When Brash took over the leadership of ACT I thought, here's a go. Now there will be some discipline. Some strong economic messages. Strong welfare, health and education policies. Hell, I didn't even care if they veered off the classical liberal track into conservatism if they gave us consistent small government goals. Social conservatism mostly manifests in conscience votes anyway. If some MPs are opposed to abortion, voluntary euthanasia, drug decriminalization, same sex adoption etc., so be it. For the next election, just take us in the right economic direction, for pities sake. In this political landscape, beggars can't be choosers.
But I am badly disappointed so far.
Why is ACT so susceptible to single issue groups or ideology? Law and order, climate change, and now race have featured disproportionately over the past years. Unlike leftists I do not believe in conspiracies or all-encompassing plans in which many are complicit. Infiltration or takeovers for instance. When you get close to the action in any organisation, political or otherwise, you understand that unique circumstances and connections dictate whatever happens next. Believers in the necessary spontaneity of markets see the replication elsewhere.
The only person connected with ACT giving me a reason to vote for them right now is Cactus, whose candidacy is still not official.
So Cactus, no single person can bring demands to the table but, if they (whoever they are) don't start asserting themselves as the lean mean economic party soon, give it a wide berth. Your long-standing loyalty is immensely commendable but don't let it be your Achilles' heel.
AJP Taylor on England before World War I
1 hour ago