As expected Colin Craig has announced he will stand in the East Coast Bays electorate and his Conservative Party promoting that “It’s time to STAND for SOMETHING”.
Stand for what? The current home page on the Conservative Party website:
Had a guts full of National’s abandoning their principles? Had enough of their arrogance? Had enough of them ignoring referendums; like the one on asset sales and the one on anti-smacking? Had enough of Bill English’s borrowing habits? Had enough of the two waka Government?
Come and meet the man who isn’t afraid to say ‘enough is enough’. Come and hear Colin Craig’s antidote to National’s toxic behaviour. Come and meet the man who will give our next Government some backbone.
That sounds like it is standing against something (the current National Government) rather than for something. But Craig implies that somehow he will “give our next Government some backbone”.
I’m confused about what Craig will stand for – no deal in East Coast Bays but would like National to help him there and he will will work with National even though he is highly critical of them.
There’s no new press releases on the Conservative website but four key policies are reported:
Standing for Something — Conservative Party key policies
• Referendums should become binding on Governments
• An end to policies that favour some New Zealanders on the basis of race
• No more”discounting of sentences” to ensure criminals serve their full prison terms.
• A “simplification” of the tax system including a tax free threshold that delivers everybody a tax cut.
Craig cites two examples where referendums would be allowed to overturn legislation decided on by Parliament, the ‘smacking law’ and asset sales. That would mean major changes in how effectively Parliament can operate.
What is Craig standing up for exactly? It’s far from clear, all the Conservative Party website says on their Issues page on this is:
Binding referenda and reduced size of government
For a major constitutional change that is paltry policy.
They have no policy published on No more”discounting of sentences” to ensure criminals serve their full prison terms.
They have no policy published on A “simplification” of the tax system including a tax free threshold that delivers everybody a tax cut.
The only ‘key policy” they have any detail on is An end to policies that favour some New Zealanders on the basis of race.
One nation, remove the Maori seats and end the treaty settlements
And they have a section that is larger than all their other ‘issues’ combined on Treaty Philosophy. Amongst other things this proposes repealing of the foreshore and seabed legislation, scrapping Maori seats and closing down the Waitangi tribunal.
Craig seems most intent on standing for red-necks.
And a very Conservative stand against constitutional review.
A cessation of all work on the Constitutional Review, including all discussions relating to the place of the Treaty in a new constitution. No further work should be done at all until it is established that the people of New Zealand wish to have their constitutional arrangements reviewed.
Craig says he wants to stand for something but seems more intent on standing:
- Against National (except he wouldn’t mind if McCully doesn’t stand against him)
- Against legislation decided on by Parliament
- Against Maori and Treaty claims
- Against our judicial system
One thing Craig is standing for is binding referendums. It would be unlikely wither National or Labour would agree to that.
Referenda could be a doubled edged sword for Conservatives. Craig would like to have overturned the smacking law and the asset sales – but may not be so keen on referenda if they supported legalising things like cannabis and euthanasia, and an alignment of abortion law with current practice.
We now know Craig is standing for East Coast Bays and also that he won’t stand for an electorate deal but he won’t stand in the way of National helping him.
Colin Craig launched his Conservative Party’s election campaign by assuming a strong moral stance — including ruling out any “bland and inspid cup of tea” electoral deal with National like the one used to keep Act in Parliament.
However, if Mr McCully and National pulled their punches to allow him to take the seat: “I won’t deny, it helps if he does.”
“People will then know it’s an absolute certainty that we get into Parliament otherwise we’ve got to get five per cent. We believe we’ll easily do that but of course any thing like a certain seat, all those things are helpful but it’s not something we’re asking for.’
“Had a guts full of National’s abandoning their principles?”
Craig won’t ask for an electorate deal but won’t say no if assisted in East Coast Bays. What sort of principle is that standing on?