandor Tanzcos at the time. Rodney simply couldn’t do it – the truth is 98.5% of people are always going to reject a bald guy (Don is an exception because he had a combover). What has ACT really achieved? Is the Super City an achievement? OK I’ll give Garrett three strikes. But did we ever get lowered taxes? How I miss the days when I used to go into interviews and rant about a flat tax system. Explaining it to meatheads like Kim Hill and making her look like a dumbass on TV. Those were the days.

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  79. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Joanna: Let me share this with you…well prior to my involvement with ACT I wrote to Ron Mark in my capacity as legal advisor to Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST). I told him that we (McVicar, Stephen Franks and me) had gone to the US in part to research 3S laws – what worked and what didn’t – how to tailor a workable 3S law for NZ. We invited him to meet with us and work on a policy together. He told us they weren’t really interested in learning anything about it; 3S was NZ First policy already, and they didn’t need any help from SST. I still have that scornful letter – one step up from “fuck off, we don’t need you.”

    So when ACT approached McVicar and me and told us they also had 3S as their policy, and were very keen to work with us, and try and get the policy implemented, where did we go? Your messiah wasn’t interested in a policy that became the most significant change in our criminal law in 60 years. Even the communists acknowledge that, although of course they hate it. What does that say about your messiah?

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  80. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Dick Prebble: Another fuckn anonymous wanker whose most significant act (sorry) is having a morning shit. At least some of us will leave some trace of our passing. (And just in case the fools don’t get it, I am well aware that “Dick Prebble” is not the real Big Guy)

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  81. Paul Williams (879 comments) says:

    David, brilliant stuff, brilliant. If kiwiblogblog were alive today, and thank the Lord it isn’t, it’d be doffing its cloth cap to you.

    I wonder when, if, how, someone might design an app that instantly filters everything David Garrett says online… I’ll pay 1.99 NZD at least.

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  82. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Joana….

    The one law for all policy was a NZFirst policy years before it was an Act policy

    I thought that I’m just gonna drink alcohol and not read blog on a Friday night, but anyway, I’m on the borderline being wasted (alcohol) and ready to check out the viaduct bars & then K’Rd bars afterwards, but here is the truth Joana.

    The Libertarianz started the one law for all campaign, I think in 2001 or 2002, so I think you’re wrong there that it wasn’t NZ First policy. I’ll try and find the link on that from the Libz party website and posted it here.

    Adios, I’m off to town with my mates, enjoy your evening here boys & girls.

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  83. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    Paul Williams: Is that the janitor from some TAFE in New South Wales? Or is that another “Paul Williams” ?

    And I assume that “kiwiblogblog” means you have started on Barossa Valley’s finest a little early over the ditch?

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  84. Paul Williams (879 comments) says:

    What are you paying for a jeroboam of sherry nowadays David? You get them with the straws?

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  85. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    And so original! You and Philu are obviously members of the same club…in more ways than one…Did you make sure all the doors were locked before you left the campus?

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  86. Paul Williams (879 comments) says:

    I thought at least “jeroboam” was a little interesting but yeah, I confess, its too easy and, given the breadth of your criminal offending, I ought to be more creative; you certainly were. What’s your count now? Fraud, assault, assault, fraud, DUI, fraud, assualt, fraud, DUI, DUI… baffling… now excuse me while I do the rounds, I got to close all these gates lest someone comes a does donuts…

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  87. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @Paul W

    you could always be a right w*****r and play the man rather than the ball but you’re much to smart for that – oops – got that wrong.!!!!

    There are an awful lot of people who would vote for ACT if it got its act (sic) together. It’s the fear of a wasted vote in several definitions of the term that keeps them away. As a party it survives despite itself, which implies it will probably continue in some form and won’t die.

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  88. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    David Garrett (1,539) Says:
    May 4th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Dick Prebble: Another fuckn anonymous wanker whose most significant act (sorry) is having a morning shit. At least some of us will leave some trace of our passing. (And just in case the fools don’t get it, I am well aware that “Dick Prebble” is not the real Big Guy)

    ACT under Richard: 7-9%.

    ACT under Rodney: 0-3%.

    I rest my case.

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  89. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    David Garrett (1,539) Says:
    May 4th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Dick Prebble: Another fuckn anonymous wanker whose most significant act (sorry) is having a morning shit. At least some of us will leave some trace of our passing. (And just in case the fools don’t get it, I am well aware that “Dick Prebble” is not the real Big Guy)

    David, I am surprised you show your face… anywhere, after the shame.

    I think alot of people would point to you as one of the reasons ACT died.

    The truth is that there is actually no place for ultra-right-wing politics in New Zealand. As has been decided by popular vote.

    New Zealand knows that we are actually already more right-wing than the country your short-term boss, don brash, pretends to want to catch up with.

    More government functions are in private hands in New Zealand than in Australia.

    Australia mandates various minimum wages for various fields of endeavour.

    Australia has generous penalty rates for wage workers.

    Australia’s GDP is made up up of about 5% mining and xxtraction.

    It is recognised around the world that Australia’s economic strength comes from its A$1,1T super fund.

    I don’t care too much about how ACT and NZ National like to look after their rich mates, thats democracy, but it’s unsustainable and unfair and is going to work against us in the long-term.

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  90. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    What’s a good name for the phoenix from ACT’s ashes?

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  91. Seán (397 comments) says:

    Brilliant article in the NZ Herald DPF, well done, enjoyed it a lot.

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  92. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    nasska
    9.13

    It does seem very obvious, possibly makes it the most interesting thing on the landscape of NZ politics. I wonder if Act has the stomach or foresight to cut adrift from Banks, no better time when their polling is basically zero. See Banks off, regroup and know with hard work and clear definition they’ll always have a suitor. The steel and grit of the parade ground is always impressive to the disenchanted, the stripping of the colours or recovery of them as it would be in this case.

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  93. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Explaining it to meatheads like Kim Hill and making her look like a dumbass on TV. Those were the days.

    You always were a bit of a dick, Dick. What an insecure thing to say.

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  94. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    urban-dictionary:..a garrett-law:..

    ..a law that a change of govt will see repealed..

    (alt.-def)..a ‘garrett':…

    ..a flash in the pan..that ends badly..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  95. questions (208 comments) says:

    ACT lost their way when they got fuckin retards like Garret, Banks, Franks and Boscowen involved. These people are grovelling idiots, low IQ ranters, and do no good for the party.

    Brain dead conservatives do no represent ACT’s point of difference, QED.

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  96. Dick Prebble (60 comments) says:

    questions (21) Says:
    May 5th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    ACT lost their way when they got fuckin retards like Garret, Banks, Franks and Boscowen involved. These people are grovelling idiots, low IQ ranters, and do no good for the party.

    Brain dead conservatives do no represent ACT’s point of difference, QED.

    As fun as it is to live in fantasy land, amongst your list are some of ACT’s biggest donors.

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  97. geo_kiwi (43 comments) says:

    Not surprised A.C.T.’s epitaph is being written. For the sake of the right-wing of New Zealand and everybody in it, it would be best to put A.C.T. to sleep. But in it’s place, I wonder what new right-wing party will arise from the vacuum?

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  98. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    I maintain ACT’s problems were inherent and systemic from inception.

    It was formed by Labour activists who had spent the last decade in open warfare in that Party. Those people by nature had no idea how to get along and focus on winning.

    It was run by a politburo, despite being a free market party. You can’t convince people to be members if they have absolutely no responsibility or say. And if you have to grease up to the Board to be a candidate, rather than competing for votes from the members or local delegates, you are going to get poor, sycophantic candidates. And then there were what I call the “parachute” candidates – those with no history of activism within the party who got put in at 3 or 4 on the list. The only vaguely successful one of those I can think of was Stephen Franks. The rest were hopeless, with the exception of David Garrett, who at least was an activist before coming to parliament – and it showed when he actually achieved something while he was there.

    It did not die because of anything to do with policy. In fact, I think they would have benefited from being a lot more right wing than they actually were. Because that would have been more principled, and voters don’t really care about policy so much as they care about good leadership and principled leadership.

    But the biggest killer was the egos. Most people in ACT pranced around like they were part of a major party with 40% of the vote, not one hovering around the margin of error. A little humility, and God may have smiled on them a bit more than He did.

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  99. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    …and I would suggest that ACT folk all join National, but frankly, National – for all our faults, and all our wet soft-cock politicians who sway in the wind like so many blades of grass – are a party of WINNERS. Why would we want all the LOSERS from ACT? They can form another losing party and stay losers.

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  100. mavxp (492 comments) says:

    I think recent elections and the performance of various parties shows that positive message trumps negative.

    “A brighter future” vs. “Stop asset sales” (and lots of negative rhetoric)

    Greens imagery with children and the environment vs. “Stop asset sales” (& lots of negative rhetoric)

    Who knows what Winston promised the old dears in the retirement villages up and down the country, but it mustn’t have been doom and gloom.

    Act never came across as a positive party with a positive message. Even if they had one, the media promoted the negative image, particularly with Brash etc.

    Any new party for “government with a small g”, lower flatter taxes, less unnecessary red tape, must promote a positive message, and leave the negatives for their detractors. It needs an articulate leader who can inspire people that there is a better future for NZers with a change in mindset about the role of government in our lives.

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