Yesterday's assertion by the National Party that there would be no compromise in dealings with the Liberal Party could not be taken seriously, according to Agriculture Minister Ernie Bridge.
The stark differences in philosophy on issues such as Government intervention in the market place - which had wrecked previous coalitions - were still there and would resurface immediately after the election.
Mr Bridge said National Party leader Hendy Cowan was a good strong leader for the bush with his heart in the right place, but his party's interests would be swamped by the Liberals' superior numbers and hard-line policies when decisions had to be made.
"On the issue of Government intervention in marketing, the facade of a Coalition will crack wide open - the Liberals oppose it and the Nationals support it," he said.
He challenged the Liberals to break their silence and say if they agreed with the Nationals that compulsory acquisition of lamb should be retained.
"Anything less than an unqualified yes from the Liberal Party means the Nationals' 'no compromise' is as thin as the coalition facade itself," he said.
"There is a string of issues where Mr Cowan has a strong commitment to Government controls and intervention, such as milk vending and potato processing, which contrast sharply with the Liberals' free enterprise, non-interventionist philosophy espoused by Mr Court.
"It might suit them for the Liberals to remain deathly silent on these issues until after the election, but voters deserve to have the 'no compromise' stance of the National Party tested well before then."