Guest Post: Colin Craig on whether he would vote for “Abortion on Demand”?

March 5th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I blogged on the 20th of February on ’s call for MPs to vote on same sex marriage in accordance with the wishes of their electorate. He was reported as saying:

Mr Craig said that if he was elected, he would vote for gay marriage if his electorate demanded it, in spite of his strong opposition to the law change.

I asked:

Okay so does this mean if Colin Craig was an electorate MP and a poll showed the majority of his electorate support abortion on demand, Colin Craig would vote for the law to be abortion on demand – no matter how strongly he personally feels it is murder?

I’d like to see an answer to that question. Would Colin Craig vote for abortion on demand if a majority of the electorate backed it?

Colin has kindly responded to the question and sent in a guest post, where he outlines his views on the role of referenda and what should happen if an MP and their electorate do not agree. His response is:

This question, of course, could be proposed for various controversial socially liberal pieces of legislation, and is really a question of “how do I see democracy working, and how does representation happen”. So in a nutshell here is my view:

Government initiated referenda: (including general elections). The people vote and their will is done even if there is a single vote in it.  I believe these should be limited to major issues such as elections, constitutional/ electoral arrangements, and major social changes (such as redefining marriage). However, as this is at the discretion of government, it could be used more extensively if the government saw fit.

Citizens initiated referenda: Such referenda are proposed by the citizens themselves. Our party policy is that where such a referenda achieves two-thirds support from the voting public it should be binding on government.  Existing legislation needs amendment not only to bring in the binding aspect, but also to limit proposals to simple questions in the affirmative. 

Vote in Parliament by List MPs: In my view a list MP should always vote consistent with the Party Policy. If no policy exists (such as on redefining marriage for National MPs) then the best option would be for them to consult with members of the party and thereby accurately represent the membership. As our Party has three clear policies on abortion (“Proper Application of Existing Law”, “Free and Informed Consent”, and “Parental Consent for Minors”) which are all aimed at reducing the number of abortions, no Conservative Party List MP would vote for abortion on demand.

Vote in Parliament by Electorate MPs :

A challenging situation could arise if a Conservative Party candidate is elected as the MP  for an electorate. He is then being sent to parliament to represent an electorate (not a party). I do believe that an MP is required to faithfully represent those who sent him even if he does not agree with them. A simple servant-master situation.

If the electorate required the MP to vote in a way that was against his conscience (and “yes” abortion on demand is against mine), he has in my view the following options:

  1. To vote as directed by the electorate (against his own conscience)
  2. To abstain on the issue
  3. To go back to the electorate and negotiate with them. If there is an impasse then to offer his resignation.
  4. To ignore the electorate and vote as he pleases

The first and last options (1 & 4) I believe to be incorrect choices. The first, because it breaches conscience, and the last because it usurps the servant role of the representative (it would be unfaithful to those who sent him). This leaves only 2 & 3 as options in my view. Personally I would elect the third option.

To close then, “no” I would not vote for “abortion on demand” but I would recognise that as an electorate MP this might require my resignation. If so then I would be pleased to stand aside so that a representative who was “more in tune” with the electorate could take my place.

A simple case of the people wishes being done and that my friend is democracy.

It’s a thoughtful nuanced response. I understand the attractiveness of (3) but I wonder about the practicality. How do you determine what is the opinion of the electorate? Is is through random polls like my company does? Is it based on write in responses? What is the response is 51% one way and 49% the other? do you take into account intensity of feeling? And how exactly do you negotiate with an entire electorate?

But it’s good to have had Colin elaborate more fully on his views of how referenda and MPs consciences and electorate wishes should work together. Lots of stuff to consider there.

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84 Responses to “Guest Post: Colin Craig on whether he would vote for “Abortion on Demand”?”

  1. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    My guess is they negotiate by the usual method of paying attention to the ‘squeaky wheel’. He/she who makes the most noise, is most visible or ‘scratches enough backs’ – will win. It works for two year old’s – it can work in any electorate to.

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  2. kowtow (8,784 comments) says:

    This is why referenda on important ,specific issues are so important.

    The govt claim the general election was a mandate for asset sales,but was it?
    A referendum held at the GE would have sorted that issue.

    Politicians are cynical conniving bastards and will use their popularity to push through potentially unpopular policies etc.

    The so called marriage equality thing is another example. It’s being got out of the way before the election so as not to embarrass Key and the Nats .

    Referenda ,the way to go. But the political elite don’t like sharing power with anyone but themselves so don’t hold your breath.
    CIR is one of the most cynical bits of legislation we have.

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  3. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Existing legislation needs amendment not only to bring in the binding aspect, but also to limit proposals to simple questions in the affirmative.

    ^^^That is a very good point.

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  4. Vinick (217 comments) says:

    “I understand the attractiveness of (3) but I wonder about the practicality. How do you determine what is the opinion of the electorate? Is is through random polls like my company does?”

    Come on DPF, judging by Colin Craig’s dodgy polling in Rodney you know he could easily get the result he wanted.

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  5. Changeiscoming (199 comments) says:

    Well done Colin for a well thought out piece. You raise some points and options I hadn’t thought of.

    And well done to you DPF for posting it in a neutral way.

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  6. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    A good and interesting post.

    Guaging electorate wishes is difficult without an electorate referendum, which would be impractical. And there’s also the problem of majority apathy towards most inter-election issues.

    A major problem with referenda, especially nationally, is both the cost and the time it takes to have a petition and then have a referendum.

    Citizens initiated referenda: Such referenda are proposed by the citizens themselves. Our party policy is that where such a referenda achieves two-thirds support from the voting public it should be binding on government.

    I’d like to suggest a variation to this – for Parliament to overturn the results of a CIR it would need a greater % of MPs than the referendum to overturn the CIR.

    For example if a CIR voted 75% against the marriage equality bill then it would require a 75%+ vote in Parliament to overrule that.

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  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    So, if enough supporters either signed a petition that supported voluntary euthanasia, in order to legalise it, he would…???

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  8. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    CIR is one of the most cynical bits of legislation we have.

    It was cynical it was stacked heavily in favour of Parliament over people, vurtually useless for the people.

    And now it is being more cynically taken over and used by parties as a means of campaigning.

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  9. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    I wonder whether those people who support abortion are demand are grateful their parents didn’t.

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  10. lazza (385 comments) says:

    Is this the same Colin Craig … who when standing (and getting his ass kicked) in the Rodney electorate in 2011 … FRAUDENTLY … jiggered a poll result to show the Conservative Party was ahead in the Rodney polling … AND USING A POLL CONDUCTED BY A COMPANY IN WHICH HE EXERCISED SOME CONTROL!?

    Soooo … Gimme a break Loser, go away and take your twisted pseudo-moral cant-BS with you and yours.

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  11. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    The CIR Act 1993 has only been used four times. It lends itself to populist posturing, either left or right (viz asset sales, or criminal justice policy) and is useless when it comes to substantive and deliberative debate on the issues concerned. Witness the ban on corporal punishment of children controversy dumbed down to the simplistic and manipulative term “anti-smacking bill” by opponents of Section 59 Repeal. Or the urgent Labour/Green need to do some more homework on how they intend to operate a Capital Gains Tax and then elaborate on it, which does not seem to be happening in the context of the current asset sales referendum (which I oppose because I oppose CIRs in general).

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  12. Bingo99 (88 comments) says:

    Well at least we now see how overly-simplified Craig’s approach to life and politics really is. And he demonstrates why no Conservative candidate will ever be elected to an electorate, let alone parliament. And in the surreal event that they are, they’ll have to resign en masse within a year as they discover just how out of tune with the country the Conservatives really are.

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  13. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    Good for you DPF, putting up a guest post from Colin Craig on the other side of the argument (which is why I enjoy Kiwiblog so much: balanced and good hearted). One day someone else on another blog might follow that lead.

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  14. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    I would like to think that in the information age I would have thought that surely there could be a http://www.citizen_referenda.govt.nz/ page where people could vote on matters of the day with minimal cost.

    But then it occurred to me that voting would be completely dominated by the sort of people who comment on The Standard and Kiwiblog, and that does rather put me off the idea :-P

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  15. nasska (11,813 comments) says:

    Last year Rex Widerstrom, in a comment on this forum, outlined how the internet could be utilised to give greater power to the electorate. Presently if those who intend to represent us lie at the hustings we have no redress other than to turf them out next election by which time the damage is done. Rex was promoting the use of the internet by the electorate to direct Parliament via on line binding referenda which IMHO would be the ultimate form of democracy.

    It would be cheap, no less secure than elections & could only be compromised by the make up of the question put to the electorate. We are asked to supply more valuable information to the Dept of Statistics on line tonight.

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  16. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “the political elite don’t like sharing power with anyone but themselves ”

    That would be the Nat/Lab coalition and no ones woken up to them (Ian Wishart excluded….and his subscribers lol)

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  17. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “…..It lends itself to populist posturing….is useless when it comes to substantive and deliberative debate on the issues concerned….”

    Really?

    If an MP or a party put up good enough arguements for, or against, then the public is likely to vote that way with a CIR. Or they do they own research.

    Or are you saying Shaggyguidedog that kiwis are stupid people? You’ve been putting up arguements here on gay marriage!

    Most debate in the NZ Parliment is not very serious. Everyone knows that. Just look at J Key – can’t even publicly acknowledge that the development of his children into adults is the better part of his Marriage.

    Most so called ‘debates’ in NZ are now just worthless PC conversations between parties. And that is why we need more CIR’s. And we need a kingmaker right in the middle of them all – the conservatives!

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  18. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    >To go back to the electorate and negotiate with them.

    So how would you negotiate with an electorate? Invite them all in to a large sports stadium, let everyone speak, and then everyone puts together a deal? Or perhaps each electorate would elect a group of people to represent it while negotiating with its MP? A sort of Electorate Parliament of a hundred people or so, who would vote on whether a deal negotiated with its MP was acceptable or not. As long as Craig wasn’t let near a poll since he has shown a propensity to invent any poll result he wants.

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  19. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    In such a small country, with half our parliament removed from direct accountability or election by the People (List MPs), a woeful media (in terms of investigating, holding to account or enlightening us), I think the need for referenda is all the more important. The People have lost much of their democratic voice (and ability to influence their parliament). A 4-year term will dilute that even further.

    I have never been that supportive of CIRs but now see a growing value, particularly with such crusading reformers on the Left meddling with life in every detail, cradle to the grave (literally)

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  20. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “I believe these should be limited to major issues such as elections, constitutional/ electoral arrangements, and major social changes (such as redefining marriage).”

    An obvious issue with this is how do you decide what a major social chance is? Do you have another poll to work this out?

    Some people think that redefining marriage is a major change but many other people (me included) don’t think this?

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  21. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Mark (1,013) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I wonder whether those people who support abortion are demand are grateful their parents didn’t.

    Parents who support abortion on demand are still capable of having children. You are employing a causal oversimplification. One could just as easily argue that one should be grateful their parents decided to have sex that night, or that one should be grateful their father didn’t pull out, or that one should be grateful a condom wasn’t worn, or that it was this sperm over that sperm, or that the morning after pill wasn’t used, or that the mother’s body did not spontaneously abort as it does for 13-20% of all diagnosed pregnancies.

    So I would say I am grateful for the myriad of events that conspired to produce my birth, however if one of those events did not occur I would not be here and therefore none the wiser as to my misfortune.

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  22. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    Pongo 99

    “….And in the surreal event that they are, they’ll have to resign en masse within a year as they discover just how out of tune with the country the Conservatives really are….”

    Gay Marriage @ 50% e/w

    Gay adoption @ 80% against

    Abortion [safe legal rare] 60% for

    The conservatives can take out a large proportion of party votes from Labour, National, NZ First, Act.

    They are ALL up for grabs!

    Who the fuck would want to give the party vote to Socialist National when they can give it to the Conservatives and ‘keep those bastards Labor and National working to bring down the ‘progressive’ cost of welfare.

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  23. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I oppose both gay marriage and direct human abortion and I also think Colin Craig is wrong from a constitutional perspective. Edmund Burke said it best: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

    Members of Parliament have a duty to vote for what they think is the right and prudent thing to do – on the basis that they have demonstrated their good judgment before their constituents prior to their election.

    That’s not to say referenda don’t have a role to play – they are the ‘people’s veto’ as AV Dicey noted. However, while direct democracy and representative democracy can co-exist – they should not both be jammed into the one person.

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  24. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    In this country most of us are effectively disenfranchised – thanks to MMP a worthless time serving MP who is in good with the party cannot be voted out, there is only one chamber which has absolute power, the Church has been destroyed and pushed to the margins and its voice shut out of public discourse.

    Most of our MPs will not rock the boat because their place at the trough is dependant not on us the poor mug electors but the List committee

    And we are being shafted by these arrogant, worthless, parasitic bunch of mediocrities in Wellington, most of whom have done nothing in life worthy of any respect or honour but have just sucked the right dicks to get their place at the table

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  25. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “…I wonder whether those people who support abortion on demand are grateful their parents didn’t.”

    Here’s the dumbest reply one could offer – by Weihana:

    …..One could just as easily argue that one should be grateful their parents decided to have sex that night, or that one should be grateful their father didn’t pull out, or that one should be grateful a condom wasn’t worn, or that it was this sperm over that sperm, or that the morning after pill wasn’t used, or that the mother’s body did not spontaneously abort as it does for 13-20% of all diagnosed pregnancies….”

    Hahahhahhahhah why the fuck do we need abortion for then?

    Take you dumb feminazi bullshit elsewhere! :cool:

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  26. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Andrei – well isn’t it lucky you now have a Conservative Party to vote for, if you don’t like MPs who ‘suck dicks’.

    Now all we need is some kind of General Election to test how popular such attitudes are. Oh, wait, I forgot…

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  27. JMS (342 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    the point Weihana was making obviously went straight over your head.

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  28. eszett (2,432 comments) says:

    The funniest thing is when Harriet doesn’t get it and then calls other people dumb! Classic fail!

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  29. nasska (11,813 comments) says:

    God, apple pie, God, no abortion, God, no gay marriage, God, bring back hanging, God, abstinence, God.

    Thank God for the Conservative Party. :)

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  30. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    One question to the conservative Christian proponents of binding citizens referenda here, then. Presumably, you are aghast at the Swiss and US binding initiatives and referenda results that either decriminalised or maintained access to existing euthanasia and assisted suicide venues and services in Oregon, Washington state and Switzerland. In that case, how would the introduction of binding citizens referenda prevent this situation arising in New Zealand? If anything, it would facilitate it. Is it worth the current vendetta against marriage equality to permit something that you probably consider just as bad, if not worse, from your particular deontological worldview?

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  31. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “….Members of Parliament have a duty to vote for what they think is the right and prudent thing to do – on the basis that they have demonstrated their good judgment before their constituents prior to their election….”

    The fact is they are NOT right NOT prudent and DON’T demonstrate good judgement!.

    Gays CAN change. Gays DON’T respect the institution of Marriage, nor will they acknowledge what Marriage ‘IS’.

    40 Gay boys and 40 lesos -if they were the last people on earth- would change. They would also form ‘family’ so as not to interbreed.

    They can change. They would form ‘natural marriage'[family] and that in itself is acknowledging ‘marriage’.

    But here.Today.Gays will NOT do that. Nor will MOST MP’s acknowledge what Marriage ‘is’!

    Marriage is the definition for the ‘natural order of things’!

    MP’s who support gay marriage are NOT right and NOT prudent and are displaying POOR judgement.

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  32. Griff (8,203 comments) says:

    Disfranchised Andrei :lol:

    There is no political will to support your god whack. Few will vote for a party of god bothers based on historic events.
    After the Criststain heritage of kiddy fiddling party self immolated the demand for christstain based politics evaporated.
    It seems that the hypocrisy of claiming the moral high ground whilst playing with the private parts of little kids is not a vote winner in this country.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/cardinals-begin-pre-conclave-meetings-amid-scandal-resignation-and-problems-of-church/2013/03/04/8104949c-84a9-11e2-a80b-3edc779b676f_story.html

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  33. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    The answer to more people input is for the people to take ownership of their own lobbying system/s, relying on politicians to give you more say over what they do is doomed to disappointment.

    It could be done on an electorate basis and then that could be linked on a wider scale.

    Two main problems.

    1. Apathy.

    2. I’ve found that most people wanting more democracy or people power actually want something a bit different, they think that more democracy and people power will give them the power to promote their own pet policies.

    Greens confuse great democracy with 2, I don’t know if it’s deliberate or they believe they are right and democarcy must agree.

    I’m involved in an attempt to resurrect or set up a people’s lobby in Dunedin but already both 1. Apathy and 2. Pet Policies are apparent.

    It will only work if enough people are committedd to setting true wide and inclusive processes independent of the issues of the day.

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  34. Sb (63 comments) says:

    @Andrie

    “the Church has been destroyed”.

    The Church has not been destroyed, it has however had its power dramatically reduced compared to previous times. Most New Zealanders think this is a good thing.

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  35. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    No one in NZ want’s the government to become a killing machine.

    Least of all with NO ONE in charge!

    Just look what happened when abortion was legalised – up went the wall of silence, and behind that wall doctors and other public servants then proceeded to take abortion out to the 3rd term along with abortion on demand.

    Euthanasia ? M Street is the road to Hell ! :cool:

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  36. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    MP’s who support gay marriage are NOT right and NOT prudent and are displaying POOR judgement.

    @Harriet,

    …in your opinion. However your vote is worth the same amount as the next person, no more. Others would contend that said MP’s are displaying sound judgement, are being prudent and are making the right decision.

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  37. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “then proceeded to take abortion out to the 3rd term”

    In NZ 3rd trimester abortions only take place due to a medical emergency where you are likely to lose both the mother and the baby if nothing is done. In such cases priority is given to saving the mother.

    You can not select to have an abortion in the 3rd trimester for any other reason.

    You really have no idea do you?

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  38. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    No one in NZ want’s the government to become a killing machine.

    I love the way you claim that you know what people in new Zealand want, even as your 3 previous comments on this thread are ranked as follows:

    For: 0 Against: 2
    For: 0 Against: 5
    For: 0 Against: 3

    :cool:

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  39. nasska (11,813 comments) says:

    “Sb” puts it well….The church is there for those who prefer to spend their time on their knees banging on about the next world instead of living in this one…..it’s called “religious freedom” & long may it continue.

    What has gone out the window is the influence it once held over the rest of us similar to that of the school bully. The God Squad are grasping at the possibility of returning NZ to the Christianity saturated 50’s & 60’s via Colin Craig & his party.

    Give up…..it ain’t going to happen.

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  40. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    Most New Zealanders think this is a good thing.

    Maybe so but they are fools who have handed over just about full moral authority to ridiculous airheaded creatures like Jacinda Ardern and other dills in the Wellingtonian echo chamber.

    And if that is the calibre of the people who determine our culture………..

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  41. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    Gays can change? LOL! There aren’t any ‘exgay’ outfits left on this side of the Tasman, Harriut!

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  42. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “….The funniest thing is when Harriet doesn’t get it and then calls other people dumb! Classic fail!…”

    It’s not a fail ezette…..feminists have used that same line that Whineon did for years!

    It’s an immature arguement – and you know it. Abortion on demand has NOTHING what so ever to do with decisions before or during sex as the feotus is conceived BY the sex act- THEN the decision to abort is made by the morning after pill etc.

    And don’t be dumb and say ‘but she could have decided that IF she fell pregnant she could then abort’. Again, the feotus is not conceived. :cool:

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  43. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    Ah, Andrei. So we should cede ‘moral’ authority to the likes of convicted serial pedophile Graham Capill instead? Not to mention the hierarchy of an institution that has predominantly concealed, denied the extent, blamed the victims and actively facilitated the predatory acts of clergy pedophiles for several decades…and now slags off lesbians and gay men on the basis of ‘natural law’ archaic, premodern and prescientific rhetoric against same-sex parenting?! Sorry, mate, no dice.

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  44. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “And if that is the calibre of the people who determine our culture………..”

    No Andrei the culture is actually decided by the people who live and make up the culture it is not something that is under government control no matter how much people like to blame the government for what they perceive as government failings

    You are right about Ardern though!

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  45. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Interesting and considered post from Colin Craig. I think he is a nice chap and Parliament could do worse than have him among their number. Also good on DPF for posting him, well done.

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  46. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    RRM# Please name one person in NZ who wants the government to become a killing machine?

    With no one in charge?

    You ALWAYS miss out the point that I make RRM. :cool:

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  47. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    There is NEVER a point to any of these crazed bait-and-switch non-sequiturs you come up with harry. :cool:

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  48. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    bhudson#

    “…in your opinion. However your vote is worth the same amount as the next person, no more. Others would contend that said MP’s are displaying sound judgement, are being prudent and are making the right decision….”

    Gays CAN change…..or are you saying that the last 2 lesos and last 2 gayboys on earth would not change to save mankind?

    C’mon bhudson….answer it! :cool:

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  49. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Just on the influence of the church, which is not part of Colin Craig’s post but is being discussed in the comments. There appears to be a campaign against the church at the present time. That is because of their opposition to gay marriage in most part I suspect.
    On the radio this week after the traffic report a woman urged people to tick no religion in the census form. In the dompost today the good people of a church in Masterton have said no to opening up their premises to Annika Moa because of her lesbian lifestyle. Gay activist Kevin Hague makes it clear that what they are doing is illegal. I have long thought that freedom of conscience is a foreign concept to Mr Hague.

    So the gay activists will continue to attack the church. Because they will not abide anyone who will not fully embrace their world view. Any assurances about exemptions for churches and pastors are merely tactical concessions for the moment and will be repealed once the time is right.

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  50. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    The Human Rights Act 1993 forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation amongst other things, on the basis of accomodation, employment and goods and service provision. THe only exception is allowing conservative religious sects to preserve their quaint misogynist and homophobic standards insofar as the ordination of women and gay men are concerned. And it’s not a ‘good church,’ it’s a fringe fundamentalist sect. I reserve the term good christians for the likes fo Christians for Marriage Equality.

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  51. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Harriet (1,265) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    It’s an immature arguement – and you know it. Abortion on demand has NOTHING what so ever to do with decisions before or during sex as the feotus is conceived BY the sex act-

    I agree abortion on demand has nothing directly to do with decisions before or during sex. However, whether conception occurs does depend on decisions before and during sex and that was the point.

    THEN the decision to abort is made by the morning after pill etc.

    Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion: it prevents pregnancy from occurring following sex. This is why we need organizations like Family Planning because otherwise ignorance prevails.

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  52. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    My point isn’t about the Church per se Scott, rather it is that at this point in our history their is no arbiter of moral authority that isn’t GOVERNMENT -whether it be “experts” in the public service or unelected MPs like the lamentable Kevin Hague.

    There is no institution outside and independant from the GOVERNMENT to provide a compass to guide us and the GOVERNMENT is quite capable of just making up any crap it likes to inflict upon us as it chooses and it does this nothing to stop them.

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  53. ChardonnayGuy (1,217 comments) says:

    Who elected Bob McCoskrie? And I wasn’t aware that the Catholic hierarchy was an elective office?

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  54. Dazzaman (1,146 comments) says:

    Capill effectively killed conservative politics for near on a generation or more. Craig, decent & right that his moral perspective is, is pushing shit uphill in this day & age.

    There really is no point to this post by DPF, or any other posts he may have on the Conservatives or socially conservative politics (as if there are any to influence the political landscape), other than to capture them in “gotcha” moments.

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  55. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy – as an obtuse a comment as you have ever made. If MPs only had the power to make recommendations to the rest of us you would have a point. They aren’t so limited.

    Bob McCroskie – like him or don’t – does not have have the coercive powers at law. All he can do is engage in his common-law liberty to speak his mind and petition the government. The Catholic Church has never had any formal power in this country – again, it’s only resources are suasion.

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  56. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “There is no institution outside and independant from the GOVERNMENT to provide a compass to guide us”

    It has never occurred to me before that I/we needed any such institution!

    How is it possible, for me to have what I consider as a strong moral compass, without the approval of such an organization?

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  57. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    That’s really interesting – so your internal moral compass is completely uninformed by any study or teaching? In other words, are you saying all of your moral knowledge is based on your emotions?

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  58. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    How is it possible, for me to have what I consider as a strong moral compass, without the approval of such an organization?

    WE all would like to believe that we are good and that our opinions are correct SB. And we all fail to meet our own standards, whatever they be.

    But history shows us that politicians can and have led whole Nations astray, Hitler and Stalin for example. and in both those cases the Church did raise its voice against their crimes and people who were members of the Church suffered real martyrdom for so doing.

    But the fact that in 21st century New Zealand we kill 17000 babies a year in the womb shows without a doubt that we have lost our moral moorings

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  59. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “so your internal moral compass is completely uninformed by any study or teaching?”

    No that’s not what I said at all – its completely possible to study and attend teaching without requiring the authorisation
    or approval of any organization/church.

    One can be a Christian and never attend mass, (contrary to what the Catholic church says). One can base their moral compass on a religion yet not attend temple.

    Having a moral approach to life does not require a church(or a church like organisation) any more that attending a church is a indication of a moral compass.

    I get much of mine from that book over there, its called a Bible, yet as a result of reading it I despise all organized religion, and much of the so called teaching of those self serving organizations

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  60. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    Sb #

    The mainpoint Andrei is making here, is that the Church as an arbiter of moral authority is there for those who may need it – everyone does as the government is NOT a moral authority. Neither is any other institution.

    Or as lawyers say “If you want to talk morals, then go and see a Priest.” However these dishonest pricks will then use morals to give their legal arguements more gravatis. Juries always fall for it. Judges sometimes too. So morals must then mean something!

    Anyway, the Catholic Church is relatively benign and one can either ‘take it or leave it’. Why people get so upset when the Church speaks is because it makes sense. They always affirm the sanctity of life. And the Teachings of Christ are based upon that. Meanwhile the government does not support the santity of life, and we see that in the fact that the government supports abortion and may one day possably support euthansia.

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  61. Sb (63 comments) says:

    ” And we all fail to meet our own standards, whatever they be.” For the first time in a long time we may agree on something Andrei – but it won’t last

    ” and in both those cases the Church did raise its voice against their crimes and people who were members of the Church suffered real martyrdom for so doing.”

    And yet if you take of the blinkers off you will discover that much of the church was silent and complicit it what was going on and many Christians supported Hitler with all their hearts and minds. The greats act of martyrdom that occurred were personal actions not church actions.

    So I don’t really see what point you are trying to make.

    “But the fact that in 21st century New Zealand we kill 17000 babies a year in the womb shows without a doubt that we have lost our moral moorings”

    And that’s just silly.

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  62. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “Anyway, the Catholic Church is relatively benign and one can either ‘take it or leave it’. ”

    Oh I wish that was true

    The problem I have with the likes of Andrei and McCroskie is that there is no “leave it” its “take it or have it forced upon you”

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  63. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Andrei (1,902) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    But the fact that in 21st century New Zealand we kill 17000 babies a year in the womb shows without a doubt that we have lost our moral moorings

    And the fact that in the United States 900,000 “babies” per year are lost, spontaneously, in the first trimester shows “without a doubt” that God has lost his “moral moorings” too. :)

    https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/obstetrics-gynecology/spontaneous-abortion.html

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  64. Chuck Bird (4,928 comments) says:

    Cato (282) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 10:08 am
    I oppose both gay marriage and direct human abortion and I also think Colin Craig is wrong from a constitutional perspective. Edmund Burke said it best: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

    I was not aware the New Zealand have a Constitution. Edmund Burke’s views may have made sense 250 years ago just like times have changed since the American Constitution and the Amendment to bear arms.

    As many have pointed out MMP makes a big difference. The educational and knowledge differences between the average person and MPs is not near as great as it was in Burke’s day.

    There are plenty of people who are far more knowledgeable on certain subjects than many MPs and some MPs are not very bright at all.

    If Edmund Burke was alive today he may have a different view in light of some of the moral legislative that MPs have passed due to pressure from militant pressure groups.

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  65. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    the Church as an arbiter of moral authority is there for those who may need it – everyone does as the government is NOT a moral authority. Neither is any other institution.

    The weakness and the cowardice of people incapable of discerning right & wrong for themselves, who need to have it given to them in rote form by some churchy authority figure, and who then unswervingly take it and try to impose it on others whether they like it or not, never ceases to amaze me. I pity those people.

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  66. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (3,109) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I was not aware the New Zealand have a Constitution.

    We do.

    http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/node/68

    Good quote from Edmund Burke too. I don’t agree with Colin Craig but he betrays himself with this idiotic populism by suggesting that the role of an MP is one of mindless servant. Indeed by sacrificing his own mind he is not serving his constituency at all (were he able to acquire one in the first place).

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  67. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    The problem I have with the likes of Andrei and McCroskie is that there is no “leave it” its “take it or have it forced upon you”

    What do you think I am trying to impose on you?

    Nothing that’s what, you are free to do what you want as far as I’m concerned, your choices and your consequences for making those choices

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  68. Sb (63 comments) says:

    “What do you think I am trying to impose on you?

    Nothing that’s what, ”

    That’s because you can’t, not because you wouldn’t if you had the power

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  69. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    What do you think I am trying to impose on you?

    Nothing that’s what, you are free to do what you want as far as I’m concerned,…

    No, you have been arguing that the state should NOT give homosexual couples marriage licenses.

    That is the OPPOSITE of what you just said ;-)

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  70. Andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    No, you have been arguing that the state should NOT give homosexual couples marriage licenses.

    No it is not – I am actually saying keep the State out of peoples personal realtionships unless there is a compelling reason for the State to be involved.

    The only reason why the State might make a case for being involved in marriage is that it helps define who is responsible for the children born from that relationship.

    This was the same position of the Atheist philopspher Bertrand Russel by the way on the matter

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  71. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Andrei – fair enough, that is sensible.

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  72. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Well reasoned stuff from Craig.

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  73. Chuck Bird (4,928 comments) says:

    I don’t agree with Colin Craig but he betrays himself with this idiotic populism by suggesting that the role of an MP is one of mindless servant.

    Many MPs do describe themselves as servants or the people and/or representatives. I take it you believe that is just self-effacing bullshit.

    There is no way that MPs can pass legislation opposed by 87% of the people and call themselves representatives.

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  74. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    Chuck, your comments made my mind hark back to the anti smacking legislation which was introduced into the house by unelected list MP Sue Bradford. Polls show it was opposed by 85% of the electorate. To their shame when the social engineering of Labour and the Greens was rejected at the last 2 elections, the National government has invested no political capital in repealing the anti smacking legislation. Instead they are meekly continuing to advance the Labour / Greens agenda with gay marriage and gay adoption.

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  75. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    “…..The weakness and the cowardice of people incapable of discerning right & wrong for themselves, who need to have it given to them in rote form by some churchy authority figure, and who then unswervingly take it and try to impose it on others whether they like it or not, never ceases to amaze me. I pity those people…..”

    Now we’ve got RiMM saying that prisons are infact Churches and all who reside there are Christian – and the wardens are also leaders of Churches!

    But not only that, RiMM then goes on to say that the prisoners are also Preachers of Christianity!

    And THEN – says he has PITY on the likes of Jules Mukus!

    What a right fucken idiot! :cool:

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  76. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    While Colin Craig has answered the question well, I do have two concerns:

    1. He said this:

    “Our party policy is that where such a referenda achieves two-thirds support from the voting public it should be binding on government.”

    If we had a referendum today opposing gay marriage at two-thirds support we would lose, even though it is vitally essential we stop it for New Zealand’s survival. The reality is this: New Zealanders are simply too ill-informed on the subject; at present they’re voting on emotion over any form of rational objectivity in respect to future negative implications surrounding gay marriage.

    2. He said if an electorate required the MP to vote in a way that was against his conscience that he would prefer number 3:

    “To go back to the electorate and negotiate with them. If there is an impasse then to offer his resignation.”

    While that may be the most democratic in respect to a big party, it’s not applicable to a small one like the Conservative Party. At the moment we’re only likely see Craig get elected or a couple of others at best which means I would not get representation in Parliament if say ‘Craig’ voted for gay marriage because his electorate desired that. We’ve got to start thinking for the overall betterment of the nation and not just electorates.

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  77. Scott (1,821 comments) says:

    The Conservative, regarding a referendum on gay marriage it depends on how high the bar is. Kevin Hague has admitted that if gay marriage was the subject of a referendum his side would lose in a simple majority.

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  78. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    RRM (6,469) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Andrei – fair enough, that is sensible.

    I disagree because I don’t believe it. It’s a red herring and nothing more than a debating tactic knowing full well that government is never going to stop recognizing all relationships and thus he is skirting around the issue of equality. The same goes for the argument “but civil unions gave them equal rights” ignoring the fact that the people who proffer this argument wouldn’t have supported civil unions either. They probably wouldn’t have supported legalization of homosexual relationships at all. After all, it is legalization of homosexuality that led to civil unions that led to the “redefinition” of marriage that will inevitably lead to beastiality, paedophilia and all manner of sin and damnation.

    Moreover, the characterization of it is bogus as well. He talks of keeping the state out of people’s relationships as if the government plays an active part in people’s relationships rather than just creating the legal framework that people choose to utilize.

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  79. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    Scott, Craig is talking about two-thirds; that is not a simple majority vote. That is my point, if it were a simple majority of 51% we would win.

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  80. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (3,110) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Many MPs do describe themselves as servants or the people and/or representatives. I take it you believe that is just self-effacing bullshit.

    There is no way that MPs can pass legislation opposed by 87% of the people and call themselves representatives.

    I don’t have a problem with deferring to the electorate in and of itself, but I do if it is automatic and unthinking as Craig appears to propose.

    First, how do you know what 87% of “the people” support or oppose? People can get polls to tell them just about anything they want. The reality of legislation however is generally more nuanced than political polls and there is plenty of room for an MP to exercise judgment regardless of whatever some poll says.

    Second, elected officials often have access to more information than your average person. An uninformed opinion is just that and one should not sacrifice their judgment to the electorate if it is believed that electorate is uninformed.

    Ultimately there is no hard and fast rule that’s why judgment is key. Every once and a while we have elections and if the member’s judgment doesn’t stand the test of time they may be removed from office by the electorate.

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  81. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Now we’ve got RiMM saying that prisons are infact Churches and all who reside there are Christian – and the wardens are also leaders of Churches!

    But not only that, RiMM then goes on to say that the prisoners are also Preachers of Christianity!

    And THEN – says he has PITY on the likes of Jules Mukus!

    :???: What. The. Fuck???

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  82. nasska (11,813 comments) says:

    Weihana

    ….”we have elections and if the member’s judgment doesn’t stand the test of time they may be removed from office by the electorate.”….

    Trouble is that by the time we have a chance to kick them out the damage has been done. If we were discussing the way an MP votes on a the Waikikamoocow Drainage Board Bill or matters of defence or revenue then I would go along with you.

    Marriage & abortion, among other issues, should be regarded as conscience issues. They do not need great deliberation by an MP who undoubtedly has a rock hard opinion when he/she stands for election.

    Instead what I want as a voter is to be told in advance of how a prospective Parliamentarian is likely to vote. I don’t need an MP to think for me….just to state their position in advance & keep to it.

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  83. Chuck Bird (4,928 comments) says:

    “First, how do you know what 87% of “the people” support or oppose?”

    That was the result of the referendum on smacking.

    “Second, elected officials often have access to more information than your average person.”

    That already been addressed by Nasska. As anyone can see from debates on this blog people already have fixed views on moral issues. The same applies to MPs and more information if they do have it does not make their view more valid.

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  84. Redbaiter (9,654 comments) says:

    A MESSAGE FOR COLIN CRAIG

    Do not try and tailor your message to suit the liberals/ progressives in the mainstream media (or the blogosphere).

    They will not vote for you. They hate you. They will distort everything you say.

    They do not understand your POV and probably never will.

    Your political strength lies in your appeal to those who know the simple truth that the mainstream media and the present liberal/ progressive houses of Labour and National are the problem not the solution.

    Be yourself.

    We know the media are against you. We know they are partisan liars.

    Do not bend your message to suit the mainstream media.

    If you do, you will defeat yourself.

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