Where will ACT’s candidates come from?

ACT is a having a relaunch this weekend at Alan Gibb’s Farm. It appears that after twenty years of giving the ACT party donors are still willing to keep giving, although this may be because someone asks them to give, unlike National where no one asks donors to give and they just tax electorates.

The Act Party is holding a “rejuvenation” conference today at the Kaukapakapa sculpture farm of wealthy benefactor and founding father Alan Gibbs.

Former MP John Boscawen, also a wealthy businessman, takes over today as the party’s full-time campaigning and fund-raising president in a bid to prevent the party sliding into oblivion.

The aim at next year’s election is to get get five per cent of the party vote and to keep the seat of Epsom – and to tell the voting public that without Act, National might have to rely on a deal with the Maori Party.

The problem for ACT is not money. ACT has often had more money than National, and has usually had the highest dollar spend per vote, and still has not provided a particularly good return on investment. 

The problem for ACT is the quality of candidates. Aspiring politicians have seen ACT struggle since inception, and wonder if being an ACT candidate means a huge amount of hard work without getting much chance of making it into parliament. If they do get into parliament they will struggle to survive, and if they manage to make it into a ministry it will likely be a minor one. ACT has never had a minister of finance, or education, or health, or economic development or any of the other major portfolios.

No minor party MP has become Prime Minister, and everyone who becomes an MP believes they can become Prime Minister, so by joining ACT an aspiring MP gives up on ever being Prime Minister

For ACT to recruit good candidates it will have to show them a clear career path into cabinet, and a clear path to a major portfolio. While ACT is languishing at its current poll numbers it is hard for candidates to believe they can have a successful political career.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.