Home > politics > Schadenfreude


I have some admiration for the philosophy behind libertarianism and I think it’s good to have every political perspective represented in a democracy, especially one which has proportional representation like New Zealand. But I still can’t help but feel a degree of satisfaction as I watch the Act Party self-destruct and sink without trace in the world of politics.

The word that describes it perfectly is “schadenfreude” (if you don’t know here’s the definition: pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.) Yeah, I know, it sounds sort of mean, and I have already said above I have some admiration for their political perspective, but it’s still true.

Act deserves to die though. The party has been a joke for years. They campaigned for greater responsibility and delivered the opposite, they wanted to avoid internal power struggles and got the worst of any party, they criticised other parties for playing politics and did far worse themselves, they denounced ideological policies and are most ideological party in the country.

They have had no credibility for a long time and the party has been effectively dead for years and only survived by being a parasite on the National Party at the last election. They represent the worst of everything politics offers and unbelievably things just keep getting worse for them, hence the schadenfreude.

The latest debacle involves donations from a complete nut job, called Louis Crimp, from my old home town of Invercargill. I feel a bit sorry for this person actually because he is obviously suffering from some cognitive or social deficiency. His interview on TV last night was just bizarre.

But that’s the sort of person who supports a party like Act. Very few normal people would still want to have anything to do with Act, except when engaging in something like the corrupt and cynical political ploy which played out in Epsom at the last election.

Free speech is important but if you are going to make a point around controversial politics, especially involving race relations, it’s essential that you first get your facts right, and second don’t look like a rabid nutter! Unfortunately Crimp didn’t follow either of these guidelines.

If the government really spent half a billion dollars per year propping up the Maori language then I think that would be worth discussing. But getting the number wrong then ranting on about “savages” is not the way to win people over to your side of the debate. Quite the opposite is true.

So those of us who support a more moderate political position should thank Crimp for exposing what many Act supporters are really like. And yes, there are many more like him I’m sure. I know one Act supporter personally who would share a very similar position on Maori issues.

So not only is Act shooting itself in the foot now but its crazed supporters are also firing randomly and killing it off even more rapidly through “friendly fire”. Ah, the schadenfreude!

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