It’s not often I agree with anything Winston Peters says. However, his description of the Greens’ proposed “Labour/Greens coalition” is spot on:
“You have an attempt by one party to destabilise another party by seeming to offer friendship and collaboration in a deal before the election campaign has even started, knowing full well that the other party has not invited that and does not want that. What do you call that? I call it unsuccessful politics.”
Mr Peters also described the Greens’ move as “an attempt to torpedo the strategy of another party”.
The key issue here is that the media were alerted once the proposal was rejected by Labour. I’m presuming Labour weren’t the party that leaked the information – there’s no benefit to Labour in a very public debate about how close or otherwise they should get to the Greens.
Which means that the Greens leaked it. And why not? After all, they’re getting lots of publicity, and the opportunity for soundbite after soundbite about the importance of ticking ‘party vote Green’. The leak though is a full-scale attack on Labour. As Mr Peters described it, a “torpedo” into Labour’s strategy. But with Peters now rounding on the Greens again, and the Greens and Labour taking potshots at each other, it doesn’t bode well for any sort of stable coalition, should the numbers be there come election day.
Meanwhile, National, ACT and United Future are happy campers. And if swing voters want stability, which way are they likely to go?