It’s not easy for a party with no MPs to get into parliament.
The Maori and Mana Parties managed it in by-elections but their candidates had just resigned to stand under a new banner. NZ First got lucky at the last election but it and, more significantly for its supporters, its leader had been there before.
A party with neither at least one MP nor a previous term in parliament has yet to win a seat in an election.
But Patrick Gower thinks Labour MP Louisa Walls might have improved the chances of the Conservative Party doing that.
. . . On the other hand, Key and National may want to look liberal; the party has just taken up the idea of same-sex adoption. Going for the bill could help Key in the centre-ground.
And that, of course, would open up room on the right for, guess who? The Conservatives leader Colin Craig. . .
Rob Hosking has a similar thought:
New Zealanders are increasingly liberal on the issue of gay marriage – the National Party conference, which, pretty much by definition, is one of the country’s more conservative bodies, voted last weekend in favour of gay adoption.
And various polls show a fair majority of New Zealanders polled are in favour of allowing gay marriage. . .
I was at a marriage celebrants’ education forum yesterday. Walls’ Bill came up during a panel discussion, none of the panelists had any objection and the body language of the audience suggested theyw ere reflecting the views of the majority of the audience.
But a small but significant chunk of New Zealand voters march to a different drum.
One poll, in the run up to the 2008 election, showed that about 15% of New Zealanders polled would consider voting for a Christian-based party. . .
It is not too difficult to see a Christian-based party pulling in some churchgoing Labour voters, especially from the Pasifika community.
Mr Craig is already campaigning hard on the issue. It is a gift from Heaven for his party, and his party’s approach to politics is much more aligned with that of National than of Labour. . .
Craig has been pilloried for saying that it is “not intelligent to pretend that homosexual relationships are normal”.
He’d need a far more intelligent argument than that to change the minds of people who aren’t opposed to the idea of liberalising marriage laws but those aren’t the voters he’s chasing.
His party is Conservative by name and it’s moral conservatives whose votes he’s after.
Walls’ Bill could make it a lot easier for him to get them.