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Heather Roy's Diary

Heather Roy's Diary

When coaching political novices on what it’s like to be a candidate, I explain that they should not be worried when a political opponent attacks them. If your opponents are being nice to you then you can be sure that you haven’t got them seriously worried. When your opponents are worried they will become vitriolic. This phenomenon explains some otherwise inexplicable behaviour around the campaign for the seat of Epsom.

The oddest behaviour has come from Green MP Keith Locke who undertook to run naked along the streets of the Auckland electorate if Rodney Hide were to be elected as Epsom’s MP. He didn’t say if his election streak was intended to reward the voters for their wisdom or to punish them for their disobedience to his wishes. Keith’s choice of venue for the announcement was as odd as his threat, as he was addressing the Maxim Institute forum at the Greenlane Christian Centre. The Maxim Institute generally encourages modest behaviour.

Less bizarre, but equally as puzzling has been the Prime Minister’s endorsement of National’s Epsom candidate, Richard Worth. The Prime Minister is not in the habit of endorsing National Party candidates and one does not become Prime Minister by enthusiastically embracing one’s opponents. Helen Clark has simply worked out that her chances of remaining Prime Minister are better if Rodney Hide is defeated as his victory will bring several ACT MPs, including me, into Parliament. I am pleased to report that our polling shows that Rodney is ahead in Epsom.

The Prime Minister has been flirting with Mr Worth and has so far described him as “hard working”. She has threatened to ask Labour voters to vote tactically by asking them to vote for Richard Worth. However, Helen Clark also knows the dangers of sending mixed messages so I don’t anticipate that she’ll go much beyond hinting. We are asking Epsom voters to vote tactically in favour of Rodney Hide.

Remembrance Day - 1.15 on Sunday 11 September, 2005 inNew Plymouth, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

On 11 September 2000, 15-year-old Angie Webster died waiting for a $5,000 operation. This Sunday (September 11) Angie's mother, Margaret Webster will release a balloon from Angie's graveside in New Plymouth and another 1,152 balloons will be simultaneously released in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to remember all those who died on Labour's public waiting lists last year.

In 2004, 1,152 people died while on Labour’s hospital waiting lists.

Labour has failed New Zealanders in this key area. The number of people who died while on a public hospital waiting list increased by 40% from 2002 to 2004. Labour's Minister of Health, Annette King has been unable to explain why this dramatic increase has occurred.

I invite all readers to attend the Remembrance Day gatherings. All times are 1.15 and the venues are as follows.

New Plymouth: Awanui Street Cemetery (off Cumberland Street), New Plymouth. Meeting point is the front gates.

Christchurch: Hagley Park. Meeting point is the corner of the park directly opposite the hospital.

Wellington: Bolton Street Cemetery, Kinross Street (off Bolton St). Meeting point is the top gates.

Auckland: Ellerslie Events Centre, Auckland. Meeting point is behind Ascot Hospital, Greenlane.

ACT's vision for healthcare in the 21st century is "treatment when you need it".

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