Monday, March 17, 2008

Helen Clark partly right... again

Yes I know it's strange, but true. No Minister reports on the PM saying that at least ACT believes in something, unlike National. Stuff quotes Clark saying:
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"I think the way National's behaving they are leaving room for ACT because the National Party doesn't stand for anything, the National Party only stands for power and people in ACT at least have things they believe in and they believe in them quite passionately"
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I'm not sure about ACT - certainly Douglas has beliefs, and Hide does, though you wouldn't always know them. I'm sure that, on the whole, ACT members believe in less government, sadly they have by and large not had the courage of their convictions to express them.
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However, Clark is right about National. It by and large stands for power and sells out principle for that at any cost. Of course this is a little pot calling the kettle black, Labour's backtrack on the Treaty of Waitangi before 2005 is part of that, as is backtracking on tax cuts.
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Yet for all that, as much as I disagree with Clark, I do believe that she has a vision of the state and society that she is willing to defend and argue for. She believes passionately in the welfare state, in central government control and supply of health and education, and that the state should direct areas of the economy when it sees fit. She is a statist, and has little resistance to using the state to change people and society.
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ACT may, just may, have a good go at being a party of principle and courageous policies this year, although the signs are yet to be seen. It is this failure to show conviction about freedom consistently that is why Libertarianz exists today.
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However, what does the National Party stand for that is consistently different from Labour?

2 comments:

Berend de Boer said...

libertyscott: ACT members believe in less government, sadly they have by and large not had the courage of their convictions to express them.

Right. And libertarianz are so good in convincing others to vote for them that in the least election every member precisely convinced one other person to vote for the party. Quite a feat.

Or perhaps ACT members were just more convincing that for smaller governments you need to vote ACT.

libertyscott said...

Fair point Berend, but ACT did cut its vote by 76% at the last election as well. Great achievement that, with far more money than Libz had.

However if ACT can promote a consistently small government platform this year I will be pleasantly surprised.