Colin Craig’s final word

Colin Craig appeared on Citizen A in a discussion with Martin Bradbury and David Slack. They talked about Auckland’s gridlock problems, youth rates & work and safety standards, and the line between political satire and defamation.

Each of them also had a final word. This is Colin Craig’s.

I actually think we’re at an interesting time in New Zealand politics. We are seeing some change. Now, obviously the Conservative Party is a part of that, but not only that.

I think what we’re going to see over the next while is a renewal, politicians that have probably been there far too long are going to start falling away, we’re talking about a number of them now looking at local body positions, mayoralties, whatever. It’s about time.

I think we need a different kind of politics in New Zealand, pragmatic.

As a centre right mainstream party we like pragmatic, but I think you can find pragmatic on both sides of the house, and I think we’ve got people who are willing to be more about consensus politics.

That’ll be great for this country.

Craig seems to be positioning himself as more moderate and accommodating than some of his more conservative supporters might like, but having mentioned pragmatism, Craig obviously recognises that success of the Conservative Party depends on establishing a broader appeal than a a truly CONSERVATIVE party is envisaged as being by some.

Interesting that he didn’t mention referenda, something he has said is his party’s bottom line. He may have to move more towards pragmatism and consensus on that ideal.

His general ideas on the direction he thinks politics may move are actually very similar to my own, which is quite ironic considering the criticism I get from Conservative Party supporters at Kiwiblog.

I think there’s a place in our political mix for Craig and his party, they would add value to our politics. If they do get a foothold in parliament there’s a risk some Conservative MPs may end up being liabilities or embarrassments, but every small party is at risk of that – as are the large parties, as the Gilmore debacle shows.

It’s a shame the MMP threshold wasn’t 3%, the Conservative Party would stand a good chance of giving that a good crack and if it looked feasible it would encourage more to vote for them to get them over the line.

But 5% is going to be a much more difficult target to achieve. Craig has sufficient resources and seems to have the determination, but money and guts isn’t all it will take. Craig will also have to learn and adapt smartly, and will need some luck. And a lot could depend on whether the media gods help or hinder him.

One thing’s for sure, the above is Craig’s final word on Citizen A this week, but it will be far from his final word in politics.