Just listening to John Key on NewsTalkZB, and the thing that stood out was that John Key wanted to let people know that National could work with the Conservatives. The interviewer was much more interested in talking about the change to potentially being able to work with Winston Peters and New Zealand First, than anything else.
Colin Craig has said that the "smacking law" would be one of the things that would influence negotiations were he and his party ever in a position where their support was necessary for a government to form. This article from Stuff calls it a bottom line, and then says the opposite when it quotes what Craig has said about it, leading me to believe that overturning the law will not end up being a condition of support, it will be just used as a means to garner votes. Probably why John Key is indicating now he can work with the Conservatives.
Craig said he was not calling it a bottom-line at this stage because the election had not yet happened and he was not in a position to call the shots.
But if he found himself in that position come election time, it would "absolutely" be on the table for review.
"People have got to vote for us yet, we haven't had the election. But if we get there with the numbers where it's essential that we're part of Government, then yes we want it to be there for review and for a change back to law that will actually work for New Zealand."
Already, Craig has said the law is silly and many parents ignore it and he himself smacks his daughter, which according to the law, if done for correction is criminal, yet the police do not want to prosecute. I know why they don't want to prosecute, or set CYFS onto Craig, because Craig is high profile and it will open up a political storm that no one wants. One that a too fervent nurse might have set off with Michael Laws, but that will most likely end quietly as well.
I predict that if the Conservatives get voted in, and if their support is necessary for Government, and if the smacking law is put on the table for review, then something trivial will be worked out along the lines of what we have seen before such as John Key saying that if good parents are criminalised for light smacking, he'd change the law. Parents have been investigated and some have been charged, with charges being consequently dropped, but technically that's not "being criminalised".
Colin Craig won't push the issue, because he'll appear to have done what he promised - put the law up for review - and he doesn't seem to have a strong enough grasp of conservative principals to know that this isn't just a "silly law", or a law that most who voted in the referendum were against. Instead it's a dangerous, insidious law that allows government into the family home to control the raising of children. It breaks the boundaries between state and family, which is part of the power struggle that the state is engaged in in many parts of the world where it seeks to control the greatest obstacles to it's expansion- the family and religion.
I do find it interesting that not long after Tony Abbott refused to bow down to UN pressure to change the law in Australia, that Colin Craig has come out strongly against smacking. No one is making that connection or making much of it, I suspect, because it's more damaging to John Key that it is to Colin Craig.
My reasoning for suspecting that Craig doesn't have a grasp of conservative principles is based on what I've seen that he's said in the media, so without talking the man, I admit I could be wrong about him. Yet, Colin Craig's rationale that smacking should be overturned because of the smacking referendum, but not the laws on same-sex "marriage" or prostitution, because there haven't been referendums on those two issues indicate that I'm probably correct:
Conservatism is not populism. A virtuous population will make clearer decisions about what laws should and should not exist that a populace that is enslaved to it's passions. Conservatives should be aware of that fact, as the ancients certainly were (see The politics of porn).
Colin Craig says the Conservative Party won't be pushing for the repeal of the gay marriage law or legalised prostitution after next year's election, but would try to get the anti-smacking law overturned.
The party's position is that such issues should be decided by referendum. The smacking issue had been put to a referendum but the gay marriage issue and legalising prostitution had not.
"Until we have had referendums on those other two, I can't see how we can overrule the conscience vote in Parliament.
"The real mandate to change those things has to come from the people," Mr Craig told the Herald.
Being against prostitution, despite there being no referendum about the issue, should be a no-brainer for a conservative. While virtue cannot be legislated for due to free will and all that, the activity of prostitution can be made illegal. No person should be able to sell their body for sex and and no person should be able to buy it. Sex is not just recreational, it is the giving of one to another, and the selling of the self in this way, is just one step away from the degradation of being taken by force.
Likewise same-sex "marriage", which is not marriage at all but a destruction of marriage in law. Real conservatives know that true marriage law is vital for strong families which underpin a strong society. So many people in the West are losing their understanding of what marriage is and what it is for, so it astounds me that any conservative that is calling themselves conservative would say that a recent law that was passed could not be overturned without a referendum.
So, the question is, if we vote for Colin Craig and his Conservative party, are we going to get conservative representation in Parliament? I hope so, but I suspect not, and for that reason I did not vote for the Conservative Party last election.