Friday, 22 August 2008

ACT: The Party of Unionists?

The top 10 on the ACT Party List for the 2008 election goes as follows:

1) Rodney Hide
2) Heather Roy
3) Roger Douglas
4) John Boscawen
5) Undecided
6) Hilary Calvert
7) Peter Tashcoff
8) John Ormond
9) Colin du Plessis
10) Shawn Tan

Recognize #10? Probably not. (In fact, you should be congratulated if you recognize anyone from the entire second half of that list.) However, if you're in the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union, you'll definitely know him: he's Shawn Tan, and he's made big news in the Union recently.

As well as working for, as the ACT website says, three different Unions, he's also been involved in organizations such as the "Students for Justice in Palestine", a group that is, officially, "organized on democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination for the Palestinian people, with goals that include "the full decolonisation of all illegally held Palestinian lands, the end of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; the implementation of the right of return and repatriation of all Palestinian refugees to their original homes and properties, as well as an end to the apartheid system of discrimination against the Palestinian population". In other words, another anti-Israel group that is, because of its support of Israel, anti-United States.

Don't forget that he's also just come over from the Green Party.

So, what about the other candidates on that list? Obviously, Rodney Hide and Heather Roy are at the top. Then, there's Roger Douglas and John Boscawen -not bad choices. As for numbers 6-9: well, there's a guy who's written a Maori novel. Another candidate's biggest political challenge is opposing the Trans-Tasman Therapeutics Bill. There isn't a lot to say about the others.

Also, consider who you don't see on the list. The people you see above you have replaced outstanding candidates such as Lindsay Mitchell, who is one of New Zealand's leading crusaders against Nanny State. Which is a damn shame -if ACT does get into Parliament, it would be nice to see her there.

Some debate has also been occuring over the EPMU's course of action regarding it's new ACT Candidate; Whaleoil calls it "disgusting". However, I beg to differ; the Union, as a private entity, has the right to hire and fire whoever it wants -which is part of Libertarianism. However, it is very hypocritical that a Union should be doing so -considering that Unions originally pushed for the banning of such practices.

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