The Herald continues with the fantasy that there in a parallel universe in which National might agree to make Winston Peters Prime Minister.
Audrey Young writes:
John Key this morning scoffed at speculation that National might consider any power-sharing arrangement with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters as though it were complete fantasy.
Scoffed? This is the equivalent of asking if there are little green men on the moon. It is complete fantasy.
But the notion is not that off-the-planet that is hasn’t been contemplated. Here’s some of the context.
Back in 1996, at the final stages of coalition negotiations, NZ First asked Labour for a power sharing arrangement in which Peters would be Prime Minister for some of the term and Helen Clark the other.
I’m sure Winston did ask for it in 1996, or someone on his behalf did. He may have asked for the Crown Jewels also. The issue isn’t that of course Winston wants to be PM. The issue is whether a party that gets 5% of the vote would ever get their leader made PM.
It was instantly rejected by Labour.
Of course it was. So what makes anyone think that if a party on 28% of the vote instantly rejected making the leader of a party that got 13% of the vote Prime Minister, that a party looking to get 45% of the vote would make the leader of a party that gets say 5% of the vote prime minister?
Herald correspondent John Armstrong raised the power-sharing issue at the weekend in his political column following Key’s decision last week to lift his ban on working with NZ First post-election.
In light of John’s column, I asked the Prime Minister this morning if he would rule out a power-sharing deal and he said “that’s not on the table.”
Pressed further, he said ”No, Winston Peters won’t become Prime Minister.”
ZB’s Barry Soper asked him if it were put on the table, would he consider it, and Key said No.
I look forward to the Herald asking the leaders of National and Labour if they would agree to declare war on Australia, if NZ First ask for it. Also ask them if they would agree to sacrifice their eldest child to Lord Xenu, and become Scientologists if NZ First asked for it. All there scenarios are equally likely – ie zero.
Now I’m quite happy to stand by my certainty. The odds of Elvis being alive are 1000 to 1. I’m happy to offer the same odds against National ever making Winston Peters Prime Minister – 1000 to 1. The only criteria are you must pledge at least $500 (so I would pay out $500,000) and you must pay the $500 immediately to me, and I will pay the $500,000 on the day Peters is sworn in as Prime Minister, backed by National.