Monday, 17 August 2020

Right decision to delay the election

“The Prime Minister has done the right thing by delaying the election and allowing voters to properly participate in the election,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT believes a free and fair contest requires that we have four weeks at Level 1 in the run up to Election Day. If the Government manages to contain the Auckland outbreak, and we don't have further lockdowns, then today’s decision will allow that to happen.

“In order to have a free and fair election, candidates need to be out in the community listening to voters, and that’s not possible while Aucklanders are housebound.

“In the past week alone, because of Auckland’s Level 3 lockdown, I have had to cancel more than a dozen events, including debates and community meetings. The extra time will allow a proper contest of ideas.

“This delay might create some political uncertainty, but it will be trivial compared with the concerns households and businesses have as a result of the Government’s incompetence on public health.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear to New Zealanders just how poor the Government’s response to Covid-19 has been.

“ACT has set out a comprehensive alternative plan. Our five principles for better public health are: stop preaching fear, have an open debate about our national strategy, treat travel to different countries differently based on risk, use better technology, and use private sector solutions for testing, tracing and isolation.

“We need a new kind of leadership, because we can’t hug our way out of the crisis. New Zealanders need competence, not just good communication.

“A delay in the election date will give voters more time to weigh up the Government’s record and consider a competent alternative.”