Every now and then an unlikely question vaults into the mind. I had one this morning. Is John Key contemplating an early election?
Why the thought? There was great stress at the recent National Conference about the need for preparation and the need to beware of complacency. It might have been rah-rah hype, probably was. The downfall of Kevin Rudd was sudden and sobering. Every now and then politics has one of these seismic shakeups. The build-up of tension is usually noticed but sometimes the direction of the thisteldown in the wind escapes attention.
I’m sure the Beehive spindoctors are watching events across the Tasman. If Labour goes back comfortably over there with the new PM seeking a mandate to continue the general direction, albeit with dropping a few unpopular measures then the temptation to follow suit would exist. That very temptation will be vilified as copy-cat. I can hear another spindoctor saying pecisely that.
The Government’s riding high at present. As GST cuts in there’s going to be increased criticism. Some potential policies will be unpopular. Let’s seek a mandate. Labour’s still in relative disarray. I sense a growing snese of unease in the Press Gallery. Let's lock-in the Maori party and we've taken some of the wind out of the Green's sails.
Tempting. All the odds suggest I’m whistling in the wind. But I recall in his previous life John Key made a good living by calculated gambles.
The odds are extremely high that the thought has been a waste of time. Still interesting though.