Sunday, October 23, 2005

New Zealand steers erratic

Well it seems Prime Minister Helen Clark has cobbled together a government, maybe. She has managed to get NZ First and United Future to join with her Labour Party and the Greens, though the Greens are not terribly happy.

NZ First Winston Peters got a plum spot in Clark's government, as Foreign Affairs Minister. But both him and Dunne, of United Future, have said their parties will oppose Labour in areas outside their portfolios. In fact NZ First has started shooting at the glass house it now resides in by wanting to sit with the opposition parties in Parliament. As for Green unhappiness when Labour cut a deal to get NZ First and United Future aboard, "Unfortunately Labour succumbed to the threats from New Zealand First and United Future...we are disappointed by that but we have known all along that that was going to be the likely outcome," Rod Donald Greens co-leader said.

A snap poll showed after NZ First signed aboard says 49% think it is a bad idea. To further engender pessimism amidst politicians and the public, there is going to be a fight over a piece of legislation. With this election, the Electoral Integrity Act or waka-jumping act expired. But one of the deals NZ First got for joining Labour is for this act to be reintroduced. If it is approved, then Members of Parliament can not leave their party and join another party while retaining their seat; this is what the Parliament has been operating under since 2001 with a sunset clause that has now come to pass. Who opposes this measure? Maori, National, Greens, and United Future do. I would say that is broad spectrum opposition.

As I said, Prime Minister Helen Clark may have a government. Check back in three hours though.

Poll shows people unhappy.
Greens stand ready.
Maori party vital in waka-jumping act.

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