Election Surprises and Hamas

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Election Surprises and Hamas

Tuesday 17th October 2023

Election Surprises

I love Election night and all the drama that goes with it. Last Saturday night didn’t disappoint.

1. The swing to National (and the right) was bigger than was predicted especially in the electorate seats. National won 45 of the 71 Electorate seats and 39% of the Party vote.

2. The rise of the minor Party’s continues. They won 28.84% of the Party vote in the preliminary results and a staggering 9 electorate seats. Of particular note is Brooke Van Velden (ACT) in Tamaki, a traditionally safe National seat and Julie Anne Genter (Green) in Rongotai, a traditionally safe Labour seat. Personally, I am surprised that NZ First came in with 6.46% of the Party vote giving them 8 seats. But as they say about Winston Peters, ‘never say never’.

The four Christian Party’s came in with 1.1% of the Party vote.

3. Perhaps the results in the Māori seats is the biggest surprise of all with Te Pati Māori winning 4 seats (predicted to win only one) and as a result creating an overhang meaning an additional seat in parliament for the next 3 year term.

4. The four Christian Party’s (New Zeal, New Conservatives, Freedoms NZ and Leighton Baker Party) came in with 1.1% of the Party vote. I am still reflecting on this and want to wait a few weeks before making further comment. I’d love to know any thoughts you might have.

There are another 567,000 (20.2%) special votes to be counted giving us a final official result on Friday 3rd November. As at this moment several electorate seats sit on a knife-edge with three election night MPs holding fewer than a 100 vote majority. Some may yet change and the party vote may also alter to deliver a parliament that has a slightly different make up.

Hamas and Israel

POV. What has happened is absolutely heart breaking. Worse still it feels (and many are saying) that this war could go on a long time. I accept that the state of Israel hasn’t always acted blamelessly in its conduct toward the Palestinian people. To be pro-Israel, as I am, isn’t to whitewash every action Israel’s government or military have taken, from its founding to today. But a brutal act of terrorism such as we have witnessed by Hamas on innocent civilians in Israel is a completely different thing and should be condemned.

I think this quote from Jean Bethke Elshtain referenced in this excellent article titled, Israel’s 9/11: The Need for Moral Clarity says it very well:- “If we could not distinguish between an accidental death resulting from a car accident and an intentional murder, our criminal justice system would fall apart. And if we cannot distinguish the killing of combatants from the intended targeting of peaceable civilians, we live in a world of moral nihilism. In such a world, everything reduces to the same shade of grey and we cannot make distinctions that help us take our political and moral bearings”.

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