The Conservative Party

August 3rd, 2011 at 12:11 pm by David Farrar

has announced the formation of a new party, the Conservative Party. Craig is a conservative, so the party is well named.

There is room in the political spectrum for a . The closest we have at the moment is New Zealand First, but of course Winston makes that party unable to be trusted. I have said in the past that if Winston was not the leader, there would be a place for NZ First.

Looking at their implicit policies, through their conservative test, the Conservative Party looks to have similar policies to NZ First – morally conservative, and economically wet.

There is an opportunity for Craig to fashion a true conservative party, which gains representation in Parliament. But there is also the possibility that it may just be a vehicle for his personal ambitions, as the parties of Peters and Anderton were. Will the Conservative Party be democratic? Will party members be able to elect a board, and select candidates? Or will Craig make all major decisions as he is the funder?

From what I can see, I don’t think I will agree with most of their policies. But there may be a segment of New Zealanders who will. It will be interesting to see how they do.

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53 Responses to “The Conservative Party”

  1. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    I would have compared it to the former Christian Heritage Party, rather than NZ First.

    You’ll understand why when they release more details on their proposed policies.

    [DPF: I hope not, but time will tell]

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  2. MikeMan (171 comments) says:

    I find it interesting that the story on this in the Herald got updated and Colin Craig went from “Former Mayoral candidate” to “Failed Auckland Mayoral candidate” in the hour between when I first saw the story and seeing the updated version. They also added the number of votes for Colin Craig, John Banks and Len “Public Transport” Brown.

    Could it be that a news item was judged to be balanced and needed to be fixed?

    Hell we can not have that in New Zealand’s largest daily paper, society would collapse if that happened comrade.

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  3. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    Of course his ‘conservative test’ is complete nonsense, as people with wildly different political positions could come up with similar answers.

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  4. simonway (371 comments) says:

    Thrift is a necessary characteristic of good government. Government should carefully use resources and in tough times will cut spending in preference to raising new taxes or increasing borrowing. The normal state of affairs should be a balanced budget.

    This is bollocks, there are like three different statements there. And nobody’s going to disagree with “government should carefully use resources”, because that would imply that “government should carelessly use resources”. This ought to be split up into three separate statements: “Thrift is a necessary characteristic of good government,” “In tough times, government should cut spending in preference to raising new taxes or increasing borrowing,” and something about how desirable a balanced budget is. The point of lumping them all together and including a lot of trivial platitudes that nobody will disagree with is to increase the number of people who will agree, so Colin Craig will be able to say “look how many people in New Zealand agree with Conservative Party principles!” Bit dishonest, imo.

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  5. Andrei (2,504 comments) says:

    It will be a big ask to build this up to a point where a tick of the Conservative Box wont be seen as a wasted or protest vote before November.

    Should have started three years ago, or maybe his eye is on 2014

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  6. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    Odd site, asking to “send back your registration as soon as possible” and join but I can’t find any contact details.

    I can answer Yes to about half the test questions as long as long as I don’t think what their real motive is behind the questions.

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  7. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    There is nothing on their checklist attacking migrants, so that may be another point of difference with NZ First.

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  8. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    I find it hard to disagree with much of the checklist, but as DPF said, WZF is also conservative. eeek.

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  9. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    There is also a bit of a Cactus Kate profile on the guy I’ve noticed.

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  10. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    So he thinks Govt should spend more when times are good and the need is least. And less when times are tough and need (both socially and to support a weak economy) is greatest.

    And no tax should ever be increased even if it is more than matched by tax cuts elsewhere in the interests of rebalancing the economy. Rather like saying a boxer must always use their right hand and never their left.

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  11. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    DPF: economically wet

    And how would you describe the National Party? Borrow and hope?

    [DPF: National I would describe as moist]

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  12. iMP (2,245 comments) says:

    This of course has all been done before: Didn’t Trevor Rogers and Bruce Cliffe start a “Conservative Party”… more hedgehogs on the MMP super highway.

    [DPF: Meurant and Rogers. Started as ROC - Right of Centre]

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  13. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    Hmm, even I didn’t score a 10+. If conservatives like me can’t recognise themselves in this party, what’s their target?

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  14. iMP (2,245 comments) says:

    Sorry, Ross Meurant, the Russian ‘gun smuggler’ and Trevor Rogers (done for helicopter Contempt) not Cliffe (who fell of the MMP Cliff with another new party ["United"]. The NZ Conservative Party was originally called RoC (Right of center).

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  15. Paranormal (6 comments) says:

    I thought we already had a Conservative do nothing party in everything but name?

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  16. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “If conservatives like me can’t recognise themselves in this party, what’s their target?”

    Anarchists.

    I scraped through as a supporter with a score of ten out of sixteen (the statements are so vague almost anyone can agree with them). But I won’t be supporting the party – too many typos on the site, which demonstrates a carelessness and a lack of respect for language. And if you really respect New Zealand heritage and tradition, you don’t spell ‘programme’ without the last couple of letters :)

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  17. Scott Chris (5,881 comments) says:

    Some sensible ideas, some less so IMO. A few points of difference that may woo the occasional disgruntled Nat/NZF/ACT voter. I like the smaller thriftier government, on the other hand, a government has to have the power to make prudent, if unpopular policy decisions, especially when it comes down to the long term good of the country, a goal to which these new Whigs would aspire.

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  18. gravedodger (1,516 comments) says:

    Much of the above is predicated on a description of NZF as a conservative party.
    What an 18 wheeler of garbage.
    NZF is exactly what its egotistical obnoxious, xenophobic, erratic duplicitous dishonest leader says it is at any given time.

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  19. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,797 comments) says:

    Even allowing for some of the patsy questions I only score 8/19!!!!!!!!!!

    They’ll have Redbaiter, Manalo, Big Bruv and Gantt.

    Where the hell are they going to get another four hundred and ninety five names? Off the war memorials in country towns?

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  20. backster (2,079 comments) says:

    Where the hell are they going to get another four hundred and ninety five names? Off the war memorials in country towns?

    No Adolf…Hone got there first.

    I agree with most of his propositions but the priority has to be to keep the Socialists (Labour) out.

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  21. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    Might actually vote for it if it looks like it could win parliamentary representation (i.e. electorate seat or 5% plus polling)

    On the other hand not keen on their economics, so might stick with National

    Will be interesting to see what electorate seat he contests. Could he win Tamaki or North Shore?

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  22. Ross Nixon (607 comments) says:

    Looks like I might be voting for them – 16/16 despite a few answers of ‘unsure’.
    Beware the rise of the paleoconservative!

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  23. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    berend (837) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    DPF: economically wet

    And how would you describe the National Party? Borrow and hope?

    [DPF: National I would describe as moist]

    And moistly fairly smelly these dyas.

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  24. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    Adolf

    I should have thought it impossible to score below 10! It seems to me the quiz is designed to encourage everyone to believe they are conservatives (whatever that means).

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  25. somewhatthoughtful (452 comments) says:

    Sounds like another christian trying to win support by denying his entire view point is corrupted by his petty “faith”. Fun times.

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  26. BlairM (2,287 comments) says:

    I’ve never been more proud to fail a test – I got 7, although some of the questions are almost impossible to answer no to without being a sociopath.

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  27. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    If even Adolf only scored 8 I doubt this is going anywhere. But only 5% of us are politically interested, so who knows.

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  28. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    somewhatthoughtful, there are enough Christians in this thread, and they all failed the “conservative” test. So no, that’s not the answer.

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  29. Pete George (22,851 comments) says:

    Craig says the Party was aiming for at least 10 percent of the party vote.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/5381484/New-political-party-will-contest-election

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  30. mattyman1010 (32 comments) says:

    All this will do is take a handful of votes off National. Disappointing that he will taint the “conservative” name with another failed minor party.
    He doesn’t stand a chance in Epsom. Far too crowed with high profile candidates. However Tamaki could be a goer?

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  31. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    I reckon they will be most similar to last election’s ‘Kiwi Party’ (Gordon Copeland and Larry Baldock) and be similarly successful with about 0.5% of the vote. Similar themes – families, smacking and binding referenda.

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  32. GJ (329 comments) says:

    Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to get a new party off the ground in NZ simply because they have no access to funding, the Media normally comes against them and people don’t want to waste their votes.
    Yet many NZ’s are dissatisfied with the current choice. I guess one day a new party will succeed, but the big question is when? Because we all know, “If nothing changes – then nothing changes.”

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  33. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    GJ

    I agree that it’s very difficult for new parties. We have only really seen the rise of the Greens in recent times. As in the US, Australia, etc, we have two fairly conservative parties with entrenched support bases and an ability to periodically widen their support enough to govern. The spectrum of beliefs of the two major parties are wide enough to keep most people happy. A major change to the landscape might have to await the collapse of one of the major parties.

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  34. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    BlairM (1,349) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve never been more proud to fail a test – I got 7, although some of the questions are almost impossible to answer no to without being a sociopath.

    REALLY?
    Probably says you need reedification very promptly.

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  35. Lucia Maria (2,208 comments) says:

    If he threw abortion in there (ie reducing it, tightening eligibility, parental notification and even banning it altogether), Catholics would have to vote for him.

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  36. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    Adolf Fiinkensein (2,062) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Even allowing for some of the patsy questions I only score 8/19!!!!!!!!!!

    They’ll have Redbaiter, Manalo, Big Bruv and Gantt.

    Where the hell are they going to get another four hundred and ninety five names? Off the war memorials in country towns?

    Why would we be surprised. You are basically a lefty at the best of times.
    Fees up and admit, fall on you knee’s and say 20,000 Hail Marys and then go to reedification as well.
    No wonder National are moist and smelly. With supporters like you.

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  37. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    somewhatthoughtful (264) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Sounds like another Christian trying to win support by denying his entire view point is corrupted by his petty “faith”. Fun times.

    Show us a Christan question.
    Its not Christian its just good relationships and respect for others and you don’t have to be Christian to achieve that.
    Not very thoughtful at all are you?

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  38. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    Scott Chris (222) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Some sensible ideas, some less so IMO. A few points of difference that may woo the occasional disgruntled Nat/NZF/ACT voter. I like the smaller thriftier government, on the other hand, a government has to have the power to make prudent, if unpopular policy decisions, especially when it comes down to the long term good of the country, a goal to which these new Whigs would aspire.

    Fence sitter as always.

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  39. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria (687) Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    If he threw abortion in there (ie reducing it, tightening eligibility, parental notification and even banning it altogether), Catholics would have to vote for him.

    And that’s the best reason not to.
    This is about politics not religion, its about people and their right to live in a free society.

    Have you a problem with that?.

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  40. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    Now that I have questioned all your motives I will say the first I heard of Craig was about 3 days ago.
    Went and did their test before posting and easily made17/19.

    Its about values mostly and that’s what most of you missed.

    The 2 I said no to were about the drunking age and returning to a single vote. The rest is a push over if you believe in individual rights and freedom from the state.
    But most of you here don’t do you.?

    You are quite happy for John to assume Helen’s mantel .

    They can’t even pass the VSU Bill because they are so compromised with their thinking in the same way they can’t remove the controls on youth rates causing 25.5 % of young people to be unemployed. And so on including but not limited to smacking, ETS. etc etc etc.

    DPF your mates are not moist, most of them are wet with napkins on.
    Its actually not that complicated unless you are a socialist and believe the state should control yous and everyone else’s lfe so long as you are the state.

    Now I’ll be busy for a while but watching so all you’se can sit in a huddle and have a screaming fit while you decide if you like to run your own lives or not.
    Evening.

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  41. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    It’s entirely possible to score above 15 on this test and still vote Green or Labour, ie it’s a meaningless test.

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  42. Rex Widerstrom (5,266 comments) says:

    simonway points out:

    The point of lumping them all together and including a lot of trivial platitudes that nobody will disagree with is to increase the number of people who will agree, so Colin Craig will be able to say “look how many people in New Zealand agree with Conservative Party principles!” Bit dishonest, imo.

    Exactly. New Zealand First has a set of Fundamental Principles that let you know precisely where it stands, and commits to referring any matters not covered therein to the people. Sure, later in the piece Winston decided that, as gravedodger so accurately and colourfully puts it, that the party would be “what its egotistical obnoxious, xenophobic, erratic duplicitous dishonest leader says it is at any given time” (to which I would add “or whoever he’s lazily vested control in at that point”).

    But when it was formed it stood for something. That hodge podge of “happily ever after” “value statements” sounds like the framework of a John Key “I made no actual commitments so you can’t hold me to anything” speech.

    “Tough on crime and benefits”? Yawn. Easy to faff on about when you’re a millionaire. Tell me how you’re going to prevent crime and create jobs, or join the background drone of political wannabes.

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  43. Lucia Maria (2,208 comments) says:

    Viking,

    I have a problem with the State killing babies. Religion and politics are always mixed – right now our religion is liberalism and materalism. It needs balance.

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  44. burt (7,820 comments) says:

    Rex

    I think you are too charitable on Winston. Did Peters ever have principles or did Peters just need to say that he did to keep his snout in the trough?

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  45. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    I have a problem with the State killing babies.

    The state doesn’t kill babies. Some women get some cells removed from their body because they don’t want to burden themselves (and other taxpayers) with the cost of raising an unwanted child. It’s like removing a cancer. There’d be fewer families of 8 complaining about the price of milk if abortion was encouraged.

    Religion and politics are always mixed

    Religion is a shared and voluntary delusion – i.e. believing in crap that common sense and evidence says doesn’t exist. We don’t need any more of that in politics.

    Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. There is no God. And right from the start the Church was a malicious power-hungry group of sad old men. It’s ridiculous you believe those fairy tales.

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  46. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Kiwipolitico has blogged on the same topic, so for convenience I will just repost what I contributed there:

    I sat the test twice, Lew, with a different perspective each time. The first time, like you, taking the questions at face value and only managed a 5/19. Sad ay?

    The second time, I chose to seek out the hidden (or even not so hidden) agenda that we know is always lurking in the background of these types of things.

    This time, I scored a much healthier 1/19 (a yes to Q5 on long term thinking pretty much covers climate change mitigation activities, like the ETS).

    The thing is, to me, some of the stuff is pretty radical when you look a the consensus view of the relative experts – so is one a conservative or a radical if one goes against the experts?

    All good fun, anyway.

    Generally, it’s pretty meaningless stuff, as I am sure commenters above have already pointed out.

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  47. rosscalverley (111 comments) says:

    Just over 100 days to an election and he wants to start a party. Either he is delusional or is aiming for 2014. Being involved in registering a party, it is a lot of work.

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  48. Clint Heine (1,563 comments) says:

    It should be the Colin Craig Party, the Conservative bit is there for illiteration purposes and of course to provide comedy that we have yet another bigoted wingnut thinking he can dictate to others how they can run their lives.
    Am sure the NZ Conservative Blog will be wetting themselves at the idea that there is a party that will ban any “immoral” activity and perhaps realise Lucia Marias dream policies to ban girls from playing rugby and boys from playing netball… and the selling of Harry Potter books.

    Soon it will be Colin Who?

    Hear hear tristanb, enough with the fairytales.

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  49. LabourDoesntWork (282 comments) says:

    Some women get some cells removed from their body because they don’t want to burden themselves (and other taxpayers) with the cost of raising an unwanted child. It’s like removing a cancer.

    Lo, the ignorance of (some of) those who defend abortion-on-demand…

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  50. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Craig did well on TV this am. 66per cent of NZers are against asset sales so he has a good start there. And many greatly resent the Aussies banks fleecing us so he already has the support of all Kiwbank customers.

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  51. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    joana, Craig just lifted the asset sales policy from Labour. And the Greens. And Winston First. It’s a pretty crowded field on this topic.

    And Labour /Progressives/NZ First set up Kiwibank!

    Anything original from the man?

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  52. jackp (668 comments) says:

    You don’t have to be original to make your point, Luc. Labour isn’t original either.. I think the difference between the Conservative Party and NZ first is Craig is new blood. That is desperately needed in this next election.. I thought Key and National were suppose to represent the same points as the Conservative Party. At least that is why I voted National, never again. Key just “faked” his way in and hopefully this next election, he’ll be out. When it comes closer to the election, Key will loose support. I scored 18/19…. This test is a way to keep the participant active and make the “voter” think about what the Conservative Party stands for. It’s a good idea.

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  53. free-thinker (3 comments) says:

    gump (105) Says:

    “I would have compared it to the former Christian Heritage Party, rather than NZ First.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    Now that Graham Capill is out of prison he should start another political party. He would attract paedophiles and wooden spoon bashers.

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