Legacy on line: ‘King’ Winston before country?
Almost 93 per cent of NZ voters rejected him but he's had all the power.
Winston Peters faces a weekend from hell, with his 40-year political career potentially defined by what decision he makes this weekend. No pressure.
At stake is not only the make-up of the next government, but surely Peters’ legacy is also defined by how he finishes his career too.
Peters needs to get some massive policy wins to create his political legacy as someone who actually made a difference.
If the country’s economic and social framework is as broken as Peters claims then let’s see the cut of his policy jib. Merely walking into the baubles of office one last time won’t be enough. Peters needs policy trophies.
Has he got anything or is he all mouth and no trousers?
On the first question – it’s been all mouth and no decisions so far. Because he missed his first selfimposed deadline, which was nonsense anyway and far too ambitious to start with.
He promised the formation of the next government would be completed two days ago, Thursday, but that’s instead turned to chaos and confusion before any formal coalition. So much of the delay can be sheeted home to his own lack of organisation, which once again has been woeful.
It’s always been a mystery how Peters runs his party and we’re less sure now than ever. Who talks to who, who has the power, who sends the instructions and who forgot to organise the NZ First board to sign off on the new coalition arrangement?
Answers: Winston, Winston, Winston, Winston.
Peters talks about this board but no one can find much existence of it. Who are the members and how did they get there?
Question: If Peters needed to get his party’s board to sign off on a coalition deal then why didn’t he tell the board to standby for a meeting on Thursday, October 12, given that was Peters’ deadline?
How hopeless. A working bee at the local church or play centre is better organised than this. Peters blamed board members having to attend funerals for the delays but inside word came through that some of these people hadn’t actually organised time off from their day jobs.
Surely that’s impossible. Peters publicly set the deadline himself more than two months ago.
Did the board even know they had to sign off their great leader’s deal? You’ll never know. The truth might be it’s another excuse for Peters to buy time because he’s torn.
It sends signals of delay and disorganisation rather than decisiveness and clear direction. And sources behind the scenes say the talks behind closed doors have had little structure and focus, which is a worry.
Labour isn’t overly confident of winning. Its sources worry that a three-way coalition for Peters is much harder to justify and accept. Those same sources feel Peters will back the bigger party, National. But in truth no one knows inside Peters’ mind.
I think he’s seriously squeezed between a massive rock (National) and a genuinely hard place (Labour/Greens).
It’s fair to say he’s had a few self-induced sleep-deprived nights over the years and this weekend will be no different. He was served up a shocking MMP election result really. Neither National nor Labour could do it without him, yet voters only gave him a few cards.
Almost 93 per cent of NZ voters rejected him but he’s had all the power.
Pick Labour – and some will claim it’s an illegitimate government as it’s not even close to being the largest party.
Pick National and go with a fourth term potentially unpopular lot, when many argue the election was a vote to change the government. I find it difficult to argue this election was a vote for a change of government. I’d suggest it was more a vote to redirect the current lot to do some things differently.
If this year was a vote to change the government, then so was 2005 when Labour got two more seats than National and Peters’ support got Labour back into office. And that’s the conundrum for Peters.
He campaigned once again as though he was going to change the government.
Grab a bus, remind voters that the people running the show are an unsavoury, selfish and entitled bunch, totally out of touch with what real people need and how they feel. ‘‘Had enough,’’ was the question Peters asked on his billboards.
I suspect the answer is yes, we have had enough. Hence why Peters needs some big policy wins out of this decision because whoever he chooses a whole pile of voters won’t like it.
Had enough? Sure. And NZ First could end up paying the ultimate price in three years.