Party of originality hard ACT to follow
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.