The papers are full of the expected establishment hysteria today, trying to paint the election as a done deal for the Nats. Given Peters’ well known love for the media, I wonder what he will make of that? Anyway, the best pundit on the topic so far is Professor Richard Shaw.
A politics professor says there’s no such thing as a ‘moral majority’ in the New Zealand constitution as the wash up from Saturday’s cliffhanger election continues.
National won 46 percent of the party vote, and has claimed it has a ‘moral’ right to govern despite losing its majority.
Professor Richard Shaw Shaw told The AM Show that when it comes to forming a government coalition, all that matters is that a combination of parties can persuade the Governor General they can reach 61 seats. “The word ‘moral’ doesn’t appear in our constitution,” said Prof Shaw.
Prof Shaw said Mr Peters faces his toughest decision yet under MMP, and that it is “not a comfortable position for him”.
“I think that he is caught between a bit of a rock and a bit of a hard place. I think it will depend significantly on what his base says. If his interpretation is that his voters … gave him a mandate to change the government, then if there is a moral question it becomes framed in terms of what the voters want.
“If, on the other hand, he thinks his voters are sending him a message that his job is to maintain a stable and continuous government, which was the National Party’s line, then that’s a different look.”
When asked who he believes won the election, Prof Shaw had this to say: “Nobody’s won the election yet. The people who won the election are the people who form the government.”
Further interesting reading for the day: Mark Sainsbury: Bad blood makes National-NZ First deal unlikely.