Sunday, October 16, 2005

State of the Coalitions

According to the Herald on Sunday:
While Mr Brownlee claims Helen Clark has "completely failed" to seal a deal, Ms Clark dismissed his claims yesterday as "bluster and bravado".

She said through a spokesperson that Labour was continuing to negotiate with the Greens, NZ First, United Future and the Maori Party "in good faith" and the proposal from National to Mr Peters was "spoiling tactics".
The first thought that occurs to me that anybody that deals in good faith with Winston Peters should be committed immediately. More significantly, Helen now appears to be talking the Maoris and United after having failed to get a commitment from Winston Peters. Presumably the Greens are also being talked to because their deal needs to be renegotiated in order to save Peter Dunne's face.

I'm dubious about National's attempts to form a coalition as shacking up with Winston is a recipie for credibility loss and a government meltdown midway during the term. Hence I'm inclined to agree with Helen about Gerry's claims. But if National were truly desperate about getting Winston-free power then I have a cunning plan.

Very cunning indeed.

National simply has to talk to Jim Anderton.

Think about it. A coalition of National, ACT, United, Maori and Progressive yields 58 seats. Opposing the government would be the Labour-Greens with 56 seats while NZ First would be stuck out on the crossbenches. Winston will be bound to break his word about not voting to bring down the government that that can be used against him in the resulting early election.

The only question is what would Jim Anderton's price be? I don't know but he will be damn sight more reasonable than Winston will ever be.