Monday, February 06, 2006

Neither Left nor Right

This is from the Adam Smith Institute; a further description of American's right-left dilemma.

"Along with Gallup, exit polls suggest that .... there are large numbers of unrepresented Americans who just hate government pushing them around. About 17m of those who voted for John Kerry did not think the government should do more to solve the country's problems. And 28m Bush voters support either gay marriage or civil unions. That's 45m people with broadly libertarian views. But, says Boaz, you'd never know it from watching TV, or listening to elected politicians."

There are New Zealanders who voted Labour but didn't want more economic intervention and redistribution by the government and people who voted National but are supportive of Maori property rights and civil unions. ACT should be their alternative. But being small rules us out in many minds. So they vote for the lesser of two evils.

ACT has to effectively show people that when they vote Labour they get what they don't want and ditto with National. Voters are more motivated by what they don't want than what they do. (The strong upsurge in National's polling was a vote against Helen Clark and Labour.)

It's a big ask but it can't be avoided. That's why it is vital ACT declares itself economically and socially liberal and then conducts itself accordingly. Some people will leave but others will join. The gamble is that the second group will be much bigger. The time is ripe for taking that risk.


Anonymous said...

Well said Lindsay. I belive figures show that the fundy, hardcore religious vote is very small in NZ so going that way is a no no if ACT is to gain at the polls.Trumperting the Socially Liberal side of ACT and looking like it to is a far better road to take even from just a purely pragmatic standpoint. Biting into Labours socially liberal vote is the way to go as opposed to just targeting Nationals economic Liberals, who are nore likely to come over anyway as National backslides in its usual unfortunate fashion.

Oswald Bastable said...

Liberalism with realism.

or is that too hard for NZ'rs...