Why ACT is polling so badly
Rodney Hide, commenting on Kiwiblog, summarises political options as follows:
Labour and National = short-sighted Labour policies + Winston Peters; ACT = far-sighted plan to bring our kids home + Sir Roger Douglas.
National and ACT have two things in common: Not many know what their policies are, and they are chasing the same vote -ACT more so. But Labour and ACT also have a point in common: Most are not listening to them, and those who are are either rejecting them or blindly following them. Given the injection of Roger Douglas, who can blame people for ignoring or rejecting ACT?
Douglas has been sacked twice while either a Minister or spokesperson. The last time Douglas entered cabinet, the Prime Minister immediately resigned and Labour lost the subsequent election. If Douglas is either number one or two on the party list, a Hide success could bring him into Parliament. An unexpected lift in the ACT party vote will take more votes off National.
If ACT is so great, why has the party not polled more than 2.5% since February 2006? Perhaps it is because ACT supporters are beltway supporters, party members, students or bloggers, nearly all who know each other. Many are either single, rich or childless - some all three. Perhaps ACT is polling badly because it is because Rodney Hide is expected to win Epsom and a vote for ACT is not going to change the Government. Interestingly, in the latest Political Science journal, there's a piece on ACT - a study of a small party that fails.
ACT party campaigner John Ansell queried whether ACT is the only party in the centre -right. There are only two parties on the centre right - UnitedFuture, and National. If you want to change the government, vote National, if you want to dilute it, vote ACT to enable it to be a support partner - with Roger Douglas outside of cabinet. But there are not enough of you to vote ACT in such a way as to make any real difference.
Labels: ACT; Roger Douglas