Family First NZ is pleased to present the 2014 Value Your Vote resource for families.
Over the past twelve years there have been a number of law changes voted on by our politicians specifically impacting the welfare of kiwi families, and the role of parents and marriage.
Some of these laws – like the anti-smacking law, the Care of Children Bill and the ‘parental notification’ law relating to teenage abortions – have undermined the important role parents play in their children’s lives. The highly controversial same-sex marriage bill rejected the obvious cultural and natural characteristics of marriage and the subsequent creation and care of children, and made marriage about partnership only. How soon will it be before the next attempt is made to redefine ‘marriage’ to allow, for example, group marriage or polygamy?
Other laws – such as the decriminalisation of prostitution and residential brothels; attempts to decriminalise euthanasia and marijuana, and to liberalise Easter trading laws; and Parliament’s refusal to raise the drinking age – have failed to take into account what is best for the welfare and safety of families. However, attempts to protect families and keep communities safer through bills around ‘Three Strikes’ and bail should be applauded.
Most concerning of all has been the inability of MPs to hear the clear wishes and concerns of New Zealand families – for example, surveys show that up to 75% want the drinking age raised to 20, up to 87% oppose the anti-smacking law, 66% of New Zealanders want brothels banned from residential areas, and almost 80% believe that parents should be informed if their pregnant daughter under 16 seeks an abortion.
This brochure (and the much larger guide on our website valueyourvote.org.nz) allows you to see how your local MP and each political party has voted on these important social issues. Many of them are conscience votes allowing an MP to vote according to his or her conscience rather than along party lines. However, in many cases, there seems to be a ‘party conscience’.
VOTING WITH YOUR VALUES
What if there was a politician or party whose policies you had supported in the past? He or she had ideas that provided more jobs, and more investment in education and health. Imagine you agreed on virtually every issue - but he or she also wanted to kill a particular race of people, or allow post-birth abortions. Would you, based on that one policy, decide you would not vote for that politician? Absolutely.
We might agree economically with politicians but not morally. Focussing on economics and other issues while ignoring moral values will actually make our present social problems worse. It’s not about being a ‘single issue’ voter. It’s about voting with your values and your conscience.
A politician who is willing to redefine marriage is also more likely to vote to allow late-term abortions, criminalise a parent who uses a light smack, ban parental notification for pregnant teenagers considering an abortion, and make assisted suicide and drugs such as marijuana legal.
The moral values of any politician will determine the morality of our nation’s laws. You and I have a duty to hold our politicians to account.
And politicians who fail or are unwilling to reveal how they would vote on these issues should, in our view, be avoided. At some stage they will have to vote on these issues. We deserve to know where they stand.
Please note - this record should not take the place of your own effort to evaluate a candidate personally, and is not intended to endorse or oppose any candidate. We would encourage all voters to make informed decisions on the candidates’ and parties’ policies across many issues. This resource offers a limited but nevertheless important perspective to each candidate and party in matters important to families.
Families deserve laws that strengthen and protect them – not ones that redefine and undermine them.
We are pleased to offer this guide as a helpful resource to aid you in making an informed choice at the polls this September.
Bob McCoskrie National Director - Family First NZ