Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Admitting your mistakes

yesterday, I accused John Key of a flip-flop over coalition arrangements, after he looked set to duplicate Labour's loose arrangements with ACT and United Future. I made the accusation because National had, at the time, followed the usual political playbook, and reversed its position without any explanation or admission that it had changed its mind. According to the Dominion Post this morning, John Key has now corrected this:

In a surprise move, Mr Key signalled his preference for an arrangement allowing his minor party allies to hold ministerial positions while remaining outside government - mirroring the unconventional deal done by Helen Clark and Winston Peters in 2005, which National roundly criticised.

Mr Key acknowledged yesterday that he was wrong and "in hindsight" it had worked well.

"It's a safety valve that allows them to criticise the government in areas other than their own portfolio."

Sensible people change their minds when they are wrong, and admit their mistakes. And I'm glad that Key has done so and recognised the very definite strengths of the loose coalition model. It would be nice if more politicians followed his lead, treated us like adults, and told us when they'd changed their minds - and why.