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Friday 09 January 2009


The flightless 'Kiwi Party'

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 24th November 2008

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The Christian Right seem to be rather cool when it comes to the advent of John Key as Prime Minister, and a National-led government. Why?

The Kiwi Party is predictably derisive. Despite barely polling over 0.5 percent of the popular vote, it has said it'll still contest the next general election in 2011.

If it does so, it may be the only contender. The Pacific Party's fate will rely on that of its leader, ex-Mangere MP Taito Philip Field. The Family Party seems to be on the verge of giving up- its last media release sounded resigned and gloomy now that it's clear that Pacific Island voters don't seem to be soft touches for social conservatism.

Will that necessarily do the Kiwi Party any good? Is there even a separatist fundamentalist vote there, anymore? Actually, I noticed that the Christian Right in general seemed strangely subdued about the advent of Prime Minister Key, despite their puerile denunciations of Helen Clark and Labour.

After all, what have they won? Key is even prevaricating about Section 59 Repeal reversal now, given that if the economy continues to deteriorate, he could be hauled across the coals for subsidising a referendum while real families are suffering from turmoil in the global economy, the credit crunch, unemployment, mortgage repayment difficulties and other impending damage. Family Life International acknowledged the above in its blog entry on the election result.

Key certainly won't repeal prostitution law reform, civil unions or restrict abortion access, no matter how much the Christian Right want him to do so. He looks as if he'll concentrate on the economy instead, and sideline discussion of any further contentious social issues.

Family First, the Kiwi Party and other Christian Right critics need to get real. Key is not another George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Rob Muldoon or Margaret Thatcher. He seems more akin to Canada's PM Stephen Harper and Britain's David Cameron- a pragmatist.

Granted, there are certainly caucus social conservatives like the tiresome Jonathon Young (National, New Plymouth) that will misbehave during the forthcoming parliamentary term, but they wield no real power within the caucus. Judith Collins appears to have been shunted sideways to Police and Corrections, which suits her authoritarian disposition.

One does hope David Garrett (ACT, List) isn't another Stephen Franks or Bob Clarkson, and that his recent Eye to Eye TV performance was simply the result of a prolonged 'liquid lunch.' Electoral Integrity Act, anyone?


Craig Young - 24th November 2008