Title: Marriage Equality: What About Real Families, Bob? Credit: Craig Young Comment Thursday 17th January 2013 - 2:17am1358342220 Article: 12802 Rights
A protected 'real marriage' - Kim Kardashian and kris Humphries reality marriage was gone in a flash. Family First, fronted by Bob McCoskrie, has made an oblique response to my frequent observations that they are neglecting real family issues through presenting a midterm "Value Your Vote" listing of current MPs and their "family friendly' ratings. Is it very convincing?   Well, no. My primary criticism still hasn't been answered, which is that if issues like Easter trading restrictions, alcohol access reform and restriction, gambling harm, child support delinquency response, paid parental leave (and anti-loansharking legislation) are as important to Family First as they want us to believe, why is it that none of the concerns apart from marriage equality listed here have any supplementary websites, and marriage equality alone warrants a dedicated anti-equality website ("Protect Marriage")?   Elaborated Family First fact sheets on the real family concerns listed here are no substitute for keeping watching briefs on those concerns listed, with media monitoring and relevant research citations. It's significant that these real family concerns are not treated with anywhere near the effort and diligence that opposition to marriage equality gets.   So, how did they all do? Predictably, New Zealand First topped the list, with an 88% family concerns score, and Labour scored an enviable 77% (!), while the Maori Party rated 67%, United Future rated 62%, National took 61%, ACT rated only 50%, the Greens scored a predictable 38% and Mana trailed the field at 25%.      More to the point, Labour's Damian O'Connor and Sua William Sio scored a 'perfect' 100% (!) on this chart, while Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, Tim Macindoe, Chester Burrows and Jonathan Young did well for the Nats.  Macindoe is the only Cabinet Minister amongst this lot, and all of the MPs cited here are religious social conservatives, apart from O'Connor.   Of the party leaders, Key trailed the field at 37.5%, while David Shearer had a highly positive rating at 75%, and Winston Peters led the field at 87%. Which is all very well. Key is a classical liberal and not inclined to vote for restrictions on alcohol and gambling as a result, nor is paid parental leave or child support delinquency seemingly a priority for his government. It's also interesting that National/ACT projects of interest to other fundamentalists like charter schools are not listed on this chart.   However, the media release observed that National, ACT and United Future had all performed 'poorly' when it came to such issues- singling out matters like marriage equality and street sex work bans, given that the latter is seemingly bogged down in its select committee phase, but also citing the restriction of gambling harm and alcohol concerns.   What is one to make of this chart? Is Family First trying to convince the rest of us that it's a politically neutral organisation, when it has so strongly targeted Labour and the Greens in the past? Is it trying to meet criticisms that it is neglecting real family concerns through devoting marginally greater effort to those real family concerns?   And predictably, Winston Peters and New Zealand First top the list, despite the party's electoral marginality. That will not please National, given how Key loathes that party and would only consider a post-2014 coalition with them as the very last resort, if ACT and United Future lose their sole parliamentary seats to major parties, and the Maori Party continues its slow electoral decline.   Earth to Bob. You're still not fooling anyone.     Recommended:   Family First: Value Your Vote 2012:   Craig Young - 17th January 2013    
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