What Will Winston Do?


The outcome of this election has always looked most likely to involve Winston Peters having the balance of power. It still looks that way, although Colin Craig may end up sneaking into parliament which would mean John Key could play the mad off against the bad.

If Colin Craig doesn’t make it into parliament Winston could hold all the cards. He can go with Labour and shaft John Key and the Greens. He could go with National and shaft Labour and the Greens. He’d get a vote of thanks from the country for shafting the Greens whatever way he goes.   

The other option is that he takes the Clive Palmer approach. Clive Palmer has one seat in the lower house and three seats in the upper house in Australia. To pass legislation you need Clive’s blessing. So instead of talking about what Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are planning everyone is asking what will Clive Palmer do.

Winston could put himself in this position by sitting on the cross benches and voting on a case by case basis. He could claim it is for the best interests of New Zealand, and he could claim he is a hand brake on the more radical policies, reintroducing common sense to New Zealand politics. He may not advance many policies but he would be the centre of attention for three years.

Instead of people beating down his door for the first few weeks after the election they would be beating down his door for three years trying to get laws passed. He would be the dominant political figure for three years, not just for three weeks.

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