Last ACT annual conference?

ACT has just about disappeared from political sight. The name ‘ACT Party’ may be disappearing altogether. A name change is being considered at the party’s annual conference in Remuera today.

2018 ACT New Zealand – Annual Conference

“Freedom, Choice & Responsibility – Do they exist under this Government?”

The choices you make affect your future and those of the people you care for and support. ACT is the party of choice. The 2018 ACT Annual Conference is being held on Sunday 12 August in Auckland, and you are invited to attend. To answer the question – “Freedom of Choice & Responsibility – Does it exist under this Government?” – our speakers will focus on the economy, business and social reform; we guarantee you’ll be challenged!

  • Briar Lipson – Research Associate, The New Zealand Initiative
  • Lindsay Mitchell – Welfare Reformer
  • Matt Vickers – EOL Care campaigner, husband of the late Lucretia Seales

David Seymour will give the Leader’s Address at 1.00pm. It will be a thought-provoking and stimulating day for all who attend.

Whether the rest of the country will notice let alone find it stimulating is another thing.

According to Audrey Young one thing to be considered is a name change – David Seymour looking to take Act Party back to basics after years of failure

…one of the issues to be debated this weekend is whether to change the party name.

Seymour and president Ruwan Premathilaka are planning a relaunch of the party in March next year and Seymour is billing tomorrow’s conference in Auckland as “a pre-launch of the relaunch.”

The membership had been polled on the future of the party and they have held meetings throughout the country.

“What they have said is they are not angry. They don’t think we have been incompetent or stupid. They think, all things considered, we were pretty organised and campaigned okay.

“But equally they accept that what we have done had been a total failure and we are not going anywhere and therefore we need to do something completely different.”

There was a strong mandate to change the direction of the party, Seymour said.

The only controversial element was what to do about the name.

“If I had a vote for every person that says they like David, this or that policy but they would never vote for Act, I would probably be in Government.”

But will a name change make any difference?

If ACT change their name they are likely to remain approximately as unnoticed as they are now.

Seymour probably has a reasonable chance of remaining as the MP for Remuera, but it will take more than a name change to revive a dying political brand.

Successful politics is reliant on people. ACT need to get electable people more than involved, they need to get them active and noticed.

The reality of politics is that the media will only give them political oxygen if they have people deemed newsworthy. Sadly that doesn’t necessarily mean competent.

We have an enigma in New Zealand politics.

People need publicity if they are to succeed in politics. That means they need to be given significant media exposure, a reality despite the supposed promise of social media revolutions.

Media chose who they give attention to more based on how ‘newsworthy’ they are – but unfortunately in the modern political media era this usually means controversial, which usually means eccentric or appalling or rich, anything that feeds headlines and clicks.

It is unusual for the media to boost someone with genuine talent – as a media made politician Chloe Swarbrick is rare exception.  The voter jury is still undecided (or should be) on whether Jacinda Ardern’s media driven promotion to Prime Minister on whether she can deliver on the hype. Delivering a baby has been a massive distraction, and may make it harder for Ardern to succeed beyond getting ongoing fawning coverage.

Most people chosen by media to be promoted as political prospects turn out to be political failures, or at least disappointments. With media money speaks (or buys their attention and they do the speaking), but it doesn’t necessarily speak the right language to voters, as Kim Dotcom, Colin Craig and Gareth Morgan found out.

So ACT’s biggest challenge is not to apply a new label to a nearly dead party horse.

They need to attract candidates that attract both media attention and party votes.

Or a miracle.

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 12, 2018

    ACT’s problem is that it stands for the freedom not to pay off every pressure group and identity politicking faction and is therefore hated and attacked by all of them.

    It has never successfully fought back.

    Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  August 12, 2018

      I’m a bit concerned at how ACT caves in to “pressure groups” like NZCPR, Hobson’s Pledge, Right Minds, Taxpayers Union. (All good examples of right wing “identity politicking factions.”)

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  August 12, 2018

        Not to overlook the dominant ethnic group in twinkle toes only electorate is asian by quite a margin. He who pays the piper…

        Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  August 12, 2018

      They have a huuuuge constituency of Classical Liberals, Libertarians, Anarcho-Capitalists and Objectivists to represent lol.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 12, 2018

        Libertarians? Not real ones. Libertarians don’t agree with most of ACT policies, many of which are socialist in nature.

        Reply
        • phantom snowflake

           /  August 12, 2018

          HAHAHAHAHAA!! Best laugh I’ve had all week!

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  August 12, 2018

            Compare this:

            http://act.org.nz/policies/

            With you clip below. Somethings not meshing. What could it be?

            Reply
            • phantom snowflake

               /  August 12, 2018

              If ACT are socialist I guess all the other parties in parliament, which are to their left, must be… COMMIES!! Please, don’t stop!

            • Corky

               /  August 12, 2018

              It’s not me that needs to stop…you need to start. Let’s start with the ACT welfare policy:

              ”Supported the current government’s initiative to provide welfare for those who need it, while helping New Zealanders back into work.

              Negotiated for extended parental leave for parents of pre-term babies for each week the baby was born prior to the 37 week gestation period.”

              That ain’t Libertarianism, SF.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  August 12, 2018

              You seem to be suggesting that any party that supports providing any welfare benefits at all is Socialist; presumably you consider that all previous governments during your lifetime were Socialist. You make more sense when you stick to fringe science and the paranormal.

            • Corky

               /  August 12, 2018

              ”You seem to be suggesting that any party that supports providing any welfare benefits at all is Socialist.”

              Well, yes. But more importantly, they are not Libertarian as you imply.

              You should know that forcing people to pay tax to support others via a welfare system is anti Libertarian.

              ”You make more sense when you stick to fringe science and the paranormal.”

              That’s where you lose the argument …..and bring into question your claim of an ”out of body” experience. You wouldn’t write that if you had had an out of body experience. Those are the words of a closed minded material atheist.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  August 12, 2018

              You misunderstand me. I wasn’t using the terms ‘fringe science’ and ‘paranormal’ as a pejorative. I don’t like to label myself but if I did I guess I would be a Panentheist.

    • Pink David

       /  August 12, 2018

      “ACT’s problem is that it stands for the freedom not to pay off every pressure group and identity politicking faction and is therefore hated and attacked by all of them.”

      There biggest problem is that they never really established themselves as anything other than a branch of the National Party, The Greens and NZF have been more successful in that regard, as well as being better at managing the contradictions of their support bases.

      Reply
  2. Corky

     /  August 12, 2018

    A great political party that first lost its balls; then its ability to define what they stood for.

    Our National character of expecting gummits to lend a helping hand in all aspects of our lives meant ACT was behind the 8 ball from the start.

    Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  August 12, 2018

    I actually do listen to ACT; Seymour & Whyte etc. mainly because they take the ‘libertarian view’ (cannabis reform, euthanasia etc.) which is OK.. at least they do take a position/agenda, rather than just jumping on the ‘populist tory bandwagon’ like Natl

    I actually wonder if this could see either the Right become more ‘One eyed’ OR perhaps Natl are moving toward a split; Centre Right & ‘Far right’ ?
    >similar to Aust. Liberal/National

    Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  August 12, 2018

    my suggestion for a name change=DDD Party….Donkey Deep Delusional Party.

    Reply
  5. phantom snowflake

     /  August 12, 2018

    Mention of ACT always reminds me of their origins in the cult of Ayn Rand. Time to give this one a spin again:

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  August 12, 2018

    ACT are sniffing the wind. They know there’s votes in dealing to Maori and politicians. Things must be dire to go down this track.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/08/act-unveils-plan-to-cut-parliament-to-100-mps.html

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 12, 2018

      We tried cutting MPs with a referendum on reducing the number of MPs from 120 to 99 on 27 November 1999. The proposal was supported by 81.5% of voters, with a turnout of 82.8%.

      Problem was no government wants to give up any of their MPs – and no MP wants to surrender their cushy little number. We’ll have to wait for the revolution.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 12, 2018

        Oh. I see the article mentions that. Dead in the water, even if got drawn from the ballot. Both proposals.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 12, 2018

        Things must be dire to go down this track.

        Damn straight. Wonder what else they’ve come up with beyond this attention-seeker?

        Reply
  7. PartisanZ

     /  August 12, 2018

    They need to become a more populist Libertarian Conservative Party to partner National on their Right before National invents their own …

    “Taxpayers” is the obvious PR hook to use … Maybe “Taypayers Union Party” … TUP

    Reply

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