Conservative disappointment in Craig

While some Conservatives are disappointed that John Key has shut the door on an electorate deal for Colin Craig other conservatives were already disappointed in Colin Craig, who has been called a faux conservative.

In 2011 the Conservatives were excused for being under prepared because the party had only been launched a couple of months before the election.

Three years later Craig had a chance to promote himself and the party and has failed to impress all but the faithful and the blindly hopeful. He has been noticed more for his gaffes, some odd promotional photos and a lot of political naivety.

And while the Conservative Party has a slogan of “Stand For Something” it’s difficult to know what they stand for apart from supporting smacking (the single issue that seems to have driven Craig since he stepped into the political arena), an impractical bottom line on binding binding referenda and a small number of other populist policies.

The Conservative Issues web page has only four policies with scant detail.

A number of conservatives and Conservative supporters have been regulars at Kiwiblog.  Comments from National announces coalition choices sum up sentiments:

Tinshed:

I regard myself as a conservative but find I have very little, if anything, in common with Colin Craig and his Conservative Party. The right decision.

Queenstreetfarmer:

What idiots ever thought Colin Craig was “conservative” anyway, let alone a trustworthy ally for National?

iMP (who has been a prominent supporter of Craig and the Conservatives):

Well, here’s a reality check and a prediction:.

1. The polls will close and Labour will come back some, as NZers ‘re-balalnce’ a lop-sided race.
2. National will get 47-48% on polling day, much the same result as 2011, not enough to govern.
3. They will lose badly in canterbury, which will swell the PVote to Labour and some seats will change hands.
3. Having been sidelined in favour of polygamy and Cabinet leaking leaders, the Consvs will breach the threshold in their own right.
4. On 21 Sept. JK will be forced either to court Winston or Colin Craig (there simply aren’t enough vote on the C-Right).
5. CC will demand more than he would’ve otherwise, having made parl. in his own right, and build for the future whole NZF dissipates with Winnie’s health.
6. Labour will work strategically to win Ohariu and help split the vote in Epsom.

National has no friends left; the pickings on the C-R just got much leaner.

Chthoniid:

Sometimes his party really comes across less as a coherent political entity and more as a vanity project. Nailing his colours to the binding referendum issue, kind of signals he’s nursing some resentment over the failure of the 2009 smacking-referendum.

Changeiscoming:

As a supporter of the Conservative Party I am very pleased JK has made this decision. I didn’t want the party beholden to National, now it’s all on. I don’t want to hear any complaints on the 21st of Sept when the Nats find themselves a couple of percentage points short.

Georgebolwing:

Colin Craig is a looney and to endorse him in any way would have driven urban liberal votes to ACT in droves to make sure that National had enough dependable partners to govern.

Maybe, someday, someone sane will attempt to form a conservative party that isn’t just a bunch of ratbag populist christians fixated with the sexual practices of others. Such a party might offer National some support. But the CCCP is just a rich guy trying to pretend to be a politician. He should leave it to the experts. At least the other rich guy trying to buy the election has had the good sense to hire professionals.

Longknives

I’m a National/National man but can anybody tell me why Colin Craig is considered such a “looney”? He seems to have some good ideas…

ShawnLH

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.

Craig and his Conservative Party will now have try and do it the hard way by getting to 5%.

Conservative son of NationalAttacking National hasn’t worked out very well.

 

Craig’s contradictions

Colin Craig didn’t rule out taking advantage of a helping hand from National in East Coast Bays but now John Key has ruled it out …

After weeks of speculation, Prime Minister John Key has indicated that he will not pull Mr McCully from the seat.

…as reported by NZ Herald – Craig: ‘Better for us’ if McCully stands in East Coast Bays Craig says he didn’t want Murray McCully to stand aside for him.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he’d prefer National incumbent Murray McCully to stand in East Coast Bays, and has taken a shot at the deals National does with the Act and United Future parties.

He said he did not expect to beat Mr McCully in East Coast Bays this election.

Yeah right. And…

And he has opened the door to Labour, especially if they are open to his bottom line of binding referenda.

But Mr Craig said he supported a third term for National, if they won the largest share of the party vote – though he could not rule out working with Labour.

If Labour agreed to the Conservative’s bottom line of binding referenda, and National did not, then “that would be a very interesting scenario, and perhaps Labour would be prepared to do that”.

He has repeated  a number of times that he’d go with the party with the largest vote, which will obviously be National.

But now he’s saying that if Labour give him what he wants on binding referenda he will consider going with them instead.

Craig seems to be trying to compete with Winston Peters in coalition horse trading stakes, albeit in a more ham fisted way.

 

Polls and election prospects

A number of recent polls have given pointers to where the parties stand with less than two months to go until the election.

National

National have been polling in the high forties through to mid fifties but are expected to drop back a few percent in the final count. They are aware of this and are trying to minimise that drop by playing as safe a game as possible.

They have had some hiccups with embarrassments through Claudia Hauiti (now withdrawn from candidacy) and Gerry Brownlee’s airport security slip-up. Hauiti was National’s lowest ranked MP so she won’t be a loss, and Brownlee has front footed the damage control with what appears to be genuine contriteness.

National have just announced their list with no real surprises. They will say this week what other parties they will be prepared to work with and give a nod to some potential support parties in electorates.

They have yet to reveal much about policies. There main plank seems to be more of the same, steady sensible management of the economy.

That will be enough to win the most seats by far but they are not expected to get enough to rule on their own so their fortunes may be dictated by small parties. They will be hoping Winston Peters isn’t the main dictator.

Likely result range 45-50%.

Labour

The polls have not been good for Labour with the last twelve results being in the twenties, as low as 23%.

David Cunliffe continues to fail to impress as leader. He says his string of apologies are behind him but he is dropping in preferred Prime Minister polls, the latest having him on 8%. Some hope he will show his mettle in leader’s debates but it’s unlikely he will do enough to shine over the seasoned Key.

Media are writing Labour off and talking more about how low they might go instead of how much they might get. There’s good reason for this, they look divided and disorganised.

Labour’s best hope seems to limit the damage and not get any lower than their record low in 2011 of 27.28%. A more common hope is probably that their vote doesn’t collapse.

Likely result range 20-29%.

Green Party

The Greens bounce around in the polls, usually in the 10-15% range.

They look to be the best organised party by a long shot, and seem determined to finally get into Government. They deserve it on their own efforts but they are relying on Labour who will be worrying and disappointing them.

Without Labour improving substantially Greens look like at best competing for attention and influence amongst a mish mash coalition but more likely being denied by Labour’s failure.

Many voters are happy to see Greens in the mix but one negative is there is a wariness (and in some cases fear) of Greens getting to much influence, especially on economic matters. Some Green good, too much Green scary is a common sentiment.

Likely result range 10-15%.

NZ First

NZ First have been polling from a bit under to a bit over the magic 5%.

Most expect them to lift a bit in the run up to voting as happened last year but National will be taking as much care as possible not to hand Winston Peters another opportunity like the cup of tea debacle.

Peters is a seasoned campaigner and the media help his cause because he is good for stories, but time will tell whether there is too much seasoning in the old warrior and too little substance in the rest of the party as the other MPs have failed to impress.

One thing that may make it harder is direct competition for attention  and votes with the Conservative Party.

Likely result range 4-6%.

Maori Party

Poll results have been low for the Maori Party. That doesn’t usually matter because in all elections they have contested so far they have got more electorate seats than their party vote would give them so it has been unnecessary. Last election they got 1.43%.

It’s tougher for them in electorates this time with Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia retiring. It will be challenging for them to retain their current three seats, with some suggesting they might lose most or all of them.

There will be strong competition from the Dotcom financed MANA Party, but they may be helped by Labour’s woes.

For the first time the party vote may matter to the Maori Party, especially if they only hold one electorate seat.

Likely result range 1-2%.

Conservative Party

Polls have been in the 1-3% range. It’s now looking unlikely National will help Colin Craig in an electorate so they may have to get 5% to make it. That will be difficult, especially if Winston Peters competes openly with them.

Formed just before the last election the Conservatives got 2.65% and hope to improve on that. They have had much more exposure but that may have lost as much support as it has gained. Craig still seems politically naive. He has tried to turn the ‘Crazy Colin’ meme to his advantage but that’s a risky strategy.

Conservative fortunes are relying on National’s decision this week but it’s not looking positive for them.

UPDATE: John Key has just stated that National won’t help Craig in East Coast Bays so Conservatives only hope is getting 5%, which looks a big hurdle.

Likely result range 2-3%.

ACT Party

Act has been polling poorly, often under 1%.

Act were in turmoil last election with a very Brash takeover and installing John Banks as Epsom candidate. Banks won to save Act but has had a troubled term.

Act have made a concerted effort to rebuild over two elections. They have split responsibilities between Jamie Whyte as party leader and David Seymour in Epsom. Seymour looks a good bet in Epsom but the political jury is still out on Whyte and Act.

Much could come down to how Whyte looks in the minor party debates. He is intelligent and has good political knowledge but can look to serious and too polite – he hasn’t been forceful enough in interviews.

Act may benefit from being an alternative to giving National sole charge.

Likely result range 1-3%.

United Future

UnitedFuture has been languishing in polls, as often on 0% as slightly above.

More than ever UF hopes seem to rest solely on Peter Dunne in Ohariu. His chances are reasonable there. He has held the seat for thirty years so is very well known. He hasn’t had the best of terms but seems determined to rebuild his credibility.

Dunne looks to have been helped by all the major parties:

  • National have a new candidate who looks likely to campaign for the aprty vote only and has been given an almost certain list position.
  • Labour’s Charles Chauvel resigned mid term and has been replaced by a relative unknown.
  • Green’s Gareth Hughes has withdrawn from the electorate to promote youth and party vote and has been replaced by someone.

Like last election voters are likely to return Dunne and ignore the party. The party seems to be virtually ignoring the party.

Likely result range 0.3-0.7%.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

ALCP rarely feature in opinion polls, but they manage to get votes in elections. In 2011 they got 0.52%.

They are under new management this time and are likely to get some stoner and protest votes but 5% is just too high a hurdle for the influential media to pay them any attention.

Likely result range 0.4-0.8%.

Internet Mana Party

As a newly formed combo IMP have been polling 1-2%. They have a huge budget so will feature in the attention seeking stakes.

And while Kim Dotcom can’t stand as a candidate his attention seeking will keep him to the forefront of party success or failure.

Dotcom is promising a town hall circus five days before election day – he thinks this will destroy John Key and National but it could just as easily backfire.

His personal crusade is to oust the National Government. He is more likley to fracture the left wing vote and scare people off a Labour let government.

IMP’s monetary might will gain them some party votes but may fail in the ultimate aim.

Likely result range 2-4%.

Summary

IMP could be pivotal in the final result but it looks most likely to be a failure for them and a win for National with a few small allies.

Craig confirms Conservative bottom line

At the Conservative Party conference today Colin Craig confirmed that they would have a bottom line of binding referenda.

Stuff reports Craig: Make referendums binding.

If National wants Conservative Party support it will have to make referendums binding, says the party’s leader Colin Craig.

He’s used his keynote speech at the party’s annual conference this weekend to highlight the party’s policy as a “bottom line” for any coalition negotiations.

That’s an invitation to National to say “stuff off”. And Labour presumably.

Or Craig naively thinks that National (or Labour) will want his support enough to concede on this demand.

Or maybe Craig is effectively ruling any deal out, conceding that with no experience the Conservatives would be best to concentrate on establishing themselves in Parliament on the cross benches through the first term and negotiate bill by bill when it suited them.

Colin’s Centrist Conservative Party

How conservative are the Conservatives? NZ Herald: Conservatives butt heads with NZ First over lookalike policies

The Conservatives have begun laying their election platform in a series of billboards and leaflet drops over the past month.

A few of their priorities so closely resembled New Zealand First’s manifesto that leader Winston Peters said they appeared to be stolen.

“Plagiarism is what you’re talking about. He’s not got similar policies, he’s trawled through our stuff and tried to present it as being his own.”

Both parties want to end asset sales, stop the sale of farmland to foreigners…

How conservative/right wing are the Conservatives?

Mr Craig told the Weekend Herald it was inevitable some of their policies would be similar because they were both competing for a similar pool of centrist voters.

Ah, they are centrist conservatives.

Conservatives: “Call us crazy…”

The latest Conservative Party website promotion begins:

Call us crazy, but the way we see it a politician’s job 
is to follow the instructions voters give them.

I’m not sure who has given instructions here:

Cunliffe must really, REALLY hate research
Press Release: Steve Taylor

David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe must really, REALLY hate research, given his recent foray into Education.

David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe

“Smaller class sizes” whines Mr Cunliffe.

“2000 extra teachers” bleats Mr Cunliffe.

“$350 million to fund it” gasps Mr Cunliffe.

What an intellectual lightweight Mr Cunliffe must be , says me.

If I could show you a summary of 50,000 individual research studies, and over 800 meta-analytic (a study of studies) studies, that concluded that “smaller class sizes” don’t make any difference at all to teaching outcomes, and that teacher quality, reinforced by regular real-time supervision and incremental skills and performance progress via regular evaluation was the key to teaching success, what would your response be?

Incredulity? Surprise? Disbelief?

Unfortunately for “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe, one of my academic roles is as an Outcomes Researcher, so every time Cunliffe makes a populist, vacuous, absent-of-evidence claim about………..well…………anything, then I can simply smash his claims down with valid, reliable, and consistent evidence to the contrary.

Professor John Hattie is a name known by most in the International Education field, and he is one of our own.

Here is a study presentation that Professor John Hattie has compiled that illustrates the factor effect size of “what works” in delivering quality teaching.

Class size ranked 105th out of 138.

Seriously, if David “Tricky Dicky” Cunliffe is the supposed IQ and debating giant of the Labour Party, then I literally cannot wait until we cross paths in the public arena.

Because for me, it is going to be a case of Barrel, meet fish, with me doing the shooting.

Not mentioned, but Taylor is apparently the Conservative opponent of Cunliffe in the New Lynn electorate. It follows another media release: Conservative Party Candidate not going to apologise:

“Waitakere Man” Conservative Party Candidate not going to apologise for “being a man”.

A West Auckland private social service provider, academic, consumer advocate, media commentator and local West Auckland resident says that it is time for the electorate of New Lynn to have a parliamentary representative who actually lives in the area representing the Electorate, and not one in David Cunliffe who is so willing to emasculate his own gender whilst being perpetually absent from his electorate.

After 51 years of the Labour Party flying in outsiders into the New Lynn electorate, I’m now standing up under the banner of the Conservative Party of New Zealand and as a local resident of West Auckland, and saying “Vote for a Local –Vote for Steve Taylor – & Party Vote Conservative”.

Well, we have had an invitation to call them crazy.

Key coy on Conservative accommodations

Will John Key and Colin Craig arrange a manky marriage?

Key was pressed by Patrick Gower to give his views on Colin Craig and the Conservative Party yesterday on The Nation.

Key emphasised that if National gave Conservatives any assistance they would be “transparent with New Zealanders and up front” (later in the day he indicated it would likely be advised about the end of July).

Patrick Gower started the interview by asking, given the level of opposition, does he really want a deal with Colin Craig?

John Key: First thing I’d say is we want to be the government post 2014 election. And I think New Zealanders do understand that involves doing deals or accommodations and actually cobbling together 61 seats. So in terms of will we specifically outline a deal with the Conservatives or United or Act, well we’ll announce that in a few weeks’ time you know, some grace time.

Patrick Gower: So yes or no to the question. Do you want a deal with Colin Craig, yes or no? Because even your own voters, one in every two National voters does not want a deal with Colin Craig.

John Key: Well I truthfully can’t answer that question. I can say there’s merits for both sides of the argument and we’ll take it through a process which will obviously include the president and the sort of kitchen cabinet. And we’ll do that relatively soon. But I can’t be absolutely sure of a definitive answer, I don’t want to mislead you but – but what I can say is realistic enough to know despite the fact that we are polling well a lot can change in an election campaign and we are likely to have to do a coalition deal.

When pressed by Gower to tell him “one good thing that he’s done this year”  Key avoided the questions.

Let’s look at it this way then. Colin Craig, tell me one good thing that he’s done this year?

Well I don’t want to critique his performance because that’s just simply not my job.

No, but it’s not a critique it’s, what’s one good thing you’ve seen him do?

Well not so sure that’s really the answer that I need to look for I mean the answer is –

But it is if you want to do a deal with him you’ve got to be able to say this is – here’s something good that he’s done.

Well he has a legitimate voice for some New Zealanders. It might be a position that’s quite a far away from me when it comes to social issues but there are plenty of New Zealanders that would support his view on smacking or gay marriage or whatever it might be. It’s not where I’m at personally but I understand that position.

But you can’t actually name something that you’ve seen and then you’ve gone ‘hey that’s pretty good’.

I don’t follow everything he does but what I’m saying to you is that we live in a world where we have to put together 61 seats. Realistically could we work with him if we go into Parliament? Let’s just argue, he either wins a seat or he gets 5%, the answer is yes I think we could because we’ve worked with lots of other different parties as well.

Gower then stated “it’s not about what the Conservatives can do for New Zealand, it’s about whether they can help you win”.

Key replied:

But that’s true of every major political party.

In the end whether you’re Labour or whether you’re National, you’ve got to work out how you get that race of 61 seats. Now in putting together those groups you have to answer the obvious question, do we have enough in common or do we believe we’re malleable enough to actually work together for the betterment of New Zealand.

Because the other alternative is everybody gets stubborn and we say oh no, we don’t have 50-percent so guess what we’re going back for another election. Well New Zealanders don’t want that, that’s for sure. There’s a couple of problems in doing that.

Negotiating after the election to put together a workable Government is much different to gifting a safe National seat to the leader of another party who otherwise has little chance of getting into Parliament.

It’s not just on social issues that Craig is ” quite a far away from ” Key. His anti-asset sale stance and some of his other economic policy ideas would be quite far from National’s. As would Craig’s (anti) Treaty of Waitangi policies.

It’s also likely the Conservative binding referendum bottom line is quite far away from what National would agree to.

Key hasn’t given any reason how National and Conservatives would be compatible.

The Conservative web page highlights:

It’s Time To Stand for Something

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?

Aggressively attacking National and highlighting major policy differences doesn’t sound like it’s standing for anything positive.

National and Conservatives colluding in an electorate jack-up and colluding in coalition with such significant differences would be very cynical politics. It would look like an arranged love-less marriage between incompatible religions.

Will voters stand for this?

An interesting scenario – if Craig gets voted into Parliament after being gifted a safe electorate, but National don’t need Conservatives to make up the numbers, would Key still include Conservatives in a coalition and make Craig a Minister?

And would Craig abandon his principles and stand for nothing except getting into Government?

What do Conservatives stand for?

Supporters of the Conservative Party frequently comment at Kiwiblog, often defending Colin Craig and his party, and often attacking anyone deemed critical. They even jump on attempts to just discuss the Conservative Party.

Yesterday on General Debate I posted:

The Conservative Party slogan is “Stand for Something”. Stand for what?

A genuine question for Conservative supporters – what do you thing the New Zealand Conservative Party stands for?

That comment was voted 13 down, 8 up. Simply asking questions about the Conservatives is seen as negative.

An early response from ‘Harriett':

What National USED to stand for!

No details with that.

There was ensuing discussion through the day but with little addressing of the question. I’ve skipped the attacks on Conservatives and looked for comments in support or defence plus reasonable criticism.

‘Colville’ said:

I quite like this bit of policy from the Conservatives.

The return to a single voter roll in New Zealand.
• There needs to be an end to the division of the voter roll on the basis of race. As this is a change to the way the people are represented we believe a binding referendum should be held to ratify this proposal.

‘Changeiscoming’ add to this:

Colville – Winston has the same position but he has had years to do something about it and he hasn’t. He is just talk and bluster.

‘Paulus':

Why are so many people here viciously against Colin Craig ?
What are they so afraid of ?
Colin Craig is not a queer, but is a married family orientated male. We know that this frowned upon today thanks to the social engineering of Helen Clark. Not what she wants for New Zealand. Must be female, homosexual, party and union members, public service employees, and TV entertainers, and never had to work for a living, but have been brought up on the public purse
The media are equally simplistic but that is par for the course.

Nigel Kearney:

The Conservative’s opposition to foreign investment makes them impossible for reasonable people to vote for. Not because it’s a bad policy, though it is an awful one. The problem is that it reveals their socialist mindset.

If a foreign investor buys assets and takes the resulting profits offshore, we haven’t lost anything because we have the money they used to buy the asset and can use that to create more wealth, in addition to the benefit of any jobs and taxes from the asset they now own.

We don’t want a party in Parliament that can’t understand basic economics and puts wealth redistribution ahead of wealth creation. There’s too much risk of them turning into another NZ First.

‘Manolo’ is a regular attacker of anything directed aty Conservatives and posted a typical diversionary diss:

Q: What do you think UnitedFuture stands for?
A: The highest bidder.

He claims to have no involvement with Conservatives but is a frequent defender or counter-attacker.

Judith:

I am against Colin Craig and afraid that his whacky sense of politics will harm this country should he get the ability to influence any decisions.

That is not based on him being weird, we are all weird in our own little way because each of us is unique – but because he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.

For example, his criticism of the two referendums on smacking and assets sales. To make it clear I was against asset sales, but in favour of the antismacking legislation, but think it needs to be clearly defined, as at present it is not.

Colin Craig however critiques Key and the government for not listening to the two referendums on these issues and states he would alter the laws to suite them.

Both those referendums were poorly worded and poorly constructed, including questionable processes. John Key was perfectly right in rejecting and refusing to accept either of them.

And that is the difference. John Key probably doesn’t know the first thing about a well worded referendum but is astute enough to take advice, listen to it, and not be influenced by emotion. Colin Craig on the other hand is influenced by emotion, and prepared to act on a poorly worded documents, to change legislation. The implications of that sort of inefficiency, if he was allowed to influence our politics could be tremendous. I’m sure he’s a lovely man – but lovely men tend not to make good politicians.

Most critical comments were significantly down voted, with an exception from Chthoniid:

I’m not against Craig. I don’t intend voting for him (and as a voter in ECB I have that option)- but if he runs a successful electoral campaign to win 5% of the vote, or a seat, then good on him. He can be in Parliament.

What I object to is an inept campaign of petty manipulation, to try to get a free run at the ECB seat. I object to the assumption I’d vote for him when he’s made no effort to earn that vote. And if the Nats give in to that strategy, then that lack of principle will cost them my vote. I survived 9 years of Helengrad. I can survive 3 years of an squabbling, paralysed coalition of the left.

‘dirty harry':

“I am against Colin Craig and afraid that his whacky sense of politics will harm this country should he get the ability to influence any decisions.”

What about the racist maori party ? You would rather them than Colin Craig saddle up next to the Nats? The racist party has done more harm than good to NZ. The brown mafia is alive and well in NZ. We need to biff the brown party in favour of the Conservatives. Colin will bring us back over to the right where the Nats should be. Thats the biggest mistake Key has made..taking the Nats to the centre left..absolute disaster.

Colin will sort it. Go Colin. All power to you.

Manolo supported this with “Well said, dirty harry.”

Redbaiter made a number of comments starting with:

Clintonoid- “I’m not against Craig.”

Bullshit.

Like so many others who flock to this forum you identify yourself by your obsessive atheism and your hatred and intolerance of anyone who dares to be a Christian or advocate for Christianity.

Craig is proud to be Christian and that means he’ll never get your vote, no matter how he campaigns or what policies he promotes.

Be honest about it you horrible bigot. You’ll white ant Craig as much as you can because of you’re obsession with atheism.

‘mikenmild':

Colin Craig’s principles are a strange mish-mash of left wing conservatism (much like NZ First), mixed up with a bit of Maori bashing and some god nuttery.

I’m expecting Colin Craig to attract some support from the fringe, but not enough to threaten the threshold or win an electorate. People considering voting for the conservatives should really consider NZ First instead, they have very similar policies and are much more likely to be actually in Parliament after the election.

Redbaiter responded:

You’re not getting the issue. NZF have been there for decades and are part of the system that has gradually lead us into totaliarian socialism. Yes, if you want to tell the current bunch of pollies that you’re happy with the socialist status quo then of course, vote for one of the regular parties.

However if you want to give the traditional parties and politicians a kick in the arse, you vote Conservative.

60,000 votes last election. That’s more than parties who have seats in parliament. They’ll get more this time.

Again- Saying CP party supporters should rather vote NZF is just missing the whole point.

He posted a several more times with a similar theme of ‘give the traditional parties and politicians a kick in the arse’ without promoting any positives for the Conservatives.

You’ve seen Flipper’s comments here. Other Nat supporters comments. You see they won’t fight the left. Many others see their lack of fight. Their groveling to what they call the middle, really an illusion manufactured by the left and their media propagandists.

Other people not similarly afflicted by this cowardice see the need to break out of this condition and they see the newcomer Craig as the most effective way (and possibly the only way) of telling the Nats they’ve had enough of their capitulation and the current progressive political condition of NZ.

He is anti-everything currently in politics and media and thinks/hopes Colin Craig will start his revolution.

Scott Chris:

The fact that National haven’t ruled a deal out makes it seem likely that if the poll numbers are close come election time then McCully will quietly step aside. Still might back-fire with a big no vote rebellion but I expect enough National voters will be willing to hold their collective noses and vote pragmatically.

In which case Colin Craig will have become John Key’s bitch.

It’s unknown how Craig might negotiate in politics, he claims to have made no attempt to talk to National so far.

Also from Scott Chris, referring to Redbaiter’s Conservative support:

And with the likes of Dirty Harriet, igm, kowtow, imp, D4j and dime also throwing their lot in with the Cons gives you an idea of the calibre of person Craig appeals to.

If you add Manolo to that list you get a collection who think National is a traitor to the right, who are anti-Maori and pro-Christian/anti-atheist. Types who supported the Tea Party and Sarah Palin simply because they thought they would drag politics to the far right in the US.

It is difficult to get any idea of what supporters think the Conservative Party stands for, they just see a glimmer of hope that Craig will be anti what they don’t like.

While Kiwiblog participants won’t represent the whole support base for the Conservatives they are significant in the social media fight for Craig.

If Conservatives make it into Parliament and are in a position to negotiate concessions it’s unknown what they will demand and hold out for. Whatever they might manage it will most likely be a disappointment to the hard righties. Colin Craig may pander to their social frustrations and prejudices but he seems far from right wing on economic policy.

But Craig’s vague policy positions allow the politically disaffected to imagine what he might achieve for them.

Conservatives should “bloody well earn” votes

David Farrar continues a soft approach to whether National should or shouldn’t help Colin Craig in East Coast Bays – see Craig making it easy for National to say no deal.

A commenter at Kiwiblog is far more forthright, albeit from more of an ACT perspective.

This really boils my blood.

I was part of the Epsom campaign in 2005 (as were hundreds of others, and expertly run and managed by John Boscawen) that Rodney Hide won. We worked bloody hard for every vote.

The National Party were writing to their supporters telling them to vote for Richard Worth. We had to convince the public that Rodney was the best candidate, and by voting for Rodney you not only got him and a few other Act MPs (which would help National), but you also got Richard Worth. We had to sell that message week after week, day after day.

I knocked on so many doors my knuckles practically bled. Act worked bloody hard that year to survive; and a week out from polling day the Herald ran an article saying we couldn’t win and it was all over. There were so many things against Act in 2005, yet we earned every bloody vote we got. As we should have.

Fast forward to now. Craig has suggested he could win Rodney, Pakuranga, Epsom, Upper Harbour and North Shore. But he decides to stand in ECB. Then he says he doesn’t want a deal, but National could give him if they choose. Then he says he can’t win without one (in other words “I need one, help”!)

Votes are earned at elections. They are not given away. His party needs to campaign like nothing before and bloody well earn them.

It’s that simple. David Seymour (Act) has been knocking on doors and campaigning in Epsom for four months . It’s time for Craig to do the hard yards as well instead on bleating and moaning in the media like a hungry cat.

Kiwiblog has a small vocal number of keen Conservative supporters but they seem to have as much practical knowledge of political reality as Craig.

And there’s a much bigger number at Kiwiblog who would b every unhappy if Craig was given an easy ride by National.

Hide was widely admired for how he won Epsom through hard work and perseverance despite the odds and media coverage stacked against him.

So far Craig has paid much but earned little in political credit.

What is Craig standing for?

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:

time to stand for something

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:

Sovereignty:

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.

Under Sovereignty:

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?

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