Special report: the ACT List 2008 (part 2)

Note: this post originally appeared on ‘Douglas to Dancing’, a blog I maintained from 2007-9 on the ACT New Zealand political party. The blog was an extension of the thesis I wrote about the Act Party in 2007, From Douglas to Dancing: explaining the lack of success of ACT New Zealand and evaluating its future prospects (PDF).

What follows is a breakdown into categories of ACT members who have put themselves forward for selection for ACT’s List at the 2008 election. I have collated this list using the biographies provided and occasionally using personal background knowledge. Obviously I have gone by the information provided by the nominees and could only place them in categories for which information was provided. For Alan (Smilie) Wood I had no information other than that he “[l]ives near Kerikeri”.

Nominees will usually have been placed into at least two categories, one reflecting their geographical location and another their occupation, as well as any other relevant categories. Sometimes even relatively straightforward information could not be deduced, e.g. if no location information was given and a mobile phone number used as the contact number (preventing me from using the area code to deduce region). If you notice any errors please let me know.

As I understand it not every person on this list will necessary be on the final party list. If the Board does not like a particular person, he or she could be left out. Space reasons could also lead to an omission of some of the lesser-known candidates, particularly if there are a number of stellar candidates put forward between now and August 16.

But here are a few statistics.* Of the 57 names:

33% (19) come from the North Island outside of Auckland
32% (18) come from the Auckland area
28% (16) are current or former small business owners
19% (11) are aged 60+
19% (11) are apparent foundation/early ACT members (joined in 1996 or earlier)
17% (10) are students, recent former students or otherwise young people
16% (9) come from the South Island
16% (9) are women
11% (6) are from a farming or related rural background (e.g. agribusiness)
11% (6) are bloggers
9% (5) are current or former MPs
5% (3) are from an apparent non-European background
5% (3) are lawyers
4% (2) are academics

Some commentary: rather than me setting out the categories, they tended to choose themselves by nature of their frequency. However I admit that the intention of this exercise was to see to what degree the traditional “stereotypes” of ACT held. To this end, I expected to see quite a few business people, but was struck by the fact that 28% were current or recent business owners. I also expected quite a few people to come from Auckland, which proved correct (32%), but was surprised to see that even more (33%) came from elsewhere in the North Island. One of the more interesting statistics was that around 11% are bloggers, which I am sure would be one of the highest proportions amongst political parties (although Labour does have Jordan Carter!).

My most dicey category is the “apparent non-European background” one. I could class just 3 people into this category, but there may be more which I did not pick up. Some readers may ask why this category matters: I would respond by referring you to ACT’s perennial “image problem”, as discussed in my dissertation (chapter 3). The same goes for the alarmingly low number of female nominees – just 16%.

Keep watching Douglas to Dancing for more analysis and commentary on ACT’s 2008 List composition, including coverage of the final List when it is announced on August 16.

***

Raw data

North Island except Auckland
Vince Ashworth
Shane Atkinson
Michael Bridge
Alan Daniel Davidson
Mark Marshall Davies
Frances Denz
Colin du Plessis
Pauline Gardiner
Duncan Lennox
Garry Mallett
Lindsay Mitchell
David Jeffrey Moore
James Jeremy Read
Ron Scott
Graeme Tulloch
Alan (Smilie) Wood
Peter McCaffrey
Mike Collins
Heather Roy

Auckland and environs
Michael Bailey
Dr. Lech Beltowski
Hardev Brar
Kevin Patrick Campbell
Hon. Sir Roger Douglas
Beryl Marjorie Good
Rodney Hide
Andrew Jollands
Nick Kearney
Rodney Martin
Stephen Martin
Thomas John McClelland
Athol McQuilkan
Peter Boris Tashkoff
John Thompson
Scott Uren
Kenneth Wang
Max Whitehead

Apparent current or former small business owners
Ray Bassett
Colin du Plessis
Kevin Patrick Campbell
Hilary Calvert
Carl Freimann
Beryl Marjorie Good
Roly Henderson
Garry Mallett
Athol McQuilkan
Jonathan Cyril Olsen
Ron Scott
Toni Severin
Benjamin David Smith
David Tattersfield
Graeme Tulloch
Max Whitehead

Apparent 60+
Shane Atkinson
Michael Bailey
Ray Bassett
Dr. Lech Beltowski
Alan Daniel Davidson
John Fraser
Hon. Sir Roger Douglas
Thomas John McClelland
Athol McQuilkan
David Edward Olsen
Graeme Tulloch

Apparent foundation/early ACT members (joined in 1996 or earlier)

Vince Ashworth
Alan Daniel Davidson
Hilary Calvert
Hon. Sir Roger Douglas
Patricia Martin
Colin Nicholls
James Jeremy Read
Ron Scott
Thomas John McClelland
Rodney Hide
Clint J Heine

Students/recent former students/young people
Michael Bridge
Mike Collins
Mark Marshall Davies
Clint J Heine
Peter McCaffrey
Ian Donald Parker
Benjamin David Smith
Michael Tabachnik
Andrew Falloon
Stephen Martin

South Island
Hilary Calvert
John Fraser
Thomas Edward (Ted) Howard
Aaron Keown
Patricia Martin
Colin Nicholls
Geoffrey Russell
David Tattersfield
Andrew Falloon

Women
Hilary Calvert
Frances Denz
Pauline Gardiner
Beryl Marjorie Good
Patricia Martin
Lyn Murphy
Toni Severin
Lindsay Mitchell
Heather Roy

Farmers/rural background
David Edward Olsen
Graeme Tulloch
Vince Ashworth
Roly Henderson
Athol McQuilkan
Graeme Tulloch

Bloggers
Clint J Heine
Peter McCaffrey (also blogs for ACT on Campus)
Rodney Hide
Lindsay Mitchell
Peter Boris Tashkoff
Michael Bridge

Current or former MPs
Hon. Sir Roger Douglas
Pauline Gardiner
Rodney Hide
Heather Roy
Kenneth Wang

Apparent non-European background
Kenneth Wang
Hardev Brar
Peter Boris Tashkoff

Lawyers
Nick Kearney
Mark Marshall Davies
Hilary Calvert

Academics

Dr Lech Beltowski
Lyn Murphy

*Statistics have been updated after the initial posting to reflect information supplied to me by readers

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6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Geoffrey. You missed Heather Roy out of the female section!!

    Put the percentage up a bit!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Actually you missed out Lindsay Mitchell too!

    Thought the percentage was a bit low.

    Or have I missed something?

  3. Oops, thanks for that! Have corrected. Thanks for reading and please just let me know if anything else is wrong…

  4. Heine says:

    Hey mate, I joined in 1996 too. 🙂

  5. peteremcc says:

    Oh and add Mike Collins, Heather Roy and Nigel Kearney to the “Other North Island”.

    That makes more in ONI than in Auckland.

  6. Thanks Clint and Peter – have updated. Except there is no “Nigel Kearney”, right? Only Nick Kearney who is from Auckland…

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