Monday, August 15, 2011

Maybe I Missed Something......?

I blinked twice when I read this editorial in today's Herald.

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?
Just wonderin' aloud.


Anonymous said...

You forget Adolf - there's a big difference between a confidence and supply agreement to an actual coalition.

Rodney came out before the last election in the same wat and also on election night, but was still able to negotiate a good deal.

There's a significant number of disillusioned National voters who will appreciate Don's announcement. They want to stiffen National policy wise but don't really want the other side in. This gives them the security they were looking for. Effectively announcing what everyone already knows.


The Veteran said...

Hmmmm ... cross benches or not.

Coalition nor not.

Bit like the Greens and Winston First.

To be or not to be.

That is the question.

pdm said...

I cannot see Craig getting much traction until we know who else he has with him. At present he sits as a one man band like Janderton and Dunne - even Peters has a few known names tagging on his coat tails.

If good people switch from ACT to Craig's party then he may harm ACT - but until we see credible names I think it is unlikely.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


My understanding is that ACT never has been in an actual coalition but rather had negotiated various policy concessions in return for confidience and supply. For convenience at times I have referred to this as a 'coalition.'

Thank you for pointing out the huge error in the Herald piece. I had forgotten about Rodney's cup of coffee.

However, what is odd is the inference by the Herald that ACT will not negotiate after the election. Now that I'd like to have well and truly clarified.

Not long ago Dr brash was talking about sitting on the cross benches, by implication, with no ministerial posts. But is not ACT sitting on the cross benches now, if it is not in formal coalition?

Anonymous said...

i'm astonished that adolf confuses confidence and supply with coalition & sitting on cross benches has nothing to do with providing confidence and supply unless you wished for act not to give national votes on confidence and supply?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anon 5.20

You are incoherent.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Adolf, like you I call the current confidence and supply agreement where there are policy agreements and ministerial posts a "coalition" for the sake of convenience. In real terms it isn't really a coalition agreement.

The agreement includes a clause that supports government legislation that is not part of confidence and supply.

This is the key element that would be missing in the Don Brash sitting on the cross benches scenario. It means the government would need to negotiate on every element of it's legislative programme. Nothing would be certain.


Heine said...

Yes Adolf, you forgot the coffee they had before the last election. And elections beforehand when Nats and Lab leaders met up to discuss their future partners...

I remember a certain Nat leader trying to avoid Rodney on the street only to be tricked and caught by him surrounded by TV cameras. This is no biggie, except you're right - I wasn't told. It may have been told at the last conference, but I thought the big difference between the Brash ACT and the Rodney ACT was that Brash was going to lead ACT on a more independent path..

Hmmn, it seems not. In fact I'm still waiting for the excitable younger ACT chaps to email me the proof of the 5% promised by Brash that would flock to the party after the coup.