Friday, December 03, 2004

Not quite justified

Dorking Labs took a swipe at United Future this week, saying that they "form unnatural partnerships, have dubious morality, and given the opportunity... swing both ways". But while I don't like United Future or their politics, I think that this isn't quite justified. United Future seem to have a clear (though undesirable) set of policies which they advocate for, centered around homophobia, "family values", and center (rather than hard) right economics. And there has been one other area in which they have been consistent: their support for the present government on confidence and supply. Other parties would have withdrawn support over legislation as contentious as prostitution reform or the Civil Union Bill; United Future has stuck by their commitment to help the government go full term - likely at some political cost to themselves. I guess their disapproval of divorce extends into the political sphere...

It's also clear what United Future stands for (or rather, who they will stand by) at the next election. While they'd clearly be more comfortable with National, they've publicly committed to offering support to the larger party first. Their preferred role is to be a "moderating influence" on whichever of the large parties gets the most votes, rather than going all-out and "wagging the dog". That's not so much "swinging both ways" as trying to stop major swings in policy.

As I said, I don't like them, but their political approach is both constructive and reasonable in an MMP environment, and it is a virtue that should be recognised. Unfortunately, Winston seems to have given center parties a bad name, and United Future is now suffering for his sins.