Nov 2, 2008

HOS Calls For Next Government To Have A Clear Mandate

We agree with the Editorial in today's Herald on Sunday, the next Government needs a strong and clear mandate. It needs to be stable if we are to survive in the stormy financial seas that are if anything growing more stormy. Will the proposed AXIS Hydra have that clear mandate and provide the desired stability? We don't think so.

The HOS editorial concludes as follows:

And so, with a week to go, the polls suggest there is a mood for change. But the incoming Government needs to have a clear and unequivocal mandate. The crisis enveloping global financial systems will call for strong leadership from decision-makers untrammelled by the need to pander to the competing desires of coalition partners. The worst thing that voters could do on Saturday is to try to second-guess the main party leaders with so-called strategic voting.
We need a clear result to strengthen the hand on the tiller in the stormy seas ahead.

On Winston (we can't resist)

For no matter how much Peters harrumphs and blusters, the donations fiasco has revealed him to be both a hypocrite and a man whose doubletalk has been hard to distinguish from calculated deceit. Clark would need to ask herself whether she should rely, like every administration in the MMP era, on such a perverse dissembler to keep her on the ninth floor of the Beehive. She may believe that she has a political mission to fulfil and that it is fair to resort to any expedient within the rules that allows her to do that. But a real leader knows when the prize is not worth the price.
In the end, Clark may not face that choice, since Peters will probably be consigned to the oblivion he so richly deserves. But she also faces the question of whether a minority Government she leads would have a legitimate claim to power. If Labour were to win significantly fewer party votes than National and yet assemble a ramshackle coalition with the Greens, the Maori Party and the Progressives, Clark could end up with a constitutional hold on power to which it had no moral entitlement. A Government so formed would risk being seen as cynically corrupting the intentions of MMP, which could lead to a regrettable backlash against proportional representation. And a Government whose very existence runs counter to the plainly expressed will of the people is not likely to go down very well in the country that invented the concept of the fair go.