McCaffrey on ACT

Peter McCaffrey writes:

Tomorrow I will cast an absentee vote for ACT from Canada because I thinkJamie Whyte would contribute significantly to New Zealand’s Parliament, and of all the various party’s list candidates who are on the margin of getting elected, he is by far the best.

Having said that, ACT’s campaign has been woeful.

David Seymour and Jamie Whyte were the fresh faces the party needed, and have done well in their various media appearances, but for some unknown (and ultimately devastating) reason they decided to leave the campaign strategy and organisation to the same people who have failed the party miserably since about 2009. 

As most will know, I served on the ACT board for several years.

ACT never has been able to decide whether it is a libertarian or conservative party because despite almost all of the membership being libertarian (or at least liberal), for several elections ACT relied on many conservative voters come election time.

However, since Colin Craig set up the Conservatives, ACT has lost its few remaining conservative members, and almost all of its conservative voters.

This reality presented the party with a fantastic opportunity to finally become properly liberal, to campaign on some new policies (drug reform, civil liberties, etc) and look to slowly and steadily grow the party.

In short, the party was too risk averse, too worried about the few votes they might lose, and never considering the votes they might win – a disappointing ignorance of Bastiat’s principles of the seen and the unseen, for a supposedly economically literate party.

Rather, the senior party strategists believed they could win back conservative voters from Colin Craig, which was clearly never going to happen. …

David Seymour will win Epsom, and will be fantastic in Parliament.

If he is ACT’s sole MP, he will have some hard decisions to make about the future of the party. …

In short, you still probably should give your party vote to ACT, in hopes of getting Jamie elected.

Once the election is over, the caucus run the party again, not the campaign strategists.

But I don’t blame you if you can’t bring yourself to do it.

I would like to see Jamie Whyte in Parliament, and see ACT operating as a clearly classical liberal party.


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