The Nats have ‘soft-launched’ via Kiwiblog and Whaleoil that Rodney Hide and John Boscawen will both lose their portfolios and ACT will have no ministers. Farrar points out this will benefit ACT’s taxpayer funding to the tune of $130,000, which is somehow sweet while spending $500,000 on a by-election to get a mandate is a serious crime.
The fact is that ACT does not have anyone who is acceptable to everyone who gets a say:
There’s a ghost of a chance that Hide will leave ACT in a bid to keep his portfolios but, assuming that doesn’t happen, let’s look at the list of Key’s lost ministers:
And how about those sudden mysterious portfolio drops?
Not to mention Power quitting when he was first in line to succeed Key as Nat leader.
Then there’s the support parties. The Maori Party has become so discredited by completely betraying its principles that one of its own MPs left (along with most of its activists) and set up a party that will be its executioner. ACT lost one MP after he admitted he stole a dead baby’s identity and then lost the leader who covered for him to some old duffer who isn’t even in Parliament.
This has been anything but a stable government. And if the Nats fall short of a majority in November, as they certainly will, a second term would only be shakier.