Vernon Small on the coalition talks

Vernon Small writes:

But even he, in common with almost every politician and staffer, clams up whenever the talks themselves are raised. It might be going too far to call it fear, but there is something odd, unsettling and disturbing about the forelock-tugging and unwillingness on the part of Labour, National and the Greens to  .. what? Upset Peters?

Settling aside the ridiculous lack of dignity the process is forcing on the parties, it is also an affront to the public. No-one is saying all the details of the talks should be revealed, but it is hard to see where the harm would be in a daily briefing of the topics discussed and a clear statement of how the final deal will be done and ratified.
I suppose it gives you some idea of how beguiling is power – and the baubles and salaries of office – that Labour, National and the Greens are willing to play such a demeaning game.
Yep this is what happens when you give all the power to Winston – he sets the rules. What should happen is all parties in Parliament should meet each other, discuss areas they could work together, and then make decisions on the best option.
But as Greens refuse to consider anything but Labour, they have handed all power to Winston.
In an ocean of uncertainty we do know one thing: That the Greens are going to ratify something and require a 75 per cent majority of up to 155 delegates.
Only if Winston goes with Labour.

But what exactly are they to vote on?

Will it be the Labour and Green deal?

Will it be just the Green side of that deal?

Will it be the whole Labour-Green-NZ First governing package, that can probably be ruled out?

But it is extraordinary that something so basic and important is still hidden in the miasma around the talks.

It may be as simple as a pledge to vote for supply and confidence for a Labour – NZ First Government.

Shaw has said he trusts Ardern to negotiate a stable government that last the distance – with a reminder that the Greens campaigned determinedly to get rid of National.

That looks like a promise, ahead of time, to ratify any quarter-way reasonable deal.

It will also be important that any guarantee of support on confidence and supply from the Greens is unequivocal. An out-clause in the “guarantee”‘ provided by the Alliance to Labour and Helen Clark back in 1996 is often cited as a key reason NZ First opted to back National.

So it is the worst of all worlds for the Greens. A pig in a poke.

They are being asked to accept on trust a deal in which they are bit-part players, but give an unequivocal guarantee of support for it all the same. And then they must give Peters the ultimate power to accept or reject either deal.
Roll over Greens and think of Mother England.

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