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Vote ACT for what you believe in

Vote ACT for what you believe in

Dr Muriel Newman
Wednesday, 3 August 2005
Speeches - Other

Extract from speech to the Whangarei Child Poverty Action Group, Manaia View Primary School, 3 August, 5pm

I recently attended a public meeting at which the chairman explained that he intended to look at the polls on Election Day to determine where to put his party vote.

He didn't want his vote to be wasted by voting for a party which may not make the 5 percent threshold.

"What about voting for what you believe in and standing up for your principles?" a man in the audience asked. While the chairman gave an adequate reply, he wasn't very convincing.

In my mind voting is one of the most important responsibilities that citizens have to carry out.

It can also be one of the most personal. I know of couples who have been happily married for sixty years who do not know how each other has voted.

MMP delivered New Zealand a greater diversity of political representation. As a result our parliament is a far richer place better reflecting the true makeup of Kiwi society. Under MMP we all have two votes, one for the candidate who we will work the hardest for our electorate and the other for the party that best represents our values and aspirations.

In this election the two big parties of Labour and National are telling voters that a vote for a smaller party is a vote for the opposition. In fact National is going further and pledging that if they become the government then they will hold a binding referendum on MMP, clearly hoping to throw it out and get back to the cosy arrogance of the two party system of old.

ACT was a child of MMP. We remain the only party to have been elected to parliament without having a sitting MP. While our rational economic philosophy of limited government, lower taxes and greater personal responsibility has a strong but small support base, our role of being an effective watchdog on government spending and fearlessly proposing new solutions to the difficult problems that New Zealand faces has won us respect over the years.

As Parliament closes for this parliamentary session, the future of ACT, as in every MMP election year, is in the hands of the voters.

If New Zealanders believe in MMP and believe in the values of ACT, then we hope that they stand up for us on Election Day, just as we have stood up for them over the last nine years.

By giving their Party Vote to ACT, supporters can feel proud that they have not only voted for what they believe in but that they have cast the strongest vote against socialism and political correctness that they could.


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