I’m enjoying watching Rodney Hide and ACT get a good kicking. They deserve it.
Rodney Hide’s political hypocrisy and poverty of leadership ability have been obvious for all too long. He will forever be the perk buster who couldn’t wait to get his own hands on the till, remembering Hide and his partner’s “work” trips to Europe and Hawaii.
Perk buster gone wild.
Now the egotistical Hide is reaping what he sowed. He has selfishly torn the ACT Party in half and may very well have ruined his own political career.
No wonder arch-nemeses Winston Peters was smiling on his visit to Victoria University:
Asked if he would consider joining a National-ACT coalition if his party got enough votes next year he said; “That’s not going to be a possibility at the next election.”
Mr Hide’s party would “slide apart” following the conflict exposed by the dumping of Ms Roy and his reluctance to account for it, he predicted.
But does Peters have another reason for an ear to ear grin? Who really wins from ACT’s demise? National of course will gossip and whisper around the Beehive “National wins of course. ACT’s vote has nowhere else to go“. Right?
If ACT does go down in a ball of flames, the centre of political gravity is bound to re-align. And the common left-right political spectrum lacks the depth needed to explain such a complicated shift.
The way “the demise” will effect voting patterns will depend on many factors: How badly will ACT’s problems damage the government as a whole? What demographics currently support ACT? Will the opposition manage to turn this into an issue to hit the government around the head with? How do ACT’s core liberal voters feel about Key’s support for Rodney Hide over Heather Roy?
The result of all of those factors may be debatable. Yet they are clearly all significant.
My guess is, I predict this episode will damage the government. And if obliterated, ACT’s support would splinter between National (the Hide supporters), NZ First (the hang em high supporters), and the non-voters/libertarians (the economic purists). At current polling that’s little more than 0.75% max each way.
If that were the case. That’s 0.75% for National, 0.75% for NZ First, and 0.75% lost. With the loss of ACT in the House, who is more likely to benefit from their marginal gain? National or NZ First?
National certainly wouldn’t need any more support to reach the 5% threshold. And the loss of ACT in Parliament means no one on the right to help get neo-liberal legislation through.
Of course those figures are abstract and are drawn from generalised premises. But I hope merely to have illustrated the point of the factors at play and who might really seek to gain the most from recent events. Because it won’t be the economic neo-liberals.