Mañana translates as tomorrow.
But a Spaniard told me when referring to a time commitment it means not today which effectively means an undefined, and often distant, time in the future.
Winston Peters allegedly posed as an Italian at university. He might not claim Spanish blood too, but his attitude to time has a similarly frustrating elasticity to that of the Spanish mañana.
In July he said:
“I make this guarantee that whatever decision New Zealand First arrives at post-election, it will be made public by the day the writs are returned, which is within three weeks from polling day.”
Writ day came and went last Thursday and negotiations were wrapped up between Peters’ party and both National and Labour but there was no decision.
All parties have to run what was agreed past their boards before anything is made public. That shouldn’t be difficult but of course nothing with NZ First is simple.
Given Peters’ guarantee, about the date, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect that his board would have made travel arrangements earlier and been prepared to meet on Friday or over the weekend.
. . . “We are doing the best we can in the way we can best organise it … this country is the same size as Japan. The same size as the UK. We are not a little island nation. It takes people time to organise things, particularly since we are coming up to Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Peters told media this afternoon. . .
Instead, the board is expected to meet today.
Whether they’re able to come to the serious consensus Peters said would be required, is open to question.
Little in known about the board members and Peters declined to give their names.
Such secrecy from any other party would have Peters advancing conspiracy theories and thundering about the need for transparency. But of course, it’s one rule for him and another for everyone else.
But whoever they are, only Peters’ biggest fans would believe that they wouldn’t agree to whatever he says.
So it is possible there will be consensus and maybe we’ll know the makeup of the next government soon, though that might be not be today, or even tomorrow, which could mean the Spanish not today rather than the day after today.
But whenever he makes his decision and announcement, Peters’ propensity to mean anything but what he says, leaves me thinking that no government is preferable to one with him in it.
That isn’t a long term option which leads to the question I think people on both the blue and red side of the political spectrum are wondering about: is being out of government preferable to being in one with NZ First?