The Third Term begins - in an arrangement marked by constitutional innovations and odd people in odd places.
Progressives - coalition partner.
NZ First - confidence and supply partner, with Winnie as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
United Future - confidence and supply partner, with Peter as Minister of Revenue.
The Greens - what looks like a confidence and supply partner without confidence and supply, and Green MPs being government spokespeople in a few defined areas. Novel, and interesting.
Overall the arrangement is not the one I would have preferred. My view has always been that the best outcome would have been a Labour/Greens coalition.
Why don't we have one? Simple. The left didn't get enough votes. Through Labour's campaign not being good enough, and the Greens dipping down, we just could not hold enough of the vote to pull through the government our supporters wanted.
We also have to contend with a Maori Party which misled its supporters, through anti-National rhetoric being followed by an unwillingness to deal with Labour due to the personal vendettas of its leader.
So it'll be an interesting three years. One thing I do expect is that the govt will be stable. None of the minor parties involved will want to see an early election, and Winston is on his way to retirement now. The incentives on him, without a seat, are to transform into an elder-statesman type guy.
I would be happier being in government without parties like NZ First and UF, and without politicians like Dunne and Peters, but that is not what the voters dealt. I just hope that in three years time, we can manage something rather better.