Title: Post-election mysterious times Credit: Craig Young Features Sunday 18th September 2005 - 12:00pm1127001600 Article: 917 Rights
At the moment, New Zealand politics are still in limbo. On the positive side, Labour and the Greens are back in strength. It would be deliciously cruel irony for National if Brethrengate ended up losing it the election. And, as noted elsewhere in our coverage, we have a new intake of LGBT MPs in Labour and National. Due to the squeeze on centre-right minor parties and the ascendancy of the Maori Party, we have several welcome social conservative casualties, although none within the National Party, sadly. Murray Smith and Larry Baldock (UFNZ), Stephen Franks and Muriel Newman (ACT) and Craig MacNair and Dail Jones (NZF) are gone, but National's Chester Burrows (Wanganui) may reinforce the obnoxious likes of Collins, Connell, English and Nick Smith. What are the long-term consequences likely to be? Will National's new intake reinforce or mitigate its earlier extreme social conservatism from last parliamentary term? Will Peter Dunne and his shrunken entourage moderate their shrill rhetoric? Will we discover common ground with the Maori Party over discrimination against whakawahine/transwomen? Will ACT become the moderating centre-right social liberal party it always should have been, given that it is now free of its social conservative baggage? It is still too early to tell what will happen in the forthcoming Parliament. Will we take up the cudgels over Georgina's transgender rights bill, or face the Christian Right if they try to "ban" same-sex marriage? Craig Young - 18th September 2005    
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