Tuesday, 20 May 2008

ACT beat Labour to first Pledge Card of '08

The ACT Party have taken a (slightly tongue-in-cheek) leaf out of Labour's book, by releasing a pledge card of proposed policies. ACT's A4-sized pledge card is a little larger than Hillin Cluck's previous credit card-sized card, listing 20 policies against Labour's usual 6 pack.

David Farrar over at Kiwiblog notes the work of former National Party PR man John Ansell in this (Ansell was behind National's popular billboard campaign and Taxathon TV ads in 2005, and worked for Labour in 1993).

ACT has combined the ideas of Rodney Hide and Sir Roger Douglas, with the plain language writing of John Ansell for "New Zealand's biggest pledge card, containing the juiciest election bribe ever".

The pledge card lists 20 policies which the party says would help "create an economy that gives the average New Zealand wage earner an extra $500 a week - enough to outperform Australia and bring our children home".

Most of the proposals are far from extreme, but rather sensible solutions to boost New Zealand's growth rate and average weekly pay.

ACT wants to cut Government waste and state spending, to cut and flatten tax rates, to reduce public service beureaucracy and red tape, and create competitive markets in the big-ticket areas of Education and Healthcare (policies which ACT says are working well in many European countries).

The black holes of Welfare and Accident compensation would also be subject to competition. ACT want to welcome more good quality immigrants to New Zealand, and shake up the country's Law and Order system and Constitutional framework.
A very good pledge card. Still too complicated and wordy for the average voter, but I suspect the highlights will form the basis for a much stronger election year campaign from ACT. I quite like the party's slightly-rejigged logo, and the confident & clever tagline "The Guts To Do What's Right".

* Kiwiblog: ACT's 20 point plan
* ACT New Zealand - Official website

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