Maori Party: Best cab on the rank

(Hat-tip: kiwiblog)
Colin Espiner has been talking to Peter Sharples. He sings Sharples’ praises, and rightly so. Then he provides some insights into what the Maori Party will do after the election:

“… when you push [Sharples], he admits that the chances of the Maori Party entering into any sort of coalition arrangement with National is extremely unlikely. I’ll go further. I’ll say this: the Maori Party will not go into a coalition government with National…

“Note that I’m not saying the Maori Party won’t offer confidence and supply to National (although I think this, too, is highly unlikely) or that it wouldn’t consider abstaining to allow National to govern. But I believe a coalition is out of the question.”

Anybody who ever thought that a coalition deal between the Maori Party and National was possible needs their head read. Urgently. Nothing new there.

But Espiner is wrong to say that confidence and supply is “highly unlikely”. Even more likely, should the numbers fall that way, is a tacit understanding that the Maori Party will abstain on confidence and supply, but retain the right to veto anything that it considers seriously unacceptable to Maori.

This scenario fits what Sharples is saying. Better still, it would work really well for both parties. Periodically, National would push something that excites its base but is cruel to, say, the low-paid (for whom both National’s big money backers and redneck supporters have it in). The Maori Party sink this, to the great delight of their supporters. National also get to play to its base, “Oh, if it weren’t for MMP just look at what we’d be doing.”

Note: On 1 June, I posted: “In the rough and tumble of post-election deal making, the Maori Party may be looking for some fairly iron-clad assurances about the treatment of the low paid and beneficiaries, in return for abstaining on confidence & supply, say.”


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2 Responses to “Maori Party: Best cab on the rank”

  1. MacDoctor Says:

    I think you are right, JP. I also think that Key will try to make a deal with them even if he has the numbers to govern alone (unless he gets a humungous number of seats). My impression is that he gets MMP, and knows that it is about relationships between parties, not just numbers.

    I also think Key does not want to emulate our last two governments – Three years of reasonable government, three years of inertia and three years of bad government. He will need to be as inclusive and statesmanlike as possible to achieve something different. Even the admittedly able Clark has not been able to change “government decay”.

  2. Ayrdale Says:

    MacDoctor got it dead right.
    Sharples and Turia now have an opportunity to face up to the elephant in the room, ie, the Maori underclass.
    While it’s a convenient ploy to blame colonialism and everyone else, the Maori party know that Maori themselves have got to address some significant abrogation of responsibility – particularly to their young.
    Sharples has demonstrated his awareness of the issue, and his mana will rise if he has the committment to make some move towards true tinorangatiratanga.
    Key’s political instincts are astounding, and with the Maori party adopting a constructive role a huge ammount could be achieved, cementing National in power for many terms.
    Doesn’t suit Trotter of course, but we have to question his committment to real social justice…

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