The Act Party has taken a desperate step by declaring at this early stage that it will give National another confidence and supply agreement after the election.
I blinked because it was the first I had heard of the Good Doctor's announcement and I thought I had kept up a reasonably thorough scrutiny of news each day from NZ via The Herald, Stuff and blogs.
I'm not going to rush off and ask my friends in ACT what on earth is going on because if I did I would feel honour bound not to disclose our conversations. So, here are the questions which cross my mind:
- Was this a decision made jointly by the caucus and the board or was it another 'executive' decision by the leader, as with the reopening of the Maori Wars?
- Is the leader claiming defeat before the starters gun has been fired?
- In what way will this decision help ACT electorally between now and November?
- Does the leadership expect ACT to have just one seat in the new parliament?
- To whom will all the voters who deserted Rodney Hide and the National Party turn?
- Has Dr Brash just handed Mr Craig that elusive five percent party vote so that HE can properly negotiate a position of influence with National?
- If ACT is unable and unwilling to continue Rodney Hide's brilliant example of quiet co-operative negotiation on key ACT policies, why the hell should anyone vote for a party which essentially has become a Jim Anderton lookalike, stalking the streets of Epsom?