Having a List MP leave the party is not a new situation for ACT. In 2003, Donna Awatere-Huata was evicted from the caucus and let her membership lapse after the fraud that would later see her sent to jail were revealed. After being kicked out of ACT, Awatere-Huata refused to step down as an MP.
What did ACT do? Understandably, they demanded she resign from Parliament so they could get the next person on their list, Kenneth Wang, in instead. They invoked the now-lapsed Electoral Integrity Act (the Waka-jumping Act) to force her out of Parliament. Rodney Hide was one of the appellants against Huata in the court case.
That’s a bit of a contrast with how Hide is acting now. He says it’s up to David Garrett whether he wants to leave Parliament and he’s not putting any pressure on Garrett either way.
Why the difference? Why would Hide forgo a vote in his caucus? What could be worth more to him?
His leadership – out goes Garrett, in comes Hilary Calvert, goodbye Hide’s leadership.
It shows how much ACT has devolved under Hide’s leadership. It used to be a party of warped principles. Now, it is egos at war. Hide and his weird mate John Boscawen on one side. Heather Roy’s camp – who obviously leaked the stories that led to Garrett’s downfall – in the other. Both sides are willing to destroy the Party to put the knife into the other lot.
Grab some popcorn. This ain’t over.
PS. In researching this post I found a press release from Tariana Turia backing Awatere-Huata with a ‘us Maori have to stick together‘ line. Jesus, Tariana.
PPS. the image is from a reader who thinks Garrett is a Hide with a hairpiece and asks ‘has anyone ever seen them in the same room together?’ Of course, Hide hopes we’ll be seeing them in the same chamber together for some time to come.