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Friday, January 27, 2006

Aaron Tells it Like He Sees It

The kinder part of a comment posted on Rob Good's Puntiki by former ACT Deputy Board member and current National Party member, Aaron Bhatnagar.

"I am not interested in handing out specific free advice for ACT, other than to note that ACT has always searched for one single silver bullet to fix all its problems and gain that clear breakthrough in the minds of voters. What ACT needed to do years ago were the things that all successful parties do which is:

1) open and transparent internal organisational structures, allowing ambitious and effective members the opportunity to thrive
2) a continual process of signing up new members and renewing the existing membership
3) regular grassroots activity like fundraising, social clubs, cottage meetings, newsletters
4) advocating policies and solutions relevant to your voting base, instead of getting caught up in the hurly burly of daily politics irrelevant to most people
5) an inclusive approach towards your voting base
6) a careful eye on your core constituencies to ensure that they do not become disaffected.
7) a tolerant attitude to factionalism, which is a natural part of internal competitive politicking and not something that should cause a party to shake itself to pieces over.

None of this is rocket science or a big secret. But I suppose its a lot easier to announce a "rock star" individual as a candidate or bring in a PR expert to relaunch your brand instead of doing a lot of little things that need continual attention."

Aaron is one of ACT's toughest critics, but my view is that your critics are often more helpful than your "friends". Aaron has seen both ACT and National from the inside. National is clearly the more succesful party, though ACT has the better policies for the country.

What can we learn from the Nat's organisation and culture, to get ACT's policies successfully implemented?


Blogger Rob Good said...

It is relative advice, although there is going to need to be more changes, goals and organisation to get ACT on track. I cant see why 15% of the party vote and 5 seats isn't possible. If they ( we ) aim for 5% then we are setting a goal that would let us possibly in by the skin of the teeth. We need to focus on 5 marginal seats and Epsom and popular policy that grass roots people can understand and like. I like what Dan King had to say on also. I was hoping to hear from Heine and Falloon and Miss Odgers about there thoughts too.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Mike Heine said...

This Heine is still thinking hard :)

6:43 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Have I come to the wrong blog or am I actually reading positive, happy, stuff here?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Just my opinion said...

I agree Rob, aim high and be ambitious. We can't be seen or want to aim for a "just surviving" role in NZ politics as if we fail we are dog tucker.

Aarons comments are helpful, he has some very good moments :) His advice does stand true. It is self explanatory as well, a good political party should be following this. The loss of key party members has shown us we need to reorganise to implement much of what Aaron is suggesting.

5 seats shouldnt be hard to aim for. Remember how well we did in Taranaki King Country? That was good for ACT. If we look at some broad seats that suit ACT (not only Auckland) then it will only serve us well. And better still, for National, they will not be able to ignore us anymore.

3:58 AM  

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