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Be The Difference - Party Vote

Be The Difference - Party Vote

ACT Rodney Hide MP Sunday, September 28 2008

Speech to ACT Lunchtime Meeting, Bracu Simunovich Olive Estate; Sunday, September 28, 2008.

I am disappointed - but not surprised - that National Leader John Key agreed with Prime Minister Helen Clark not to front the TV One and TV3 Leaders' debate with all Party Leaders.

John Key is making his political career out of agreeing with Helen Clark. He called Working for Families "Communism by Stealth". He now supports it. He said climate change was a hoax. He now wants New Zealand to stick with a wealth-sapping Emissions Trading Scheme. John Key was fiercely against making it a criminal offence for a parent to smack their child - then he voted for it, and made the entire National Party vote for it too.

So I'm not surprised that John Key has agreed with Helen Clark to boycott the all-Party Leaders' debates on TV1 and TV3. It's simply John Key agreeing with Helen Clark - again.

I can understand Helen Clark not wanting to appear on the podium with Winston Peters. But I would have thought the man who would be Prime Minister would relish the opportunity to stand against the Clark/Peters Government.

I'm not surprised that John Key has again agreed with Helen Clark. But I am disappointed.

I am disappointed for our country and our democracy. We need to see our Leaders debate their policies. There are serious issues confronting the country. We need to debate the future direction of the country. The man who would be our next Prime Minister is refusing to do so. That's disappointing.

It's MMP. Voters vote a coalition. Having John Key debate with the Leaders of the MMP Parties would be so valuable: voters would get to judge how the Party Leaders and their ideas would work together. Voters need to see the dynamic between the Helen Clark and the Greens, and John Key and ACT. They deserve to see how the Maori Party would fit in.

John Key has denied voters that opportunity. I think it's a shame and anti-democratic.

If you want a change of government, you have two choices for your Party vote - and only two. Peter Dunne and Winston Peters are supporting Helen Clark. The Greens have pledged their support to Labour. We don't know who the Maori Party will support.

That leaves only National and ACT guaranteeing a change of government. A vote for National or a vote for ACT is a vote for a change of government. They are votes of equal value.

Every Party vote for ACT is a vote that will count. The hard work ACT has done, and the good people of Epsom, ensure that. The seat of Epsom means every vote for ACT counts. The same can't be said for New Zealand First, which doesn't have a seat. New Zealand First's Party votes will be wasted. The Greens too have to make five percent otherwise those votes are wasted too.

The good people of Epsom ensure that every vote for ACT is a vote that counts.

A vote for National or for ACT is a vote for a change of government. They are of equal value in that regard. But that's all a vote for National gives you. National under John Key is sticking with Helen Clark's policies. A vote for ACT gives you a change of government - plus a change of direction. And that's what our country so desperately needs.

I'm disappointed that John Key has boycotted the debate because I would also like to see the difference highlighted between National and ACT. That would help inform the vote.

I would like to have John Key explain what's wrong with having Sir Roger Douglas in Cabinet - especially as we hit rough economic water. We need Roger's vision and ideas around the table that matters. I would like to know what it is about the changes that Roger Douglas implemented as Finance Minister that John Key disagrees with and would want to change. I would like to know what he thinks is radical and Right wing about what ACT is proposing.

There is a dearth of ideas and vision in our Parliament. That's why I am so proud and pleased that Sir Roger is standing and coming back. Our country needs him.

I'd like to know what Mr Key thinks of ACT's goal to beat Australia by 2020. We've set the goal of baking a bigger economic cake, rather than carving up what we have. We can, and must, do better. Beating Australia by 2020 is ambitious, but it's a goal Kiwis understand.

Once you set the goal you need a plan to get there. That's what ACT's 20-Point Plan is about. ACT is the only Party with a detailed plan to lift our economic performance.

It's disappointing that John Key is refusing to debate it.

To build a bigger cake we need government spending under control and flatter, lower taxes. The way to do that is to limit government spending growth to the rate of inflation. That's what ACT's Taxpayer Rights Bill does. We need to slash red tape. That's what ACT's Regulatory Responsibility Bill does. That's a Bill that's still before Parliament and ready to pass.

We need to get crime under control. That's why ACT has put Sensible Sentencing's David Garrett at number five. We need him and his ideas for fighting crime in place and in force. His "three strikes and you're out" policy would have saved 77 innocent lives. Their murderers had already been convicted of three violent offences. That's 77 Kiwis needlessly been murdered. ACT is the only Party with a policy to roll back crime. We are the only Party not prepared to sit by and see our communities terrorised and innocents murdered.

I agreed with John Key when he was against the Emissions Trading Scheme. He was right then. He's wrong now that he supports it. It's a huge cost to New Zealand for no environmental gain. We should dump the ETS. ACT will.

And my personal favourite? We need to fully State-fund students who attend private and independent schools. The Left calls it a voucher. I call it a scholarship. I don't care about the name. But I know we need the policy.

We need to empower parents and make every child important. ACT's policy will do that. We need greater diversity in education, choice, and competition. That's what ACT will provide.

You can vote National and have a change of government. Or you can vote ACT and have a change of government and a change of direction.

Be the difference this election: Party vote ACT.

ENDS


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