1. I reckoned at New Year that ACT would have to seriously reinvent themselves for this election. Having a leadership "debate" in the Sunday papers isn't exactly what I had anticipated. ACT's fundamental problem is that they present a very disjointed face to mainstream voters. Sure 1-2% understand what they are saying but the rest do not understand the nuances of being a classical liberal- whatever the heck that really means to the man on the street. To this end Rodney Hide is guilty of failing to sell a clear ACT vision. One suspects that he really has just been well played by John Key.
Is Don Brash the answer? No, just as Roger Douglas wasn't the answer last time. Like end of career All Blacks, they may know the game inside out but their legs can't keep up. Selectors are generally ruthless. The smart ones become coaches or commentators.
My preference would be John Boscawen. His greatest strengths are hard work, intelligence and being unencumbered by inflated ego. There is a place for an intelligent party offering sound policies far removed from the socialist economic claptrap that voters have had rammed down their throats for the last few decades.
Can ACT deliver a platform that treats voters as intelligent individuals who are well capable of running their affairs with minimal government intervention? I would like to think that our society still possesses the ability and commonsense to find this solution. Our future actually depends on it. Or one day we may find that we are incapable of paying the interest bill that our current politicians are racking up.
A country where the government deems things too big to fail is also a country that encourages poor choices and poorer management on an even larger scale. We will eventually pay for this foolishness one way or another.
2. Phil Goff has done a brilliant job in bringing Labour to its knees. Their true true colours have finally been revealed. Below is the final version of their logo for the election. To give Phil his credit it takes a very peculiar skill to make going downhill look like hard work.