Thursday, September 04, 2014

Sensationalising the status quo

Pity the political reporter. Committed to horse-race style reporting, having to comment on polls whose poll-to-poll shifts are almost entirely statistical noise, desperate for an angle. And so we had Patrick Gower on 3 News last night desperately talking up how "complicated' National's post-election coalition arrangements would be:

John Key's path to re-election has become even more complicated.

Tonight's 3 News-Reid Research political poll still has National in the lead, but the Maori Party could be in control.


But Mr Key's still got plenty of problems - even with ACT and United Future he would not have a majority.

Based on the poll, National would either need New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to get a majority or have to rely on the Maori Party to pass every law.

The problem? This "complicated" situation is the status quo. National effectively lost its majority when they sacked Peter Dunne from Cabinet and lost his support in June last year. Since then, they've been reliant on the Maori Party to pass legislation. Even now they've reinstated Dunne, changes in his policy and the meltdown of ACT have meant they've effectively got to go through the Maori Party to get anything done. Or was one of our top political reporters so busy looking at the horse race that they missed the change in the bigger picture?