The Dim-Post

August 28, 2011

Thoughts on the ACT Party list

Filed under: psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 5:35 pm

Which is here. My first thought is that people like me pay too much attention to the ACT Party. Not only is it very marginal and unpopular, nowadays it only exists as a way for the National Party to scam the electoral system and grift votes from ACT’s old libertarian donor base – and the only way for them to win an electorate is by standing a former National MP. They’re closer to Anderton’s Progressive Party, but they get more press because of the high rate of mental illness in their candidates.

Anyway, that said:

  • Hilary Calvert is not on the list. Her crucial decision to support Brash over Hide doesn’t seem to have played out very well for her. Or, actually for ACT.
  • Don Nicolson is number four. Not likely to get in on current polling. I’d have thought the former president of Federated Farmers could have won a safe seat or a high list spot in the National Party, but I’m guessing Nicolson is just too bat-shit insane. Certainly the new FF spokesperson – who appeared on Q & A this morning – was doing his best to distance himself and his organisation from the public relations catastrophe that was Don Nicolson.
  • John Banks is number five – although he will probably win Epsom by a landslide. I think they’ll get at least three MPs, and the party dynamics will be fascinating. Brash is the leader but Banks will have the only electoral mandate. Brash is a really, really inept politician – and Banks is very accomplished politician, a former Cabinet Minister and former Mayor of Auckland. And Brash is radical – his political goal is to immanentize the eschaton, while Banks is deeply conservative – ideologically he’s further from ACT than John Key, who ACT are supposed to function as a right-wing counter-weight for.
  • Brash has dibbed Minister of Education in the next government. I predict he’ll get Associate Minister tasked with responsibility for something trivial. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resign after the election ‘in protest’ over some pretext once he realises he’s not going to get to dismantle our school system.
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39 Comments »

  1. Speaking of eschaton, and the Act Party list for that matter, what ever happened to the reports on your reading of Infinite Jest?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — August 28, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  2. Interesting to see Robin Grieve there. He frequently runs bat-shit-crazy arguments for why methane isn’t a greenhouse gas. Not just stupid arguments, but the kind that 3rd form science students could shoot down – and derisively. It doesn’t deter him from constantly trying them, and he even has his own crazy little support group on the matter (http://www.farmcarbon.co.nz/index.php/carbon-farming)

    Classy, ACT.

    Comment by DT — August 28, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  3. Can the list be amended, or added to in the future? I note there’s only 27 candidates, but wasn’t John Ansell predicting that they’ll get 40% by the time “real New Zealanders” or whatever come to their senses & realize that Don Brash is intact a bright new face with exciting new policies?

    Comment by Hobbes — August 28, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  4. More wise arguments from that renowned intellectual, Robin Grieve: http://www.presscouncil.org.nz/display_ruling.php?case_number=2160

    Comment by DT — August 28, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  5. ACT Party List 2011

    1 Dr Don Brash,
    2 Hon John Boscawen,
    3 ?
    4 Don Nicolson,
    5 Hon John Banks
    6 PROFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!ELEvEN!!!1!!

    Its all about the underpants….

    BTW, what happened to Cactus Kate, could she be the bright shinning star at number three? Is her personal history and rhetoric too offensive? What about the Young ACT guy ‘My argument id to powerful’, he was promising? More questions then answers in the ACT list…

    Comment by andy (the other one) — August 28, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  6. Can the list be amended, or added to in the future? I note there’s only 27 candidates, but wasn’t John Ansell predicting that they’ll get 40%

    These are the serious names. They’ll have a full list, but the rest will be in alphabetical order, or some random positioning.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — August 28, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  7. If Act were true to its ideological underpinnings those party list places would go to the highest bidder.

    Comment by billbennettnz — August 28, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  8. “real New Zealanders” or whatever come to their senses

    Kinda like “People will like Phil Goff once they get to see the real Phil Goff’ – it’s equally delusional.

    Anyway, not to harp on about that (since I already have).

    I’m feeling an emotion rather like schadenfreude but rather more complicated and I can’t quite describe it, but I do feel guilty about it nonetheless. Whatever it is, it has various aspects: first, I kinda want to see ACT in the headlines and even in parliament, because they’re the gift that keeps on giving with their continual dysfunctionality and fundamentalist batshit insanity; second, watching Key try to explain ever more desperately that differences in public statements don’t mean that the government isn’t strong will be hilarious; third, November 27th this year looks very good – Phil Goff will resign or be rolled and finally, Labour might well be worth a vote in 2014 once the seriousness of the situation and their need for reform has belatedly sunk in.

    Everything else between those points… oh shit.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 28, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  9. ‘If Act were true to its ideological underpinnings those party list places would go to the highest bidder.’

    You mean there not? Who is the first person on the list who isn’t worth at least $5M?

    Comment by ieuan — August 28, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  10. “Worth”?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 28, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  11. ieuan: I’m willing to be that Stephen Whittington hasn’t managed to accrue $5M since he stopped spewing crap in Salient a couple of years back.

    Comment by Simon Poole — August 28, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

  12. I, for one, will miss Hilary. I doubt that Don will be able to provide the same comedic value in his utterances

    Comment by Leopold — August 28, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  13. Of course there are two dons there now. I meant the one in gumboots.

    Comment by Leopold — August 28, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  14. I, for one, will miss Hilary. I doubt that Don will be able to provide the same comedic value in his utterances

    !!!! good site!

    Comment by nike official site — August 28, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  15. B Bradbury at Tumeke! reckons #3 is going to be NZBRT honcho Roger Kerr’s boss, Catherine Isaac.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — August 28, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  16. I understand Rodney already has a new job lined up: the orange guy in the election ads

    Comment by Augie — August 28, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  17. Aha! So we will have the candidate formerly known as ?.

    Eat your heart out, Prince.

    Comment by vibenna — August 28, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

  18. Hilarious how Brash rails against MMP and Winston demanding Ministerial positions (in elections in which NZ First were the 3rd placing party) yet he’s demanding a Ministerial position on ~2% of the vote.

    Comment by garethw — August 28, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  19. “wasn’t John Ansell predicting that they’ll get 40%”

    He was predicting that before they rejected his genius election campaign strategy which was based on the cunning public relations strategy about redefining the meaning of the word “women”. Now that they’ve inexplicably thrown away that winning formula, they can fail while John watches from the sidelines and tut-tuts about how far they could of gone if only they’d listen to him, the fools!

    Comment by Hugh — August 28, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

  20. @ andy (the other one) – about the same time that John Ansell was immolating the popularity (well, what there was), it slowly dawned upon Cactus Kate that standing for ACT may not be the cert she assumed it would be. Since then, she has been back-pedalling faster than Trevor Mallard does while he’s trouncing a big-talking Nat blogger.

    Culminating in her telling the ACT Board that she would ‘campaign’ (if guzzling champers can be said to be such) from the safety of Hong Kong, with job and salary intact. All of which she has said on her blog; well, in PR speak.

    One does chuckle. Now roll on the Mana list. I’m picking tantrums when Hone discovers his Mum didn’t rank him numero uno…

    Comment by bob — August 29, 2011 @ 2:47 am

  21. I was surprised to see Hillary Calvert omitted completely from the list. It doesn’t sound like she chose to retire. I guessed she was offered a position out of reach of any prospect of succeeding so she told them to shove it.

    Act New Zealand MP Hilary Calvert was philosophical yesterday despite being dumped from the party list for November’s election less than a year after entering Parliament. (ODT)

    “I’m happy and fully supportive of the decisions the board has made.”

    Or maybe she’d already had enough of parliament anyway. Who’d have blamed her if this was true:

    She has been the subject of a campaign within the party to ensure she was not on the list.

    Act has not been a happy camp under Brash.

    Comment by Pete George — August 29, 2011 @ 6:38 am

  22. There’s more of the Calvert exit in this morning’s news. She wasn’t offered a place in the top 10 so decided not to bother. It doesn’t sound like Brash’s 15% target is seen as attainable within Act.

    Act is starting to look a bit like the Exclusive Brashians.

    Comment by Pete George — August 29, 2011 @ 7:24 am

  23. Culminating in her telling the ACT Board that she would ‘campaign’ (if guzzling champers can be said to be such) from the safety of Hong Kong, with job and salary intact. All of which she has said on her blog; well, in PR speak.

    I also suspect CKs political ambitions vanished once she realised she’d actually have to campaign for her party.

    Comment by danylmc — August 29, 2011 @ 8:55 am

  24. ‘If Act were true to its ideological underpinnings those party list places would go to the highest bidder.’

    No Right Turn noted in August 2010 :

    ‘In September 2008, John Boscawen donated $100,000 to the ACT Party. In exchange, he got a high list ranking, leading to an MP’s salary of $131,000 a year plus expenses. And now with the overthrow of Deputy Leader Heather Roy, he looks likely to turn that into a Ministerial position paying $204,300.

    Looks like Boscawen made a pretty good investment.’

    Comment by Peter Martin — August 29, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  25. Peter Martin: That might be one way to look at it, but there’s the opportunity cost involved with giving up whatever it was Boscawen did previously in order to get lamington smeared on his head. Plus he has to work an MP’s hours, which are kinda crap.

    Comment by Simon Poole — August 29, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  26. That might be one way to look at it, but there’s the opportunity cost involved with giving up whatever it was Boscawen did previously

    From The Herald in 2009: “Mr Boscawen, unsurprisingly, became an accountant. But by age 30 he
    had lost everything after borrowing heavily to invest in the stockmarket before the 1987 crash. He was insolvent for five years but got back on his feet with the support of his parents, bouncing back in 1992 with the fully debt-
    funded development of the K-Mart Plaza in Hastings.”

    Comment by MikeM — August 29, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  27. Mike: I never said I approved of what he did – personally, I think the man is an idiot. But saying that paying ACT $100k and going on to earn $120k/$209k is a good investment is a bit of a stretch. He’s given up a lot of time that he could be using to make money elsewhere, and that doesn’t include the fact that the $100k could be making money in a profitable investment as well.

    Of course, those tax-cuts are paying off nicely, huh?

    Comment by Simon Poole — August 29, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  28. Stephen Whittington’s columns in Salient were excellent.

    Comment by fortunefavoursthebrave — August 29, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  29. Calvert, that apostle of self-reliance, will no doubt resume sponging off the taxpayer via inflated student rentals. Nicolson – his head disappeared up the head of a cow’s arse a long time ago.

    Comment by thawed out — August 29, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

  30. “Brash has dibbed Minister of Education in the next government. I predict he’ll get Associate Minister tasked with responsibility for something trivial.”

    That’s what I thought when Rodney got local government. How wrong I was…

    Comment by Me Too — August 29, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  31. I think CK’s ambitions vanished when she realised she wasn’t going to be given a list position just for the asking.

    Comment by Hugh — August 29, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  32. I think one remarkable story here is how bad Act’s A-list team has been.

    Hide, so recently the top dog, is persona non grata.

    Calvert, the bright new hope, is now considered political poison.

    And Garrett, well …

    They have quite a track record of poor choices.

    Comment by Russell Brown — August 29, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  33. > Brash is a really, really inept politician…

    Who knows when someone has been poorly served by the justice system. It’s a pity none in the Labour Party has Brash’s sense of social justice. Maybe when Phil Goff leaves Parliament in the near future, Labour will regain its social conscience? I won’t hold my breath.

    http://www.guide2.co.nz/politics/news/brash-hood-disappointed-by-peter-ellis-inquiry-rejection/11/11741

    Comment by Ross — August 29, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  34. “They have quite a track record of poor choices”

    Quite. You’d expect the party of ‘choice’ to be better at it.

    Comment by Sacha — August 29, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  35. If they really did auction off places on the list I bet someone like GetUp would have a field day. Sue Bradford? Mike Ward? I’m sure they could rustle up someone willing to be elected but who would cause ACToid heads to explode.

    Comment by moz — August 29, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  36. Brash mentioned in a speech last week that he has issue with the quality of the teaching in our schools – specifically over global warming.

    Imagine that crackpot in charge of our science curriculum, next thing will be intelligent design…

    Comment by taranaki — August 29, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  37. Plus one to what Russell said. has there ever been an ACT MP that hasn’t been vile, hypocritical, inept or totally crazy?

    Comment by Carol — August 29, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  38. Looks like the Mad Hatters Tea Party

    Comment by Jack Ramaka — August 30, 2011 @ 3:42 am

  39. 37.Plus one to what Russell said. has there ever been an ACT MP that hasn’t been vile, hypocritical, inept or totally crazy?

    Yes, Sir Roger Douglas. Arguably, like it or not, the most important NZ politician of the past 100 years.

    Comment by Kevin Campbell — September 1, 2011 @ 4:15 pm


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