John Key’s announcement that he will quit politics at the end of the year when he is no longer PM is no surprise. He has always given the impression of being a CV builder and someone who lives for the moment rather than the grind necessary to get real change. The same interview shows he has given up on catching Aussie wages.
His comments will be causing interesting debate around the English bbq. Talk about mixed incentives for a deputy.
There is however a serious issue raised. Should Key be running for Helensville ?
Geoff Palmer and the Royal Commission were always of the view that list positions should be used by senior MPs rather than (mainly) being an entry point.
In some countries there is a nominated list member as a deputy for electorate members, so there is an ability to shift to a list and not cause a by-election. And voters know about it at election time. That way say PM Deputy Finance Foreign Affairs and Trade at least would not have day to day constituency responsibilities. And it can be a two way door – ie former Ministers resume electorates if they choose to. Might be something for a longer term debate.
But in the interim I wonder if we are up for a discussion on whether we should, in the medium term, develop a convention of leaders and deputies of major parties being list but not electorate candidates.
And no I never made the suggestion to Helen. And please don’t show this to Phil and Annette while they are having a break.