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Nats & ACT Locked In Contest For Illiberal Vote

30 May 2003

Hon Matt Robson MP, Deputy Leader, Progressives

National & ACT Are Locked In Contest For Illiberal Vote

Richard Prebble's funny speech yesterday had a serious undertone because it highlighted the extent to which National and ACT are locked into a bitter contest for the small and diminishing illiberal vote, Progressive deputy leader Matt Robson said.

"It was funny to see Mr. Prebble say he would do anything to get back into government. He said he'd even embrace the NZ First Party which on economic development policy stands in opposition to everything the illiberal ACT Party espouses," Matt Robson said.

NZ First supported the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Development, Industry New Zealand and has been supportive of the idea of active job creation - all policies that ACT is bitterly opposed to for its own peculiar ideological reasons.

NZ First also lined up with the Labour-Progressive coalition to uphold New Zealand's national interests during the March 18 Parliamentary debate on Iraq.

"The serious aspect of Mr. Prebble's speech was that it revealed the ACT leader is worried about Don Brash taking over the National leadership because when Dr. Brash does take over it will dilute ACT's brand image as the country's only selfish party," Matt Robson said.

"Mr. Prebble isn't known for his generous praise of other people, particularly if they are struggling. That suggests that his praise for Richard Worth was really just an attack on Rodney Hide," Matt Robson said.

"The serious implications of Mr. Prebble's speech, then, are that National and ACT are stuck in a bitter contest for the small, illiberal vote; that Labour will continue to dominate the political landscape for many years to come; and that the challenge for other parties - NZ First, Green and United - is to rise to the challenge of getting good things done for New Zealand in cooperation with the Labour-Progressive coalition government," Matt Robson said.


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