But now the question needs to be asked. What exactly does Key stand for?And so too should the electorate.
Pragmatism isn't a principle - it's a modus operandi. Although a genuinely pragmatic pollie would never have let Clark plot her escape - they would have taken the defeat in the house and ridden the issue all the way until 2008...
We know Key does not want to follow Brash's philosophical lead - that he is softer on race relations, privatisation and downsizing the state. But then he's no metro liberal either - his instincts remain utterly conservative. Which is why his appeasement seems so difficult to fathom...the fact remains that Bradford's bill will still make smacking your kids a criminal offence. Whether a light tap on the bum or a ruler across the fingers.
That it has been left to the police to work out the prosecutorial guidelines is a parliamentary cop- out. It is a surrender of policy to the courts - unelected pooh-bahs at the best of times.
Which is why Bradford was grinning like a Cheshire cat on Wednesday morning. She had conceded nothing - and won, proving that the inflexible can have their way with Key and the new National party. That's a lesson lobby groups will always remember.
Sunday, 6 May 2007
The Key Compromise
I rarely read Michael Laws, but this caught my eye, and perfectly suits the picture above. This is Laws on the Key Compromise: