NZ POLITICS DAILY: The PM's calculated support for gay marriage

John Key: giving the Conservative Party room to carve a niche

Conscience votes in parliament are not free of partisan politicking.

In fact there seem to be a lot of partisan political motives at play at the moment. John Armstrong says, for instance, that the PM’s endorsement of a marriage law change is a calculated strategy: ‘Wall's bill is a cost-free means of portraying National as a "modern" party. Key may have another motive - giving Colin Craig's Conservative Party some room to National's right to carve out a niche’ – see: Key out to show Nats have another side. Not to be outdone in political gaming, Winston Peters is joining Colin Craig’s call for a referendum and says NZ First MPs will either vote against or abstain on the bill –see: Lloyd Burr’s NZ First will abstain in gay marriage vote.

Peters employs some Maggie Barry-like logic to justify avoiding having to vote on the bill. John Hartevelt reports his views: ‘The public should be left to decide on the issue "rather than have people try to twist the public debate with their personal view," Peters said’ – see: Peters calls for gay marriage referendum. Representative democracy cannot cope with such issues it seems. It’s also worth pointing out that recent polls actually indicate a referendum would back change by almost two to one. 
Yet, NZ First’s abstention will have the major consequence of lowering the number needed for a majority – to pass, the ‘yes’ vote will only be 57 instead of 61, which various media straw polls indicate it is close to already – see Isaac Davison’s Same-sex law vote - Peters' new plan. TV3 has had another go at pinning down MPs on how they will vote – watch Round two - What MPs think of gay marriage. Also, see the Herald’s excellent visual chart showing How MPs plan to vote on gay marriage
Meanwhile the Family First website set up to oppose the bill is back online after being taken down by hackers, although the US band Train apparently doesn’t want their song ‘Marry Me’ to remain linked to the site – see: Anti-gay marriage website recovers from attack. Family First’s national director, Bob McCoskrie, is still able to put their viewpoint however – see: State has no authority to reinvent marriage .
Other important or interesting political items today include:
How to pay for Christchurch’s bold new CBD plan is a big unanswered question, but the Government seems very clear that residents, one way or another, will be picking up the most of the tab – see: Lois Cairns’ Christchurch ratepayers to fund big ticket items.
Economist Eric Crampton has two interesting posts on the plan, speculating on the government’s motivation for proposing the most expensive options without offering to help with the bill – see: The Plan and Poison pill  Crampton is very dubious about the wisdom and value of the covered stadium and convention centre - which are also lampooned by Danyl Mclauchlan in his post New Christchurch convention center will contain sports stadium which will contain convention center. Meanwhile, the Dominion Post editorial is almost envious of Christchurch’s opportunity to re-invent itself – see: Out of the rubble a great city can rise.
The Maori Council’s water claim is ‘brownmail’, and the Government should simply hold back some shares to deal with any successful legal challenges and get on with the sale of Mighty River Power writes Fran O’Sullivan in IPO could easily go ahead on time
Brian Rudman points out that there are other dimensions that need to be considered: ‘One of the main sources of dissatisfaction among Maori with the current water allocation system was "that the health and wellbeing of the water and waterways is not the first priority within these systems". Another concern is that existing water allocation processes do not take sufficient regard of the needs of local Maori’ – see: Taniwha hard to put back in bottle.
The Government has misjudged the issue all the way, and Key has no option but to change tack says Duncan Garner: ‘He's softened his language. The macho man has gone all mouse. Even Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has dropped the tough talk. They're both playing ball’.  Garner thinks it may be too late to get the Maori Council onside before legal action delays the sale – see: Clever and cunning Tribunal slows Key.
There were always going to be rich pickings for the opposition when John Banks had to front up in Parliament after being ‘cleared’ by the police – see: TVNZ: Opposition keeps heat on Banks over donations. Also, today’s Herald editorial, Honourable way to avoid voters' wrath, calls for Banks to step down.
The last property boom was a disaster for middle and low income first-house buyers according to Radio NZ’s Renters left behind by last property boom.
‘But the money’s so good’ – that seems to be the response from local and central government, as well as community groups, as they struggle with the ethics of accepting funds from an industry where problem gambling is core to the business – see David Fisher’s Moral dilemma of pokie funding spelled out .
Labour lost its way over thirty years ago and has been running on empty ever since says Denis Welch in A dying party
The best coaching in the world cannot solve a fundamental lack of communication skills says Brian Edwards – see: On David Shearer, Ian Fraser and the Bespoke Art of Media Training.
Labour’s double standards over business, union and NGO lobbyists continues to be attacked and the lobbying bill’s author, Green MP Holly Walker, isn’t inclined to accept their suggestions – see: The latest on the lobbying bill.
Auckland’s high-density housing strategy hits the ground in Milford and, predictably, some don’t want it in their back yard – see Wayne Thompson’s Opinions pour in on shape of Akl high-density future.
Finally Bob Jones and Gareth Morgan both acknowledge the growing gap between high and low decile schools. Morgan is concerned that ‘white flight’ is creating a social divide to the detriment of all. Bob Jones’ response is, essentially, ‘tough’ - see: TVNZ's  Sir Bob, Gareth Morgan clash over low decile schools.
Bryce Edwards

 Today's content:


Marriage equality
John Armstrong (Herald): Key out to show Nats have another side
Isaac Davison (Herald): Same-sex law vote - Peters' new plan
Isaac Davison (Herald): Gay marriage vote could be close
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk): NZ First playing games over stance on gay marriage
Christchurch rebuild
Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): The Plan
Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): Poison pill
Water rights and asset sales
Duncan Garner (TV3): Court action likely on asset sales
Peter Wilson (Newswire): Key to meet Maori Party
Brian Rudman (Herald): Taniwha hard to put back in bottle
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): IPO could easily go ahead on time
Asset sales
Clare Curran (Southland Times): Railways could be for sale
Robert Winter (Idle Thoughts): National's Privatisation Problems: Plan B?
Richard Meadows (Stuff): How to invest in SOEs
Regulation of political finance
Adam Bennett (Herald): Banks affair may lead to law change
Claire Browning (Pundit): When you're in a hole, keep digging
Denis Welch (Opposable thumb): A dying party
Holly Walker (frogblog): The latest on the lobbying bill
Lyn Humphreys (Stuff): Urewera activists keep up protests

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John Key raises questions around his intelligence by supporting this bill. As he is reported he cant see the effect allowing same sex relationships will have on marriage.
Then why is he a lawmaker if he cant see that law has a formative role in public opinion? Is he really qualified to lead if he expects us to believe that he cannot see the impact such a seismic shift in the definition of marriage would have on marriage itself. When one considers effects one looks at what is being changed. In this case marriage itself is proposed to be redefined. If this is not a change then what is?
He was reported as personalising his position with reference to his own wife. If he cant see the impacts why would he take the risk? Is this the kind of attitude we want. Uninformed meddling with bedrock concepts by people who say "well I dont know , might as well give it a go".
What about the impact on religious freedom in this country. Churches who do not believe in gay marriage will not be able to object to gay marriages being celebrated in their churches. Celebrants who do not believe in gay marriage will not be able to object to officiating at same sex weddings.
More importantly our daughters lose something special. At the moment only they can offer their hand in marriage to a man. Thats a unique gender specific right currently enshrined in marriage: to enter the optimum long term relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
Should his daughter choose to announce her engagement she would have to be specific about the gender of her fiance in a manner that her mother did not.
In this way Mr Key takes something of meaning from his own family as he does from every family. He supports the redefinition of key relationships that underpin and define them.
To say he cannot see the impact is an embarrassing admission and not appropriate for someone purportedly responsible for the legislative power of our parliament including their power to influence and form public attitudes and social policy.

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30 years ago; no one thought, believed or suspected that homosexuality one day will become legalised! Today, we can say that we do not think, believe or suspect that incest will become legalised, as it’s just as absurd. Because there are already increasing number of incest cases going to court to secure that relation(ship) so that it’s ok, then it will be case-by-case that it will be okayed by the judge. So, will human-animal relations be OK too in a few decades? Because it’s been practiced for 1000's of years. What a real shame to see how the human race developed and learned wisdom, ethics and intelligence through time and history, and then see ourselves now going backwards. Legalising homosexuality? What an imbalance this will bring to society, abnormality and shame. I believe that there are 3 reasons why homosexuality occur with their solutions; genetic deformities (solution: therapy), childhood traumatic experience(s) (solution: therapy) and finally spending too much time with the opposite sex at a young age (solution: teach parents about environmental influences to the psych and behaviour of the child).

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Advocate's three reasons are believable, BUT the real reason iis because teh feminists hijacked Primary education, thus removing the Role Male influence from young minds. consequently those children who were growing up in disfunctional families had no comparison, nor example of what is normal for their gender.

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What would the cost be to update IT systems throughout the government and community organisations?

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You lot are pathetic.

Advocate: your "beliefs" as to the "cause" of homosexuality are without basis and therefore irrelevant, ignorant and misinformed.

Further, what does incest have to do with marriage equality? And what evidence do you have to suggest that we are experiencing an increase in incest ocurring? Even if it was increasing, how can you in anyway relate this to the homosexual law reform?

Your uneducated, ignorant and bigoted views are beyond belief!

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