Anon asked some questions on the thread on this post.
The blog this links to says Rodney is a libertarian.
I thought he was a traditional Liberal, as ACT says.
What the hell do Libertarians believe in. Are they just another Utopian mob like communists, fascists, and social crediters?
Is ACT a libertarian party? If not, how does it differ?
ACT is a classic liberal party-ie it believes that society and individuals are best placed to improve their own lives and that the state should not be telling us what to do.
I consider myself a libertarian, which I view as pure and urgent form of classic liberalism.
I believe the state should be limited to providing defence and justice and that we should move to this ideal situation ASAP.
Classic liberals lean towards similar views, but most tend to be a little more patient and pragmatic in their approach.
Some classic liberals would also not support every libertarian position. Some might support free trade and lower taxes, but balk at legalised prostitution and drugs for instance.
ACT, while a small party is still a broad church.
While many ACT people are libertarians-especially in ACT on Campus, not all are.
Every ACT member I’ve ever met believes in lower taxes, educational choice, reducing the size of government, respect for private property, sound defence policies and free enterprise.
Those things are also common to many conservatives, so ACT attracts some conservatives who think National is too wishy-washy.
ACT stands against privilige and authoritarianism. We believe in meritocracy and that the state house kid from Porirua has as much right to a great future as the son of a Hawkes Bay sheep farmer or the daughter of a multi-millionaire currency trader.
For that reason we attract social democrats who understand that Labour socialism drags us all down while free enterprise raises us all up.
Many ACT members are socially liberal, so we attract people who believe that sexuality is no business of government, or that what you put in your body is no-ones business but your own.
However some ACT members are more socially conservative and are unhappy with a libertarian approach to drugs, prostitution etc.
Overall ACT is united around key issues, but there is huge diversity of views around the edges.
Thankfully ACT is a very tolerant party where young, atheist, near anarchist libertarians find common cause with Bible believing Christians, ex-Labour social liberals and ex-Nat “salt of the earth” farmers.
There is only one true libertarian party in New Zealand-the Libertarianz. They are very consistent in their libertarianism, but struggle to make electoral headway.
A few ACT members are also Libertarianz members. A few are also in the Nats. Some may even be in Labour or the Greens. I know that some certainly support the Maori Party.
ACT incorporates many libertarian ideas, but is more pragmatic and willing to do deals with those we may not always agree with in order to improve this country.
To be fair, we struggle electorally as well, but always manage to get some MPs into parliament and are very optimistic about the coming election.
So ACT is not a libertarian party. It is a classic liberal party that unites libertarians, social democrats and principled conservatives around some key, pro-freedom policy platforms.
I do not presume to speak for our two MPs, Heather Roy and Rodney Hide, but in my experience both are consistently socially and economically liberal.
They are both highly principled individuals and smart politicians who know how to use ACT’s small size to maximum advantage.
I hope to see Heather and Rodney in cabinet in the near future so that they can show New Zealanders how freedom actually works.
That’s my view.
No doubt other ACT members will have a different take.