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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why Workers Should Vote ACT

A short speech given to a Canterbury trade union "meet the candidates" function, by ACT Christchurch central candidate, Toni Severin

Thank you for inviting me here tonight. I welcome the opportunity to ask you all to give ACT your party vote in the upcoming general Election.

Why should workers and their representatives support the ACT party?

As a worker myself, a former PSA delegate, turned small business person, I came to ACT because I believe that ACT’s policies are best for ALL new Zealanders.

We believe that our policies of extensive and ongoing tax cuts for all, will put more money in workers pockets without the bureaucracies and waste so intrinsic in government re-distribution policies.

We believe that our policy of giving every New Zealand child an educational scholarship will give parents far more choice and children far more chance of achieving their potential. ACT’s educational policies will benefit affluent and poorer families alike by giving them the power to purchase the very best education possible for their children. We believe more than anything else that greater educational opportunities are the best path to prosperity for ALL New Zealanders. This policy is the greatest reason why I personally support ACT.

Unions have nothing to fear form an ACT influenced government. ACT is the party of the level playing field.

We believe the state should neither penalise nor favour business, churches, sporting organisations or any other social institution, including trade unions.

If unions are competitive, non coercive, well run and offer real benefits to their membership, they will thrive under an ACT influenced government.

ACT is pro worker, but union neutral. If you are good servants to your members, then good luck to you. If you are poor servants you will fall by the wayside, just as you should.

When the famous US union leader Samuel Gompers was asked what his members really wanted, his reply was simple-“MORE”.

ACT’s low tax policies will give workers MORE money in their pockets, MORE job and promotional opportunities, MORE business opportunities, MORE choice in educational opportunities for their children, MORE choice and quality in health care, MORE freedom to live their own lives and choose their own pathways to happiness and security.

To achieve those goals ACT needs MORE MPs in Parliament and MORE votes. That is why I am humbly asking for YOURS.

Thankyou very much for your time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never quote the US union leader and Mussolini admirer, Samuel Gompers, favourably. Samuel Gompers was an enemy of the working class.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Gompers died in 1924-he must have been a very early Mussolini admirer (if he was one, I have never seen that accusation before).

Point is that Gompers organised workers to achieve economic benefits and opposed the IWW and other revolutionairies of his day.

While I personally do not support the priciples of trade unionism per se, I can admire a man like Gompers or NZ's Tony Neary, who truly did have his members interests at heart.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

It's ok to quote someone favourably - it doesn't mean you hold to every one of their particular principles.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Canterbury Atheists said...

If I’m reading Toni’s speech right, ACT will ‘have the guts’ (the party war-cry) to take e away tax exemptions that Churches now enjoy? You bloody beauty, this being the case, but I doubt even ACT ‘has the guts’ to tackle this issue, and it’s merely a case of Toni speaking for herself on this, and not towing the party-line. Trevor, in light of this speech please clarify ACT’s official position on this issue and if it is in accordance with Toni’s words, I will do a feature article lauding all atheists to ‘Vote ACT’ and rid ourselves of outdated religious privilege. Footnote; I sent a message to all political parties 5 weeks ago asking them to comment on their position in respect to tax breaks for Churches and only Labour and National replied, indicating ACT doesn’t have a policy here, isn’t willing to comment, or is just plan slack!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Blair said...

I don't think ACT would ever be inclined to raise taxes on those who currently don't pay them. Quite the opposite. I think it's fantastic that churches don't pay tax, and look forward to reducing the taxes of everyone else too.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky's book 'Deterring Democracy' quotes a comment made in an editorial of the American Federation of Labour's publication, whilst Gompers was editor:

'The American Federationist, edited by the AFL president Samuel Gompers, welcomed Fascism as a bulwark against communism and a movement "capable of decisive action on a national scale", which was "rapidly reconstructing a nation of collaborating units of usefulness", Mussolini's fascist corporations which subordinated labour to capital and the state. The AFL journal found these corporations "a welcome replacement for the old, Bolshevik infected industrial unions,"...

...the journal continued, "American trade unionists will at least find it possible to have some sympathy with the policies of a man whose dominating purpose is to get something done; to do rather than theorize; to build a working, producing civilisation instead of a disorganised theorising aggregation of conflicting groups'. Chomsky pp. 38-39

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canterbury atheists, I find your comment quite horrible. Churches run many important social services in NZ to help the needy. If it weren't for church run op shops BA students, like myself, would not be able to afford to buy clothes.

I don't see atheists doing anything useful. They just spend all day complaining. Dogmatic atheists are just as bad as dogmatic religious fundies.

Keep churches tax exempt!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Canterbury Atheists said...

Hey Cameron, if you measure philanthropic acts to define ‘good’ then by any measuring stick you employ, per head Atheists are the most generous people on the planet. Bill Gates (you may have heard of him, well he’s an atheist and also the worlds largest benefactor)Warren Buffet (Atheist and the 2nd largest individual donor to charitable concerns) Ted Turner (Atheist and number three on the same list) Also do a google on Robert Wilson. Cameron, perhaps try writing to one of this group next time you are on the bludge for some 2nd hand clothes? I’m sure Ted Turners throw-aways would more than suffice. Sorry mate, I’m about to put my own son through Varsity so don’t look at me. Also it may be of interest for you to know my evil, non-believing mum donates her time behind the counter of a local op-shop. May be that’s the one you frequent and the one you state atheists have nothing to do with? It could also be the same organisation with ‘Army’ in the name, to which I donate (automatically) $10 weekly? Now I think about it Mum mentioned the other day about some lay-about with the cheek to ask for “student discount”. Do you know him? Cheers. Paul.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Bummer Cameron-I thought i'd at last found a semi-sensible union leader and he turns out to be a fascist sympathiser.

Silly me-aren't they all?

10:13 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

My atheist mate Paul.

While you have a perfectly valid point, removing church's tax exemption status, though economically pure and completely "rational" would be political suicide.

Its a bit like capital gains tax. There's no reason why capital gains shouldn't be taxed like any other income, but I would never support its introduction until all other taxes were DRAMATICALLY reduced first.

My view is simple.

If it isn't taxed-don't.

If it is taxed-slash it.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks for the help on that Trevor.

How about a link to the Christchurch Central blog?

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow amazing how two posters took my tongue and cheek post serious. I was just making the point that many church people make a very good contribution to society. I would have no problems with an 'Atheist Good Works Society' being tax exempt either.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Canterbury Atheists said...

Hey Cameron, why stop there mate? What say an Atheist Liberation Army? Then we non-theists can get to engage in some good old fashioned terrorism, like blowing buildings-up with planes etc.I'll let you work-on a list of targets. Have a good one. Paul.

1:45 PM  

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