Douglas adds to Key’s ACT headache

Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, August 19th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: national/act government, Politics - Tags: ,

ACT’s meltdown continues, with comments from ACT founder and current MP Sir Roger Douglas illustrating that all is not well in the caucus. According to Stuff,  Sir Roger Douglas is saying he is not sure he will stand at the next election. He also said the party had to show it was stable.

“I don’t know where we’re at. What we need to do is show that we’re a hell of a lot better than that. And to do that, we need to get our strategy right, we need to get over-riding principles understood and then we need to move forward together. I guess we haven’t necessarily shown we’ve been capable of that. I’m not blaming anyone for that. When these things happen, it’s no one individuals fault. Collectively, we’ve got to take responsibility.”

The challenge for Mr Key is how should he be responding to his preferred coaltion’s partner’s disintegration? Can he trust those ACT Ministers to make good decisions when key ACT MPs are saying they don’t know where they are at? And a description from the former Deputy leader that Hide is a “bully”, and that ”ACT sees team leadership as primitive combat, with a need to destroy a colleague’s reputation to justify an otherwise inexplicable decision” must call into question the judgement of both the ACT leader, but also Mr Key’s leadership. Is he ok with that dynamic in his government?

John Armstrong provides his usual insightful analysis:

Who and what are the voters to believe? Hide, who last night finally admitted the caucus ructions after erecting a wall of silence following Tuesday’s caucus deputy leadership spill? Or the politically salacious details – plus the brutally honest analysis of Act’s parlous state – contained in Roy’s statement of defence?

If the document’s claim that Hide’s hold on Epsom is tenuous “at best”, then it is even more so after this week’s shambles.

National now has to weigh up whether its supporters can still stomach Hide and whether it should cut its losses and stand a strong candidate in Epsom in case continued association with Hide starts to damage its high party vote in the blue-ribbon electorate – or worse, though still highly unlikely, because Act’s follies could allow Labour to come through the middle and win the seat.

So if Mr Key is looking slightly less bouncy that usual I think we will know why. This is one headache that’s not going away anytime soon.

33 comments on “Douglas adds to Key’s ACT headache”

  1. Blighty 1

    ACT’s base is Roger’s people, not Hide’s.

    I think a lot of people who came back to ACT because Douglas was running. They are social and economic liberals – misguided utopians. They believe in Douglas’s economic vision.

    They will turn their noses up at a team of principleless lying Hide, weirdo Boscawen, and hang ’em all Garrett.

    captcha – fractions

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Clint Heine is teh funny.

    It’s a clear win for ACT, who have played a tricky hand brilliantly and Goff will be rolled within days. (see comments).

  3. bbfloyd 3

    so it finally comes to the point where (don)key has to make some real decisions. i feel bad for him, because, faced with a situation like this, most of us would fall back on our guiding principles to frame our response. the fact the he has none(principles) is going to make it tricky.
    maybe now is the time to dust off the old red wig and big floppy shoes and go back to his former life as the clown prince of wall st.

  4. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 4

    I’m struggling to see how this is a problem for National. Where the fuck do you think ACT voters are going to go?

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      “Pure” ACT voters will vote ACT, or Libz, or similar fringe-ists. Disgruntled ex-Nats will grudgingly vote Nat (which is your point). But the Garrett-ACT voters (rednecks) have another option …

      … and he only needs 1% more to get back.

      Peters rising again courtesy of Hide would be funny. Not good, but still funny.

    • mcflock 4.2

      nats would get at best a 3.5% vote boost while losing 5 proxy mps.

      Chuckles for lab.

    • BLiP 4.3

      New Zealand First might suit some of them?

  5. Carol 5

    Mary on Nat Rad Checkpoint, just said, National, this afternoon, have been discussing putting up a candidate in Epsom … sounded like she meant a “serious” candidate.

  6. All fine for Act.
    The Next election will be: ~
    Act 10%
    Kiwiparty 5%
    National 42%
    Labour 35%
    Greens 8%

    • felix 6.1

      WTF is the Kiwiparty, Anthony?

      • mcflock 6.1.1

        less popular than the Bill & Ben party.

        The trouble is that Anthony’s satire, while extremely far fetched, is still within the bounds of say, Clint Heine or one or two of the RWNJs who comment here.

    • The Larry Baldock-mobile?

      Exclusively fundy parties have only ever got close to 5% once. So possible, but unlikely – their votes are too precious to have not count.

      It would have to be broader than that. And there is no way that the right will get 57% of the popular vote. 51% is about the upper limit. That’s why there’s such a crisis currently – National despite being routinely 15-20 points ahead in polls cannot call an early election because there remains at least a near even chance that they’d lose.

      My call is that:
      NACT: 47%
      LG: 46%
      NZF: 6%
      MP: 1%

      (although NACT could further splinter, but reform the same alliance)

    • Deborah Kean 6.3

      Anthony, where on earth do you get those figures from? ACT 10%, only in a HORROR movie!

  7. Anne 7

    Yeah. Aaron Bhatnagar is being mooted on Red Alert. He’s an ultra right-winger and former ACT activist.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1

      Someone female and clever would be the optimal candidate (sorry Aaron). Everytime Hide goes near her or yells at her- watch the voters cringe!

      PS If Heather Roy wanted to really screw Rodney, she could run as an free-marketeer. The Nats would have to run a proper campaign in Epsom then.

  8. The Voice of Reason 8

    Was it just me or did I hear Slur Roger say on National Radio that Helen Clark won an election in 1966?

    • Armchair Critic 8.1

      Heard that too, thought he said 1969, though. Confused old man.

      • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1

        I heard ’69 as well, but earlier in the interview when he was talking about Cullen allegedly trying to dump Clark prior to the ’99 election. He really does seem to be losing it. The first sign for me was a couple of months ago when he went off on camera about how he was ‘entitled’ to free travel. Fancy that, an ACT MP entitled to suck from the teat of the taxpayer. Wooh, funny ol’ world etc.

        Poor old bugger, must be galling to see his beloved party so thoroughly, er, rodgered.

        • Armchair Critic

          That’s terrible, he thinks he can remember the 60’s, and he’s forgotten the 90s. I wish I could forget the 90s.

  9. Anne 9

    Excerpts from Gordon Campbell’s blog on Scoop.

    “… can there possibly be a less attractive triumvirate than Rodney Hide, John Boscawen and David Garrett? They’re an interesting argument for the proposition that over time, you start to look like your own economic theories. Ugly, ugly, and bugly.

    Roy by contrast, brought youth, gender diversity and genuine competence to her roles in consumer affairs and defence. Her fate will be a lasting indictment of the thugs who demanded her silence. … ”

    I’d say Campbell has put it in a nutshell.

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