David Seymour has knocked on 8500 doors, wearing out shoe leather on the manicured streets of Epsom. He aims for 20 doorsteps in an hour, and is campaigning for six hours day to call on all 22,000 households in the electorate.
But what’s the point, you may ask? One nod from Prime Minister John Key would return ACT to Parliament, propping up the National Government as it has done since 2008. It is likely Key will signal this week which electorate deals National is prepared to sew up with smaller parties.
“I just say to people that I am going for every endorsement that I can get. John Key is an Epsom voter and I certainly hope he will vote for me,” Seymour says.
“Not to be too pernickity, you actually can’t have a deal, because deals have to be enforceable and votes are secret. Ultimately, it only works if the people of Epsom believe that I am the best candidate.”
Indeed. The voters of Epsom are quite capable of deciding who they want to be their MP. A party can state a preference for how its supporters should vote, but it is up to the voters.
Good to see David campaigning the old fashioned way of knocking on every door in the electorate.
So why did a bright 31-year-old, give up a successful career as a policy analyst in Canada, to campaign for a party most people have long since written off? He’s not getting paid, and is supporting himself with some contract work and the generosity of friends and family.
His love life has also taken a hit.
“What I have discovered is girlfriends like you to stay in the same country, and moving back between New Zealand and Canada every two or three years has not been conducive. My philosophy also is that obviously no-one wants to be lonely for their whole life but the best way to deal with that is to be the happiest, most attractive person you can and that means doing what you like and what you are good at.”
Long-distance relationships suck, basically. You can do it for a while, but not great fun.
Seymour says he has “really strong beliefs” and it is important someone represents free market views. He wants to shrug off ACT’s stuffy image as a party of stale, white businessmen.
“I want to be the representative of a whole generation of people who are young, entrepreneurial and never lived under Rob Muldoon . . . you know Lorde, Eleanor Catton, Lydia Ko, Xero in business . . . you walk around Auckland and it’s a fantastic time.”
What is scary is we still have MPs in Parliament who entered when Muldoon was Prime Minister!