- Date published:
12:08 pm, September 12th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, election 2017, greens, labour, nz first, Politics, winston peters - Tags: #ChangeTheGovt, #greenthegovt
It was certainly interesting to see Winston Peters, the master of pre-election, ‘hold your cards close to your chest’ secrecy, coming out yesterday demanding that Labour tell the world everything they think about tax, before the election, despite Labour’s long held position of having a tax review once it becomes government. He appeared to be making a clear line in the sand of when he would refuse Labour and by implication go with National,
Winston Peters has set out a firm new condition of going into government with Labour – it must tell him what its tax plans are.
New Zealand First could not support any Labour government without knowing its true intentions, he told the Herald.
Winston wants transparency on tax but refuses to say whether he will go with Labour or National. Eh?
— Denis Tegg (@denistegg) September 10, 2017
Peters later clarified on RNZ that this was about post-election negotiations, but that Labour should tell voters now what Peters wants to know. Exactly what was unclear, Espiner pointed out he himself knows what Labour’s tax policy is, and it’s not like Labour don’t have a fiscal plan.
It’s also anyone’s guess what the threat means, because what he wants is so vague, but given that Labour are unlikely to start acquiescing to pre-election extortion, this appears to be campaign posturing on Peter’s part. NZF are probably not any more committing to National than they already were (see below), but instead are doing their usual dance of power mongering.
It does beg the question though of what bullshit will be laid down in the week after the election. Listening to the RNZ piece, I almost felt sorry for Guyon Espiner having to navigate around the slippery double speak he was presented with (it’s possible to parse what Peters says, but you still end up not knowing what he means). One would hope that in coalition negotiations Peters is able to be straight, but I wouldn’t wish that kind of communication on anyone trying to form a long term working relationship.
The critical point here however is that 12 days before the election Winston Peters has just affirmed a coalition or Confidence and Supply agreement between National and NZF is still very much a possibility. If you want to change the government, a vote for NZF is a risk.
Meanwhile the Greens are steadfastly pressing the message they started 2 months ago – a progressive government requires a strong Green Party in coalition with Labour, not NZF. This is in part because the Greens have a strong and positive working relationship with Labour and don’t do extortion.
If you want Jacinda Ardern leading a progressive government and don’t want Winston Peters holding Labour over a barrel, party vote Green 💚
— James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) September 10, 2017
In response to Peters’ statements yesterday, the Greens put out this press release,
Winston Peters needs to show us how he plans to pay for his $10 billion of recent election promises before he attacks Labour on their fully-costed plan, the Green Party said today.
“It’s the pot calling the kettle black.
“Peters needs to be held to the same high standard Labour and the Greens have submitted themselves to by having his election priorities fully costed and independently scrutinised.
“The Green Party will release its independently analysed fiscal plan before the election.
“Peters has promised at least $10 billion of new spending this election, yet is still to reveal what new taxes he plans to raise or what public services he will cut.
“Once again, we see Winston Peters holding a potential new Labour Government to ransom. If voters are seeking a change in Government this election, which Winston Peters has not committed to, then the Greens can give that assurance,” said Mr Shaw.
It’s not just about the hypocrisy from Peters or the problems with doing this to a potential coalition partner. It’s also about policy and direction. While NZF has some useful policy from a left wing perspective, their overall approach is centrist and they have a long history of positioning themselves in the centre and actively working against parties left of Labour having power.
And to repeat myself, NZF are still definitely considering supporting a 4th term National government. That needs to be said over and over in the next 12 days.
Here’s a summary of the state of play:
— Gareth Hughes (@GarethMP) September 10, 2017
If you want a further reason to not vote NZF, there’s this.