Article Title:Brethrengate slams shut
Category:Comment
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:5th October 2005 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:935
Text:Well, 'moral' issues ended up deciding the result of the September 2005 General Election- but not how the Christian Right wanted. Given the fact that National has been confirmed to have lost a list seat after special vote counts ended, the Clark administration will have its third term. What cost the Nats their margin of defeat? Well, what news item scared many urban liberal voters in the final week? Exactly. Brethrengate. National has only themselves to blame for their election loss. From pandering to social conservatives throughout the last parliamentary term, to Murray McCully's misogynist mumbling about "The Sisterhood" to the Exclusive Brethren pamphlet scandal, the party set out to drive urban liberals away from it, and they insured that urban seats were safe for the Clark administration. Under proportional representation, that short-sightedness was to prove deady to their election prospects. As for the Christian Right, the Maxim Institute ran an interesting, albeit stage-managed election roadshow, whose quality of fora ranged widely, according to feedback. Its nzvotes.org questionnaire was biased toward social conservatism, and Bruce Logan only came out in support ofNational's tax cuts policy after the general election. And was the election result a victory for the Christian Right? Labour is still in power. Brethrengate might have cost National the election in terms of urban support. Many prospective election candidates didn't answer the Institute's conscience vote questionnaire. Hopefully, their failure may lead National to decide once and for all to stop pandering to the Christian Right on these issues. And our communities? Georgina has called off her gender identity anti-discrimination bill due to absence of support from her colleagues, which is a damned shame. I hope that it resurfaces when the Human Rights Act is next amended. This means Section 59 Repeal will be the next contentious 'moral' issue before Parliament when select committee considerations open. And given that certain aspects of the Care of Children Act will require some amendment of the anomalous Adoption Act, perhaps we might have inclusive adoption law reform after all. Given that UFNZ has reportedly announced its intention to get into bed with National and ACT, prospects of reform may be vastly improved. Send her victorious. Three more years. Recommended: Elections New Zealand: http://www.elections.org.nz Craig Young - 5th October 2005    
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