Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


ACT's The Letter Monday 8 March 2004

The Letter
Monday 8 March 2004

ACT CONFERENCE

The ACT party held a very successful annual conference in Christchurch over the weekend. ACT believes the next government will be centre-right and ACT will go from being a party influencing policy to implementing policy. The adoption of ACT policies has made members feel they have been publicly vindicated.

THE POLLS

ACT's own focus group polling indicates the public polls are right. Voters do not agree with the old parties' race-based policies. Voters feel race relations have deteriorated and welcome a chance to vote on the issue. ACT is confident its vote will increase. Voters recognize that what Don Brash is saying has always been ACT policy. Brash seems to have done a Winston Peters on National and voters are voting for Don Brash rather than for the party and are indicating they will give a vote to ACT to keep them all honest.

ACT LEADS

Richard Prebble in his keynote address set out ACT's alternative agenda. "The issue is this. Are all citizens equal before the law regardless of race?...Don Brash is right in his call to end race-based policies. But he is wrong to call for policy to be based on need. We have all been looking at the first part of his proposal and not at the second.

The left winger Chris Trotter, in his column, mused that it was Karl Marx who said 'From each according to their means to each according to their needs'". When we reward people according to need, then people will just make themselves more needy. "ACT says 'Lets reward responsible behaviour.'"

CAMPAIGN HAS STARTED

Our media in New Zealand no longer reports what politicians say but what the media interprets what they say. There were a number of very important speeches last week. Helen Clark's Cathedral speech, http://www.act.org.nz/cathedral, Don Brash's Treaty-Madness speech, http://www.act.org.nz/madness and Richard Prebble's ACT Leads speech at http://www.act.org.nz/actleads. All are worth reading in full.

THE THREE SPEECHES

Richard Prebble,"Tax is a distinguishing issue... Lowering the top rate to 30 cents won't do it. Most working families would miss out...The best tax cut is...low flat tax."

Don Brash, "Successive governments have believed that a 19th century treaty…has something to say about today...this is simple madness and it must be stopped."

Helen Clark in her party political speech in the cathedral again attacked the Orewa speech saying, "That does not call for a U-turn by Labour and there will not be one". The speech revived her claim that the policies of the 1990s failed even though the OECD's latest report attributes last year's growth to the policies of Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas.

PANIC ATTACK

Former Labour cabinet minister, Michael Bassett, writing for The Dominion, asks whether Labour can survive Clark's panic attack. He points out the Lange Labour government never really recovered from Lange's famous cup of tea. The Letter observes that the Palmer government never recovered from his cabinet reshuffle. Taking over a new ministry in between elections is like taking over a moving train. By the time you have your hands on the controls you have already gone past a number of stations. In a three-year parliament the new ministers have no time to implement new policy and instead will struggle to get on top of their portfolios.

SPINNING LIKE A TOP

Labour's reliance on spin is now their undoing. Clark, in the last five weeks, has gone from describing those who advocate no race-based law as rednecks, to being "genuine people...expressing genuine concerns" and to saying, "I hear those concerns and I am going to satisfy myself that we are meeting their needs". In a remarkable piece of copyright piracy Minister Maharey said "I've been thinking...Past wrongs must be set right and it is perhaps time to set a timetable when all grievances must be settled so we can all move on." Labour is delivering different spin to different audiences and losing credibility with everyone.

STEVE FORBES

Steve Forbes – tax is the cost we pay for working. If we want more investment and production we need to lower the cost of doing these things. Flat tax is an idea that has come out of America but is being implemented with great success in Russia, the Ukraine, and Slovakia and of course for years in Hong Kong. His article is on http://www.act.org.nz/forbes.

ACT'S AGENDA

ACT's president Catherine Judd set out ACT's strategy, ACT MPs set out ACT's ideas on tax, welfare, education, health, justice, ANZUS and property rights. The speeches are all on ACT's website http://www.act.org.nz/conference2004.

AQUADA

New Zealand engineer and businessman Alan Gibbs gave an address on his amphibious car, the Aquada. It is the first genuine amphibious car capable of motorway speeds and 30 mph on the water. Car manufacturing is the world's largest engineering activity, has been for 100 years. Yet it has taken a New Zealander to make this break through. There has been no new car company in America for over 50 years, which gives some idea of the regulatory barriers. It is a remarkable achievement. Gibbs believes that in 20 years 5% of all cars will be amphibious, by then that will be 5 million cars a year.

THIS WEEK'S POLL

Last week we asked should the Labour Maori MPs split to form their own Maori party. Answer: Yes: (67%) No: (33%) We are sending the results to John Tamihere who we see has already held the first Hui.

This week's question: Should government policies reward you for having more needs or should they reward you for taking responsibility for yourself and your family? Vote at http://www.act.org.nz/poll - we'll send the result to Don Brash.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news