S59, an opening for Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 27th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: child discipline, nz first - Tags:

In 2007, 113 MPs voted for the Bradford amendment to s59 of the Crime Act. Eight voted against it. One of them was Winston Peters.

Flash forward to 2009. The referendum has shown widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo – it’s dissatisfaction based on myths but the dissatisfaction is real. And neither of the major parties are providing satisfaction.

All those people who liked Labour’s social-democratic economic management but not their liberalism on social issues who went over to National haven’t got what they expected from Key. They got a rightwing economic agenda rather than the Labour-lite they expected and National won’t undo Labour’s biggest ”nanny state’ policy. National, whose MPs were out helping get signatures on the referendum petition won’t even back Boscawen’s bill to select committee.

There’s Winston’s opening. Just like with the foreshore and seabed issue, National has moved into Labour’s traditional space and Labour is there too. There’s a gap in National’s traditional conservative space.

I reckon we’ll see New Zealand First running it’s classic three prong campaign: foreshore and seabed, smacking, and some good old-fashioned economic nationalism.

Can Winston pull it off? Maybe. The sins of the past will be forgetten by then. The party must be in tatters but that doesn’t matter too much, its always been about Winston. If Winnie can play the battler, the voice for the people that the major parties won’t listen to, once again, he might just be able to get 5%.

Ultimately, though, I hope not. The votes would come from National and it would put the cat among the pigeons. But we don’t need Winnie holding the balance of power again.

18 comments on “S59, an opening for Winston?”

  1. Byron 1

    Boscawen’s bill would show ACT is trying to capitalise on this issue, maybe by 2011 their campaign slogan will be “tough on crime, tough on kids”

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    A very interesting question Marty.

    The only political party that has entered parliament without having an incumbent MP is the Act party. To do that they spent more money in 1996 than anybody else and had an electorate seat gifted to them by National.

    Lots of other parties have tried since but haven’t made it into parliament. All the other minor parties have been off-shoots of the major ones as was NZ First.

    Mr Peters no longer has an electorate seat and it doesn’t look like he will ever win back Tauranga and he isn’t spending any time there. NZ First doesn’t have the financial backing that Act had.

  3. Walter 3

    If financial backing is all it takes, I’m sure Peters has plenty of policy for sale. It looks like the American ‘smack for jesus’ dollars might be looking for a new home?

  4. Tom Semmens 4

    More likely will be the re-launch of several quarreling religious parties who will collectively take around 3-4% of the National Party vote. As a Labour supporter, that is what I would call a result. 🙂

  5. oscar 5

    We do indeed live in strange times.

    I think Winston will have to get in line with Act and the Kiwi party to get enough of these votes.

    I live in hope that the “No” voters will have a rethink about what the question really meant in light of who was actually paying for the promotion of it.

  6. vto 6

    bleeaark.. couldn’t think of anything worse than that old smell returning.. poooeeeee!!

  7. Mental Mickey 7

    I think the real opportunity to be had in New Zealand politics right now is a party representing social conservatism.

    People backing the pro-smacking campaign probably feel under-served by the rightwing parties. (Well, reading all the impotent rage spewing forth on Kiwiblog leads me to believe this, anyway).

    Forget Winston Peters – I can imagine Christine Rankin stepping in as a kind of $2 Shop version of Sarah Palin, leading a party built on the back of their campaign.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    I suspect Winston’s heart isn’t really in it. Besides, he’d have to do some kind of ‘mea culpa’, and he’d rather eat his own balls.

    Hide and Key both ruled out working with Peters before the last election. It would be entertaining to see them answering the same question again from the media (answers: Hide – no way, Key – um, well, let me check the polls …).

    I agree there’s a 5% constituency there for the taking, but I can’t see it happening.

    But put your money on a Nat MP joining ACT before long. There’s no party-hopping law to stop them.

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    But put your money on a Nat MP joining ACT before long. There’s no party-hopping law to stop them.

    No party hopping law, but the 1% poll ratings Act have can’t make it a very attractive option compared to the 55% ratings Mr Key has.

    • Maynard J 9.1

      But Epsom has got to be fairly safe, and then at least they could be honest about their opinions.

    • gobsmacked 9.2

      If there is an anti-Key backlash on the right, ACT will benefit.

      As long as National don’t fight for Epsom, ACT are in Parliament, and a sitting MP would be safer on their list than somebody in the National caucus who slides down the National list for opposing the leader.

      Plus, some politicians do actually have strong beliefs, and a breaking-point. Or is every Nat a time-server, a pile of blancmange like Chester “I no longer support my own amendment” Borrows?

  10. interesting theory marty. nz first’s conference is this weekend in hamilton. That would be the time to announce something if you had it planned..

    im not sure, as someone else alluded too, that his heart is in it (kiddie bashing that is, or defending it), he’s not an old testament loon like baldock/mccrosky, but can he resist filling the vacuum?

    It is a shame for NZ First that national didnt go with the maori seats in auckland, that together with f&s act repeal would have given him a solid platform.

  11. Red Rosa 11

    Maybe Winston is keeping his powder dry for the F&S Act. After all, he had a lot to do with drafting it.

    And this is the classic ‘wedge’ issue. The mere suggestion of granting F&S freehold title to Maori will really stir up huge numbers of hard-core National voters.

    When this happens, JK will back down, as on the smacking referendum. But too late, NZ First will be back in business for 2011, and a humiliated Maori Party will be history.

    No question, 2011 will be an interesting year.

  12. BLiP 12

    Noooooooooooo!! Please, no! We need Winnie to run for Super Mayor in Auckland.

  13. Herodotus 13

    You never give a sucker an even break, Winny has got an opening handed to him on a plate. As many political anakysist have stated he has a hard core following of about 3%, with som edisaffected voters out there some will turn to him, then hey presto 5% and NZ has problems

  14. millsy 14

    I wouldnt get too carried away with this guys….Winston has never been too passionate about the smacking thing. His main focus is on economics, race relations and gangs. Smacking is small fry

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