The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

does my party look big in this?

DPF has posted his thoughts on the leaked memo from Act President Catherine Judd, but what I find interesting is what he left out of his summary; mention of Judd's views on Brash's leadership:

"Don Brash looks unlikely to last long and it is assumed that National will move to the left, creating a Bolger-type National Party, led by a Birch-like John Key."
Generally, suggestions that Brash's days are numbered are ridiculed by commenters on Kiwiblog, and of course Judd may be guilty of wishful thinking - if Brash is no longer leader and National vacates Act's part of the spectrum so much the better for her party.

The part of the memo that surprised me was Judd's analysis of Act's relationship with the Maori Party:

"Relations with the Maori Party are positive and friendly. We should be alongside them but opposed to the Maori seats."
Maybe the Maori Party MPs are just being nice to everyone, as the new kids on the block? I hope they understand that Act are not their friends (actually, there are no friends, it's politics). Judd's statement reminds me of how the Right at AUSA would draw off susceptible centre-lefties.

And how does all this talk of making Act "look bigger" gel with Coddington's comment in her recent Herald on Sunday column that "size does matter"?

Related link:
Audrey Young on the memo - Act trying to look bigger than two MPs


death knell said...

spanblather, Hide and Turia are very good friends.

Icehawk said...

The ACT-Maori Party relationship isn't quite as nutty as it sounds. Because on a few select issues ACT agrees very strongly with the Maori Party.

In particular, ACT agrees with the Maori Party when no-one else does, over court-generated Treaty Settlements giving (returning) vast amounts of (allegedly) public land to Maori.

There's three element to this.

One is that libertarian "common law rocks, a contract is a contract, the courts should have all the power, why do we have a legislative branch anyway it's a waste of space" thing.

Two is a strong dash of "govt is evil and nothing should be held in common by the public". Of course ACT supports privatising the nation's beaches.

One and Two mean that ACT thinks that if the courts say the Maori iwi signed a contract (treaty) which gave them the foreshore, then the Maori iwi own the foreshore. End of story.

Third is the "get those petty beaurocrats out of my face" thing.

While preaching "one law for all" ACT very much does not preach "one school system for all". So ACT thinks that if a Maori community wants to run their own school, then MinEd and NZQA have no place arguing that the school doesn't reach certain standards.

Of course, ACT also thinks that we should vastly lower the dole, get rid of the minimum wage, make tertiary eduction very expensive, make that local school rely on local parents for funds, etc, etc. Which would heavily put the boot into those in the lower economic decile - and that hits Maori disproportionately hard.

My view is that it's an interesting political twist that ACT ends up supporting measures that would accrue great wads of dosh to the certain Maori iwi (in treaty settlements), and balance that with severe damage to poor rural Maori. Those ACT would utterly screw over are the poor urban Maori with limited connections back to the iwi.

So I think that there's an interesting balance there.
I think where the Maori Party sits vis-a-vis the divide between the iwi and the urban maori will connect to how relations go between the Maori Party and ACT.