Tagged: Roger Douglas

Act billboard 2005

Can Labour learn from Act’s leadership primary? (part 1)

#55789878 / gettyimages.com This post was originally published at Liberation. The current New Zealand Labour Party leadership primary contest presents a more democratic way to elect a party leader. Traditionally, the party leader has been seen as a matter for the parliamentary wing, with the much less visible role of party president being elected by the party as a whole. In this blog post – the first of two posts on the subject – I argue that the new primary system, while far from perfect, can only be seen as a long-overdue reform which should strengthen the Labour Party as...

Act Party campaign 2008

Conspiracy against Hide? Or Conspiracy by Hide?

This blog post was originally published at Liberation There are two conspiracy stories about the alleged November 2009 leadership challenge in the Act Party which is still dogging the party today. The dominant version about the so-called failed leadership coup is that deputy leader Heather Roy and maverick MP Roger Douglas conspired to topple Rodney Hide from the leadership position within Act. A second conspiracy theory that deserves some attention is the idea that the whole story is actually a beat-up, or at least an exaggeration, and that the story has actually been encouraged and exaggerated by Rodney Hide himself....

Act’s problem – Roger, not Roy

This blog post was originally published at Liberation The case against Heather Roy The Heather Roy conspiracy supposedly climaxed with her speech to Act’s annual conference in Wellington at the end of last month where supposedly the knives were still out for party leader Rodney Hide. The political commentator at the New Zealand Herald, John Armstrong, told readers that Roy had hidden ‘numerous, if subtle, digs at Hide personally’ throughout her speech. To Armstrong, Roy’s statement that ‘Holding an electorate seat and a couple of percentage points of party vote is not good enough’ is evidently not a blindingly obvious...

Conference 2009: coverage guide

Not attending ACT’s conference myself, I’ve spent the last couple of days digesting the reportage on it, which has actually been very good. For an excellent background to the conference, I suggest listening to last Friday’s Focus on Politics programme from Radio New Zealand, which examined the state of ACT. ACT MPs Rodney Hide, Roger Douglas and David Garrett were interviewed for the programme, along with University of Otago Politics lecturer Dr. Bryce Edwards. All of the participants on the programme shared some interesting insights. Hide explained that his low profile since the election was driven by a desire to...

Conference 2009: preview

ACT’s Annual Conference takes place next weekend. I won’t be attending this year, so would appreciate reports from anyone who is. ACT has always held its conference early in the year and in post-election years this gives it a good opportunity to report back to members on the election outcome. In 2009, I imagine the mood will be very much self-congratulatory, perhaps even surpassing the 1997 “Victory Conference” after ACT made it into Parliament for the first time. There is good cause for this: not only were the 5 MPs ACT gained at the 2008 election at the top end...

Did Douglas give the speech?

It has a partisan interest in claiming this, but Labour-aligned blog The Standard says that Sir Roger Douglas didn’t deliver the speech that was put out in his name, because it had been released early by mistake. According to the post, the Herald report on which I also based my own write-up was written only from Douglas’s published remarks and a reporter did not attend the speech. In the scheme of things, the slip-up doesn’t really matter much. But if true, it does reflect somewhat poorly on the Herald as the report should have made this clear, especially since the...

Douglas’s Orewa speech

Having been selected by Don Brash as the “greatest living New Zealander”, Sir Roger Douglas has made his way to the former’s favoured speaker’s corner: the Orewa Rotary Club. He brought with him a “new” tax plan – essentially yet another reworking of the ideas which have circulated since the publication of Unfinished Business in 1993. Reading the report in today’s New Zealand Herald, under the new plan, the first $30,000 of income would be “tax free” in return for paying for one’s own health insurance, retirement and welfare costs. Above the $30,000, a flat tax rate of 15% would...

Ultimus inter pares – part II

Reviews, committees, discussions, aims, aspirations, considerations, concepts, Commissions, working groups, taskforces, briefings, advisory groups… Perhaps you shouldn’t expect too much from an agreement that was patched together in a week. Attention to detail was obviously not a priority for an agreement which thought the formal name for ACT was “The ACT Party” (to be fair, this is listed as an acceptable abbreviation by the Electoral Commission, but the full name is ACT New Zealand). Well, we didn’t get too much. The document reads more like a set of aims for students sitting an NCEA Level 1 exam than the list...

That’s it – for now

Unless there is an earth-shattering piece of news before midnight tonight, that concludes Douglas to Dancing‘s election campaign coverage. Of course I’ll be back after election night to analyse and interpret ACT’s fate. My thanks to everyone who has offered constructive criticism and feedback on my posts. LATEST – FINAL WORD ON THE POLLS: the Roy Morgan poll just out also puts ACT at 4% support of the party vote. ACT should be very disappointed if it gets anything less than 3%. Because newspaper polls today showed National at close to 50%, ACT could well prosper further, as National supporters...

The difference a year makes…

Some highlights from the transcript of my interview with Rodney Hide, August 2007: “I mean my view of Roger Douglas is, he’s a great guy, but he’s always bagged his own team, he’s done that his entire life in politics, and so he’s continued, he bagged ACT and me and Richard from the time we got to Parliament, so there’s nothing new in that.” “So we’ve got to make ourselves relevant and new and also position ourselves better in an MMP environment, as compared with a tactical appendage to National” “I think we have changed ACT totally, no longer a...

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