The Soap Box: Minor party leaders the ones to watch

Author
Barry Soper,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Friday, 22 September 2017, 8:36AM
It seems Winston Peters has been overdosing on cantankerous pills over the past few days. (Photo \ NZ Herald)
It seems Winston Peters has been overdosing on cantankerous pills over the past few days. (Photo \ NZ Herald)

Forget Jacinda Ardern dominating personality politics. It's the personalities, the likes and dislikes of the minor party leaders that'll make all the difference. They'll decide who'll occupy the Treasury benches after you've had your say tomorrow.

It seems Winston Peters has been overdosing on cantankerous pills over the past few days. Call him a king or queen maker and his bite is worse than his bark, he hates, no he despises, the title and woe betide any pesky reporter who tries to attach the label.

He instructed the media to raise its sights to the real issues facing this country, like the growing Chinese influence over our resources while his political colleagues, many of whom he claims are in their pocket, stand aside and let it happen.

His loathing of the media's matched by his dislike of some of his political colleagues. Asked if he'd work alongside Act's David Seymour, who seems to have the ability to get beneath his skin, and he become apoplectic.

Peters told the questioner that he's not prepared to take ridiculous questions on this campaign anymore and invited a question of importance which he said Seymour most certainly wasn't.

So it's safe to say Seymour will be sidelined if he joins forces with National and it's unlikely the Maori Party wouldn't be part of that mix either. Peters wants to do away with their seats, something National also wanted to do before John Key was conveniently converted on the road to the Beehive.

And on the other side of the political divide The Greens make Peters see red, although the heat came off to some extent when Metiria Turei imploded. She'd labelled Peters a racist which he said was the lowest and cheapest political ploy, coming from someone without an argument - he had something there. What's more he said recently The Greens were a bunch of raging hypocrites and an albatross around Labour's neck.

He's not too fond of James Shaw either, but the feeling's mutual, particularly after Peters refused to be seen as a minor party leader, refusing to take part in their telly debate with The Greens' leader calling him a bad date and unreliable.

There'll be no outright winner tomorrow night and it's likely to be Peters who will keep them guessing but if you're a minor party you're likely to be on your own, and unless you've got the numbers, you'll be on the outer.

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