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Heather du Plessis-Allan: Act's relaunch is desperate and won't mean anything

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan ,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Monday, 17 June 2019, 4:13PM

Doesn’t Act have the whiff of desperation about it?

I had high hopes for the party’s relaunch yesterday. They had been talking about changing the party name to the Liberals, but in the end all we got was the same old ACT with the same old leader and a bit of pink in the logo.

It’s still Act - pink’s not going to save the party.

It’s such a non-event former party leader Richard Prebble didn’t even bother going in to the conference for his speech, he just did a video link.

They launched a couple of new policy directions; they are going to go hard on defending free speech, going to go hard on gun rights. Yeah, good luck with those.

Firstly, the gun thing is done. It’s a done - like it or not, the legislation is passed, and it had support from everyone in parliament except Act, so even if Act says it’s going to repeal it or change it’s not going to because no one else is going to support it.

Secondly, the free speech thing. Yeah, fair enough there are concerns about free speech but no one I can see apart from Act is calling for the crazy thing David Seymour has just suggested. And that is to actually unwind what few protections we have in law to stop people abusing or threatening others over their race. 

This all feels very desperate. It’s a desperate attempt to try something, anything, that Act hasn’t tried before and which might mobilise just enough voters to get themselves a second MP.

And that second MP is crucial, because right now, Act is useless to national. National may as well cut them loose in Epsom, but if there’s a second MP, maybe National has a reason to throw Act that Epsom seat again.

So here’s the question: do gun owners care enough to vote on the gun laws? Do free speech advocates care enough to vote on the free speech subject?

And if they do, do they care enough about it to then cast a vote for Act, which has no power to do any of the things its promised, and just looks increasingly desperate? 

ON AIR: The Weekend Collective

3PM - 6PM