Friday, 14 November 2008

National, Act and the Maori Party.

Eric Crampton wrote recently
Key's hope is that building good relations now with the Maori Party will pay dividends in later elections where the Maori Party may well play kingmaker. Key may also be hoping that moving slowly with a broader coalition is a better recipe for longer-lasting economic reform than moving quickly with fewer allies. Our hope is that he remembers to move at all.
and now Homepaddock tells us
She was referring to the deal negotiated between the party and Prime Minister elect, John Key. Details haven’t been made public yet but it’s thought the party will get two ministerial positions outside cabinet in return for giving confidence and supply to National.
What does this mean? With confidence and supply guaranteed by the Maori Party, National could govern without Act. This weakens Acts ability to force to changes to National's policy, in particular economic policy. For those, like Eric and me, who hoped that National would move down the road of economic reform this is bad news. Act has lost much of its power to push National down that road. Key has the votes he needs to stay in in the centre, to occupy Labour's territory and not move at all. "Labour Lite" could be here to stay and we could see the worst government since Muldoon.


Crampton said...

There's a lower probability but much higher payoff potential outcome: that all of this gets the Maori Party onside for serious welfare reform and other interesting moves. I still say lower probability, but wishful thinking makes me happy.

Brad Taylor said...

Eric - they're already onside for welfare reform. It's just that the reform they propose is far worse than what we currently have. I can easily imagine National's right-of-centre populists supporting make-work schemes in place of the dole. That would send us right back into Muldoon territory.
I think Paul is right: the fact that National doesn't need Act worries me alot.