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Playing with numbers?

Mon 15 Aug 2005 In: Comment

Why is it that the so-called 'conscience votes' replies section of is far more elaborate than anything else onsite? If I were a centre-right voter, I'd want to pay close attention to the cursory nature of attention to major issues like "tax cuts," New Zealand's nuclear-free status and other important policy issues. Why don't they get the same detailed attention as its pet obsessions? Because the Maxim Institute runs that website, and it is a fundamentalist pressure group. Whether their conscience vote questionnaire tells us anything new is a moot point, given that few Labour candidates replied, while no New Zealand First or Progressive ones did, and we were left with the replies of National, Green and ACT candidates for the most part. What were the survey questions? To be a good Christian Right candidate, one must oppose decriminalisation of voluntary euthanasia and cannabis, support a ban on same-sex marriages, and oppose inclusive adoption law reform, hate speech bans and gender identity anti-discrimination laws. So, who said what? Unsurprisingly, Judith Collins (Nat, Clevedon), Murray McCully (Nat, East Coast Bays), Phil Heatley (Nat, Whangarei), Nick Smith (Nat, Nelson), Brian Connell (Nat, Rakaia) and David Carter (Nat candidate, Banks Peninsula) all answered that they would enforce the Christian Right concept of 'morality' on the rest of us heathens. In Tamaki (Auckland), National's Allan Peachey is another social conservative, who will replace Clem Simich, a good social liberal. In Wanganui, avoid hardcore fundamentalist Nat candidate Chester Burrows, and vote for Labour's Jill Pettis. In Hamilton West, Tim McIndoe (National candidate) is a social conservative apart from his ambivalence over transgender rights, on which he is undecided. Vote for Labour's Martin Gallagher. In Wigram, Labour's Mike Mora opposes adoption law reform inclusion, and is uncertain about transgender rights and hate speech bans. Vote for Jim Anderton (Progressive). Did the survey hold any surprises? In Helensville, National's shadow treasurer, John Key, supports inclusive adoption law reform, but also banning same-sex marriages. Of the Greens who replied, all were social liberals. Eight out of the ten Nats who replied were social conservatives, although Maurice Williamson (Nat, Pakuranga) objected to the idea of a same-sex marriage ban. As for Peter Dunne, he supports gender identity anti-discrimination laws, but also a same-sex marriage ban- unlike his erstwhile caucus, expected to vanish at the next general election. However, with these exceptions, it seems that the Opposition is untrustworthy over LGBT rights issues. The motto? Keep Left. Recommended Websites: Green Party: Labour Party: Maxim Institute: National Party: (Maxim Institute): Craig Young - 15th August 2005    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Monday, 15th August 2005 - 12:00pm

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