Aint no way to treat a lady

Labour now has two people seeking to be the party’s candidate in Invercargill:

. . . Michael Gibson will challenge Lesley Soper for the position, in what the party have dubbed ”democratic process”.

The two will need to pull together party member votes before a selection panel makes the final decision.

New Zealand Labour Party regional representative Glenda Alexander said contest was healthy for democracy.  

”We know people were looking for a change in the area, this is a chance for someone to front up and put their money where their mouth is,” Ms Alexander said. 

The uncharacteristic decision to reopen nominations could be perceived as a breach of the democratic process, she said. 

”We really wanted to make sure things were more transparent this time …we were criticised for rushing the nominations before Christmas.”   

Michael Gibson’s nomination was received on Thursday evening by Labour Party general secretary Tim Barnett in the ”nick of time”, a spokesperson said. 

Mr Gibson said he had not considered nominating before the first round closed late last year, but after the only candidate was informally announced in early January, he thought he could offer something different. . .

Democracy and democratic principles are mentioned four times in 15 paragraphs of the story suggesting the party is on the defensive of a process which looks anything but democratic and is paying scant regard for democratic principles.

Labour bought itself an argument it didn’t need to have with its policy of a quota for female candidates.

It had one in Invercargill who had done the hard work of standing before but in an act which shows no regard for her re-opened nominations.

The message in that is they thought she was good enough to stand when she didn’t have a hope of winning against incumbent MP Eric Roy, but she’s not good enough  to contest the seat against a new candidate now he’s announced he’s retiring.

Helen Reddy might well sing, that ain’t no way to treat a lady.

It’s also not a good way to run a selection.

If Soper is selected she’ll handicapped with the reputation of the one the party didn’t think was good enough.

If Gibson wins, he’ll start from behind as not man enough to stand against Roy nor troubled by the ethics of trampling over someone who will be justified in feeling aggrieved at the way she’s been treated by a party not nearly as loyal to her as she is to it.

There is no doubt a popular local candidate like Roy attracts votes from people who wouldn’t vote for his party but National will be selecting a candidate by the truly democratic method of voting by members in the electorate.

He or she will start the campaign without the handicaps of internal party machinations.

S/he will have been selected without interference from the party hierarchy and with both the backing of the locals and the determination to do the hard work necessary to earn the votes to hold the seat for National.


11 Responses to Aint no way to treat a lady

  1. Gravedodger says:

    Redefines what “in the nick of time” used to mean.

    Nothing to do with Eric Roy’s announced intention to retire making a much loathed by NZLP HO and former candidate Soper less attractive as they seek to regain control over Candidate selection.
    Not sure where it stacks up with Gender quotas and all the other criteria that are in operation though.

    Methinks a run as an independent might be a goer, not as if it hasn’t a precedent.

    Sure to be a vote winner for the grebour team though.


  2. robertguyton says:

    I was at a candidate meeting, along with Bill English and Lesley Soper, and was disgusted to witness Bill’s supporters, middle-aged National voters, mocking and heckling Lesley Soper for her not having had children.
    What do you think about that, Ele?
    Fair game, those childless women?


  3. jabba says:

    goodness bOb .. you thinking about jumping ship from the Gweens?
    If what bOb says is true, and to be fair he has been known to be liberal with the truth in the past, then that is poor form to heckle people at meetings .. I mean meetings should be places where adults talk in a civil manner to each other .. do you agree bOb?


  4. robertguyton says:

    Btw – they were women, those National Party hecklers, sitting in the front row, nicely dressed and full of clappy support for Bill when his turn came. Bill didn’t refer to their behaviour, but I did when it came time for me to address the audience. I told them what I thought of that sort of low behaviour.


  5. robertguyton says:

    No jabba, I fully support heckling at political meetings and welcomed it whenever I got some, which was not as often as I had hoped. It’s about what is said, Jabba. I don’t expect you’ll be able to make that distinction, but other readers might. Your implication that I haven’t been truthful, btw, is low and quite untrue but again, I don’t expect you to be able to grasp the significance of what you are saying, based on your failure to do so on other occasions.


  6. jabba says:



  7. robertguyton says:

    Put up, jabba.
    Cut and paste that ‘liberal with the truth in the past’ evidence.



  8. jabba says:

    you have been found wanting on the full facts and figures on various blogs .. been banned from a few I note bOb. You state opinion as facts and I have NO intention of playing with you tonight.


  9. robertguyton says:

    You’ve got nothing.




  10. TraceyS says:





  11. robertguyton says:

    In any case, Andrew Geddis wipes the floor with Farrar and Ele’s echo pf Farrar’s non-story:

    … we need to do a quick fact check. First of all, Soper hadn’t “been selected” as Labour’s candidate. Even where there is only a single nomination received, under Labour’s rules (see 256(b)) there still has to be a public selection meeting held and Selection Committee established. This hadn’t happened for Invercargill.

    Furthermore, even in a case where there is but one nomination received, there is no guarantee that this person will be selected as the candidate. Under rule 256:

    If all nominees have been declined by the Selection Committee, the Selection Committee may proceed to select a suitable Party member as the candidate, or refer the selection back to the New Zealand Council.

    Now, that’s not to say that the decision to reopen the nomination period for the Invercargill seat is entirely without question. The rules governing nominations (rules 247-250) don’t expressly permit for this to happen. But nor do they expressly forbid the Party from doing so – all they do is lay down the minimum periods for which nominations must be open. So, at worst Labour has slightly bent the rules in order to produce a competitive candidate selection process with the aim of finding the very best person to represent it.

    Still, DPF might thunder, any sort of meddling with a party’s formal selection process – even meddling designed to make it work better – is intolerable! The rules should be obeyed to the letter, or else the party machine will crush the individual!

    Which then takes us back to 2007, and the National Party’s attempt to select its candidate to run in the new, ultra-safe seat of Selwyn. The local party members did so, formally choosing David Carter as their candidate. Whereupon some of those members complained to the National Party Board that they had been cheated out of a competitive selection process.

    Here’s DPF’s response to the subsequent news that National was not just extending the deadline for candidates to enter the Selwyn selection battle, but was completely wiping out the result of the already completed process and rerunning it in its entirety:

    This is not a common occurrence. I don’t think I can recall another selection where this has happened.

    I know absolutely nothing about the details, beyond what I have read in the newspaper. But what I can say is what my personal view is.

    I think every seat not currently held by National should have an active selection contest. Yes it can be challenging for managing parliamentary relationships, but overall the party gains members and supporters when we have contested selections for seats National does not hold.

    Another reason I support contested selections, is that on current polling National could gain 55 – 60 MPs. And with a policy that all but a maximum of five list candidates must also be electorate candidates, it means that even candidates in the most safe Labour seats have a significant chance of becoming MPs through the list. And a healthy selection process can help ensure that National doesn’t end up with “dud” MPs as happened in 1990.

    So much, then, for the rigid notion that “sticking to the rules is healthy for democracy”!

    Furthermore, let’s remember DPF’s claim that “if [Soper] was the only nominee, and did not break any rules, it is not fair to nobble her after she has been selected.” How did DPF respond to the news that David Carter, the already-chosen candidate for Selwyn, had decided not to even contest the new selection battle?

    “Kudos to David Carter for putting the party first.”

    Kudos, indeed, Mr Carter. Kudos, indeed.


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