Why drugs and column writing do not mix

January 25th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

John Armstrong has written a column where he speculates would agree to Winston Peters becoming Prime Minister, after the election.

John is normally one of NZ’s best political analysts and writers.

I can only conclude that when he wrote this, his colleagues slipped him some synthetic cannabis as an experiment in what happens if you write columns while stoned.

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91 Responses to “Why drugs and column writing do not mix”

  1. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    And if his forecast came to happen, you would be posting here defending the wisdom of necessity.

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  2. Than (371 comments) says:

    Prime Minister is a bit of a stretch. Still, a fancy title that strokes his ego might be a harmless, low-cost way to get Winston’s support after the election. I suggest “Supreme Grand Minister for Elderly Affairs”.

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  3. kowtow (6,709 comments) says:

    Polite way of saying poor old John is losing his marbles?

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  4. Johnboy (13,407 comments) says:

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  5. Chuck Bird (4,412 comments) says:

    I do not see why National supports are so anti-Winston especially since he only wants to do what was traditional National policy. That is basically one law for all in most things which I think means no special seats for Maori in national or local government. How many of you National supporters oppose this?

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  6. hj (5,693 comments) says:

    Peters isn’t liked because he is a maverick. National., Labour, Greens United George all adopt a weak unbalanced position on immigration. They are afraid of being shown up.

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  7. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    @Johnboy – at Ratana Hone Harawira expressed an opinion on working with Winston:

    “I’d work with the devil himself if it meant getting rid of John Key,” says Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Peters-wants-to-axe-pro-Maori-policies/tabid/1607/articleID/329648/Default.aspx

    Cunliffe might end up with both Peters and Harawira to deal with.

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  8. wat dabney (3,461 comments) says:

    The Grand Poobah of Aotearoa, in charge of putting out the chairs for cabinet meetings.

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  9. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Peters isn’t liked because he is a maverick.

    Peters isn’t liked (except by some media) because he’s a self interested, lying, untrustworthy, shit stirring, cantankerous destructive bastard.

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,127 comments) says:

    While Armstrong’s projection may have taken the trend out to the extreme, like I said when Key refused to rule NZ First out, despite the situation re the Glenn donation and the $158,000 of taxpayers’ money not having changed from when he did so earlier – you can’t be a little bit pregnant, and you can’t be a little bit of a political whore.

    And if you’re not going to rule out sleeping around with anyone who might hold the keys to Premier House, who’s to say you might not end up performing an unnatural act or two?

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  11. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    Gee, I’d like to have been a fly on the wall when John broached this one with Stephen and Judith.

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  12. nickb (3,629 comments) says:

    WTF?!

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  13. hj (5,693 comments) says:

    Peters isn’t liked (except by some media) because he’s a self interested, lying, untrustworthy, shit stirring, cantankerous destructive bastard.

    ……
    A lot of cmpost without specifics. Who lobbies for immigration: the low output construction sector which has grown considerably since 2002 and suffers from boom and bust. Also the labour/Green social engineers (the Standard calls itself the voice of the Labour movement). NZ Labour no longer has a voice , that voice is stomped on by a grand standing left wing elite.
    funny how PG gets emotional over WP when his life in politics hasn’t advanced beyong cleaning the blackboard after morning talk.

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  14. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    Synthetic Cannabis you say? I haven’t actually ever tried it but from what I have heard it doesn’t have an effect like this.
    This sounds just like Timothy Leary after an extended session on LSD.

    Actually I wonder if the story was intended to be in the paper of 1 April and gor released early?

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  15. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    This is in the territory of Stephen Donald coming off the bench and kicking for goal in a World Cup final.

    But if this is the only way to go over the top and outbid Labour (as in 1996), for another third term then it would be considered.

    Everyone would know it was the final term of a Key led government and the issue for National would be transition to a new leader in 2017.

    Would Key stay to contest the 2017 election or seek to retire at this time. If the latter, then would National appoint Joyce or Collins PM in 2017 or merely as party leader going into the election – meaning would Peters be caretaker PM during the campaign or earlier in the year.

    So if that was the option decided on, then giving Peters notice he might have a period as PM in 2017 might tilt the balance in coalition talks.

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  16. tvb (3,941 comments) says:

    One should never say never in politics but Peters is too unstable and too lazy to be a Prime Minister. But Nationnal could offer him foreign affairs just.

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  17. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    But if this is the only way to go over the top and outbid Labour (as in 1996), for another third term then it would be considered.

    The reason that only people on the Left are saying that the proposition could be feasible under any set of conditions is that they covet power so much that they would be prepared to consider the unthinkable in order to get it.

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  18. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, the example was what National actually did in 1996 to cling onto power. And Labour is not in a position to offer Peters a spell as PM as they would be retaining their leader into the election.

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  19. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I concur with nickb. The Prime Ministership is not a bauble. All substantive political power flows from the Prime Minister. The idea that any major party would trade it away – even temporarily – is cra-zazy.

    Controlling the Prime Ministership is the attainment of power, you don’t attain that power by trading that control away.

    I can only echo – “WTF?”

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  20. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    SPC,

    The suggestion was that Peters would be made PM for part of the term. That is not what happened in 1996.

    Armstrong’s fantasy is far more an indictment on the Left – it exposes who would actually consider the possibility. And it sure ain’t National.

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  21. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    Come on guys, the idea of Winnie being PM for a while could be hilarious.

    For a start off he would not cope with the workload. We all know that Winnie is one of the laziest men to have ever come into the house, we all know that he NEVER read any of the papers when he was a minister and we all know that once he gets in to office he quickly forgets all his electioneering promises.

    Watching Winnie stand in front of the TV cameras every night and actually have to answer questions about policy would be a hoot, his already noticeable twitch would go into over drive as soon as he was put under pressure by the press.

    Winnie would not last longer than a month in the job, he would either fall down dead at the prospect of having to do a sober days work or he would cook up some scandal so he could go back to the peace and quiet of a back bench job.

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  22. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Peters has already been acting PM.

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  23. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    SPC,

    Peters was Deputy PM. That would mean that if the PM was out of country, he would be acting.

    That is a very different proposition to what Armstrong was suggesting.

    You know that.

    I repeat – the only people who think Armstrong’s proposition is feasible under any set of circumstances are people on the Left. It says a great deal about them and the pursuit of power.

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  24. Johnboy (13,407 comments) says:

    Come on now, be fair bb, would Winnie look less pissed than Muldoon at a press conference! :)

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  25. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, what would National do if Key was not standing in 2017?

    1. Would they have him remain PM until the election while a new National leader ran the campaign?
    2. Would they replace him as party leader and as PM in 2017 before the campaign?
    3. Would they consider Peters replacing Key as PM, while the new National Party leader focused on running the campaign?

    The third option would not be their first choice unless it was the way to realise a coalition deal – it is one area where National can out-bid Labour (Labour would not be having a leadership transition in 2017 if they get into office in 2014). This is the point Armstrong makes.

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  26. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    SPC,

    1- Yes
    2- Yes
    3 – No

    Hope that clarifies a few things for you.

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  27. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    SPC,

    Armstrong is projecting – he’s trying to put together a possibility that would see Peters as PM to cut a coalition deal. The problem with projecting is it displays his unconscious bias.

    You see, the Left would countenance the possibility in order to gain or retain power. National would not.

    That is the illustrative point of his article.

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  28. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Actually, I don’t think the left – or at least Labour – would trade it away. The Prime Ministership is just too powerful for a senior coalition partner to trade away. What’s more, the country would never stand for it.

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  29. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    What’s more, the country would never stand for it.

    Enough of the country to demolish National at the polls anyway. And it would be an awful leadership transition for National.

    Maybe John (Armstrong) has just caught the start of year attention seeking bug, trying to outdo the politician’s outlandishness.

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  30. Chuck Bird (4,412 comments) says:

    What do you think Key would say if Peters said he wanted a binding referendum on the continuation of Maori seats?

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  31. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Pete George, if the issue is between realising a third term (via a coalition deal) or contesting 2017 (after forgoing a coalition deal with NZF in 2014), National would choose the former.

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  32. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    SPC,

    And again, all you show us is how the Left view the pursuit and attainment of power.

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  33. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, would National really give up a third term when option 3 delivered them one? Really?

    Key as good as said if NZF was required to form a government then so be it. And if the only winning edge in coalition negotiations was in the transition from Key to a new leader of the party in 2017 was Peters being PM, then …

    For Peters there is the title former PM to his legacy (rather than just acting PM) on retirement, the only quibbling would be over the duration.

    If Key was PM until the campaign period, Peters would be PM less than 2 months of the final year.

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,127 comments) says:

    SPC suggests:

    If Key was PM until the campaign period, Peters would be PM less than 2 months of the final year.

    Given he doesn’t have much time left in politics you may be right. But the Winston I knew would see that as the gold watch, gifted with thinly veiled contempt to a retiree.

    His vision has always been that the company, on the verge of collapse due to having been so unwise as to have refused him the role when he was the obvious successor and instead promoted his inferiors (i.e. anyone and everyone else) would, just as it was facing delisting from exchange due to their incompetence, come find him in the stationery closet and beg him to become CEO.

    And, after a suitable display of humility, he would allow himself to be borne shoulder high into the boardroom to take his seat at the table, his path made all the more fragrant by the rose petals scattered at his feet by the cheering masses, finally freed from the yoke of oppression.

    Horribly mixed metaphors aside, “hey, old fella, take the wheel for a minute while I pop down the back of the bus for a pee” doesn’t quite fit the bill…

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  35. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    What do you think Key would say if Peters said he wanted a binding referendum on the continuation of Maori seats?

    “No”

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  36. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    Some people on the Left might be prepared to vote tactically for NZF to get that party over the line and provide a majority for a Labour-Green-NZF-Mana coalition. This idea might put them off, to Peters’ cost.

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  37. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Rex, if it comes to his choice,

    1. National coalition, or backing for
    2. Labour coalition, or backing for
    3. neither, casting a veto on policy of the government in power.

    The third offers the greatest room for being a de facto PM without any title or baubles to show for it. But would National or Labour accept it, or rather go to a new election.

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  38. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Cato, would National really give up a third term when option 3 delivered them one? Really?”

    SPC – why are you so obtuse always?

    On this basis I prophesy that the next Prime Minister will be Russel Norman. After all, if the Greens make it their bottom line then how could Labour refuse if the alternative is another term in the wilderness.

    The plain fact is that Winston Peters would not ask to be Prime Minister. No National Party leader would offer any minor party leader the office.

    To persist in the plausibility of this bizarre scenario betrays a profound ignorance as to the centrality of the Prime Ministership in our constitution.

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  39. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    This is what Key has actually said about a possible relationship with NZ First:

    Mr Key said a post-election working relationship was very unlikely with Winston Peters’ NZ First but would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

    “In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

    Mr Key said he was now refusing to rule out working with Mr Peters because a few things had changed in recent years.

    That included the fact that it was now six years since the Owen Glenn donations saga.

    Since then Mr Peters and NZ First had been returned to Parliament and if he was returned again this year that would indicate he had passed a test with the public.

    Another factor was that there were some National voters who would rather see a National Government with NZ First than a Labour Greens Government.

    Mr Key said one unlikely option was that National could form a Government with NZ First abstaining on confidence and supply.

    Mr Key said it was most likely that any post-election working relationships would be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, “as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms”.

    “…a post-election working relationship was very unlikely with Winston Peters’ NZ First but would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.”

    Last cab off the rank behind preferred coalition partners Act, UF and Maori Party, and possible partner Conservatives, then “very unlikely” NZ First. If needed as a last resort and if Peters can be negotiated with.

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  40. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    I believe this was pitched to Labour during the 1996 negotiations. Helen Clark would be PM for two years, Winston for one year. This was rejected by Labour (who didn’t really have the power to grant that anyway, given it required Anderton’s co-operation).

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  41. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, we are debating the suggestion of a senior political journalist.

    I see its plausibility as applying to the election campaign period. I see little difference between being PM for a few weeks during an election campaign period (especially as it is unlikely that Peters would contest 2017) and his earlier acting PM while in office as deputy PM.

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  42. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I don’t see why the possibility of Key’s retirement would create the conditions for a minor party Prime Minster. There was no suggestion Menzies Campbell become PM when Tony Blair stepped down. Nor was there a suggestion that Jim Anderton become PM when Lange retired and Labour had to choose a successor. Nobody said that Jeremy Thorpe ought to become caretaker PM when Harold Wilson stepped down.

    What will happen is that National will select a caretaker leader to take them into the next election. Unless some contender convinces the party that he or she has a real shot at winning, then they might be less of a caretaker,

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  43. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    SPC,

    And so yet again you show us how the Left view the pursuit and retention of power.

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  44. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “[a] of a senior political journalist.”

    Oh heaven forfend! I didn’t realise that the positer of this insane scenario was a political journalist, let alone a senior one. It is well-known that this is the highest and most valid appeal to authority. When a senior political journalist opines on such matters, we must all suspend our judgment on the subject, right? Who are we to question the senior political journalist?

    Oh no! It seems that DPF, a “senior” political blogger, believes that anyone who writes this must be under influence of a mind altering substance.

    Conflicting experts! Whatever shall we do?! Oh no! Whatever shall we do?!

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  45. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    “I don’t see why the possibility of Key’s retirement would create the conditions for a minor party Prime Minster. There was no suggestion Menzies Campbell become PM when Tony Blair stepped down. Nor was there a suggestion that Jim Anderton become PM when Lange retired and Labour had to choose a successor. Nobody said that Jeremy Thorpe ought to become caretaker PM when Harold Wilson stepped down.”

    All FPP majority governments, not particularly relevant to MMP politics.

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  46. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Here is what will happen. If John Key wins a third term he will carefully manage the succession and his favoured candidate will emerge as leader. If National have no chance of winning in 2017, then there will be an interregnum with a caretaker leader.

    Wanna bet on it SPC? I’ll give you good odds.

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  47. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    bhudson

    “SPC,

    And so yet again you show us how the Left view the pursuit and retention of power.”

    Or, SPC could just be discussing one of the many possibilities under an MMP system.

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  48. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “…not particularly relevant to MMP politics…”

    Please explain. C&S under a coalition or other deal won’t be personally tied to John Key. That being the case, what’s the substantive difference?

    MMP governs how Parliament is elected, not how it functions.

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  49. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    (who didn’t really have the power to grant that anyway, given it required Anderton’s co-operation)
    And unless National had the numbers with just Peters it would presumably require some sort of approval from other confidence and supply parties.

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  50. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, should we infer from National’s use of ACT on one side and the MP on the other, as how the right pursue, seek to retain and exercise power? Or just that MMP is what it is.

    Was the threat to abolish the Maori seats a device to coerce the Maori seat dependent MP in servitude to National in return for retention of the seats?

    Turning them into a client vassal, much like ACT in Epsom and United in Ohariu and the Conservatives in the McCully electorate.

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  51. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I’ll just say this, SPC. You are an odd fellow.

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  52. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, I think Key will take no part in the succession choice debate.

    And I do not think Key would run again in 2017 (if he was reliant on NZF in 2014-17).

    I do not think National would deliberately choose a caretaker in 2017, but the leader they expected to run again in 2020. Whether they would last to 2020 is hard to say and electoral defeat in 2020 could end their time anyway. Given realism as to the electoral cycle, they would probably win in 2023 if given another go, but it’s asking a lot of others in caucus to allow this.

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  53. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    should we infer from National’s use of ACT on one side and the MP on the other, as how the right pursue, seek to retain and exercise power?

    That would be best posed to Helen Clark – using the Progressives and the Greens as examples. After all, she has direct experience.

    Turning them into a client vassal

    Because their voting record illustrates that, right? [/sarc]

    That parties will bolster their strength in Parliament with like-minded parties, or parties which they negotiate with issue-by-issue is, of course, a by-product of a proportional electoral system. By no means, other than wild, imaginative speculation [e.g. Armstrong], does that lead to Peters being gifted the PM role.

    To accept that as plausible option to retain power is a ‘logic’ [in the broadest possible sense of the term] no different to that which Cato presented above – that we could anticipate that Russel Norman will demand that Cunliffe step aside and make him PM as it is a better alternative to National being in govt again.

    Or, in other words, it’s ludicrous fantasy.

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  54. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, so you are one of those who makes such remarks about others before an audience you think this might impress. It’s not a flattering comment by you about Kiwiblog posters is it? Nor does it do you any credit.

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  55. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    Cato “…not particularly relevant to MMP politics…”

    Please explain. C&S under a coalition or other deal won’t be personally tied to John Key. That being the case, what’s the substantive difference?

    MMP governs how Parliament is elected, not how it functions.”

    All of your examples were majority governments where minority partners weren’t even needed, so there’s no relevance to what’s being theorised here. Obviously a minor party would need some sort of leverage to negotiate such a deal, and all the minor parties in your examples had none.

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  56. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, the Greens were partners in the Alliance with Progressives/New Labour. They are often in agreement.

    National can move to either ACT or the MP to get a majority. Not the same thing.

    If the MP had not given their confidence and supply vote to National would we still have Maori electorate seats?

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  57. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    Pete George

    “And unless National had the numbers with just Peters it would presumably require some sort of approval from other confidence and supply parties.”

    You’re quite right. Realistically NZF would have to get something in the teens at least to be seriously entertaining this sort of possibility. But who knows, maybe we will see this sort of arrangement in the future (Labour/Greens perhaps?) so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having this sort of discussion.

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  58. martinh (830 comments) says:

    Maybe John and Winston a sleeping together

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  59. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    cato – “On this basis I prophesy that the next Prime Minister will be Russel Norman. After all, if the Greens make it their bottom line then how could Labour refuse if the alternative is another term in the wilderness.”

    Minister of Finance for Russel Norman then?

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  60. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    If the MP had not given their confidence and supply vote to National would we still have Maori electorate seats?

    Yes. John Key had made it clear in advance of the 2008 election that abolition of Maori seats would not occur before 2014 and was linked to the conclusion of historical Treaty settlements.

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  61. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    the Greens were partners in the Alliance with Progressives/New Labour. They are often in agreement.

    The Greens were not in partnership with NZ First at any time. In her final 3 year term, Labour was in coalition with Jimmy-boy only. A C&S agreement with NZ First and a similar accommodation with the Greens [Peters getting a Ministerial role and Greens not have formal roles in the executive.]

    So Helen could turn to either Peters or the Greens for support on whatever she might want to pass.

    Not the same thing.

    The only things not the same are the party names and the personnel.

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  62. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Discussion about it is interesting.

    I can imagine Greens pushing for deputy but they are well aware that negotiating power needs the numbers (Turei acknowledged this recently), so they would somehow have to get up close to Labour’s number of MPs to push for co-PM.

    I’m dubious that Greens can get much more than their current level of support, unless Labour collapses. Quite a few people (including me) are happy with some Green input but would not be happy with any sort of Green dominance.

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  63. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, so if the NZF and Greens policy of Labour is exemplified by National with ACT and the MP, how does this demonstrate any difference between the left and right in the pursuit or, retention of, and exercise of power under MMP?

    National had Peters as deputy PM, Labour rejected the idea of him having a period of PM in 1996-1999.

    Why does Armstrong think National will go one step further than 1996? It’s all they have left to offer?

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  64. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, little wonder then that the speed of treaty settlements picked up if 2014 was the goal (not going to be reached).

    You do not think that the prospect of future removal of the Maori electorate seats has any impact on the MP?

    It entices them into coalition in the short term to try and win long term gains that survive the seats themselves, and it moves them to demonstrate their usefulness to the National Party under MMP. Given they compete with Labour for the said electorates, it could be being inferred by their behaviour they are presenting themselves as a longer term partner option (possibly in the Free Democrat role in Germany).

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  65. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    Here is another question.

    Had we retained the FPP method the coming election would already be won by National, only with MMP does the stinking left even have a glimpse of power.

    I wonder just how long the Nats would remain in power under FPP, IMHO it would be at least another two elections or until Key got sick of doing the job. Under FPP I could not see Labour getting back into power until at least 2020.

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  66. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Pete George, yes the deputy PM role is one the Greens may seek at the outset. I doubt that getting it would be as important as other objectives unless they saw it as key to genuine consultation.

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  67. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Why does Armstrong think National will go one step further than 1996? It’s all they have left to offer?

    No, because (as I have made clear earlier) of the lens that he views these things through – the approach of the Left as to the pursuit and retention of power. Something which your viewpoints have reinforced.

    so if the NZF and Greens policy of Labour is exemplified by National with ACT and the MP

    That would be very difficult given that Labour playing with both Greens and NZF predates National’s agreements with MP and ACT.

    I would also point out that it was Helen that permitted Peters to hold the Foreign Affairs portfolio and not be in coalition – to not formally be in government with Labour. She allowed Peters to hold the position of representing NZ’s position internationally without having to profess agreement with it; to not be bound by cabinet responsibility. To have his cake and eat it too.

    Peters was bound by cabinet responsibility under Bolger.

    That is quite telling when it comes to who will sacrifice what to gain or retain power…

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  68. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    big bruv, yes Key’s goal is to emulate Holyoake and win four terms. A bit harder to do under MMP.

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  69. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    bhudson, the example of Labour was exemplified by National – coz being fast followers is what they do. WFF, interest free student loans etc.

    Whereas learning from 1996-1999, the 2005 government decided not to be burdened by full coalition with NZF. One way to avoid this was to have Peters working to a common goal abroad and with freedom of party position domestically.

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  70. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    You do not think that the prospect of future removal of the Maori electorate seats has any impact on the MP?

    Well, if the MP thought it was a very real possibility under a National govt (now or into the future) there are two incentives it would provide them:

    i. support Labour and not National
    ii. require National to support entrenching the Maori seats [a discussion John Key signalled he was open to in 2008 if requested by MP]

    That neither i or ii have occured gives a very clear indication of the MP view on National’s view on the Maori seats in the second decade of the 21st century.

    That being reinforced by John Key’s statement in 2011 that the abolition would be a decision for Maori voters

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  71. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Key’s goal is to emulate Holyoake and win four terms”

    You don’t know that and there’s no way you ever would before the rest of us. Yet you give no qualification to your assertion. SPC, it is your trademark to authoritatively pronounce on the unknowable intentions of others – and that is unattractive.

    I remember when you did it to me, conjecturing wildly about some papist subterfuge when I simply pointed out that you made a factual error in pronouncing that the Sovereign no longer held the title Fidei Defensor.

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  72. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    One way to avoid this was to have Peters working to a common goal abroad and with freedom of party position domestically.

    He opposed the FTA with China. What common goal abroad?

    Oh, you mean he was allowed to have what he wanted and some baubles so that Helen Clark and Labour could retain power.

    Hence why you would see how Armstrong’s proposition could be feasible [with a Left wing govt.]

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  73. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, actually Key has made no secret of his intent to take the public with him rather than make radical change from the get go. He mentioned the success of Holyoake in winning 4 terms with this approach. The interviews were widely published.

    Your failure to recall them is not evidence that I am just making that up.

    As to your reference to some debate I do not recall, maybe it was with someone else?

    Apparently I am on your radar as not being a fellow Catholic and being prepared to debate religion, maybe this explains your resort to personal animosity?

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  74. martinh (830 comments) says:

    “Take the public with them” into higher interest rates and over valued houses which are starting to come down in auckland. Higher mortgage cost on negative equity- yes please il go along with that, not.
    Too little to late from Key. Maybe him and Len will hook up and spend their older days at Showgirls together talking about the good times before what they reaped what they sowed set in

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  75. Johnboy (13,407 comments) says:

    The arms of Keith Holyoake consist of:

    Keith Holyoake Arms.svg
    Escutcheon
    Per pale Or and Gules, on a Mount in base Counterchanged a Holly Tree Gules fructed Or dimidiating an Oak Tree Or fructed Gules, two apples slipped in chief and a like apple in base all Counterchanged

    The arms of JK consist of…Give me all those apples! :)

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  76. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    Big Bruv: “Here is another question.

    Had we retained the FPP method the coming election would already be won by National, only with MMP does the stinking left even have a glimpse of power.

    I wonder just how long the Nats would remain in power under FPP, IMHO it would be at least another two elections or until Key got sick of doing the job. Under FPP I could not see Labour getting back into power until at least 2020.”

    I’m not quite sure. If we had FPP we’d have 120 electorates, 12 of which would be Maori seats. The Mana and Maori Parties would then have a huge incentive to work together; capturing all of those seats in a combined effort would then mean the balance of power (and quite likely their pick of ministerial portfolios) provided one side didn’t beat the other by more than 12 seats.

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  77. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Here it was: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/01/nz_in_wwi.html#comment-1258215

    I remember it well, because it was so bizarre.

    If you can point to a single interview where Key has even alluded to the possibility of being a four term PM, then I will concede to your supposed omniscience.

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  78. MT_Tinman (2,792 comments) says:

    I assume you refer to the current Jafa footy coach Johnboy 08:16.

    The current PM has shown no sign of “gimme” in anything.

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  79. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Cato, what was the papist subterfuge you referred to? Saying that some modern Catholics, such as yourself, supported the continuance of the Anglican state church Crown role?

    In that debate you were stating that the UK was not a secular state because the Crown was defender of the faith and your proof was the legal status at the coronation in the 1950′s. I simply noted how the government had acted with royal assent since to build a multi-cultural polity, and how the heir to the throne sees the Crown role as defender of faith (religious freedom) a position totally consistent with the Crown practice in recent decades.

    The UK will be no more or no less a secular society for the words changing from defender of the faith to defender of faith – for the practice is already in place.

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  80. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    Re FPP, a return would have Greens voting Labour. Abolishing the Maori seats means more voters for Labour in the general electorates etc.

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  81. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    While I agree that the end of the stinking Greens would mean more votes for Labour it would also meant that the morons who vote for Winnie and that whore from Ohariu would have to hold their noses an vote for the Nat’s.

    Either way it would still mean at least another two terms for Key.

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  82. Johnboy (13,407 comments) says:

    Night all! :)

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  83. ZenTiger (421 comments) says:

    Yeah, John Key would make Winston Prime Minister. Right after he’s appointed Cunliffe to the cabinet, and about a week before Rodney Hide replaces Meteria Turei as the Greens Women Co-Leader, after Russel Norman gives the green light (so to speak) on same sex political partnerships.

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  84. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    … after Russel Norman gives the green light (so to speak) on same sex political partnerships.

    Heh, I had never made that connection. How very hypocritical of them!

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  85. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    Here’s an example of what FPP could deliver in let’s say a 121 seat parliament (since we always had an odd number of seats under FPP):

    National 59
    Labour 50
    Mana-Maori 12

    Result, Labour/Mana-Maori government, Te Ururoa Flavell deputy PM, Hone Harawira Minister of Finance.

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  86. SPC (4,669 comments) says:

    No wonder the campaign to return to FPP would only get serious when

    1. the Treaty settlements are concluded
    2. Maori seats are abolished
    3. advocates fail to realise the only threat to their order of rule being secure comes from Labour being able to win a FPP election.

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  87. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (523 comments) says:

    All these discussions are basically waste of time. Labour and Greens are set to return to power easily as per all the polls. So just get on with life. Nobody can stop Cunliffe becoming the next Prime Minister.

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  88. Bogusnews (425 comments) says:

    I think DF is pretty well right. John Armstrong must be smoking something REALLY strong to come up with such a ridiculous article. Either that, or he is mischief making, trying to frighten fringe National voters.

    Peters will most likely get in next time around as he will probably get above 5%. The idea that a party with such a low turnout will then say to National (with nearly 50%) that he wants to be PM is about as absurd as it gets. Especially since while the PM has not ruled out the possibility of working with Peters he has stressed it is “very unlikely” they will ever form a coalition.

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  89. flipper (3,270 comments) says:

    Notwithstanding the delusional comments above, and excluding those commenters that make sense, there are only two ways of looking at Armstrong’s column:

    1. It is the biggest piss take in New Zealand political writing since such pontification was first allowed by the NZ Herald – last century,
    ,
    or

    2. DPF is correct, Armstrong was on cannabis or some mind bending substance of greater strength.

    There is also, perhaps, a sympathetic explanation – he forgot to take his medication while on leave.

    Dumb arse ! ,

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  90. WineOh (428 comments) says:

    I would not shed a tear if Winston were to suffer an unfortunate schmelting accident.

    For me he epitomises the worst aspects of American style politics-
    1. Unsubstantiated accusations and lies about his political opponents
    2. The perennial muck-raker (of course all under parliamentary privilege)
    3. Financially dishonest (give back the money you SOB)
    4. Flat our racist – his stance on asian migration is astonishing
    5. Unreliable – has recanted on multiple political promises
    6. Hypocritical – refuses to entertain the same transparency of his own affairs and party

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  91. adze (1,695 comments) says:

    Armstrong must have been smoking. And he couldn’t even get the details right – Peters was never Finance Minister, he was given a made-up role called “Treasurer”. I don’t think that position still exists.

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