Fresh vs stale

The National Party had a big intake of new MPs in 2005 and another reasonable intake in 2008.

A couple of mid-term resignations and end-of-term retirements brought in more new MPs in 2011.

Five MPs have announced they’re retiring at the end of this term and yesterday Bill English announced he would be standing on the list only.

This gives the party more opportunities for refreshment and will provide a caucus with a balance of experience and fresh faces.

Contrast that with Labour which gained few MPs in the last few elections because it lost electorates and sacrificed newer candidates for older ones on its list.

It’s had one new MP mid-term after the death of Parekura Horimia and might get a second in the Christchurch East by-election.

But so far none of the older long-serving MPs are showing any signs of retiring – not even Trevor Mallard although he’s still a staunch supporter of the Anyone but Cunliffe club.

There are a variety of reasons why some people retire and some stay on.

Among the obvious ones are that retiring National MPs can see life, and work, outside politics while it looks like Labour ones can’t.

That raises a question: if people don’t see opportunities outside parliament, how good are they in it?

Whatever the answer to that the contrast between a fresher National Party in government and stale Labour in opposition is stark.

People in #gigatownoamaru see lots of opportunities in being the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest town.

7 Responses to Fresh vs stale

  1. robertguyton says:

    What we are going to get though, is a fresh National party, in Opposition.


  2. Gravedodger says:

    Eventually Robert, eventually.


  3. jabba says:

    new blood will be great .. now lets look at the Gween, Winny1st and Labour MP’s .. enough dead wood to keep a std house in Riverton heated for years


  4. Armchair Critic says:

    Credit where credit is due, Ele. Good on National for creating the opportunity for some new faces.
    Let’s not get too carried away about the reasons, which are not nearly as pretty as you portray them. The truth of the matter is that National are well aware that the last election result was the best they will have for quite a while. Possibly decades. This means after the next election there will be fewer National Party MPs. Getting some to “retire” reduces (but cannot eliminate) the disquiet you and I know is going on in the lower ranks.
    Bill English’s move will be interpreted by anyone with political nous as a sign that the ship of government is about to sink. It means that he can exit quietly from the opposition benches and move back home to Treasury, or a few comfortable directorships in companies I’ll have to selly shares in (after what he did to Solid Energy). Exiting quietly is an honourable thing to do, because it avoids the cost of a by-election that no one else needs to contest.
    I’d not be looking at a contrast with Labour yet, either. They’ll probably start announcing their “renewal” close to the election, to add to their momentum going into it. From this perspective I think National have mis-timed their announcements, this is about six months too early, unless a May election is planned.
    Labour also have a fresh face as leader, against an increasingly tired looking PM. From that perspective 2014 will look kind of like 2008, but with the colours reversed.


  5. homepaddock says:

    No-one thinks winning enough seats to lead the next government will be easy, but it can be done and having some fresh energy and enthusiasm will help National do it. Announcing retirements this early gives prospective candidates plenty of time to get organised for selection and once selected, plenty of time to build a solid foundation for the campaign.


  6. Armchair Critic says:

    Yes of course Ele. It’s politics, so there’s always a not so rosy side. To summarise, your post neither proves your point nor tells the whole story.


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