The Conservative Party have asked Christine Rankin to stand against Paula Bennett in the new electorate of Upper Harbour. Ranking is “thinking it over”, but I call it a done deal. Colin Espiner reports (well, rewrites the conservative party supplied propaganda – but let us be charitable)
The Conservative Party is poised to stand its high-profile chief executive Christine Rankin against National’s Paula Bennett in Upper Harbour, setting up a potential battle of the former solo mums next election.
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig confirmed to the Sunday Star-Times that the party’s board had formally asked the controversial former boss of Work and Income New Zealand to stand in next year’s general election.
Polling had indicated Rankin would do well in the proposed electorate that would wrap around the north and west of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
Rankin, who until now has said she did not want to enter national politics, told the Star-Times she was “seriously considering” the request and would make up her mind after Christmas.
But Craig said Rankin’s candidacy was a “no-brainer” and he was confident she would run.
“It’s going to be a fascinating contest between two very strong, determined women,” Craig said. “The word that comes to mind is catfight.”
Maybe we should forgo the election process, get a big para pool, fill it knee deep with mud and let them ‘debate’ until there is a winner.
Bennett and Rankin have similar back stories; both grew up in households without much money, had children at a young age and raised them alone on the domestic purposes benefit. Both ended up in charge of their former paymaster; Rankin as chief executive of Work and Income New Zealand and Bennett as Minister of Social Development.
Bennett appointed Rankin to the Families Commission in 2009, where she served one term before becoming chief executive of the Conservative Party. She was re-elected for a second term on the Upper Harbour community board at the Corecent local body elections.
Paula will of course get back in Parliament as a scum list MP anyway, but the media won’t be able to resist focusing on that particular electorate for the sound bites, the manufactured controversies and the faux outrage that will bleed into our nightly news.
Craig has yet to decide on where he would stand next election, but it would be either Rodney or East Coast Bays. In a sign the Conservatives are fast gaining in political confidence, he was “not waiting around” for a signal from National about either seat.
“This is politics – it’s not actually about making National happy. If they are upset about this [Rankin standing], I think they just need to harden up.”
Just about every election New Zealand seems to have a lunatic fringe party that captures the media’s attention and benefits from disproportionate attention. In 2014 that will be the Conservative Party.
And National will be loving every second of it.
The likes of the Green Taliban and Labour are the same old same old. This move by Craig will suck valuable media exposure away from them, and focus it on National and the Conservatives.
Win/Win for the right.
Run Christine, run!