This is David Brooks in the NYT on the US situation… but it is accurate in respect of the middle left and right of centre in N.Z.:
“The Democrats are on defense because they are unwilling to ask voters to confront the implications of their choices. Democrats seem to believe that most Americans want to preserve the 20th-century welfare state programs. But they are unwilling to ask voters to pay for them, and they are unwilling to describe the tax increases that would be required to cover their exploding future costs.” (HT M. Rev)
More immediately this is the exact nature of Bill English’s problem right now and the guts of the dilemma outlined by Fran O’Sullivan’s compelling analysis in the Herald.