18 August 2008

Terry Heffernan the Nat??

Seriously, this guy is a National Party candidate?

National's profile of Terry Heffernan curiously evades his chameleon like past, one that is notable in New Zealand politics for having been a candidate for five different political parties, four of which would cause serious concern about one's capability.

Terry Heffernan's political career started and was most well known in the Social Credit Political League, later the Social Credit Party. Yes the a+b theorem, Douglas Credit, loony tune, funny money, Skoda driving, grey zip-up shoe, safari suit wearing, bearded teachers and Mangaweka milkmen of Bob Jones fame. The party of nutters.

He stood in the Christchurch Central by-election in 1979 for Social Credit, the election that saw Geoffrey Palmer enter Parliament for the first time. Heffernan came second but with only 18.4% of the vote it was an smashing victory for Labour (and overwhelming embarrassment for National in third). However, Terry boxed on, he was determined to get into Parliament to spread the word of monetary reform.

He stood, not once, not twice, not three times, but four times for the Social Credit Party/Democratic Party in the seat of Wanganui. 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990. Admittedly in 1987 he came second by only 27 votes against Labour's Russell Marshall (who was paying the price for the government closing the unprofitable EastTown railway workshops) (Wanganui, like Rangitikei, East Coast Bays and Pakuranga were odd locations for the loony funny money movement to grab hold of people's brains and cast them to one side).

OK so he was with Social Credit. Stood five times with them. Surely that's enough to get the lunatic politician label? He apparently was once lader

Well in 1993 the "Democratic Party" stood Terry as Alliance candidate in Wanganui. So yes he followed the Democrats to the Alliance. The Alliance in 1993 stood for a decidedly socialist vision of New Zealand, with higher taxes, renationalisation, strong state control of the economy and to increase welfare benefits and make all education and healthcare "free".

Terry Heffernan stood a full on left wing platform. He lost against Jill Pettis.

In 1996, he decided that socialism and funny money weren't his thing, he went to NZ First. He stood in Albany for NZ First, where admittedly he came second against Murray McCully. McCully got just under 50% of the vote and Heffernan around 17%, so whilst he could claim success with Labour coming fourth, that was it. He was 28th on the NZ First list so unlikely to get far unless the party got over 20% of the vote.

Terry Heffernan stood on a platform with Winston Peters, who was campaigning spreading alarm about Asian immigration, and on an avowedly anti-privatisation, nationalist manifesto.

So, now he stands for National. National describes his past as "In a former life, Terry has been involved in active campaigning in a number of elections, coming close on more than one occasion to unseating a front-bench Labour Cabinet Minister. "

Former life? He's not reincarnated is he? He only came close on on occasion, and he ran against a front-bench National Cabinet Minister too.

So the Nats have selected a seven times failed candidate who spent most of his political career opposing National, advocating everything from funny money to socialism to anti-immigration nationalism. Yes he's been a member of the Nats for 11 years now (that's meant to give you comfort).

Will the people of Banks Peninsula boot out Ruth Dyson for this far too enthusiastic seeker of political power? I mean really, after seven tries at Parliament wouldn't you just give up and get the point?

1 comment:

Rick said...

Was watching ancient clips of him from the early '90s. What a laugh!

Don't worry, my mate Geoff is going to beat Ruth in Port Hills. For ACT!