Saturday, January 25, 2014

ACT and cannabis

According to the NZ Herald today:

Mr Boscawen said he strongly believed the leader should also stand in Epsom.
"I believe we should pick our best and most experienced person as the leader and offer that person to the people of Epsom."
"I believe if split that role we send mixed signals that the person we think is good enough to be the leader, is not good enough to be the Epsom candidate."
The last election showed that there was also a risk of conflict.
"We had Don Brash come out and promote the liberalisation of marijuana and while that may have had the support of five per cent of the population, John Banks knew that was fatal for his campaign and strongly opposed it."
The public then witness a conflict between the leader and the Epsom candidate.
Cannabis decriminalisation should be a peripheral issue for ACT. Nevertheless denying a position is untenable. It looks dodgy. It's permissible to state that members of a party are divided and until the actual legislation came up, the way the party will vote is unknown. Or that it would be a conscience vote and MPs would vote accordingly. It shouldn't have created the problem that it did back in 2011.

But really. Claiming only 5 percent of the population supports liberalisation? This tells me John Boscawen is also anti. Why not just say so? I think ACT would reap more kudos for admitting they are divided on the issue BUT jointly and strongly committed to individual responsibility, low tax, and small government.

TV3′s Campbell Live Mon, 26 Sep 2011, asked viewers “Should cannabis be decriminalised?” and 72% replied yes by text or email.

A new poll has found that almost two-thirds of New Zealanders are against legalising cannabis....another poll by UMR Research [2012] which asked a different question found last month that only 35 per cent of New Zealanders wanted cannabis to stay illegal, 17 per cent wanted it fully legalised and 46 per cent wanted it "decriminalised".


Mark Hubbard said...

Thanks for this post Lindsay. I now understand that ACT under Boscawen would have no claim to classical liberalism (still).

Dreadful sell out of a party.

And I understand there is to be no Libetarianz standing 2014? I won't be voting if that is the case.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

I agree that cannabis decriminalisation should be a peripheral issue for ACT, and that the public has a right to know the views of individual candidates on the subject.

It seems that if the USA is any guide, the general consensus is moving in favour of legalisation, although that's not my personal preference.

I am very sympathetic to Mark's desire to stand on principal and not vote. The thought has crossed my own mind on several occasions. However the prospect of a Labour / Green Government usually forces me to hold my nose and vote for the least worst option.

It's a tragedy that it has come to this.

Anonymous said...

I won't be voting if that is the case.

There's always Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis…

A new poll has found that almost two-thirds of New Zealanders are against legalising cannabis.

not really: read the article, it's pretty clear that's a crap poll..

Anonymous said...

I won't be voting if that is the case.

Not voting is a vote for communists: Cunliffe, Turei, Harawira & co.

The 70% of Kiwis who depend on you to pay for everything for them (food, lodging, education, healthcare) will all damn well make sure they vote.

For nett taxpayer, a creator such as yourself, to choose not to vote, is equivalent to marching into the VolksPalast on Marx-Engels-Platz singing "Wacht auf, Verdammte dieser Erde".

Or do you like paying a higher marginal tax rate than in the GDR?

Richard said...

Legalisation is not your personal preference, Brendan? That's fine, just don't inflict your personal preferences on me, please. (If you had your way, I'd be in jail.)

Cannabis legalisation should be a no-brainer for ACT.