John, the kids are fighting again.
ACT leader Jamie Whyte has reacted to the Conservatives' leap toward 5% by issuing a statement headlined, "Colin Craig is deluded and dangerous".
NBR has asked Mr Craig for comment.
If the Conservatives do tip over the MMP threshold, and ACT returns in Epsom, NBR has a recipe for the PM as he tries to reconcile differences between National's socially and fiscally conservative junior partners: Take lots of Panadol. And resist the urge to call Winston.
Meanwhile, ACT's biggest fear has to be that the Conservatives do breach 5% on September 20, and that they more-or-less behave during the next Parliament.
Under that scenario, National might have diminished enthusiasm for an Epsom deal in 2014.
RAW DATA: ACT statement
Colin Craig is deluded and dangerous
Colin Craig is proposing a radical transformation of our constitution. The Conservatives are proposing to overthrow of one hundred and fifty odd years of parliamentary democracy and replace it with binding referenda” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte.
“Yet Craig does not want a referendum to make this change. He has said repeatedly he will support a Labour/Green government if they will agree to binding referendum. In other words, Colin Craig thinks that if he gets just 5% of the vote, he should be able to overthrow our form of government.”
“If anything should be put to a referendum, it is a significant change to our constitution.”
“The media should stop mocking Craig’s loopy ideas about “chem-trails” and the American moon landings being faked and instead examine his much more radical political ideas” said Dr Whyte.
“Binding referendums have destroyed California. It has gone from being the powerhouse of America to being ungovernable.”
“The problem with government by referendum can be seen in Colin Craig’s own policy platform. He says totally contradictory things.”
“I appeared with Colin Craig in several debates. He always begins by assuring the audience that the Conservatives were in favour of less government and less tax. Then all of his specific policy proposals involve increasing the role of the government.”
“Colin Craig wants more government spending on apprenticeships and similar training; he wants the government to fund start-up companies; he wants the government to decide who you may sell your land to; he wants the government to decide who goes to university” said Dr Whyte.
“Here is a man supposedly in favour of smaller government whose every specific policy proposal involves an expansion of government.”
“You cannot be in government and vote in favour of every spending increase and then vote for tax cuts. The books do not balance.”
“But people can vote in favour of referendum that increases spending and, later, in favour of a referendum that cuts taxes. That is what the electorate in California has done.”
“Colin Craig’s populist policy hodgepodge and binding referenda have the same problem; they try to have it both ways. It has ruined California and it will ruin New Zealand.”
“Like Colin Craig, the electorate in California has pass the now infamous Proposition 13 that limits taxes. But the people of California, like Colin Craig, have not seen a spending proposal they do not like. Lobby groups have successfully promoted referenda that direct taxpayers’ money their way” said Dr Whyte.
“Do not think this will not happen in New Zealand. The Fire Service Union promoted a successful referendum that said how many people there should be on a fire truck. The government ignored that recommendation and the country has not burnt down. Colin Craig would have had that referendum turned into an unchangeable law, and we would all be paying for it in higher insurance bills.”
“I doubt those who are thinking of voting for Colin Craig have realized how dangerous his proposal is. He says he will support any government that supports binding referenda. He will support Labour if they give him this change in our constitution. Is Christine Rankin telling the people of Epsom that a vote for her might be a vote for David Cunliffe to be Prime Minister?” said Dr Whyte
“Binding referenda have made California ungovernable. Do we really want 5% of the population making New Zealand ungovernable too? “ said Dr Whyte.