This morning Radio New Zealand reported ACT Epsom candidate David Seymour complaining about Labour’s supposed dirty tactics in the seat. If Seymour really thinks that trying to persuade voters to vote tactically is dirty tactics then he should reflect on what his party is doing. Because it is clear that the only way ACT will survive is because National decides it will survive.
Winning the seat is crucial to ACT’s survival as a party and to help it, Prime Minister John Key has once again told National supporters to vote for the ACT candidate in Epsom, even though Mr Key himself will vote for National’s Paul Goldsmith.
Labour Party candidate Michael Wood has condemned the deal, saying it goes against ACT’s core philosophy.
“The great irony of the campaign is that ACT is the party of no handouts, the free-market party of do-it-yourself, pull your own socks up, don’t expect other people to do it for you. And yet here we are, with them entirely reliant on a deal to gift them a seat.”
But Mr Seymour said Labour was encouraging its supporters to vote for Mr Goldsmith, in an effort to undermine the deal between ACT and National.
“They spend half their time saying its a dirty deal, and the other half of their time going and knocking on people’s doors saying ‘have you heard of Paul Goldsmith, we think he’s got some great ideas’.
Mr Wood dismisses that claim, although he said he was aware some centre-left voters were thinking of voting tactically.
National must be rethinking the deal and wondering if it is worth while. For one seat they have to put up with a party that complains about legislative racism but not societal racism, a party that regards incest favourably, engages in the most overt racism New Zealand has seen in a while and a leader that abuses the Race Relations Commissioner and obviously knows little about local politics.
There may be a cunning plan though. Last election ACT received 1.07% of the party vote and one seat. Proportionally its party vote was higher than the number of seats that it actually won and some party votes for the right were wasted. The master’s interests would be best served if as many ACT party votes as possible went to National instead and Seymour won the seat.
Maybe this is why leader Jamie Whyte has made such a hash of things. If this is the game plan it explains why United Future has been devastated and why Peter Dunne has become such a poodle.
From Seymour’s comments he seems to be saying that it is fine for ACT to distort and cheat the electoral system but not Labour. This is in keeping with ACT principles. One rule for them and another for the rest of us.