John Armstrong writes:
Peters has a track record of competence as a minister. He is a realist. His party would bring stability to a governing arrangement.
Stability and Peters are not words that go together.
I think it would be better for National to go into opposition than be in coalition with Peters, and subject to his every whim. It will not end well.
If National gets 46% but can’t quite get a majority without Peters, then I say let Labour form a Government propped up by the Greens, NZ First, Mana and Internet parties, plus of course Dotcom wielding power in the background. It will be a terrible two or three years for the country, but National would easily win in 2017.
If NZ First are not essential to being able to form a Government, then you might do a deal with them (as National has done with the Maori Party). If say National has 57 MPs, NZ First 9 and Conservatives 6. You could do a deal with both, as you only need one of them to govern. You can’t be held hostage by Peters.
The other possibility is to just run a minority Government, with NZ First abstaining.
But the moment you are reliant on NZ First, then the stability of the Government is threatened in my experience. When a backbench NZ First MP has a brain fart and says something monumentally stupid (The Reserve Bank is foreign owned) or offensive (people who look like Muslims should not be allowed to fly), then the PM will be asked about whether he is comfortable his Government is propped up by someone who thinks or says that. And the Government gets dragged down by the lowest common denominator.Tags: coalition options, Winston First