Friday, November 24, 2023

Heather du Plessis-Allan: It would be insulting to David Seymour if he isn't given the Deputy PM role

I think David Seymour has reason to be pretty salty if he isn't given the Deputy Prime Minister’s job.

This is not really about whether the job is really a job or whether it's just ceremonial.

The fact is- it is a title. And that title implies seniority, it means whoever gets the Deputy Prime Minister role is the second most senior person in the Government.

And it would be pretty bizarre if National gave that to Winston Peters over David Seymour, given how many times National told us before the election they really didn’t want to have to work with Winston.

Chris Luxon said it, Chris Bishop said it, Nicola Willis said it- and they weren't subtle.

Nicola Willis said: “I don’t want to go into Government with NZ First"

Now we understand they didn’t have a choice about going into Government in the end, but that is very different to making Winston the second most senior person in Government when he doesn't even have the second biggest party in the Government.

It would be pretty insulting to David Seymour, especially given how close Seymour and Luxon worked together in the lead up to the election.

The best argument for Winston to get the job is experience, but I'm not super convinced by that argument.

There is a long list of people who’ve gone straight into the Deputy Prime Minister's job without having done a single day in Cabinet before.

Don McKinnon under Jim Bolger, Geoffrey Palmer under David Lange- you can go back through history and find more.

Probably the thing that counts most against David for the job is that he’s plugged so hard for it when he’s previously made is sound like he's not interested in the baubles of office.

But then again, that’s something he and Winston now have in common isn’t it?

Probably the easiest solution to this problem is to not pick between the two of them, but split the job instead.

Whether with a time share- one does 18 months then hands it over to the other to do 18 months, or we just have two Deputy Prime Ministers.

But it still doesn't solve that awkward problem, does it?

The guy who the Nats really did want to work with is now sharing the job of equal seniority with the guy they really didn't want to work with.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.

1 comment:

Robert Arthur said...

Yawn again.