Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good moves

Prime Minister-elect John Key has been making some good moves so far, particularly with his effort to include the Maori Party in some sort of support arrangement. Apparently, the arrangement would include ministers outside of cabinet.

Clearly this is a good deal for Maori, who will be a partner with the Government of the day. That can only help them. It may also help National position itself for re-election in 2011 (though we Labourites may have something to say about that).

Mostly, this is good for New Zealand, not just because of the voice it would give to Maoridom, but especially because it’ll help keep the neoconservatives in ACT more or less on the sidelines—if National doesn’t really need them to govern, ACT won’t be in any position to dictate their far right policy, and that would be a fantastic thing.

So far, so good.


Ann and Michael said...

Har- hadn't occurred to me that this would make them more centrist and nullify ACT a bit. Good take on it! Did you see the Melbourne paper's reaction to our election? I thought it was a hoot:


Arthur Schenck said...

I hadn't seen that article, but I thought it was hi-lar-ious. As I read it, I often thought that common saying in New Zealand, "you're not wrong..." But then I decided to dig up the actual article (which you can read by clicking here).

The "doped slug" thing may a bit over the top, but the election really was, basically, a domestic squabble over whose turn it was to put out the rubbish, or do the dishes or whatever. In fairness to the Stuff article, some of the author's language was a bit over the top, with unnecessary and rather childish jabs by making fun of the Kiwi accent, and it also had a direct misquote. The author wrote: "Outgoing PM Helen Clark warns that NZ could now 'go up in flames in a bonfire ignited by the Right wing of politics'." Well, no, she didn't. She said that she worried that Labour policies, and all the Labour-led government achieved, could go up in flames, which is completely different (and a reasonable fear, given National's history in government).

I think the NZ news media are a little over-sensitive to this sort of criticism because they think they did an oh-so-wonderful job (they totally didn't) in covering the a serious, important election (which it totally wasn't). They're upset because the Aussie article is basically screaming that the emperor has no clothes.

Another possible explanation for the venom is that the Christchurch Press and the Stuff website are owned by Fairfax, while the Herald Sun is owned by their archrival, Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd. I suspect this, too, was involved in their outrage.

But, it's kinda fun watching the sparks fly, especially in the comments posted.