Key and Peters

John Key’s announcement he may consider dealing with Winston Peters after the next election has been highlighted as a major turnaround from the previous two elections, but it is very soft support for working with NZ First.

“Not rule out” is vastly different to enthusiastic support of a possible deal with Peters.

NZ Herald – Key refuses to rule out NZ First, Conservatives:

Mr Key said a post-election working relationship was very unlikely with Winston Peters’ NZ First but would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

Mr Key said he was now refusing to rule out working with Mr Peters because a few things had changed in recent years.

That included the fact that it was now six years since the Owen Glenn donations saga.

Since then Mr Peters and NZ First had been returned to Parliament and if he was returned again this year that would indicate he had passed a test with the public.

Another factor was that there were some National voters who would rather see a National Government with NZ First than a Labour Greens Government.

Mr Key said one unlikely option was that National could form a Government with NZ First abstaining on confidence and supply.

Mr Key said it was most likely that any post-election working relationships would be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, “as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms”.

The Key point is that NZ First easily surpassed 5% to return to Parliament in 2011, and if they reach 5% again this election then the voters will have clearly indicated NZF should be considered. So Key should consider them.

However Key’s indication he may negotiate with them could be a poisoned chalice for NZF – their vote last time was boosted by those who didn’t like or want Key but didn’t think Labour was up to it. They may be less likely to repeat this if NZF look like possibly cosying up with National.

Peters has responded to this with a typical grump – Winston Peters says the PM’s wasting his time.

Winston Peters says John Key’s wasting his time by talking about who he’d coalesce with after the next election.

The New Zealand First leader says the public has to have its say through the ballot box before the dealing’s done.

“Holding wholesale, backroom, smoke room deals with political parties, many of whom will not make it, is a waste of time and resource.”

This is nonsensical rhetoric but typical of Peters. For the public to have an informed say at the ballot box they should knowin advance which parties may work together.

And according to Dave@caffeine_addict Peters has given a vague indication.

Winston: “Yep” to everyone who agrees with him, “Yes” to those that might, “OK, then ” to those that won’t.

Ok, then.

The NZ Herald agree in Editorial: Voters need to know before vote

Key’s right, Peters is wrong on post-election alliances.

Mr Peters said: “The general election should be decided by voters, not by backroom deals between political parties. The time for talking about forming governments,” he said, “should be immediately after the election and not before.” He could not be more wrong. Voters go to elections for one reason alone – to elect the next government. They do not cast their vote for the pleasure of watching party leaders indulge themselves in post-election negotiations.

The clearer the choice of governments can be for voters before an election, the better it is for voters, for the legitimacy of the government that results and for our democracy. Mr Key should do his utmost to present a likely coalition to the country ahead of the election.

Common sense and clear indications are not the style of Winston Peters, he will remain contrary and take his chances – which will be more difficult for him than last election.

The Conservative Party will compete for votes with NZ First , especially if media don’t contrive to give Peters a late campaign boost as they did in 2011 then voters may decide not to give Peters the opportunity to indulge in back room deals after the election.

As Key said yesterday, a relationship with Mr Peters’ party was “most unlikely”.

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1 Comment

  1. Is National+NZ First now more than “very unlikely”? | Your NZ

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