Election debrief

I had a hard time at the polling booth. I always had a hard choice in my mind between two parties: the family party, and National. National was the safe choice, as the party which was always going to be the bulk of any non-Labour government. But I liked the Family party policies. They most closely represented my views in New Zealand. Things like:

  • Honour the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In doing so, we recognise that the state is not the ultimate authority.
  • Seek legal status for the unborn child
  • Require parental knowledge and consent for child/teen abortion procedures
  • Protect, esteem and encourage the traditional institution of marriage through policy and legislation
  • Reduce all personal tax rates to a lower and flatter tax structure to keep more money with the earner and in the home
  • The Family Party will fix current legislation that makes responsible smacking a crime. To that end, the Party aims to reinstate Section 59 of the Crimes Act that affords decent, loving parents’ protection from criminal liability in circumstances where corrective discipline is reasonable in the circumstances.
  • The Family Party calls for a total repeal of the Electoral Finance Act to restore confidence in New Zealand’s democratic election process.
  • The Family Party favours transparent Family Court processes that fairly balance the rights of both parents.
  • The Family Party will seek a total repeal of the Prostitution Reform Act, which was passed in 2003 by a single vote and effectively decriminalised soliciting, pimping and brothel keeping in New Zealand.
  • The Family Party is very concerned that sentencing measures do not reflect the seriousness of crimes committed. Sentencing and time served must accurately reflect the seriousness of the crime.

I wanted to vote for these policies, but in the end I voted National. There were a few main reasons for this:

  1. New Zealand could not afford another three years of Labour/Green social engineering
  2. The 5% threshold is too high. 4.2% of New Zealanders who voted New Zealand First have my sympathy.
  3. The Family party were clear on their strategy to seek an electorate seat. They did not need my party vote to obtain representation this election.
  4. National actually appeared to be a reasonable choice, although John Key professes no belief in God, which is a bad start.

With hindsight, I absolutely did the right thing. Had another 4% of the conservative vote given their party vote to either the Kiwi party or the Family party, we could well have had another three years of anti-family, anti-Christian policy.

One concerning feature of this election though, was how little an impact the Family party made in the electorates they targeted. The Mangere seat, which could have been a tight three way race between Family, Pacific and Labour, was nothing less than a landslide for Labour. The Family party candidate only achieved 856 out of 21687 votes cast. This is incredibly disappointing given their strategy, and calls the Family Party’s viability into question. 856 votes from the flagship electorate is too few for this party to be taken seriously in the future in my opinion.

So where to from here for the Christian voter? The jury is out on National. The big test will be to see how they react to the referendum on the anti-smacking legislation. If they ignore the will of the people here, it will be difficult to vote for the new-National again. I can only pray for a new Christian voice to arise in the public arena in New Zealand. Either as a standalone party, or as a God-fearing influence within one of the parties currently in parliament.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

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One Response to “Election debrief”

  1. Mr Dennis Says:

    This was the first year the Family Party has stood, and we had barely been in existence a year before the election. Although our result in Mangere was disappointing, we did better in East Coast Bays – but still not enough to take out the seat.

    However this is early days. It is extremely difficult to get into parliament in your first year of existence. I believe we have laid the groundwork for future success.

    There is no need for a “new Christian voice” – we already have too many (Family, Kiwi, Pacific…). What we need is either to consolidate the parties (as was tried unsuccessfully last year), or failing that to get behind one of them. Another one would just make the situation worse.

    I have analysed the Family Party performance in Mangere and East Coast Bays, and our overall level of support, here:
    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/electorate-analysis-mangere/
    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/electorate-analysis-east-coast-bays/
    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/family-party-level-of-support/

    I believe we need more Christians in the major parties. If we had enough there would be no need for a conservative minor party. However if by the next election we are still seeing predominately socially liberal candidates and policies on offer by these parties, there will still be a need for a conservative minor party. I doubt in 3 years there will be that much change in the major parties. But if you have a heart to get into politics and effect that change, and agree overall with the other policies of a major party, then I would encourage you to get involved and be that Christian influence.

    Alternatively, the Family Party will be round next election and will have had 3 years to gather strength. We would love your assistance to actually take out an electorate next time.

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