The Herald has an interesting story this morning about Peter Dunne and the "difficulty" he faces balancing his negotiations with Michael Cullen on tax cuts with United Future's policy position. Here's the link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10493013
The Herald notes that both Dunne and Peters face the challenge of differentiating their parties from the government, and on the strength of any number of polls in the last few months, they're being singularly unsuccessful. In my opinion, the public has correctly identified Dunne and Peters as legitimising the illegitimate, i.e. keeping the Labour minority government in power, and are sending them a message through the polls. The Herald sees it thus:
"Both Mr Dunne and Mr Peters are ministers outside Cabinet in Helen Clark's Government, but their portfolios are important ones.
Closer to the election both men will need to carve out niches for their parties and that may require them to attack Labour - possibly even in their own portfolio areas.
Mr Dunne said he felt he needed to raise the issue of his dual roles with Dr Cullen to "clear the decks" before Budget decision-making began in election year.
"We will be doing our jobs as professionally as we can," he said.
"Provided a fair measure of common sense applies, I don't foresee a problem - but it is an area that has some potential difficulties associated with it."
Aha!! Peter's been supping from Annette King's cup again, as common-sense rears its ugly head! However, I don't believe that Dunne and Peters can successfully maintain this charade in an election year - especially Peters who faces an absolute dog-fight to get NZ First back into Parliament, and who has shown in the past that "marriages of convenience" are quickly forgotten when Winston First is at stake. Interesting times await methinks - what do YOU think?