The battle for Epsom

January 10th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A new beginning with a clean slate is the “best opportunity has had in 17 years”, says , who has all but confirmed he will put his hand up to be its candidate for .

Sole MP John Banks will stand down as the party’s leader in March and leave Parliament at this year’s election.

He is facing trial for allegations of knowingly filing a false electoral return.

Seymour, who has been living in Canada, had previously ruled out running for the position, but has confirmed his circumstances had changed and he was hoping to hand in his nomination by the end of next week.

He will be vying for the position against , who has also put his hand up to lead the party. But Seymour said it was his support for Whyte that played a role in him changing his mind.

“What’s changed is I’ve come back, I’ve met Jamie Whyte – I’m very impressed by him and I want to support him – but I’ve still got a few personal things to tidy up obviously.”

Seymour said he was not expecting to be leader, but would like to be the MP for Epsom.

“There’s a number of possible configurations, one is that a single person is the Epsom candidate and a leader of the party. Or those two roles could be split.

“Outside of those two roles, we’re hoping that ACT will actually get a number of MPs in [to Parliament] and so that’s the proposition.”

Whyte has also written to party members asking for their support to be Epsom candidate and leader. His letter reads:

Dear ACT member,

You will have read that I have put my name forward to be the leader of ACT and the candidate for Epsom, positions which need not be held by the same person. I am writing to you to introduce myself and explain why I believe I can be an effective leader of ACT.

ACT is a party of principle, not a lobby group for “rich pricks” or anyone else. It needs a leader who is a credible advocate of our principles and policies. Over the last 10 years I have consistently made the case for individual liberty under the rule of law in opinion columns for the Wall Street Journal and The Times (among other papers), in my recently published book Quack Policy and as a pundit on British radio and TV. On the basis of this work, in 2012 I was made a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and a senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. To give you an idea of my ideas, I attach to this email a PDF of Free Thoughts, a collection of my columns published last year by the Adam Smith Institute.

The rest of my professional career also supports my credibility on economic and social policy. I began my post-student life as a philosophy lecturer at Cambridge University. I then moved to London to work as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman, a firm specializing in banking strategy.  I ended my third stint with the firm in 2013, having become Head of Research and Publications. My time in consulting means that, unusually for a philosopher, I know a lot about business, both its theory and its practice.

ACT has fallen to less than 1% support nationally. It needs renewal. Among other things, that requires new and younger faces. I am a sprightly 48, with a wife and two daughters, 10 and 6. My profile in New Zealand is now low. But given my experience in the British media, I am confident that I can quickly change that, especially if chosen to lead ACT. Below is a link to a TV3 News item on me.
http://www.3news.co.nz/Philosopher-contemplates-ACT-leadership-role/tabid/1607/articleID/324090/Default.aspx

Finally, there has been some mis-reporting of my nationality. For the record, I am not English. I was born in Auckland to Kiwi parents and lived here until finishing my BA at Auckland University. Since then I have lived in many countries but mainly England. My family and I lived in Auckland from 2004 to 2008 and we are now back for good. 

Regards,
Jamie 

His columns make excellent reading, and they are included below.

Free Thoughts

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59 Responses to “The battle for Epsom”

  1. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    Good to see multiple candidates keen on resurrecting the Act Party. Historic and current hiccups will take a bit of overcoming but all it will take is for a few new keen candidates to give them a good shot at it.

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  2. Steve Wrathall (237 comments) says:

    Having the leader different from the Epsom candidate leaves the risk that the media will do a number on us like in ’05 or ’11, convince the voters that ACT is a wasted vote. Result = not even enough party votes for another MP. If the ACT board select different people for these roles they have to be be comfortable that the Epsom candidate may end up as leader anyway, just like Banksie did.

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

    A crank for a party of cranks.

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  4. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    If the ACT board select different people for these roles they have to be be comfortable that the Epsom candidate may end up as leader anyway, just like Banksie did.

    I don’t think that will be a problem.

    It makes sense to me for Act to have one candidate concentrating on saving the party by holding Epsom, and another put up as leader focusing on the bigger picture and working on building party vote to get more MPs.

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  5. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    He sounds good, but ACT has never had any shortage of good people. The hard part is getting the political strategy right without letting it dominate and become an end in itself so the principles get lost. It’s been 10 years since ACT had that balance right and it takes a number of people, not just the leader.

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  6. J Bloggs (157 comments) says:

    I don’t think that will be a problem.

    It makes sense to me for Act to have one candidate concentrating on saving the party by holding Epsom, and another put up as leader focusing on the bigger picture and working on building party vote to get more MPs.

    I think that’s a recipe for disaster for ACT. If you are going to have one person in Parliament, its got to be the leader. That’s where the heart of the political game is. If the sole MP is not the leader, then what is he? a figurehead? A rubber stamp? A meal ticket? A trougher?

    Having separate MP and leader for ACT didn’t work last time, why should it be any different next time?

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  7. bringbackdemocracy (391 comments) says:

    It doesn’t matter how much you whip a dead horse, or how many times you change the jockey, it’s not going to win the race.

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

    Note that students at Cambridge typically attend tutorials. Lecturer doesn’t mean what it means here.

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

    Act is what a Maoist party would be if it had money behind it. It just shows that money can only buy a small percentage of votes in NZ, and that is a good thing. Sophomoric libertarianism should stay on the internet where it belongs.

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  10. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    Whyte is good value, ACT is a far better prospect than Craig’s Conservatives. If they added Cathy Ogden to Whyte they would have a formidable team. Having Banks or Brash there in hindsight wasn’t the wisest call. BUT there is still a lot of good in ACT.

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  11. anonymouse (693 comments) says:

    For a small party having a leader outside parliament is simply a distraction,

    It allows the media and other groups to drive wedges based on comments made by each that may not totally be reflected in the actions of the other.

    For ACT which is basically on life support splitting its resources by having a Leader that is not their sole MP ( and anyone who believes ACT will win more than 1 seat please raise their hands and explain how) is simply foolhardy,

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  12. James Stephenson (2,004 comments) says:

    Lecturer doesn’t mean what it means here.

    Just because Oxford and Cambridge Unversities run college-based tutorial systems, it doesn’t follow that “lecturer” doesn’t mean “someone who knows their shit well enough to teach other people”. Oxford and Cambridge still have departments, with lecture theatres, in which lecturers give lectures.

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  13. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    J Bloggs – if Act only get one MP then sure, make them the leader, they need to be the leader. But I see advantages in having a leader plus an Epsom candidate for the campaign (and before).

    One of UF’s problems is they are seen as a single electorate single MP party. Act can avoid that up to the election by having separate party and Epsom focuses. After the election they can adapt to suit whatever result they get.

    If Act make their Epsom candidate their party leader it’s more likely they will be seen as just an Epsom party.

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  14. J Bloggs (157 comments) says:

    Pete: Then you get the situation where the media’s attention is split between the candidate and the leader. Given how little media time is given to minor parties, is this a good thing?

    And it also poses the question of who is going to pay any attention to a leader who is not going to be in Parliament? And if you are going to ditch leader A for elected Candidate B after the election, whats the point of putting resources in to A in the first place?

    All it is going to do is continue the impression of ACT being dysfunctional – an Image ACT’s detractors will push for all it’s worth

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  15. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    anonymouse – whatever the chances of Act getting more than one MP are they have to at least appear as if they want and think they can can get more than one.

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  16. Dean Papa (707 comments) says:

    I’ve only perused a few of the essays, but so far I have to say Whyte doesn’t seem like much of a philosopher to me. Underwhelming would be being kind. “Sympathy is a failure of imagination” in particular, being complete bilge. What are the odds Whyte is getting overpaid for this nonsense?

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  17. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    For parties other than Labour or National, co-leadership makes sense. The leader is never going to be PM or even probably Deputy PM, and it creates more of a team culture where responsibilities and media focus can be spread.

    When you have a single leader the party becomes personified by that person – the “Prebble Party” or the “Hide Party”. If that person stumbles then the whole party stumbles.

    The Greens have always had co-leadership. When Rod Donald died in his sleep the party did not disembowel itself over leadership transition. By contrast, the contest for the ACT leadership when Richard Prebble retired caused huge internal issues in ACT.

    With co-leadership the media are more encouraged to go to the particular spokesperson on an issue rather than the leader. You see this with the Greens. When the issue was food safety the go to person was Sue Kedgley. When it was energy it was Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

    For ACT, nearly every issue was handled by either Prebble or, later, Hide. Sometimes other spokespeople would front it, but not often.

    The extreme example is NZ First, where Winston does 100% of the media work. No one has heard of the other NZ First MPs, and NZ First is totally the “Winston Peters Party”.

    So my recommendation is that ACT take this opportunity to move to a co-leadership model.

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  18. J Bloggs (157 comments) says:

    Freedom: That’s an interesting idea. Co-leadership works for the Greens and the Maori party, but both those groups have an internal culture AND an external image of that culture that allows co-leadership to work. Does ACT have that same culture and external perception?

    Food for thought, though

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  19. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    ACT has enough support to get 3-4 seats as long as voters are convinced they will win Epsom. It’s only when there is the possibility of a wasted vote that those core ACT voters will go elsewhere. The two times ACT has been under five seats were due to media deliberately misleading voters about the likelihood of a party vote for ACT being wasted. Of course this will probably happen again.

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  20. bringbackdemocracy (391 comments) says:

    Nigel, the problem is that all of the votes ACT receive will come at National’s expense. A better option is the Conservative party, which is drawing support from National, Labour and NZ First voters.

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  21. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    bringbackdemocracy – point taken, but there’s also a benefit to National from having ACT because it allows National to play “Good Cop, Bad Cop” and introduce some policies which have support inside the National caucus, but where National is too timid. Their introduction can then be attributed to ACT. Charter Schools is a good example, as would be tax cuts, welfare reform etc.

    ACT does not draw totally from National either. A large number of of ACT supporters come from the Rogernomics end of the Labour Party. Followers of Shane Jones could quite conceivably move to ACT.

    While the Conservatives might move voters to the centre right, and might tip the election, let’s not pretend that there would not be problems with them – moon landings aside, there are issues like asset sales and foreign ownership.

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  22. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Nigel is right. When it was certain Rodney Hide would win Epsom in 2008, ACT easily scored 3.7%. The same can happen again.

    My personal view is that the Epsom candidate needs to parked in Epsom for 6 months, whereas the leader needs to travel around the country so they can’t be the same person.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    In a column, Jamie Whyte repeats the falsehood of New Zealand’s imprisonment rate being the second highest in the developed world. If he couldn’t be bothered to check that, why would I believe things he says about things I don’t know about?

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  24. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    Graeme, I think it’s more nuanced than that. The “imprisonment rate” can be measured in at least two ways. 1) ‘per 100,000 people’ or 2) ‘per 100,000 imprisonable (serious) offences’. From memory Jamie is talking about the latter. If you have a high crime rate, then your ‘rate of imprisonment’ can be low, even if your absolute numbers in prison are high. The converse is also true – you can have a high rate in prison per 100,000 people, but a low rate of imprisonment if your are measuring the number of people in prison divided by the number of serious offences (the denominator).

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  25. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    I have met both of these guys, and both are impressive..in different ways. Both also of course have the huge disadvantage of having no parliamentary experience, but unless Rodney changes his mind, there is no credible candidate on the scene who can overcome that problem.

    freedom: Well said. The “imprisonment rate” makes absolutely no sense unless you also considere the “crime rate”. But Graeme is also quite right; on NO measure are we “secoind in the world” or even “second in the developed world.” That is myth which has become established be endless repetition by the left and the media.

    Although I take NK’s point, I dont see how credibly the leader can be a person outside parliament, with a different person as MP. On this issue J bloggs @ 9.33 makes good sense. Of course that problem is not a problem if the MP for Epsom – who is not the leader – brings 2 or 3 other MP’s in with him. Although a lot of people still don’t get it, under MMP a list MP has exactly the same status as an electorate MP. I always looked at is as having the whole of New Zealand as potential constituents if someone needed help.

    As for co-leadership, that model has always seemed vaguely silly to me. And for ACT especially, it was Roy’s obsession with being co-leader that lay behind much of the infighting, back stabbing and general disunity that did for Rodney’s leadership, and ultimately the party.

    I just hope both of these guys are utterly squeaky clean in their pasts…whether we like it or not, the standard is different for candidates on the right than for those on the left.

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  26. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    The recent reaction to Iceland’s volcanic ash provides a typical example. The authorities did not tell us their best estimate of the chance an airliner would crash into the sea and then allow us to trade-off our desire to travel against the risk of dying. They made the choice for us.

    [...]

    Left to their own devices, many passengers would have deemed the risk worth taking. And no one who did not would have been forced to travel.

    And there it is, so devoted to his free-market that he’d rather see lives risked than contravene his Randian fuckwittery.

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  27. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    apologies for the sloppy editing…ran out of time.

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  28. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    cha, calm down. It’s an example. No one expects there to be two check ins at the airline counter, one for flights closed due to ash and other one open for those who are in a hurry and don’t mind the prospect of crashing. To illustrate a point does not mean that you actually recommend the actual policy be implemented.

    I suspect that the left are going to have fun with Jamie’s articles. Each article needs to be read in its entirety, as the conclusion results from the foregoing discussion. If you ignore the discussion, then the conclusion in isolation might shock. Shock is of course is what the left will promote. All logic goes out the window, and the headline is everything.

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  29. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    As freedom has noted, ACT’s potential support does not only come from National. Although some of the free marketeers in ACT are almost embarassed by it, ACT’s law and order policies appeal to a great many “Waitakere Men” – as Chris Trotter calls them – who have abandoned Labour as it has become focused on the “rainbow constituency”, gender balance and other bullshit.

    I well remember in 2008 being approached at election forums by older working class guys who, after ensuring no-one was listening, told me what a great idea 3S was. There is no way of knowing if all or indeed any of them voted for us as a result, but the reality is we also have no way of knowing what even a card carrying cloth cap wearing member of the Labour party does with his party vote once in the secrecy of the polling booth.

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  30. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Graeme, I think it’s more nuanced than that. The “imprisonment rate” can be measured in at least two ways. 1) ‘per 100,000 people’ or 2) ‘per 100,000 imprisonable (serious) offences’. From memory Jamie is talking about the latter.

    You don’t need memory, it’s at page 80 (91 out of 225) in the document above. The quote is:

    Statistics first. New Zealand imprisons a relatively high percentage of its population: we have 180 prisoners for every 100,000 citizens. Among developed nations, this puts us second only to the United States, which imprisons 700 out of every 100,000.

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  31. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    The authorities did not tell us their best estimate of the chance an airliner would crash into the sea and then allow us to trade-off our desire to travel against the risk of dying. They made the choice for us.

    This isn’t free market. He’s wants the government to assess the risk and then tell everyone. If he wants to know the risk, why can’t he pay some company to work it out and tell him like someone who really believed in a market would do. Why should it be my taxes that are used to calculate this for him?

    Also, do the people who might live under the flight path also get a choice?

    [yes, I realise these objections are largely contradictory]

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  32. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    Graeme, Stats NZ says that in 2011 we had the 7th highest imprisonment rate per 100,000 citizens in the OECD. See http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/government_finance/central_government/nz-in-the-oecd/justice.aspx. So it appears that Jamie is incorrect in saying we are 2nd.

    However, Jamie goes on to say:

    “New Zealand is a very criminal country. We have 100 crimes each year for every 1000 citizens. This compares to 90 in England, 24 in Spain and 20 in Ireland (to take a few examples). As a percentage of crimes committed, we imprison very few people. We have 18 prisoners per 1000 crimes, compared to 13 in England, 33 in Ireland and 48 in Spain.”

    This I think is the point. No doubt he can supply sources of his data, including his assertion that we are 2nd in the OECD.

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  33. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    This guy certainly seems to peddle the simplistic, ideological idiocy that we came to expect from ACT representatives, so no doubt he’ll fit right in. He writes:

    Employers whose workplace is unsafe will have to pay a wage premium to find willing employees. Some safety improvements will be worth more in reduced wages than they cost. But not all. Making the windows of an accountancy office bulletproof, for example, would be a safety improvement too far. The optimal safety level is reached when any further improvements would cost more than they save in wages. This optimum varies from firm to firm. Employers have the information and the incentive to find it. Regulators do not.

    Or, to put it another way, the “optimal” safety level from the employer’s perspective is reached when any further improvements are rendered superfluous by the employer’s ability to conceal risk from its employees, or when unemployment levels make employees desperate enough to take unsafe work. Employers have the incentive to find this level – regulators do not.

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  34. Alan (1,054 comments) says:

    “The recent reaction to Iceland’s volcanic ash provides a typical example. The authorities did not tell us their best estimate of the chance an airliner would crash into the sea and then allow us to trade-off our desire to travel against the risk of dying. They made the choice for us.

    [...]

    Left to their own devices, many passengers would have deemed the risk worth taking. And no one who did not would have been forced to travel.”

    If he doesn’t realise that these choices are made on the simple basis of insurance cover for the plane and airline staff then I really have no hope for him.

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  35. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    This I think is the point.

    I agree that was his point. It’s a good point.

    However, given that I know that his claim about the rank of New Zealand’s prison population is per 100,000 citizens is false, why would I accept the other factual claims he makes?

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  36. Colville (2,056 comments) says:

    Co-leadership in the election race, run in Epsom and ??, with policy of a party leadership vote straight after election.

    ACT and CCCP is not an either or equation, if both can get a toe hold in parliment by winning a electorate with decent candidates , after some parlimentary experience they will be hard to shift.

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  37. Paulus (2,485 comments) says:

    The media are in UTU mood so they will give neither the time of day only denigrate them like Craig.
    The left wing media hate other than left wingers as is continually being shown.
    Look at TVNZ new Political Reporter – a well known a left wing activist called Bradford, who cannot even speak properly.
    She has been, with her mother, in active left wing marches, as can be seen in many photographs.
    Who is behind such appointments ?

    [DPF: Katie has been a press gallery journalist for many years now, and I can't recall her ever taking part in a march - unless you include the ones her Mum probably took her on when she was a toddler!

    I doubt Katie votes ACT, but I've never detected a strong ideological slant to her reporting]

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  38. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Is that Katie Bradford-Crozier? I never picked it, but now it makes sense if it is.

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  39. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    Paulus: Does Bradford’s daughter speak in the some faux working class accent as Mum? (Sue’s father was a uni lecturer apparently, and they were solidly middle class)

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

    Anyone thinkng Cathy Odgers is electable. Lololol

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  41. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    More electable than all Green MPs.

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  42. s.russell (1,558 comments) says:

    I have read a random selection of some half dozen of his columns. I read them in hope. Sadly, I came to the conclusion that he is nuts. He makes many valid points, but (how like a philosopher) seems to live in a theoretical fantasy world not populated by real human beings but by Randian economic calculating machines. I think most Kiwis, reading these, would be aghast. His propositions are narrow, simplistic, unrealistic, and unbalanced.

    I am sorry that this is so because I see great value in a party on the right willing to say the things National won’t and provide balance against the drivel from the left. But if Act were to follow the Whyte path it would just create horror, not stimulate thinking.

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  43. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    Any of the candidates that put their name forward are on a hiding to nothing because the party is called Act. The brand is dead, toxic and doomed to fail. The party hierarchy has woefully failed its members in the last few elections.

    Change the party name and get a new leader with business experience with no association to previous Act, then it could be a runner. Seymour is a bright academic boy who needs to earn his stripes, not decide to stand because he is at a loose end and needs a paying gig.

    Hooton’s new vehicle sounds the goods to me and he knows what is required to float a boat. That’s where I bet the thinking Act voters will go.

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  44. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    I think most Kiwis, reading these, would be aghast

    What, say 95%?

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  45. SPC (5,334 comments) says:

    These two are like real estate agents reading a funeral notice.

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  46. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Hooton’s new vehicle sounds the goods to me and he knows what is required to float a boat.

    You mean a few million dollars and about 10,000 members, supporters and volunteeers?

    Will he click his fingers and get these within the next couple of months, or are they at the bottom of the garden with the fairies?

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  47. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    More electable than all Green MPs.

    You know that a bunch of Green MPs have been elected, right?

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  48. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Yes, but Cathy has never seriously stood for parliament so the hypothesis remains a little untested!

    But I get your point.

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  49. MH (624 comments) says:

    Poor old Epsom Saltzers – they get told how to vote in the last 3 elections and then go out and actually do it !! What a rotten borough they are. Are they given to “treats” or just their representatives. Last time Banks flew over it in a helicopter he ended up by metes and bounds in Riverhead. Their imprisonment rate is 1 : 1

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  50. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    NK

    I would back Hooton to at least have the nous to know when a rotting corpse is actually dead. It seems that the same old same old wankers in charge of the asylum in Newmarket haven’t a clue that is for sure.

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  51. Harriet (4,495 comments) says:

    “….I just hope both of these guys are utterly squeaky clean in their pasts…whether we like it or not, the standard is different for candidates on the right than for those on the left….”

    I’ve always wondered DG which of those many women who were sneering at you in parliment or in the press gallery have had an abortion.

    Abortion being a ‘private matter’ allows women to be dishonest and hypocrats – you never killed anyone to have/continue a ‘political career’ – having parliments pro-abortionists promoting you as some big evil monster for your misdeed was a dishonest act in mho! Sure you did do wrong – but it wasn’t ‘evil’.

    Pro abortionists have been on the backfoot since Roe vs Wade.

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  52. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    I would back Hooton to at least have the nous to know when a rotting corpse is actually dead. It seems that the same old same old wankers in charge of the asylum in Newmarket haven’t a clue that is for sure.

    You’re still bitter Mr Campbell. Just focus on the Conservatives and forget what Act is doing.

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  53. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,563 comments) says:

    NK – why care about the Colin Craig party as an alternative to ACT? They are two totally different political vehicles with different policies. The CC Party has all the fruit loops that left ACT, National and Winston all rolled into one.

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  54. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    LMK

    Know them all personally do you? I would say based on your statement you know SFA.

    Act has quite brilliant policies and principles relevant in 2014 but is being managed by a small clique of incompetents desperate to keep their incomes or personal fiefdoms. Of course that is understandable because they are human but doing it at the expense of the members (and arguably the betterment of NZ) is not commendable. Bring on Hooton and Craig I say. Let the voter decide.

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  55. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    Joanne

    Cathy Odgers would be a fabulous leader of an Act replacement party. She would get my vote and support for sure. Now that I done a bit of background on Jamie Whyte I think he should stay in his smoking jacket with his pipe and slippers.

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  56. NK (1,060 comments) says:

    Act has quite brilliant policies and principles relevant in 2014 but is being managed by a small clique of incompetents desperate to keep their incomes or personal fiefdoms.

    Desperate to keep what incomes and fiefdoms? Act employs 1 person and with 1 MP the parliamentary budget is stuff all as well. The hardest workers in Act are the volunteers.

    The Cons on the other hand *are* controlled by Colin the Con because he funds it and he makes the rules.

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  57. deadrightkev (273 comments) says:

    NK

    The Act incompetence is legendary. Surely you don’t doubt that? What does Craig and his party have to do with Act? That’s a strange diversion.

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  58. ChardonnayGuy (1,130 comments) says:

    I like some of the things Whyte says about abortion rights and marriage equality, both of which he supports. One hopes that any revitalised ACT would ringfence themselves off from numbskull populists and social conservative authoritarian statist neanderthals. They’re the ones to blame for ACT’s downfall. If they hadn’t wasted time alienating real anti-statist classical liberal voters, ACT would be in far better health. Granted, I may not agree with him on issues like industrial relations and some environmental policy issues, but then I don’t with my classical liberal true-blue Nat friends either.

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  59. ChardonnayGuy (1,130 comments) says:

    Hurriut:
    Wow, abortion rights are on the run? Is that why Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, as well as Canada, have all removed abortion rights from their criminal law statutes? And we all know that the real reason that abortion rights are under attack in the United States has a lot to do with anti-abortion terrorism and assassination of providers in the nineties and that the Republicans keep pandering to these misogynist scumballs.

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