Wednesday, 3 June 2009

How does it feel?

Here’s a question for erstwhile ACT voters:

How did you feel when Rodney Hide and Roger Douglas stood and applauded a budget that reneged on promises of tax cuts?


  1. I'll put it this way - I haven't put my hand to volunteer for the by election

  2. Gutted. Particularly when, in his followup comments, Roger Douglas hammered on about returning money to the individual. I was extremely disappointed in the hypocrisy exhibited for all to see. I can only hope others take notice.

  3. I hear they are unveiling a new puppet of Rodney Hide shortly down at the Backbencher in Wellington. Oh the irony.

  4. Central to ACT's campaign were tax cuts and a 'review' of the emissions trading scheme. And now that party stands up and applauds a budget that increases the indebtedness of future generations, does not implement promised tax cuts, provides money for the Emissions Trading Scam, and provides insulation for homes.

    And ACT supporters thought that voting ACT was a practical way of achieving a society based on the principles of individual freedom.


  5. I know, Julian. I know. Don't worry, it's not going to happen again.

  6. Good question.

    Rodney also told us how he felt about global warming (a scam) and how his anti-red tape bill was going to cure everything, including boils and cold sores.

    I appreciate political pragmatism like all political junkies, but Rodney and ACT need to demonstrate some ACTION.

    That said, I am also mightily relieved that they are holding the reins, and wonder how Helen and the greens might've interpreted this economic slump to futher their power over us...

  7. Did they? I've tuned out. The danger for ACT is that others will follow suit and they will be subsumed by National.

  8. I feel let down and betrayed. Wont be making that mistake again though..

  9. I feel like whatever Rodney and Roger stand and applaud is the least of my concerns. It's a poor budget, but not poor enough for them to throw their toys out of the cot and vote against it.

  10. Yes, it would have been FAR better to have a Labour 2009 budget that not only reneged on tax cuts but increased taxes for those on the top tax bracket and a new tax for those brazen enough to earn over $100K.

    You know Labour would have done it.

    But then ACT should prove a point and go against National shouldn't they? Gosh.

  11. I can't see that Act have achieved anything except jobs for themselves though. Certainly none of their policies have been implemented, despite the fact that they do have some leverage, and that some wins would not have cost National dearly.

    Since they have no wins, they may as well have made a stand on principle, and they may have actually got somewhere with it.

  12. You're right. ACT needs to be far more militant. Labour, National, the Mainstream Media and Academia are the enemy, and nothing will change until these four poisonous and ideologically linked edifices have been confronted and destroyed.

  13. Ha! This is New Zealand the way you wanted it. All you ACT and National acolytes are now experiencing what you were told would be the case. ACT and National are socialist opportunists. Stop denying fact!

    Some of my colleagues are now betting that National/ACT will be single term wonders. They'll be gone soon enough. Hell, if people want socialism they can vote for the real thing, not this smalltime pack of excuses.


  14. PC, you like what Rodney campaign for, such as the elimination of the ETS. So, you think that Rodney will just opposed the Budget and expect National to throw out the ETS completely? How daft is that sort of thinking? Remember, that ACT is not in government and they can't pretty much do anything. Think about it.

  15. With just 3% support we'll just have to suck it up,and smile.aint democracy a bitch.

  16. I checking Hansard to see which way the Libz voted, but can't seem to find it...

    Way to go "told you so" so what are you doing to change the situation? It exactly the "I believe in capitalism" faux pas that prevents us getting anywhere. Libz REALLY need a PR company...

  17. I prefer to see the whole three years before I will pass a judgement. ACT is only a minor party, and we still have 2.5 years to go.

    I'm also aware we got 2/3 of the promised tax cuts, so yes, some cuts are cancelled, but let's see what else we will get.

    Without ACT we might not even have had the first 2/3.

  18. What did I do? For a start, I wasn't silly enough (as were you) to believe in a pack of socialist tossers. I sure didn't vote for the socialists. What I have done is come out ahead on some considerable number of wee wagers and one-sided deals with others about the nature of those guys and what they'll do. Soon enough I'll be collecting a car and a goodly amount of cash and other prizes. This is going to hurt some people some. Perhaps it'll make them think a little. For me, it'll soften the effect of their idiotic beliefs. I've arranged my affairs so that I'll be jack.



  19. Sean Fitzpatrick4 Jun 2009, 10:56:00

    During the election campaign I heard numerous young, keen ACT candidates steal the Libz line about how National's policies were not very different to Labour's so only a vote for ACT would ensure "real change" after the election. I wonder how those candidates feel now?

  20. Disgusted, I still feel dirty. Especially after all the warnings you guys gave me.

  21. Fist:

    So in justification of your continued support for the increasingly illiberal Act party, the best you can do is pronounce our open belief in capitalism a 'faux pas'?


  22. It's beginning to look as if things have gone so far that there is not going to be any real change- not in my lifetime anyway. People are complete believers in the Nat/Labour/ACT/Green big government idea. The ACT people are no different from the National socialists in this regard. They are promoters and supporters of big government. They do not support Individual Rights or freedom. Right now is a good time to point out to them the fact of their situation. That is, they have been and remain blind believers in nonsense and bull-shit. They are collectivists. Will they admit it? Will they be honest about it? Naaaah. Most of 'em won't. They'll keep telling the same bullshit. They'll stick with the comfort of fibbing to themselves and believing that somehow that'll make it OK after all.

    What can be done? Not much. It is NZ how they want it, after all. There is an overwhelming majority of people who want collectivism. Probably the best thing is to understand where their ideas lead economically and take as much advantage of that as you can. Point out that their ideas mean they (and others) will have their lives ruined. Take advantage of that where possible. Arrange your own affairs to stay ahead.


  23. I don't support them, Sus. I just wish libertarians would be realistic about what they themselves have achieved. Which, apart from my conversion, is diddly.
    In order to get somewhere, you have to play the complete game. So, whilst they trash each other, they seldom descend to trashing the supporters of their opponents. When we are selling our goods or services to potential customers we seldom close with the line “And if you choose our competitors product over ours you are obviously immoral and have no clue about things and will come back crawling to us and we will have the pleasure of saying we told you so.” They try convincing them.

    The other politicians (and we capitalists) are not above using marketing techniques to get votes. Really, “free enterprise” should be the word, not “capitalism”. A Libz marketing campaign for Metamucil would go something like “add this ground up psyllium husk to your daily routine and your faeces will be softer. If you don’t, it demonstrates that you are poorly educated and probably rely on the state for part or all of your livelihood. You can have a hard faecal evacuation and that’ll be your fault, so wallow in it, you pleb. Don’t come crying to us when your anus hurts or constipation sets in. You probably can’t even read this, so why am I wasting my energy on you”.

  24. "So, whilst they trash each other, they seldom descend to trashing the supporters of their opponents . . . "

    Really? I just returned from an election meeting at which Russel Norman told us we are "all thick or something."

    I took the "something." :-)

  25. Ta for that, Fist. I liked it! :)

    I have sympathy for your argument. There are ways to put things, etc.

    But, wouldn't you also agree that plain speaking has its virtues, too? To avoid any risk of not being honest & upfront with voters.

    The politicial party that calls itself "a party of principle" must be seen to be that. Lord knows nobody else is: that's now plain for all to see.

    And what we promote is not popular with a lot of people, particularly the parasites.

    Eg: We believe in the dismantling and eventual abolition of all state welfare. Not exactly a vote-winner in Godzone, that. Pretty hard to sugarcoat, I'm sure you'll agree.

    Question: How would your PR company handle that?

  26. "The ACT people are no different from the National socialists in this regard. They are promoters and supporters of big government."

    I really don't think they are. Look at all the Act supporters who follow this blog who feel let down. I think Act's problem is that the caucus have spent so much time in the political wilderness that they have lost sight of their ultimate goal and have been persuaded that anything is better than nothing. Nothing appears to be what they have achieved so far though.

    Sus, you often argue that Libz can't change their public face at the risk of "not being honest", but I don't think it's as simple as that. You yourself admit that the Libz message is a hard sell, but you don't seem to want to take any action to remedy that. Someone who wants to be a millionaire doesn't refuse to take any job that pays less than a million bucks while staying home, playing lotto, and getting shitty when they keep losing. They go out and start making small gains, building up a business or whatever, and if anyone asks them they will be happy to admit they're aiming for success.

    If they ever want to get anywhere, the Libs need to set some medium term targets that will move them in the direction they need to go, while being palatable to the people whose support they need to get there. Rather than the absurd budget they release every year, they should come up with something practical and implementable without a civil war, and once they get 80% of what they want, move the goal posts further out. Surely a slightly more free society is better than a less free society which is what we always get these days?

  27. Sus, if I was going to rewrite that in 'politically acceptable' speak, instead of 'the dismantling and eventual abolition of all state welfare', I'd state that 'Libz want to majorly reduce, if not remove, welfare dependency in NZ.' Not many people would argue with that.

    Clunking Fist - with regards the renaming of capitalism to 'free enterprise'... it's got my vote. Whether we like it or not, capitalism has become a dirty word with connotations of fat cats making themselves obscenely wealthy at the expense of the poor, downtrodden worker.

    There's also an underlying feeling in NZ that 'capitalism is bad', with very few people bothering to arm themselves with information and make their own minds up. Instead of battling that mindset, simply remove the battle.

  28. Yes, it's all about pragmatic politics, Clunking Fist is quite right. Although... it's tempting just to try not to care about our slide downhill, not to vote or read the papers, and stay away from news sources and remain, like many Libertarians holier than thou...

    And on reflection, maybe with a bit of vigorous blogging, the best way to go.

  29. Hi Marcus & TW: good responses, thank you.

    Marcus, your last sentence in particular makes good sense & I'd support that tack fully.

    TW: I read your comment several times to make sure I got it properly. I *do* believe in completely honesty; it's true. I couldn't be bothered with this party if it turned out to pay nothing more than lip service to liberty as ACT has sadly done. (And I mean that quite sincerely; it *is* sad).

    But then ACT lost whatever respect I had for them when they refused Lindsay Mitchell a high list ranking. I have enormous respect for what she does and writes. She'd have been a beaut -- and created serious headlines for a minor party MP, much as Sue Bradford did under the Clark govt. (Not that Lindsay will enjoy the comparison, but you get my drift!) ;)

    But back to addressing your comment. I'm open to ideas re "medium-term plans": what do have in mind re addressing our "absurd" (your adjective, not mine!) budget?

    Your last question is rhetorical of course. And we seek to achieve change through constant hassling and haggling in the limited time we have available.

    This is about ideas as opposed to policy implementation -- and ideas can take a long time to germinate, whereas policy can be implemented one day and thrown out just as easily.

    Have you joined us? Because your input would be welcome. Bernard's post described my own position beautifully today re our doing this because no other bastard does. Taking potshots from the outside twd the few of us getting stuck in isn't helpful.

    If you believe in freedom as we do, you have nowhere else to go. And we need more bastards! :)

  30. Sus: I certainly understand your preference for complete honesty, and would never suggest lying outright about your intentions, however I think it's important to split what you're trying to acheive into two separate streams. Firstly, it's good to have the kind of discussion we all have on this blog, where people can argue philosophical points and describe what they think is an ideal world. On the other hand, in order to start getting there, you need to do the political sales job on voters so they can understand that you want what they want (or vice versa). If a bloke sees a nice girl at the pub, he's not going to get very far if he rocks up and announces loudly that he wants to shag her. He does, it's true, but being brutally honest in that way isn't going to get him to home base. This is exactly what Libz do, and they get exactly the same response. They need to take the electorate out to dinner, make some jokes, find some common areas, and ask for a kiss and another date.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "have you joined us" and "input would be welcome". If you mean have I filled in a form and paid a membership sub, then no, but I'm on the mailing lists and if things need to be done then I'm willing to help. Happy to fill in the form and pay the sub if that's the process.

  31. "Happy to fill in the form and pay the sub if that's the process."

    Great. Do that. We need people with good ideas who aren't afraid to speak their mind.

    "If a bloke sees a nice girl at the pub .. wants to shag her. He does, it's true,.."

    We all know that. ;)

  32. We need people with good ideas who aren't afraid to speak their mind.

    Unfortunately that's part of the problem. There are always plenty of people who want to speak their mind, but a much smaller group who are prepared to take any practical steps to work towards achieving their vision. (And I don't particularly mean Libz here; ACT, for example, is shocking at it).

  33. Sus - I think I just might be joining up, despite being a non-joiner of biblical proportions. I'm probably a piss-poor libertarian compared to many here, and am only a year or two past being a Labour voter!

    I've reformed, however, and am so fucking sick of being dictated to it's not funny. The Libz make so much more sense than any other party, and I really want them to succeed; if any ideas I put forward help to attract more votes, then count me in.

    twr - the guy after a shag example is a great illustration of when to use 'selective disclosure'. Perversely, people always say they value honesty in others, right up to the time you're honest with them. People only want gentle honesty. I like a lot of what you have to say.

  34. PC says "Really? I just returned from an election meeting at which Russel Norman told us we are "all thick or something.""

    LOL Greens excepted then.

    Sus says "And what we promote is not popular with a lot of people, particularly the parasites."

    How about "And what we promote is not necessarily popular with those trapped in a cycle of welfare dependency"?

    As Marcus says "gentle" honesty is called for.

  35. Sean Fitzpatrick4 Jun 2009, 21:19:00

    Just a few thoughts from someone on the Libz exec.

    The comments about improved presentation of Libz ideas are welcome - but to reinforce what Susan has said, get involved and have your say. If you haven't had a chance yet to meet any Libz in person, please get in touch and we can keep you in the loop.

    At the very least join us for a few beers sometime :o)

    Sean Fitzpatrick - Deputy Leader, Libertarianz

  36. I second Sean's invitation, gentlemen.

    TW: Agree with your last comment; that was actually what I meant. I accept that it's difficult to find the time (and inclination) to get involved, etc, because most of us are too busy working, etc ...

    Fist: 'Gentle honesty' sounds good to me .. although I might find that difficult twd the Sue Bradfords! ;)

    Marcus: On the contrary, you're an ideal libertarian, being a reformed leftie!

    Cheers, all. Good thread.

  37. Damn fine thread, I am heartened. It is in our hands Libz. Failure to impact is, I believe, our failure.


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