Home > The Body Politic > Act proclaims new leader!?

Act proclaims new leader!?

.

ACT Party elects new leader

.

Congratulations ACT Party Board -you’ve just made yourselves un-electable.

Someone who – according to Martyn Bradbury and Audrey Young – wants to de-regulate and remove all safety laws in this country should not be standing in the Epsom seat. He should be standing as a candidate in the West Coast-Tasman Electorate. Then he can explain to West Coasters – especially 29 families – why mining should be made even more dangerous than it is now.

As a side note, ACT’s committment to democracy is best out-lined by the manner in which not only the leader of the Party was determined, but also ACT’s candidate for Epsom. Neither positions were chosen democratically by ballotting ACT Party members.

Instead, the roles were determined solely by ACT’s Board. Party members (if it has any remaining) had no say in the selection process.

I’m guessing that would be the future for New Zealand under an Act government; the country run by an un-elected Board. In common parlance, this is known as an oligarchy.

As for the third, unsuccesful contender, John Boscawen, whilst one can feel a measure of sympathy for him, the manner in which ACT chose Jamie Whyte and David Seymour should come as no surprise. After all, ACT does reflect the more brutish, selfish, side of  politics. Run by a Board, ACT follows the  corporate model.

And the corporate world, with a few exceptions is rather brutish and selfish.

.

*

.

References

ACT NZ: ACT Leadership and Epsom Candidacy

Radio NZ: ACT Party elects new leader

NZ Herald: Jamie Whyte elected Act leader

TV3: ACT choices huge risk for party

Other blogs

The Daily Blog:  So the saviour of ACT is a man who argues for abolition of all labour laws and removal of all health and safety regulations?

The Daily Blog: Meet The New Boss … Does Act’s Jamie Whyte represent change or continuity?

Whoar:..some of the thoughts/beliefs of the new president of the act party..jamie whyte..

The Pundit: John Key’s horrible weekend

The Pundit: ACT tilts at windmills, but don’t forget other minors

.

*

.

National Part 2014 elections

.Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

.

= fs =

Advertisements
  1. 2 February 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Somehow to me, whoever ACT have in charge is irrelevant. They’re now a trivial pimple on the arse of a goose. Their only act of any significance will be drawing a couple of percent of party vote away from the conservative side. And in that they will be doing us a favour. No Epsomite is going to vote for a turd of a party after the debacle that Banks was/is.

  2. Peter Kennedy
    2 February 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Two pots of tea to cut a deal – choke on that one, Mr Key.

  3. Priss
    2 February 2014 at 6:49 pm

    It’s not often I write something like this, but I’ll dance on Act’s grave when it’s consigned to the rubbish bin of history

  4. Allyson Lock
    2 February 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Who???

  5. 3 February 2014 at 6:49 am

    Errrr, Firstly:

    – Whilst the board made the decision, it is unfair to say that the membership had no say. Many members lobbied the board to reach this decision. The drawback of democratically electing a leader is that you end up with someone GREAT at preaching to the choir, but that doesn’t win elections. (As labour is about to find out)

    – You REALLY need to make the distinction between government not providing something, and it not being provided at all (In this case, safety regulations) There is a big difference between to two, and just because someone argues for the former, it does not neccessarily follow that they are arguing for the later.

    • 3 February 2014 at 7:34 am

      Daniel, first of all, thank you for putting ACT’s position on this issue.

      Secondly, are you aware of how this sounds, “the drawback of democratically electing a leader is that you end up with someone GREAT at preaching to the choir, but that doesn’t win elections”?

      “Drawbacks to democracy”?

      Thirdly, I’m not sure what you mean about about needing “to make the distinction between government not providing something, and it not being provided at all” and “just because someone argues for the former, it does not neccessarily follow that they are arguing for the later“. Can you clarify?

      • 3 February 2014 at 2:14 pm

        Before I begin, I wish to thank you for the absence of ad-hominim attacks, or accusations of selfishness that tend to accompany my forays into these forums. Your willingness to discuss the issues is refreshing and welcome.

        Yes, I am exactly aware of how it sounds. I know it is (Generally) a trait of social democrats to look up democracy with the highest of virtue. Whilst it is true that it is better than a vast majority of systems, it pays to bear in mind that democracy has also installed some of our WORST political leaders of the 20th century.

        To quote Benjamin Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner”. Under democracy there are usually winners AND losers. Winners being the majority, and losers being the minority forced to conform. Libertarians like myself believe that because of this, democratic decisions are best left to the decisions that MUST only have one outcome. Many other decisions can be left up to the individual to decide.

        But that really has gone out of context from my original post, my point was that when the membership VOTES on a leader, they tend to elect someone that THEY love. Unfortunately, THEY are not the ones that need to be convinced, it is the public. Leaders overseas that have been appointed purely as a result of public vote tend to perfrom very poorly.

        On your third point…. I would have thought it was fairly self explanatory. Libertarians often argue against government involement in anything.I suppose to the casual observer, this would appear as with we are arguing against the activity itself. This is simply not true, and perhaps a perception issue we need to work on.

        But let’s take the example at hand, safety regulations in the mining sector:
        – The first thing that has to be noted is that EVERYTHING has a cost, in the case of safety regulation, productivity and as a result jobs can be lost. (That cost can of course be weighed against the value of a life, and found to be a worthwhile cost. It does not make the cost any less relevant)
        – The second thing that should be noted, is that in an IDEAL world, the demand for labour would far outstrip the supply (IE, more jobs available, than people to fill them) If (to use the example) a mine was known to be dangerous, workers would refuse to work there, and the mine would either have to shape up or close down. The market would find the ideal balance between cost, and safety without any need for government involvement. (I believe Jamie Whyte was most likely discussing THIS ideal, he is after all, a philosopher)
        – HOWEVER, we do not live in an ideal world, and even the most ardent libertarians are not comfortable with the amount of workplace injuries/deaths that would occour whilst the market is correcting. So this is where we can argue the BEST way to enact safety regulation with the lowest posible cost to productivity (And I can tell you that government regulations are quite possible the worst way to do it, regualations create barriers to entry, which make it harder to start up new ventures, which means existing companies have an upper hand, which leads to that one you guys love “Rich get richer and the poor get poorer”). Personally I would prefer a regulation that allows mines to have their safety independently tested by a third party. That way the competition between the testing companies would keep costs low and waiting times for compliance short, but the incentive to make sure the mines are actually safe (And thus keep their reputation) is there.

        Hell you could even remove the goverment alltogether and just keep it between the unions and the third parties.

        Sorry for rambling a bit, but I hope that clears it up.

        And thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my argument.

        • 3 February 2014 at 4:02 pm

          “Before I begin, I wish to thank you for the absence of ad-hominim attacks, or accusations of selfishness that tend to accompany my forays into these forums. Your willingness to discuss the issues is refreshing and welcome.”

          No problem; you’re a guest and you’ve raised good issues worthy of debate…

          “Whilst it is true that it is better than a vast majority of systems, it pays to bear in mind that democracy has also installed some of our WORST political leaders of the 20th century.”

          What’s that old saying, “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”. Wise man, that Winston Churchill.

          Actually, I believe the worst political leaders were never elected into power; Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler (seized power); Mao; Franco; Pinochet; Idi Amin… all seized power through revolutions; coup d’etats; one party state successions…

          “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner”.

          Sometimes, that’s true. Can’t argue that. But until we find a new method to decide ‘what’s for dinner’, democracy is still the best system we have.

          For one thing, it means that people have to take responsibility for the leadership they elect.

          “But that really has gone out of context from my original post, my point was that when the membership VOTES on a leader, they tend to elect someone that THEY love. Unfortunately, THEY are not the ones that need to be convinced, it is the public.”

          They may be true, but if the Party membership aren’t permitted to vote for their own Party leaders – why should that Party expect the public to vote for them?

          “The second thing that should be noted, is that in an IDEAL world, the demand for labour would far outstrip the supply (IE, more jobs available, than people to fill them) If (to use the example) a mine was known to be dangerous, workers would refuse to work there, and the mine would either have to shape up or close down. The market would find the ideal balance between cost, and safety without any need for government involvement. (I believe Jamie Whyte was most likely discussing THIS ideal, he is after all, a philosopher)
          – HOWEVER, we do not live in an ideal world, and even the most ardent libertarians are not comfortable with the amount of workplace injuries/deaths that would occour whilst the market is correcting. So this is where we can argue the BEST way to enact safety regulation with the lowest posible cost to productivity (And I can tell you that government regulations are quite possible the worst way to do it, regualations create barriers to entry, which make it harder to start up new ventures, which means existing companies have an upper hand, which leads to that one you guys love “Rich get richer and the poor get poorer”). “

          De-regulation was tried from 1992 onwards. Thew new H&S legislation left it up to companies to enact their own policies.

          The result of that was a drive for profits; motivating (or de-motivating) workers to ignore safety rules (eg, disabling or not maintaining methane detectors); and ignoring problems as they arose.

          The result of the State staying out of the mines safety inspectorate was the deaths of 29 men.

          “Personally I would prefer a regulation that allows mines to have their safety independently tested by a third party.”

          I think there is some merit to that. For example, there has been suggestion of employing the Queensland mines safety inspectorate here in NZ. But it has to be enforced by legislation, otherwise there is no compulsion to maintain standards.

          For example, I’m going through the 2012 “Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forestry Operations”, and it has been watered down considerably since 1999. The result has been the deaths of several dozen men due to lax safety procedures; companies not following even those lax rules; and forestry becoming a lethal occupation.

          I won’t even begin to describe how one poor fellow was killed.

          We’ve gone down the de-regulatory route, Danny, and it has failed the people that work at the coal and timber faces.

          Like airplane inspection rules, ignoring or relaxing safety regulations comes at a heavy price.

  6. 3 February 2014 at 9:19 am

    act party are gone.just like boscown and the money.

  7. 3 February 2014 at 6:46 pm

    dannylibertarian – are 29 deaths plus a number of forestry workers not sufficient for you? How many more do you want sacrificed to your god, the Free Market?

  8. 3 February 2014 at 7:00 pm

    ALH84001 :
    dannylibertarian – are 29 deaths plus a number of forestry workers not sufficient for you? How many more do you want sacrificed to your god, the Free Market?

    I’m sorry…. did you skim read what I wrote above? Because the Author of this blog seemed to be able to read it and digest it and actually understand it just fine.

    But let me say it again (Using bullet points)

    – I DO believe that in an ideal world the free market WOULD sort it out.
    – We do NOT live in an ideal world and do NOT have free markets
    – After living under REGULATED markets for so long, de-regulation would cause a market over correct (as correctly observed by the Author) where greed would give way to safety until the market could correct again. (And also give de-regulation a bad name, as has happened)
    – No lives are worth waiting for that market correction.
    – A “middle of the road” option, is to change government regulation to allow third party certification, this will probably actually make these industries safer as third parties have more incentive to do their job properly than government.

    Another point worthy of note (apologies for its inflammatory nature) is that the pike river deaths occurred under government regulation. The fact that the government couldn’t keep up the cost of the inspectors is quite telling. Also the original proposal was for an open cast mine, which was squashed by special interest nature groups (Not arguing the merits of either option, just pointing it out)

  9. 4 February 2014 at 8:07 am

    Daniel, RYCT ALH84010;

    “Another point worthy of note (apologies for its inflammatory nature) is that the pike river deaths occurred under government regulation…”

    Actually – no.

    The mines regulations had been “reformed” and replaced by the Health and Safety in Employment (HSE) Act 1992, enacted by the Bolger-led National government.

    The report into the Pike River Mine disaster had a very appropriate section, which I reproduce,

    “39. Prior to the enactment of the HSE Act, New Zealand had a ‘mishmash of legislation’[5], in which the duties of employers and others tended to be set out prescriptively and in considerable detail. Under this regime, specification standards directed duty holders as to precisely what preventive measures they must take in particular circumstances. Such standards identified inputs, telling duty holders how to meet a goal, rather than health and safety outcomes to be achieved…

    42. In undertaking reform, New Zealand, like the UK and Australia before it, was strongly influenced by the British Robens Report of 1972. This report resulted in widespread legislative change, from the traditional, ‘command and control’ model, imposing detailed obligations on firms enforced by a state inspectorate, to a more ‘self-regulatory’ regime, using less direct means to achieve broad social goals…

    46. New Zealand embraced the Robens philosophy of self-regulation somewhat belatedly, but with particular enthusiasm and in the context of a political environment that was strongly supportive of deregulation. Indeed, in various forms, deregulation (and reducing the regulatory burden on industry more broadly) was strongly endorsed by the Labour Government that came into power in 1984 and by the National Government that succeeded it in 1990. The HSE Act was a product of this deregulatory environment and in its initial version was stripped of some of the key measures recommended by Robens, not least tripartism, worker participation and an independent executive. It was regarded, so we were told, as a ‘necessary evil’ at a time when the predominant public policy goal was to enhance business competitiveness…”

    See: Review of the Department of Labour’s interactions with Pike River Coal Limited
    http://www.dol.govt.nz/news/media/pikeriver/Pike-River-Mine-review/regulatory-role.asp

    Note the highlight bit; “The HSE Act was a product of this deregulatory environment and in its initial version was stripped of some of the key measures recommended by Robens, not least tripartism, worker participation and an independent executive. It was regarded, so we were told, as a ‘necessary evil’ at a time when the predominant public policy goal was to enhance business competitiveness”.

    According to the Dept of Labour/Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, the foremost role of –

    “The HSE Act puts the responsibility first and foremost on employers to take all practicable steps to identify and manage workplace hazards…

    […]

    … Your employer has to identify all the hazards in your place of work – these are things which might cause injury or harm your health. You should be told about all the hazards you might be exposed to at work, or hazards that you might create while at work. “

    MoBIE/DoL: Health and safety
    http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/myfirstjob/employees/starting/safety.asp

    This is the de-regulated work and safety “system” (and I use the term “system” loosely) under which New Zealand currently operates. It is up to employers to identify and ‘minimise’ workplace hazards.

    (Foresty work also operates under this de-regulation.)

    But don’t take anyone’s word for it – if you’re interested feel free to check out the links I’ve provided. You’ll be surprised just how far Health & Safety was de-regulated in this country in 1992, and is now operating under system where firms now have to set their own rules and standards.

  10. Vivien
    7 February 2014 at 3:42 pm

    “Brutish” and “selfish”, sums up the Act Party very well.

    I’ve never yet met anyone who has admitted to voting for that lot.

  1. 2 February 2014 at 10:58 pm
  2. 3 February 2014 at 6:53 am
  3. 11 February 2014 at 7:18 am
  4. 18 February 2014 at 8:02 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: