Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Freedom of the press, part III

Following last week's posts on freedom of the press, I contacted those NZ political parties which hadn't condemned Tonga's actions to seek their views. Today I got this response back from ACT:

Thank you for your recent email. ACT in no way condones the actions of the Tongan monarchy and nobles to gag the press.

ACT advocates individual freedoms in a democratic and tolerant society. I find the Tongan regime the antithesis of classical liberalism. Tonga seems to have captured the worst aspects of a European medieval monarchy and grafted that onto the worst aspects of Polynesian tribal society based on nepotism and chieftainship.

I despair for Tonga's future stability and know that inevitably New Zealand will, at some future date, become embroiled in the containment of conflict.

Yours sincerely

Ken Shirley
Foreign Affairs Spokesman
ACT New Zealand

It's good to see them sticking up for liberal principles, but at the same time I can't help but feel that they could've been quicker off the mark on this. Still, at least they've responded, which is more than can be said for National, NZ First, or United Future.