We've had requests from several readers to give the survey response made by Peter Tashkoff, Act's candidate for Te Tai Tokerau and number 7 on the Act party list, its own post.
Tashkoff originally posted it as a comment on a discussion thread about Labour's student allowance pledge, and it elicited several comments in that context. I've cut and pasted below from about half-way through his comment, but you can read the whole thing in context here, and the responses readers made too. You'll see that Tashkoff doesn't follow the orthodox format, but then my perception is that Act has long been a party of *ahem* original thinkers.
I came here to see whether the questions you folk sent me as a candidate were worth replying to. I don't think they are. You all go ahead and vote for those vote-buying parties that have squandered our present and mortgaged our future. I don't think I'll be wasting any more time with you.
For the small number of you that like John F. Kennedy prefer to 'Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country', take a look at ACT's policies for the election.
None of them include bribes for anyone whether they be students, women, beneficiaries, conservationists, justice workers or any of the myriad of other groups that have their hands out each election.
What you will find are policies for growth, so that people like yourselves won't have to leave the country to make a decent living, because we will have returned to the position we were 40 years ago, when our incomes here were above Australia.
You will also find policies for empowerment of people and the abolition of big government.
In spite of the rent-seeking by groups such as students, there is still a chance this country can be saved, and if you believe that, we'd love your party vote.
ACT Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau
Like several other candidates to date, Tashkoff has a blog of his own, Comme il Faut. And he blogged his response to our survey there too, along with this foreword as to why he responded in the manner he did:
I was asked by the folk at the hand mirror to answer a bunch of questions about where I stand. It is par for the course for a candidate to receive a spammed email asking you your position on a bunch of loaded questions. Sometimes I answer them and sometimes I don't. This time I visited their blog to see where they were coming from, or more accurately, to confirm my guess. I was not disappointed. The very first post was a victory paean about having held out for the massive bribde this election of a living allowance for students. It prompted me to post this reply (I'm afraid I was unable to disguise my contempt):
It makes me a little sad that a candidate sees being sent surveys about his views as "spam," particularly when he's number seven on his party's list. I think the public have a right to ask you about your opinions on a range of issues if you are standing to be their representative in our democracy. I hope other candidates do not see our survey, or anyone else's, as unwelcome email litter, but instead view them as a chance to engage with voters.
What do you think, dear readers?