You know the old joke. They are lying when their lips are moving.
OPINION: Here are five quotes that show politicians are not being straight about the upcoming election.
1. PRIME MINISTER John Key:
''My primary responsibility is to the National Party and around the country our strong message is two ticks for National.''
Of course, Key wants you to give both votes to National. He's the leader, after all. Except if you live in Epsom or Ohariu or the seven Maori seats. Then you tick the box next to David Seymour, Peter Dunne or any of the Maori Party candidates. But just to be clear, it's do as I say, not as I do.
Key, an Epsom voter himself, will give two ticks to National.
2. INTERNET PARTY leader Laila Harre:
''We have to expand the vote, it's not about taking votes off other progressive parties.''
Key is not the only politician voting for National's Epsom guy Paul Goldsmith. Harre might be campaigning to turn Kim Dotcom into Kim.Govt but she'll give National electorate support. That leaves Internet Party candidate Pat O'Dea short, but increases reluctant Goldsmith's chances of beating Seymour.
Quick MMP refresh: Goldsmith is a cert for Parliament because of his decent list placing. So a win for Seymour gives the National-ACT coalition two seats. Chances are that many left-bloc supporters will strategically vote National in this way. And Labour and the Greens aren't exactly discouraging them.
3. LABOUR LEADER David Cunliffe:
''Labour's position is very clear: no coat-tails.''
It's a miracle David Cunliffe's tongue hasn't tied itself in knots. It's a no to any pre-election deals, he says. Labour would move to scrap the coat-tailing provision of MMP within 100 days of taking office.
This conveniently ignores the fact that to form a government - and pass the promised electoral reform - they'll almost certainly require the support of Internet-Mana. Which was formed solely to take advantage of coat-tailing!
4. NZ FIRST leader Winston Peters:
''We are not going to have the constituency out there misled about us and involving nefarious conversations with other parties... I'm not having journalists write that we are in talks with any other political party because that is a downright lie.''
You can bet your golf clubs that we won't see Key and Winston Peters talking tactics over white sliced bread in the Green Parrot restaurant. But it's naive to think there isn't a level of back-channelling going on between Winnie and National, and, most definitely, Labour. Nefarious or otherwise.
5. CONSERVATIVE PARTY leader Colin Craig:
''We didn't ask for a deal, and we specifically said we didn't want one.''
Riiiiiight. Apart from all the times you did.
Key scuttled Craig's hopes last week by refusing to pull minister Murray McCully out of East Coast Bays. Craig has now admitted he's got next to no chance of winning the seat. And by ruling a deal out, Key pretty much signalled the Conservatives are a risky prospect. Which makes it all the harder for the party to reach the 5 per cent party vote support required to get into Parliament.
However, he desperately tried to spin this into a positive this week.
Maybe its time to rebrand MMP as the mixed message proportional voting system?
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