The Dim-Post

June 14, 2014

The awful choice

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 11:01 am

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff writes about National’s coalition options and the possible scenarios for gifting an electorate to Colin Craig:

The current theory circulating around Parliament – albeit one apparently denied by McCully himself – is that the foreign minister will announce he is withdrawing from the race for East Coast Bays, and do so so close to the election that National will not have time to pick another candidate.

Were National to replace McCully, there is a risk that voters may not take the hint, whatever Key says, especially if Labour voters voted tactically.

In the past electorate deals have had a certain amount of respect for the voters of those electorates. Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne both won their electorates and then left their parties; Rodney Hide campaigned in Epsom for much of 2005 and could genuinely argue that he represented those voters and there was a transition period and degree of continuity with Banks. But pulling your candidate a couple of weeks – at most – before the campaign and telling the voters, ‘We might need Colin Craig so you have to vote for the lunatic because we’ve taken away your preferred candidate, because Craig could never beat him,’ seems like a very risky thing to do.

People don’t have to cast an electorate vote. They can go into the booth and just tick ‘Party vote: National.’ Or they could party vote National and give Labour their electorate vote. Or they could just say, ‘Fuck this,’ and not vote.

If National ‘gifts’ an electorate seat to Craig then they’ll pay a cost to that in several ways: they’ll lose right-wing votes to the Conservatives – people who don’t want their vote wasted a second time, but will switch back to Craig’s party if they think he’ll win a seat, and they’ll (probably) lose centrist votes to Labour. There’s also the opprobrium attracted by such a dirty deal. Sure, they can bleat all they want about how Hone Harawira is doing something similar, but I think National voters want their party to set a slightly higher bar than ‘we’re no worse than Harawira.’ And Colin Craig still might not win the seat.



  1. I still wonder if they can even pull if off in Epsom without removing Goldsmith from the ballot?
    Banks only just beat Goldsmith last time, and everything else aside Banks is a well-known politician and effective campaigner.
    That hihihihi guy is just a non-entity

    Comment by Mike — June 14, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  2. Going by the polls National’s smartest strategy would be to dump Act and parachute Craig into Epsom. That solves two problems. It kills off the lame-duck Act which will probably never get a second seat again and soaks up the 3 or 4 percent that will vote Conservative. I’d also guess ALL the Act voters will stay with the right if this happened.

    Comment by Bill Bennett — June 14, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  3. Also thinking to the whole collection of MMP era minor party electorate MPs (Prebble, Anderton, Peters & Fitzsimmons), Craig really lacks their personal charisma. Regardless of politics you could generally be happy with one of them being your local MP. Not sure people will be so sure of chemtrails guy.

    Comment by Richard — June 14, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  4. “National’s smartest strategy would be to dump Act and parachute Craig into Epsom” – diabolically smart idea, sir.

    Comment by Sacha — June 14, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

  5. I did like this post by John Minto over on TDB

    Really? That was one of the most hypocritical, self-serving bullshit pieces I have seen for quite a while.

    I am sure voters are more than happy to go along with John Minto’s spin gymnastics.

    Comment by Eszett — June 14, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  6. Aren’t the Conservatives against Asset sales? If anything economically they are slightly to the left of the Nats and Act – A difficult decision for former NActs of Epsom, especially the more socially liberal ones

    Comment by Leopold — June 14, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  7. A difficult decision for former NActs of Epsom, especially the more socially liberal ones

    I dunno. Epsom’s voters haven’t gagged on the dead rats to date.

    Cf. John Banks.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 14, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

  8. If a candidate is on the ballot paper, people can – and do – vote for that candidate. No matter what messages are sent, no matter how explicit. That’s the thing about elections, the damn voters are in charge, and they’ll do whatever they want.

    “Gifting” is insider language, promulgated by those who think the entire population lives and breathes political machinations. In reality, many voters give this stuff a passing thought once every 3 years. Thousands will tick the National boxes in the “gifted” electorate … party, candidate, who cares?

    So if National really want Craig, their only option is to stand no candidate in that electorate. Even that’s no guarantee (those damn voters again).

    I’d love to see a last-minute court case with McCully saying “You’ve gotta shred those ballot papers, print new ones, I’m terrified of winning, the people can’t be trusted!”. I assume National aren’t that stupid, but you never know.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 14, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

  9. I don’t think it can happen now. Mana and the gallery have made it all a little bit toxic.

    (Except if you’re a minor party whose sole MP has just been convicted of corruption. Then the response is muted.)

    Comment by George — June 14, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

  10. “Except if you’re a minor party whose sole MP has just been convicted of corruption.”

    Who was convicted of corruption? Taito Philip Feild?

    Comment by Swan — June 14, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

  11. found guilty, convicted. meh

    Comment by Sacha — June 14, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

  12. similar arseholes

    Comment by Sacha — June 14, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

  13. As a National Party voter in the Rodney electorate, Colin Craig can go fuck himself. I feel a spite vote for the local Labour candidate brewing, whoever that is.

    Comment by Grant — June 15, 2014 @ 9:01 am

  14. I doubt it’ll happen. ACT managed to win Epsom in 2005. If National can shut Colin Craig out they will.

    Comment by gazzaj — June 15, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

  15. I love the framing of the arguement
    Colin is nuts
    So is hone
    So we are all equal
    The problem is john key isn’t going to do a deal with Colin because he is a nut case
    Key would rather move to Hawaii
    The collective left would do a deal with a fat German conman to get power
    I guess that makes the collective right of this country morally superior

    Comment by Graham — June 15, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

  16. You can write insightful and witty posts but mostly these days it’s just a more polished version of frogg blog
    It’s a pity
    But I guess that’s progress

    Comment by Graham — June 15, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

  17. No Graham, the factual framing of the argument is:

    National did do a deal with Banks, who has been found guilty of a crime, and is now resigning in disgrace.

    Labour haven’t done a deal with Hone.

    They might, and Key/Craig might, but they haven’t yet, and imagination isn’t a solid basis for “moral superiority”.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 15, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

  18. Deals!!!!
    Labour didn’t stand a candidate in 1999 against the greens
    That was ok
    Countless examples exist on utube of green candidates telling people to vote labour for their local votes and green on the list
    Still fine
    National have done a deal with act so frigging what!!!!!!
    But if the people of Epsom find the person or party distasteful they won’t vote for it
    Now banks stuffed up if he had set up a trust no problem that’s what Lenny did
    Also if he had read the form properly and checked it before signing again no problem
    Because after loseing that election in 2010 their is no evidence presented that he had plans on being a mp again or any other public office
    It’s not like he was the labour mp who made poor people pay him for citizen ship now is it
    Banksie has taught all mps and staff or political party’s to cross the I’s and dot the t’s
    Also maybe some of these election law breeches may get prosecuted now so this election the silly attacks on signs orchestrated by Russell Normans staff won’t happen or someone might end up in jail
    So as a Tory I am looking forward to the next election
    I take it you have heard of the saying
    Being hoisted by your own petard
    This is going to hurt the collective left wing

    Comment by Graham — June 15, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

  19. Light!!!
    I bathe in its Truth, and gaze deep unto my navel
    Where the petals of corruption dispersed by Kim Dotcom’s frosty breath
    From the backs of low-rent public buses
    Gather and wilt
    Into a dark red mess.
    Beating furiously in vain, the collective left wing fails to support the weight of its New Deal
    and as the Norman invasion approaches
    I cackle with glee
    and so does Colin
    We lie together, in my paddock, staring up at the chemtrails
    For a second, they look to me like a hippie with dreadlocks
    Colin says one looks like a gay
    I sigh
    and all is Right

    Comment by The Spirit of Graham — June 15, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

  20. Graham said “Labour didn’t stand a candidate in 1999 against the greens” and “so this election the silly attacks on signs orchestrated by Russell Normans staff won’t happen”

    I can’t be bothered checking Graham’s other claims, but these two are untrue. Labour did stand a candidate in Coromandel in 1999, and the attacks on National Party signs were not orchestrated by Russel Norman’s staff. They were orchestrated by a man in Christchurch who Russel Norman’s executive assistant in Wellington was having a long-distance relationship with, but there is no evidence she even knew what he was doing.

    Comment by kahikatea — June 15, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  21. If you believe she didn’t know
    Then a fat German isn’t giveing money to manna so he doesn’t go for a trip to Disneyland

    Comment by Graham — June 15, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  22. “…Then a fat German isn’t giveing money to manna so he doesn’t go for a trip to Disneyland…”

    Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 16, 2014 @ 8:08 am

  23. Learn to fucking write properly Graham.

    Comment by Rob — June 16, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  24. “…Learn to fucking write properly Graham…”

    Well I don’t think it is very nice to bag someone who appears to have not been favoured with the advantages of formal education you or I may have received in the art of crafting a sentence. After all, being a snob should be inimical to being a left winger. Besides, as I pointed out in my previous post Graeme has a certain Joycean reverie in his prose.

    Having said that, what he has to say is largely rubbish.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 16, 2014 @ 9:01 am

  25. I remain a pessimist (from a Left point of view) on this. East Coast Bays is as Blue as a New Tatoo. One of the most Right-leaning seats in the Country. The Nats there (including a whole swathe of deeply conservative white South African expats) will happily trundle along to the polling booth and cast their Candidate Vote for Colin-the-Christian. Ditto Ohariu, ditto Epsom.

    I’d like to think Craig will scare a section of National’s more softly-aligned, morally-liberal, Centrist voters off to Labour but unfortunately I have grave doubts.

    Comment by swordfish — June 16, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  26. My guess is that National will not do a deal. They will try to win the election outright, and failing that, will go with Peters. The devil they know. There is a small risk of him putting in a Labour-led government, but they can always talk to him a bit to work out what he wants. Given that he went with Labour once on the reasoning “they’re the party with the most seats”, I think he’d be consistent with that, and opt for “strong stable government” as his code word for weak encumbered government that he can use to keep the radicals out, and will give him a sweet last hurrah job.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 16, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  27. Theoretical cosmologist* Richard Easther pulls apart the Colin Craig Conservative Party’s Climate Change Conspiracy Policy (CCCPCCCP**), and discovers its murky origins are with a tobacco smokescreen org, and may have been pulled from a chemtrails site:

    *An actual cosmologist. Not a cosmonaut.
    **Not to be confused with the CCCP.

    Comment by George — June 16, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

  28. thanks

    Comment by john — September 25, 2014 @ 4:00 am

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