Prebble returns

February 23rd, 2014 at 1:31 pm by David Farrar

have announced:

Former ACT leader is returning to politics as the party’s Campaign Director for the 2014 election.

Acting party president Barbara Astill announced Richard Prebble’s appointment as Campaign Director after a board meeting yesterday.

“The appointment of Richard Prebble as Campaign Director means ACT goes into the election with the country’s best election strategist,” said Mrs Astill.

“Richard Prebble is a campaigning legend. He was the architect of ACT’s greatest campaigning victories, including taking ACT from a virtual zero in the polls in 1996 to winning Wellington Central and taking seven MPs into parliament. Under Richard ACT increased its vote in every election. As a Labour MP Richard won the biggest general seat majority in parliament not once but twice.

“Richard Prebble has presented the ACT Board with a campaign strategy to win not only the Epsom electorate but also nine MPs. The ACT Board has endorsed the Prebble campaign plan, which will be presented to the ACT Party Conference at the Villa Maria Estate, Mangere, this Saturday,” said Mrs Astill.

“I have come out of political retirement because Parliament needs at least one party willing to ask the question, where is the money coming from for all these political promises?” said Richard Prebble.

“ACT needed fresh leadership and new ideas. I urged Dr. Jamie Whyte to stand for the leadership. Jamie will take ACT back to the original principles of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers which made ACT the effective third force in politics.

“I have been reading Jamie Whyte’s articles in the Wall Street Journal for years. He has an extraordinary knowledge of the world economy that will make him a very valuable member of parliament that any party would love to have.

“I have known David Seymour since he was a top engineering student at Auckland University. As someone educated in Epsom, David will be a very good MP for the electorate.

“ACT now has both the policies and the people. It is my job as director to ensure the voters learn about Dr. Jamie Whyte and ACT’s positive, practical solutions. The support will follow.

“A vote for ACT ensures not only that John Key remains Prime Minister, but that a future National-ACT government remains on the course of good financial sense.”

This is a very good move for ACT. Prebble is a very good campaigner, and will run a good campaign. But it also means signifies that some of the original founding fathers of ACT are solidly back on board. Having Prebble as Campaign Manager will give donors confidence that donations will be out to good use.

ACT are not going to get nine MPs. But if they can get at least two MPs (needs 1.2% just 0.1% more than last time) then that will give them an ongoing presence in Parliament and an ability to keep growing without the distractions of the past.

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61 Responses to “Prebble returns”

  1. radvad (746 comments) says:

    Fanbloodytastic. The rise and rise of ACT is underway, yay and yay.

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  2. Chuck Bird (4,832 comments) says:

    “But if they can get at least two MPs (needs 1.2% just 0.1% more than last time)”

    Not according to Deb Coddington. She thinks it takes something like 3%. How did that woman get to be an ACT MP or a political commentator when she does not know the basics of MMP.

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  3. Reboot (100 comments) says:

    Was really enthusiastic to read this, until I got to this last part:

    “A vote for ACT ensures not only that John Key remains Prime Minister, but that a future National-ACT government remains on the course of good financial sense.”

    Jesus Christ, not again.

    I miss the old days when Dick had the balls to attack the Left Wing National government.

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  4. Lindsay Addie (1,393 comments) says:

    Can anyone reassure me that Mr Magoo……. err um I mean Don Brash is no longer involved with ACT?

    I agree with DPF Prebble is a good choice for campaign manager.

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  5. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    Reboot, you dont think they will disagree with National on the areas they disagree with National on?

    this is not Jim Andertons Labour MKII.

    this is a libertarian (esque usually but hopefully more so), who realises they have more in common with National than Labour and will therefore go into coalition with them, but push them towards more freedom based policies.

    i dont see any issue with them saying that keeping labour out of govt is going to be better for ACT supporters.

    it makes this one very happy.

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  6. big bruv (13,702 comments) says:

    It is vital that ACT do not fuck this up. I agree with Lindsay Aggie, ACT simply cannot afford to have Don Brash anywhere near the party or any of its meeting or conferences. Nor for that matter can they afford to have John Banks within a hundred miles of the party.

    The media will be looking for a reason to tear down any resurgence that the party will gain, for that reason I would also strongly advise David Garrett (a man I do respect) to let himself be quoted or in any way associated with the party.

    I say these things not because I believe that there is anything wrong with the three men I have named, it is more to do with the filthy left wing media who will be crawling all over ACT looking for a way to take them down.

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  7. unpcnzcougar (52 comments) says:

    That is excellent news. I now feel confident that ACT will increase its vote and National will be resoundingly returned to office. Bring on the election!

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  8. NK (1,222 comments) says:

    There are only a handful of talented campaign organisers/directors in this country: Prebble, Mike Williams, Matt McCarten and probably Brian Nicolle. Prebs and Brian are behind Act; and Williams and McCarten are fervent lefties.

    Who will be running Colin the Con’s campaign?

    He should be very worried about Act’s latest developments.

    And there are more to come.

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  9. mavxp (496 comments) says:

    Great news. We now have somewhere to send our party vote to.

    More bang for buck sending it to Act than National. Why scrape the barrel trying to get more National list MPs into Parliament (Aaron Gilmore anyone?), when we can get some of the cream of Act in instead.

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  10. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    “…..then that will give them an ongoing presence in Parliament and an ability to keep growing without the distractions of the past….”

    Good. The legalising pot thing made the party look like the Greens – full of selfish hedonistic individuals.

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  11. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    ACT are not going to get nine MPs.

    We will see. The party I think I should naturally support has finally thrown off the shackles of the deadshit law and order policy and have returned to its roots.
    I am seriously considering voting for them, although I would rather vote for National if it looks like a vote for ACT will be a wasted vote.

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  12. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    BB: The word “not” (as in I should NOT comment or be associated with ACT) is missing in your post…but fear not; with Whyte’s announcement that law and order policies are now “not a priority” for the reborn ACT, it is highly unlikely that anyone will want my opinion…while they hold their noses at it, I remain immensely proud of three strikes, and also remain convinced that so long as the polis leave the law well alone it will soon start to make a highly valuable contribution to NZ society by locking away evil bastards who haven’t learned from strikes one and two…

    Garry: Another predictable idiot comment…ACT’s focus on free market economics, freedom of choice and hard line law and order policies dated from at least 2002…long before I came anywhere near the thing…

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  13. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    I will NOT vote for the ACT party if it is pushing a law and order policy as a priority.

    If you read the comment there is no comment about you DG, but if the cap fits I’m more than happy to call you a deadshit.
    There’s only one r in Gary.

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  14. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    As long as they stay away from the bankrupt and water polluting pig farmer

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  15. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    You’re just another anonymous dickhead as far as I’m concerned Gary (with one “r”) whatever people think about me, none can call me an anonymous internet troll…as you say, if the cap fits, wear it..

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  16. NK (1,222 comments) says:

    ACT are not going to get nine MPs.

    And they weren’t going to in 1999 and 2002 either. They got 9 both times.

    And they were going to lose Epsom in 2005, 2008 & 2011.

    And North and South wrote them off in a major article in 1996 called “The final Act”. And the Herald wrote them off 1 week before the 2005 election.

    And punters from North to South, including on this blog, have written them off since 2011.

    Need I continue?

    I’m sure you get the drift.

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  17. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    DG I suggest that you cut out the personal attacks now. I have a lot more practise at flame wars than you do.

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  18. big bruv (13,702 comments) says:

    DG

    Yes, I did make the mistake of not including the word “not”.
    As for the three strikes legislation, you have every reason to be proud of that outstanding piece of work.

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  19. srylands (404 comments) says:

    Interestingly the ipredict “ACT vote share” price is 2.2%, which I think is a pretty good forecast right now. I think that would give them 3 MPs, which would be a good result.

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  20. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    Gary: you well illustrate why blogs are not (yet) taken as seriously as they should be…if you think describing you as an anonymous dickhead is an “attack” you have led a much more sheltered life than you like to suggest..I think the umpire will find you referring to the “deadshit law and order policy” with which I was widely associated came before any “attack” by me….

    But back to the thread…I know Rodney regards Prebble as brilliant, so this has to be a good move for ACT…

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  21. NK (1,222 comments) says:

    David – you know as well as I that the job now will be to get people to listen to him and do as he says. Not always easy for “actors” in the past.

    I think the word is “discipline”

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  22. RF (1,368 comments) says:

    BB. I agree DG did outstanding work introducing the three strikes legislation. Good show old chap.

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  23. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    NK: Yes indeed…”discipline” in the ACT caucus was not an outstanding trait during my short parliamentary career! But at least two of the “actors” responsible for that are now history…

    srylands: Three MP’s from where they are now would be an absolutely outstanding result…

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  24. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    Mad dog! Woohoooooo

    I’m not greedy, I’ll settle for 5 act mps :-D

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  25. Carlos (687 comments) says:

    This gives me some comfort as I was feeling trapped into needing to give my party vote to the Conservative Party to help keep the Extreme Left Alliance (Labour, Greens and Mana) out. I would prefer to give my party vote to ACT.

    I’m probably a little ignorant, but if I have to choose between giving my party vote to ACT or the Conservative Party, would ACT be the better choice? Any help?

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  26. NK (1,222 comments) says:

    I’m probably a little ignorant, but if I have to choose between giving my party vote to ACT or the Conservative Party, would ACT be the better choice? Any help?

    Yes, because Act will win Epsom and make it into parliament and the Cons won’t. Ergo, every party vote for the Cons is wasted.

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  27. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Does this mean that ACT now doesn’t need a gift electorate from National?

    What if National sees a resurgent ACT this way?

    Also is Prebble up with the play on Internet-age campaigning? Does he use a smart phone?

    Meanwhile, Carlos’s words at 3.26 look like a patsy post to me. Who would ask a thread full of excited ACT supporters whether he should vote for ACT or the conservatives?

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  28. Daigotsu (454 comments) says:

    No disrespect to Prebble, he was the best leader ACT ever had (sorry Rodders), but I am not sure his involvement is necessarily going to help out here. DPF praises the involvement of ACT’s original members, but is this really likely to resonate with voters? Bear in mind that Roger Douglas, the most original of the original founders, was involved with ACT for three years, and they were three of ACT’s darkest years. I’m sceptical that old school ACT guys are helpful.

    OTOH he will probably be a better campaign manager than John “40%” Ansell, but then again, so would basically any random off the street.

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  29. gump (1,617 comments) says:

    People said that Roger Douglas would help return Act to it’s original vision. And look at how badly that worked out.

    I don’t think Prebble will have a great deal of success.

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  30. DJP6-25 (1,360 comments) says:

    I think this will be more of a help than a hindrance.

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  31. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    gump: Sadly no-one realised that Roger’s intense dislike of Rodney overcame all other considerations…which was a bloody tragedy for ACT and indeed for the centre-right as a whole..

    By the by, what’s happened to Redbaiter?? I would have thought he would be in boots and all to this and other similar threads…I havent heard him for weeks…has he passed to that great drilling rig in the sky? Hope not…

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  32. Michael (903 comments) says:

    I was an undecided voter until I heard this news. If Prebs is back in, then so am I.

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  33. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    What’s the word for reverse rejuvenation?

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  34. NK (1,222 comments) says:

    What’s the word for reverse rejuvenation?

    Two words actually: Winston Peters.

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  35. flash2846 (260 comments) says:

    Too much talking up the president and not enough about the candidate. Also, how about some policies? ACT party, sort yourselves out; you are taking too long.

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  36. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    Flash: Are you on the turps already? The party currently has an acting President only (after John B stepped down), and there has been no mention of her in this thread…Do try to follow the discussion…

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  37. flash2846 (260 comments) says:

    DG – Woops! I buggered the words up; I might be better off on the turps today :(

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  38. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    Act has good policy and always has had. Problem has always been they can’t get the message across to people.Absolutely hopeless at it, whereas John Ansell knows exactly how to get it across. Act go quietly to the corner and mutter to themselves. They need to be bold, set out 5-6 good policy ideas and go like hell with it.
    They should tap into John’s ability.

    Take a lesson from Bob Jones and the NZ Party. Jones knew how to get the message over.
    there are a number of electorates they could win if they packed in some grunt.

    But will they make a bloody big splash, probably not.

    Winning ain’t for the faint hearted.

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  39. Steve (North Shore) (4,544 comments) says:

    Mad Dog Prebble – yeah! He will do a good campaign for ACT. Better ACT than the tossers on the other side of the Political spectrum.
    He once said “the Governments’ job is to govern, not to be in business” I don’t mind if ACT takes Party votes from National because ACT will also take Party votes from those who just won’t vote National (swinging Labourites, Moari, Mana and those United wankers, + the Connys)

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  40. smttc (731 comments) says:

    Carlos, you are probably in the same boat as me. I will give my party vote to ACT. But only if the polls leading up to the election indicate it will not be a wasted vote. Otherwise it goes to National.

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  41. nasska (11,153 comments) says:

    At last the prospect of a reliable ally for National as opposed to catering to the useless assortment of flakes JK has had to deal with to date.

    Good news for Mr Craig too…..finally he can put aside his ridiculous political dreams to concentrate on suing people & charting chem trails.

    Everyone’s a winner!

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  42. thedavincimode (6,612 comments) says:

    DG

    Redtweeter got the hump (again) a while before Xmas. He swore off the homo, knuckledragging, prog sum here to embark upon a previously secret game changing change to phase two of his twenty year master plan – he went tweeting.

    He snuck back momentarily the other day but appears to have not returned after it was pointed out the he was full of it and he couldn’t stay away because he secretly adored the place.

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  43. thedavincimode (6,612 comments) says:

    Lindsay

    Mr Magoo was last reported joining the political throngs flocking to Fat Kraut Manor believe it or not.

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  44. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    You gotta laugh at that useless prick Prebble:

    On one hand ACT say they know best about costs.

    And on the other hand they will support legalising drugs.

    He also knows that government has to balance the public good with individual Liberty.

    Well drug addiction comes at a huge price to the children & parents, neighbours & employers ect of drug addicts. This costs hundred’s of millions of public and private money to help these non-drug taking VICTIMS.

    Drug addiction does not decrease when drugs are made legal – every GP and Judge will tell you that – so all that can ever be given to help drug addicts is a ‘council of despair’ where the medicine is nothing more than ‘understanding them’ – as they will simply go buy more drugs just like alcoholics do now.

    Mr Craig will stop Prebble’s Act party from wrecking NZ with more Liberal lies! :cool:

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  45. Komata (1,160 comments) says:

    Sadly, some of us with long memories will be very disappointed to see Richard Prebble returning to politics and back into Act, and that party will loose votes as a result. Given that Leopard’s don’t change their spots, it is useful to recall that before ‘jumping ship’ he was a Labour Party Minister of Railways (and other things, including the dismantling of the entire state services sector in the name of ‘efficiency’ ), and that he gained the name ‘Turncoat’, for his actions. He was also renowned , nay, infamous, for saying one thing and doing the direct opposite (although as that is typical of most politicians, we should not have be surprised).

    As I said, Leopards, spots. Nothing will have changed.

    Presumably Act are aware of this and prepared to take the risk of losing votes…….?

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  46. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    davinci: Really? Old Red has become a tweeter?! Gotta give him credit…for a senior citizen he sure embraces that new technology stuff…

    Crikey…the flakes are out early tonight…

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  47. thedavincimode (6,612 comments) says:

    DG

    His cunning assault against the Marxist elements by deploying the tweetersphere appears to have been only a 50/50 success. The melons have dropped the requisite 5% but it doesn’t appear to have gone to Colin. It has instead gone to the leftist Marxist homo prog Nats/Liebour scum block. Back to the drawing board for the defender of the free world.

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  48. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    I am delighted that Richard is returning to help ACT. It is impossible to overstate how well he led the party when he was Leader, and how he was able to keep things together and keep everyone on board. He has a gift for honing in on what is important and what will appeal to voters. It’s no accident that things turned to custard after his departure. If Richard is the Campaign Director then I have every confidence that ACT will be back in the next parliament and in force.

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  49. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    BlairM: But will the troops follow his directions?

    davinci: Yes, it seems that everyone is made except Red himself…I rather miss him…he could be rather amusing at times…

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  50. wiseowl (861 comments) says:

    Does ACT have 500 paid up members or are they like UF ?

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  51. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    UF is the only party to have 500+ paid up members confirmed (last year). National, Labour, Greens and Conservatives all claim thousands of members. The rest won’t say because they don’t have to.

    It will be interesting to see if the Internet Party gets 500 members. It’s a lot harder to get people to sign up, pay and supply all the required details than getting a likes or followers.

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  52. duggledog (1,502 comments) says:

    Oh for god’s sake Komata, please.

    Prebs was handed a shit portfolio, the country was on life support remember? I recommend you read his jaw dropping account of those time ‘I’ve Been Thinking’.

    From memory something like 20 odd thousand employees working on the railways, largely seen as the most inefficient in the developed world (you remember the story about them losing a farmer’s tractor and he ended up going and finding it himself).

    Post Preb’s reforms, the most efficient rail system in the world with about 1/4 the employees. Or something like that.

    Damn him and his ‘efficiency’! There ought to be a law against it!

    Richard Prebble is a great New Zealander. This is a very very bad sign for Colin Craig.

    DG – do you really think 3S will ever be rescinded? I don’t. Like – Roger & Richard’s reforms!

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  53. nasska (11,153 comments) says:

    Duggledog

    Your recollections are spot on. Since the mere existence of unemployment was toxic to the electorate NZR were instructed to hire anyone who turned up. The Post Office absorbed a few more when the Minister in charge thought it a good idea.

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  54. David Garrett (6,977 comments) says:

    duggledog: Once we get a couple of third strikers – who will inevitably be first class bastards – it will become very difficult to repeal..but I still dont put it past the Rainbow coalition…they would do it in the first week after they got in office knowing that by the time there was an election the sheeple would have forgotten…

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  55. gump (1,617 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    “Drug addiction does not decrease when drugs are made legal – every GP and Judge will tell you that – so all that can ever be given to help drug addicts is a ‘council of despair’ where the medicine is nothing more than ‘understanding them’ – as they will simply go buy more drugs just like alcoholics do now.”

    ————————–

    Are you going to pretend that Switzerland doesn’t exist?

    Since they started providing heroin addicts with free methadone and clean needles:

    1. HIV infections among drug users have declined
    2. Mortality of drug addicts has declined
    3. Crime related to drug abuse has declined

    You should do some basic research before you post here. The Swiss model is being adopted around the world as a pragmatic and successful approach to dealing with heroin addicts.

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  56. Daigotsu (454 comments) says:

    @DG: I think Redbaiter concluded that ACT were all communists at one point.

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  57. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    I can’t see why Act and the Conservatives couldn’t coexist peacefully… by rights they should be wooing different voters.

    I am a disgruntled former green voter and I would support a rebooted Act if they looked sensible and competent and got on a polling roll.

    Kolun should be targetting conservative Winston and National voters.

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  58. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    And red dick hates progs. Act are progs. Little different to labour from his perspective :roll:

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  59. Richard McGrath (9 comments) says:

    Further to Gump’s comment above, legalising drugs would be a huge step in the right direction. Portugal (almost) legalised possession of all drugs in about 2001. Almost, in that the police can still detain you but only for the purposes of taking you to a drug treatment clinic, if you are found in possession of narcotics and other drugs. The result has been a reduction in drug use in all age groups except 18-24 year olds (but including minors), and lower rates of HIV and hepatitis C infection. That’s got to be a good thing. Besides, what right has the government got to tell you what you can put into your own body?

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  60. Richard McGrath (9 comments) says:

    I hope that ACT under Jamie Whyte’s leadership will push a libertarian agenda. There are a lot of people who will consider returning to ACT now, not least the 1500 or so people who voted for Libertarianz in 2011.

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  61. ChardonnayGuy (1,197 comments) says:

    Could this be a poisoned chalice? Prebbo was always one for populist sideshows, and easily distracted from the main classical liberal business at hand while parliamentary ACT party leader. To some degree, he and Rodney have to share some degree of responsibility for ACT’s current knife-edge existence. Still, one hopes that Messrs Whyte and Seymour are their own people in terms of the party’s direction.

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