Where to for ACT

October 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Does have a future after its leader was committed to trial over his 2010 Mayoral election return?

Well firstly it depends on the outcome of the court case. If he loses, and is convicted, then his seat in Parliament is automatically vacated. That means a by-election in , and unless ACT stood an incredibly popular candidate (such as Cameron Brewer) then they would not win the by-election and be out of Parliament. I think that would be the end of the party, which would dissolve. That may create an opportunity for a new party in time, but probably not until 2017 at the earliest.

The fact the Solictor-General is looking at taking over the prosecution is somewhat ominous.

If Banks wins, then he remains in Parliament, and becomes a Minister again. However that does not mean plain sailing.

Banks defence is basically that he signed a legal declaration of his election expenses and donations, but didn’t read it. That may mean he legally didn’t willfully break the law, but it’s an awful look.  If his non-reading had occurred as a parliamentary candidate, that would be fatal. He is slightly saved by the fact that when he signed the return he though his political career was over. But regardless of timing, it looks bad. As I said previously, it is bad to be personally involved in receiving two donations and then sign a return saying he doesn’t know who his donors were. It may be legal (as Len’s trusts were), but is the public concerned just about legality?

Even if Banks wins, it is hard to see him winning Epsom again. Having said that ACT have won it three elections in a row, when almost no one thought they would or could.

If there is a by-election, then I would expect to win it easily. Epsom voters are not going to vote for giving the the balance of power or worse a Labour-Greens Government. would become the MP for Epsom and would become a List MP.

So I don’t see big issues for the Government before the general election, except for a possible distracting by-election campaign.

The bigger challenge is the next general election. National has five potential coalition partners, and none of them are ideal – and probably more than one of them will be needed. The five potential partners are:

  1. ACT – very reliable in a voting sense and pushes National into areas most of its supporters want. But not likely to be back.
  2. – also a reliable and stable partner, even though more inclined to vote independently on non-core issues. But will Dunne stand again, and would he win?
  3. Maori Party. They will be back with at least one seat, probably two. A third is possible – a list seat if they get over 2% party vote. However they have never had to choose between a National and Labour led Government. They could well choose to go with Labour. And if they do choose National, their policy demands could be unpopular.
  4. . It is hard to see them making 5% but they could well make 2.8% and get four seats if they win an electorate. If a new Auckland seat is in an area where they have some strong support, then the lak of an incumbent National MP could see centre-right tactical voting to get them in. The downside is that if this looks likely it might scare some socially liberal voters to Labour. Against that, most of the core issues for the are conscience issues and not something likely to be part of any coalition agreement (except maybe to agree to no further law changes in certain areas). I can’t see any possibility of repealing same sex marriage, prostitution, abortion laws etc. Maybe the anti-smacking law could go as a policy victory for them?
  5. NZ First. Winston hates John Key and wants utu on him, The jury is out on whether the bigger utu is to sack John Key or make him subservient to him. Either option is rather unpleasant to contemplate. But you can’t rule out a deal if a National-NZ First majority is possible and a centre-left Government is only possible if the Greens are part of it.

So National does have options if ACT goes, but they are not great options. But politics is the art of the possible!

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103 Responses to “Where to for ACT”

  1. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    Good post. I think it is really hard to see the Maori Party supporting National for a third term. They already vote against the Govt more often than they support it, and with Te Ururoa Flavell as leader – and quite possibly the sole MP – that gets even more unlikely. He isn’t exactly a staunch supporter of the Government.

    I rather like the idea of John Key and Winston in coalition though. They deserve each other.

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  2. peteremcc (341 comments) says:

    For the record, if National consider going with the Conservatives or NZ First, I would vote Green to ensure Labour are kept socially liberal, and just as importantly, not reliant on Winston.

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  3. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    Dung – He will jump ship at the first sign of trouble. he will trott out “i can do more from being in govt than from being out of it”.

    Maori “They could well choose to go with Labour.” lmao ya think? first chance they get.

    Conservatives – they need to be gifted the new auckland seat. “The downside is that if this looks likely it might scare some socially liberal voters to Labour.” chance ya take. so be it.

    “NZ First. Winston hates John Key” – but loves the baubles of office. selfish old people (lots of whom are racist as fuck) will vote him back in. “winston looks out for me” lol

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  4. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    ACT has no future. It sealed its own fate by electing as leader the fifth-columnist and National Party man, John Banks.

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  5. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    National / NZF coalition would be classic comedy. That’s what I’m hoping for.

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  6. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    Peter – what do you think the conservatives could honestly achieve? no way they are rolling back any laws.

    Dime is socially liberal but I tend to vote for the economy first and umm the greens/labour coalition? ouch.

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  7. Than (425 comments) says:

    ACT has been effectively dead since before the last election. Whether or not it retains Epsom, it’s not going to bring in any list MPs. Ditto United Future. And thankfully the Conservatives are never going to make the 5% threshold.

    National needs to try and get enough votes to govern alone. Which is very possible – anybody who doesn’t want a Labour-Green government has no other realistic choice. Their alternatives would be to waste a vote on ACT/UF/CCCP, or to roll the dice on which way Winston will jump. The fact that Cunliffe is veering Labour hard left and conceding the center helps as well.

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  8. bringbackdemocracy (394 comments) says:

    The Conservatives got 2.7% at the last election, they will get more at the next. If they looked like they would win an electorate seat then they would draw a lot of support from NZ First and a lot of socially conservative pasifika voters from Labour. Both of these outcomes would be beneficial to National. Act on the other hand would only increase support at Nationals expense.

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  9. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Hopefully this will confine ACT into the dustbin of history where it belongs. May it rot there for etrnity.

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  10. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Perhaps solid independent candidates could run in a few in a few right-leaning seats, delivering seats to the right without any party vote implications.

    Logically, every seat should vote for independents to get an MP that owes everything to local voters… problem is we’d need near infinite list MPs to achieve party-based proportionality!

    So far, just a few electorates have figured out the benefit of “splitting” party and electorate support and have done it with small parties instead of parties-of-one. It has to be only a matter of time before the idea catches on.

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  11. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    Whether or not it retains Epsom, it’s not going to bring in any list MPs. Ditto United Future.

    What is United Future other than the seemingly eternal whorish Dunne? It’s bound to disappear soon.

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  12. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    “a lot of socially conservative pasifika voters from Labour”

    Did the conservatives actively pitch to that vote last time round? cause they freakin should be!

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  13. iMP (2,245 comments) says:

    WHAT to do with ACT, from Feb 25. Interesting synopsis and cousin to this post.

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/what-to-do-with-act/

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  14. tas (595 comments) says:

    The next election will be interesting. National needs friends, as they are very unlikely to be able to govern on their own — under MMP neither NZ (since 1996) nor Germany (since 1949) have had single-party majorities.

    National’s strength — being a “broad church” — may be it’s undoing under MMP. The splintered parties of the left are able to capture a broader swathe of the electorate.

    I’m afraid that National may end up stuck in opposition, while all the political action happens between various left-wing coalitions. It needs to find a way to express some diversity.

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  15. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    Dunne has a point to prove and a party to save and he’s shown he is determined to do as much as possible to do both. He will decide whether he stands again in the next few months, my feeling at this stage is probably. It’s difficult to predict what his chances of holding Ohariu are, that depends as much on who National and Labour stand against him as on his own redemption.

    Whether UF can get anyone else in via the list is an unknown, except that if nothing major changes with UF it’s very unlikely unless the media decide UF is their worm or tea party promotional pap in the next election lottery. That seems very unlikely.

    The only way I can see UF earning list votes on merit is by recruiting one or more strong, prominent candidates so the party is seen as more than Dunne, and with a succession plan. There’s an opportunity there for people who want to fast track political careers with an opportunity to take over leadership of a party fairly quickly. I’ve always seen this approach as the best potential for UF in the medium term, but it needs a new generation with ambition and vision to see the same and go for it.

    Unless something like this happens then National’s prospects for the next election look sparse.

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  16. AG (1,778 comments) says:

    Nice analysis. I agree.

    Only point I’d make is with this statement:

    As I said previously, it is bad to be personally involved in receiving two donations and then sign a return saying he doesn’t know who his donors were. It may be legal …

    This wasn’t legal. Even if “accidental”, it still breached the Local Electoral Act 2001 – it’s just that a time bar on prosecutions for that offence means it can’t be brought before the courts. If deliberate (or “knowingly”), then it’s a big deal – that’s what he’s going to be on trail for.

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  17. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    dime – I agree. Always vote economy first. Politicians don’t set the social agenda, they just react to what society is already doing (at varying paces, maybe). So, it makes no sense to vote on a social basis… whatever will happen, will happen without politics.

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  18. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    There are more than enough voters who would support a fiscally conservative party and therefore have nobody to represent them if ACT goes. It would have to be a new party as ACT’s brand is too badly damaged. ACT first got into parliament without an existing MP, both winning an electorate and easily passing 5%. So it can be done, but there are some requirements:

    1. Organisation. The way to start would be to have a long chat with Richard Prebble about how he did it. In a big party, the leader doesn’t need be the organizer. In a small party they do, otherwise nobody does it. This was a big issue after Hide took over. Hide’s views are closer to mine and he is a great speaker, but Prebble was a much better manager and that made a huge difference.

    2. Principles. It’s not possible to compete with National and Labour based on populism. A small party needs to have principles, stick to them, and accept that their support will be limited as a result. Otherwise they have no reason to exist. Preferably the party constitution should entrench basic stuff such as not voting for any budget over 20% of GDP.

    3. Media. I don’t know the answer to this, but it’s nearly impossible to get fair media coverage when so many journalists support the other side. ACT’s problems go back to 2005 when basically every major media outlet in the country outright lied about Epsom and told voters that a party vote for ACT would be wasted. An effective way to bypass them and communicate with voters directly is essential.

    4. A Labour government. The task will be a lot easier with Labour in power and National in opposition for numerous reasons. At this stage it is better to just plan and wait.

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  19. nasska (10,674 comments) says:

    I’d go along with “Than’s” comment. ACT are finished & the remnants of their voters are unlikely to support any party other than National. Elections are in any case won or lost on the centre ground….National needs to take a punt & go for an outright win & forget about one man parties & coalitions.

    The CCCP are a distraction…..ignore them & they’ll disappear.

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  20. thePeoplesFlag (175 comments) says:

    What? Cameron Brewer? Hahahahahahaha! If Cameron Brewer is the right’s answer to ACT’s problems in Auckland then all that goes to show is that in Auckland the political right is a joke wrapped in idiots and shrouded in stupidity.

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  21. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    The only way I can see UF earning list votes on merit is by recruiting one or more strong, prominent candidates so the party is seen as more than Dunne, and with a succession plan.

    Dunne had more than a decade to do this but never lifted a finger. He’s history, burnt toast, a goner, but overall an MP with a dubious reputation.

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  22. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    New parties are very difficult to succeed with, even if you have a big budget and a core constituency like Colin Craig. Getting a first electorate seat or 5% are very difficult.

    While the current Act brand is crap I still think there would be more chance of success to re-brand and stand fresh candidates than scrap it and start from scratch.

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  23. iMP (2,245 comments) says:

    DPF, I think its worse than this. The Center-Left is on the cyclical rise with a new energetic (but risky) leader, and National is on the wane. As polls sit now, its 60 seats to 57 against National despite very poor performance by lab. and everything good Nat has done. That gap will only widen nxt 12 months.

    That means Consv. is critical, because its possible there will be no ACT, UF or NZF. Consv. seem to be polling consistenly at 5th outside parl. since 2011, and their results in 2011 when 2 months old, and again in Auckl. last weekend, show them as a runner.

    So, National has to totally offer Consv. a non-Nat-candidate run in one of the new Auckl electorates (avoiding a Goldsmith-List scenario). With that under the belt, NZF voters will swing to Consv., knowing its a sure bet, while Winston is still a gamble and possible wasted vote.

    The real race in 2014, therefore, is who is the better bet for Centre-Right PV vote: NZF or Consv.?

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/a-shift-in-power-the-labour-trifecta/

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  24. peterwn (3,160 comments) says:

    It could look bad for the police. The police and presumably their internal legal advisers considered there was insufficient evidence (they did not seem to seek Crown Law advice as usually done with serious crimes), District Judge rules there is sufficient evidence for it to go to trial. Now Crown Law has decided to get involved for whatever reason. Crown Law has an advantage over Mr McCready and the judge as it would presumably have access to the whole police file.

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    National needs to try and get enough votes to govern alone. Which is very possible.

    No it is not. The best that National has ever got on its own is 47.3%, and that is by mostly eating up the vote of their coalition partners. Look up the results for yourself. Not only is it impossible for National to get enough votes to govern on its own, the bloc of right wing voters doesn’t get over 50%. There is no right wing majority in NZ politics – there just aren’t enough voters. In contrast, the left parties have gotten close to or over 50% of the vote on three occasions, and if you include NZF’s vote (as an anti-National party, which it is) the anti-National bloc have got well over 50% of the vote in all but the last two elections.

    In 2011 the right only just managed the barest majority, and in 2008 they only managed a majority because they kept Winston out.

    It’s very simple: even at their most popular, the sort of policies favoured by the National government do not command the support of over 50% of the electorate. But when you cobble together the votes of every party that opposes those right wing policies, you often get well over 50%.

    There is no natural right wing majority in NZ. Do the math yourself: it doesn’t add up.

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  26. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    It’s worth pointing out here, recruiting good new talent into politics is hard enough generally but the prominence of the Brown bollocks makes it even harder – good people are reluctant to put themselves and their lives in the goldfish bowl, especially when there are so many people wanting to piss in the water.

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  27. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    The chance of a by-election seems low. Any trial is likely to be middle of next year at the earliest. While the government has the option of calling a by-election with less than 6 months to a general election I don’t think they would because people would think it was a waste of money. This would mean that National (once Labour wins the Christchurch East by-election) would need to rely on the Maori Party for a few months, but well, there was a reason National brought them onside when he didn’t need to, and he’d just make use of it.

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  28. Ross12 (1,149 comments) says:

    I agree about ACT’s future is not looking good. It is a shame because I think they have had some very good people –as individuals.( Steven Franks , John Bosgown (sp?) , David Garrett , Rodney Hide etc ) It just seems that somehow they had trouble “pulling together” in recent years. I maybe wrong on the later point but that has been the perception.

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  29. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    recruiting good new talent into politics is hard enough generally

    with the very rare exception real talent has never gone into politics – and it should not be a carear either, it should be something to do for a few years and get on with your life.

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  30. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    With ACT polling near 0% they don’t actually provide any benefit to National by holding Epsom.

    There is only benefit if ACT have at least 1-2% of support as that would be ‘lost’ if ACT don’t win a seat.

    Same story with United Future.

    Given that most of the support the ACT have had in the past would have now migrated to National it’s hard to see what benefit ACT provides National.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    AG:

    This wasn’t legal. Even if “accidental”, it still breached the Local Electoral Act 2001 – it’s just that a time bar on prosecutions for that offence means it can’t be brought before the courts. If deliberate (or “knowingly”), then it’s a big deal – that’s what he’s going to be on trail for.

    I’m going to have to take issue there. This has not been determined, and Banks is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Banks maintains that the donations are properly considered to be anonymous, and that the return is accurate.

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  32. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    Where to for Act?

    More like where to for National!

    Most National voters want more than National offers them.

    Helen increased the size of government by 47% – by how much has National reduced it?

    The Department of Women’s Affairs still does not represent the views of most National female voters. Mothers work for bugger all on a 24/7 dictate by employers – and National then gives them the token WFF. Well that is not helping practical parenting 24/7.

    National is under the thrall of Big Porn – the Feminazis, the Homofascists, the Abortionists, and ‘Sexual Health advocates’.

    The smacking law has achieved nothing other than shame, embarrasment, and scorn, for parents who love their children and who don’t BELT them!

    National doesn’t value the Santity of Life – they prefer murderers of VIRTUALY ALL innocent people to serve less than 20yrs in prison. National then doesn’t believe murder can be detered !

    Is this as good as National gets – to be exactly like Labour? To live like Prog Kommies?

    Voters are better off killing National, and suffering under a Labour government till National rebuilds itself on solid practical and moral policy that benefits those who at least try to achieve a better quality of life in all areas.

    A Conservative party vote will at least allow you to have MP’s that will voice their concerns about Freedom & Liberty – and the continual threat of what Big Government can do to peoples potential!

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  33. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    This wasn’t legal. Even if “accidental”, it still breached the Local Electoral Act 2001

    AG

    you just pass a law retrosepctively to make it all good,isn’t that what you do?

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  34. Than (425 comments) says:

    The best that National has ever got on its own is 47.3%, and that is by mostly eating up the vote of their coalition partners. Look up the results for yourself.

    No need, I believe you.

    But most government’s formed under MMP have had less than 50% of the party vote, even if you add up all parties involved. The fact that many list votes are discarded (votes for parties that don’t get 5%/electorate) means that slightly under 50% is sufficient to govern. With ACT finally gone that’s another 0.5% or so National will probably absorb, meaning a result of ~47-48% is quite possible. That’s slightly above where Labour+Greens have been for most of this term.

    I expect the election outcome will hinge on whether NZF makes the 5% threshold. If they don’t, their votes are discarded and National will probably have enough to govern alone. If they do, Winston holds the balance of power.

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  35. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    Imp#

    “….The real race in 2014, therefore, is who is the better bet for Centre-Right PV vote: NZF or Consv.?….”

    Immediatly after the last election, John Pagani said that ACT should join up with the Conservatives as they were both right wing. I told him that there were no votes out there and that the Conservatives will put themselves down where Winston is and pull in votes from everywhere.

    I quessed then that Pagani had seen the threat of the Conservatives to Labour. Recently I read that Pacific Islanders feel ‘loyal’ to Labour due to past relationships.

    Again I’ll read into that Imp:

    I know that Islanders get two votes under MMP – one for Labour and one for God. The Conservatives will get over 5% of the vote.

    Pacific Islanders have seen what Colin Craig and his supporters have to say.

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  36. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    ACT is gone.

    United Future and Dunne are gone.

    The Maori Party winning two to three seats is the worst prediction I have heard David make on this Blog. Where? Pita Sharples is retiring and Shane Jones will probably win the seat. Sykes will beat Flavell, came close last time and has worked hard for years on the ground.

    National has options, but only if they get 45% + of the party vote and NZ First gets 5%.

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  37. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    Good analysis David

    * ACT: Their vote is so low that they couldn’t even get another MP into Parliament on the backs of its single electorate seat in 2011. Epsom is very safe National territory so Epsom has no numbers impact regardless of what happens. Assume Banks is found guilty, he will immediately appeal and so his seat being vacated would have to await the outcome of that appeal. Now the length of that appeal will depend on whether this case is heard in the District or High Court because if it stays in the DC where it is right now (there’s talk of Bank’s silk asking it to be transferred to the High Court) then that means 3 layers of appeal (High Court, Court of Appeal then Supreme Court). That would take this well past the election. Banks is a wealthy man and will not want to end his lengthy political career on such a negative note. All that said, the likelihood of him standing in 2014 in Epsom if the case is still under appeal is slim. If he wins, he’s back in Cabinet but I’m picking he won’t stand again in 2014. As David said, unless a high profile person with little baggage (like Brewer) was to stand for ACT, then the seat reverts to National and no net loss of a centre-right seat.

    * Maori Party: Flavell is the only certainty to retain his seat. The MP got 1.43% party vote in 2011 and that may well have been enough to secure it a single list seat if it had only won one electorate seat. As it turned out, with 3 electorate seats we had a small overhang. Despite recent philosophical differences with National, I would not rule out Flavell joining Key again. Much will depend on the Cunliffe/Flavell chemistry and how aggressively Labour wants to try and win back all the Maori seats and who and how they run against Flavell in Waiariki. Logic would favour the MP going with Labour but don’t forget, Mana will be an automatic centre left coalition member and the bad blood between the Flavell and Harawira may see Flavell realizing the MP may get more from the Nats than from Labour especially as the ‘last cab off the rank’ comment from Clark likely still rankles inside the MP. If the MP had the balance of power then Flavell can drive a hard bargain and so would Key be forced to give him policy gains that might be a bridge too far for the National base? IMO that only becomes an issue if Peters fails to make the threshold.

    * United Future: Dunne has been lying low and enjoying being just the member for Ohariu-Belmont. Come Nov 2014 the Andrea Vance thing will be old history. Dunne is an experienced Cabinet Minister and from a philosophical and personality point of view, is a better fit with National. Don’t count him out from running again and winning. Labour and National have run some biggish names against Dunne and failed to dislodge him and his sin that led to his resignation was to hide some embarrassing emails with a journo he was infatuated with – political careers are not ended on such thin gruel.

    * NZ 1st – Winston always looks after No. 1 and, barring a huge scandal, will cross the 5% threshold. Once again he will hold the balance of power. Improving economic conditions, Labour’s lurch to the left and being forced to play third fiddle to the Greens when he can be a noisy second fiddle to National might see him hold his nose and make life a living hell for Key as revenge. Key might offer him Foreign Affairs as that is a bauble packed portfolio especially if McCully retires (ipredict has that possibility at only .20c though) and that would be a clincher. Cunliffe would struggle to match that especially if Norman plays hardball re Green cabinet posts after the prior Clark inflicted humiliation of the Greens.

    * Conservatives – if Colin Craig is the candidate for the new Auckland seat slated for the Albany/Greenhithe area, despite the $ he’d spend and much as I have some sympathy for the party, I just can’t see him winning. National will likely have a slew of talent vying to be the candidate. Sensing no real prospect of an electorate seat and a close run vote with the left, many voters oriented to the Conservatives might hold their nose and party vote National again. If they chose a high profile candidate without too much baggage and nutty views on social matters then its game on and a real option for Key depending on how the Nats handle the campaign in the new seat.

    As you say David, options for sure but not all pleasant ones. Lots of water to go under the bridge yet!

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  38. bringbackdemocracy (394 comments) says:

    National has a precedent for not contesting an electorate. They don’t stand candidates in the Maori seats, thereby increasing the chance of the Maori party winning those seats, they could easily do the same with a seat for the Conservative party.

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  39. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    I’ve given my party vote to Act in every MMP election. And I’ve always given my electorate vote to National under MMP. I will never give my party vote to Colin’s CONservative Party. And my electorate vote is hanging by a thread now too, for a few reasons. If Act goes, I will not give a party vote.

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  40. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    The ACT brand is dead dead dead. And its top down organizational model meant it was inherently flawed from the beginning. You can’t run a free market party with a communist politburo.

    It would be interesting to see another free market party, but it would have to be set up right, and it would have to be careful to avoid just being a vehicle for all the old ACT people who made such a dogs breakfast of things in the first place.

    Personally I’d rather just see a broad-based organisation that didn’t run their own candidates, but worked within National to promote solid classical liberals into candidacies.

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  41. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    “…..dime – I agree. Always vote economy first. Politicians don’t set the social agenda, they just react to what society is already doing…”

    The liberal voters in National left and went to ACT, therefor, most of National’s voters are conservative.

    National has taken advantage of those conservative voters in the way that you speak of Camryn; National takes their votes on economic matters, and then sells them out so as to get progressive voters from Labour.

    People are sick of National doing that, especialy over the likes of gay ‘marriage’, not repealing the smacking bill, or fundamentaly changing the Dept of Women’s affairs, and so they are now looking at the Conservatives.

    The Conservatives will also protect christians from persecution, in the way that Labour protects other minorities.

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  42. publicwatchdog (2,106 comments) says:

    FYI Kiwibloggers

    Latest developments with the private prosecution of ACT Leader, MP for Epsom, John Banks.

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/corruption/solicitor-general-to-take-over-case/

    (Please read carefully Cameron Slater?

    ‘vexatious’ litigation by Graham McCready?

    Can I respectfully suggest that you don’t use words you apparently don’t understand? )

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

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  43. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    Pay your rates, Penny. Then you can comment about ratepayer issues.

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  44. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    “Banks maintains that the donations are properly considered to be anonymous, and that the return is accurate.”

    Yes, but this claim is based on his statement that he “does not remember” when it is clear to most following the case that this could not possibly be the case.

    Bottom line is Banks claimed donations were anonymous when they were not and he knew they were not. A signature on a document states you know what is in the document and you stand by it.

    Banks is just a cheap fraud. He belongs on the left.

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  45. thePeoplesFlag (175 comments) says:

    “…Personally I’d rather just see a broad-based organisation that didn’t run their own candidates, but worked within National to promote solid classical liberals into candidacies…”

    Oh! You mean like Leninist vanguardism? You know, where a group unable to win support in an open election instead infiltrates a mainstream organisation with secret party members in order to capture the government without the need for a popular mandate? Sort of like 1984 Rogernomics all over again?

    But didn’t you say…

    “…You can’t run a free market party with a communist politburo…”

    it does seem, however, that you think you can run a free market party on the principles of Leninism.

    But I think you’ll find people are onto that little trick now.

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  46. Ross12 (1,149 comments) says:

    Penny
    Since you are always pushing the anti corruption policy , are you happy that Auckland rate payers are funding the defence of Len Brown’s problems, which are said by his supporters to be private matters ??

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  47. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    Nothing on the bank statement identified the donation as coming from Kim Dotcom or his company/s. It was just a deposit. The deposit was made in Queenstown, and not in Auckland. You are suggesting Banks should have phoned everybody he asked for money to see if it was their deposit so he could declare it from that person or company.

    Your rants on the internet before today show you have never worked in a political campaign, and know nothing about politics.

    Now you have just proved it.

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  48. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    But most government’s formed under MMP have had less than 50% of the party vote, even if you add up all parties involved. The fact that many list votes are discarded (votes for parties that don’t get 5%/electorate) means that slightly under 50% is sufficient to govern. With ACT finally gone that’s another 0.5% or so National will probably absorb, meaning a result of ~47-48% is quite possible. That’s slightly above where Labour+Greens have been for most of this term.

    Yes. You are right.

    My point is that the right doing the best that the right has historically done has only just reached that 47-48%. The combinations of Labour Alliance and Greens have done better than that when they’ve done well. 51.6% in 1999; 50% in 2002; 47.5% in 2005.

    National basically needs centrist coalition partners to govern; the left doesn’t.

    When you add to the above results that Winston’s vote is essentially the vote of the more statist conservatives, the total percentage of votes for parties that oppose right wing economic policies comes in at 53-60% in good years.

    National has to rely on cups of tea, support from parties that don’t support right wing economics, or nobbling Winston to win. Case in point: if the foreshore and seabed decision had not come down the way it did, the Maori Party would not exist, and those votes would have mostly gone to Labour. That would have made life more difficult for National.

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  49. RRM (9,453 comments) says:

    ACT could re-brand as ALT.

    Association of Liars and Thieves.

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  50. Steve Wrathall (242 comments) says:

    ACT was only 46 votes per seat short of getting a 2nd MP in 2011. It is almost certain that this would have been achieved if there had not been 3 polls in the final week showing for certain that Banks would lose Epsom by 10-15%. Whoever the ACT candidate for Epsom is next year, the voters there know that a vote for anyone else would be a vote for a Green/Labour government. Does anyone think that Epsom voters will be so concerned about the funding of a mayoralty campaign 4 years in the past that they will vote into government parties that gave us the Pledge Card theft and the Electoral Finance Act?

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  51. emmess (1,369 comments) says:

    How about this for a scenario?
    Sometime prior to the next election Banks resigns, ACT disbands.
    And John Key says we can’t form a government so lets Cunliffe try
    If Cunliffe does, people have up to a year to see what a clusterfuck it would be, if not at least they get an idea during the negotiations and there would be a snap election.
    Either way, National comes roaring back in the polls.

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  52. backster (2,077 comments) says:

    I think John KEY should go on the list and gift his electorate to a handpicked Conservative candidate who would have a chance to maximise the conservative vote and deliver a stronger coalition partner to his party.

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  53. publicwatchdog (2,106 comments) says:

    MORE!!

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/corruption/banks-is-going-to-trial/

    Seen today’s NZ Herald editorial?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11141824

    What do you think of THAT Cameron Slater?

    (Of course I’d post this on your blog – but you’ve banned me – ‘you can’t handle the TRUTH’ – perhaps?

    Good on you Graham McCready!

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

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  54. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    @Kiwi in america

    I think there is a good chance that Winston will push hard for conscience issues like smacking or homosexual marriage to be decided by binding referenda. Which major party do you think would support that?

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  55. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (787 comments) says:

    I get a feeling that John Key has given up and just counting the last days. All the opinion polls (see the latest Roy Morgan poll) have turned against National and very soon Cunliffe will take over John Key as the Preferred PM and once that happens, the process is irreversible. So unfortunately for National supporters it is going to be a long hard 9 years in opposition…unless the Labours and Greens screw up the economy to such an extent NZ goes bankrupt which cannot be ruled out. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news…but this is the reality….

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  56. bringbackdemocracy (394 comments) says:

    Chuck, when the anti-smacking law was passed, there were 7 NZ First MP’s in parliament. Of those 7, 4 of them voted in favour of the law. If all the other parties in parliament had abstained and only NZ First MP’s had voted, that terrible law would still have passed.
    Who was the leader of NZ First at the time?

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  57. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    “I get a feeling that John Key has given up and just counting the last days.”

    Since when did he ever start fighting?

    And how can you fight for something when you believe in nothing?

    John Key just wanted to be PM so he could cross it off his bucket list.

    He was more interested in being liked than in progressing the principles that underpin the National Party.

    So he has taken the National Party and the country so far back in that many NZers now copy his ambivalent political stance and consequently the more principled left has their best chance at power for a long time.

    The sooner John Key and the gang of progs who support him fuck off the better for NZ and the National Party. I don’t care how popular he is with the brain dead chattering classes, as a political force he is hopeless.

    He has been the worst National Party PM ever. Even worse than Jenny Shipley.

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  58. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    bringbackdemocracy, Winston moved an amendment for there to be a binding referendum before the bill became law. I am sure the other NZF MPs would have supported that. So if all the other parties in parliament had abstained on the amendment we would had a referendum and that law would not have passed.

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  59. Manolo (13,367 comments) says:

    He has been the worst National Party PM ever. Even worse than Jenny Shipley.

    History will not be kind to Neville Key, neither here nor there PM, wishy-washy to the end.

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  60. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Some good stuff there…. those from “Than” – a relatively new commenter – being one of the better contributions.

    Surprisingly, I agree with a lot of what Tom Jackson @ 10.50 has said…for mathematical reasons which I have never fully understood (I am the anthithesis of a numbers man) the Nats governing alone under MMP is a right wing fantasy…Much as most of us here dont like to accept it, the country has become very left wing….largely I think because the Greens have successfully conned the youth that they are all about the environment….

    And I will get in before the inevitable “You were one of the ones who killed ACT” comments begin…as things transpired, that may well be the case…but they knew all about me when they took me on….the 27 year old passport fraud AND the bullshit “assault conviction” in Tonga….I always knew the passport thing would come out, and told them so…they chose to take me on regardless…and “they” included the duplicitous blonde bitch who later denied she knew anything about it, John B, and Sir Roger….all of whom where in the room when I confessed all….

    but back to ACT…As someone else above has noted, they have been been written off numerous times, and always survived….but I fear the death rattle may finally be sounding…I have only heard Cameron Brewer speak once, but unless he was having a very off day I can’t see him being the saviour…JB? Too nice a guy, and doesnt want to do it anyway…Rodders? Stranger things have happened…Nick K? I would vote for you brother! You have the necessary…

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  61. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    “I agree with a lot of what Tom Jackson @ 10.50 has said”

    Why we’re better off with you out of parliament than in it.

    Tell me this- how can citizens vote for something different when there is nothing different?

    How can the voters think about or be swayed to a different point of view when there is nobody out there with a different point of view?

    You just fall into the same trap that the commies always set for the dullest of the self perceived political right. You dance to their tune. You let them not only select your candidates, you allow them to select your policies and your strategies.

    Why do you think we have the UKIP gaining ground in the UK and the Tea Party in the US?

    Because people are sick to the back teeth of donkeys like you being led by the nose by charlatans like Tom Jackson.

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  62. RRM (9,453 comments) says:

    Recent contributions to NZ laws and society:

    David Garett: Three strikes

    Redbaiter:

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  63. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Tell you what Russell…you get your party registered, and stand a list and I undertake (significant word for a lawyer) to give you my party vote…how’s that?

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  64. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Sorry for being the bearer of bad news…but this is the reality….

    Well, it’s either reality or comedy. That much is certain.

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  65. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Thank you RRM, you are too kind.

    I AM proud of 3S, and very pleased to see it working just as intended. Simon Power once told his intimates that “three strikes” – or any version thereof – would become part of NZ law “over his dead body”. 3S is the law of the land; Simon Power is now a banker.

    I got some interesting OIA figures on it the other day. Of the 3600 odd first strike offenders, 1951 of them were in jail as at 30 June last. Of the 21 second strikers, 20 were in jail. Despite the best efforts of the leftie media to spin it otherwise, none of the latter are “playground bullies”; (Stand by for the final BSA ruling on my complaint on the piece of shit broadcast on Nat Rad on 29 May) all are thoroughly nasty bastards no sensible person would want on the street.

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  66. Ross12 (1,149 comments) says:

    DG

    I’m not sure you are right in saying that NZ has become left-wing. Yes the last few polls have favoured them ( but when Rudd rolled Gillard the same thing happened) but I agree with comments about the Greens and the youth.
    But reality is NZ has been very close to 50/50 , left/right for a long time. Helen Clark had to cobble together support to govern a couple of times.
    The real issue is MMP –it will always mean minority Governments or very close results which in turn means we will never have big changes in direction when needed , because the lead for either side is too fragile when in power. Look at the problems Angela Merkle has in Germany post their recent elections –despite a resounding win ( on a percentage of the total vote basis) it likely there will be a “tail wagging the dog” situation to a large extent. NZ made a huge mistake when we had the chance to either change the voting system or at least modify it.

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  67. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Garret, I salute your for your efforts with three strikes.

    I think I have noted this on a few past occasions.

    Its just a shame you’re so indelibly soaked in left wing political/ social culture elsewhere.

    If that had not been so, you would never have let them beat you the way they did.

    Why don’t you try answering my questions?

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  68. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Look, it is a fact MMP was championed in NZ by communists.

    And their useful idiots.

    The media never told you that because they didn’t want you to know.

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  69. RRM (9,453 comments) says:

    Why don’t you try answering my questions?

    Why don’t you try licking his boots?

    In the time it’s taken you to write your (5,802 + 13,197 = 18,999) comments on someone else’s blog site about how shit everything is, you could have put yourself up for election and tried to change the things you think are wrong.

    Instead you just piss and moan.

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  70. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Always trying to gain attention with your brain dead and constantly off topic contributions.

    Piss off troll.

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  71. Wayne Mapp (61 comments) says:

    It would be a big ask for National not stand a candidate in a general seat, especially for party that is not even in Parliament. They only did deals in Epsom and Ohauriu because they did not hold those seats but they were held by allies.

    National did not give ACT the Epsom seat, ACT fought and won it off National in 2005, which then meant National had to deal with ACT over Epsom in 2008 and 2011. Even then the Nats had a candidate on the ballot paper in both those elections.

    So Colin Craig is going to have to win a seat (lets say in Albany) fair and square, just like everyone else. If he did win it against everyone else (which will be a real challenge, but is potentially doable) the Nats could deal with him in 2017 in respect of the seat.

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  72. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Garret- an illustration of Simon Power I did for one of my Truebluenz posts.

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  73. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    “Tell you what Russell…you get your party registered, and stand a list and I undertake (significant word for a lawyer) to give you my party vote…how’s that?”

    Already got the name for it-

    The Extremely Extreme Extreme Right Party.

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  74. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    Nick K? I would vote for you brother! You have the necessary…

    Aw, shucks. I have thought about it, David. But the pressure of holding the centre right together and ensuring Labour/Greens didn’t form a government….well I wouldn’t want that. Also, if I lost Epsom, I would be the failure that finished the party. Not good stuff really. No, I feel someone like Cameron Brewer is what the party needs, but let’s face it, who in their right mind at the moment would want to be an Act candidate? That’s the killer question. And although I’m fairly well known over on the Shore, Epsom is a different kettle of fish.

    Once this is all over, and I suspect it’s not far away, there will analysis on how the decline started. And Chapter 1 will be all about Sir Roger and Heather. It is his sandcastle, so I guess he could kick it down.

    Hope you’re keeping well, mate.

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  75. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    Wayne Mapp makes an absolutely correct point – Act won Epsom in 2005 fair and square off National. I worked on the campaign. I knocked on so many doors I just about had bare knuckles. National never gave the seat to Act. And it would never “give” a seat to the Cons. Rodney Hide is a formidable campaigner, and so it was proved. Can Colin be as formidable and win a seat like Rodney did twice? I very much doubt it.

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  76. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    “…..So Colin Craig is going to have to win a seat (lets say in Albany) fair and square, just like everyone else. If he did win it against everyone else (which will be a real challenge, but is potentially doable) the Nats could deal with him in 2017 in respect of the seat…..”

    ‘….Going to have to win a seat…’ Since when Wayne?

    The conservatives got 2.8% – over 60% of 5% with having only been around for 2 months!

    And besides that Wayne…………the Liberals left National to vote for ACT….a whole 8% of the national vote which is about 15% of National voters.

    That leaves 85% of National voters being conservatives!

    The Conservatives will easily get 5% of the party vote, as Pacific Islanders are loyal to Labor AND God – and like everyone else they get 2 votes under MMP!

    National’s Christian voters, along with all other Christians, are persecuted in NZ by the media – and National does nothing about it – we’ll get our sanctuary from our own kind in the future thanks Wayne!

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  77. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    One of the policies of the EEERP will be the abolition of the TOW commission.

    John Campbell to EEERP candidate- “What is your response to the people who think the TOW is an intrinsic part of our NZ culture and to do away with it would be very damaging to our social fabric?”

    EEERP Candidate- “Those people should make sure they vote for some other party.”

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  78. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Ross12: I think there is much in what you say…I dont know your age, but in my view there is no doubt we got MMP – with all its faults – because of the abuses of the Muldoon era…Noone younger than about 50 can really know what a tyrant that bastard was – although as a person I think Clark was worse…the reason I was unable to stand up with all the others and clap politely when she got her UN job. She just wasnt able to get away with the same abuses Muldoon had…

    I think you are right that MMP needed some tweaking…but arguably the reforms proposed would just have made it worse. No “one seat alternative” to the threshold would have meant no ACT in 2008 – and no 3S. Lowering it to 4% would have got Peter’s in in 2008, and probably anothr Clark government.

    I believe in representative democracy. The raw fact is ACT have never been able to convince the average voter that they were just not there for “the rich pricks”…I am utterly convinced that is not the case, but that is the perception.

    Of the several unpalatable alternatives DPF lists in his post above, I think the Conservatives might be the best bet…As I have said before here, I have met Craig on a number of occasions, and he is NOT the “religious nutter” that the MSM portray him as…obviously he attracts some of the 2-3% max “Christian” vote, but that is not enough…He say’s he gets that, but I have never been sure that he does…

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  79. NK (1,068 comments) says:

    The conservatives got 2.8% – over 60% of 5% with having only been around for 2 months!

    And besides that Wayne…………the Liberals left National to vote for ACT….a whole 8% of the national vote which is about 15% of National voters.

    That leaves 85% of National voters being conservatives!

    The Conservatives will easily get 5% of the party vote, as Pacific Islanders are loyal to Labor AND God – and like everyone else they get 2 votes under MMP!

    National’s Christian voters, along with all other Christians, are persecuted in NZ by the media – and National does nothing about it – we’ll get our sanctuary from our own kind in the future thanks Wayne!

    Thanks for this, Colin.

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  80. Pete George (22,839 comments) says:

    I have met Craig on a number of occasions, and he is NOT the “religious nutter” that the MSM portray him as…obviously he attracts some of the 2-3% max “Christian” vote…

    I’ve never seen any religious nuttery in Craig either, although he shares some religious inclined policy positions.

    More relevant – not only is Craig attracting the the “Christian” vote, he is also attracting Christian nutter type candidates. If he does manage to succeed in getting into Parliament with any of them he might find it difficult to stay there. Christian nutters where heavily involved in the UF crash from their 2002 high, and one of the less reliable players then stood for Craig’s Conservatives in 2011.

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  81. Wayne Mapp (61 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    Fair enough. If the Conservatives can get 5% (or win a seat) good on them.

    By the way, 85% of the Nats are not natural supporters of Colin (or at least of his policies). National is much wider party than that – look for instance at the vote on the Marriage Bill.

    But a fair number would support at least some of Craig’s policies, and the Conservatives do seem like they would be a credible partner in government. But Craig and his team have to get to Parliament under their own steam.

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  82. ChardonnayGuy (1,133 comments) says:

    I think it’s time for an orderly succession meeting to replace Banks to be discussed at the ACT Epsom local electorate committee. Prospective replacement candidates should put their name forward and soon. In fact, I’m surprised that it hasn’t happened already. Banks should step down from Parliament and allow a by-election at some point if the case goes against him. It’s unfortunate that this happened, but let’s face it, Banks was always going to be a risky proposition for ACT. Does anyone seriously think that United Future would be able to put together a team for Epsom, given its own recent past organisational shambles? And as for the Conservatives, Epsom is the wrong sort of urban liberal seat for them. Which leaves either a new ACT candidate or Paul Goldsmith as the likeliest prospect in 2014 or sooner. At the moment, I’d say Goldsmith.

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  83. ChardonnayGuy (1,133 comments) says:

    David, perhaps you could do some digging and write a piece on who ACT might stand in Epsom to replace Banks should the need arise. I’d have to say that Catherine Isaac seems the logical replacement to me.

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  84. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    But Craig and his team have to get to Parliament under their own steam.

    I hope they can do this. This will allow them to refuse an alliance with National, which they should do given they’re basically a collection of Progressives who have forgotten what their party ever stood for.

    Conservatives and Progressives represent the two ends of the political spectrum and they can never meet.

    That the Nats are today essentially a collection of progs shows just how confused they are and how far they have drifted from their political roots.

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  85. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Hey Chutney, as someone who is on record on this blog as supporting John Minto for Auckland Mayor, what is it that makes you think you have even a skerrick of the understanding of right wing ideology that you would need to advise on a course of action?

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  86. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Red: thanks for the link to the illustration…the first time you have given rise to a guffaw chez Garrett….I will never understand what Power was thinking when he tried to bullshit the PM at the crucial summit meeting on 3S…but he did, and he lost…(Dont even think about it Simon; Rodders and Peter Keenan were there too… and I wouldn’t hesitate to subpoena your old boss…you would lose)

    As for the EEERP, how is the registration process coming along? Surely 500 members can’t be too hard with a man of your calibre at the head of the movement?

    And I will repeat my undertaking…then it on the ballot, and the sole polling booth in Kaukapakapa will show at least one party vote for your particular version of a Brave New World…

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  87. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    The only chance National have of being an alliance with the Conservatives is by becoming true fiscal conservatives, and taking on the left institutions of the media, education dept, and the universities.

    A loud vocal culture war is what is needed in NZ to put everyone on the same page.

    Otherwise the Conservatives can sit alone and give support as they see fit. National cannot form an alliance with the Greens.

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  88. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    Actually Dave, with a bit of moulding and internal strengthening, you’d probably be a good candidate.

    Just the kind of lightning rod to the left we would need to ensure publicity.

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  89. Redbaiter (7,619 comments) says:

    “National cannot form an alliance with the Greens.”

    They’ve already got Nick Smith’s Bluegreen faction.

    Vomit.

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  90. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Me Red? A crybaby who always buys the “prog bullshit” ?? You are not blogging from the RSA with your third jug in front of you, surely??

    I think I’d have to agree I would get you publicity though! But then I am living proof that the old adage “all publicity is good publicity” is 100% wrong…..

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  91. Ross12 (1,149 comments) says:

    DG
    I’m on the wrong side of 50 so I understand your comments about Muldoon and as a result we needed a change in voting system. But we have somehow gone from a Government getting say 35% of the vote ( as the FFP era) to having say 5-6% of the vote controlling the outcome. That is equally wrong , if not more so.
    The irony of our current situation is that because of the good economic / financial stewardship of the current Govt. post the GFC we are not likely to see much reduction in the far left Green vote as has occured in Germany , Norway and Australia as those countries wake up to the economic nonsense being espoused by the far left. We may have to endure 3 years of their policy before the electorate is enlightened.

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  92. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Oh! You mean like Leninist vanguardism? You know, where a group unable to win support in an open election instead infiltrates a mainstream organisation with secret party members in order to capture the government without the need for a popular mandate? Sort of like 1984 Rogernomics all over again?

    Bloody effective, isn’t it? ;-)

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  93. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    As David said, unless a high profile person with little baggage (like Brewer) was to stand for ACT, then the seat reverts to National and no net loss of a centre-right seat.

    But the crucial loss of an additional vote. For instance, if Goldsmith had beaten Banks in Epsom in 2011, National would still only have 59 MP’s and would not have the vote that ACT gives them as a coalition partner. That is a singularly bad outcome for the party. The same would hold true in 2014 – Goldsmith winning the seat won’t actually give them back the vote that they lose from ACT’s demise.

    I’m not sure that ACT could be reborn as a new party within the space of a year. The only viable option would seem to be finding a candidate that is acceptable enough for Epsom voters to support. Personally I think John Boscawen could not only win Epsom, but also bring a friend or two along. But if he doesn’t want back in then that is scuppered.

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  94. Ashley Schaeffer (406 comments) says:

    The NZ public – as a whole – lean to the left. This is why John Key dragged National to the Left to vacuum up the middle ground votes. It was easier for him to drag the National Party to the Left then drag the middle ground over to the Right.

    As RB has stated repeatedly, the problem (if you are a right-winger) is that there isn’t anyone out there articulate enough and principled enough to convince people of the merits of the right-wing view. To the average joe who has only a passing interest in politics, it’s very easy to swallow the superficial Rich Pricks vs Champions of the Underdog picture that the Left has painted them. You have to make a real effort to peel away the veneer to find out what’s beneath and a large majority of people either don’t have the wherewithal or can’t be bothered. And the Left exploit this to the fullest by keeping the Marxism underpinning their ideology very well hidden from the mainstream view. In fact, it can be and has been argued that the Left’s assault on education has contributed to the inability of joe public to identify Marxism when it is staring them in the face.

    What we need on the Right is not just a free-market party like ACT, but a party capable of exposing the growing Marxist cancer and articulating a clear and positive alternative. Is that the CCCP? (ironic acronym)

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  95. bringbackdemocracy (394 comments) says:

    If the Conservatives had won an electorate seat in 2011, they had enough votes to get 3 seats. National, Labour and the Green’s would each have one seat less than they do now and parliament would better reflect the voter’s intentions.

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  96. David Garrett (6,422 comments) says:

    Ashley: There is no such thing as the CCCP….it supposedly stands for Colin Craig’s Conservative Party…and is part of the left’s attempt to portray the Conservatives as the equivalent of Winston First…just with more dough

    bring back: But they DIDN’T win an electorate seat, and that is a massive difference..as Nick K has noted, winning an electorate seat is a very big ask….Craig claimed (or perhaps really did think) he would piss in in Rodney…he got beaten by more than 10,000 votes as I recall…

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  97. Ross12 (1,149 comments) says:

    Penny Bright

    I surprised you haven’t responded to my question @ 11.03 given the energy you put into your anti corruption campaign. Or is it a case that is only corruption when the other side does the deed.

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  98. noskire (832 comments) says:

    I have to split this up, because it’s a big issue, and the more I consider it, the bigger the implications get.

    Pt1.

    It’s unrealistic to think that National can govern alone after the next election, despite the fact that the “brains-trust” of John Key and Bill English have successfully guided this country through the GFC, rebuilt relations with the US and secured an amazing relationship with China.

    Thanks in no small part to National’s efforts, we are poised for a “golden age” in our economy – the Christchurch Rebuild is tipped to be as big as the mining boom in Australia.

    Labour and their left-wing nuts will fritter this all away again.

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  99. rg (197 comments) says:

    You don’t really understand MMP do you David? If National had won the Epsom seat last election it would have 59 seats but no ACT vote. So one less vote than it has now. We would have had a Labour Govt or an impotent National Govt.
    If a by election was held today National voters would have to have rocks on their head to not vote for the ACT candidate. What the people of Epsom want most is a National Govt. With ACT’s Epsom seat the difference between a Labour and National govt what do you think they will do? When John Key tells them to vote ACT they will, regardless of the candidiate.
    John Key has said there will be no more cups of tea, he will be more straightforward with telling voters what to do. He also attended an ACT Party breakfast recently to signal his intention.

    ACT’s demise has been predicted by political commentators and even the pollsters have attempted to influence voters by putting ACT at zero seats. They have all been discredited.

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  100. AG (1,778 comments) says:

    @Graeme,

    I’m late to responding to this, so sorry …

    I’m going to have to take issue there. This has not been determined, and Banks is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Banks maintains that the donations are properly considered to be anonymous, and that the return is accurate.

    Sure, he can maintain this. And “the presumption of innocence” means that he can’t be punished for an offence for which he’s time-barred from being prosecuted. But I equally can respond “ha ha ha ha ha!” to the claim “that the donations are properly considered to be anonymous, and that the return is accurate.”

    I guess we’ll see what the District Court makes of it, when he stands trial.

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  101. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The NZ public – as a whole – lean to the left. This is why John Key dragged National to the Left to vacuum up the middle ground votes. It was easier for him to drag the National Party to the Left then drag the middle ground over to the Right.

    So why can’t National’s more fanatical supporters accept New Zealanders for who they are and stop dragging the party further to the right? The majority of New Zealanders do not want extreme neoliberal policies. Labour is much better at moderating the desires of its backers than the National Party is at doing the same.

    As RB has stated repeatedly, the problem (if you are a right-winger) is that there isn’t anyone out there articulate enough and principled enough to convince people of the merits of the right-wing view.

    Well, Redbaiter is certainly not that person. Most New Zealanders would deem his views to be those of an escaped mental patient.

    To the average joe who has only a passing interest in politics, it’s very easy to swallow the superficial Rich Pricks vs Champions of the Underdog picture that the Left has painted them. You have to make a real effort to peel away the veneer to find out what’s beneath and a large majority of people either don’t have the wherewithal or can’t be bothered. And the Left exploit this to the fullest by keeping the Marxism underpinning their ideology very well hidden from the mainstream view. In fact, it can be and has been argued that the Left’s assault on education has contributed to the inability of joe public to identify Marxism when it is staring them in the face.

    Perhaps people would take right wingers more seriously if they didn’t keep conflating welfare state social democracy with Marxism.

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  102. Than (425 comments) says:

    Labour is much better at moderating the desires of its backers than the National Party is at doing the same.

    Labour recently instituted a rule giving Unions a 20% say in their parliamentary leadership. Not a great way to moderate the desires of its backers.

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  103. ChardonnayGuy (1,133 comments) says:

    I think it’s amazing that some social conservative ideological purity merchants are trying to convince National that the Cons are a viable coalition partner. How, exactly? The CCCP opposes asset sales, remember- the central fiscal policy of the Key administration, but also opposes the introduction of a capital gains tax. Colin Craig has never held public office. Their referenda obsession abdicates representative democratic responsibilities and would break the (Reserve) Bank.

    And as I’m sure David will back me up, no less a doughty true-blue Tory than Margaret Thatcher was opposed to overuse of referenda.

    Remember 1996 and what happened to the Bolger and Shipley administrations in the late nineties?

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