Monday, September 12, 2005



Changing the game

When Winston Peters rejected the idea of formal coalition in favour of staying on the crossbenches last Wednesday, I thought he'd made himself irrelevant to the process of government formation. Not to what policies a government could enact, mind you - there Winston would wield an effective veto, and would be able to use it to screw concessions favouring his conservative constituency out of whoever he allowed to form a government - but I thought he was basically standing aside from the debate over which party got first crack at the Treasury benches.

It seems I was wrong. Many in his party seem to think Winston is promising to stand aside for the largest bloc, not the largest party. This makes perfect sense, as MMP is ultimately about blocs and coalition-building - but its bad for National, because despite running neck-in-neck with Labour in the polls, they're well behind the LPG bloc. If NZ First is taking this position, then National simply can't form a government (unless by some miracle it manages to outpoll Labour and the Greens combined, which would likely mean eliminating NZ First alltogether).

This changes the game somewhat. If NZFirst is effectively guaranteeing supply for an LPG minority government, then the race becomes about policy influence over that government - just as it was in 2002. And moderate National voters are better off throwing their weight behind United Future and NZ First (both of which can exercise some influence over Labour) than behind National (which can't)...

15 comments:

hey shithead. why don't you stop troll-rating everything i say!? i thought libs were anti-censorship. of course, you're no liberal, you're a sheep-fucker.

Posted by Federalist X : 9/12/2005 10:32:00 AM

don't visit this site, don't comment here. he'll just delete what you say, or rate it down at dKos.

sheepfucking kiwi.

Posted by Federalist X : 9/12/2005 10:33:00 AM

For those wondering what the above is about, Federalist X is a troll from Daily Kos who seems to have followed me home.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/12/2005 10:48:00 AM

idiot,

He is making a strong case for censorship, isn't he?

Posted by Icehawk : 9/12/2005 11:29:00 AM

My word, always good to get informed comment from overseas!!
An English friend of mine saw the Peters "standing in the sea" poster, and came up with the anagram of Peters' name: Stern Wet Posin'. Which I just had to share.

Posted by balach : 9/12/2005 11:39:00 AM

Winnie was pretty firm on Nat Radio that it was the largest single party he was going to back. He seemed to have deluded himself that there was a constitutional convention that the largest (single) party should form the government.

Posted by Rich : 9/12/2005 11:40:00 AM

Uh, if Winnie is serious about abstaining on confidence and supply issues, then it would follow that the largest voting bloc (excluding him) wins and is govt.

Suppose there are 123 seats, and NZF gets 7 (which seems likely). So there are 116 seats in play for a confidence-and supply vote.

If (eg) Labour-Prog-Greens then get 58 seats (which looks highly likely), they'd have confidence and supply and could form a minority govt.

But anyone who wins under such circumstance ends up with Peters hanging over them like a sword of Damocles. Not a pretty image...

Posted by Icehawk : 9/12/2005 11:52:00 AM

Well, sounds like Winnie's being inconsistent.

He both said he'd abstain on C & S and that he'd back the biggest party.

Suprisingly enough, it appears that he didn't do the arithmetic to figure out that these two are quite different.

Posted by Icehawk : 9/12/2005 12:01:00 PM

baaahhhh.

Posted by Federalist X : 9/12/2005 02:09:00 PM

Winston has since declared that his position is totally clear, and that he will back the largest party by abstaining. But he still doesn't seem to have done the maths properly...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/12/2005 02:22:00 PM

He was saying on the radio that if the party he was backing wouldn't win a confidence vote with NZF abstaining, then they would vote in favour.

So I guess if we had e.g:
Lab 50 + Greens + Prog 8 = 58
Nat 51 + UF 6 = 57
Maori Party abstaining

Winston would vote with the Nats to stop the Labour-led parties voting the government straight out.

(BTW, what would happen if it got to a vote and the new government lost? An automatic election, or would there be another round of government forming).

Posted by Rich : 9/12/2005 04:19:00 PM

"baaahhhh."

Thus speaketh the flower of the American education system.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 06:01:00 PM

I've tried to get excited about this, but for one problem: I don't trust him to say the same thing twice in a row. And unless Bob Clarkson screws the pooch in a most depraved manner, Winston is out and NZFirst is in the toxic waste dump of history.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 9/12/2005 09:30:00 PM

Craig: well, there's the little matter of Clarkson's election expenses, which may upset our Winston-free future. And if it turns out that he's overspent, then I'll have no pity for him whatsoever.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/12/2005 10:02:00 PM

As I understand it, if he has overspent, it will result in a by-election. What does that mean for NZ First if it doesn't reach 5%? Would Winston be on his own if he won the by-election?

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 9/13/2005 02:58:00 PM