Just watching Trade Minister Tim Groser on Agenda, and it is nice to see someone who is so obviously an expert talk on their portfolio area. This isn’t always possible (or resirable) in every area, but likewise it is nice to have one of NZ’s top lawyers as Attroney-General, rather than a non-lawyer.
Later on Mark Unsworth from Saunders Unsworth talked about the new MPs, and opportunities for promotion. He was pretty complementary of the new MPs from both parties (as I have been also). But what I thought was most interesting was his words on the difference between Ministers in John Key’s Cabinet and Helen Clark’s. Unsworth said it won’t be three strikes and you’re out for Ministers, but more like one strike and you are out. And unlike Clark there won’t be a recycling of Ministers six months later by putting them back in, but once you are out, you stay out.
While I don’t think it will be quite as black and white as that, I do think that life will be very different for Ministers under John Key. Up until her final term, Clark had very few realistic options for promotion, so Ministers were safe. Key has a number of very competent and ambitious MPs in the 2005 intake who will be keen to be Ministers within the next term, and a fair few of the 2008 intake will be aiming to become Ministers in the second term (if there is one) if not before.