As part of the Unshackled’s coverage of New Zealand’s general election campaign we are speaking with a number candidates and activists so we can gain an understanding of the politics of New Zealand, what are the big issues in this campaign and probably most relevantly what Australians can learn from this election.
In New Zealand’s mixed member proportionate system there are a number of minor parties vying for that 5% of the vote that will get them seats in the parliament. One such party is the Conservative Party of New Zealand who obtained 3.97% of the vote at the 2014 general election, they are New Zealand’s most purely conservative party. We were lucky to speak with their Deputy Leader Elliot Ikile who is also their candidate for Manurewa electorate in South Auckland.
The term conservative means many different things so we start by asking Elliot what it means to be a conservative and how great a role the state should play in our society. We ask why he believes the Conservatives can rise above the other minor parties and reach that 5% threshold and why their policies are offering something the other parties aren’t.
We go into detail about the party’s policy of having binding citizen initiated referendums. New Zealand currently allows for citizen initiated referendums but the politicians have simply ignored the will of the people in the past. We ask Elliot how more direct democracy can be accommodated without the danger of mob rule occurring and if the Conservatives would accept a result of the people they didn’t agree with. We also ask him to define the concept of freedom and how best to balance the freedoms of the many different social groups in our society.