Herald on Craig

July 29th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

National Party election strategists have made a fateful call against an accommodation with the of . On current polling, the Conservatives have about 2 per cent of the vote nationwide, enough to bring possibly three members into Parliament if one of them was to win an electorate. Now National’s decision not to hand them an electorate means they could win up to 4.9 per cent and all of those votes would not count towards returning National to office.

Not quite. If a party gets 4.9% of the vote, then it is wasted vote and the practical effect is for half of that vote to go to National.

John Key and his team would have weighed up the fact that even one seat won by a potential ally can make all the difference to an MMP election result. If Act had not won Epsom at the last election, the government would have been chosen by New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Peter Dunne, who could all have gone with Labour. The Conservatives, like Act, have nowhere else to go.

Again not quite. Peter Dunne had ruled Labour out prior to the election. But it is correct that without Epsom, the Maori Party or NZ First would have had the balance of power.

Spurned by National yesterday, Mr Craig raised the possibility of a post-election deal with Labour but it is not credible. His social conservatism is the polar opposite of Labour’s beliefs on just about every issue. 

And Labour has ruled him out.

National must have calculated, probably rightly, that to make room for Mr Craig in East Coast Bays would have cost National more votes than his support might be worth. 

That’s my view.

Looking to the long term, National needs the Conservatives to do well without its help. It needs another party on the right with a solid, reliable voting base, much as the Greens have established on the left. Act has failed to find such a base and has come to depend on National’s concession of Epsom. NZ First is a right of centre party but it is based on its leader’s personal appeal and will not survive him.

In an ideal world there would be both a classical liberal party and a conservative party in Parliament.

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167 Responses to “Herald on Craig”

  1. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    They’ve picked wrong about NZ First. Many of its supporters will claim they are right of centre, or conservative (small c), but all its individual policies are pure populist.

    Its the last gasp of Muldoonism, led by his most loyal disciple

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  2. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Amazing to me that so many people say they will not vote for Craig because he is not a “real Conservative” yet they will vote for the Nationals who have moved further from the ideas that they were founded on than any other political party in NZ.

    And the point about the Conservatives anyway is not what they can or cannot do, or whether they are truly Conservative or not. That is all just so much trifling hogwash.

    The real issue is that the sclerotic orthodoxy of Progressivism (National and Labour) must be broken, and the Conservatives as a completely new political force in NZ are the best chance to break it.

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘the Nationals who have moved further from the ideas that they were founded on’
    You often say this but it’s completely wrong. No National government has ever done anything other than operate on the social and economic settings bequeathed to them by previous Labour governments.

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  4. mjw (396 comments) says:

    What do National stand for anyway? And how is that reflected in their policies? I can’t for life of me see anything that distinguishes them except pragmatism and populism. I think they would go into coalition with the devil himself if it delivered them into government.

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  5. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Yes ROJ, interesting that Helen Key sees Winston Peters as his best port in a storm.

    How can those whose “principles” cause them to oppose a Conservative coalition overlook this repellent compromise?

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  6. smttc (752 comments) says:

    If you think a man who believes binding CIR is the answer then you are dreaming.

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  7. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    Red, repellent yes but entirely consistent in Peters’ view, to cheerlead to the grandstand

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  8. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “You often say this but it’s completely wrong.”

    I am not wrong. Here are the ideas that National was founded upon.

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

    The National Party has become everything they once professed to oppose. They have gradually and shamelessly taken every piece of ground once held, and their diehard supporters insanely claim this as some kind of victory.

    And that it is, but not for National. Its a victory for the left.

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  9. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The real issue is that the sclerotic orthodoxy of Progressivism (National and Labour) must be broken, and the Conservatives as a completely new political force in NZ are the best chance to break it.

    I haven’t seen anything like this in the Conservative Party manifesto (in fact there’s very little to see in their published policies).

    Can you explain how binding referenda will break “the sclerotic orthodoxy of Progressivism”?

    Do the Conservatives have a secret agenda only known by a handful of faithfuls? Or are the right wing revolutionaries grasping at any straw because it’s the only tenuous hope they have?

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  10. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Reddy
    They may well be National’s founding principles. All I am saying is that no National government has ever acted on them.

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  11. Don the Kiwi (1,757 comments) says:

    Peters and NZ First right of centre??????

    Has never struck me that way.
    Mind you, the opportunist Peters would say he is anything to be able to keep his snout in the trough and the baubles it brings.

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  12. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    I posted this on the previous thread so rather than repeat the typing:

    When the CP first got off the ground I thought “yes! finally a conservative party to vote for!” But as time went on I saw very little policy focus on areas of concern to social conservatives, and a lot of pilfering from NZF. Well, I could if inclined vote for NZF so why do I need NZF v2?

    Then there was Craig himself. Early on I was happy to defend Craig and overlook his oddities, but as the whole issue of a seat came to the fore he started looking far more dicey. His “bottom line” demand when his party was only just scoring 2% in the polls was arrogant and naive.

    So sadly I think JK has made the right decision. Craig would not beat McCully in a straight contest, no matter how many nods and winks ECB voters were given, and forcing them to vote for him by pulling McCully would have drawn a big fat target on National in a way that the other deals do not.

    And despite Red’s fantasies Craig and the CP was never going to be the Saviour of the Right.

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  13. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    National are doing a jolly good job of keeping the unaffordable luxury cruise liner that is New Zealand afloat, but unfortunately we still exist on a knife edge, as a trading nation. In spite of how well we are going comparatively, this administration is kind of like the household that refuses to get rid of all the Sky channels, ditch the annual holiday and the flash car even though the mortgage is quite big and the kids are getting older and older…

    Instead, dad’s working two jobs and Mum is getting into real estate or is that Amway.

    Colin Craig will get votes from people who see a much more durable society can be (re)created by simply returning to values such as being responsible for yourself and your family, and avoiding throwing money away on things like treaty settlements and a joke of a justice system.

    It’s pretty basic stuff. As Craig said this morning on Nine to Noon, they might not get within sight of parliament this time, but at least people know who they are and where they stand – for next time.

    He was right when he said they will stick to their binding referendum policy on principle: two major referendums – toughening up law and order, and overturning the smacking bullshit – overwhelmingly supported and the constituency was required to go and get f***ed. They don’t like that.

    Will be interesting to see how they do.

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  14. kowtow (8,487 comments) says:

    National have no vision beyond this election.

    Act is finished and UF is a one man band. Key has said he won’t work with Peters.If he does he’ll be accused of being a liar or flip flopper.

    An accommodation with Craig would have introduced a potential ally which the Nats may well need down the road.Why throw away an opportunity to build the conservative base?

    I think the Nats are afraid that the cons could replace them ,in time, and are ensuring they don’t get a chance to grow.

    I’ll be giving Craig my party vote.Call it wasted, I call it a message.

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  15. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    I need to correct a comment above that had a couple of key words missing (in bold italics below) –

    They (National) have gradually and shamelessly taken every piece of ground once held by the left, and their diehard supporters insanely claim this as some kind of victory.

    And that it is, but not for National. Its a victory for the left.

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  16. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    As Craig said this morning on Nine to Noon, they might not get within sight of parliament this time, but at least people know who they are and where they stand – for next time.

    He was right when he said they will stick to their binding referendum policy on principle.

    I’d like to hear what Craig actually said but that doesn’t sound like a confident party leader, nor one who understands how achieving things in politics works, presuming he actually wanted to become an MP.

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  17. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    I am assuming that the New Zealand Labour party once had an equivalent of the UK Party’s clause IV, which in its original form said:

    “To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”

    So I would suggest that Labour’s move away from “the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange” to its current economic policy is a pretty radical shift as well.

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  18. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    I am no real fan of binding referenda but I can fully understand why some people want them.

    The redefinition of traditional marriage was the act of an arrogant out of control gang of elitists who ran roughshod over the wishes of a large sector of the NZ population.

    Same with the anti-smacking legislation.

    National proved completely incapable of providing resistance to the political manouvering of the extreme left (Lousia Wall and Sue Bradford for example) so naturally people now feel that more is needed to restrain what has become an out of control govt of elitist progressives.

    In effect the call for binding referenda is just another reflection upon National and their weak capitulation to anti-family forces and their failure to fight for the voters they profess to represent.

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  19. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Pete, here’s the audio link.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20143478/is-it-all-over-for-the-conservative-party

    I think commentators underestimate the voter disaffection with National, in places like Canterbury. Small parties are never reflected accurately in polls (viz NZF in 2011, came from nowhere; also CP getting 2.7% from a 0 poll base).

    Consvs have an obvious core constituency even more highly motivated now to get out. JKey has helped focus a Consv 5% threshold campaign (which it appears was always their strategy, if you look at Colin Craig’s consistent statements).

    They will never appear as much of a blip on poll radar, but will be focussed on Polling day. A low voter turnout will also radically assist Consvs, because it lowers the gross threshold needed.

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  20. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I am no real fan of binding referenda but I can fully understand why some people want them.

    Some people want them because they think that the majority will agree with what they want so they will work for them.

    Many are likely to be disappointed in what they might deliver most of the time, especially if they are Conservative supporters who seem to tend to have a fairly narrow and out of date view on social issues.

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  21. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Absolutely the right decision. National doesn’t need the Colin Craig sideshow and you can bet your left nut that the left would have had a field day had National given a deal. Now National can make plenty of mileage about Labour going into coalition with the extreme IMP without any of that coming back at them. This decision was a no brainer.

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  22. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    I disagree Cunningham. Without the Consvs, the Nats are “National-No-Friends” and the only option is coalition with Winston.

    That is not a long-term strategy with Peters in his 70s this term and already in ill-health.

    The constituency represented in Consvs has popped its head up several times: Values Party, Socred, Heritage, Christian Democrats, Christian Colaition, Future NZ/UF, Kiwi party, Maxim, the Destiny thing, Family First, SST, etc., now the COnservatives. It is a core NZ constituency looking for representation, that National has abandoned.

    Eventually they will find their way in.

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  23. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I agree Cunningham. It puts National in a strong position. They can now say that they have been open about who they would deal with, and those named have already proven able to contribute to a stable National led government, with the exception of the last resort NZ First but they are seen as safer with a dominant National compared to the clash of egos and ideals that a left wing coalition would be.

    And Cunliffe has committed himself to not stating who he would work with, especially avoiding the Dotcom elephant on the left room, but even if IMP fail to be needed Labour trying to manage Greens and Peters would be something they will want to try and play down.

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  24. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    In an ideal world there would be both a classical liberal party and a conservative party in Parliament

    I think both are embodied in the National Party, which since its formation has been an alliance of town liberals and rural conservatives. As long as representation in Parliament remains partly based on geography, this will remain the case.

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  25. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    Hey if they get over the 5% threshold then good on them. Though I have to say that Craig’s statement that if they accepted binding referendums he would go with Labour, which means going with the Greens and possibly IMP, does not give his claim to being a conservative much credibility.

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  26. Unity (584 comments) says:

    I’m with you on this, Kowtow. My Party vote will also be going to the Conservatives and rather than a wasted vote (which I’m sure it won’t be), it will definitely be a message. People want binding referenda because of the actions of successive Governments in ignoring the wishes of the people. I see it as essential because of Governments ignoring overwhelming non-binding polls which wish for a particular course of action. The anti-smacking bill, the new Foreshore and Seabed (Marine and Coastal something?) legislation (which Helen Clark amazingly fixed up properly by the way) and redefining marriage are three issues that have made me go right off National, not to mention the current fraudulent Treaty settlements.

    I’m pleased National aren’t helping the Conservatives in ECB because that will allow them to shine on their own. I’m equally sure that the more the media goes on and on denigrating Colin Craig it will make people feel more like voting for him, especially any who have attended his meetings which have been full houses in most instances. What we see and hear at those meetings doesn’t remotely resemble how he is portrayed in the media. The detractors should go along to one of his meetings and see what I’m talking about. You can even ask your own questions and they will be answered in depth.

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  27. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “And despite Red’s fantasies Craig and the CP was never going to be the Saviour of the Right.

    I have never said any such thing. If you took the time to upgrade your education to a basic level, ie one that allows you to comprehend what others write, it might save you the disdain you frequently earn from those you so constantly misrepresent.

    I have made my views on the Conservative party quite clear. That you constantly distort those views only reinforces my impression of you as a conscienceless liar who in the manner of leftists everywhere will cast any kind of smear to discredit their critics. Peter George does the same thing.

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  28. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    But Pete, the parties you claim above have ” contribute[d] to a stable National led government” are now in jeopardy. ACT and UF may not exist in 50 days. Neither the Maori Party.

    So, I do not understand why ignoring the Consvs is somehow a stronger position. It is completely the reverse.

    We have Nats maybe 47-48% and who? [Winston, who also may not get thru]. Bye bye a National-led anything with that maths.

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  29. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    I will probably vote Conservative even though I don’t think Colin Craig’s version of a Conservative Party is quite the one I’m looking for. But what is the alternative? National under Key truly is Labour in Drag. UF only stands for keeping Dunne in a cushy job. NZF is led by an inveterate liar. ACT scuttled themselves when they threw Hide overboard and I find Whyte and Seymour completely unconvincing. Short of not voting at all which is a true waste, voting for Craig and his Conservatives seems to be the least unpalatable option.

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  30. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “National are doing a jolly good job of keeping the unaffordable luxury cruise liner that is New Zealand afloat” – YEP!

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  31. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    iMP I have no problem with a conservative based party but Craig has made himself a laughing stock that will never be taken seriously. National would have take a hit for sure if they had gone ahead and it would have overshadowed their entire campaign. It is just not worth the risk IMO. It is a shame because there is a place for a party like that but with Craig at the helm, they are doomed to fail.

    As for NZF, Winston will leave eventually and I don’t agree that they are definitely finished when he does. I reckon he will find someone high profile to replace him and keep NZF going….who knows, maybe even Shane Jones!

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  32. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Cunningham, I think you mistake Colin Craig’s distorted media image (largely manufactured by activists like Seven Sharp) and the reality voters are seeing in increasing numbers (bigger turnouts than Cunliffe is getting i the same venues). The two versions are completely disparate. The Q is, i guess, which will affect more voters and whether Consvs get over the 5% threshold.

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  33. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “Craig has made himself a laughing stock that will never be taken seriously.”

    Really its the commenters who allow their thinking to be shaped and manipulated by a largely progressive mainstream media who should not ever be taken seriously.

    That you obviously can’t think for yourself makes you the laughing stock.

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  34. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    Red, you claimed “I have never said any such thing.”

    But in your first post you said “The real issue is that the sclerotic orthodoxy of Progressivism (National and Labour) must be broken, and the Conservatives as a completely new political force in NZ are the best chance to break it.”

    Seems like a contradiction.

    ” If you took the time to upgrade your education to a basic level”

    Like getting a Uni degree? Have you got one? :) Try another Marxist style attack line.

    I understand what you are claiming perfectly. I just think it’s bollocks. Almost none of the CP’s policies would do what you claimed, and even if they got over the 5% threshold they would still not have the power to achieve what you claim.

    Your’e ignoring political reality again.

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  35. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    iMP- there sis some doubt over whether idiots like Cunningham are victims of the MSM or whether they seek to actively promote Craig as something he is not for the same reasons the media do it.

    Cuningham is either an easily influenced imbecile or a Progressive who hates Conservatives.

    Hard to tell which.

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  36. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    iMP – if National get close to a majority they know that ACT, UF and the Maori Party would all back them after negotiation minor policy concessions.

    They have no idea what Colin Craig would do, except that if National say a flat no to binding referenda and Labour agree to initiate a report on them then the CP may switch to Labour.

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  37. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    @ Ashley Schaeffer: 12:02 pm

    “I will probably vote Conservative even though I don’t think Colin Craig’s version of a Conservative Party is quite the one I’m looking for. But what is the alternative?”

    I’m not convinced that a separate party is what we need, or the right strategy. There are still plenty of conservatives in National, and a better strategy is get more social conservatives into that party, and start a internal lobby group like the BlueLibs.

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  38. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Pete, how can they “back them” if they’re not in parliament? !!

    ACT and UF are both on 0.00% the last several polls; and the Maori Party may win 1 seat at most, if they’re lucky. I don’t see how this works?

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  39. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Shawn, it was tried. National ignored the lobby group. The NZ COnsv.s is a natural groundswell filling a political vacuum that has opened up, same as UKIP in the UK vs the Tory Conservative party there.

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  40. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    In my considered opinion, Colin Craig and HIS ‘Conservative Party’ have NO proven track record, and cannot point a stick at ANYTHING which he/they have achieved for the public or the public interest, apart from simply standing for public office.

    What is Colin Craig’s policy on a Capital Gains Tax?

    I’ve asked him directly – but never got an answer.

    Penny Bright

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  41. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    This is an interesting article that although American has parallels in NZ. It makes the case that the left have moved far left, and as the Republicans (or in NZ National) have followed them rather than pulled the other way, we are actually far more left today than what many perceive.

    IOW, the so called center has been pulled far to the left compared to where it was a few decades ago.

    This is mainly due to the Republican’s (and National’s) failure to fight, and it is why now many people are seeking other parties or a reformed Republican party to answer their concerns with living in what is essentially a state far far further left than it has ever been.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061214-704523-democrats-have-lurched-to-the-extreme-not-republicans.htm

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  42. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    As Matthew Hooton has pointed out several times. The polls (he’s studied several hundred over a few decades) consistently inflate National’s polling day result by 5-7%. So, on 52% now, polling day is likely around 45-47%.

    Nat. 45%.

    Explain the 5-6% extra needed to form a stable government and where it comes from.

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  43. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “In my considered opinion,”

    There is nothing considered about your opinions.

    “Colin Craig and HIS ‘Conservative Party’ have NO proven track record, and cannot point a stick at ANYTHING which he/they have achieved for the public or the public interest, apart from simply standing for public office.”

    They are a political party. Standing for office is what they are supposed to do. DUH.

    “What is Colin Craig’s policy on a Capital Gains Tax?”

    It is very likely they oppose it, as they should, and as both National and ACT do.

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  44. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (7,613 comments) says:

    “iMP- there sis some doubt over whether idiots like Cunningham are victims of the MSM or whether they seek to actively promote Craig as something he is not for the same reasons the media do it.”

    Whether you like it or not Red, the media have a massive influence over voters and Craig has been incredibly stupid to not realise this. I’ve seen some interviews of him and was quite impressed with how he interviewed but the vast majority of people don’t see those interviews and only know the soundbites presented to them on the nightly news.

    Yes he has been a bit unfairly targeted by the media but that is the game. If you want to get into politics you have to know how to play the media. JK is a master at this, Craig is not. You can deny it all you want but that is the truth.

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  45. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “In my considered opinion, Colin Craig and HIS ‘Conservative Party’ have NO proven track record, and cannot point a stick at ANYTHING which he/they have achieved for the public or the public interest,”

    Without the taxes paid by Colin Craig and others like him you and your ilk would be living under sheets of corrugated iron on some council rubbish tip.

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  46. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    % doesn’t matter for UF, Dunne has a reasonable chance of holding Ohariu.

    iMP – the importance of % for ACT is whether it pulls in more MPs, I think they stand a good chance of picking up voters who are happy for National to get back in but don’t want single party rule. While Whyte has a bit to learn (and fast) Seymour is proving more than capable.

    The Maori Party could still get several seats. It’s a challenge for them but Labour’s general weakness and IMP vote splitting could help them hold electorates.

    National presumably don’t even know who will be on the CP list yet. It’s a high risk unknown quantity/quality.

    That’s how it works.

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  47. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Penny, what has ACT, UF and the Maori party achieved? They’ve had several parliamentary terms. And National wants to keep returning to that, like a dog to its vomit? Time for the bench.

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  48. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    iMP (2,243 comments) says:

    “Nat. 45%.

    Explain the 5-6% extra needed to form a stable government and where it comes from.”

    We haven’t had such a pathetic and dangerous opposition previously so I wouldn’t necessarily expect such a drop this time around.

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  49. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    And this sort of thing doesn’t help, fresh off Twitter:

    @tauhenare
    Hard case this #retirement thing. Even the #cops are saying goodbye.

    @Colin_CraigNZ
    @tauhenare Can I have your list seat?

    Shane te Pou ‏@PouTepou
    Your hoardings scared my kids

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  50. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    Liam Hehir:

    I agree that historically, National (and Labour), where coalitions of people with wide views.

    Two things are changing that: MMP and economics.

    With MMP, once you are securely over the 5% threshold, the old imperative of “the bigger the better” no longer applies. There comes a point when a large faction of a party will decide to go as a separate brand, rather than put up with the compromises needed to keep everyone in the big tent pissing out. You could argue that the Greens have taken a swag of supporters from Labour under this process. There is also the possibility that the dominate faction will eject troublesome groups, knowing that the small party will eventually come back to the fold when required (National expelling Winston, and then going into government with NZ First is the example).

    We may be getting to the time when the urban/liberal/professional wing of the National Party will want to seriously distancing itself from the small, rural, conservative rump.

    On economics, the rural economy and even more importantly the rural population are in relative decline in New Zealand. While diary is going bangbusters, a lot of the rest of the agricultural sector is in decline.This is a world-wide trend: 70% of the NZ economy is now in the service sector. There will come a time when the cities, Auckland in particular, will want its values to have a greater reflection in National’s priorities.

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  51. Reboot (101 comments) says:

    Key is smart. He is thinking long term. DPF attempts to spin the reality into some short term election strategy.

    The reality is that the Conservatives share the same group of voters as National – “mums and dads” who consider themselves to be right leaning yet are too economically illiterate to vote for the only right wing party in Parliament with consistent right wing economic policies. National, like the Conservatives, are in actual fact both populist parties with left wing economic policies. John Key is a populist leader. Don Brash was an exception. Bill English was and is further to the left than David Cunliffe and if he had ever been given the chance to be PM would probably have done Think Big all over again.

    As a result, to allow the Conservatives to gain any sort of traction or chance to get into Parliament will only result in them competing in the future for the same block of voters. John Key thinks long term and is willing to sacrifice doing what’s right for the country in order to retain the populist vote (examples include keeping student loans interest free and keeping Working For Families). He doesn’t want the Conservatives to become to National like the Greens are to Labour, and wants to stamp out the fire before it grows.

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  52. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Anyway.

    It’ll all come out in the wash. All that’s happened, is that John key has said he won’t gift Craig ECB – as you would. He HAS said he could work with CP so he’s just putting himself into a position of comfort until the numbers go down on Sept 20. If Winston beats Colin; fine, he’ll pay him his pound of flesh until shit gets out of hand (it will) and things need to be done, and then he will deal with it.

    If Craig beats Winston, then same applies, it’s just a newer face and it might work out better.

    Red –

    John Key used the smacking debate as an opportunity to get himself onto the podium alongside Helen Clark, pour oil on very troubled waters and give the NZ public an opportunity to see what he would look like as a potential PM. It was a masterstroke by design or accident it doesn’t matter; it worked.

    Who knows if they govern alone they might even rescind the stupid legislation. A lot of MPs in National and Labour were agin it remember, with Labour MPs whipped into voting for it.

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  53. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Why would Key bother greasing up Craig?

    If he gets his seat or gets over the threshold, he’s not going to go with Labour.

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  54. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Here’s a website with some real crazy stuff: http://colincraig.co.nz/

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  55. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    National, Act, United and the Maori party are all polling lower now than they were at this stage in the last election cycle.
    Any increase in support for Act will come directly of National.
    The Conservatives are polling higher today than they were prior to the last election and their support is growing.
    Conservative support is growing at the expense of; National, Labour and NZ First.
    The polls only registered about half of the Conservatives support in 2011, the same is probably true today.
    The Conservatives are very likely to exceed the 5% threshold…….

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  56. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    The NZ COnsv.s is a natural groundswell filling a political vacuum that has opened up, same as UKIP in the UK vs the Tory Conservative party there.

    Except that a) there’s no “lightning rod” issue like Europe and immigration that the Conservatives can really address and b) Farage is a natural politician and a orator, whereas Craig…erm…

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  57. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I remember in the days after the 2008 election, Rodney Hide made John Key wait in the corridor outside Rodney’s office for a 10am appointment to discuss coalitions. All the cameras were there and I bet Rodney thought he was being SOOOOO CLEVER making people think Key was at his beck and call. (Good on ya Rodney. You had something more important going on that that morning which you had to finish first, yeah right, of course you did; Tui?)

    And then Rodney got made “Minister for Local Body Government” and the hiding to nothing job of setting up Super Auckland, and the rest is history. Or at least, Rodney is now history.

    I think that’s what I like about Key, it’s his professionalism. No stupid stunts, no shooting his mouth off, just the result.

    Colin on the other hand appears to be not even in Rodney’s league…

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  58. Unity (584 comments) says:

    Someone must be very afraid of Colin Craig, to go to such lengths, Pete. I understand someone has also put up billboards about Chemtrails and other rubbish reputedly from the Conservatives but they are just someone making mischief. They are not authentic. These people need to attend his meetings to see the real person. He is quite different to the one portrayed by the media and other anxious people. It is all quite amusing really, to those who know how wrong they are.

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  59. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Any increase in support for Act will come directly of National.

    Conservative support is growing at the expense of; National, Labour and NZ First.

    I’d be surprised if there’s evidence of either of those.

    National has had fairly static poll support for some time. There are many undecideds (around 15% according to polls) that are looking for a party to vote for or who won’t vote. That’s where the votes are likely to come from for small parties. Not off National.

    The Conservatives are very likely to exceed the 5% threshold…….

    There’s no realistic way of knowing that at this stage. Even Craig is only claiming 3-4% current support.

    The poll patterns leading up to last election can’t be used as any guide, it’s a totally different situation for CP this time.

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  60. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    Pete Read your link can’t find anything crazy – still Ill wait till Sep 21 to see if other Crazy people in your mind agree or disagree.

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  61. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I think that’s what I like about Key, it’s his professionalism. No stupid stunts, no shooting his mouth off, just the result.

    Except for one very notable exception, his cup of tea with John Banks. That followed a week of media pressure to have one. Key learnt a hard lesson, hence an entirely different, far more measured approach this time, a long way from polling day.

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  62. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    freethinker – I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make there. I’m also not sure if you get what that website is about.

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  63. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “Except that a) there’s no “lightning rod” issue like Europe and immigration that the Conservatives can really address ”

    What a worthless assertion.

    There are plenty of “lightening rod” issues. At least there would be if we had a media that wasn’t in the pocket of progressives like you.

    Marriage redefinition for example is an issue that many people are still very angry about along with the anti-smacking legislation. I know the Helen Klarkers among us would like us to “move on” but we will not. It is a far more important issue to us than many of you progressives ever understood.

    Then you have Key’s intent to change the flag and the possibility of compulsory Maori language in schools.

    Probably not much to a reprobate who urinates in public but meaningful to more civilised voters.

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  64. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “Someone must be very afraid of Colin Craig, to go to such lengths, Pete. I understand someone has also put up billboards about Chemtrails and other rubbish reputedly from the Conservatives”

    Look at who the left wish to ridicule and discredit and you will find someone speaking truth.

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  65. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Gay marriage
    Smacking the kids
    Changing the flag
    Teaching te reo
    All things to be very upset about. Must be New Zealand where we don’t have any real problems.

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  66. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    …Marriage redefinition…

    have you married a man yet?

    If not, why not?

    Remember, marriage was “redefined”…

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  67. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Marriage redefinition for example is an issue that many people are still very angry about along with the anti-smacking legislation.

    What do you mean by “many people”?

    These are hardly big issues of interest to most voters. Polls show the opposite. I think most people have forgotten about them and have moved on.

    Does “conservative” mean incessantly knashing and thrashing over the past?

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  68. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Then you have Key’s intent to change the flag and the possibility of compulsory Maori language in schools.”

    The first issue will go to a referendum, so that’s ok. The second issue is not a National Party policy.

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  69. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Does “conservative” mean incessantly knashing and thrashing over the past?”

    If mistakes were made in the past then it’s a good idea to do something about them in the present.

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  70. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    George Bowling,

    Couldn’t agree more. As rural flight intensifies so will the power of town liberals. That’s democracy.

    However, as long as we have geographical representation in Parliament via electorate MPs then those constituencies will be guaranteed to have a voice in Parliament. It is worth noting that a majority of the National caucus still votes in a socially conservative way on many conscience issues.

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  71. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I haven’t seen any sign that anyone in our current Parliament wants to revisit smacking or marriage equality. And I’ve only seen one party that’s campaigning that has any interest in revisiting them.

    And I haven’t seen any evidence that the law changes were a mistake (ie that things are demonstrably worse now because of them).

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  72. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “It is worth noting that a majority of the National caucus still votes in a socially conservative way on many conscience issues.”

    Exactly right, which is why, if we want real change over time it makes far more sense for conservatives to target National than rely on a small minor party, especially one that is to some degree at least dependent on one man.

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  73. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    Hi Pete George,

    I call this the “if the world doesn’t end tomorrow then it must be a good policy and so only irrational people would support it” test.

    I prefer the attitude of Zhou Enlai who, when asked about the impact on world history of the French revolution, correctly remarked that it was too soon to say.

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  74. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “I haven’t seen any sign that anyone in our current Parliament wants to revisit smacking or marriage equality.”

    Have you talked about it to every National MP?

    I don’t change what I believe just because of the majority. That is sheep behavior.

    “And I haven’t seen any evidence that the law changes were a mistake”

    Define “evidence.”

    If something is wrong, then it’s wrong. Abortion might be “working” and a majority may be in favor of it. But killing babies because they are inconvenient to someone’s lifestyle is still wrong.

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  75. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    It is worth noting that a majority of the National caucus still votes in a socially conservative way on many conscience issues.

    National MPs voted about 50-50 for the Marriage Amendment Bill and 100% for the S59 amendment (smacking bill)

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  76. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    What a worthless assertion.

    There are plenty of “lightening rod” issues. At least there would be if we had a media that wasn’t in the pocket of progressives like you.

    Marriage redefinition for example is an issue that many people are still very angry about along with the anti-smacking legislation. I know the Helen Klarkers among us would like us to “move on” but we will not. It is a far more important issue to us than many of you progressives ever understood.

    First off, thanks for the LOL of being described as a “Progressive”, I’m sure that most people that actually know me would probably use the descriptor “Unelectably Right Wing”.

    Unfortunately the polls seem to be saying that those issues are “lightning rod” in one place only, and that’s in your dreams. You obviously have no comprehension of the real mood of the UK and how the twin issues of Europe and immigration affect peoples’ day to day lives, taxes, future prosperity etc etc. Comparing that to grumpiness about social engineering battles, that have been lost, is ridiculous.

    Probably not much to a reprobate who urinates in public but meaningful to more civilised voters.

    I’m not sure who you think I am, but I’m not and never have been, Mayor of the North Shore.

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  77. Syd-Kiwi (344 comments) says:

    iMP and others who support the seat concession to the CP:

    It appears that the argument is based on the assumption that National will not be able to form a Government with its friends without the concession.

    2011 proves this is false. 47.31% in 2011 got National 59 MPs. Act and Dunne got National over the line. That is even before the Maori Party.

    History suggests that Act will win Epsom and that Dunne will win Ohariu both comfortably. A bet on iPredict is worthwhile if anyone disagrees. This year the Maori Party are only projected to win one seat. Accordingly, current expectations would be around 62 seats.

    The fallacy with the concession to Craig is the assumption that you need to get to aggregate 50% of the vote. This is clearly not true.

    Even if National only receive around 46% of the Vote (I consider it unlikely that National will fall any lower given the lack of confidence from swing voters in Cunliffe’s Labour), there is still a big chance that National will be topped up by part of the CP vote and any protest vote. Accordingly, 55-56 seats would be a minimum expectation. Add Act (1 MP minimum, but possibly 2), Dunne and 1 MP seat and that is 59. 58-59 seats would be a worst case scenario of a 121 Parliament. This also assumes that NZ First make it. If they do not, National will gain a couple more MPs and have 61 seats plus anyway (enough to govern).

    The second reason is a practical one. It is true that National could theoretically lose on that scenario to 61 seats of the left, but this is incredibly unlikely. The chances of Winston going with the Greens/IMP and Labour is much lower than working with the majority. If the Centre/Left did win this election, it is highly likely that this unstable government would collapse by 2017, leaving National in a strong long term position.

    This is all before the potential loss of Party Vote for National as a result of the Craig concession. In 2011, National were punished for the ‘cup of tea’ incident.
    The third and overwhelming reason is that Craig is simply not (yet at least) a credible figure in the NZ political landscape. Accordingly, offering him a concession in 2014 would be stupidity in the extreme. This does not mean that National forever rules out working with the CP (a 5% PV might change everything).

    For the record, I think National will get 58 MPs, Act 2, Dunne 1, MP 1 = 62 and Government.

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  78. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    If something is wrong, then it’s wrong.

    Neither the marrigae nor smacking bills were “wrong”. They both passed through Parliament with significant majorities.

    Both bills tried via minor law tweaks to address wrongs – one tried to reduce physical harm being done to kids and would only affect a small number of cases, the other righted a legal limitation on some people simply due to their sexual orientation.

    In both cases the vast majority of people have not and will not be affected in any significant way.

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  79. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “First off, thanks for the LOL of being described as a “Progressive”, I’m sure that most people that actually know me would probably use the descriptor “Unelectably Right Wing”.

    I’m a conservative Right Christian, born in the southern USA to boot, and from a US military family, but Red calls me a socialist and a leftist just because I disagree with some of his assertions.

    He has appointed himself the sole arbiter of what is or is not Conservative, and the sole arbiter of what strategy Conservatives should use, and anyone who disagrees is attacked in very extreme language and called a poorly educated fool, a traitor and a leftist/Progressive.

    Red has issues. :)

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  80. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    National MPs voted about 50-50 for the Marriage Amendment Bill

    It’s a good thing you’ve taken a holiday from your fact checking job. It was more like 55% – 45% against – making them by far the most conservative party outside of the (somehow) progressive heroes in New Zealand First.

    I also wouldn’t consider the repeal of section 59 to be, in substance, a true conscience vote.

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  81. ciaron (1,434 comments) says:

    In both cases the vast majority of people have not and will not be affected in any significant way.

    I don’t know which is funnier; that Pete said it, or that he actually believes it.

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  82. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Neither the marrigae nor smacking bills were “wrong”. They both passed through Parliament with significant majorities.”

    So what? Does democracy make anything right?

    Your’e missing the point Pete. Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, believe that if something is morally wrong, then it’s morally wrong, even if it is passed into law.

    One of the foundations of conservatism is a belief in a permanent moral order, regardless of it’s popularity.

    So, because most conservatives believe gay marriage is wrong, then the fact that a majority of Parliament at the time voted for it is totally irrelevant.

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  83. Unity (584 comments) says:

    So if a bill passes through Parliament with significant majorities, it can’t possibly be wrong in your eyes, Pete.? What about the massive number of people who voted in referendums to say those bills were wrong. The National MPs aren’t allowed to have their own conscience. It must be the conscience of Key, so conscience votes aren’t that at all – they are Key’s conscience. We don’t have a democracy. Binding referenda may look like an unimportant issue to those who don’t think for themselves. They are however, very important because most of us know the politicians won’t listen and therefore we don’t have a democracy. They are there to do our bidding – not the other way round. So what may seem unimportant to some, have assumed great importance to others because of our useless appeasing politicians who will do whatever it takes to remain in power regardless of whether or not it’s good for the country as a whole.

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  84. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    I guess that if a bill passing through Parliament with a significant majority is automatically “right”, then a bill that doesn’t pass through Parliament must automatically be “wrong”.

    Euthanasia is illegal in New Zealand, and two attempts at passing legislation to legalise it have failed to get through Parliament.

    Therfore, obviously euthanasia is “wrong”.

    Glad that’s cleared up. No more discussion allowed on euthanasia, people – the matter is settled.

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  85. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    James Stephenson-

    My most humble apologies.

    I temporarily mistook you for Scott Hamilton of “Reading The Maps” blog.

    Once again, sorry for the mistake.

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  86. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Euthanasia is illegal in New Zealand, and two attempts at passing legislation to legalise it have failed to get through Parliament. I guess that means euthanasia is wrong. So that’s cleared up. No more discussion allowed on euthanasia, the dispute is settled.”

    That is a very good example. I don’t think Pete though that remark through to any great degree.

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  87. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Liam – saying ‘about’ is not stating a fact. What’s with the snarky digs?

    National votes for the Marriage Amendment Bill were about 50-50 but yes, the final vote was a bit less evenly split at 35-26 with some switching their preference. Some of that was reported as being due to constituent pressure rather than personal preference, knowing that the Bill would safely pass anyway.

    That so many National MPs followed their liberal conscience or Key’s lead was commented on as being notable, especially as they voted 24-3 against the Civil Union bill in 2005.

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  88. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    Explantion appreciated, apology not required.

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  89. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Red shooting from the hip and missing. Tell us again what National should do to become more popular.

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  90. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    Because it’s pretty lame to contradict my assertion that a majority voted conservatively by saying it was “about 50-50″ when in fact there was a 10% majority. At the moment Greens + Labour are about 40% and the Nats are on about 50% in the polls. But who outside the Standard would call that “about 50-50″?

    Everything else you have said goes to my point that as long as we retain constituency seats, rather than bald proportional representation, there will always be room for social conservatives within the major parties that wish to win them.

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  91. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    When you’re doing vote calculations you need to encompass that percentage who do not vote.

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  92. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Does democracy make anything right?

    Your’e missing the point Pete. Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, believe that if something is morally wrong, then it’s morally wrong, even if it is passed into law.

    You’re missing the point Shawn. Some Christian conservatives believing something is ‘wrong’ doesn’t make it morally wrong. No one can claim morals are exclusive to them.

    So if a bill passes through Parliament with significant majorities, it can’t possibly be wrong in your eyes, Pete.?

    I haven’t suggested anything like that Unity. Not sure what significance that question has here, In a democracy what’s wrong or right in my eyes doesn’t matter.

    If I think something is ‘wrong’ it doesn’t mean it is wrong for everyone. For example I think it’s wrong for some people to try and claim an exclusive right to morals supposedly dictated in some ancient and often re-interpreted texts.

    I think it’s more right to accept that things change with time and greater knowledge and understanding.

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  93. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say, and yes it’s just a guess, but if you were able to poll every single Kiwi on a range of social issues, then the results might not be as liberal as some think.

    That said, the tide goes in and the tide goes out, and at present in NZ the tide is out, somewhat at least, for social conservatism. Political change is one part of changing the tide, but I think cultural change over the long term is also needed.

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  94. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “You’re missing the point Shawn. Some Christian conservatives believing something is ‘wrong’ doesn’t make it morally wrong. No one can claim morals are exclusive to them.”

    Once again Pete, your’e the one missing the point. First, some liberals believing something is right does not make it right either.

    But, my point was to explain WHY conservatives oppose the policies in question, and you don’t seem to have given that any thought. Just because liberals tell us they are right, are we supposed to just switch off our own minds and blindly follow along? Of course not!

    Democracy is a competition of ideas Pete, not a recipe for bland uniformity. And one of those ideas is conservatism. Right now liberals might have the upper hand, to a degree, but to then just accept that as the only valid view just because of that is the very antithesis of democracy.

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  95. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “If I think something is ‘wrong’ it doesn’t mean it is wrong for everyone”

    What about murder?

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  96. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    Or here is one closer to home. What about rape? If there is a rape culture in NZ does that make rape right? Is it just a matter of opinion?

    By you’re own position on this thread, why are you trying to change that culture? Because you think it is wrong, and wrong enough to oppose.

    What’s the difference?

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  97. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I don’t believe I’ve claimed anything like “some liberals believing something is right does not make it right either”.

    But, my point was to explain WHY conservatives oppose the policies in question, and you don’t seem to have given that any thought.

    I’ve given it quite a bit of thought. Have you given any thought to why a significant majority of MPs supported the policies?

    Just because liberals tell us they are right…

    Not sure where this came from. Who did that? And what has it got to do with this topic?

    Right now liberals might have the upper hand, to a degree, but to then just accept that as the only valid view just because of that is the very antithesis of democracy.

    Who accepts that “as the only valid view”? In my experience Christian conservatives are far more likely to hold their view as the only valid, right or moral possibility, and liberals are far more likely to accept that people can have different views and beliefs and live together harmoniously.

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  98. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    ” Have you given any thought to why a significant majority of MPs supported the policies?”

    I don;t actually care why. That is not relevant to me.

    “Just because liberals tell us they are right…

    Not sure where this came from. Who did that? And what has it got to do with this topic?”

    That seems to be your position. You seem to think we should not oppose gay marriage and the anti-smacking law just because it’s been voted into law, and just because liberals say they are right.

    “In my experience Christian conservatives are far more likely to hold their view as the only valid, right or moral possibility, and liberals are far more likely to accept that people can have different views and beliefs and live together harmoniously.”

    Liberals do indeed believe they are right, and are prepared to campaign politically to ensure their version of right and wrong is law.

    So in reality, there is no difference.

    And Pete, I have met plenty of Liberals who certainly do NOT want to live harmoniously with people who think gay marriage is wrong.

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  99. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    By you’re own position on this thread, why are you trying to change that culture? Because you think it is wrong, and wrong enough to oppose.

    What’s the difference?

    I don’t claim I am ‘right’ and anyone who disagrees with me is ‘wrong’. I’ve often said it’s a complex issue, like many social issues, and black and white morals don’t work.

    Same for murder. I generally think it’s wrong but in some circumstances it can at least partly justified, but different people will have different opinions on when it could be more right than wrong.

    Thou shalt not kill – does that mean if you’re attacked by Genghis Khan or Nazis or an armed home invader or a Hamas rocket it is always wrong to kill?

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  100. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “I don’t claim I am ‘right’ and anyone who disagrees with me is ‘wrong’.”

    Sorry, but I don’t think that is a remotely honest claim.

    “I’ve often said it’s a complex issue, like many social issues, and black and white morals don’t work.”

    So rape might be ok in some circumstances?

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  101. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    You seem to think we should not oppose gay marriage and the anti-smacking law just because it’s been voted into law, and just because liberals say they are right.

    You seem to be quite wrong about that. Where have I said or implied you shouldn’t oppose gay marriage or the anti-smacking law?

    You can oppose it as much as you like. So can Colin Craig. I don’t think you’ll get much support for revisiting those issues, but that shouldn’t stop you from opposing them if that’s what you want to do. Pointing out the futility of it still leaves the choice entirely up to you.

    Disagreeing is totally different to saying you shouldn’t oppose something.

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  102. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    RRM@ 1.18: I have just noticed your post…that is utter and absolute crap…provide a link to such a story if you can..

    I was present throughout the negotiations over a confidence and supply agreement (we were never in a coalition, which is quite another thing) and at no time was Key made to wait in a Corridor…in fact my best recollection is the only time we ever saw anyone from the Nats it was Wayne Eagleson, Key’s chief of staff…Rodney is far too smart to have indulged in such silly games…

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  103. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    Your general assumption seems to be that conservatives should just accept the way things are. I think that is absurd.

    The issue of popularity and what you think is futile makes no sense to me. Things do not change if we just accept the status quo.

    Plus, unlike you I think these things can and will change.

    And moral issues while sometimes complex, are sometime black and white. Rape is always wrong. That is a black and white issue.

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  104. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    As Matthew Hooton has pointed out several times. The polls (he’s studied several hundred over a few decades) consistently inflate National’s polling day result by 5-7%. So, on 52% now, polling day is likely around 45-47%.

    Nat. 45%.

    Explain the 5-6% extra needed to form a stable government and where it comes from.

    That 5-7% drop has only occurred, due to events, namely media dirty tricks.
    I think this time it is a bit different, they fired off early and missed the target with the ‘Oravida saga’, also everyone is expecting their antics closer to the election date. I am picking National will only drop about half that amount.

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  105. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Your general assumption seems to be that conservatives should just accept the way things are. I think that is absurd.

    I think your assumption is absurd. You need to accept that the smacking and marriage laws passed with significant majorities, that’s fixed in the past. But you can try and change things in the future if you like.

    I don’t think you have much chance in the current political climate of revising the smacking or marriage bills, but you can try and hope as much as you like.

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  106. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “I think your assumption is absurd.” Followed by “You need to accept that the smacking and marriage laws passed with significant majorities”

    Totally contradicting yourself Pete.

    “I don’t think you have much chance in the current political climate of revising the smacking or marriage bills, but you can try and hope as much as you like.”

    I’m sure people said the same thing to people opposed to slavery.

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  107. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Shawn: No, reluctantly I think PG is right re the chances of reversing the Marriage or Smacking law changes…

    Both changes were in my view absurd, but I am not at all sure all my former ACT colleagues would agree with me on “marriage equality”…

    Did anyone ever identify what brilliant PR (wo)man came up with that “Mom and apple pie” version (who can possibly argue with ‘equality’ of anything?) alternative to “gay marriage” ?

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  108. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Shawn, do you disagree that “the smacking and marriage laws passed with significant majorities”?

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  109. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Shawn: No, reluctantly I think PG is right re the chances of reversing the Marriage or Smacking law changes…”

    In the short term probably. Longer term, who knows? But unlike Pete I don’t care about the status quo. I do understand that any idea for political change requires having a majority behind you, but things change, and over time this too shall pass.

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  110. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Shawn, do you disagree that “the smacking and marriage laws passed with significant majorities”?”

    No, I just don’t care. My understanding of right and wrong comes from a much higher source than Parliament.

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  111. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Your understanding of what I’ve said and what has happened in Parliament seems come from a much lower source.

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  112. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Your understanding of what I’ve said and what has happened in Parliament seems come from a much lower source.”

    I have understood you perfectly Pete. You think I should just accept things the way they are, because supposedly a majority does, or because a majority in Parliament has voted for the way things are.

    But that is called being a sheep Pete. And I’m a man not a sheep.

    Slavery would never have been abolished with that attitude.

    The question is, do YOU understand what you are saying, because you don’t seem to, and you have contradicted yourself at least twice.

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  113. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Shawn: You are not a newbie are you? Old Pete contradicts himself all the time…about all we know for sure is:

    1. he lives in Dunedin (North or south, I cant remember)

    2. He once had great admiration for Peter Dunne, and was a member of UF…in the days when its caucus needed more than a phone box to meet in.

    3. He believes there is a “rape culture” in New Zealand of which the great majority of New Zealand men approve.

    All the rest wanders around the place a bit…

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  114. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Shawn: You are not a newbie are you?”

    No, I have been around for a few years on KB, though I used to post under my middle name Lee. I have tangled with Pete many times. The above conversation is a good example of “wandering around a bit.” He’s all over the place, and does not seem to understand the implications of what he’s saying.

    And while he won’t come out of the closet, so to speak, I really do think that deep down inside he thinks conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives, should just keep their views to themselves and accept the status quo.

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  115. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    DG – before you go into bat for someone perhaps you should check out the absurdity of the claims Shawn is making. I haven’t contradicted myself.

    And you’re resorting to tired old cheap shots on that basis. And making stuff up again.

    I haven’t had “great admiration” for Dunne. I didn’t have anything to do with Dunne or UF when “when its caucus needed more than a phone box to meet in”. About the only thing you got right is that you can’t remember – you can’t even remember something you were told about a week ago after making up something else.

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  116. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “before you go into bat for someone perhaps you should check out the absurdity of the claims Shawn is making.”

    Such as Pete?

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  117. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    1. He lives in Dunedin…
    2. He once had great admiration for Peter Dunne, and was a member of UF…
    3. He believes there is a “rape culture” in New Zealand…

    DG is 100% correct. To the above list I would add:

    4. He loves to appear measured, composed, and straddling the fence on any contentious subject. A sort of middle-of-the-road, tutti-frutti flavour, a grey-prone chameleon, to put it mildly.

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  118. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The above conversation is a good example of “wandering around a bit.” He’s all over the place, and does not seem to understand the implications of what he’s saying.

    Very funny Shawn. You’ve been wandering around more than Moses.

    And while he won’t come out of the closet, so to speak, I really do think that deep down inside he thinks conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives, should just keep their views to themselves and accept the status quo.

    Completely ignoring what I’ve repeated. Even funnier, especially from a conservative Christian who thinks the status quo should never have been changed.

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  119. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Completely ignoring what I’ve repeated.”

    That is because you keep contradicting yourself.

    “especially from a conservative Christian who thinks the status quo should never have been changed.”

    I think aspects of the “old” status quo should have been changed, and aspects shouldn’t have. It depends on the specific issue.

    Just out of curiosity, in a single paragraph please so I don’t misunderstand you, exactly, and precisely, what were you saying above?

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  120. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    PG – “These are hardly big issues of interest to most voters. Polls show the opposite. I think most people have forgotten about them and have moved on.”

    I love that attitude. Because an issue doesnt show up in polls, or show up in the top 5, top 10, its no longer important.

    That is why you fail at politics Pete.

    Most people can handle more than 5-10 issues at once. eg smacking isn’t in my top 10 but i’m still pissed off about it and think the law should be changed. it has proven ineffective as predicted. its just another form of control.

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  121. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The comedy continues.

    4. He loves to appear measured, composed, and straddling the fence on any contentious subject. A sort of chameleon, to put it mildly.

    In relation to this topic:
    – I supported the Marriage Amendment Bill
    – I supported the intent of S59, thought the result was flawed but would have negligible negative effect in practice.
    – I think there should be no threshold so the Conservative Party should get MPs proportional to it’s vote regardless of how much they get.
    – I think Conservative Party policies are populist pandering to minorities.
    – I think the Conservative policies are surprisingly few and lacking in detail.
    – I think Craig’s media campaign is ludicrous.
    – I think Manolo should stop throwing shit over the fence and state what he wants rather than just moan at others.
    – I know for a fact that Manolo is a repeat liar.

    Is that straddling the fence enough?

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  122. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    Trying to define “right” and “wrong” has vexed far greater minds than mine, but my brief summary of the difference between a liberal and a conservative position is:

    Liberals hold that consenting adults in private should be free to do pretty much whatever they like to themselves and their fully informed consenting adult partners (sex, drugs and rock-and-roll). The criminal law should be used as forcefully as necessary to prevent and punish a person harming another, in any way, without that person’s consent. The law of property and contract should be enforced by the state, and that contracts freely entered into should be respected. The best judge of whether a transaction is in an individual’s is that individual (no need for consumer protection laws etc). Freely informed markets are the best known form of allocation of resources and attempted by the state to produce better outcomes will fail (privatization).

    For conservatives, there is a clear set of values that should be compulsory and the cohesive powers of the state, including the criminal law, should be used to enforce those required behaviors (homosexuality should be illegal, as should drug taking). Conservatives and liberals are closer when it comes to economic policy, but their are some differences. The law of property and contract should be enforced by the state, but it is often necessary for the state to protect people from themselves, so consumer protection laws etc are required. (Particularly in New Zealand), the state should have a strong role in managing the economy (again, part of the general paternalism bias of conservatives: people should not be allowed the liberty to conduct their own affairs).

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  123. Gulag1917 (920 comments) says:

    John Runwiththeharesandhuntwiththehounds Key is not very popular in the southern provinces so National might be in for a disappointment this election.

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  124. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    PG: if I have incorrectly stated your support and admiration for the coiffured one, my apologies…Please do tell us what your relationship was/is to 1) United Future; and 2) Mr Dunne himself..

    I’ll try my best not to forget really I will…

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  125. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    georgebolwing

    Well defined especially:

    ….” people should not be allowed the liberty to conduct their own affairs”…..

    Yet if pushed your average Conservative will scream that their “freedom” is usurped by progressives & liberals. What could possibly be more restrictive than the moral straitjacket favoured by religio/conservatism?

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  126. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “again, part of the general paternalism bias of conservatives: people should not be allowed the liberty to conduct their own affairs”

    I largely agree with your definitions George, but that part is not entirely accurate. Just as libertarians believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs but within the bounds of the non-aggression moral principle, so do most Western conservatives believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs, but within a general moral framework.

    Or as someone better with words than me said:

    “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” – – Patrick Henry

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  127. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Shawn

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/freedom?s=t

    noun
    1.
    the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:
    He won his freedom after a retrial.
    2.
    exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
    3.
    the power to determine action without restraint.
    4.
    political or national independence.
    5.
    personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery:
    a slave who bought his freedom.
    6.
    exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):
    freedom from fear.
    7.
    the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.

    Which do you agree with?

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  128. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    I largely agree with your definitions George, but that part is not entirely accurate. Just as libertarians believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs but within the bounds of the non-aggression moral principle, so do most Western conservatives Muslim theocrats believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs, but within a general moral framework.

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  129. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Come on PG…it can’t be too hard to say what your current relationship with Dunne/his “party” can it??

    Or are you going to be all coy like Dr Judy??

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  130. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    4 and 5 naaska.

    The difference between Liberals and Conservatives is that Conservatives do not believe that Liberty can be won or held without virtue.

    “Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.” – – John Adams

    “The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but it can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation. Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter in the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government.”
    Francis Grund

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  131. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “I largely agree with your definitions George, but that part is not entirely accurate. Just as libertarians believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs but within the bounds of the non-aggression moral principle, so do most Buddhists believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs, but within a general moral framework.”

    Back at ya Ryan! ;)

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  132. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    Spawns a conedservantive
    His idea of freedom
    Will be as redtard and for most of the god struck.
    Freedom for you to do only as we think the bible tells us you should .
    With the cravat of course “We who decide what the bible says can do what the fuck we like”.

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  133. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    Shawn.

    Concern the quote from Patrick Henry:

    “Bad men cannot make good citizens”. Agreed, but it all depends on what you mean by “good” and “bad”, which is the point of this part of this thread.

    “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains”. Disagree. There have been many religious tyrants.

    “A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.” Completely disagree. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is pretty compatible with freedom and doesn’t require believe in a deity.

    No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice (True, provided you mean a Rawlsian “maxi-min” justice), moderation (Nope) , temperance (Never!!), frugality (savings is OK, but not as its own reward) , and virtue (again, depends on definition. If adhering to the golden rule is virtuous, then OK) ; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. (Again, the golden rule is all you need)”

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  134. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Shawn

    Then “freedom” is not the word you should choose to describe your desire for the world to live by the tenets of your particular sect (as interpreted by yourself & your fellow believers).

    What you espouse is not freedom but enslavement to a magic man in the sky.

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  135. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Agreed, but it all depends on what you mean by “good” and “bad”, which is the point of this part of this thread.”

    Yes, I agree. But then that is why we have democracy, so that we can fight, peacefully, for our individual views, promote and campaign for them, and seek to change what we each as individuals disagree with.

    It’s an imperfect system, but I have come around to the view that it’s the best on offer.

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  136. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    Now John Adams was just wrong when he said “Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul”. I believe I have no immortal “soul” whose future is somehow to be determined by a deity, based on how I lived my life. But I have a very strong, and simple, set of liberal principles that are completely consistent with the liberty of others.

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  137. Griff (7,728 comments) says:

    “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

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  138. Changeiscoming (189 comments) says:

    Pete George says I think Craig’s media campaign is ludicrous.

    Pete how about finding out for us all who the person or Ad agency is that the Conservatives use for their campaign. I would be keen to know and what other agencies think of them.

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  139. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    DG – I take it from that you were guessing or making things up.

    I had no involvement with UF or any established party nor had any contact with Dunne up until July 2011 when I was approached and asked (not by Dunne) to stand for UF in the election. At that stage I planned on standing as an independent candidate for the experience.

    Through the campaign and for the following two years (until late last year) I had a bit of involvement with UF, trying to help them revive the party. I met Dunne five times in total, never talked to him personally by phone and had occasional email contact – always initiated by me when I asked him something. He usually responded, sometimes notably he didn’t respond., Over that time I also emailed questions to many other MPs and occasionally got responses.

    Early this year I resigned from UF and have had no involvement with what the party or Dunne is doing all year.

    The only MPs I have met or talked to this year are Greens. I attended the Act southern conference last year where I met John Banks, and this year where I met Whyte and Seymour.

    Anything I have commented on or written online has been my own work at my own instigation. I don’t think I have ever been requested to promote anything online for any party.

    It’s not been uncommon for people like Manolo to make things up repeatedly. That’s just malicious munterism.

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  140. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Then “freedom” is not the word you should choose to describe your desire for the world to live by the tenets of your particular sect”

    Sure it is.

    “What you espouse is not freedom but enslavement to a magic man in the sky.”

    No, what I espouse is freedom with virtue, and that a society requires moral boundaries, as almost every same person believes. The only real difference between us is where those moral boundaries should be set.

    Oh and I don’t believe in a magic man in the sky.

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  141. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “But I have a very strong, and simple, set of liberal principles that are completely consistent with the liberty of others.”

    Yes, you have your own set of moral principles by which you think society should be governed.

    The degree to which it is consistent with the liberty of others is a matter of opinion.

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  142. Reboot (101 comments) says:

    Five people have ‘disliked’ my comment. That’s fine, freedom of opinion and all, but I wouldn’t mind rebuttal comments to see what people’s opposing views are.

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  143. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Changeiscoming

    I’d be especially interested to know who came up with the chooks poster…..whoever they are they should be taken round the back of the shed & put out of their misery.

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bbry5b38rzaqu2q/CCCP%208.jpg

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  144. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

    It’s not that simple.

    It’s common for people to want others to be controlled but for themselves to be able to do whatever they like.

    Hasn’t Manolo claimed to be some sort of liberal? He’s not so keen on liberalism when it comes to the groups of people he regularly lambasts. For example ask him what he thinks of liberal immigration policy.

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  145. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    ….”Oh and I don’t believe in a magic man in the sky.”…..

    Subjective…..very. :)

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  146. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Subjective…..very. ”

    Well yes, of course it is. No argument there.

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  147. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    PG: that is a very full and unequivocal answer, thank you.

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  148. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    Shawnn: “It’s an imperfect system, but I have come around to the view that it’s the best on offer.” Absolutely agree!!.

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  149. tom hunter (4,854 comments) says:

    so do most Western conservatives Muslim theocrats believe that people should be free to conduct their own affairs, but within a general moral framework.

    General? From what I see of Islamic societies around the world they range from fairly prescriptive to strictly prescriptive, depending on the degree to which Sharia law is imposed. Morocco good, Tunisia, Indonesia, Turkey ok (still), and the rest are pretty bloody awful when it comes to telling you how to live your life.

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  150. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    One of Redbaiter’s mantras in discussions like this is the claim that Key represents a betrayal of the early principles and policies of the National Party. The name Sid Holland gets thrown around, and the implication is that Holland’s National Party was ferociously fiscally conservative and pathologically averse to intervening in the economy.

    I don’t want to deny Holland’s very intense antipathy to trade unions and anyone advocating socialism – he’s famous for his war against the watersiders in 1951, and he also brought down a Lab-Nat unity government over strike action during World War Two – but I can’t see how his economic policies fit Redbaiter’s description, when he largely retained the Keynesian interventionism and the welfare state established by Labour in the decade and half before he took power. With its tariffs and its state subsidies to farmers and other groups, the economy Holland presided over was far more statist than anything we’ve seen in New Zealand since 1984.

    Surely there is a parallel between Holland and Key, to the extent that both of them are pragmatists who have held to the popular policy programme they inherited from a long-serving Labour administration. Bruce Jesson talked about Labour, after its election in 1935, forging a ‘Great Compromise’ between capital and workers, and setting a Keynesian, statist mould for New Zealand society that would only be broken in the second half of the ’80s by the Lange-Douglas government. Holland and Holyoake was content to govern within this mould. It seems increasingly apparent that a new period of relative stability and consensus in New Zealand society and politics began in 1999, when Helen Clark took office and created a policy programme that attempted to strike a balance between the statism of 1935-1984 and the neo-liberalism that Lange and Douglas had unleashed. Perhaps more through luck, in the form of a dairy boom, than anything else, the Clark model proved popular and economically viable. Key has retained it, just as Holland retained the model that Savage and Fraser had created.

    I doubt whether Redbaiter can find a mass political party anywhere in New Zealand history that held to the sort of policies he advocates for a substantial period of time. National was formed out of two organisations – the Reform Party and the Liberal Party – that were strongly opposed to trade unionism and socialism, but were by no means against state intervention in the economy. Seddon and Massey both campaigned with the promise of providing state help to small farmers who wanted to become self-sufficient. Seddon created the rudiments of a welfare state.

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  151. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Scott H: Interesting analysis…Minor point: National was formed from United and Reform…I think the Liberals had gone by then.

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  152. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    True David, though I think United may have been the Liberals in drag – they had the old Liberal Forbes as their leader, didn’t they?

    I think Redbaiter might be attracted to the New Zealand Legion, who emerged from the obscurity of the Hawkes Bay hill country and swept across the country during the early ’30s, attracting tens of thousands of members, before fading away: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/the-new-zealand-legion

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  153. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Redbaiter is, to put it mildly, very selective in his claims about National and it’s history. He is also very heavily influenced by US politics and political categories, and applies those to the NZ situation without any understanding of the political and cultural differences.

    I’ll say it again, to me he actually comes across like the hard core Marxists I used to know. Heavy on political purity with no compromise, and thus no power, heavy on the concept of traitors to “The Cause” as he puts it and weeding them out, naming and shaming them. And a very, very narrow view of what constitutes conservatism.

    I tried to explain the Continental European Conservative model of a mixed economy (Rhine capitalism) and he just did not want to know or understand.

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  154. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Here’s Michael Pugh’s essay about the Legion, which was published forty or so years ago in the NZ Journal of History:
    http://www.nzjh.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1971/NZJH_05_1_05.pdf
    Interesting that the Legion grew out of an organisation called the New Zealand National movement, and that both groups were concerned to correct the interventionist excesses of the Reform and United government, which by 1932 was providing various forms of niggardly relief to NZ’s army of unemployed workers. Even in the pre-Keynesian era, then, the parties that would shortly fuse to become National would presumably have been too interventionist for Redbaiter’s liking…

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  155. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Hi Shawn, there are some interesting overlaps between certain strands of Marxism – not the most important strands, of course – and strands of libertarianism. The accelerationist movement, which uses Marx to argue for the most extreme forms of laissez faire capitalism, is a case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerationism

    Then there are the Marxists who provided some of the most influential voices in support of Bush’s Iraq War:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2006/04/peculiarities-of-pro-war-left.html

    Marx himself denied being a Marxist. That’s why certain right-wing pundits, like the genial fellow who hosts this blog, ought to refrain from generalising too much about the subject! http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/david-farrar-discovers-communism.html

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  156. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “Hi Shawn, there are some interesting overlaps between certain strands of Marxism – not the most important strands, of course – and strands of libertarianism.”

    Yes. Being an ex-libertarian myself that is something I noticed. Randian libertarianism comes to mind.

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  157. Nostalgia-NZ (5,213 comments) says:

    Jk doesn’t radicalise Government in any major way but still looks toward the outposts, to address issues and bring them toward the centre. While some in the electorate grasp for, or demand, rapid change as a way of politics – Jk observes the whole picture. He’s headed left, while also staying right as he maintains the centre. That’s great Government, nobody is truly pissed off about particular issues because Jk is generally paying attention across the board, and responding.

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  158. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    The first section of the Communist Manifesto reads at times like a libertarian text! I’m not a fan of that work…

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  159. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    For me at least I finally came to the conclusion that libertarianism and libertarian economics were actually incompatible with conservatism, or at least a deep conservatism that takes rootedness, stability, family and tradition seriously.

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  160. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Shawn 2 9.39: that’s right…and you will notice a deafening silence whenever it is suggested that old Red gather 500 like minded souls about him and form his party…That silence says it all really…

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  161. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    I’d argue there’s a tradition of Marxist conservatism, embodied in Walter Benjamin’s cry that he wanted a revolution to pull a handbrake and stop the thing called progress. There’s the famous passage from Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History:

    ‘A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.’

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  162. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    Scott Hamilton would make a great script writer for Lord of the Rings with his flowery and contorted re-writes of history and his propensity for manufactured drama as a substitute for real content.

    Also above we have rambling idiots like Georgie Bowling with his self serving and contrived definitions of Conservatism when the poor little poseur obviously doesn’t have a clue.

    The bottom line on where we are today as opposed to where we were when Sid Holland was running things is that govt is many times larger spending twice as much as a percentage of GDP and taxing us at a rate about five times higher and we have a hundred thousand more regulations fencing us in and controlling every facet of our lives.

    But this is all OK to defenders of liberty like Gearge and Narsekissa, who are not concerned at this half as much as they are that queers should have the state endorse their fake marriages or that they should be “free” to ingest mind altering substances. These two idiots are good examples of a generation of fuckwits who have been completely distracted by those following the Marxist playbook and obligingly gazed at their navels all their lives while the Progressives have taken complete and full control.

    Thanks so much for all your good work you dumbarsed left wing flunkies.

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  163. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    The Herald is fantasising. For every reaction (ary), there is an equal and opposite counter-reaction. If National had gone with the Conservatives, they would have been deserted by a large chunk of the metropolitan social liberal vote and if they ever do, that would be an everpresent possibility. Sectarian, separatist, populist religious social conservative political parties appeal to too narrow a constituency and risk alienating too many others. They’re impossible to work with given their addiction to social conservative ideological purity at all costs.

    Might I suggest that you take a good, long look at poor Dennis Napthine, the Victorian National/Liberal Coalition and their tormentor Geoff Shaw and then discuss it with the rest of us? It’s not a pretty picture.

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  164. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    As I said, Redbaiter, you’ve created a fantasy version of Sid Holland and the early National Party. You claim that government spending as a percentage of GDP is twice as much now as it was in Holland’s day. Here’s a rebuke from that well-known left-wing propaganda machine, Treasury:

    ‘The 1950s and 1960s saw government expenditure stabilise below 30% of GDP. However, the government’s response to economic shocks, policies to expand superannuation and other welfare entitlements, combined with low economic growth resulted in government expenditure, using the Treasury’s financial net expenditure series, climbing to about 35% of GDP in 1979. Expenditure using this series reached a peak of about 41% of GDP in 1991. Despite the recent increases, core Crown expenditure is still significantly below this peak.’
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/tp/govtsize/14.htm

    If Holland was so determined to make NZ a free market paradise, why did he retain the taxes on land and inheritance that his predecessors had introduced, as well as the system of tariffs that made it very difficult to import many items to NZ and thus stimulated domestic production?

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  165. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    There’s the deafening silence to which I refer…Poor old Red can’t even gather 500 people who think like him…but the thinks he could get representation in parliament…sad really…

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  166. ShawnLH (5,125 comments) says:

    “There’s the deafening silence to which I refer…”

    Where I come from they say “all talk and no hat.”

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  167. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    What they say is “all hat and no cattle” but your confusion over such a simple issue is another example of what a waste of time it is attempting to engage with an adult whose comprehension skills are not up to grade 3 level.

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