negotiations

It has been 21 years since the first Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) election. But we do not seem to be learning how to get the best from the system. We are treating it like First-Past-the-Post (FPP). It is time to relax and play to strengths of MMP. 

It is an unfortunate feature of the 2017 coalition negotiations that the country seems to be a mad rush to form a government. "Here we are", lament commentators, "days after the election and we still don't know who is going to run the country!!' (Actually, it is the job of the public service to "mind the store" in the absence of a government in all democratic countries). 

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has won the largest single chunk of seats in the latest race for the Knesset meaning he's likely to form a coalition government. However his desperation politics of the last few days exposed a man willing to sink so low as to use the future of Palestine as an election ploy…and that's not all he's capable of. 

Imagine the outrage if a New Zealand Prime Minister, a matter of hours before polling booths closed, took to the social media imploring Kiwis to hurry friends to the polling booths because the Maori are going out in droves to vote...being bused in by the left.

The ink is hardly dry on the latest attempt by Palestinians to present a united front, yet Israel and the United States are threatening them for not doing as they are told and trying to blame them for a collapse in the no-peace peace talks about talks.  

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas want to have another go at marriage.

They can’t promise anything, but are willing to have a try in order to reinstate the dwindling legitimacy they are both suffering from their respective enclaves.

While the crisis in the Crimea has somewhat overshadowed him, Israel's Prime Minister has again this week goaded the Palestinians to do something he knows they can't - recognise not just Israel's right to exist which they did years ago, but now refer to Israel as the Jewish state.  

I opened a newspaper today to see a ‘cartoon’ by Jewish political cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen who goes by the name of ‘Dry Bones’.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has managed to convince the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to come back to the negotiations table...but that's just the easy part.

That John Kerry sure has determination and he’s going to need plenty more where it came from.

A dizzying schedule of shuttle diplomacy has done what Hilary Clinton could not. Convince Israeli and Palestinian leaders to agree to disagree and talk about it.

However talking about possible talks will no doubt prove to be the easy part.