ACT leader David Seymour speaks during a media conference in Parliament on Sept. 28, 2021. (Getty Images)
Winnipeg Man. – The winds of political change are sweeping across New Zealand as David Seymour, leader of the ACT Party, brings a renewed emphasis on classical liberal values to the nation’s political scene. Once a prominent figure at Canada’s esteemed Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Seymour has now emerged as a major influencer in New Zealand’s political landscape as described in this Washington Post article published August 10, 2023.
Seymour’s journey in the world of libertarian ideology began during his time in Canada, where he worked at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy for four years. This experience enriched Seymour’s understanding of classical liberal economic thinkers such as Karl Popper, Friedrich Hayek, and Thomas Hazlett, reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s intellectual journey.
After a challenging start in the political arena, Seymour won his seat in the New Zealand Parliament in 2014, representing the ACT Party. His consistent stance on controversial issues, from euthanasia to gun regulations post the 2019 Christchurch shootings, has seen ACT’s fortunes rise. The 2020 elections saw the party clinching 10 seats, with projections for the upcoming October elections suggesting that this could increase to 15 or more.
The ACT Party’s principle-driven approach is evident in its opposition to identity politics, specifically regarding special benefits for the Maori community. In a stand against racial differentiation in governance, Seymour has positioned the ACT Party as a defender of “classical liberal values of universal human rights.”
Seymour, himself with Maori ancestry, clarifies his stance, saying, “I’m not racist. I’m not prejudiced against people based on their background.” He firmly believes that New Zealand is rooted in the rule of law and parliamentary democracy, which upholds the notion of universal human rights.
As the October elections approach, political analysts are closely watching the Seymour’s and the ACT party’s trajectory. With former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern having set a precedent as a global political influencer, the world might be set to witness Seymour make a similar mark, rejuvenating libertarian values on the global stage.
For more information:
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
VP Development and Engagement
About the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is an independent, non-partisan think tank that conducts research and analysis on a wide range of public policy issues. Committed to promoting economic freedom, individual liberty, and responsible governance, the Centre aims to contribute to informed public debates and shape effective policies that benefit Canadians.
About ACT Party
Founded in 1994, the ACT Party is a classically liberal political party in New Zealand. The party advocates for individual freedom, personal responsibility, and a more efficient and accountable government.