coalition government

Please update your banned word list

Now that the co-leader of the Gunts has reclaimed one of the words on the banned word list, it is time to add a new one and update all the existing lists.

Several words will remain in place on the banned word list; there is the n-word, the f-word, the p-word, the h-word, the s-word and of course, the q-word.

The new addition is required because someone had been getting a little miffed about the word, possibly even a cross word?

The new, offending, word is “led” but only when used in a particular combination; “Labour-led government”.? Using this phrase will have your mother washing your mouth out with soap and water.

Clair Trevett, writing for a newspaper explains why. Quote.

Read more »

Why National are in trouble

Guest post

Several commentators and other bloggers are saying the latest Colmar Brunton poll is great for National and the Key/English/McCully effect has made no difference. History tells us otherwise, they are in trouble.

Back in February 2008, National was polling at 54%, in the election they won with 45% of the vote.

In February 2011 and February 2014, National was polling at 51%, in the election they won 47% of the vote.

Every time National has polled high in February but dropped 4% or more each time in the elections.

Read more »

Good News for Winston

John Key doesn?t get his numbers wrong very often, and he has made this prediction for the post election negotiations.

Key told Roughan quitting was the hardest decision of his life but he remained convinced it was the right call. Read more »

Greens will stop short of selling their soul to get into government – maybe

Richard Harman reports:

…the immediate future there is the prospect of Government with Labour and very probably New Zealand First.

[James Shaw] says the Greens are getting on better with New Zealand First but then things could hardly get any worse on where they were last year.

He won?t be drawn into any critique of New Zealand First beyond saying they are more conservative than the Greens though privately many Greens loathe Winston Peters and much of what his party stands for.

But the big issue will be Labour.

Again, things have improved since the last election when Labour?s then Leader David Cunliffe more or less shut the Greens out.

He says that the two party?s policies on investment for social outcomes overlap.

?And my sense is that they are moving on a lot of the environmental stuff as well.

?And that?s going to make it easier ion the future for us to work together.?

Last election the Greens had a very precise policy platform addressing jobs, cleaner waterways and child poverty.

So when it comes down to the hard negotiations that would be required to form a Government, what would the Greens actually want? Read more »

Key delusional about Winston Peters as PM idea


The suggestion that Winston Peters could be prime minister in a job-share agreement if NZ First holds the balance of power is a joke, John Key says.

“[That has the same] chance as me holidaying on the lunar space station*, I would have thought – just no chance,” Mr Key said.

That seems kind of ridiculous on the face of it, but in fact, it is a genuine possibility. ? Read more »

National, controls 50% of the votes, is beholden to one man for the last 1%

The Maori Party often votes against the Government, and Dunne is in the middle, usually predictable but occasionally digging in.

The latest reforms to the Resource Management Act are in limbo while Dunne waits for a draft bill to be produced.

Environment Minister Nick Smith may have problems producing a draft bill yet because he doesn’t know what parts of it Dunne will oppose.

Dunne is opposing National on another measure – its plans to delay having a fully elected regional council in Canterbury from next year until 2019 – and National will need the Maori Party to pass it.

On a lot of issues, the numbers are finely balanced. That includes issues that probably will not be tested in a vote.

It is sobering to think that right now, there would not be enough parliamentary support to send training troops to Iraq – although a vote wasn’t required to do so.

And there would be enough parliamentary support to get rid of section 70 of the Social Welfare Act, which requires the elderly to forfeit overseas annuities and retirement funds by the amount of New Zealand superannuation they are getting.

If such a measure were to pass in a private member’s bill, Finance Minister Bill English would veto it, as he has promised to do on Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to six months.

It is in the area of private members’ bills that the support parties, and Dunne in particular, can affect the gains of the Opposition.

He supported Moroney’s bill which, despite being headed to a dead end, will give Labour opportunities to campaign on the issue for months. Read more »

Trouble in coalition land?

We’ve had two terms when the National-led coalition government did a pretty good job at presenting a united front. ?With the exception of Peter Dunne, who already went troppo over the last few years (did this coincide with legal highs?), the other partners didn’t openly defy National.

That has changed. ?In spite of National being returned with a record-breaking 3rd term majority under MMP, its coalition partners and indeed National itself are now openly fighting in front of the kids.

There won’t be a referendum on national super while John Key is Prime Minister.

He has shot down ACT leader David Seymour’s call for the people to decide how superannuation should be funded.

Mr Seymour told his party’s annual conference on Saturday the current scheme wasn’t viable in the long term and there had to be changes to make it financially sustainable.

He wants an expert group appointed to come up with options for a referendum, and says raising the age from 65 isn’t the only one available.

Mr Key isn’t interested and says Mr Seymour, a government ally, didn’t talk to him before raising the issue.

“I read about it in the newspaper,” he said.

“There won’t be a referendum. The National Party is clear on super – the age should stay at 65 and the entitlement at 66 percent (of the average wage).”

During the 2008 election campaign, which he won, Mr Key pledged that if there was any change to national super under his watch he would resign from parliament.

There you go. ?”Don’t broadside me in the media, son”, says Key to minnow David. ? “We do these things behind the scenes where I can tell you to stop playing games.”

Says one commenter:

John Key has no problem spending $26 million on flag referendum but unwilling to spend any money on one as important as the future financial security of our country and how to fund superannuation.

But add this to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party being extremely vocal against sending New Zealand troops to Iraq, and in public at least, this coalition government looks far from a cohesive team.

I don’t get a sense this is by design. ? Key’s having trouble with his back bench, can’t see eye to eye with Joyce who wants to keep giving money away to SkyCity and Team New Zealand no matter the public opposition, had to pull the plug on Parata’s charter schools, is getting constant static from Bill English over delivering a surplus, and he’s now bickering with coalition partners through the media.

To seasoned observers, these are interesting developments.

– NZN via 3 News

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Will the Green Taliban ever be part of a coalition government?


I don’t think so. ?They are petulant and self righteous, and expect way too much in return for their actual support base.

What about Labour and the Greens, eh? Can’t live together, can’t live apart.

Just how the two parties can co-habit on the Left has been one of the longest-running conundrums since MMP was a pup.

How can they turn being allies – or is that just very good friends – into benefits for both? And how can they draw the line between potential co-operation in government and competition for votes?

And then there have been the parties playing gooseberry: once upon a time United Future; ever and always New Zealand First.

As centre parties camped on the fulcrum of power they have been able to force the Greens out of government, when Labour has been in power, leaving them no option but to grimace and bear it.

The real problem for Labour is that it needs to position itself as partnering with Winston instead of the Greens, because not enough voters like the idea of the Green Taliban getting near the levers of power on the back of a Labour vote.

A vote for Labour is a vote for a Labour Green government. ?And how much did the voters run away from that? ? ?Last time, they did it in unprecedented numbers.

Instead of learning from this, the Greens are even more self-righteous! Read more »

Are you willing to play the Winston Peters Lottery?

Get used to it: ?Winston Peters will be part of the government come September 20.

The problem is, he won’t tell you which side he’ll back.

In fact, he’s just as likely to go with Labour. ?After all, they are operating an open chequebook election, whereas National is trying to come off as much more responsible.

If you want to boot the National Government out next Saturday why on earth would you vote for Winston Peters and NZ First?

On the other hand, if you want to keep National in power after the election, why would you opt for Peters and his party?

The truth is you wouldn’t.

If you want certainty Peters doesn’t come into it.

Voting for Peters is a big, blind, gamble: he won’t tell you what he plans to do.

He claims that’s up to voters to decide. Rubbish. Read more »

This election is far from over – Cunliffe

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Labour launched its campaign five weeks ago. Everyone thought at the time Labour was a bit mad to launch so early. Wasn’t the party going to run out of things to say? As it happened, Labour has struggled to be heard over the noise created by Dirty Politics. Maybe that early launch wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Not that it has done Labour much good. On the latest polls, Cunliffe just might be able to stitch together a government but he would have to hoover up every minor party within cooee of the Left wing of the political spectrum. And he would need Winston Peters, who has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of being an also-ran in a government that relies on Hone Harawira (or for that matter the Maori Party).

If anything, Labour’s support has flatlined over the course of the campaign. It’s not much to show for five weeks of hard slog, 5am wake-up calls, squeezing into tiny airplanes, snatched evenings at home, hours of prep for the leaders’ debates, and dispiriting shopping mall walkabouts.

Labour’s support has indeed flatlined, with voters now moving their votes from National looking for some kind of strategic advantage. ? Risky stuff though. ? Read more »