Isn’t it about time someone decided what ACT actually stands for now?
Given that Roger Douglas and Heather Roy have now been repudiated by the other three in their caucus -- leaving their effective caucus as just a dancer, a prancer and a bigot with his foot in his mouth –- and given that ACT has across this parliamentary term departed entirely from their founding principles ( I don’t recall seeing either the baubles of ministry or planting a super-sized bureaucracy across Auckland in there) –- and given that all of this caucus have voted for every big budget Bill English has ever written –- budgets that with each vote grew government rather than shrank it –- and have completely backflipped on the Foreshore & Seabed issue – recognising property rights one month; calling for nationalisation the next -- then just what the hell does the party whose name is on those three remaining buttonholes actually stand for?
Has all the political capital of fifteen years really come to this? Not a party of ideas, just five people who don’t like each other. Not a party of freedom, but one more like flounder.
They can’t say they were railroaded by their senior coalition partner into this malaise either. Not today, not ever. Even at the start of this term, ACT leader Rodney Hide (remember him?) was given the choice of pursuing either regulatory reform or super-sizing the Auckland bureaucracy. That he chose the latter (and chose to live it up on your tab) says all you need to know about this erstwhile small-government perk-buster.
From poacher to moocher, in less-than-one parliamentary term. That’s some sort of record, for sure.
Every minor party so far has been killed by coalition—NZ First was cannibalised and spat out; the Alliance was cannibalised and spat out; United-Dunne nothing turned intro a lapdog and a party of one. Every minor party so far has been killed by coalition--and so it has been for ACT.
So what does the ACT Party stand for now? Which one of the current caucus members could even tell us?
And why does it even matter.
UPDATE 1: Just listened to Deborah Coddington talking to Maggie Barry on Radio Live, saying very much the same.
UPDATE 2: Now, I’m not one to gossip … but rumour has it that Roy was fired for being a little loose with a certain set of defence papers. Time will tell on that one, no doubt. But she certainly should have been fired, just like her leader, for doing absolutely nothing while a minister to advance her party’s stated ideals.