Just as I have always regarded the Maori Party as ideologically closer to Labour, I think much the same of NZ First – and Ron Mark has confirmed this. On Agenda today he said:
Labour’s probably the closest now to our economic policy than they’ve ever been
Now there is more to working together than economic policy, but that is pretty core.
It will be very interesting to see what policy NZ First adopts going into 2008. Will it be to give first preference to the largest party again? Will it want coalition (Ron Mark indicated a preference for that) and on what terms?
To ensure a change of Government needs more than National getting more votes than Labour. It requires National/ACT/United Future to get more votes than Labour/Progressive/Greens/Maori Party/NZ First. Because I suspect in a bidding contest, Labour will be more willing to do whatever it takes for a 4th term. Student allowances for all Maori students – fine. An extra $20 a week for pensioners – fine.
And let’s not forget what a huge advantage the Electoral Finance Bill will be to the Government, if passed. The Government advertising campaigns will blossom, as everyone is restricted.