Is there any reason for the ACT Party to still exist?
I ask because, in its formative days, ACT’s founding members talked about the importance of upholding the interests of consumers and taxpayers; they made loud noises about drastically shrinking government, both central and local; they enshrined found principles (now long forgotten) declaring “that individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent rights and responsibilities, and that the proper purpose of Government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities.”
Now? Not so much.
We don’t hear such things from that quarter anymore. We hear stories instead about dancing partners and mid-life crises; arguments about law-breaking and lost defence papers. We see their MPs voting for more borrowing and bigger government (and then delivering it as ministers). We hear them waffling about “stability,” and supporting the ongoing nationalisation of oil, silver, gold and uranium. And we watch them going to parliament to eat their lunch.
We heard that 2011 would turn all that around.
We hear instead this weekend that the candidate chosen by the ACT Party for the high-profile Botany election, one the Party machine is taking “very seriously,” wishes it to be known that she is somewhere “to the left” of the National candidate—a youth who at 25 is already a career politician, one who believes infrastructure should be funded through taxation, and who ranks his greatest achievement as building a new athletics track for his local club, paid for (naturally) by ratepayers.
This is the entity whom ACT candidate Lyn Moore doesn’t think goes far enough in his support for government intervention.
And the candidate whom the ACT Board thinks best expresses its principles.
You can almost hear the bell tolling for ACT, saying “Your time is up.”
Which leads me to ask:
- Is there really any reason for the ACT Party to still exist?
- Or is it time to kick the bums out?
Perhaps before answering the question you could concentrate your mind by considering the following multi-choice proposition:
The chief reason for the Act Party to exist is (tick one):
keep the buggers honestbe a paid lapdog of the ruling party (“it’s our job to provide stability”); or
be perk-bustersdeliver the baubles of office to its MPs, and MPs’ Wives and Girlfriends—especially taxpayer-funded trips to London to see grandchildren and attend weddings (“Ministers 'entitled' to dip into tax purse” – Hide. “I was entitled!” - Douglas); or
reduce the size of governmentdeliver to Auckland the largest local government bureaucracy this country has ever seen; or
d) to elicit taxpayer-funding for Roger Douglas’s otherwise unpublishable books; or
e) to give the occasional day out to artistically gullible and socially dysfunctional youths; or
f) to give employment to otherwise unemployable adults—and to the journalists who get to investigate their past convictions; or
g) to be a party of soap operas; or
h) to be a “party of ideas” . . .
The answer must surely be one of the above?
Because it couldn’t possibly be “to be a party of principle.”