The sheer volume of ill-informed commentary about National’s “big win” after the last election was mind boggling. Stuck in old FPP thinking? John Key fanboi-ism? Unable to see past the two big parties? Whatever the cause, it was all such a crock. In reality National’s majority was reduced to a razor-thin one vote in parliament.
If any good is to come of the John Banks implosion, perhaps it will be to drive a stake through the heart of the big win myth. Key has to wake up every morning and do the numbers. His government hangs by a rotten thread. That rotten thread is John Banks. If Banks goes, the Nat’s legislative agenda is in trouble. Zetetic set out the consequences very clearly in this post: If Banks resigns.
That’s the reason they can’t afford to stand Banks down. Instead they have to burn what’s left of Key’s political credibility, as he abandons the ethical standards of the Cabinet Manual, and sets the bar at “may not have broken the law” (actual quotes here).
Banks is a self-confessed liar. Banks is prepared to stoop to any depths (the transcript here is unbelievable). And Key repeatedly insists that Banks is fit to be a Minister in his government. Because he has to. Such is the strength of National’s big win in 2011…