Title: Editorial: Fasten your seatbelts! Credit: Jay Bennie Features Thursday 15th September 2005 - 12:00pm1126742400 Article: 909 Rights
With just a couple of days to go before we hit the polling booths it is worth a quick reflection on how this election might affect glbt New Zealanders. Our own self-select user polling indicates that well over 50% of the glbt vote will go to the Labour Party and Labour candidates. This is not surprising. Lbour has been the main force behind most of the legal and social reforms hat have creted a more equal and fair environment for glbt kiwis, and other minorities as well. Sure, National has had the occasional burst of conscience, particularly under the leadershop of Jenny Shipley, but those days are clearly gone. And with the Greens highly egalitarian view of people in general it is not surprising that they are picking up a few glbt votes too. Act, sadly has lost its way on so many issues, including same-sex concerns, that from a promisingly inclusive party it has consigned itself to the also-rans along with the more virulent rogues such as United Future and Destiny. It is not surprising to see the progressives polling so low with glbt folk, but if Jim Anderton pulls them back into parliament on the strength of his opersonal following in Wigram we will benefit by that enormously. The big threat is, sadly, National. What on earth are they up to. Their gaffes, political snafus and outright courting of parties that would see glbt New Zealanders consigned to hell (or the legal equivalent of it) is just plain sad. In his desparate rush for votes ("any votes... please!") Don Brash has thrown ethics, fairness, decency and humanity out the window. His courting of the far right fundamentalist 'drag the country back to the dark ages' vote was predicted by six months ago, and his unseemly and at times devious atempt to cobble together a meaningful number of votes has been truely disgusting to watch. Sure, Labour had to deal with Ashraf Choudary's daftness but one MP's foolishness has not detracted from Labour's overall message on glbt issues. However, duplicitous statements and policy issueing from National's leader have frequently sadly eclipsed some rather glbt-supportive positions of National's younger candidates. Will Labour be able to squeak back into the government benches without making too many compromises? Probably. Will National be able to sneak back in with the support of the just plain mad, bad and self-serving parties of the extreme right (and we include NZ First in that lot)? Possibly. What ever your politics and views the main thing is to vote. Take 20 minutes on Saturday to tick a couple of boxes and ensure you have a say in who will or will not attempt to run your life for the next three years. Then fasten your seatbelts and keep an eye on's live Saturday night coverage of the general election... it's going to be a bumpy night! Jay Bennie - 15th September 2005    
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