Colin Craig on Radiolive

Colin Craig just spent an hour on Radiolive with Wallace Chapman. It was very entertaining and it was great to hear Craig’s comments and interactions with the listeners.

It is an interesting time in the media as they are all over the Conservative Party story and links to National. I wonder, as did a caller to Chapman post Craig leaving the studio, if the media has nothing better to do at the moment so look for stories where there is none.

The Conservative Party could definitely be there or thereabouts after the next election and indeed could become a coalition partner to prop up a third term National Government, but the confident talk of “We’ll definitely be there” needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. There was internal polling at the last election that had Craig and the Conservatives convinced they’d win Rodney in a landslide which they ended up losing by more than 12,000 votes. I don’t say this to say they won’t be there, just as a reminder that polls ‘aint always accurate. Poll results go both ways as well, just ask Winston Peters.

On the topic of Winston Peters, having done talkback and talk radio for close to a decade I have to say that the supporters of Colin Craig, their angle on the world, and the repetitive themes that come from them do remind me a lot of NZ First supporters. I wonder if the Conservatives will go head to head with NZ First for these votes which could lead to a few scenarios.

  1. NZ First losing all it’s share and it disappears again.
  2. NZ First takes voters away from the Conservatives once Winston starts the ‘Foreshore and Seabed’, ‘Immigrants are evil’, ‘Everybody is against the elderly’ campaign which is sure to come.
  3. Or will they spread the potential vote too thin, and end up keeping each other out of politics by splitting the vote.
  4. Or I guess you have to ask for fairness, will the both get in…which would make for fun political observing in 2014/15 as Craig could try to out-Winston Winston!

One of the messages I enjoy from Colin Craig is that he wants to be, and thinks all politicians should be, representative of their constituents. I agree. The problem the Conservatives are going to face is who their constituents actually are.

Here are a couple of examples from today’s hour on Radiolive

These are the constituents that Colin Craig and the Conservative will be representing. I don’t know about you, but if I were in politics I don’t think I’d want ‘Michael’ to be my spokesperson, or writing my bumper stickers but if we did they’d be something like…

  • “We don’t believe in Aotearoa – Vote Conservative”
  • “We believe in Equal Rights for all (especially those of us with current privilege) – Vote Conservative”
  • “We want to smack our kids – Vote Conservative”

Or maybe Esther would be a better way to go…

  • “We used to live in harmony, except those of us who didn’t and had things like our language and practices oppressed – Vote Conservative”
  • “All that land we took off you, that you got back, well you should now agree to give it to everyone and let bygones be bygones – Vote Conservative”

I wonder if the Conservatives are setting themselves up to be a far right alternative to ACT. This is of course a valid voting block with an audience large enough to get the Conservatives into parliament.

I have spent some time at Conservative HQ, I actually offered to help them with their message, but it was plain to see then, as it is now, that as long as they can get across the 5% threshold appealing to the group of NZers that would adhere to the above thoughts then they’d get in, and of course there is a market for those thoughts.

So we shall now see if the media continues the narrative of Colin Craig being the next king maker, or if next month they will be back to Winston and the Maori Party then in 12 months we’ll all know if they were correct or not.

10 thoughts on “Colin Craig on Radiolive

  1. Mike Houlding November 15, 2013 / 16:33

    Very interesting Pat.

    When we look at our alcohol laws and the results of them among our teenagers I think we need to take an unflinching look at where we are going. As I understand it the Conservatives have a progressive and reforming alcohol policy that will help reverse some of our appalling statistics re teenage drinking and the social mayhem that alcohol inflicts on them and us.

    Although the Conservative policies re alcohol for next years election have yet to be confirmed, my hope is that the Conservatives take a leaf from the Alcohol Action NZ – in particular their “Once in a Generation” opportunity.

    • Pat Brittenden November 15, 2013 / 16:39

      I think that the idea of the Conservatives getting anything significant (assuming they were to be there) when it comes to reform are slim to none. They won’t get through binding referendum, they won’t overturn the anti-smacking law, they won’t overturn marriage equality, and they sure as heck won’t get any changes to alcohol law which is one of the golden calves of politics that even parties like the Greens can’t change. If they make it…and contrary to most in the media right now I still think it’s a pretty big ‘if’…they’ll be John Key’s silent partner for the first term with a couple of crumbs thrown their way.

      • Mike Houlding November 15, 2013 / 21:12

        What crystal balls you have Pat ! The Conservatives have a place in the spectrum, and if they get action on just one of their core policies they’ll do us all a big favour. From your Rhema days I seem to remember one or two sympathetic conservative sentiments…Remember Pat, the glass is half full…

        • Pat Brittenden November 16, 2013 / 17:33

          The ‘crystal ball’ as you say is based on historical evidence. What first time party has ever had one of their major policies implemented? And I think it’s a bit of a long bow to say that ‘they’ll do us all a big favour’ isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be fairer to say ‘they’ll do some of us a favour’? I can’t see how any of the Conservatives major policies will help me at all, but then again I am open to be educated by people more in the know 😉 Cheers Mike

  2. Mike Houlding November 16, 2013 / 18:08

    On reflection Pat, I think the Maori party has done well with National. Whanau Ora is the case in point.

    • Pat Brittenden November 17, 2013 / 23:11

      But it wasn’t the Maori Party’s first term in parliament, which was one of the main rationales behind not getting policy through, that’s the difference

      • Mike Houlding November 18, 2013 / 07:15

        Hairsplitter ! Pat if the Conservatives can capitalise on the current awareness of alcohol abuse in society, particularly among the teens – and pre teens – they will be viewed with ongoing respect for more than just one term. I think they can do it too…

        • Pat Brittenden November 18, 2013 / 13:30

          No, not splitting hairs, as it was one of my main point, One of the reasons they’ll not get any significant changes in, is because they would be first termers. So I’m not splitting hairs…it’s one of the main points of the rationale

  3. coNZervative November 18, 2013 / 14:23

    The Conv.s are not stupid. In return for agreeing to form a coalition, they may take a new Auck. electoral seat (but not necessarily, watch the polls) with National not running for the Electorate Vote. Then in return for Confidence and Supply, they’ll plonk some key policies on the table for discussion. Coalition now comes at a price. The Conv.s will want runs on the board 2014-2017. Public Referendum based on the Swiss model is a good start. ~ J.

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