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A Brash Act
Entry 1291, on 2011-04-28 at 20:10:15 (Rating 4, Politics)
I always experience a certain amount of schadenfreude when political nutters suffer misfortune and there is nothing better than seeing the far-right crazies in the Act party suffering because of their own ineptitude.
If there was one person in the country who is even more scary than the current supporters and members of the Act party (such as Roger Douglas) it is Don Brash. His political ideology is even more off the scale than theirs and all I can say is "God Defend New Zealand" (and yes, I'm an atheist) if he ever gets any real political power.
So Don Brash, ex National PM, is going to take control of Act, even though he isn't even a current member of that party. In an act of unbelievable arrogance he claims he is the only person who can pull that party back from oblivion.
Clearly Act are in trouble. The only way they can return to a position of influence in New Zealand politics is if they gain at least 5% of the total vote (and they are currently on about 1%) or if a party member wins an electorate (and many people think that is unlikely). I actually think those restrictions are unfair and if a party gets enough of the vote to be allocated a seat in the MMP system then they should get it.
Brash really is a scary individual. Just the fact that he refers to Act as center-right (when they are clearly right or even far right) should be enough to worry anyone. What would a party have to do to be labelled "right" or "far right" in his view? I don't even want to think about that!
Today Rodney Hide resigned as Act party leader so it does look like Brash could gain more influence. Or maybe Act really is dead because Brash himself is despised by many New Zealanders so there is some doubt whether he would be successful anyway.
So it's all a bit of a mess for the rabid right, hence the schadenfreude I mentioned above. Unfortunately there won't be a second far right party to compete with the existing one because that would probably lead to the failure of both. And if the center-right (National) rely on support from a far-right party maybe it could lead to their downfall as well through association with economic extremists.
Of course there's a lot of speculation in the scenario above and predicting the outcome of elections is difficult at any time, especially when power structures are changing. National must be a bit worried though because their other coalition partner, the Maori Party, are likely to face competition from a second similar party in the future.
The real problem for Act is that the original reason the party was were formed: to push neoliberal economic measures, is no longer a viable option. Most people have realised that those policies are a disaster. Asset sales, privatisation, tough social policies, and the other dogma they hold dear have failed. They just don't work.
Of course dragging the New Zealand economy down to that level will suit some sections of society. Big business and foreign corporations would love to get their greedy hands on the country's assets and if wages and conditions can be forced down that would also be good for them. So I can understand those sections of the community being pleased to see Don Brash making a comeback in New Zealand politics but surely the majority can't still believe those ideas will work for them. Can they really be that naive?
Opinions on the situation I have heard from the Epsom electorate varied, some saying they would vote for Brash and another saying just the idea of him "brings terror".
Some of the current government's partners had some interesting comments too. For example United Future say Brash is backed by "arrogant old men desperate to impose their extreme ideology on the country". How very perceptive of them. I would love to know who is paying for this push for power but whoever it is I can guarantee it's not someone with the best interests of the average New Zealander foremost in their minds.
Good old Winston Peters is similarly on the mark in his appraisal. He says the challenge by Brash is farcical and probably a "jack up" by National (I'm not sure about that). He also says the appeal of Brash is limited to those who share his extreme views and that his ideas are untried in other countries and have failed here (so true).
They say people get the politicians they deserve but how could anyone deserve someone as nasty and self-centered as Brash? It's just not right!
Comment 8 (2893) by SBFL on 2011-05-09 at 10:06:06: (view earlier comments)
OJB said: "For example United Future say Brash is backed by "arrogant old men desperate to impose their extreme ideology on the country"."
Hehe, you quoted Peter Dunne calling someone else an 'arrogant old man'. Oh dear...
Comment 9 (2894) by SBFL on 2011-05-09 at 10:09:02:
OJB said: "Good old Winston Peters..."
Oh dear again. Now you call a known liar, xenophone and hypocrite "Good old..". If you had any credibility, it's long gone now.
Comment 10 (2895) by SBFL on 2011-05-09 at 10:11:43:
OJB said: "They say people get the politicians they deserve.."
Darren Hughes, anyone?
Comment 11 (2896) by SBFL on 2011-05-09 at 10:16:43:
Re comment 2894. Keys "b" and "n" are close to each other on the keyboard... I wasn't trying to invent a new type of telephone ;-)
Thanks for the opportunity to comment. It's been a while since I visited. Look forward to your replies. Off to bed now, buenas noches.
Comment 12 (2897) by OJB on 2011-05-09 at 13:53:15:
Question: Even the Christians?
Answer: Yes, they're no more misguided than the libertarians.
Question: When did Brash state that, and in what context? Got a link?
Answer: On a National radio interview. Look up their podcast directory.
Comment: Or conversely, maybe even more of the middle vote will support National to ensure they don't have to rely on the "rabid" right
Response: Maybe. I don't mind National as long as they don't set off on a far-right crusade of asset sales, etc.
Question: So you must be a National supporter now?
Answer: I don't support or not support any party. I support actions and I'm not that unhappy with National as long as they don't launch off into the far right economics that some think they should.
Comment: Hehe, you quoted Peter Dunne calling someone else an 'arrogant old man'. Oh dear...
Answer: Whatever you may think of him he's right on this point.
Comment: Oh dear again. Now you call a known liar, xenophone and hypocrite "Good old.."
Response: Same as above. I comment on actions and words, not personalities.
Comment: Darren Hughes, anyone?
Response: What's wrong with Hughes? He seemed like a reasonable MP. I'm not going to comment on the allegations against him until we find out if they have any validity.
Comment: Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
Response: I have a reasonable number of visitors but not many comments, so thanks for the comments.
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