Title: Candidate QandA: Guy McCallum Credit: Jacqui Stanford Features Friday 25th November 2011 - 10:48am1322171280 Article: 11093 Rights
Now for something a little different: Dunedin's Guy McCallum is out and proud and a candidate for the Act Party. He tells us why he leans to the right. What have you done as a career outside Parliament? During high school, I started working in offices for work experience. When I finished high school I wasn't sure what to do next so I started working in customer service for local governments. I did this for about four years after high school, which gave me enough experience to get a good paying job for part time hours when I started studying Politics at University of Otago in 2009. At the moment I'm still working in local government customer service as I study, being my only source of income. What made you want to get into politics? I've had a steadily evolving interest and enthusiasm for politics since the 2002 election. I don't think there was anything significant for me about that election (thinking back to when I was 15) but it was the first election I watched on TV the whole way through until the commentators got sick of it. What really got my interest was the opportunity to say and support things that really matter, rallying support for really good causes and working to fix things. Why did you choose your party? My party's colours may surprise those who don't know me. I used to be a bit of a socialist in years gone by, but I started to delve more and more into political ideas and the outcomes they usually had. Ideas of liberty, naturally, are what led me to the ACT Party. The Party itself is shifting from classical liberalism with a social conservative tinge to a more libertarian leaning, socially liberal force on the right which is really encouraging. This change is also consistent with the principles of liberalism and libertarianism, which are the ideologies which inform my politics. Who are some of your heroes? I have a list but I'll give you the top 5: Ayn Rand, Rose Wilder Lane, Lindsay Perigo, Christopher Hitchens and Winston Churchill. Margaret Thatcher's on there too, but she's probably #6. (Does any of this surprise anyone?) When did you come out? Who did you first tell? I decided to follow the Christian path and became quite an unashamed fundie when I was 13. Though this came to end as soon as I plucked up the courage to convince myself that being gay wasn't bad. That was when I was 17. The first person I told was my favourite girl friend and then a couple of weeks later told my other best friend, who came out to me! Then I told my family and the rest of my friends all in one day. It was an awesome day I celebrate every year now. I call it my Gay Day. What do you think are the biggest issues for glbti New Zealanders right now? Same-sex marriage, issues around adoption and personal security/legal protection. Personally and as an ACT candidate, I support same-sex marriage (if the state has to get involved in marriage at all). The biggest issue around adoption is putting in adequate checks and measures for ensuring that such children are matched with safe, loving and stable families - the little details like number, gender or relationship status of parents are absolutely irrelevant as far as the former principles [safe, loving and stable] are concerned. This translated into support for same-sex families to adopt. As for personal security, I'm satisfied with the level of protection that we get from the Police. And I know this first hand - so trust me that when it comes to violent homophobes, the Police are on our side (and quite verbally). Legal protection, though, is a serious issue that needs attention and focus - but we must be careful that parallel systems of justice aren't being set up for different kinds of people. What I hope to see instead is that legal principles are having the intended effects for any victim of crime, regardless of who they are (as justice is best when it is blind). If those aren't working for some, they need to be changed for all. What will you do, if elected, to change these situations? I am only campaigning for the Party Vote, but if ACT is returned to Parliament, we will have the chance to walk the walk, not just talk. Are you single or do you have a partner? If you have a partner tell us a little bit about them? Any kids? Single, but not for a long time. I have no kids, but I have two younger sisters whom I adore and are like my own kids. What will you be doing on election night? Joining my ACT friends and colleagues with some of our National friends and colleagues in Dunedin. As usual with election night, my eyes will be glued to the nearest screen with an emptying glass of red in one hand. How can people contact you if they want to chat about issues they are concerned about? I am open to contact from anyone wanting to discuss issues I've raised here or issues of their own. My contact details (phone/email) can be found on the ACT website: Jacqui Stanford - 25th November 2011    
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