Opinion: The Labour-Green fuzzy-waffle alliance
The Labour-Green alliance is purely cosmetic.
It is all about image -- and image is crucial in politics where perception and "optics" reign supreme.
For instance, the Left bloc got an injection of credibility just by a simple combination of the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll ratings which have Labour-Greens on 42.4 percent versus National on 47 percent -- a gap of just 4.6 percent.
And when trying to reach voter-land, image is everything -- things need to be rammed down voters' throats.
But when it comes to post-Election commitment, the Labour-Green arrangement is just a warm and fuzzy worthless piece of waffle.
The truth is you could drive a truck through the one-page agreement.
That's because the political reality is a truck will be driven through it -- a truck by the name of Winston Peters.
For Labour-Greens to get across the line, it is almost certain that New Zealand First is going to be Kingmaker.
Winston Peters will choose who wins and make demands of either side.
That means the Labour-Greens can't say who will be Deputy Prime Minister. Winston Peters will demand that.
It means the Labour-Greens can't say how a Cabinet would work. Winston Peters will demand the top roles, and more than his fair share of ministers.
It means there are no joint polices yet -- if there is, they will be the first things that Winston Peters would change.
And it means the Labour-Greens can't even say they will work as a coalition government because Winston Peters might demand that the Greens sit outside and support a Labour-NZ First Government.
Everybody knows that Winston Peters hates the Greens, and would demand that his price is that the Greens are second cab off the rank.
You see, Winston Peters holds the ultimate card. If Labour-Greens don't agree, he will just go with National.
The Greens would hate to see John Key as Prime Minister again, so are therefore prepared to be Winston's doormat.
And that's why Andrew Little and Metiria Turei could not answer the 'Winston question" yesterday.
That's why the Memorandum of Understanding is designed to be torn up -- because it probably will be.
And that's why despite this cosmetically showing a stable alternative Government, the reality is they can't because Winston Peters will most probably change everything.
The Labour-Green strategists have decided that given the Winston-factor, the political reality means this arrangement is the best they could do. There was no other option.
The Labour-Green alliance is fuzzy-waffle -- but crucial and deliberate fuzzy-waffle.