3 more years of this

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, December 12th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: Parliament - Tags: ,

On Breakfast this morning, John Key said that losing a confidence vote “by definition, constitutionally means a snap election”. No. If a government loses the House’s support, then another one can be formed that does have Parliament’s support. Only if that cannot happen is there an election. Key has been PM for 3 years. He should know the basics.

This, from Key’s own department’s website:

If the government loses the support of the House, or if the Prime Minister loses his or her support as the leader of that government, then the ministry or the Prime Minister is likely to change: another party or combination of parties may now have the support of the House, or a new leader may be identified as Prime Minister. Or the Governor-General may face a more difficult situation because the position within the House or the governing party is unclear.

The essential principle in such situations continues to be that the Queen, as a constitutional monarch, or the Governor-General, as her representative, acts in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or Ministers who have the necessary support of the House of Representatives. Where that support is unclear, the Governor-General relies on the elected representatives in the House, and especially the party leaders, to clarify whether a party or grouping of parties has the support of the House to govern, or whether fresh elections will be required.

I, for one, welcome 3 more years of Key bumbling, mumbling, and stumbling his way through the most important job in the country.

37 comments on “3 more years of this”

  1. dv 1

    Key on Morning report again!!!

    • deuto 1.1

      And on Checkpoint tonight unless I am mistaken. Interesting how many times Key has been on RNZ National since the election compared to before.

      My nose (and long experience with said ‘gentleman – Griffin not Key) suggests that Richard Griffin – the Silver Fox – may be involved here.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Labours leader contest is getting all the media oxygen- so the invisible one needs to grab what he can- the usual fluff

        on breakfast radio probably have had their fill of politics for the year- thankyou very much

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I wish the journalists would pull him up and flat out say “actually Mr Key you are wrong, it does not require a snap election if another government can be formed from the MPs already sitting in the house”.

    Probably a lot of the journalists know, or suspect that he’s wrong, but saying something like that would meet with displeasure from their superior and ultimately be a career-limiting move.

    Instead what we end up with is interviewers who just let their subjects say whatever the crap they want without opposition or a critical view applied.

    • Bored 2.1

      Its far worse than you describe: journalists, government MPs and the opposition MPs are all engaged in this collective denial of reality.

      Think Copernicus: he points out that the Earth rotates around the Sun…..the Ptolemaic wisdom was the opposite, and was established for 1500 years, sanctioned by the Church. Accept it or burn as a heretic. But he was right, and his empirical observation won the day. The problem was the time lag, the resistance by vested interest.

      Our reality today is the same, even the populace don’t want to admit that what they are finding out about the conventional wisdom does not comply to the “reality” they have been brought up to accept. Don’t expect the clown jesters of today’s orthodoxy, (the journalists), or the high priests (the economists), or the emperor (parliament) to admit they have no clothes.

      • aerobubble 2.1.1

        Technically the Earth-Sun spiral around each other on a path oribiting the galaxic center, and the planet is not a sphere but an oblate spheriod. Now of course for all intense and purposes Key would not care what happened after he were thrown out, and the best first guess would be a new election. So if you charge me with nitpicking, then look in the mirror, like it frigging matters whether after Key there was a new government formed by some new consensus thus avoiding a election. It would sure need to go to the electorate pretty quickly to get a mandate!

        Attack Key on something substantial like why does he think taxpayers said no to the triple tax cut Labour was offering, tax off food is a tax cut, tax threshold on income is a income tax cut, a capital gains tax was for most people irrelevant and would lower home prices as landlords sold off property – our lack of a CGT is a tax on sole home owners (those who only own their own home).

        The media routinely declared key the winner, and labour voters got despondent and did not vote.

    • newsense 2.2

      the jounros should pull him up. FFS

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Pull him up for not knowing the details ???

      hello… they arent allowed to catch Key out …. thats for labour people only.

      Espiner caught English out when he tried to bluff his way around the $40 mill loan given to Media Works-

      “I have a copy of the document” – he said .. but this was never mentioned again… no headlines about English misleading an interviewer … they wouldnt dare write it

  3. tc 3

    Key knows the basics:

    How much do I get paid
    How much can I get the employer (us the taxpayer) to pay for
    How much are my investments benefitting from our policies
    How much can I make for my mates
    When am I allowed to leave and keep my accrued benefits….not the ones in the public space but the ‘benefits from backers’
    How many more helicopter rides can I have
    Who’s left for my happy snap book
    Spend as little time there as possible.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    sounds like just another of keys deliberate oversimplifications designed to inform any future waverers, or dissenters, that anything less than blind obedience will have him taking his ball and going home…..

    a reminder to the short of memory of just who is the governments only asset….

  5. Ianupnorth 5

    A few unwell NActUFMP’s (who’ll be first to croak, my monies on Sharples) and a few by-elections and it’ll be game over

  6. DS 6

    It depends. In 1912 the Liberal Government lost a vote of no-confidence, and was replaced by Bill Massey’s Reform Party without a new election (it has happened in New Zealand). On the other hand, in that case it was clear that an “alternative” government was able to be constructed. You have to be very careful about whether an alternative is available. In Canada in 1926 there was an awkward situation where a Government that was on the ropes (but had not formally lost a vote of no-confidence), requested an election, but was refused by the Governor-General because the GG felt that the Opposition Leader (who actually had the most MPs) should be allowed to form a government. It turned out that the Opposition Leader didn’t have the numbers either, so a new election had to be called anyway.

  7. Cactus Kate 7

    Shearer didn’t even know who the Labour Climate Change Spokesman was. So I guess it may be three more years of that too.

    • Bored 7.1

      So Prickly One, what little bit of rational self interest in this whole thing do you declare?

      • Cactus Kate 7.1.1

        Sometimes we just do stuff because it is fun.
        This is one such time.
        I can see Cunliffe is about to lose.
        And he shouldn’t as he’s the better of the two candidates.
        Far better mind for stats and business, two areas I blog mostly on.
        Just making the observation.

        • Bored

          Yeah maybe you are right: I occasionally wander over to the dark siide and look at the RWNJ home sites for a little light amusement at the expense of the mind bogglingly dreadful creatures over there. Must say this side is far more fun, so it seems to me rational you come here.

          • Cactus Kate

            At the moment this is the biggest game in town. For one more day.
            No matter who is chosen tomorrow they can look forward to the RWNJ initiation Wednesday.

            • Colonial Viper

              No matter who is chosen tomorrow they can look forward to the RWNJ initiation Wednesday.

              Yep. And I hope MPs choose the candidate who has already weathered this shit-storm over several terms, as opposed to the candidate who as yet to be tested by it.

          • felix

            Don’t feed the nasty old lady, Bored, or she’ll never go away.

            She only comes here because when she writes about this stuff at her own blog no-one cares.

            • lprent

              Nope. That isn’t correct. Bryce Edwards cares about CK.

              I can’t ever remember him mentioning The Standard in any of those blogs and news media posts he does for the herald. But he did today. It from a Cactus Kate post about what The Standard was writing. 

              It was rather weird. I was thinking about it this morning. As near as I can figure out he refers to almost every other political site apart from this one, including some absolute trash posts. Does the NZ Herald muzzle him from referring to this site? Has he had his essential dignity ruffled by a author here? (in which case you have to think about the pysch of a polsci lecturer who can’t stand criticism).

              I must pop this observation into the post ideas 

    • Reality Bytes 7.2

      Interesting. Sound’s like he might be a bigger threat to the NActUMs than Cunliffe… With the potential to win over more of the middle/right-lite Climate-deniers/don’t-carers.

      Or perhaps he wants you to think that 🙂 Crafty crafty crafty. I predict if Shearer gets the leadership he’ll be our next PM.

      (and if it’s Cunliffe, then Cunliffe will be our next PM)

    • Ari 7.3

      That’s certainly not good, but it’s not as bad as not knowing how you stay Prime Minister.

  8. fender 8

    What he doesn’t know he makes up. Sometimes he seeks advice via consultants then does the opposite. The guy is a chump, it’s true.

  9. vto 9

    I was listening to Key on something on the radio today and it was clear that his grasp of the subject was very limited as he bumbled for a bit and then ended it by saying something like “and that is part of that review process”. In fact I think it was about electoral matters.

    He really does not know the basics.

  10. Tigger 10

    Key never considered he’d have to face this reality.

    Get used to it JK. I’m picking problems with your rule as early as next February…the 10th if you make me pick a specific date.

    • Ari 10.1

      Just wait until what’s left of the centrists in Ohariu threaten to revolt against Dunne for supporting assett sales. Will be interesting to see if they can hang on for a full term.

    • Jim Nald 10.2

      May Key be magnificently blessed with plentiful Richard Worths and Pansy Wongs in the next gloriously wonderful three years 🙂

  11. Fisiani 11

    3 more years of strained teeth gnashing John Key put downs…….
    Keep it up chaps. You will sleep better knowing that you are winning hearts and minds

    Genuine comment of good will. Tis the season

    • RedLogix 11.1

      John Key said that losing a confidence vote “by definition, constitutionally means a snap election”.

      Right or wrong Fisiani? Genuine question of good will and all that….

  12. David H Formally Deadly_NZ 12

    Or maybe the plan is that shearer trips over his words, like an attack dog Key is on him like a rash, the public turns on him for making fun of that nice Mr Shearer. Because for the life of me, I cannot see any other reason that you would put him into the shooting gallery, with a bloody great target on his back and ‘shoot’ me in chalk under it. Sorry it has to be Cunliffe /Mahuta for my money.

  13. Bazar 13

    While it may not be the definition, its most certainly the case for this term.

    National have about 49% of the votes, so to avoid a snap election, nearly every other party needs to unite against national.
    A 7 party coalition, including NZ first, mana, and maori, and possibly even act.

    So by all practical means, he’s correct.

    But please, continue to deride him for being incorrect on a literal definition, when its obvious to anyone with half a brain that he’s still correct on the practical level.

    Also continue to blast the media for not spitting in Keys face, because of an meaningless inconsistency.

    • framu 13.1

      “constitutionally means a snap election”

      key word being “constitutionally” – ie: required by law

      so by all practical means he is still utterly inncorect

      completely different to if he had said something like “under the present makeup of parliament it would LIKELY mean a snap election”

      so either he doesnt know what hes talking about or his use of english is so elastic that he says one thing but really means another.

      either of these is bad if your a) trying to communicate import legal matters and b) the prime minister

      it baffles me why people are so eager to make excuses (and invent meanings) for what our politicians say.

      If there is doubt, innacuracies or falsehoods, surely the sensible position is “thats not right – please explain what you actually mean”? (and doubly so if the politician in question is talking to a political reporter)

      • Bazar 13.1.1

        “constitutionally means a snap election”

        He’s still correct, as we would have a snap election, as forced by the constitution.
        You take a government that can’t form a majority, and you add the ramifications of the constitution, and you get a snap election as a result.

        “so either he doesnt know what hes talking about or his use of english is so elastic that he says one thing but really means another.”

        You know, one thing i’ve learnt in life is that people don’t care to hear lawyer speak. It has its place, but its not for casual discussions.

        Lawyer speak is tedious to listen to, often not easily understood, and most of all, people don’t want to hear it.
        This is a breakfast show, some simple descriptions are all that’s needed and called for. A 5 minute lecture on the ramifications of our constitution, just so he can be 100.00% correct isn’t called for at all.

        “it baffles me why people are so eager to make excuses (and invent meanings) for what our politicians say.”

        That works in reverse as well, as this site as created an excuse and invented a meaning to what key said (That he’s so incompetent that he doesn’t know better)

        • Colonial Viper

          He’s still correct, as we would have a snap election, as forced by the constitution.
          You take a government that can’t form a majority, and you add the ramifications of the constitution, and you get a snap election as a result.

          No, that’s not how it works.

          All other parties must be given a chance to form a government first. A snap election is in no way inevitable. If they can, there is no constitutional need for one.

          • Bazar

            “No, that’s not how it works.”

            Yes, that’s very much how it works.
            The only way a snap election will be avoided is if EVERY PARTY besides act and national work together.

            You’d have to be MENTALLY DAMAGED to believe that could ever happen with NZ First, Mana, and Maori in the mix.

            So if National isn’t the ruling power, and no other ruling party can form, then the constitution requires that there be a re-election.

            Thus we have a snap election as required by the constitution if national isn’t ruling.
            ergo: if national isn’t ruling, it “constitutionally means a snap election”

            Is it so hard to grasp this basic concept?

            • RedLogix

              So if National isn’t the ruling power, and no other ruling party can form, then the constitution requires that there be a re-election.

              You have it correct there… but the rest is a rant.

              I agree it is unlikely that the present configuration of Labour/Greens/NZ1/Mana and MP could form a stable government… but equally it is not impossible… at least theoretically.

              But that is completely beside the original point; which is that if the Government loses a confidence vote, it does not automatically mean a snap election. The other parties in the House have the opportunity to form a government … if they can. Only then if no government can be formed would another election be called.

              More importantly you would have to give the Opposition parties the chance to form a government. You cannot deny the opportunity to them.

              The point is; Key was wrong in principle on this and as PM really should have known better.

  14. randal 14

    kweewee is a drip.

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