There’s good reasons for returning to parliament . . .

April 3, 2011

. . . but the opportunity to deliver a valedictory speech and wanting to stick it up David Farrar and Cameron Slater  aren’t among them.

She might just take up the seat, she said. She would rather like the chance of a dignified retirement and to make a valedictory speech. . .

. . . So she says she has reasons to return: unfinished business, the salary, supporting colleagues in their first opposition election, offering institutional knowledge and support. Acting as camp mother, essentially.

Those reasons … and to “stick it up them”.

Stick it up who? Phil Goff?

“I was actually thinking of David Farrar and Cameron Slater, et al. I wasn’t thinking about my former colleagues,” she says. “I don’t think it’s a particularly worthy thing to say, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.”

Having no good reasons for going to parliament hasn’t stopped people before but to Judith Tizard’s credit she’s just announced on Q&A that she will not take up the list seat vacated by Darren Hughes.

Her interview with Guyon Espiner will be on the link above later and if you missed the broadcast it is worth a look.

Her comments are definitely not a vote of confidence in Phil Goff, Andrew Little or the Labour Party hierachy.


MMP gives parties too much power and makes them impotent

March 27, 2011

MMP gives parties a lot of power in some ways but leaves them impotent in others.

They rank the lists which determines the order candidates get into parliament giving them a lot of  control over candidates.

Once a minor party has a seat it has power far beyond its support base even, as both Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne prove, it is no longer effectively a party.

However, the system which gives parties a lot of power also leaves them powerless.

Labour doesn’t want Judith Tizard, Mark Burton, Mahara Okeroa, Martin Gallagher or Dave Hereora back in parliament but under the rules, they are the first five in line to get the seat vacated by Darren Hughes. Only if each in turn does not accept the offer can it be offered to Louisa Wall.

If any of those five returns to parliament we’ll be paying them 11 months salary and allowances which comes to a total of $162,020 to do what?

She or he will go to parliament, sit in the house and have select committee duties until parliament rises for the election in early October. S/he might be asked to be a buddy MP in an electorate but how hard s/he applies her/himself to the task will be entirely up to her/him.

Knowing s/he is only there as a stop-gap gives her/him nothing to lose as Judith Tizard has already made clear:

Goff’s other problem is Hughes’ vacant party list spot – it’s due to go to Judith Tizard.

He views her as a figure from the past and doesn’t want her back.

“It’s for seven months, for some that might be regarded as disruptive,” he says.

But Tizard is undecided – she’s got unfinished business.

“I’d love to make a valedictory speech,” she says.

And if she does – she really will be disruptive.

“The question is whether Phil Goff is the person to lead New Zealand and he’s got to capture New Zealand’s imagination and for New Zealand to see him as an alternative,” she says.

Labour is already unstable. Allowing a former MP to return when she makes it quite clear she isn’t loyal to the leader will only make that worse but the rules of MMP allow that to happen and there’s nothing the party can do about it.


Could Mt Albert go blue?

March 25, 2009

Labour leader Phil Goff said last night the party was ready to fight a by-election in Mount Albert when Helen Clark resigns.

They may have had a head start because no doubt Helen Clark told them she’d been successful in her quest for a UN appointment before it became public, but National will be ready too.

A by-election gives voters the freedom to send messages they might be more cautious about in a general election and while Clark had a solid majority – 10,351 last year  a lot of her 20, 157 votes  would be personal. The party vote was only 14894 for Labour against 12,468 for National.

I wouldn’t bet the farm on a change of colour for the electorate in the by-election. But I might wager an old ewe if Labour puts up a list candidate whose win would bring in a new list MP who lost her seat . Kiwiblog  mentioned Judith Tizard who’d come into that category, a scenario about which Keeping Stock is less than enthusiastic.


Black and blue

February 22, 2009

banner-blackout1

When I started blogging I made my politics clear (I admit to the blue tint in the header and my National Party involvement on the About page).

I did that because I decided not to be anonymous (my name is also on the About page) and having done that thought it was important to be upfront about my bias – though regular readers probably don’t need to be told I’m not trying to be balanced 🙂

I also decided I’d leave criticism of National to others in much the way I might take issue with friends or family when I’m with them but not in front of others; and because there are enough people keen to criticise any party in public without its members joining in.

However, I’m making an exception over the guilt on association copyright law for two reasons.

First because it’s bad law. David Farrar’s guest column at NZCPR  explains why and I linked to several blogs which have covered the issue on an earlier post.

Second because it’s really stupid politics. 

This is Labour’s mess thanks to then minsiter Judith Tizard. But she’s no longer in parliament and her party has seen the light so if section 92a and 92c are retained the mess and resulting problems will become National’s and  the government risks losing far too much of the goodwill and support it’s won if it won’t clear it up.

It doesn’t have to be this way, they can delay the problem bits becoming law when cabinet meets tomorrow.

Failure to do so will exhibit a similar blind refusal to see sense as Labour and its allies exhibited with Electoral Finance Act.

Like Keeping Stock I’m not confident of blacking out this site without killing it completely but I’ll try and if that doesn’t work I’ll certainly be showing that I’m backing the blackout even though I’m blue.


8 new names on Labour list, but where?

August 31, 2008

TV3, The Herald and Stuff all carry news that the Labour list had eight new faces who were promoted over some sitting MPs.

However, none have the whole list nor do they say where the newcomers are placed on it. The Labour website is paid for by parliamentary services so won’t mention candidates either.

On the running average of polls Labour is likely to have no more MPs after the election and may have fewer so Helen Clark will have the task of keeping disaffected MPs in line to add to her troubles.

The new people on the list are:

Rajen Prasad, former Race Relations Conciliator and Chief Families Commissioner;  Jacinda Ardern, a senior policy adviser to British Home Secretary Sir Ronnie Flanagan; Raymond Huo a lawyer and writer;  Phil Twyford, former global head of policy for Oxfam;  Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont;  Maori education advocate Kelvin Davis; Carmel Sepuloni,  an equity manager at Auckland University; and Stuart Nash, who stood in Epsom last election and if memory serves me right conetested and lost the selection for Napier.

I wonder if the CTU will have the same problems with their secretary standing for Labour as the EPMU does with Shawn Tan standing for Act?

Update: I see on Keeping Stock that I should have checked Scoop which has the full list.

Exactly who gets in on the list depends on the party vote and which canidates further back on the list win seats because each seat won puts those in front of them on the list back a slot.

On current polling anyone past the mid 30s will be unlikely to get in unless they win a seat which could include some MPs.

Damien O’Connor at 37 followed by  Judith Tizard, Mark Burton, Mahara Okeroa, Martin Gallagher, Dave Hereora to  Louisa Wall at 43 will be unlikely to still be in parliament unless they win seats. Lesley Soper doesn’t have a show at 77 and unless she requested to be in a totally unelectable position it’s an insult to put a sitting MP so low.


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