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No Mandate For Split

Jim Anderton's abandonment of his own party gives politics a bad name, ACT leader Richard Prebble said today.

Mr Anderton has produced no principled reason for his split with the party whose banner he was elected under.

"Mr Anderton was rightfully scathing of the defection from the Alliance of Alamein Kopu in the last Parliament. Yet there appears to be no difference in Mr Anderton's actions. He can't claim a mandate from Alliance members, as less than half responded to his poll, and the questions were so misleading that even Matt McCarten said he could have voted `yes'.

"One is left with the impression that Mr Anderton has left the party simply because he can't get his own way on everything. Mr Anderton now has a sad track record of having walked out on every organisation he has been in. Now, he's adding the amazing record of even leaving an organisation that he founded.

"No doubt commentators will claim that the fault lies with MMP, pointing to the destruction of the Alliance today and NZ First in the last Parliament. That's superficial. Both Mr Anderton and Winston Peters also walked out on parties under First Past the Post, which says more about their personalities than about the system.

"But I believe the disintegration of the Alliance really indicates that stable political parties must be built on consistent, sound principles. ACT's stability comes from the fact that the party is built on the principle of personal responsibility, which is applied to all our policies. No one can join without being aware of ACT's brand.

"Putting parties together around a personality is a recipe for instability. What happens to Winston's and Jim's parties when they go?

"I think the Greens may also have within them the seeds of their own destruction. The Green label has been used to cover indiscriminately MPs who are genuine environmentalists, through to ex-Communist MPs like Sue Bradford and Keith Locke.

"Using the Green label to introduce extreme Left policies will just drive away the environmentalists, who are moderates. The Greens' adoption of extreme Maori sovereignty policies is an example. If they were ever part of a government, I believe that sort of policy would see the Greens also split," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

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