ACT

ACT still on National life support – Whyte to take on safe National seat

ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte is going to stand in Pakuranga for the September general election.

He says he’s going to campaign for the party vote only and use his candidate status to get ACT’s policies across to voters.

“Those policies will go a long way to making Pakuranga more prosperous and its streets and homes safer,” he said.

“A low flat tax, getting tough on crime, and one country, one law.”

Pakuranga is one of the safest National seats in the country.

Maurice Williamson retained it with a 13,846 majority in 2011.

You could theorise this two ways   Read more »

ACT education policy may suit National as Parata wants more charter schools

Sophia Duckor-Jones at ZB reported

Education minister Hekia Parata says the government’s considering a second round of charter schools.

The comment comes after an announcement from the ACT Party which wants state schools to be able to elect to become a charter school.

Ms Parata says the government has commissioned an evaluation of the model before they can make any further decisions.

ACT’s policy won’t be popular with the PPTA – as it is opt-in bulk funding by another name

ACT made the establishment of partnership schools a condition of its confidence and supply agreement with the National-led government, and it now wants to extend the policy.

Leader Jamie Whyte unveiled the party’s education policy in a speech today, saying all school boards should be able to opt out of control by the Ministry of Education and be bulk funded according to the number of students they attract.

“This policy entails no additional government spending,” he said.

Five partnership schools were opened this year and another five are expected to open in 2015.

“These few schools come under constant attack for being additional to the current stock of state schools and therefore reducing the funds available to them.

“The answer is to give all state schools the option of becoming partnership schools,” he said.

The policy will give teachers freedom to adapt their methods to their students and schools the freedom to innovate.

I wonder what ACT will take into any coalition talks as their number one policy.  It will probably be this one.

- NZN

When you pay more tax under a Labour government, you will merely be returning what was theirs in the first place

Jamie Whyte draws attention to something about New Zealanders:  that we’re in some kind of hostage situation with our governments, and that we are definitely suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

I was interviewed on Radio NZ’s Morning Report by Guyon Espiner. He asked why ACT wanted to give money to well off New Zealanders. I replied that we were giving them nothing. On the contrary, we were planning to take 24% of their incomes from them.

Espiner apparently believes that all income really belongs to the state, and that any it allows you to keep is its gift to you. When you are taxed at 33%, you should not see this as having something taken from you; you should see the 67% that you keep as a gift from the government. How else could Espiner think that a government that reduces tax rates has thereby given people money?

It is fortunate that a man with such ideas is only a journalist, you may think. Alas, some of our most important politicians agree with Espiner. David Cunliffe yesterday announced Labour’s plan to increase the top rate of income tax. According to the Herald, Cunliffe said the tax hikes would mean wealthier New Zealanders being asked to “return a small part of the very large tax cuts they received from the current Government”.

Those successive years of Helen Clark have left a foul stain on the nation’s psyche as its ‘children’ keep looking at the government to take care of it.   Read more »

No cup of tea needed – ACT gifted Epsom

PaulGoldsmithwithPrimeMinisterJohnKey

Brook Sabin reports

After the National Party’s Epsom candidate Paul Goldsmith dodged The Nation’s Epsom debate, he went very quiet.

And Mr Goldsmith admitted that, once again, winning the seat is not his priority. That means he is out to lose and the infamous Epsom cup of tea deal is being done again.

When asked why he was a no-show at the Epsom debate, he answered the National Party was doing the best job it can.

Why only do this in Epsom then?   Cup of tea deals could be done in other safe National electorates.   Read more »

The Letter on John Banks’ guilt

The Letter speaks plainly and clearly.  No spin.

The media case against John Banks was built around a lunch at the Dotcom mansion, where Dotcom claimed, giving great detail, that donations were discussed.

John Banks said he could not remember the lunch, let alone the conversation. “How could you forget a lunch at the Dotcom mansion?” said talk back radio, “he must be guilty”.

The evidence given in the trial shows no lunch on the date Dotcom claimed occurred. It is a fabrication. John Banks on that day was meeting with a South Auckland Community Police Officer.

Detail after detail has turned out under cross examination to be false. Dotcom’s accountant, who claimed he had flown to Queenstown to deposit the cheques, suddenly could not remember anything when the bank record showed the cheques were actually banked at the local Albany branch, some 1,550 kilometres away.

John Banks’ QC has told the court that John is the victim of a conspiracy. The person who needs to worry about the verdict is the German.

What happens if we get a guilty verdict?   Read more »

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Comment of the Day – Coat-tailing

Grendel_from_the_dead comments about coat-tailing and gives a little history lesson on the way through.

Sorry but “coat tailing” only became a bad thing when the left stopped getting the advantage from it. It was very clear when MMP came in that it was a valid way for a party to get into parliament.

I remember watching the first MMP election (also my first election at all), and the experts reminding us that getting a seat got you all your party vote % of seats. It was not good or bad, it just was. The theory I vaguely recall them saying was that if a party was able to generate enough support in one area to win a seat, it could get all of its support from across the country. But if you were just spread across the country, you needed to get more. This enabled small single issue parties located primarily in one area to get more benefit focused to one area, rather than trying to fight all over the country. This was back when everyone thought we would get heaps of parties.

To me it’s the same as the overhang from getting too many electorates. The rules state that you are supposed to get as many seats as your party vote, but if you win more electorates than you were allowed seats, you still get the number of electorates. Other than actually winning electorates, I don’t see the difference.

But lets look at the facts:

1996 – No one gets an electorate and less than 1% and gets more than 1 seat (Dunne wins his seat but not enough party vote for a 2nd seat).

1999 – NZ first gets 4.26% and gets 4 extra seats due to winston winning tauranga. The greens were looking like needing to do the same with Coromandel, but specials put them over the line (the media had no issue with the ‘coattailing’ when the greens might have needed it). With NZ First, Labour is able to keep the Greens out of govt. If NZ First did not get the extra 4 seats, its possible the Greens would have been in govt to give Labour the majority.   Read more »

Don’t like your electoral system? Why not contract out of it?

nz-first-national-coalition-11-12-96

MMP has been a bit of a mess right from the start, with baubles, cups of tea and other machinations that place the power in the hands of the politicians instead of the voters.

With the creation of the Internet Mana “Party”, New Zealand politics has turned yet another corner.

Unlike the agreement reached by the component organisations that formed the Alliance Party, the Internet Party and the Mana Party have absolutely no intention to either campaign as a single entity, nor stay together as a single entity. Read more »

Wake up! You’re already living in a communist country

This week’s The Letter from ACT has some good reading in it

The idea that people are entitled to other people’s money is now so widely believed, that when ACT questions the morality of entitlement neither voters nor politicians nor commentators can imagine any other way.

Jamie Whyte says he meets people who ask, “What are you going to do for me?”.  Students want him to take money from others whose circumstances they cannot know about to pay for their degree.  People who “believe that living in a democracy was something akin to being born into a mafia family. You get a say in who is going to be extorted and you can get your hands on a share of the proceeds”

“On The Nation it became clear that all my opponents, with the possible exception of Peter Dunne, did not believe in private property. On the topic of Auckland house prices, Winston Peters claimed that “we are selling our houses to foreigners”.

When I pointed out that houses are not collectively owned and that individual New Zealanders were selling their houses to whomever they chose, he insisted that I was wrong about this.

And, as you can imagine, Russell Norman and John Minto agreed that the government should decide who you may sell your house to – or, in other words, they agreed that it is not really your house.”

Such is the sense of entitlement in our politicians that they have little or no respect for anyone’s property.  It is all “our”, all communal, and all subject to their own political whims.   Read more »

The Letter asks “What happened to the ACT vote?”

Kiwiblog has a piece from a reader: “I have recently performed some statistical analyses of results from the 2008 and 2011 elections, in order to test a theory about voter behaviour in 2011”. The analysis shows the Conservatives got their vote from National, all wasted. NZ First also took votes away from National. The reader says his analyses show “contrary conclusions among the commentariat (eg that the low turnout hurt Labour)”; “it was National voters (more than Labour voters) who stayed home”. (source)

What happened to ACT’s vote? The Letter knows many ACT voters who think National is just pale blue Labour. Last election they stayed at home. In Jamie Whyte these “real” ACT supporters have someone they can vote for.

I didn’t “stay at home”.  I stopped voting for ACT.

It isn’t because ACT, on paper, doesn’t represent the kind of policies I want to see.  To the contrary.  I very much believe in personal responsibility, minimal government and pragmatism in law and order.

All of these ideas, and more, are poorly represented by the National Party.

But it had become clear that ACT was disorganised, off-message, and suffering the results of people that weren’t talented enough, people who were infighting and people who made for very poor ambassadors for ACT policy.   Read more »

Why not apply Three Strikes to all offences? [ POLL ]

The ACT party detailed their next “Three strikes” proposal

Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a week.

The public suspect the police give burglary a low priority. That is why so many uninsured victims do not report the crime. With less than15 percent of reported burglaries are “cleared up”, they know they have little prospect of getting their possessions back.

The courts also give burglary low priority.

The maximum sentence for burglary is ten years. But even professional burglars who head professional gangs never get anything like this maximum sentence. In 2012 a man with 388 prior convictions for burglary got a mere 2 years and 9 month sentence when convicted for burglaries number 389 and 390.

With a 15% apprehension rate and such absurdly soft sentencing, burglary is a low risk, high reward enterprise. It is no wonder that many find it an attractive career.

Both major parties also give burglary low priority.

I fully understand why Labour wouldn’t put forward a policy like this, but I’m not sure why National hasn’t taken advantage of this opportunity.  More and more people are sick of having their hard earned property taken by those trying to avoid real work.    Read more »