All this talk of snap elections is a bit premature

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I’m all for elections, but people talking about snap elections is a little premature.

I had a chat with the old man last night about this issue and he told me about 1998 when Winston had cut up rough. Jenny Shipley wanted to call and early election but was told in no uncertain terms by the then Governor-General, The Rt Hon. Sir Michael Hardie Boys, that he would ask Helen Clark to try to form a government first, and only if that failed could an election be called. Shipley cast her eye across disaffected caucus members and also the destroyed NZ First party and saw enough people with shameless self interest that she backed away from a snap election and cut a deal. 

Dad’s point was this…calls for a snap election under MMP are almost always made by people who have no understanding of how it all works, how MMP works and how shameless a politician is when it comes to extending their tenure, even if by only 18 months.

Helen Clark got away with calling an early election in 2002 to ram home her advantage against a down and out Bill English led National party. She should never have got away with that. She of course had a tame Governor-General in Dame Silvia Cartwright.

There is little or no chance of an early election unless the support parties all go their separate ways and then also refuse to deal with Labour.

It would be a foolish John Key that would tread down the path of a snap election.

While John Key would undoubtably win an early election, he has to get to the point of an election being called.

Labour sources are telling me that they would avoid an election this early…mainly because their internal polling is showing numbers with a two in front of them and the Greens rising off the back of them shedding support. David Shearer too has handled the Dunne affair poorly giving the front running to Winston Peters and to Russel Norman.

A snap election is a difficult thing to contrive under MMP. Turkey’s remember, rarely vote for an early Christmas.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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