Matthew Hooton's column in this morning's Herald highlights why we need a strong opposition in a democracy, especially at a time of perceived crisis and when the government can rule alone, without the constraint of another party to keep them in check.
A quick check list from Hooton:
The Health Minister Andrew Little forced to admit the centrepiece of the wellbeing Budget has failed, specifically around mental health.
There's the bizarre 785 million dollar Boomer's Bridge to Birkenhead.
Then, we have the poor vaccination roll-out and the constraint in vaccination supplies.
Also, there has been no measureable improvement in child poverty or housing, both the PM's pet projects.
To top it all off, gang crime and shootings are up.
I'm sure he could go on, we could all go on, and as he points out, a competent opposition would be able to absolutely go to town on the government. But no, instead of holding the government accountable, the National Party goes from disaster to disaster, own goal to own goal, vendetta to vendetta.
The other parties are making the most of it. We saw the return of Winston Peters and New Zealand First this week, and conservative National voters have run home to daddy, desperate for the reassurance and comfort NZF provides.
Act has picked up a few liberal National voters and anyone who continues to think that National has a show in the next election must be optimistic to the point of idiocy, so what is National to do?
It seriously, seriously needs to do something, and something seismic. Do you have to destroy the village to save it?