A snap election needs a crisis

An interesting opinion piece has been written by Liam Hehir, a lawyer and columnist in Manawat?. He compares the political fate of Jens Stoltenberg, the former Prime minister of Norway, with Jacinda Ardern’s, as they both handled a terror attack in a very similar manner. quote.

In the nation’s hour of distress, you respond with compassion, resolution and conciliation. […]

[…] Your personal approval ratings go through the roof.

Your party also gets a big boost in the polls […]

Part way through the parliamentary term, your supporters are convinced that a grateful nation will return your Government with acclaim in the next general election.

Readers may be surprised to learn that the above was not written to describe Jacinda Ardern.

[…] The narrative above, however, recounts the position and actions of Jens Stoltenberg, the former prime minister of Norway.

When Anders Breivik, a far-Right terrorist, murdered 77 people and injured 319 others in and around Oslo in 2011, Stoltenberg won plaudits the world over for his resolute and compassionate reactions.[…]

And yet Stoltenberg was, despite all this admiration, voted out at the very next election in 2013.

His coalition government was replaced by a new one led by the Conservative Party. end quote.

The fairy dust can only last so long before political reality intrudes. The Coalition of Losers is a laundry list of broken promises and Captain’s calls. Like what happened in Norway, at some point people have to stop and reflect and ask inconvenient questions like: why didn’t the GCSB and the New Zealand police know about the terrorist and protect us?

Despite making an excellent case for Ardern’s future election failure by pointing out how similar Ardern is to Stoltenberg, the former Prime Minister of Norway, Liam Hehir still concludes that Ardern is more likely to win than lose at the next election. Quote.

At this point, it seems more likely Ardern will win a second term in office than not. end quote.


Whether he is right or not in his conclusion may well be a moot point as rumours are currently swirling around Wellington that Jacinda is thinking of jacking it in at the next election, and possibly calling a snap election.

A snap election is very problematic under MMP and it needs a crisis like Helen Clark used in 2002 in order to justify it. Clark called a snap election, even though she still had the?confidence of the house, when the Alliance disintegrated and successfully got re-elected as a result.

As there is currently no crisis, it will be interesting to see if one is manufactured by Labour in order to capitalise on the fairy dust still swirling around Jacinda.