Epsom stitch-up?

Labour is accusing National of a stitch-up in the selection of Paul Goldsmith as the Epsom electorate candidate.

National has the most democratic selection process and most difficult to rig of any party in New Zealand.

At least 60 members in the electorate, who have been in the party for at least 6 months, choose the candidate by preferential voting.

It would be impossible for National’s board or leadership to influence selection. Such is the feeling about the importance of local selection, any attempt to sway the vote would almost certainly have the opposite affect.

It’s more than a bit rich for Labour to make this accusation against National when its selection process can be not just swayed but determined by unions and/or the party hierarchy.

It’s even richer if the rumour Kiwiblog reports is true – that Labour’s leadership and council have selected list MP David Parker as their Epsom candidate.

Keeping Stock has another example of Labour’s leadership exerting its power in last year’s selection for Mana.

15 Responses to Epsom stitch-up?

  1. Neil says:

    I just can’t understand Parker going to Epsom. He has left the south very isolated for Labour. No top tier Labour politicians living in the region. A new member in Dunedin North and Claire Curran in the other seat.
    I think Labour will suffer in the south from this lack of representation.
    Labour will not come within a bull’s roar of winning any seats in the south,especially in Invercargill

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  2. pdm says:

    Don’t forget Shearer in Mt. Albert.

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  3. Quintin Hogg says:

    The voters of Epsom will look at Mr Parker and ask why?
    He will have no local profile whereas the candidates for National and Act are local residents.
    He will have his work cut out getting past Kate Sutton’s 5112 votes in 2008.

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  4. Andrei says:

    How is it that whenever Phil Goff opens his mouth he puts his foot in it?

    It’s an extraordinary talent.

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  5. pdm says:

    Andrei – I see he and Cunliffe have been calling in to talk back. Seems pretty desparate to me.

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  6. johnsonmike says:

    Ele, it’s clearly a stitch up. Goldsmith was chosen because he was such a weak candidate, a hagiographer of both Don B and John B, who pledged only to seek the party vote.

    Aaron actually wanted to win the seat and would likely have done so.

    None of this would have been lost on those who did the selecting.

    Once upon a time, this seat (which was Remuera most of its existence) had National MPs of considerable quality, such as Doug Graham and Alan Highet.

    It’s dismaying to see how all that went out with dud candidates like Fluffy and Worthless, and the debacle allowing Rodney to grab the seat.

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  7. Andrei says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, johnsonmike.

    If you don’t like this the remedy is in your hands – vote to ditch MMP which is responsible for this sort of thing – an absurdity where parties do not put forward the best candidates and fight for every seat to the last drop of blood because of a perceived advantage in not so doing.

    And at the same time catapulting second or even third rate non entities into Parliament in their party lists.

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  8. Richard says:

    Difficult to understand this move – if its true- cannot see anyone questioning whether it is true or not.
    From a Labour perspective it seems to me to be mad; Epsom will be a battle between National and ACT. Perhaps, I cannot see the moves political parties can make with MMP?
    Ele, your perspective? —–

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  9. johnsonmike says:

    Epsom will be a battle between National and ACT.

    Well, no. Goldsmith has announced he is only seeking the party vote.

    Banks has announced he is only seeking the electorate vote.

    That is not a battle. That is a stitch-up. If stitch-up is too much for you, then, that is a deal.

    Had National fielded a genuine candidate — Aaron — who actually wanted to win the seat, he would very have likely won it.

    It will be interesting to see how National voters actually vote when the day comes. They are mostly very sharp folk. Goldsmith will not appeal to them. But will he appeal even less than John Banks, whose time ended long ago?

    Cam Slater openly said before the election that Goldsmith is “not that electable due to unfriendly personality, so the ideal candidate for National when all they want is someone to take a dive.”

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  10. homepaddock says:

    Mike – you can make guesses about what the voting delegates who made the selection were thinking. But there is no way HQ or the leadership can influence those 60 people which was Labour’s accusation.

    Richard – I can’t understand why Parker would seek a blue seat in Auckland when he could have sought Dunedin North. Neil’s right it will leave Labour with only two MPs south of Christchurch.

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  11. johnsonmike says:

    Mike – you can make guesses about what the voting delegates who made the selection were thinking. But there is no way HQ or the leadership can influence those 60 people which was Labour’s accusation.

    Ele I don’t give any credence to Labour’s accusation. Labour are a bit rich. Hardly any of their electorates have any real say in selections.

    But the good 60 National folk of Epsom will have thought long and shewdly about what they wanted. I suspect Cactus Kate is correct when she says Aaron was misled about his chances by one or three too many of the 60, the way he fell in the home straight.

    I doubt your National machine is unhappy about the result either. They’ll be hoping for two or three Act MPs voting for John Key and Co in the House. Though why they would want to have anything to do with such a bunch of fruit loops escapes me, especially as it looks likely National will win more than 50 per cent of the vote this time — the first time any party has managed that since Sid Holland and National did it in 1951.

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  12. Andrei says:

    But there is no way HQ or the leadership can influence those 60 people which was Labour’s accusation.

    Now Ele, while it is absolutely true that National’s method of selecting candidates for electorate seats is far better than Labour’s, you can’t really expect us to believe that the party hierarchy doesn’t have ways to make its views known to at least some faithful key delegates who will lobby on their behalf.

    And of course nobody will be falling over with surprise if Paul Goldsmith finds himself entering Parliament as a List MP, a suitably high ranking on the List having already been negotiated.

    Nobody’s that wet are wet behind the ears surely that they will swallow that – well maybe Labour voters are come to think of it.

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  13. homepaddock says:

    “I doubt your National machine is unhappy about the result either. ”

    I don’t think anyone would have been unhappy with Aaron either.

    “you can’t really expect us to believe that the party hierarchy doesn’t have ways to make its views known to at least some faithful key delegates who will lobby on their behalf.”

    The delgates are slected by members and have to have been members for at elast 6 months; someone could lobby but that’s likely to acheive the opposite.

    Whether the candidate is seeking an electorate or list seat the party would want the one who’d be best in parliament.

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  14. Andrei says:

    Whether the candidate is seeking an electorate or list seat the party would want the one who’d be best in parliament.

    Best, best …………….?

    Best for who? The party machine or the poor mugs who put them there?

    Two elections ago I went to a “meet the candidates” thingy in a church hall. All the no hoper parties were there with their eager people each promoting their lost cause. Labour was there as their arrogant prat confident in his re-election but also with his insurance policy i.e. a high list position sneering at anybody who dared ask a question implicitly critical of his Government.

    But where was the National Candidate? A list MP with a high enough position on the list to guarantee a continued place at the trough. Conspicuously not there! At a fricking mayoral reception.

    And why not?

    Why spend your evening in a cold church hall filled with smelly peasants when you can enjoy wine and canapes with the local establishment and assorted minor glitterati.

    So I go into the school hall a few weeks later and to be truthful wonder why I bother – its a done deal both of these unpleasant people, neither of whom I’d welcome in my home, are going back to the hallowed halls of power, regardless of what box I tick.

    It’s was done deal, worked out by committees long before I wasted my evening “meeting the candidates”

    What a crock

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  15. johnsonmike says:

    Whether the candidate is seeking an electorate or list seat the party would want the one who’d be best in parliament.

    National has done these kinds of deals since MMP came in. Richard Pebble won Wellington Central thanks to a deal with National. Peter Dunne has remained in Parliament since 1996 because of deals with National. Rodney Hide won Epsom because of a deal with National.

    Richard Worth was an appalling, lazy, inept MP, a disgrace to the seat that once selected the likes of Douglas Graham and Allan Highet.

    Aaron Bhatnagar would be more effective in Parliament than Goldsmith and he likely would have won the seat, because he wanted to and would have campaigned like hell for it.

    Goldsmith was selected because he did not want to win the seat, he will not campaign for it, and he expects a high list placing to get him into the House anyway.

    I just hope he proves a better performer than Richard Worthless was.

    Like

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