- Date published:
10:22 am, September 26th, 2023 - 63 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, election 2023, greens, labour, national, national/act government, nz first, same old national, winston peters - Tags:
Yesterday morning in a 7 am social media dump Christopher Luxon finally announced what we have all known for ages and that was he would pick up the phone and ring Winston if National needed NZ First support.
Here is the clip.
It’s crunch time pic.twitter.com/lHCBW3vs3V
— Christopher Luxon (@chrisluxonmp) September 24, 2023
The method was interesting. I guess this way Luxon did not have to answer pesky questions from reporters.
Luxon had the temerity to describe a Labour Green Te Pati Maori coalition as a coalition of chaos twice during the clip. If ever there was a coalition that deserved that monkier it is a National/Act/NZ First coalition.
The reason for Luxon’s desperation became clear later on in the day. Last night’s Reid Research poll matched the previous One News Verian poll and had National shed a couple of points. Act also went in reverse, Labour was essentially stable and the Greens surged. The right no longer have an absolute majority.
If this trend continues for the next three weeks then things will get really, really tight.
So Luxon had no option but telegraph his intent to pick up the phone and call Winston. If he has to.
The problem for Luxon is that NZ First has positioned itself as an extremist party. It is no longer the party dedicated to handing out lollies to provincial New Zealand. It has some Trumpian extremist policies and candidates.
Like this guy who is number 12 on NZ First’s list. At the Young Leaders debate he came up with some unusual views. From Radio New Zealand:
He is 12th on NZ First’s list and – with the party polling around 5 percent – seems very unlikely to enter Parliament. His intro skated over the party’s priorities of wanting to stand up against “woke extremism”, say no to co-governance, “put the K back into iwi”, protect assets, and incentivise careers for those who stayed in New Zealand.
During the rainbow issues segment, he was asked about the party’s policy of removing “gender ideology” from curriculum, challenged over whether it really was an important issue. He justified it by saying parents are very concerned about “complex, sexual, inappropriate discussions happening at school”, and referred to warnings from a right-leaning lobby group about primary school children being disciplined if they did not affirm other children’s gender: “we can’t shut people up because it hurts our feelings”.
Swarbrick interrupted, saying “I think you’re talking about consequences, bro”. She said the data showed trans people and children were more highly represented in mental ill health and suicide statistics, “and mate, it’s driven by rhetoric from the likes of your party,” to applause from the audience. Donoghue responded that “more people are transgendering, or transitioning, than ever before”, blaming Swarbrick’s rhetoric, to boos.
His beliefs about international organisations are also very interesting.
The final surprise of the night came when the participants were asked to explain why they were in politics, audience members outright laughing at Donoghue for referring to a desire to protect the country from “globalist NGOs like the UN, world economic forum”.
Both organisations are the targets of multiple conspiracy theories, and while Donoghue may not subscribe to them, his comment certainly seems likely to court the vote of believers.
And any party that as one of its major policies is to “[e]nsure a full scale, wide ranging, independent, one year inquiry conducted publicly with local and international experts, into how the Covid pandemic was handled in New Zealand” is clearly after the cooker vote.
Clearly the calculation is that 5% of the country’s electors have Trumpian views.
NZ First’s announced policies are an interesting collection. There are three separate policies all involved in moving Auckland Wharf to Northland. I wonder who would benefit from such a move?
National’s cheerleaders in the media have not taken this well. Mike Hosking for instance said this:
This morning’s call by National that they will deal with New Zealand First, if they have to, is exactly the sort of thing they should have been able to avoid if they took the advice of people like me weeks ago.
The poll last week showing 82 percent of us wanted to know one way or the other shows how shockingly National misread the mood.
By spending all that time and energy the way Chris Luxon did sticking his fingers in his ears, telling us he wasn’t even thinking of it, he didn’t want to talk about it, he wasn’t above the threshold, he wasn’t in parliament, it wasn’t an issue, has all led to this.
The line that National had about the Greens and the Maori Party and the coalition of chaos is now null and void, as you look at the prospect of National and Act and Peters, with the latter two openly hating each other.
Cue Luxon, bumbling and stumbling his way through question after question, refusing to deal with an elephant in the room that was getting more and more embarrassing.
Winston is something of a poisoned pill. And stand by as people who are really worried about the country’s future decide that the mix offered by the right decide to vote left.
Despite predictions to the contrary this election is getting tighter and tighter. I would not be surprised if this election ends up in a 2005 style cliff hanger.