Friday, 10 November 2017

Politics: The National Sport

Indicative of the Future, or a One Off?

Oh, dear. Never mind.  Press on.  The first day of Parliament after the recent election in New Zealand seems to have been a major shambles.  Poor Jacinda Ardern was left high and dry on the beach as the tide went out.  

This from Stuff:
So far so shambolic. If this is a taste of things to come in the new Parliament, get ready for a wild ride.  Labour has run hard up against the reality of dealing with the biggest single Opposition party ever, and the panicked scenes as it tried to bargain its way out of an embarrassing vote to elect the new Speaker are a memory it will want to bury quick smart.

While Labour was still scrambling to recover from that debacle, Foreign Minister Winston Peters dropped a bombshell, serving legal papers taking broad aim at a bunch of Opposition MPs, political staffers, a government department chief executive, and journalists, before heading overseas.  It's a fair bet that this is not what Labour's strategists and senior ministers wanted day one of the rest of the next three years to look like.

Trevor Mallard eventually got the nod after Labour needed National's support to get him elected.
  The desperate discussions captured on the floor of Parliament as Labour's leader of the House, Chris Hipkins, tried to salvage a bad situation from turning into a train wreck are just the sort of images Labour doesn't need.

Those images have catapulted what would normally be an in-house, procedural stoush, into a defining moment. They fit the Opposition narrative - the narrative being that this is the same party that only a few months ago was divided, and defeated, that Labour wasn't ready for power, that the next three years are going to be a shambles.
The key question here is whether the shambles on Day One will continue and get worse, or whether the new Labour led government will get better at the processes and procedures of Parliamentary democracy?  Who knows.  But if things continue as they began one thing is certain: it's going to be entertaining.

Jacinda Ardern's face says it all as frantic discussions are held to salvage the vote
Jacinda Ardern Facing Reality: Not a Good Look

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