26 September 2011

Brash and cannabis UPDATED

I voted for ACT, once, in 2006.  It has disappointed me consistently since.

In 2006 I suggested to Rodney Hide to invite Don Brash to stand in 2008.  Well Don is standing now, without Rodney.

In 2005 I suggested Rodney Hide campaign in that election on legalising cannabis.  I was ignored.  Now Don is doing it.

The arguments in favour of it then are still valid now:

"ACT needs to be more than the party of Business Roundtable economics - sound though that is.

It needs to sell freedom...


Because there is nothing more fundamentally liberal, than asserting that adults own their own bodies, and have the right to ingest a substance on their own private property without the state criminalising them for it...

The Economist called for this two years ago - hardly a newspaper of the lunatic fringe."

As I said then, this move changes the political landscape.  A position monopolised by leftwing authoritarians (the Greens) is now taken by a party that has long purported to believe in freedom.   ACT can advocate for a change in cannabis laws based on principle as well as pragmatism.

It may risk a loss of conservative votes, but they will go to National anyway.  Brash can minimise it by being himself.  Hardly a dope-head, he can argue, convincingly, that the status quo has failed and that the problems of cannabis are better addressed by:
- Employers retaining the right to require testing under employment contracts;
- Drug testing as part of road safety legislation;
- Strict enforcement of laws against supplying to minors;
- Encouragement of educational and health measures warning of the health risks.

Don Brash in recent weeks has come out in favour of replacing the RMA with a property rights based approach, including putting such rights in the Bill of Right, ending Auckland's experiment with US style "new-urbanism", which is about restricting the supply of housing that people want, to encourage people to buy the housing the planners want, to use the transport they are making everyone else pay for.

These are great leaps forward for ACT in terms of being a party that believes in individual rights and individual freedoms.   I look forward to more!

UPDATED:  Unsurprisingly, ACT's replacement for Rodney Hide -John Banks - is having none of it.  It raises the obvious point, that for ACT to return to Parliament and actually be in favour of freedom, it is far better for North Shore voters to elect Don Brash and for Epsom voters to not vote for John Banks.   If ACT is going to have a purge of its anti-freedom factors then the man who left Auckland with huge public debt, and who voted against the legalising of consensual adult homosexual acts is hardly going to be any help.

1 comment:

Mark Hubbard said...

Unfortunately the conservatives through Godboy Banks have stuffed up the freedom party, completely.

Libertarianz the only answer still ;)