Valuing women’s votes and money

There is a political party which has made a choice to keep someone with a recent history of domestic violence in a highly visible position[1].

So they’ve made a political calculation:

((loss of support) + (loss of money)) < ((loss of face of firing him) + (loss of skills that he has))

Which makes me wonder about several things. Firstly, they are counting on the suppression order holding for the wider public, but not for insiders, so they must think the money from insiders is secure – do they have no funders who care about domestic violence? Are they counting on people keeping on funding them, through all the little social touches that parties do to big donors, even when many people wouldn’t be comfortable having dinner with him right now? What does this say about their assumptions about their donors?

Secondly, liberal women was a key area of contention at the last election, this is one of the little things that eat away at their credibility in that space. Again, I guess they’re counting on the suppression order and two years, but it’s still going to cut away at their credibility with women. Do they just not realise that for many women domestic violence is more important than party politics? Do they have another plan to retain women voters? Have they already given up liberal women as lost?

Finally, and more for the curious than the ethical, this provides a huge opening for internal politicking and intrigue and factionalising. If that’s the down side, what’s the up side?

P.S. Remember the suppression order, amongst other things comments must not name his victim, him, or his party.

[1] Yes, there is a political party which has made a choice to promote someone with an older history of domestic violence into a highly visible position too, but that is a story for another day.

8 thoughts on “Valuing women’s votes and money

  1. What does this say about their assumptions about their donors?

    That they have a very dim view of them indeed.

    Do they just not realise that for many women domestic violence is more important than party politics?

    Quite possibly. Which means that they may be in a lot of trouble if the order is removed, or if word gets around despite it.

  2. I/S,

    Suppression shouldn’t come off given the circumstances, so it’s should only ever make it to those-in-the-know, but they’re the core donors.

  3. Anita:

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that there are spouse abusers in most of the parties represented in parliament. It therefore should not be surprising that Key sees no harm on that score. Nor should it be surprising that other parties remain silent hoping for some sort of implosion in the affected party’s ranks. To broach the subject would open a can of worms for both sides of the aisle and thus the conspiracy of silence will continue. In fact, the Worth affair, although different in its specifics, probably reaffirmed to all sides that there is danger in playing the personal issues game. You are welcome to correct me if I am wrong in my belief.

  4. I think I know who it could be. If you look back at the news over the past 2 weeks about a certain high profile figure in a political party….

  5. millsy,

    I’m pretty sure all of the political blogosphere knows exactly who it is. The suppression orders are still in place tho.

  6. Pablo,

    The thing that interests me about this case is

    1) It’s been made somewhat public, which means the party has to have a strategy to address it. Previously things have been swept under the carpet more thoroughly.

    2) It looks like it might have been operators within the party itself that got it picked up by the media – which speaks to my third point. How bad must the infighting be?

  7. Anita:

    It looks to me to be the work of one righty blogger with an ax to grind, supported by other reactionaries who do not like what they see as the centrist drift in the party they support. Of course, the real issue is a matter of human rights rather than intra-party disputes, but anything that independently highlights the contradictions and hypocrisy of a “family-friendly” party abdicating its concern about domestic violence in the quest for conservative inheritance money is worth watching. At this point the old adage holds: if the opponent is digging a hole, just stand by and watch.

  8. I wonder to what extent this is the same kind of thinking seen in the argument in the Aussie blogosphere about where the female political bloggers are. It could be that the party in question doesn’t think “little-p politics” like domestic violence are actually that important in the arena of Real Politics.

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