Sunday, February 28, 2016

ACT Conference

I was at the ACT conference yesterday to speak about welfare, but also heard  most of the other addresses. Some  highlights:

1/When Ruth Money - an independent advocate for victims, particularly of sexual assault - took questions, two were from young members (male and female)  who wanted to know whether she had concerns about 'victims' who were those falsely accused of crimes but acquitted. Should there be compensation for instance? This warmed my heart. It's very encouraging to hear the evidence of young minds appreciating the importance of justice at a more nuanced level, especially in ACT. It would be very bad form for a fellow speaker to ask a question when the time was limited but the one in my mind was similar. Does she have any concerns about the increasing numbers of people imprisoned without trial?

2/ Hearing Dame Lesley Max questioning  bureaucrats  prioritizing the non-stigmatization of children over the identification of the most at-risk groups. From memory she called it immoral

3/ Retirement funding specialist Michael Littlewood saying whatever policy decisions we make today will not effect what taxpayers choose to pay to support retired people at any time in the future. In 2066, or 2046 or 2086. Think about it.

4/ Seeing a couple of ex Libertarian buddies in attendance, and Don Brash still taking an interest. Just sorry I  couldn't find the time to say hello to many familiar faces.

5/ Not seeing John Banks there (nothing personal. I just never thought he promoted the ACT values I identify with).

6/ David Seymour's refreshing  resemblance to a real person and not a real politician. There was widespread popularity for his decision not to accept a ministerial role.

Whatever the media reports it was a very positive, good-humoured and forward-looking conference.


david said...

I read the address on the ACT web site. Great to see Act promoting time-of-day charging for roads. I think what he says on the environment is sound but I think it will be a hard sell.

Chris Milne said...

Good to read your comments. Must catch up!

Anonymous said...

whatever policy decisions we make today will not effect what taxpayers choose to pay to support retired people at any time in the future. In 2066...

the numbers are quite simple - there won't be any taxpayer-funded super in by 2036, perhaps even 2026 - let alone 2066!

people who choose not to save for their retirement are as much bludgers as any other bludger

Anonymous said...

As for Seynour's speech - pathetic.

[Key] still hasn’t done anything that a Labour cabinet couldn’t have signed off

well yep. OK, actually, nope: saving the smelter, the Saudi Sheep Farm, Orivida - no Labour government since the 1980s would have done any of those. Basically Key is worse, more left, than Labour.

cutting the business tax rate to match the Maori Authority rate of 17.5 per cent

Oh please! Half the EU and even Canada have lower tax rates than that. ACT can have only one serious aim for corporate taxes: ZERO. Seymour rants on about how Greens don't understand economics, but in advocating a non-zero corporate tax rate he shows he's just as ignorant. No rational economist supports corporate taxes these days.

And then there is income tax - again ACT's long-term policy must be zero, or at least a flat dollar amount poll tax. But do we even get a quite achievable 1% tax cut for every 1% in the polls? Nope. Nada.

Rather we get more ranting about the environment. Why is ACT talking about the environment? Who on earth would vote for ACT to "help the environment"? Environmentalism is just another name for marxism. Environmental regulations are nothing but incursions on property rights! ACTs environment policy should be just four words: privatise and property rights.

RMA "reform" -- no, we need RMA repeal. Charter schools - no we need all schools privatised. "Pharmac does a good job" -- no, Pharmac should be abolished. Higher age of super? no, super abolished. And no, new drugs don't cure "terminal" conditions - nothing does.

Ultimately, after only two years, David Seymour doesn't even sound like a politician:

We just can’t afford it, and that’s why we can’t afford fiddling, poor quality policy, we need a relentless effort to improve our policy settings and increase productivity

he sounds like a Wellington bureaucrat. ACT's policy always used to be We need to get the government OUT of the economy then the "policy settings" don't matter. And the point is not to "increase productivity" but to support property rights of consumers and taxpayers! Especially the 10% of nett taxpayers who pay for everything for everyone else.

but with policies like this - why vote ACT? why even bother to VOTE.

At least "1% for 1%" gives a solid, clear, simple reason to VOTE ACT.

JC said...

Good to see the concerns over false rape allegations and lack of compensation if proven false (or any real punishment for the accuser).

If the US is any guide this issue will become more important over the next few years.


Anonymous said...

ACT will have to have credible candidates to bolster their voting profile. Seymour is fine, but who will be second and third on the list? 2014 wasn't without problems in that department.

Anonymous said...

Anon - anyone would do: Lindsay Mitchell, Redbatiter; croaking Cassandra; just look at Lindsay's blog roll.

But for f@@ks sake, keys not send around any more stupid spreadsheets or the daft environment policy or whatever. Euthanasia; charter schools; and above all 1% for 1% tax cuts!.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 11:28pm

No, not just anyone. Lindsay Mitchell, for sure. But others need to appeal to voters who might not otherwise change their Party vote to ACT.