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Will ACT vote against the Budget?

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, May 16th, 2011 - 42 comments
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Reading Don Brash’s letter to John Key and watching Roger Douglas on Q+A, I wonder if the Nats behind the takeover of ACT realised what they were unleashing. I’ve heard some talk that ACT won’t vote for Key’s Budget. Where would that leave Rodney Hide? Where would that leave the Maori Party? Could we see a snap election?

Hide, apart from the famous “do nothing” slip, has been a dedicated Key loyalist. That was, in no small part, the cause of ACT’s decline under his leadership. He subsumed ACT’s brand into National’s the way Jim Anderton has the Progressives’ into Labour’s.

Brash is an old man in a hurry. I can’t see him wasting time with the compromise of letting his party vote for a Budget that continues National’s reckless borrowing. I think there is a real chance he will order his MPs to vote against it.

What happens if ACT signals it will vote against the Budget?

First, Hide has to decide if he will stick with his party or keep his portfolios. I’m picking he would turncoat and back National. It’s not like he owes Brash anything.

But National plus Dunne plus Hide only equals 60, two short of a majority, which has to come from the Maori Party.

Would the Maori Party vote for a budget that delivers spending cuts for the many while keeping tax cuts for the rich? That would be slitting their own throats in the fight against the Mana Party.

If they had any sense, the Maori Party would vote against the Budget if ACT did, meaning Parliament wouldn’t have confidence in the government and a snap election would be triggered.

Still, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples arses are awfully comfortable in those heated limo seats.

Whether it gets to that point depends on whether Brash is just talk or is prepared to follow through on his beliefs to the hilt.

42 comments on “Will ACT vote against the Budget?”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes, this will show up how seriously oppositional Brash is to National.

  2. Will ACT vote against the Budget?

    No.

    • r0b 2.1

      Makes rather a mockery of all Brash’s posturing then doesn’t it.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Somewhat, but Brash isn’t in parliament.
         
        John Boscowan mentioned a standing order that says that a member of parliament cannot be directed by anyone outside parliament, only advised.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          heh. And he supported Ridney, and Calvert’s the whip.

          *Interesting*.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Can Act not vote at all?

      • Richard 2.2.1

        I think that “not voting” is the same as “voting against” in this instance. A majority of parliament needs to vote *for* the legislation. “Not voting” is “not voting for” the legislation.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          Commonly called ‘abstention’.
           
          This is particularly clearly seen in the prostitution reform bill that was passed under conscience vote, that only needed a bare majority to pass. There were 120 MPs. 60 voted ‘for’, 59 ‘against’, and 1 abstention, and so it was passed into law.
           
          The abstention was from a National MP that represents the Indian community who were all outraged that he had abstained. If he’d voted against, the bill wouldn’t have passed.

    • ron 2.3

      Agreed. Non. Nyet. No. Why. Because the gutless pricks wouldn’t know a principle if it slapped them in the face.

  3. randalrandal 3

    reminds me of a whole lot of rats swimming towards a sinking ship!

  4. Is the confidence and supply agreement that National have with Act still valid?

    Key and Brash are both game players in the same team. What bothers me is what their real agendas are. Neither can be trusted. Neither are wanted.

  5. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    And that, in essence, is Act’s problem. It will not be able to garner real concessions to its policies because National will just be able to say: try to get Labour to coalesce with you.

    • Jum 5.1

      Wonderful way for Key to get Brash blamed for a snap election. That’s a perfect end for a Key/Brash partnership to control New Zealand’s ‘gold’; people don’t seem to get the fact that Brash is the end goal for Key.

      Brash is already getting a lot more votes for Act. New Zealand will be carved up between them. There are, sadly, a lot of New Zealanders who want people that are low paid and vulnerable to be left without any supports and able to be controlled re cheap labour. These highearning low-lifes want inequality in New Zealand, because it increases their business profits and or makes their everyday costs cheaper. It disappoints me greatly that I share my country with these vultures.

      Minimum wage will disappear as will any organized union or advocacy; for example, National Council of Women has lost its charitable status. Refuges are out the door. Abortion will be made illegal and pay equity will be filed under Case Closed. That destroys the supports for women’s rights and workers rights.

      The Maori party is being feted while public ownership over public land and private Maori land is being primed for exploitation. The joke is on The Maori Party; they think National and they are partners in the SOE-grab. NAct doesn’t share.

      All because the greedy, the misogynistic and the political illiterates voted this government in. That includes workers; what were they thinking?

  6. Samuel Hill 6

    If I was a National Party member I would want a snap election. No way are Mana/NZ First going to get enough traction in the next 2-3 months to get Labour/Greens over the line. 6 months however is a completely different story.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I hope John Key declares his lack of confidence in the All Blacks losing the RWC.

  7. mikesh 7

    Doesn’t the coalition agreement promise support on supply and confidence?

    • Richard 7.1

      Of course.

      So, not giving this support breaks said agreement. Which is fine. The government then needs to either rapidly negotiate a new agreement or go to the polls.

      The coalition partners are not compelled by law to keep the agreement.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      Yes. So this would be breaking their coalition agreement. Therefore, I don’t think Act will do it – the Maori Party had even more impetus to do this at the last budget when GST went up, and they didn’t.

  8. tc 8

    ‘Key and Brash are both game players in the same team. What bothers me is what their real agendas are…’

    discrediting and then abolishing MMP treetop that’s the real endgame for the hollow men.

    • Mac1 8.1

      No, getting rid of MMP allows parties to rule by themselves under first past the post. Then we would see the real agenda. Getting rid of MMP is a stage. Rule of the majority under FPP by the 40% right wing, the discrediting of democracy and the disengagement of 50% of the population from politics, as in the USA, follows.

      Then cometh the end times!

      • Treetop 8.1.1

        Had the Maori Party not been a coalition partner with National, Key would have had to make more concessions with Act. For some reason Key has always felt threatened by Act, if he wasn’t he would not of formed a coalition with the Maori Party.

  9. randal 9

    the real agenda is to sell off the soe’s to their mates and stag the share issue. get real dudes.

  10. James Callaghan 10

    Well, but why would a vote against National’s budget necessarily be interpreted by both parties as an open declaration of war. If National does have a hidden agenda, or some parts of National anyway, a fundmentalist Act would probably be quite beneficial for avoiding the responsibility for policy initiatives, while keeping up its ‘moderate’ appearances.

    What if the scenario involves Act threatening to vote against it, National holds Maori Party to ransom with the boogeyman alternative being an Act-National Govt. Once the deal is sealed, both National and Maori could claim the credits of saving the country from fundamentalists, while Act can vote for its principles to its heart’s content.

    • Treetop 10.1

      I doubt there is going to be a Maori Party after the election for Key to form a coalition with. Somehow Key has to appease Act, but Key cannot come across as being too radical either as Act’s policies are not what Key campaigned on in 2008.

      Even if the Maori Party survive and Key gets back in he will not take the Maori Party as a coalition partner. Act and National will then sell assests through privatisation and watch the shares go off shore within a few years.

      • Jum 10.1.1

        Treetop,
        My question is always the same; what does Key get out of it? Or, is he paying his dues to those who helped him obtain his goals? Brash thinks he is god. Key has no belief system at all.

        • Treetop 10.1.1.1

          I think Key is paying his dues. Key is the front man and Brash is the behind the scene man. Another term of Key and this country will really know what a to the right government is, (ignorant and arrogant).

          • Jum 10.1.1.1.1

            Treetop

            And the rightwing baxtards will have stolen my children’s assets.

            They’re like vampires feeding off the young.

  11. Craig 11

    Sorry, guys. I think the Budget will still be passed, even if ACT either votes against it or abstains. The Maori Party will see this as an opportunity to demonstrate that it is a more reliable and constructive coalition partner to the Key administration than ACT, and talk up any ‘gains for Maori’ within the Budget as a result of their accomodation arrangement. In any case, look at Canada’s recent election and see what happens in the context of snap elections in the current economic climate- their Tories won a majority, remember.

  12. Josip Blow 12

    I think they would be making a mistake not to vote for it. I believe the easiest votes for ACT will come from Nat voters wanting a move a little to the right, those voters are not natural ACT voters but would support ACT having a increased, but nevertheless limited level of influence over National. By voting against the budget it may well scare those voters off.

  13. Craig 13

    I daresay it would have that effect, Josie. I wonder if ACT’s ‘infantile ultrarightism’ will end up boomeranging on it?

  14. If the budget were defeated, we’d be looking at snap election. NO WAY could the MMP referendum proceed.

    There won’t be a snap election….not unless the Maori Party also votes against the Budget…and though I can see reasons why they might want to, I doubt they would.

    A snap election over a defeated Budget would be good….provided the MMP referendum was canned.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Well, if Act keep to any of their principles (especially the ones about transparent/honest budgets), then they won’t be voting for this budget as it appears National have delayed giving it until after the election.

    Report from Key’s presser today :-

    Targets for individual agencies would be finalised after the Budget and it would then be up to chief executives to identify how to meet them.

    I’m not sure if the mP has indicated that they have any such principles but their actions to date indicate that they don’t.

  16. mikesh 16

    But if ACT voted against the budget this would represent not a four vote swing but an eight vote swing. Presumably this would sink it. ACT would have to be content with merely abstaining if they didn’t want to sink the government.

  17. Does anybody in their right mind believe all this waffle and double talk form the political right. It’s all planned by Crosby -Textor as a way of getting all the Right vote out. The Brash letter will get the Red-Necks out in force whilst the Conservatives who are not so Right will vote for smilling John and his flappers. The Blue Rinses will chuckle and look down their noses and vote for their lovely John, and unless we on the Left can find someway of getting the Labour vote out we are doomed to see our country sold out completely . One would think that in 2011 most would see what a load of crafty bastards they are but thet never do!.

    • Treetop 17.1

      The youth vote is the vote which will make a difference due to their high unemployment. I could not see them voting National or Act either.

      Target the universities/polytechnics, candidates need to door knock in the homes of youth and to also make sure that youth are registered to vote.

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