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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Final Act?

I said in my post about the Act party list that Boscawen alone was the only one worthy of being returned because he was a free-thinker and a nice guy. Today I woke up and the news was he - at No.2 - had taken himself off. Well, that leaves no-one worthy of being elected from Act: they are down to the ideological pricks whose ideology seems as opportunistic as they are prickly. And if John Banks - arch conservative - now has to sell Don Brash's policy of decriminalisation of marijuana (as outlined this morning on the Q+A show) then it becomes a possibility that no-one at all will be elected from Act.

The contortions needed for Banks to sell a soft-on-stoners policy is a limbo bar set at the height of a matchstick head. Electoral survival revolves around the gravitational mass of the Epsom electorate and I'm not sure that a party with its parliamentary leader abandoning ship at the eleventh hour and running a conservative on a liberal-radical platform is going to be a coherent and credible enough prospect for any set of voters - let alone those of Epsom. There's swallowing dead rats and then there's attempting to eat live capybara...

The party is falling to bits. Unless Superman and Wonder Women are going to pop up at number 2 and 3 on the list they looked doomed. How many shenanigans will the true blue Tory voters - upon which Act is wholly dependent - put up with?

I was putting Act at about 3% before, but it's realistic that it may be only half that after the latest phase of their meltdown. Remember how the party did after Rodney Hide rolled Prebs? - that's what they are looking like now - and yes, I believe that they could also lose Epsom and that would be the end. What will Rodney Hide do?

The cynic would see that the only way Act could be viable is if the Nats stood down their electorate candidates in key seats to give Act a clear run. North Shore (Maggy Barrie) in favour of say Don Brash, in Tamaki withdraw Alan Peachy and pull out Goldsmith in Epsom. Indeed it already makes sense since Boscawen says he will continue to stand in the Tamaki Electorate. It would be gaming MMP, but in these circumstances what else can they do? The Nats would otherwise have to pull about 47-48% to get a majority with Peter Dunne and perhaps Turia and Sharples if they survive. I can't see the Nats getting more than 46% max. Desperate times, desperate measures, no?


At 26/9/11 12:08 am, Blogger Frank said...

"North Shore (Maggy Barrie) in favour of say Don Brash..."

After what Ms Barry has been saying in the media lately, that she would not countenance any "deal making" - I think there might be a meltdown of Fukushima proportions if thwe Nat heierarchy tried that.

As to the behind-the-scenes machinations that caused Boscawen to "jump" - something awfully rotten has happened to force him out.

Whatever it was - it won't take long to come out.

As for the Nat candidate standing down in Epsom to give Banks a "clear run" - what would National supporters do? Obey instructions from Dear Leader? Protest Vote NZ First or the new Conservative Party? Or simply stay home?

I think politics just became more interesting.

At 26/9/11 10:24 am, Blogger Damian said...

However Martyn, there's no advantage in National to give up a bunch of electorate seats - the only advantage in giving up Epsom is that it bypasses the 5% threshhold, so brings in the rest of the motley crew. By giving up say, 3 National seats to gain only 3 Act seats (which would surely be an overhang), you've gained nothing in numbers, and lost the surety of having your own folk in place.

At 26/9/11 6:41 pm, Blogger Kate Kennedy said...

You might be interested to read my new book “Matters To A Head: Cannabis, mental illness & recovery”. You can check it out through my website http://www.matterstoahead.co.nz The book discusses extensively the relationship between cannabis and mental illness, and why the decriminalisation argument is far less important to NZ than the real issue of providing and resourcing appropriate treatment and services to those who become unstuck by the drug. Of which our mental health services and prisons have many such sufferers. I am a Registered Nurse and a prison volunteer, and I firmly believe proper resourcing and quality public health information should be the left-wing's stance on the matter.

At 26/9/11 7:22 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Further to my comment above - I have no desire to see ACT destroyed. It serves as a valuable "home" to right wingers, and keeps them in full public view.

Should ACT collapse, it's constituent members would eventually "re-colonise" another Party - most likely National.

The last thing we need would be an invisible faction within National (or any other Party), vying for power, and perhaps exerting influence.

We saw precisely that in 1984, in Labour.

As my mum used to say to me,

"I want you where I can keep an eye on you."

At 28/9/11 1:36 pm, Blogger Jasper said...

Don's campaign "Tune" for the North Shore by Afro Man - Because I Got High

All this in 24hrs of politic's!


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