The kinder part of a comment posted on Rob Good’s Puntiki by former ACT Deputy Board member and current National Party member, Aaron Bhatnagar.
“I am not interested in handing out specific free advice for ACT, other than to note that ACT has always searched for one single silver bullet to fix all its problems and gain that clear breakthrough in the minds of voters. What ACT needed to do years ago were the things that all successful parties do which is:
1) open and transparent internal organisational structures, allowing ambitious and effective members the opportunity to thrive
2) a continual process of signing up new members and renewing the existing membership
3) regular grassroots activity like fundraising, social clubs, cottage meetings, newsletters
4) advocating policies and solutions relevant to your voting base, instead of getting caught up in the hurly burly of daily politics irrelevant to most people
5) an inclusive approach towards your voting base
6) a careful eye on your core constituencies to ensure that they do not become disaffected.
7) a tolerant attitude to factionalism, which is a natural part of internal competitive politicking and not something that should cause a party to shake itself to pieces over.
None of this is rocket science or a big secret. But I suppose its a lot easier to announce a “rock star” individual as a candidate or bring in a PR expert to relaunch your brand instead of doing a lot of little things that need continual attention.”
Aaron is one of ACT’s toughest critics, but my view is that your critics are often more helpful than your “friends”. Aaron has seen both ACT and National from the inside. National is clearly the more succesful party, though ACT has the better policies for the country.
What can we learn from the Nat’s organisation and culture, to get ACT’s policies successfully implemented?