Prime Minister John Key has announced which parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.
His preferences are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future and is not discounting the Conservative Party.
He’s also left the door slightly ajar for New Zealand First.
“MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.
“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.
“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.
“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.
“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.
“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.
“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.
“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.
“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.
“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.
“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”
In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.
“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.
With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he 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.”
I sincerely hope that New Zealand’s First’s support won’t be needed, although David Farrar posts on the possibility of asking for it to support a minority government.
It’s more of a vanity vehicle than a party and its leader has shown he’s unreliable.
. . . Winston Peters says the party is making its position clear from the outset that it will not be part of any pre-election discussions or arrangements aimed at subverting the democratic process.
“We thought MMP would stop the gerrymandering and ‘old boys’ arrangements of the past but some political parties keep manipulating the political process for their own ends instead of trusting the voters.”
Mr Peters says the time for talking about forming governments should be immediately after the election and not before. . .
What he means is he’s not prepared to put commit himself one way or the other for fear of losing votes.
Instead he’ll keep everyone in the dark until he can make a deal which best advantages him.