I have to pay tribute to Helen Clark. She is despised by many Christians for her morality and the social engineering of the last 9 years. And there is much to concern us with the liberalisation of marriage, sexuality, prostitution and other laws. I am deeply concerned at the shifts in NZ culture over the last years as we move away from the Judeo-Christian ethic. However, she is not alone in holding these values. Both national and labour have been involved in the liberalisation of these things and earlier issues such as abortion, the greatest social issue of our day.
I think the other side of Helen Clark that we have to acknowledge is her greatness as a leader. She has led through a period of MMP and held together government against great odds. She knew where she was going and what she wanted to do and she carried out. She worked with others and kept governments together with the art of strong leadership with compromise and team leading. She was a strong leader who was prepared to make tough decisions. She lost that ability a little this election, as she allowed the party to play it dirty and was prepared to compromise too far to retain the possibility of NZ First. She was never deposed and gathered around her a loyal and, in the main, a very competent team. While many do not like Cullen, he has done a great job and together they have been resilient and able to take NZ through the last 9 years. She has had stability in her team, a great asset; no doubt due to her shrewd management. She has worked within her limitations. She is not charismatic, but is competent. She is measured. She keeps her cool. She is not prone to quick decisions, knowing the art of buying time under pressure. She finished well! She did the right thing last night, fought to the end, and then resigned at exactly the right time (watch and learn Graham Henry!). Without doubt, she has been the best Prime Minister in terms of her leadership that I have seen. Lange lost his way. Muldoon messed up. Rowling and Marshall lacked the dynamism and strength. Clark has given us a 9 year lesson in leadership. I pay tribute to her, despite being very very unhappy with where she has led us.
On the other hand, there is the story of Winston Peters. To me, his story is not as great. Sure, he has hung in for 30 odd years in politics, no mean feat. He has been a very influential person and has led parties, been finance minister and more. He is astute and charismatic. The problem is that he blew it. He lacked the stability of character and the ability to work with others and in a media environment that is needed in the white hot world of politics. If he had hung in, kept his cool, worked within the system and holding together, he would have been the first Maori PM of NZ (not before time may I say). The Obama story could have been ours 20 or so years earlier. When Shipley was leader and PM for a short time, Peters could have been the man. However, he could not handle the pressure, and broke away. He, like Jim Anderton, Peter Dunn, Philip Field and others, have created new parties which have done ok, but have failed to really gain traction; they will all fade away. Peters has finished poorly. He made a goose of himself over the last year and was exposed if not for his dishonesty, for his questionable ethics at least. He could have been king, not king maker. He had a million times the charisma of Clark, but he lacked the wisdom and character required to lead NZ.
Then there are the Greens. The Greens really annoy me. They are labelled 'Green' but they are corrupted. They are more interested in social engineering than really addressing ecological issues. They are aligned with the left far too much. There are NZers who have a conservative view of morality, who are left leaning economically and politically, but who are not interested in the extremist views of legalising marijuana, demolishing family and family values. They are utterly liberal and have an even worse voting record than Labour in regards to family values. they are unequivically proabortion and proeuthanasia. I say to the Greens, get off the social engineering, move to the centre, and become what you say you are, Green. There are a huge number of Christians who agree with their concern for the environment and the poor.
This exposes a huge gap in NZ politics, a party with the full range of Christian ethical concerns. That is, a passion for family that we see with Family First; along with a concern for wealth distribution among the poor and needy like the left (Progressive, Alliance, Labour movement etc). There is nothing there. All the Christian parties are right wing; all the left wing parties are totally unchristian in their morality. They might be good in terms of social justice.
The Greens should now be able to work with National, but it is out of the question because the party has been taken over by socially liberal anti-Judeo-Christian family and individual ethics. They should be now working alongside national but because of their imbalance they are not. Perhaps it is time for Christians with these ideals to join the Greens en-mass, pick up the ecological concern, the social justice concern and add to it a Christian ethic. They of all people should be opposing abortion, fighting for the most defenseless of all people/humans, the unborn child.
Enough! Got to go to church.