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Who to Support?
Entry 1223, on 2010-09-16 at 19:44:15 (Rating 3, Politics)
I don't know who my friends who support the more extreme right of New Zealand politics are going to vote for at the next election. The two obvious choices are National (the center-right party currently controlling the government) and Act (a libertarian/populist party currently a very junior partner in the government). But these might no longer seem so attractive to my nutty friends. Here's why...
National have incurred the wrath of many right wingers by teaming up with the Maori Party (another member of the government coalition) and that party probably epitomises everything the right dislikes in politics. The latest deal concerning ownership of the foreshore and seabed is unlikely to be viewed positively and the assurances that Maori won't take advantage of the situation will convince no one.
What about Act? The last time I asked a right leaning friend about this he was quite positive about them but at the rate they are going now they may not even exist at the next election. And even if they do, surely even the right will realise their credibility is gone. The perk-busting leader has been busted for his own use of perks. The MP who keeps talking about getting tough on crime turns out to have been convicted of a crimes himself twice. So when you consider the "three strikes and you're out" policy that seems a bit hypocritical.
I'm not saying that other politicians are free from these same issues but no one else makes such a big deal of them and no other party relies on an open and squeaky clean image. If you are going to enter politics and use acting on these issues as your basic commitment you'd better make sure that you aren't guilty of them yourself. Act clearly totally fails to live up to its own standards.
Plus there are the problems within the party where the pure libertarian part is obviously in conflict with the more populist part controlled by the leader. And there is the other issue that it's only the leader, Rodney Hide, who allows them to be there at all because there total vote is pathetic.
The libertarians are dangerous ideologues and as long as they are suppressed by the populist part of the party things aren't too bad. But if Act totally self destructed I think a lot of New Zealanders would be very relieved because the last thing we need is a popular party like National, who already have right-leaning tendencies, being encouraged even further in that direction by libertarian extremists.
I always say that politics is all about choosing the least bad party as opposed to choosing the best so I guess the right will now have to face that choice. I guess it's not that much different from the far left who also have no obvious options. But that's probably a good thing because in a stable democracy like New Zealand extremist parties should never really be allowed to exist for long.
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