An interesting discussion on The Nation with Colin Craig of the CCCP. Some extracts:
Duncan Well is does, it means 5% probably, but economically you don’t line up with those on the right do you, because you don’t believe in those taxcuts that John Key did. You don’t believe in asset sales.
Colin Be a matter of timing only…
Duncan We’ll get to that, but you don’t believe in the foreign investment around Crafer Farms, do you?
Colin No I don’t, I think the Crafer Farms is a bad deal for New Zealand.
I see little to distinguish the CCCP economic policy from NZ First. I guess one difference is the leadership – Colin Craig better a slightly more palatable option than Winston.
Duncan What would be a deal breaker around policy for a Conservative Party, what is so important to you?
Colin I think issues for us very much fiscal and budget issues. We can’t support continued increase in government expending. Now National made a clear promise they would cut the spending, but did not. Now for us we’ve got to bring the budget back under control.
Duncan So you’re saying they’re not doing enough?
Colin No, they’re not. I don’t think they’ve made the brave or the hard decisions they should have made.
Duncan Well you’ve had two zero budgets, with the second one of course coming up in two weeks’ time. What would you have done differently. Are you saying you would have gone much further than that. Conservative Party in a future government would be pushing for much tougher cuts?
Colin Yeah, in our current situation absolutely.
Duncan What would you get rid of?
Colin I would look at any spending that’s not delivering results and say well no results no money.
Duncan But can you give me examples of what you would get rid of?
Colin One example would be say the Family Court where we spend heading towards 200 million. Now the model that’s used overseas that works very well is not one where we arm you know disputing partners with lawyers and put them in a court. It’s a mediation model, it has a much higher success rate, and it costs less money to run. So that’s just one example where we’d say gotta be far more innovative around our spending.
Here though they have some appeal. Winston demands extra spending/bribes regardless of the fiscal situation. Craig wants to cut spending. Not sure I agree on the Family Court (and the cost is $137m, not $200m) but all for a party supporting cutting wasteful spending.
Duncan Colin Craig do you think that you could be a long term partner for a National Party?
Colin Oh I think we could be obviously. We’re a small party, we’re only six months in, so we’re very young, but we’re growing, we’re still growing.
Duncan But you’d put aside some of your disagreements around those central economic…?
Colin Inevitably in politics you can’t get everything you want. That’s just how politics is.
This is a significant change from the election. Maybe Colin Craig is listening to some good advice now. He went into the campaign declaring he could support National or Labour, so why would centre-right voters vote for him? He also declared certain policies non negotiable, which is unwise at 2%.
I would prefer a classical liberal partner for National. But I’d take a Conservative Party partner over having no partner at all – so long as their policies are not worse than the alternative of a Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana Government.