Party of orig­i­nal­ity hard ACT to fol­low

Sunday Star-Times - - NEWS - Damien Grant

David Sey­mour wrote a book. It’s a bit dull. It’s the sort of thing you’d write to im­press a pos­si­ble mother-in-law rather than a bodice-rip­per you’d pen to win her daugh­ter’s af­fec­tions.

The curse of Ep­som house­wives. Back when Don Brash was ACT leader he pon­dered that the party should sup­port le­gal­is­ing mar­i­juana. The ACT can­di­date for Ep­som, noted lib­er­tar­ian John Banks, had an aneurysm. ‘‘The peo­ple of Ep­som do not want their rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Par­lia­ment to in­dulge in such stu­pid­ity,’’ Banks thun­dered.

But ACT isn’t a con­ser­va­tive party. They are the heirs of rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies Richard Preb­ble and Sir Roger Dou­glas. ACT’s mem­bers, if they are be­ing true to them­selves, don’t be­lieve in tin­ker­ing. They be­lieve in blow­ing up the sys­tem and start­ing again. Scrap­ping state ed­u­ca­tion in favour of vouch­ers, swap­ping a sin­gle-payer health sys­tem for pri­vate in­sur­ance and a flat rate of tax.

How do I know this? Well, Sey­mour’s book, Own your Fu­ture, isn’t his first. He wrote a much bet­ter one in 2011; Birth of a Boom; Saskatchewan’s Dawn­ing Golden Age. In it, free from con­cerns of up­set­ting po­ten­tial moth­ers-in-law, he en­dorses a rad­i­cal small-gov­ern­ment agenda.

Sadly, ACT has lost the dar­ing that drove Rod­ney Hide to defy an out­raged Richard Worth and take the Ep­som elec­torate in 2005. They re­main timid in the face of a con­ser­va­tive Ep­som voter. They hide their true selves in or­der to win that ac­cursed seat.

This is a shame and a mis­take. ACT is a party of ideas, and they should not di­lute them.

Sey­mour’s first book proves he’s a wor­thy cus­to­dian of the ide­ol­ogy of lib­erty started and un­fin­ished by Dou­glas and Preb­ble. I’ll be vot­ing for him and hop­ing his third book rips a few bodices.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.