Even though I kind-of hate the Labour Party and I genuinely hate New Zealand First, I just can’t get outraged about this alleged ‘deal’ that Andrew Little has made, in which he’s signalling for Labour voters to support Winston Peters. There’s nothing wrong with deals in politics. Politics is, basically, making compromises and deals. The reason the deal National makes in Epsom is so toxic is because it exploits a loophole in the electoral law. They give a safe seat to a fake party and get an extra MP and taxpayer funding for a gaggle of far-right nutters. That’s totally different to Labour reaching the conclusion that it can’t win Northland and signaling to voters that they should vote for someone who can.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, National has made a pretty astounding deal with its Northland candidate. They’ve given him $70 million dollars of taxpayer money to spend on bridges in his electorate. Andrew Geddis has read the Northland Regional Council’s Land Transport Plan and discovered that the bridges are very low-priority projects.
I am being naive, or is this an unprecedented event in New Zealand politics. The government hands a candidate SEVENTY MILLION DOLLARS of the public’s cash to try and buy an election? This seems like a big deal to me.