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Catherine Judd Speech: Launch of Liberal Thinking

Catherine Judd Speech: Launch of Liberal Thinking

Tonight's book launch continues the process in establishing our rightful claim to the word 'liberal'.

And that process is successful.

You can tell when you're having an impact by the vitriol of your opponents.

Socialists and collectivists have a blind spot towards the word 'liberal'.

They think it should be theirs, but are uncomfortable with its true meaning - freedom.

One such opponent wrote to the NZ Herald and fumed that ACT has no business calling itself a liberal party because it is "somewhere to the right of Genghis (Gengis) Khan".

With such muddleheaded logic such as that I know we can rely on ACT members - who have a wide-ranging interest in political philosophy - to spring into action.

Our writers of letters to the editor are legendary. They did not let such a slur go unchallenged.

Reuben Chapple wrote from Whangarei and said,

To label Act "right wing" for promoting free markets and limited government merely proves that demonising opponents is far easier than actually engaging with their ideas. This tactic is so old that it creaks.

And that,

If Ghengis Khan were alive today, he'd undoubtedly be a coercive state socialist rather than an adherent of Act's classical liberal model that asserts and promotes the primacy of the individual, the rule of law, and private property rights.

And Scott Dennison joined in and said,

To suggest that ACT, a liberal party that promotes freedom, choice and personal responsibility is further right on the spectrum than New Zealand First...is a joke.

And finally, as Lindsay Mitchell pointed out,

ACT is the only party in parliament consistently pushing for less government, less regulation, greater individual responsibility and rights. These aspirations are entirely consistent with the term 'liberal'."

I couldn't have said it better myself. You can always rely on ACT members to put the record straight.

And there's another sign that our claim on 'liberal' has taken root. In last week's Independent Chris Trotter, in talking about the government's tertiary reforms, said they should be opposed by socialists and "classical liberals".

At this morning's Caucus meeting Richard read an extract from Rodney's chapter in the book that really says it all.

Ladies and gentleman please welcome a man who never hesitates to state his position boldly, ACT Leader the Honourable Richard Prebble.

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