As the dust clears this morning, it looks by all the numbers that the Maori Party--formed in opposition to Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Bill--holds the key to any "strong stable government" that Labour can now cobble together. Which means that the key to a stable Labour-led government are Helen Clark's "haters and wreckers" whose post-Hikoi company she shunned, explaining she would take time to meet Shrek the merino sheep but would not take time to meet Hikoi members, "Because Shrek was good company."
Shrek must now be spurned, and the haters and wreckers embraced. Is any deal possible?
Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples, new MP Te Ururoa Flavell and and Party President Whatarangi Winiata are all talking tough: they know who holds the whip hand. Winiata says "he would rather return the country to the polls than compromise the party's principles. 'It may be better to go back to the electorate and have another vote.' Sharples himself says everyone will have to wait while hui are held amongst their members. "It's not just Maori time, it's Maori custom."
It's a good thing we don't need a government, because we may not have one for some time.
It may be that the other minor parties, over the five-percent threshold only by the skin of their teeth, would baulk sufficiently at the thought of putting their necks on the line in another poll so soon after this one that they will roll over and put their feet in the air for Helen. Or for Don? But will that be enough when the first motion of no confidence is raised in the House?
The sheeple have spoken, and it seems we have an impasse. What I wonder will be traded away to make that impasse disappear? Someone will be shorn, and it's likely it's going to be us.