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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Heat Produces Light!

There's been some scrapping over five blogs recently between some National supporters and some ACTivists. While there has been some personal stuff, I think the results have been positive. It's got people thinking more about National/ACT relations and also what we need to do to improve our respective parties.

Spiit of '76 has come up with this four point plan for National and ACT. Hat Tip, Mike Heine.

* National - Start being more amicable to potential coalition partners now and be prepared to gravitate towards the centre ever so slightly.
* ACT - Knuckle down and develop a whole lot of new policy.
* National - ALL opposition spokesmen to up their workrate and be a formidible opposition - Attack!
* ACT - Sorry Rodney, Aaron is right, forget about numbnutted fuckwits like Benson-Pope and become that champion for consumers and taxpayers that you once were.

Ex ACT deputy board member, now National activist, Aaron Bhatnagar added his suggestions for ACT

ACT needs to actually concentrate on building local organisation - media work along with policy is simply wasted if come election year the hard yards in building branches were not done in the years prior. National is not immune from this criticism either. More members, more activity and more fundraising from the grassroots is required.

I couldn't agree more with Aaron. National has been NZ's most successful political party, since the Great Depression. I believe much of it's strength has come from strong inner party democracy, some form of remit system, local control over candidate selection and a commitment to building and maintaining local branches.

I believe MMP has weakened some of the above, but National still offers many lessons for those who wish to build a successful political party.

Rob Good, contributed this "ACT needs to set higher targets.... 15% of the party vote and 5 electorate seats. It is possible and with the right vision it can and will happen. It is all going to start with the electing of new Party President. You guys need to figure out who the best candidate is and put them forwards..."

Again, I completely agree. ACT must become much more ambitious and it must work to secure more constituency seats. We need to become a permanent and substantial part of the political landscape. We must also look beyond MMP (I'm a First Past the Post supporter), so that ACT is never dependent on list seats again.

I think it is very important that the next ACT President, Vice President and Board, are all committed to rebuilding ACT from the ground up and becoming the most internally democratic party in parliament.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly Trevor I have not found it positive to be attacked without any basis by some of the less than rational ACT defenders of the faith(they claim to be ACT bloggers, ie purportedly representing ACT), to the extent thay set up a blog specifically to hassle Aaron and I. I know of others who have ben put right off ACT by these tactics.

I love robust debate, and had always thought ACT members were in to this. I don't tar all ACT with the same brush, but I haven't seen that sort of behaviour in National. I would have got stuck in to anyone associated with me doing that to others, as I have done often in the past. Its just not acceptable to attack people without any basis for your allegations, well not in my book anyway. I also think anyone who does this needs to take responsibility for it.

I expect it unlikely I will renew financial supporter status of ACT, and I'm now a lot less inclined to cooperate, or speak well of ACT, or give constructive advice than I was a few days ago, except of course when I deal directly with those in the party that I trust.

Hopefully this will pass over time as I have sympathy for many of ACT's policies and see ACT as a natural partner for National.

8:20 AM  

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