Craig wants binding referenda and smacking

Colin Craig is suddenly getting a lot of media attention. He is getting the chance to state policy positions. Time will tell whether this exposure enhances Conservative chances or if it raises concerns.

Craig was asked on TV3’s Firstline…

“Are there some absolutes you would go to National with and say ‘We’re not coming on board unless you give us this?’”

He replied…

“One of the things we’ve always been very clear about is when you’ve got a strong result in a referendum, we don’t think in a democracy the government should just be able to throw it out. That’s something I do think needs changing.”

Not an absolute position. It appears to be targeting voters who want some ballot power, but it’s hard to see Parliament agreeing to binding referenda. Seeking support for a futile cause.

Craig used the smacking referendum as an example of the will of the people being ignored.

87.4% voted against a parent hitting a child “as part of good parental correction” being made a criminal offence, but National reached a deal with Labour that saw the legislation passed.

Smacking has been one of the driving forces behind Craig’s push for political power. Again this is seeking support from people who still feel strongly about the ‘anti-smacking’ legislation but it’s hard to see other parties wanting to revisit this.

The legislation certainly annoyed many people but that’s history and it’s been nothing like the societal catastrophe some predicted. It’s an issue that might attract a few votes but it’s hard to see it swinging an election, nor interesting the next Parliament.

Following the Craig line Conservatives would want to reverse the asset sales if the upcoming referendum supported rolling back the sales, but that would make a farce of parliamentary process.

Craig is using attention seeking issues to build support, but it will be more difficult to look like a credible coalition partner with do-able policies.

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t particularly like the Conservatives because their high horse moralising is something of a danger zone to be crawling around in. I have often said, and I am a Christian, that setting up a Christian political party is not a good idea – because you will have to compromise on issues to get where you want to go with your party policy development programs. To moralise all policies is never going to work – it just makes you look very immature and seriously stupid.


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