This is an article from Russia which I found interesting for two reasons. Firstly it talks about some of the issues that confront us, and secondly it is a comparison to the campaign Colin Craig is running.
Russia’s power is moral and military says Putin is based on a state of the nation address given this week by Putin, but looking past his comments directed at the West there are interesting aspects raised in respect of the internal battle over their social contract.
He [Putin] used the occasion to reinforce his image as a champion of conservative values, intended to appeal to his traditional supporters in working-class areas outside big cities …
Looking at the increasing lack of political engagement by New Zealand voters – we’re heading down toward the 50% mark of eligible voters in national elections – Colin Craig could test the level of interest amongst the politically disinterested for a return to traditional values.
He called for unity among ethnic groups, greater patriotism and attempts to increase the population.
It will be interesting to see how ethnic groups in New Zealand react to a similar religious/family/business political proposal from Colin Craig. Whether our ethnic groups, Maori in particular, choose to vote conservatively rather than racially and Polynesian voters move their traditional support from Labour to Conservative.
Families with three children, a rarity in Russia, should be the norm, he said.
Russia is set be one of the emerging economies over the next decade, although this depends very much on population growth, an issue that is having a very real effect in leading Western economies such as Japan. He is talking Mum, Dad and the kids – something that New Zealand has become very distracted from with our politicians focused extensively on political identity rather than family unity.
Putin, 61, has frequently appealed to such values since he returned to the presidency for a third term in May 2012. He has portrayed the Church as a moral guide for a nation unmoored by the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
The church is vocally and generally visibly absent in New Zealand – there is the occasional media-focus on a billboard in central Auckland. The effect has been profound in both New Zealand and England with churches selling their land to survive. I see this call from Putin as a direct call to the religious orders to re-establish their authority and place within the separation of powers. Moral authority should be guided by the Church and not by the Judiciary.
Of course these things in New Zealand would require law changes. We have moved far away from the type of political community that Putin is talking about.
He faces criticism in the West over a law banning ‘gay propaganda’ which critics say encourages discrimination against homosexuals.
But with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church sitting in the front row of the Kremlin’s St George Hall, he shrugged that off, saying his views would increase respect for Russia.
“We know there are ever more people in the world who support our position in defence of the traditional values that for centuries have formed the moral foundation of civilisation,” he said, putting “traditional family values” top of the list.
I don’t think he could have been much clearer in signalling his international support for countries that have retained traditional family values and his opposition to countries that have followed the path of identity politics.
He used the occasion to reinforce his image as a champion of conservative values … following protests against his rule led by young urban professionals.
I think we could say the same thing about New Zealand
young urban professionals misguided and outspoken feminists.
The difference as I see it between New Zealand and Russia is that a decision has already been made, whether this is by Putin alone or an overwhelming majority of those that hold the reins of power, that is the direction that Russia will take and with whom Russia’s moral allegiances will lay, whereas in New Zealand this is still very much a matter for informed debate, and not so much democracy, but the choice of the politically disinterested to exercise their political will if they feel strongly enough about our country having taken a wrong turn.
It poses some interesting questions for the media, most of whom are ‘young urban professionals’ and how they will choose to report political news.
The debate has risen, if it is not still on the political agenda and a matter of serious consideration at the next election then I would suggest the prospects for men and family in this country will suffer even more than they have to date.