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Sunday, July 08, 2007

How ACT Can Best Serve New Zealand

ACT can no longer be seen as the "tactical appendage" of the National Party.

ACT is an independent, pro free enterprise party, prepared to deal with all other political parties, including Labour, on a case by case basis.

National Party blogger, Whaleoil has this to say about ACT's new strategy.

I seem to remember all the ACToids screaming bloody murder when National created some room for ACT on the right even describing them as Labour-Lite and Smurf's, but then absolute silence about Rodney's master strategy of rebranding ACT, Leapfrogging over National to jump in between them and Labour.

Whaleoil raises a very good point.

National has moved to the centre and is on a roll. Labour is struggling in the polls and looking decidedly tired.

Surely the sensible strategy for ACT would be to fill the space to National's right, abandoned by John Key and aim for a National/ACT coalition in 2008?

I believe that in the short term, that would be the soundest strategy.

However ACT is looking to the long term.

ACT is serious about being an influential and permanent player in New Zealand politics.

Our classic liberal philosophy of limited government and personal responsibilty is too important to tie to the fortunes or leadership of National or any other political party.

ACT suffered a huge loss of support under Don Brash. His adoption of ACT like policies took him to within a hair's breadth of victory in 2005 and ACT to the brink of destruction.

National did ACT few favours in that election on any front. There were no public overtures towards ACT from Don Brash, nor were there any concessions in Rodney Hide's do or die battle in Epsom.

Rodney Hide won Epsom because of the goodwill of the National voters of Epsom. They wanted to see Rodney Hide help Don Brash deliver lower taxes. Unfortunately National's hierarchy, in their search for the centre ground did not dare to name ACT as their preferred coalition partner.

This is the big dilemna. If ACT is seen as National's little brother, National thinks it must disown ACT to win the centre.

Hence ACT does well when National is weak (2002) and poorly when National is strong (2005). Therefore a National/ACT coalition government is very difficult to achieve.

ACT has learned its lesson. ACT's first loyalty can not be to National or any other party. Its first loyalty must be to the voters of New Zealand.

If ACT can deliver tax cuts by supporting National it should do so.

If it can deliver school choice by supporting the Greens, so be it.

If ACT can reform welfare by working with the Maori Party or United Future, it must set aside differences in other areas and get on with the job.

Parties and leaders come and go, but principles remain eternal.

Would ACT best serve the country by supporting a National Party led by an interventionist neo Muldoonist, or a Labour Party led by one of its young liberal reformers?

Clearly, if ACT is to stick to its principles it can make no permanent alliance with any other party.

ACT must prove itself as an independent party, perepared to work with all others to the benefit of the country.

ACT is serious about doing just that.

11 Comments:

Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

To all intents and purposes, regrettably ACT looks like a political corpse.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Whaleoil said...

Very good post, the best yet i have seen from ACT to explain the strange behaviour of Rodney (run and) Hide.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Adolf-a bit overly pessimistic I think. I'm betting ACT will pleasantly surprise many freedom lovers in 2008.

Good to see the team back on the blogosphere BTW.

Whaleoil-Rodney, Garry and the team are long term thinkers. ACT is a 50 year plus project.

Therefore the strategic thinking is long term.

I share your concerns about the short term. We are taking a risk here and we have to make it pay off.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All sounds very reasonable Trevor.

Then this is your next post:

"Socialist Worker Builds Ties to Aussie Marxists"

Let's face it, if you weren't an ACT supporter you would be shouting about ACT's new ties to Communists and the impending socialist conspiracy that ACT has just joined.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous James said...

So ACT agrees to LOOK at legislation and suggest PRO liberty changes and that's leaping into bed with Commo's !? God the Right are retarded wankers....and hypocrites too as they are far more to the left themselves with their "us too!" socialism lite bullshit...

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

Such excellent knit-browed strategy-storming. Like up here in North. Storming.

Speaking of which Trev, what do you reckon re Hone's little storm - the "bastard..." comment about Bonsai Howard ?

I say only this: some years ago that WWII heroine Nancy Wake (personally killed several Nazis she did in occupied Europe) - she was asked if she was disappointed Howard had never done the decent thing and given her an honour - her response:

"Howard ? - I wouldn't accept an honour from that bastard...!"

2:40 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Steve-I think hone's gone a bit over the top.

I agree with some aspects of Howard's strategy, but not others. However I don't think he's racist-just a good-hearted conservative trying to right a very bad situation.

Putting Aborigines on welfare and in reservations was a crime-how to reverse that policy and integrate Aboriginals back into the Aussie mainstream, will take a long time, but it must be done.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Fifty years!
Forget that stuff.

3:12 AM  
Blogger cbmilne33 said...

Top priority for your ACTNZ-The Liberal Party is to recruit all who voted for it into your organisation-if any have a spare membership form stick it in your local paper etc.I would also mobilise the entire Party membership to stand in this years Council/District Health Board elections.You should also have an ACT party Manifesto that can be a permanent document subject to possible annual amendments.I also want you to join the Liberal International.1 Whitehall Place London SW1A 2HD United Kingdom.http://www.liberal-international.org/,Tel:+44.20.7839-5905.Fax:+44.20.7925-2685.E-mail:all@liberal-international.org

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

Show me a time when Aboriginals were ever IN the Aussie mainstream Trev.

They were never IN Stryllyan society in the first place. And the reason - Stryllyan apartheid -

That's what Harawira is talking about. And he's obviously particularly inflamed that Bonsai Howard will "use" the poorest and most denigrated people in Stryllya to win a white man's election.

I agree with Harawira. Never mind his "manners". Howard is a racist. Bring in that wonderful woman Nancy Wake and he's a racist bastard !

6:21 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Colin thanks for the advice. Some of it is already being implemented.

Steve-yes the word "back" was a bit inappropriate.

11:27 AM  

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