Aug 3, 2008

Helen's Nightmare

Keeping Stock has celebrated its first birthday with an interesting post on the dilemma facing Helen Clark over Winston Peters. It concludes

Keeping Stock believes that Clark will sack Peters as soon as the Appropriation Bill has passed through Parliament. But that will be too late to save her bacon; she will be seen as having been self-serving and indecisive.

We see the PM's dilemma as bigger that that outlined in Keeping Stock. Indeed dilemma isn't a big enough word to describe the problem she faces:

She has the lance the Peters' boil fast.

She would prefer to have the Government survive until November so the sharp object is being stored away until after next week's vote on the Appropriation Bill.

But she knows that she is vulnerable to Winston stealing the march on her by resigning today, tomorrow or on Tuesday. Or by voting against the Government on supply.

Does she gamble that Winston won't resign or vote no or must she act now? And acting now is a real big gamble. Yes, she will get a positive bounce. But Labour is a long way back in the polls and doesn't even have its list in proper order. But funding is in OK, and National has come back a bit in the polls. By moving now, she could also steal away the post conference bounce away from National.

The PM isn't going to get much sleep tonight.