Not going to waste too many words on the defeat of the National Party. They were running a close second to Labour until the Covid19 crisis gave Jacinda Ardern the opportunity to pose every day in front of the television cameras as the saviour of the nation. Or until the same crisis was used to justify a monstrously corrupt bribe of NZ’s media.
These were the two main factors in their defeat, but they were not the only ones. An estimated thirty percent of the blame goes to another factor, and that is the rank disunity that has weakened the party for decades, and culminated in the Muller/ Collins takeover weeks before the election.
For a decade or more, liberals (or to be more accurate progressives) have infiltrated the party under the false premise it is a “big tent” party. This is a lie. The National Party was never meant to be anything but a standard conservative political force, and this is shown to be true by its founding principles. These would never have been written by any progressive. In fact they’re clearly opposed to progressivism.
To promote good citizenship and self-reliance
To combat communism and socialism
To maintain freedom of contract
To encourage private enterprise
To safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership
To oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry
Six excellent principles that directly confront progressivism, which is in fact a modern form of communism/ socialism. It undermines good citizenship and self reliance by its focus on welfarism, soft justice, and attacks on the traditional values of the West.
It opposes freedom of contract with busybody commercial legislation on a thousand fronts. It strangles private enterprise with similar legislation and the establishment of government owned or majority shareholdings that make true competition difficult to the point of impossibility.
Its attacks on private ownership have eroded our rights to our own property. We can’t cut down trees or drain swamps. Burglary theft, vandalism and other property offences are treated as mere misdemeanors. If they are acted on at all.
The tragedy is that in many cases the National Party has been a prime mover in attacking these principles, or has combined with the Labour party in attacking them.
It is difficult to identify exactly when the rot started. Some would say around the Bolger Shipley era. However it definitely peaked under John Key’s leadership. In his own words, he described the Nationals as a “progressive party”.
Just imagine if the Nats had stuck to their founding principles. Sure they may have lost an election or two, but they would have been back in power sooner or later and have the backing of an electorate who would have appreciated and understood the principle of choice and a pluralist democracy. New Zealand would today be heading in a completely different direction.
Now, thanks to National’s weakness and willingness to compromise (caused by its infiltration by progressives) those concepts are lost in the mists of political time. New Zealand today is virtually a one party state.
For the sake of its own existence and the saving of New Zealand from Venezuelan style collapse, the party must be reformed. They must start believing in their principles, fighting for them, and most important of all, start selling them to the New Zealand voter.
This won’t happen while the party is full of progressives who openly oppose those principles. Judith Collins, (just for one example) is a committed feminist with considerable progressive tendencies and she has been destabilising the National Party for more than a decade.
Collins, along with similar infiltrators such as Amy Adams, Nikki Kaye, Chris Bishop and Nicola Willis had been white-anting the more Conservative Simon Bridges for two years at least. Due to Collin’s takeover, and her manipulation of the party list prior to the election, progressives are now in full control of the party.
Its difficult to know how to resolve this situation. Could the progressive power bloc be challenged and defeated and forever banished from the party? That would mean the removal of its present self-interested heirarchy and most of the long time members who have failed in their duty to defend Sid Holland’s ideas. Not a likely outcome.
Frankly, its hard to say who among the Nats would stand for their founding principles today. If it is impossible to free it from the progressives’ grip, perhaps the best solution is to let it the party wither on the vine and vote New Conservative.
The National Party itself attracted very few voters when first formed, but became one of the two long lasting parties. Its quite possible the New Conservatives could follow this path.