ACT describes itself as a FREE MARKET POLITICAL PARTY. Why then would it want to make euthanasia the focus of its political campaigning?
(This is not a discussion on the merits or otherwise of euthanasia. Its about ACT’s political mission)
The letters ACT stand for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley, a group that became a political party in 1994. Douglas and Quigley intended the Association to serve as a pressure-group promoting the Douglas economic policies. Its message was economic change. In 1996, with Richard Prebble winning Wellington and with 6.1% of the vote they had seven list MPs. They charted upwards, with 7.14% in 2002 with 7.14% of the vote and nine list MPs.
Then Rodney Hide became leader. In 2005 they received 1.51% of the party vote and finished with one electorate MP and 1 list MP. From there, and apart from a bit of a blip in 2008, its been pretty much down hill all the way.
Roger Douglas resigned in 2004 but remained a strong supporter of the ACT party, although he became somewhat unhappy with the party’s alleged lack of focus on pure economic policy.
I agree entirely with Roger Douglas. ACT’s downfall has been its focus on liberal/ progressive ideas at the expense of its original founding authoritative economic principles. I think making euthanasia its major selling point would only compound this mistake.
ACT needs to get back to its founding principles and concentrate on economic policies. Of course this makes it difficult for a coalition with the National Party that is now the Labour party, as ACT would need to become much more vocal in its opposition to National’s hard socialist direction.
I reckon there are far more votes in this course of action than going down the euthanasia road. With the party already on the verge of death, I wonder if this isn’t some kind of joke that Mr. Farrar and his National Party colleagues have thought up.