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The Letter - Monday 8 November 2004

The Letter
Monday 8 November 2004

WE PICKED IT

The Letter predicted George Bush's victory, we said 52-48%, it was 51-48%. We also predicted correctly the Republicans would increase their majority in Congress. Despite sending journalists to America no NZ mainstream media predicted a Republican win. The NZ media gets most of its American news coverage via the British media who have been hostile towards Bush from the start. This is not new. The same media wrote off Ronald Reagan as a "B-grade" actor. The Letter picked a Republican victory because of a fundamental political shift taking place in America. George Bush is the first President since Franklin D Roosevelt to increase his party's congressional majority in three elections in a row. Contrary to our media's view this is not bad news for NZ. Kerry's running mate Senator Edwards, a protectionist, was replaced by a senator with ACT-like views on free trade and tax. It is a Republican majority that is willing to fight global terror and support free trade.

LIBERAL MAJORITY

An event we did not predict was that the Liberals would win an absolute majority in the Australian Senate, something even Howard did not expect. No government in Australia has won a majority in the Senate since Fraser's landslide victory over Whitlam. It was thought that under proportional representation no party would ever win a majority again. Our media has failed to report the significance of Howard's win. He can now reform the trade unions, simplify the tax code, privatise and reduce red tape. As NZ moves backwards Australia is moving forward and the prosperity gap between the two is going to widen.

THAT'S ALRIGHT THEN

We all feel so much better to learn that Tamihere only took the money because he needed it. There is more to come.

RIGHT TO SELF DEFENCE

ACT's Stephen Franks has drafted a Members Bill to reintroduce the common law right of self-defence. Until the removal of the defence of provocation in the 1980s citizens had the legal right to defend themselves and their property. In rural NZ where there are no local police to call, when farmers have exercised self-defence to protect themselves, juries have refused to convict. The police are reluctant to prosecute but are forced to by officials in Attorney General Margaret Wilson's office. These farmers face years of legal uncertainty and a legal bill of up to $300,000. Already Labour has attacked the proposal claiming it is a license to shoot trespassers. It is not. This sort of intellectual dishonesty is a trademark of the Clark government see

http://www.act.org.nz/selfdefence

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

ACT's Gerry Eckhoff is out in his bus again defending rural property rights. The proposals currently being considered by Labours cabinet are a significant attack on private property rights. If Labour's proposals become law it will be possible for commercial operators to take tourists across private land. There'll be no right to exclude these freeloaders. For details of Gerry's campaign see http://www.act.org.nz/property

It is ACT and not National that is leading the campaigns on issues of importance to rural New Zealand. 20 years ago Labour would never have considered this attack on rural New Zealand. Rural depopulation means there are more votes in West Auckland than in the whole of rural New Zealand.

FORESHORE

It is going to be Winston Peters or more correctly, NZ First MP Dail Jones who is going to determine the Foreshore Bill's details. Jones is strongly in favour of the bill as it is an attack on property rights. While ACT defends all property rights including Maori it strongly opposes the creation of new property rights to enable Maori to claim customary rights over most of the coastline, a legal nonsense. ACT's Ken Shirley put in a minority report see http://www.act.org.nz/foreshore

WHO IS A MAORI?

The latest MP to declare himself to be Maori is blue-eyed David Cunliffe. He brings the number of Maori MPs to 20. He started wearing the mandatory rock around his neck and applied to join Labour's Maori caucus. Both parliament and his relatives were astonished to learn of this new Maori. Apparently in the 19th century the Cunliffe's had acquired Maori ancestry. Sadly for David a family historian checked these claims and found that while there are Maori Cunliffes he is not a descendant. Cunliffe is devastated. He has given up his bone carving and abandoned his application to join the Maori caucus and the number of Maori MPs has gone back to 19. The Letter has good news for Mr Cunliffe. The law now says if you feel Maori then you are. Clearly David did feel Maori, so he is. He can now apply for scholarships for his children, lower company tax, cheaper medical bills and his share of the fish. Thought: how many of those who are benefiting from Labour's racial preferences are "scholarship" Maori who have just discovered they are Maori?

UNITED FUTURE

Labour's Lianne Dalziel has been teasing United Future's very pompous Murray Smith that the Civil Union bill need some public affirmation by couples "marrying" under the new law. At the moment the suggestion is the couples hold hands and say "I promise to go forward together to share a United Future".

THE POLL

Last week we asked do you have confidence in QC White's Inquiry without any legal power to call for documents or to compel John Tamihere to give evidence? 97% said no.

This week - Do you support Stephen Franks' Bill restoring the common law right of self-defence? We will send the result to Stephen and Phil Goff. http://www.act.org.nz/poll

ENDS


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