Face of the Day

Act Leader David Seymour

There were seven in the bed but when they all rolled over two little ones fell out and the third was left clinging to the piping on the side of the mattress.

That was Act leader David Seymour – the sole survivor of the “minnows” after the massacre that was the 2017 election.

It would be fair to presume Seymour is somewhat dejected about this turn of events. He is not. Never mind that Seymour’s status is that of nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land – as the Beatles would put it.

He is suffused with the lightness of being.

Part of that is the relief of having survived at all given the demise of the Maori Party and United Future, and the massive cut in the vote of the Green Party as the behemoths swallowed up most of the vote.

Even better is that at the moment he is the only politician whose fate is not in the hands of NZ First leader Winston Peters. While Labour, National and the Greens tip toe round, trying to decide what they can trade away and wary of inadvertently upsetting the great decider, Seymour is free as a bird.

Seymour took himself out of the equation for a government almost the moment the votes were counted on election night. That was simple realism rather than principle.

He declared he was happy to “take one for the team” – the team presumably being National and Act rather than his own team of one.

He recognised two things on that night: one that he was superfluous to requirements and would be declared as such by either National leader Bill English or NZ First’s Winston Peters if he did not do so himself.

The second thing he recognised was that it was perhaps a time for reflection anyway, having seen his party hit its lowest ever election result.

It may be that others would have declared ACT the appendix of New Zealand politics, but that was nothing new.  In spite of it ACT has achieved policy wins that are positive and reverberate throughout our society today.

To just give up without first waiting to see where all the votes go and then to see how the coalition government forms, he could at least have kept his hand in to say that no matter what government formed, he felt he could be a positive part of it.

Perhaps his heart is no longer in it.  And he prefers to be a trougher on the cross benches achieving nothing at all for three years other than being paid to consider his own future and that of his party.

In all honesty, if he’s that keen on not making a difference, he should resign so Epsom can pick someone who has some fight left.   They can even stand Beth Houlbrooke so she can get a good 3 year run-up getting name recognition.  I’m sure she wouldn’t just chuck it all in – she’d realise that the voters that did support ACT are wanting to see some influence being brought to bear.  No matter how small.

It’s served ACT well in the past.

Sitting on your arse for three years serves only Seymour.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald

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