Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goodbye Brian

Brian Connell is resigning from Parliament, effective from Sunday. Good riddance. Quite apart from being one of Parliament's more conservative MPs, he's also a cat-beater. Plus, he's been largely silent since being exiled from the National caucus back in 2006. Due to the closeness of the election, there won't be a by-election; instead the House will only have 120 members until it rises (which has to happen by 7 October).

The latter is a gift to the government, and it has come at a crucial time. Right when Winston threatens to perform his triennial toy-throwing, Connell's resignation has shifted the balance of power, and made it easier for the government to win a confidence vote should that become necessary. They'd still need to cobble together a temporary coalition (primarily, flipping the Greens from abstention to active support), but it will no longer be so hard. Which means if things spiral out of control over the next week and the PM does the decent thing and sacks Winston, she won't necessarily have to sacrifice her government to do it.