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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

30th August 2008

Maxim Institute: Nzvotes, But…

Posted by: Craig Young

Christian Right watchers wondered if the Maxim Institute was going to front up with an nzvotes series of candidate meetings and websites. Well, the website is still under reconstruction, but the candidate meetings themselves seem strangely off.

As I’ve noted in previous blogs and Gaynz.Com Politics and Religion columns on the Maxim Institute’s profile since 2005, the Institute has adopted an overtly New Right stance over recent years, preferring to associate with the Business Roundtable, Acton Institute (US) and Mackinac Centre for Public Policy (US). While it has been involved with social conservative issues (like Section 59 Repeal), it has left frontline mobilisational activities to the likes of Family First.

I must confess that I found the candidate array for the first nzvotes candidate meeting, to be held at Greenlane Christian Centre on September 8, distinctly odd. Why did they see fit to have Judy Turner represent United Future, when there is little prospect that her party leader, Peter Dunne, will get any additional votes sufficient for a second UFNZ List MP this time? Why is Richard Lewis represented, when the Family Party is highly unlikely to actually secure any seats, even in South Auckland?

Above all, what on Earth is Richard Worth (National list) doing there at all? Worth used to be the National MP for Epsom, until he became the only sitting National MP to be dumped at the last general election, as Rodney Hide (ACT) took the seat from him. In addition, he has been demoted some way down the party list. Except, of course, as Hager’s The Hollow Men noted, he does have some long-standing connections to the Greenlane Christian Centre.

He is certainly no match for Labour’s heavy hitter, and Helen Clark’s eventual successor, Phil Goff, who is a disciplined, incisive and analytical debater, who will make mincemeat of his competition. So, why give him the opportunity to do so? And why give Labour the opportunity to scope out the Institute’s intentions well in advance of election day?

Methinks this may be a misstep…


Maxim Institute

Nzvotes website (currently inactive)

Tags: Politics · Religion

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul Litterick // Aug 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    It will be interesting to see what happens on the night. Assuming that the audience will be overwhelmingly evangelical, the event could be a good indicator for how the fundies will vote.

    And where will the sitting MP for Epsom be on the night?

  • 2 Craig Young // Aug 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Yes, I’d noticed, too. Either Rodney refused an invite, or he wasn’t invited in the first place. Which makes me suspect fundamentalist tactical voting in Epsom, which would dispose of ACT on current polling. Except Epsom has always struck me as an urban liberal electorate, which means Chris Fletcher was suited for it, but Worth wasn’t.

    Goff is probably the strongest performer on their advertised Real Issues slate. Why would they willingly give him a platform where he could show that?

    None of this makes sense, Paul.


  • 3 Craig Young // Aug 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Paradox 1: The Acton Institute and Mackinac Centre for Public Policy are New Right organisations. Moreover, the Business Roundtable collaborated with the Institute to bring Acton’s Fr. Sirocco over here. Presumably, the Roundtable still want ACT to be back in the next Parliament, particularly with Roger Douglas No 3 on that party list…

    Paradox 2: However, Rodney Hide’s voting record has mostly been socially liberal, with the blemishes of voting against S 59 Repeal and for Copeland’s same-sex marriage ban bill in Dec 2005. Otherwise, he’s a consistent libertarian on issues of gender and sexual politics.

    Which would make him anathema to fundamentalist voters.

    Which means that Maxim’s New Right allies and former Christian Right associates may be at loggerheads (rather similar to Mike Huckabee in the States, currently seen badmouthing libertarian Republicans in the latest Sojourners magazine).

    Worth may appeal to fundamentalist voters, but did that contribute to his constituency demise in Epsom?

    Curiouser and curiouser…


  • 4 Craig Young // Sep 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Update: 03.09.08: The Institute’s nzvotes website is now fully operational, but in a more abbreviated and concise version than beforehand. Much of the content directs users to other websites, primarily to avoid charges of electoral bias. On the righthand side, one notes their scheduled meetings- with only the Auckland one (Sept 16) fully scheduled thus far.

    Others are scheduled for Pukekohe, Whangarei, Rotorua, Helensville and Christchurch.

    URL: http//


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