Tuesday, 12 August 2008

ACT Candidate explains centre-right MMP voting

An interesting web advertisement caught my eye this week as I was indulging in my regular Facebook fix, posing the question "Why National Party Supporters should give their Party Vote to ACT".

Clicking on the advt took me to an article written by Peter Tashkoff, the ACT Party Candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, through Google's 'Knol' website.

Tashkoff points out New Zealand appears to be in for a change of government, but asks "does that mean a government of change?"

He sees Key's driving of the National Party to the centre as "a good thing", which he believes can "ensure that "National-led governments can once more dominate the political scene, like they did from 1949 to 1984, where National was in power an incredible 83% of the time."

However, the ACT candidate hasn't totally lost his morals. Tashkoff notes that most National supporters probably believe in growth orientated policies and less government beureacracy and waste... and may be feeling uneasy with "how little differentiates National from Labour."

He suggests the ACT Party are the best coalition partner for National (given that major parties are unlikely to gain 50% of the vote in a General Election, despite what current political polls might suggest).

ACT (with the help of recent re-recruit Roger Douglas) have put out a pledge card what the party's described (with tongue firmly in cheek) as "the juiciest election bribe ever".

The party believes their policies would foster strong growth in New Zealand (as good or better than Australia), creating $500 extra per week for the average worker by 2020, as well as no health waiting lists, and an education scholarship for every child.

Tashkoff argues if National supporters want policies as well as power, then they need to give their party vote to ACT, to ensure those policies have a strong champion in Parliament.

As well as the policy and principles argument, he has also compiled a long list of "pragmatic" reasons for supporting ACT, because of the country's MMP voting system, including NZ's voting history under FPP (First Past the Post).

For those confused or overwhelmed by pure facts, figures, and graphs, Peter Tashkoff has compiled his arguments into a video presentation...

I'm still not sure that I'm entirely convinced that Key's hell-or-high-water "Labour-lite" approach is the best way to gain power, but much of the arguments in the clip are valid.

Tashkoff says other video presentations are on the way... including "Why Maori should vote ACT", and the intriguing "Why Labour Party supporters should vote ACT". I look forward to seeing those ones ;)

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