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.

 

Key gives Hauiti transparency the finger

National list MP Claudette Hauiti has withdrawn from standing in Kelston and from the election. Whether she walked or was pushed it doesn’t matter, she had to go.

She hasn’t been in Parliament long, replacing Aaron Gilmore off the list last year, but she has tripped up badly twice.

Earlier this year Hauiti employed her partner in her office which is against Parliamentary rules.

Last week Fairfax reported…

… former broadcaster Hauiti surrendered her charge card after using it for unauthorised spending.

At first she blamed her staff, before admitting she’d used it to pay for a Christmas trip across the Ditch.

Since then she announced she would be withdrawing from standing again, but it’s unlikely she would have got a winnable list position and she wasn’t expected to come close to winning Kelston.

While National have dealt with her exit quickly and efficiently (one the credit card spending went public) they have been far less willing to be transparent about the level of spending, as Andrea Vance reports in Hauiti protected to the bitter end.

What she hasn’t admitted to is how much personal spending went on that card.

Incredibly, National leader John Key and party Whip Louise Upston say they don’t know.

They knew enough to get rid of her.

Insiders say the party was worried more would leak out and Key took charge when he returned from his Hawaii holiday.

But the party is refusing to answer questions about further allegations of misspending and Hauiti has gone to ground.

The episode has made a mockery of Key’s boasts about being transparent on MPs’ spending.

Yes, it’s very poor from Key and National – first for allowing a new MP to make two such basic mistakes, and now for hiding the details.

Hauiti and the National Party are exploiting an obstinate interpretation of the Parliamentary Service rule which prevents the release of information about MPs.

This is reasonable when it applies to private details such as pension schemes, phone records or that would identify constituents. Where it should not be applicable is the use of taxpayer cash, particularly where there are irregularities.

It ignores the reality that we, the taxpayer, are MPs’ employers – not the back-office Parliamentary Service.

Both National and Hauiti have not responded to a request for a privacy waiver to allow the records to be released.

This creates the impression there is something more to hide.

Whether Key has something else to hide or not if he is not prepared to be open and transparent on this he leaves himself and National open to speculation – and most likely more media digging.

This sort of secrecy would be poor at any time but it is a bad look coming into an election campaign, particularly one where National are deliberately risk averse. If this blows up into a bigger issue Key can only blame himself.

Martyn the mastermind

Martyn Bradbury has masterminded a plan so cunning and so effective that polls and policies are irrelevant to this election. Everything is organised so the outcome of the election is inevitable no matter what anyone else tries to do.

Martyn was instrumental in setting up the Mana Party. He was instrumental in setting up the Internet Party. He engineered that planting of Matt McCarten in Cunliffe’s coterie and into the middle of Labour’s campaign team.

He was the brains behind the Mana-Internet Party merge for the election. He was right behind installing Laila Harre as leader of the Internet Party.

And Martyn is the communications guru for the New Auckland Left agenda, with central command being his The Daily Blog. He converted Chris Trotter from left wing columnist to his left hand man.

Ok, some of this could be a tad exaggerated, but Martyn is not shy of blowing his own trumpet and he has been unable to resist bragging along these lines.

And in a blog post this week he couldn’t resist broadcasting the culmination of his masterminded plan. This is quoted verbatim, no embellishment is required.

Why the polls, policy & smears now don’t matter until after 7pm September 15th 2014

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Martyn really was closely involved in the anti-GCSB protest meeting at the Auckland Town Hall last year. To remind everyone of his triumph he includes a picture of it.

That’s Martyn in a commanding position dead centre, with Dotcom under his watch.

Couple of polls out today, Roy Morgan and the stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Polls – and they don’t matter.

John Key could announce tax cuts from a live press conference in Hawaii, and it wouldn’t matter.

David Cunliffe could be mocked on ZB by Mike Hosking for 10 hours straight. And it wouldn’t matter.

All that matters now is 7pm Monday 15th at the Auckland Town Hall.

The beauty of what Kim, Internet MANA and those fighting the mass surveillance state have generated here for the price of just hiring out the Town Hall is the entire nations attention and total dominance of the election campaign.

Journalists like Duncan Garner, Vernon Small and Guyon Espiner have been highly critical that Kim doesn’t reveal the evidence linking Key to a conspiracy to collude with the US to entrap him right now so that they can decide if the evidence stacks up. This point ignores that throughout this case the Government have broken law, acted outside the rules and have been manipulating this process with ‘political pressure’ from the very beginning and Kim has every right to counter that by releasing the information when it’s going to be most damaging to Key.

5 days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key.

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Laila Harre’s comments that Kim wouldn’t be allowed in have been seized upon as a giant awkward moment between the two. I think that’s a terrible misreading of why she said that.

The meeting will be live streamed on The Daily Blog.

Five days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key. Not four and a half days. Not six days. This is how pin point Martyn’s planning has been.

We might as well forget the election campaign and ignore all the other parties. The outcome of the election rests on the Kim and Martyn show on September 15.  Trust Kim. Trust Martyn. We will have to get used to trusting them, they will be the brains and the management behind our next government.

Neither of them are standing for Parliament but don’t worry about small details like that.

What Martyn doesn’t explain is that if everyone ignores polls and policies and smears and parties and campaigning then how will they know who to vote for?

Bradbury doesn’t hint that he knows what Dotocm will reveal, which based on his usual keenness to brag about what he knows probably means he doesn’t know. But he knows that September 15 is the BIG THING and nothing else is relevant to the election. Trust or bluster?

Even if what Dotcom reveals on September 15, something so secret that he hasn’t shared the information with his party leader Harre, even if Dotcom blows Key out of the election, how will voters know who to vote for?

Will September 15 be so decisively dramatic that no one will vote? That’s not going to happen, although Martyn’s farcical circus is likely to disillusion more voters and reduce the turnout.

Or everyone will have a revelation and vote for the brilliance of Kim and Martyn? Ok, for Laila and Hone but we know they are just useful tools in this grand plan.

All eyes will be on Dotcom and The Daily Blog to see hints drip fed.

Or voters will not stand for this personal crusade of Dotcom, nor for the Bradbury bull.

Even if Key and National are seriously compromised it’s likely most of the voters won’t look kindly on the hijacking of our democracy.

A collapse in voter turnout and an election lottery is possible. I wonder if Martyn has bought a ticket. That might be his best hope on September 20.

Martyn seems to think he has masterminded a dead certain election result.

But remember that he masterminded a grand left wing co-operative for the election, and that was quickly dashed when Labour made it clear they would have nothing to do with it, and Greens had already recognised the dangers in a Dotcom led political revolution.

It has been suggested that the September 15 town hall meeting will be a bomb shell. Martyn would like it seen as a Bomber shellacking of John Key  – but we’ve seen Bradbury flops before.

Martyn’s master of his own mind but his left wing revolution may be spinning in his head.

Footnote: the comments on Martyn’s post have been mostly very sceptical and negative.

Dotcom versus Key – bomb or fizzer?

Kim Dotcom is promising to reveal information that will prove John Key knew of him prior to the raid and his arrest in an attention seeking ‘event’ at the Auckland town hall the Monday before the election.

NZ Herald reports Dotcom promises election eve political bombshell:

Kim Dotcom has announced he plans to drop a political bombshell five days before the general election which he says will prove the Prime Minister has been lying about when he first knew about the German internet tycoon.

Dotcom made the announcement yesterday to 3News on the first day of the internet Mana party’s road trip campaign.

“On September 15, I’m doing a Town Hall event in Auckland and I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day when I’m going to reveal my evidence…..my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” Dotcom said.

The proposed timing of his ‘revelation’ is suspicious, especially after Dotcom had previously claimed he wouldn’t reveal his evidence until his court case (which now won’t be until next year).

There’s been a lot of scepticism about this, with people presuming that if he had the nail for John Key’s political coffin he’d have produced it by now.

Dotcom has offered a $95 million bounty for information that nails Government complicity with the US. And he was asking questions via the media earlier this week – if he has the clinching evidence they were questions he should know the answer to.

The conspiracy theories are the least likely explanations. There’s a number of more likely possibilities including:

  • SIS didn’t think their interest in Dotcom was important enough to advise Key and likewise Jonathan Coleman.
  • Key is using semantics eg he hadn’t heard of ‘Kim Dotcom’ but had heard of ‘Kim Schmitz’ or of ‘a German being investigated’.
  • Key knew of Dotcom but is bound by secrecy (his SIS responsibilities) not to reveal it. It’s possible SIS were investigating Dotcom for a different currently un-revealed reason.

The Dotcom bomb is at least as likely to be a fizzer than a finisher, and could blow up in Dotcom’s face if his ‘event’ comes off half cocked. There’s already a lot of annoyance at him seemingly cynically trying to finance political payback.

Dotcom bomb promised for election week

Two weeks ago Kim Dotcom tweeted:

>>>>>> September 15th
A big day for New Zealand
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Event details coming soon

Dotcom confirmed today that he will have a town hall event on Monday 15th September and drop a bomb, revealing evidence that he claims will discredit John Key and ensure his and National’s defeat in the election.

Dotcom prepares to drop ‘political bomb’

Dotcom says he will drop a political bomb, which goes right to the core of Mr Key’s credibility, five days out from the September 20 election.

“I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day where I’m going to reveal my evidence, my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” he says.

Dotcom says he will release hard evidence.

“On September 15 I’m going to present my case.”

Part of his plan to inflict as much political damage as possible in the run-up to the campaign is also highly likely to include leaks about our spies from American NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

That’s a high stakes risk which could in part at least backfire.There are some who want Key and National out of Government and don’t care how, the end justifies any means. But Dotcom is not trusted by others. And there are some who detest his extravagant manipulation of our politics and detest his keenness to destroy the political careers of anyone who he thinks deserves his wrath.

Tania Billingsley steps up and challenges

Tania Billingsley has waived the default suppression in sexual assault cases and revealed her identity as the alleged victim in the Malaysian diplomat case. She did this in an interview on 3rd Degree – Woman at centre of Malaysian diplomat case speaks out.

Care had to be taken with what was talked about as the case is sub judice. As a result apart from her identity and her feelings on the case (which was important for her to be able to do) little new was revealed.

Understandably Tania is annoyed by the process. She felt that her voice hadn’t been heard – she didn’t want to be suppressed and ignored but that is the default in cases like this. Politicians and media were obligated to not discuss anything personal about her or any specifics about the case.

Tania is particularly annoyed at the politicians involved, especially Murray McCully, calling on him to resign. That’s her opinion but not her call.

McCully doesn’t appear to have dealt with the case well and he seemed very uncomfortable when he had to front up in Parliament last week. I think he should have made sure he was better informed about the progress of the case. But he was correct not to have become involved in either the police work or the diplomacy, he is clearly required to keep a distance from both.

I don’t care if McCully resigns or not. I doubt that he should be forced to resign. I’ve never been much of a fan of his and wouldn’t care if he exited Parliament and politics – but my personal views and Tania’s personal views should not be deciding factors in whether a resignation is appropriate.

Tania also said she thought John Key should resign and criticised him for appearing to disregard her in his comments on the case. 3rd Degree advise:

We also asked Prime Minister John Key and he also declined, with his office saying: “We will decline your request for the Prime Minister to appear on the programme. The legal implications of any pending court case precludes an appearance.”

That’s the political reality of the situation. The same would have applied when Helen Clark was Prime Minister. The same would apply (or should apply) if Metirea Turei was acting Prime Minister.

Fair enough that Tania is pissed off with the politicians, but her case isn’t political, it’s in our judiciary system which has to be separated from politics.

Tania has a wider activist objective.

“I just really think that we as a country, and especially the Government, needs to start not just reacting to sexual assault but working to prevent it.”

That’s a fair call, but that objective has to be kept separate from her case. It’s not proper for John Key to take any personal interest in the case, but he could make a significant difference if he championed a change in attitude on general, domestic and and sexual violence. All forms of violence in our society are related.

David Cunliffe tried to lead on this last week but he made a major misjudgement. While is “sorry I’m a man” statement appeased those working at the bottom of the sexual violence cliff he alienated and annoyed many men and his comment didn’t go down well with many women either. He meant well but his approach was widely unpopular.

As Prime Minister John Key could make a big difference on leading a change in some public attitudes to violence and sexual assault including rape.

It’s unlikely Tania will get a personal apology from John Key while the case is pending but she could achieve a lot if her challenge encourages Key to take a lead on addressing entrenched negative cultures in our society.

Most people are peaceful (including most men) want a far less violent society. If our politicians lead a positive change in attitude we can make a major difference.

‘Rape culture’ is a negative term. I understand it but it doesn’t help, people hate being linked with it so it repels rather than attracts support for a worthy cause.

Blaming and shaming all, and telling people to shut up about it and trying to shame them into silent sorryness (and this happens) are also counter productive.

We need a positive non-violence approach that’s gender neutral and is inclusive of men and women wanting to bring about change. We have to co-exist together in society and most of us want to live together as men and women, so we have to work together to fight violence.

If by revealing herself and speaking up Tania Billingsley helps push politicians and people towards this she will have done well.

Rather than challenging John Key to resign I challenge him to use his position as leader help make a difference and lead positive change.

It would surprise me if he did but Murray McCully could also step up on this. That could really shake up the old male attitudes.

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?

Thinking outside the Green square

The Green Party has virtually led the opposition this term. It looks the best organised party apart from National, and it appears to be well funded. Green leadership looks secure and sound.

Greens are overdue for being in government and are ambitious to finally get a share of real power.

But they have a major problem, not of their own doing but a serious impediment to Greens achieving what they want. Labour have seemed an essential part of Green plans but David Cunliffe look like a dead leader walking.

Apart from a weak Labour making a left wing Government look increasingly unlikely the Greens are also hurt by Labour being weak – many voters are sympathetic to some Green input but are wary of too much Green say and too may Green policy. People are uncertain about what a Green dominated coalition might do.

Greens could just resign themselves to being reliant on a Labour recovery and wait. And possibly wait and wait.

But Greens have proven to be smart and also willing to read the political wind and adapt. Green leadership seems well aware of the political need for pragmatism and compromise if a party is to make progress.

They attempted to initiated a campaign partnership with Labour but were rejected.

Will they consider the ultimate in political pragmatism – a coalition with National?

Currently the Green position on working with National is something like “very very unlikely”. But that was determined when Labour+Green looked an electoral possibility. Labour have moved this towards “very very unlikely” and don’t look like changing direction.

They will surely be reassessing this. It’s known that Green activists are not keen on working with National but political pragmatism – and the fear if another three years in the opposition wilderness not knowing if even then Labour will get their act together – must be tempting some in the Green Party to go for a bit of something rather than a lot of nothing.

There would be a number of benefits for Greens going into coalition with National. They would be in a better position to promote some of their policies. They would get some experience at operating in Government and some of their MPs would get experience in ministerial positions.

Their lack of Government experience and their numbers relative to National – something like 55-15 – would mean they wouldn’t be able to claim major roles but they would gain valuable experience and would achieve far more than they could alongside Labour in opposition.

They could prove they can be responsible on Government. This would enhance their chances in 2017.

What about Greens as ministers? Alongside National they would have to accept minor rolls, but this would help easy then into the next level.

Russel Norman with an associate finance role and Metiria Turei in an associate social role – or even Minister of the Environment – would look fine. And Kevin Hague would slot easily into an associate health role.

National would gain from this arrangement as well. They’ve worked successfully on policy with Greens before with insulation schemes, and some more environmental and sustainable influence would be positive.

And it could be easier and safer to work with the principled Greens than Winston Peters or the unknown quantity of Colin Craig.

The country would benefit too from a stable governing arrangement, more social and environmental influence. And once Greens eventually get to be a part of a left leaning government they will be far better experienced.

How would voters see this? I think in the main they would see it as a positive. Swing voters may be far for willing to support Greens if they saw they would be moderated by senior National influence compared to Greens alongside a weak Labour, where voters have some worries about how Green it would be.

Prior to the last election 3 News Reid research polled on a National-Green mix.

We asked voters that if John Key opened the door to a formal coalition deal with the Greens – should the Greens say yes.

  • 55 percent said yes
  • 30 percent said no

Many of those saying no are likely to be Labour supporters who wouldn’t like to be cut out of any deal.

Amongst Green voters:

  • 60 percent said yes
  • 27 percent no

Amongst National voters:

  • 63 percent said yes
  • 25 percent said no

With the current state of the parties, especially Labour’s weakness and fears of the possibility of Labour+Green+NZ First+Internet+MANA or even of National+NZ First then a National-Green alliance may seem even more attractive and less scary to voters.

If John Key saw benefits for National and for the country he should support working with Greens.

Some of the more idealistic in Greens may take more convincing, but the key to successful politics is finding ways of achieving something. Intransigent idealists tend to be impotent. There is far more power in pragmatism.

One of the biggest limiters on Greens increasing their vote is a fear of them having too much influence with their more extreme policies.

National is well supported in the polls but voters are very unlikely to want them to rule with a majority on their own.

Voters may see Greens alongside a much larger National as a much safer bet than most of the current alternatives and they would probably pick up votes that are disillusioned with Labour.

To me National+Green seems to be by far the safest and most sensible choice for the country this year.

Both parties would need to signal there willingness to work together clearly prior to the election. It would likely help both their chances.

Keycat and Craigmouse

The cat and mouse continues over what help if any National might give Colin Craig’s Conservative Party.

Craig must be getting anxious about what electorate he should stand in with a distinct lack of any public signals from National except negative ones.

John Key remains vague, non-committal and in no apparent hurry on any possible deal with Craig From an interview with Leighton Smith yesterday:

We think we could work with the Conservatives if they make it, and we’d be prepared to have discussions with Winston Peters if he wanted to.

Obviously the particular issues are Epsom when it comes to Act, Ohariu when it comes to United, and whether we find some way of accommodation Colin Craig

Leighton Smith: It would appear as far as Colin Craig is concerned that you’ve run out of options…

John Key: Not necessarily…

Now when it comes to the Conservatives, they’re in a bit of a different position to United and Act. You’ve got to remember both of those parties won their seat in their own right at times where National pretty heavily contested those seats. That’s not the case with the Conservatives but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t find a way through but I wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that we would.

But I just wouldn’t jump to conclusions there because we’re a long way away from that position really with the Conservatives.

Stuff reports: Craig confident – just a matter of which seat

Craig is set to announce which seat in little over a week. It’s unclear whether he will have had a nod from Key before then.

Key has been careful not to tie himself to a timetable, while Craig is “awaiting the results of polling”.

Craig must be getting anxious and a tad impatient, but Key keeps playing him along.

Ask Craig, and he will say the party will break the 5 per cent threshold to make it into Parliament without an electorate seat and that it will have more than one MP and National will have to work for his vote.

Craig will have to do a lot of work before he is in a position to make National work for his vote.

In the meantime the Conservatives are running a bizarre campaign. This poster ( posted on Whale Oil) attempts to ridicule the very people in National who could decide to help Craig – or not.

Conservative back in the coop

And the Conservative Party are running this graphic on their website:

Conservative son of NationalThat has been widely ridiculed and modified, with an obvious connection being made at The Standard.

Conservatives son of god

National will no doubt be doing private polling on the potential benefits and risks of getting close to the Conservatives. Perhaps they should check these out with their focus groups.

Keycat may prefer to take risks with different mice.

 

Cunliffe non-commital on Iraq

David Cunliffe has been criticised from both the left and the right on his non-committal comments on New Zealand involvement

The escalating situation in Iraq has raised questions about what intervention the US might take and what help they may ask for from other countries.

Sydney Morning herald headline – Obama will ‘not rule anything out’ in Iraq, saying US can always count on Australia.

Mr Obama is facing criticism that militants from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were emboldened by his decision not to intervene in the Syrian civil war and reports that he has refused Iraq requests for airstrikes against the militants.

“My team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter,” he said.

Asked what would provoke a US military response, Mr Obama reiterated points he made in a recent foreign policy speech at the West Point military academy, that America would strike unilaterally if its national security was threatened but would otherwise seek to build coalitions. He said Australia was one of a handful of nations Americans knew they could always count on, not just because of shared values, but because of military capability.

“Aussies know how to fight, and I like having them in a foxhole if we’re in trouble.

That doesn’t rule out New Zealand also being asked to join a coalition. Felix Marwick from Newstalk ZB tweeted:

Cunliffe on troops to Iraq: wd dep’ on the circumstances when request made. Won’t hypothesize what answer wd be w/out having specific facts.

A difficult decision and would rely on the position taken by the United Nations and our partners. Can’t rule anything in or out.

No Right Turn blogged:

And there you have it: David Cunliffe ain’t no Helen Clark. If you want New Zealand to stay out of America’s stupid wars, you’ll need to vote for someone else.

And meanwhile, John Key says the chances of his government contributing to any intervention are “remote”. Its a sad day when Labour looks more warmongering than National.

That seems extreme, while Cunliffe didn’t rule out anything he hardly sounds “warmongering”.

David Farrar has a more gentle dig at Cunliffe and Labour at Kiwiblog.

Likewise, should have been easy to say something along the lines John Key said – which is that the chances of NZ contributing ot military action in Iraq are incredibly small – especially considering any intervention is likely to be air strikes, and thanks to Labour we don’t have an airforce capable of striking anything!

I think Cunliffe’s response on this is fine, there’s no way of knowing what might happen in Iraq, nor what international assistance might be asked for.

Key will know more about US views on current developments but if the Middle East escalates around Iraq then pressure could increase substantially on the US to try and sort out a mess they have played a major part in. And if they in turn pressure allies to help it could change substantially from Key’s ‘remote’ claim.

I think Cunliffe is correct, nothing can be or should be ruled in or out regarding Iraq, Syria and the Middle East.

Criticisms seem to be ideological or partisan excuses to have a go at Cunliffe, with no justification of substance.

UPDATE:

@DavidCunliffeMP
A Labour govt I lead would not commit combat troops to Iraq under any foreseeable circumstances. Proud of our stand against invasion in 2003

That doesn’t really add anything apart from trying to sound on to it, a day later. He should have left it at what he said yesterday.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 217 other followers