National is in trouble.
Tonight’s TV3 poll put NZ First over 5%, which could make them king maker. No-one knows, least of all John Key, who they’ll pick after the election. But we do know Winston has a case for utu against John Key.
To add to John Key’s woes, Act has saddled itself with serious libertarians over the second choice poodle, John Boscawen , whom the Nats were making it known they preferred after poodle of preference, Rodney Hide, demurred.
Matthew Hooton is ecstatic and touting this as a blessed return of Act to its place as a home for classic libertarians.
But when Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley ran on free market ideology they made little progress. What got Act elected to parliament was Richard Prebble's race- and crime-baiting.
Jamie Whyte’s ideas may have provoked vigorous conversation in the university common room but it's less likely the voters of Epsom will be as enthusiastic about ideas such as legalising all drugs up to and including P.
It turns out that when Don Brash appalled Epsom voters by calling for cannabis to be decriminalized, Act thought the problem was he didn't go far enough.
Mr Whyte says he won’t impose his views on the party. But Act just elected him leader, so the party presumably like his views.
A true libertarian is a warrior against all government regulation, a defender of the individual, a missionary for freedom. So presumably he's not just on about letting people in Epsom use methamphetamine, he also would logically support their right to make it and sell it in Epsom too. What right has the government to tell us what to consume or sell?
A glance at Jamie Whyte’s newpaper columns tells you he is against the minimum wage, labour laws, or government encouraging anyone not to smoke, drink or eat too much. All predictable for a party to the right of National.
But some views will be giving John Key nightmares.
For example, following the logic that individuals know more than the government about what risks they’re prepared to take, Mr Whyte says the British government was wrong to stop flights over Iceland when the volcano erupted. It should have been up to the individual to decide whether or not to fly because only the individual knows how desperate he or she is to get to Iceland.
“Politicians should back off and leave us to make our own decisions...”
Well where does this end? Mr Whyte is against regulating for workplace safety because employees are suppliers of their labour and employers are therefore ‘customers’ buying labour. The ‘customer’ would have to pay higher wages for unsafe conditions and once wages become too high these rational bosses will fix safety issues so they can pay people less.
Back on Earth, the lowest paid jobs tend to be the least safe.
Bear in mind, post-Pike River, this could be National's coalition partner.
He thinks human rights are baloney and goobledegook.
The titles of his articles tell us, “There is no poverty in Britain.” And my favorite: “There is too much social mobility in Britain” (Financial Times 2007).
He opposes gay marriage - he says - not because he is homophobic but because he opposes all marriage legislation because the State should get out of people’s personal choices, and asks in support why ‘left wingers’ never seek to repeal the ban on “consenting adult incest or polygamy.”
Incest and polygamy - got that Voters of Epsom? Will these policies be up for coalition negotiation, Mr Key?
It may all come to nothing. Act is on 0% in the TV3 poll. Surely there must be more incestuous, polygamous P-smokers in Epsom than that?