Quote of the week:
If you’re going in for politics, one of the key attributes to cultivate is patience. Sure voters veer from centre-right to centre-left over sequential electoral cycles. But parties don’t, because they are founded – the enduring ones, anyway – on firm principles.
– Jane Clifton in The Listener (preview here, full column online May 16).
One of the reasons Act is floundering is because the public isn’t sure what it’s principles are or worse suspects the party itself isn’t sure.
There is no doubt about Don Brash’s principles – he’s been quite clear about what he wants and why. He’s genuinely concerned about the state of the nation.
He wants to do something about it and has said if Act won’t have him he’ll start his own party.
It might not be hard for him to find 500 members, a name, constitution and meet the other requirements for registering a political party. But there’s a long way from forming a new party to getting into parliament, especially when a party’s principles are far further to the right than most voters are comfortable veering.
Of course under MMP you don’t need many voters – just enough to win an electorate or 5% of the vote. But it takes more than 500 members and a lot of money to do that, especially for a new party.