Will it be cACTus Kate?

June 25, 2011

Roarprawn said it first – Hong Kong based lawyer Cathy Odgers was going to become an  Act candidate.

Audrey Young takes up the story today:

Cathy Odgers, the author of the acerbic website Cactus Kate, is expected to be approved today as an Act candidate – one of the reasons sitting MP Heather Roy is likely to today announce she will stand down at this year’s election.

I know Cathy only though her blog and a few blogging related emails but she has one very good characteristic for an aspiring MP – loyalty to her party and its leader:

. . . politics must be about loyalty to the Party and that means publicly to its Leader while that person is still the Leader. If you are going to stab them then let it be in the front and behind closed doors in an appropriate party forum. And let it stay in that room.

Act has a reputation for disunity and as the party for old(er) men. Cathy’s candidacy will make a difference.

I wonder if her candidacy might also increase the chances of Rodney Hide staying on as a candidate for Act?


Roarprawn says Roy was dumped and Keeping Stock asks is Cactus Act’s prickly solution?

Compulsory voluntarism ?

May 5, 2011

Labour wants to talk to Act MP Heather Roy about her  bill which will make membership of student unions voluntary.

Chief Whip Rick Barker told Morning Report that Labour is willing to debate the bill, but it has some concerns about its context.

He said the problem is that it makes voluntarism – compulsory.

Compulsory voluntarism?

The logic of this defeats me. If you can explain what sounds like an oxymoron to me, please do.

What’s the point of changing ministers now?

May 3, 2011

A new leader wants to put his stamp on his party as soon as possible. But what’s the point of changing ministers when it’s little more than six months to the election?

The new ACT leader, Don Brash, who is not an MP, will meet the Prime Minister on Tuesday to discuss whether or not the former leader Rodney Hide and the deputy leader, John Boscawen, should retain their ministerial positions.

Mr Key says ministers serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister but that he will be listening to the opinions of Dr Brash as ACT party leader.

Mr Key says he could support Mr Hide, Mr Boscawen, or the former deputy, Heather Roy, as ministers.

Are Hide and Boscawen performing as well as they should as ministers? Would Roy be any better?

Unless the answer to both those questions is no the decision by Brash to seek to strip his predecessor, Hide, and/or the party’s deputy Boscawen, of their portfolios and replace one or both with Roy this late in the electoral cycle looks petty and vindictive.

However, if Brash’s intention is to leave Act with no ministers, that’s a sign he wants to be able to clearly differentiate Act from the government to show voters clearly what it stands for.

Act no place for women?

August 19, 2010

The Green’s policy of co-leaders, one male and one female, and ranking its list to alternate men and women has always seemed unnecessaily contrived to me.

In the 21st centruy choosing people for their skills, abilities and what they can contribute to their party, parliament and the country should come up with a mix of men, women, ethnicities and whatever else was needed to ensure the list was representative and diverse as well as capable.

That theory has been tested by Act which has only one woman in parliament. When the party has such a small caucus, that could be explained as chance, but having no women at all would look like not just bad luck but bad management.

Now that Heather Roy has lost the party’s deputy leadership it’s unlikely that, if she decided to stand again, she’d get a winnable place on Act’s list next time. That leaves Act with the possibility of having no women in its caucus at all.

On present polling the party is unlikely to have more MPs after the next election and it may well have fewer.

If one of those MPs isn’t a woman the party should be looking at its structure, operation and policies. A party which either doesn’t have capable women willing to stand, or has them willing but not represented in the higher positions on its list has a problem.

Alternating men and women on the list looks like artificial equality, having no women in winnable places  at all would look like actual inequality.

UPDATE: Toad has pointed out I was wrong about the Greens – they can be flexible with the gender balance in list rankings.

Wang’s wrong about Wong

September 29, 2008

Act candidate Kenneth Wang has put up billboards like this in Botany:

Act candidate Kenneth Wang and his billboard, which he says offers a 'two for the price of one' deal for the Botany electorate. Photo / Richard Robinson


Act should be upset with him because it’s the party vote which counts and he’s telling people to vote National with their party vote.

And National’s candidate Pansy Wong is upset with him because she thinks the billboard breaches the EFA and because:

Neither does Mrs Wong think her electorate wants “more Chinese MPs” to represent them.

“Botany is a multi-ethnic electorate and residents will vote on the strength and commitments of the candidates beyond our skin colours.”

The billboard is telling people to not vote for Pansy in the electorate so it won’t have to be counted in her candidate’s budget, but if it’s suggesting people vote National with their party vote it ought to have National authorisation and would have to count in the party’s overall budget.

Apart from that, I’ve never understood why Act stands in electorates which it probably won’t win but might split the vote and allow the Labour candidate through the middle.  It’s doing the same thing in Wellington Central where Heather Roy may split the vote with Stephen Franks and make it easier for Labour to take the seat.

 Hat Tip: No Minister

%d bloggers like this: