There has been a lot of talk about what the new government proposes to achieve in its first 100 days. It has set itself an extremely ambitious workload and a very limited time frame in which to accomplish it.
Political parties forced to chafe and fidget in opposition over a long period accumulate a big wish-list. They’re naturally impatient to correct everything the previous lot got wrong. When they finally get their hands on the levers of power it’s like a dam bursting.
There's a danger, then, that some of the Labour-led coalition’s priority objectives will be rushed through with insufficient preparatory groundwork or detailed consideration of the practicalities and possible consequences.
The risks are compounded because the vast majority of ministers have no previous experience in government and will be distracted by prosaic demands such as appointing staff and acclimatising in their new offices. Oh, and there’s the Christmas break coming up.
There’s also the tantalising possibility that neophyte ministers, giddy with excitement at their new-found power, will spin out at the first bend. Defence Minister Ron Mark certainly left some rubber on the tarmac this week when he appeared to rashly promise government funding for the RSA. To mix a metaphor, it looked like a case of political premature ejaculation.
Contrary to what Labour and its coalition partners are contemplating, I wonder whether it would be a good idea for power-starved incoming governments to resolve not to do anything for the first 100 days while they wait for the rush of blood to the head to subside.