"...ACT is a classical liberal party. Liberals believe that it is the citizen who has the rights and obligations, not the collective....there is a public perception that ACT is sort of a more right-wing version of National; that National and ACT are in coalition, that we share a common approach. Not so, ACT has never been in coalition with National. ACT declined to join the Shipley National Government because we had significant differences with National's big spending, high-tax programme and failure to promote freedom...[in government] National voted against important bills ACT introduced...ACT's bills were opposing privilege and limiting the power of the state. National was preserving the status quo and avoiding alienating privileged groups, or was just rolled by officials against whom, having no basic principles, National's ministers are helpless to argue against....But public confusion about ACT and National is understandable. Both National and ACT oppose Labour's radical collectivist programme. ACT and National fought the re-nationalisation of ACC, the empowering of unions by the Employment Relations Act, the envy rate that the new rate of income tax represents....so voters and commentators assume ACT and National are similar parties. Not so. ACT is as I explained a classic liberal party. National is a conservative party. National so far as it has a programme supports the status quo, things as they are, and opposes change. So in opposition we find ourselves together resisting Labours proposals for change. ACT because they are bad policy, but National just because they are proposals for change...It was Hayek in his famous article 'Why I am not a Conservative'who pointed out the inadequacy of the conservative approach. Conservatism 'by its very nature, cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving'. ...There is a lot of criticism of Bill English and the current National MPs for failing to stand for anything. A great deal of criticism is unfair. When has the National Party ever stood for an alternative programme? National's record is to oppose whatever Labour proposes and then move leftward to adopt Labour's programme. National governments have got elected by promising to manage better whatever Labour has put in place...the history of the National Party is that it is just as willing to use the coercive powers of the state to impose its views on fellow citizens as any Labour government...the National party does not object to Labour's use of government power but that it is Helen Clark doing it...the liberal says there are clear limits to government power. We do not believe the state should do for citizens what citizens can and should do for themselves...while we in ACT oppose Labour's social engineering we do not agree with the social conservatives in Parliament who also want to impose their view on society...the liberal does not fear new ideas. We liberals have great faith in the power of ideas..."
Well he said it better than I could. Who was he?
May 22 in history
5 minutes ago