Why are ACT so bloody boorish?

The Herald headline said it all: “Abuse hurled as Epsom candidates toe party line.” Thursday night’s Epsom candidates’ debate in a nutshell.

With three long-serving MPs and one staunch wannabe (Rodney Hide, Richard Worth, Keith Locke and Kate Sutton), the debate promised a great deal. Edifying, though, it was not.

For a start, it was televised. As well as “[giving] the candidates … a chance to tell viewers why they have the best policies for their constituents”, TVNZ 7’s Swing Seat shows also promise to “take viewers through the electorate, introduce the candidates and review their prospects.” What we got were silly little tours of the constiuency by the candidates, shallow questions and an emphasis on entertainment.

Second, it was hard to hear what the candidates were saying most of the time, especially if you were sitting next to the ACT mob. These people were determined to (1) drown out their opponents — great defenders of free speech that they are — and (2) display their ignorance. They mostly succeeded, especially the ACT candidate sitting behind me. Sorry, Athol, but you’re still ranked too high at #45 on the party list.

Just why are ACT activists so damned boorish? All they do is convince everyone that they’re thorough-going arseholes.

Anyway, from what I could hear, Hide and Locke made the best of it, with Sutton and even Worth holding up well. A couple of women who I spoke with — National and Green — both thought highly of Sutton. Hide had a slick, clever line for every situation — he may be a clown, but he’s a clever one — and Locke tackled every issue with well marshalled arguments and facts. You can watch (here for links to on-demand) and decide for yourself.

Best question went to the woman who asked (courtesy Herald): “… what policies your parties would have for single mothers like me paying crazy rents so the kids can go to school, the immigrant family squashed in the flat across the road and the elderly people who can barely pay their rates.”

When asked for comment after the answers she said, “I’d like to thank Aunty Helen for Working for Families.”

Not that any of this will make much difference to our votes in Epsom. Everybody I know here, including me, is voting for Worth (holding our noses). Sorry Kate and Keith. But we don’t expect to prevail over the Nats, who will all be voting for Hide, of course (and no doubt holding their noses).


3 Responses to “Why are ACT so bloody boorish?”

  1. just visiting Says:

    There’s a remarkable story here, and nobody seems to have latched on.

    Who is the leader of the National Party (and Epsom resident) going to vote for? Is it true (as Rodney Hide claims) that John Key will not vote for the National candidate? Has this ever happened before?

    And why aren’t the media asking him?

  2. Chris S Says:


    John Key is a Helensville resident… That’s why he’s running for the Helensville electorate seat!

  3. just visiting Says:

    Sounds like you’ve unearthed an even bigger scandal, Chris. Is Key enrolled twice? Is that guy I’ve seen in Parnell a double? Or does Key not live with his family? Hmmm.

    No, the answer is simple: Chris is wrong. John Key is on the Epsom electoral roll. Look it up.

    So again: John Key says “Two ticks National”. But does he mean it?

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