9 June 2014
Oh for a By-Election!
As the party of fiscal prudence we, of course, think a by-election would be a waste of money. But, theoretically, would
we love a by-election? David Seymour has visited 8000 houses. He is ahead in our canvass results. On Saturday, TV3’s
“The Nation” held an Epsom candidates’ debate. David Seymour won the Epsom candidates’ debate. He scored knockouts on
both the Greens and Labour. David is going to be great in Parliament. He just took over the debate. ACT has a vote
winner. Judge for yourself by going to
Tribute to John
Commentators say that John Banks never fitted ACT. We would say that John’s time as an ACT MP has not been happy for
him, but he has been very loyal to the party. John’s achievements have been remarkable -partnership schools are an
astonishing success. Pupils from deprived backgrounds, who the state schools were failing, are achieving wonderful NCEA
results. Labour and the Greens, and their funders the teacher’s unions, hate partnership schools because they can no
longer impose arcane teaching and employment rules in the new schools. The children attending the new partnership
schools know that they and their families owe a lot to John for their chance to succeed. John can watch with pride as
the partnership school community expands each year. As Minister of Small Business, John worked tirelessly to cut red
tape, the bane of every New Zealand entrepreneur. And even his enemies concede, John was a good constituency MP.
John Banks made the difference
If John Banks had not won Epsom, Phil Goff would have been PM. The Maori Party and Peter Dunne position is that they
will go with whoever has the largest vote. And they’ve done it before. John Banks winning Epsom gave John Key the
numbers to govern. What even experienced commentators fail to realise, is that ACT winning Epsom, even without winning a
Party seat, gave the centre right an extra seat in Parliament. If National had won Epsom, National would have lost a Party seat, a net loss to the centre right of one seat and Phil Goff would have been PM. That is why the Left and its
fellow travellers in the media attack John Banks. He won the election for John Key. This is why they will now attack
We still think he is not guilty
The John Banks we know would never knowingly fill in a false declaration. One question the case does not answer is what
possible motive does a defeated mayoral candidate have to make a false declaration?
The Letter ran into Hone Harawira at the Airport on Sunday. “Banks is a crook” declared Hone. “Rubbish”, we replied. “You know Hone that most MPs’ campaign declarations would have failed the John Banks test.” “Yeah,” conceded Hone, “I’ve just learned that I got my declaration wrong”. The court case is going to make it very difficult for MPs to know how to fill out their declarations. How do you deal
with anonymous donations?
It is the professionalisation of politics
When The Letter first stood as a candidate for local government candidates did not have to make any declaration. Mind
you, we ran an amateur campaign and spent almost nothing. As a local representative we received just meeting expenses.
We were citizen politicians. We all had full time jobs outside of council. Now local body politicians work full time.
Professional politicians lead to very expensive campaigns, which in turn leads to complicated campaign funding laws.
It is also designed to scare you
The Left has convinced itself that the Right has an unfair funding advantage in elections. (Not true; the biggest
spender in most elections is the Teachers Union. Mr. Dotcom’s $3 million donation to the Internet-Mana Party is the
biggest political donation in history). The Left have promoted campaign funding rules and laid complaints against donors
(Trevor Mallard laid the Police complainant in the Banks case), so it scares you into not making a party donation. If
you are not going to be intimidated from exercising your right in a democracy to support the values you believe in, go
One favour deserves another
As Hone was upfront and admitted he got his declaration wrong The Letter is going to give some free legal advice. There
is no legal way of laundering stolen money. If someone steals from your property, and if you can trace the property,
then you can recover it - even from innocent third parties. The Hollywood studios are claiming Mr. Dotcom stole hundreds
of millions of dollars from them. They have already started court proceedings in New Zealand to recover their losses. If
the Hollywood studios win, they will demand the Internet-Mana Parties return the three million dollars Mr. Dotcom has
donated. Saying you have spent it is no defense. Political parties are not limited liability companies, so those
responsible for the decisions, Hone, Laila and the executive, are all personally liable for the full three million
dollars. Contractors and suppliers could also be joined.
What electoral effect?
ACT actually went up in the Roy Morgan poll taken during the trial but before the verdict. Labour and the Greens took a
huge hit. Labour and Greens have made a strategic mistake to spend a huge amount of parliamentary time on “scandals”.
Who cares if Judith Collins accepted a ride in a government car in China? In contrast, when ACT talks about the need for
low taxes to promote growth and jobs, 3 strikes to stamp down on the 120,000 burglaries a year, ACT is talking about
real issues. Jamie Whyte has also received a lot of coverage. While the commentators do not know what to make of his
“philosopher”, “non- politician” style, ACT’s polling shows Jamie is going over very well. Voters see him as a thinking,
ACT issuing Employment policy
Jamie Whyte has today issued ACT’s employment policy. The Employment Relations Act is killing jobs and growth. ACT will
1) Extend work trials to 12 months, 2) End the nonsense of managers filing a personal grievance 3), abolish
reinstatement as a remedy, and 4) Repeal Part 6 of the Act, which currently forces successful tenderers to hire the
unsuccessful contractor's employees. All the details are on http://www.act.org.nz/files/EmploymentPolicy.pdf