A Trump-like Prime Minister?

Bryce Edwards from Stuff:  Over half of Kiwis think politics and the economy are rigged against them:

“New Zealand might think it’s immune from ever having a Trump-like figure come to power, but this polls suggests that such a danger isn’t so farfetched.”

I don’t think the poll suggests anything like that. Our democracy is nothing like the US system and is stacked against ‘a Trump-like figure’ coming to power.

To become Prime Minister in New Zealand:

  • A person first has to become an MP, and that means being selected within their party system
  • They then have to gain experience and build relationships within their caucus.
  • They then have to win selection as party leader.
  • They then have to either win an election, or do well enough to be in a position to negotiate a coalition arrangement with other parties.

We are on to our third  Prime Minister this century so not many opportunities, although Labour are giving their fourth leader in 9 years a shot at making it.

Winston Peters is in some ways Trump-like – he tries to win support using Trump-like tactics – but he’s been doing that for decades and has been a part of two coalition governments under MMP including one stint as deputy Prime Minister, very un-Trump-like.

There’s a possibility we could have a bolter for Prime Minister after September’s election.

  • National could get insufficient votes to form a government similar to the last few terms (likely).
  • NZ First could get enough votes to dictate coalition terms that include providing the Prime Minister (very unlikely with National, possible with Labour).
  • The other parties in the coalition could agree to a NZ First Prime Minister (likelihood unknown).
  • Peters could decline the top job and put Shane Jones in as Prime Minister.

But Jones is hardly Trump-like. He has already been an MP for 9 years, and has been working for the Government for the last three years, so is not an outsider.

Is there any other way we could end up with a Trump-like Prime Minister?

National could stand a Trump-like candidate in Clutha-Southland (they are seeking someone there now to replace Todd Barclay), National could form the next Government (almost certainly a coalition) and then Bill English could stand down and the National caucus could choose Trump-like from Clutha-Southland as their leader and hence Prime Minister.

That seems very unlikely.

Media and pundits looking for a Trump-like change here seem to be looking for exciting things to talk about, and make stories out of stuff all.

“This suggests that politics really is in a very unhealthy state”.

As far as media/pundits go perhaps.

We are most likely to end up with Bill English or Andrew Little as our Prime Minister after the election. How more un-Trump-like could we get?

The problem for sensation seeking media is that English and Little are seen as un-headline-like (apart for the last couple of weeks). Media have been openly dreading a boring election.

Wishing for a Trump-like train wreck is not a healthy state.

35 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  July 4, 2017

    The same media people in NZ bashing Trump are likely to be the same media people wanting anything but a ‘boring’, dependable NZ PM/govt.

    Far better for the MSM to have a Labour/Greens/NZL First shambles in govt with Winston Peters & Shane Jones calling the tune.

    • lurcher1948

       /  July 4, 2017

      Better than a old person who CANNOT REMBER ANYTHING he has done, ie a LIAR

  2. Gezza

     /  July 4, 2017

    We don’t have anything like the pivotal situations or the absurdity of The US public’s fascination with celebrity & “success” that produced the Trump victory.

  3. Brown

     /  July 4, 2017

    The reality is that Trump, so far, is not running a train wreck government despite what the MSM would claim.

    • adamsmith1922

       /  July 4, 2017

      I am sorry, but on what basis do you postulate this remark? I am very interested to know the factual basis for this comment.

    • lurcher1948

       /  July 4, 2017

      Did bannon and infowars tell you to post that

  4. Zedd

     /  July 4, 2017

    Thats all we need a Trump-like PM..
    but reading some of the nonsense from ‘commentators’ in here, thats what it sounds like some would prefer; Give the power to a filthy-rich, ego-centric/smug megalomaniac & hope for the best (total delusion).

    Some seem to forget, the sayings about ‘learn from the mistakes of the past OR risk repeating them’ & ‘repeating the same things, expecting a different outcome.. INSANITY definition’

    BUT after suffering through 9 years of the current ‘Govt.’ methinks anything is possible in the Tory, narrow-minded regime, we currently have ! 😦

    “what do we want ?” A change of Govt.
    “when do we want it ?” 23/9 🙂

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 4, 2017

    There is no chance of a Trump-like takeover of the National Party at present. The Labour Party is in the grip of the unions so it won’t happen there either. That doesn’t leave enough votes in play for any third party candidate.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  July 4, 2017

      Haven’t they had two already? Brash and Key went from the world of business to Prime Minister absurdly quickly.

      • Cannot see anything in common with Trump

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  July 4, 2017

          Depends on which form of Trump-like you’re thinking of. Neither men have anything in common with Trump physically and little politically, but all three went from deciding to be a politician to running a country in a very short time – which is what I was getting at.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  July 4, 2017

            Don Brash was never Prime Minister, nor did he go from ‘deciding to be a politician to running a country in a very short time’-or go to a high political position from the world of business. Read his bio.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  July 4, 2017

              My bad, You’re right. He came close though … if it wasn’t for those pesky brethren.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 5, 2017

              As I remember it, they put out flyers without doing him the courtesy of consulting him about this.

              He did come close, sigh….I had a nasty virus that night, and was too ill to watch the election. It seemed like a foregone conclusion, anyway. It was a real shock to turn on the news next morning….

    • Gezza

       /  July 4, 2017

      There’s certainly no Big Norm in the picture. That man had commitment, communication skills, aroha & charisma. It came through in spades however he presented, live or on the telly. Muldoon was equally dominating. Both men had powerful charisma. I hated Muldoon, I thought he was evil, but I was young & naive about everything – though you couldn’t have told me that. Muldoon on the telly still riveted me. The only other one in recent times who I thought projected a similar powerful presence on telly was Helen Clark, in power. But she looked directly at the reporters, not the camera – so therefore YOU, like Muldoon.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 4, 2017

        I’m pretty sure Muldoon was evil but perhaps less intentionally than I thought at the time. Big Norm was a presence but no more so than Lange or even Shane Jones in my experience. None of them were revolutionaries in the way Trump is.

        • Gezza

           /  July 4, 2017

          I don’t think Trump’s a revolutionary. I think he’s primarily an egomanic with a packet of ad hoc ideas who a particular set of circumstances propelled into the highest office in the land & whose achievements or failure only time wiil tell.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 4, 2017

            He is a revolutionary in style and in being a businessman non-politician president.

        • lurcher1948

           /  July 4, 2017

          I knew Muldoon’s daughter and went up to their place overlooking Vic Uni, in a way he was better than catholic billy and “in it to make heaps” key

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  July 4, 2017

            Don’t be ridiculous about John Key. He could have earned much more outside politics-how many politicians have the kind of money that he has ? Dream on. He would have taken a large ‘pay cut’ when he went into politics. Of all the MPs and Ministers whom I have known, I can only think of one for whom a Parliamentary salary was more than she was earning before.

            • @kck

              There is only one reason why filthy rich folk ‘take a pay-cut’ & go into politics.. to get POWER & now Sir JK ?!
              knighted for just doing his job.. 😦

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 5, 2017

              Dear me, the grapes are very sour.

              You obviously know no politicians, or you would not make such an ignorant sweeping statement.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 5, 2017

              You may never do anything unless you gain from it: this may explain your assumption that nobody else does, either. I can assure you that some (many) people do, in fact, spend time doing things for the good of others. Not everyone is mean-spirited and ungenerous.

              I wonder how many 17 hours you put in for no extra pay, or how often you work all day on your annual leave.

            • Zedd

               /  July 5, 2017

              @kck

              I know several MPs kitty.. but from the other side, who work for the benefit of all people of NZ, not just the wealthy & the international property speculators, this Govt. appear to support !

              may I suggest you actually look beyond millionaires row & see that there are others in this country worth making the effort for, not just those who vote Nat-Act :/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 5, 2017

              Too daft for words, Zedd.

            • Gezza

               /  July 5, 2017

              Who are these others Zedd? Who are you talking about exactly?

            • Zedd

               /  July 5, 2017

              woof woof… who let the dawgs out ?
              😀 😀 😀 😀

              seriously you folks need to get out a bit more………………

            • Corky

               /  July 5, 2017

              ”I know several MPs kitty.” Name them!

            • Zedd

               /  July 5, 2017

              @Corkey

              name them; Harry, Sally, Fred, Jack & Tom..
              btw; I’m Vlad Butin 🙂 😀

              did you really think I would do so.. ?????

            • Corky

               /  July 7, 2017

              So you are full of bs…who would have guessed. Not me.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 8, 2017

              Look at his income before, if you don’t believe me.

  6. John Schmidt

     /  July 4, 2017

    1st mistake is to believe any prediction from Bryce Edwards.

  7. @zedd. You’re being irresponsible in equating Key with your construct of rich political manipulators.. For starters Mr Key is hardly a kleptocrat. His so-called “fortune” is modest in terms of world leaders. Show us the plundering of state resources, the manner in which he enriched himself at the country’s expense. As for the knighthood – that’s simply par for the course.

    Just because one says something as outlandish as this gives it no validity. Might make one feel better, but when there’s no truth to it, I consign it to the disingenuity basket.

    • Zedd

       /  July 5, 2017

      @trav
      thats your opinion too.. we all tend to have one
      .. even the downtickers 😀

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 7, 2017

        It’s not even disingenuousness, Traveller, it’s either fabrication or ignorance. It may be both,

        Who, for example, made money when he built his big house ? He spent it, the tradies got it.

        My late stepfather’s income tax was the equivalent of a deputy head’s salary-and he began as a linesman, no silver spoons in that family.