}

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

One pipe dream fantasy remains

That didn’t take long: Within a couple weeks of first being suggested, one idea for a possible Rightwing “Christian” party is officially dead, and unlikely to be resurrected. This is a good development for all sorts of reasons, especially because New Zealand doesn’t need a bunch of self-righteous extremists trying to divide us into “good” and “bad” as they try to advance an agenda of religiously-based control of our lives by government. One pipe dream fantasy gone, one to go.

When National Party List MP Alfred Ngaro announced yesterday that his Rightwing “Christian” party wasn’t going to happen after all, and that he’d stay in the National Party, he claimed it was “always something I was considering and nothing more than that". Well, obviously: If he’d really put in the hard work, there’s be a party in the process of formation.

The reaction of those on the Right in New Zealand have been fascinating—and silly. Current National Party Leader Simon Bridges said when he discussed Ngaro’s exploration, that forming a Rightwing “Christian” party was an "alluring idea". How so? Well, Simon, among others thinks there’s a “gap in the marketplace”. What they really mean is that at the moment there’s a gap in coalition partners for the National Party, which has no other parties on the Right to form a government with. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether they really think a Rightwing “Christian” party has a place or meets an actual need or not: National just needs some friends.

Hard-right radio blowhard Mike Hosking (who, in my sincerely held opinion based on years of his “commentary” and other media performances, is a strident supporter of the National Party) said some incredibly daft things in his latest NZ Herald “column” [to read it, copy and paste this link: https://bit.ly/2YYoNrh], such as this:
“The one option that hasn't been tested for years (and you could argue never really got a proper chance to shine) is a Christian party. The idea is as tantalising and full of potential as it ever has been. It just needs the right ingredients. And one of those ingredients is a leader and, under this system, potentially, a leg up.”
This was not the first time I read something he wrote and then rolled my eyes so far I could see the inside of my head. What, precisely, is so “tantalising” about an extremist religious party? Presumably hard-right folks like Mike would have a problem with an extremist Muslim religious party, so why is a Christian one “tantalising”? Apparently it’s just because it would give National a coalition partner: “A successful Christian party would have been good news for National, given they're desperate for help.” That doesn’t make a Rightwing “Christian” party either “tantalising” or “full of potential”, just convenient.

A Rightwing “Christian” party is no more “tantalising” or “full of potential” now than it was when the idea was first tried 23 years ago. I fact, it is less relevant now than ever, as I explained in detail last Sunday.

This leaves only the possible new party formed (maybe) by the same church whose party failed spectacularly in 2005. While it’s extremely unlikely they could do any better than they did in 2005, their one chance is if they can find someone that New Zealanders don’t dislike as much as the leaders of the supposed new Rightwing “Christian” party to win an Electorate somewhere. Hitching their wagon to one possible candidate in one Māori electorate doesn’t sound particularly promising for them, as I also discussed on Sunday. But even if they were successful in that single Electorate, it’s highly improbable that the very unpopular leaders of that party could possibly attract enough votes to bring in any extra Members of Parliament.

The time for a Rightwing “Christian” party is long gone—in fact, as I discussed on Sunday, it never existed in the first place. Conservative Christians—as opposed to hard-right religious extremists who want to form some sort of Rightwing “Christian” party—still have the same home they’ve always had, the NZ National Party. Even Ngaro knows that: “I will continue to play a strong role in the National Party and be a voice to the concerns around values that people have raised with me," he said.

New Zealand doesn’t need a bunch of self-righteous extremists trying to divide us into “good” and “bad” as they try to advance an agenda of religiously-based control of our lives by government. One possible Rightwing “Christian” party is now officially gone—one pipe dream fantasy remains.

The 2020 elections now look even brighter than they did before this announcement. That’s very good news, indeed.

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