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A good time to join Labour

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, November 22nd, 2012 - 184 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour - Tags:

Well there’s not been so much focus on the Labour Party for a long time so I figure now’s the time to point out that, thanks to rule changes (and not just the contentious ones) holding a Labour Party membership has never meant so much in terms of having a say in where the party (and hopefully, after 2014, the country) goes.

With that in mind I’d like to take this opportunity to invite Standard readers who aren’t already party members but who care about the direction of this fine (and occasionally not so fine) institution to put their money where their strongly held opinions are and sign up.

All you have to do is click here, fill in a wee form and make a very wee payment and you’re away.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting up a few posts about how the party works and how you can get the best democratic bang for your membership bucks and I’m sure other authors will be happy to do the same.

Like Mike Smith says – the party needs strength and unity if it’s going to win in 2014. So bring all the articulate and passionate strength you all show here to the party and get united!

184 comments on “A good time to join Labour”

  1. just saying 1

    Okay Irish.
    I’ll do that if the party machinery records my contribution as being given despite my horror at the behaviour of Labour’s parliamentary wing, and not as an endorsement of it.

    I don’t want any spike in membership from the left to be spun as a victory for the bosses.

    • Bill 1.1

      I don’t want any spike in membership from the left to be spun as a victory for the bosses

      Oh, I think even a cursory read of recent ‘ts’ posts and comments (as well as numerous other blogs) would demolish that spin should anyone be so stupid as to attempt to make it ;-)

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      Just like the Tories who don’t mind paying their golf club membership so long as they can keep those dirty Asians out. So much for the looney left’s mantra of inclusion and tolerance?

    • just saying 1.3

      Done. Bitter going down. But I’m starting to feel a bit better….

      • rosy 1.3.1

        I signed up as soon as news of the vote came in and before the Cunliffe thing blew up. I had the bitter going down feeling after that, but got over it. It feels like the right thing – it’s the only way to be in on the left-ward move that we’re looking for.

    • Chrissy 1.4

      +1 : “horror” is the right word.

  2. Peter 2

    Yes, this is the correct approach., provided that all those new members remember exactly what is going on here, and organise themselves to prevent it.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Is it true you can only vote if you hold a 2012 year membership? (which in fact expires in a fortnight or so). So Any one who joins from mid Dec onwards will hold a 2013 membership and be shit out of luck?

    • lprent 3.1

      Not as far as I am aware, but I will ask around.

    • Uturn 3.2

      From last page of comments in leadership outcome thread:

      AmaKiwi 75
      21 November 2012 at 11:42 am

      Correction.

      Labour Party membership: You must belong in the 2012 calendar year in order to vote if there is a leadership vote in Feb. 2013.

      Membership costs: $15 waged; $6.60 unwaged; $20 for your entire family (every family member gets 1 vote). Get forms from the secretary of your LEC or NZLP, Box 784, Wellington.

      • debatewatcher 3.2.1

        Would like to get confirmation about this too please

      • mickysavage 3.2.2

        Not sure.  One of the changes to the constitution said that NZ Council would determine eligibility.  But as a precaution yep join up now.

      • AmaKiwi 3.2.3

        Re-affirmed.

        You will have to have belonged to the party for the calendar year 2012 in order to vote in the Feb. 2013 leadership selection. I re-confirmed that info yesterday.

        Join before approximately 20 Dec. 2012 to vote.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1

          Thanks.

        • Inventory2 3.2.3.2

          Cheers for that AmaKiwi. I’m sure that Labour will be inundated with new members in December who will then resign once they have voted :P

          • Jim Nald 3.2.3.2.1

            Why do that?

            The membership must be in there for the long haul to ensure there will no screwing of the scrum, to hold the parliamentary wing to increased accountability to be more representative of the membership, affiliates and grassroots, as well as to advocate and argue for greater democratisation.

            The real work has only just begun.

          • joe90 3.2.3.2.2

            The tory mind, dishonest.

          • felix 3.2.3.2.3

            Why would you do that, InventedTory?

            Notice how all the tories, after spending months screeching that Cunliffe as leader would be the death of the Labour party, are now openly admitting that they’re afraid of him?

            Just like we said all along. Fuckwits.

        • Clashman 3.2.3.3

          “You will have to have belonged to the party for the calendar year 2012″
          I’d like some clarification around this. Joining now means I have joined in this calender year but thats not the same as belonging to the party FOR the calender year.
          I can see a lot of dissapointed new members come Feb 2013 if whoever gets to decide eligibility ( ABCers?) decides to be pedantic around that wording.

  4. Bill 4

    Done. Well, kind of…

    Can’t help but notice the membership needs to be “approved by the Labour Party”, whatever that might mean in practice. Oh, and you can’t actually make a payment on line.

    It kind of ‘inspires’ my head to meet the desk.

    Compare to the Greens which I just checked out – where you fill the form, tick a “I agree to the terms and principles below” box, pays your money and it’s done.

    edit: Apologies. There is a payment facility. I just noticed an open browser window with ‘continue’…don’t quite know how that happened. Anyway…

    • Peter 4.1

      Incorrect. I just rejoined online. Provisional of course. Will see what happens from now, if I’m reformalised as a member.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      If they start playing silly buggers with party membership approvals and validation like Douglas and Prebble did…

    • debatewatcher 4.3

      Surely the lack of online payments is because of the credit card details fiasco of last year when the data was stored in an unencrypted form?

      In the Constitution and Rules it says that you only pay half the annual fee if you join in the second half of the year – is that applied when joining?

    • Fisiani 4.4

      Anyone can join Labour unless they are John Tamihere. Straight talking straight guys like him are blacklisted. Fair enough we wouldnt want the Labour Party to be infected with sensisble people.

      • lprent 4.4.1

        You mean the fool who left Wishart running a recorder in front of him while he attacked damn near everything in the party, got caught up in some questions about dodgy accounting at his previous employer, left the party with a pile of spurious accusations, has consistently bad mouthed it ever since, and who has been running a stunt to improve his ratings for his radio show by trying to gatecrash a invitation only conference.

        I suspect he has a problem with the clause that says that members aren’t to bring the party into disrepute. It has nothing to do with his politics or his obsessive gender politics (why does he need to measure his dick every few minutes?). It has a lot to do with his not being able to stay out of the silliest trouble.

        Even if he gets membership, I can’t think of a branch or LEC that would want him – and there is no requirement for them to do so.

        • Populuxe1 4.4.1.1

          You forgot him abandoning his two cats.

          • Hami Shearlie 4.4.1.1.1

            I haven’t!! Anyone who could do that is beneath contempt!

            • QoT 4.4.1.1.1.1

              I’ve always said this is actually Tamihere’s biggest weakness. “Ordinary Kiwis” may not give a fuck about low-grade misogyny or possible financial hanky-panky, but you tell them he moved house and abandoned his cats and it is on, mate.

        • seeker 4.4.1.2

          lprent

          “the clause that says that members aren’t to bring the party into desrepute”

          To me some senior members have done this very thing over the last few days . Especially the chief whip and ……..

          Will they be publically censured by Moira Coatsworth?

          They have really damaged my belief in the Labour Party as a party of fairness and justice..I would say that is certainly bringing the party into disrepute. I can’t even bring myself to do what Irishbill asks yet, no matter how I try, I still find them repugnant

          Give me so called smug and smarmy any day compared to untruths, manipulation, smears, disloyalty, backstabbing, bullying, character assassination, etc. etc.

      • felix 4.4.2

        Bigoted traitors.

      • vto 4.4.3

        ” Straight talking ” is always bandied about as if it is actually straight talking.

        In actual fact most all straight talking is just loud mouth ignorant platitudes and bullshit. Which seems to fit the person you speak of there fisiani

        • Jim Nald 4.4.3.1

          “Straight talking” must not be cover, excuse or justification for bullying, derogatory, belittling or disparaging talk.

          Too often, so-called straight talking is used as a dishonest disclaimer to try to legitimise bad language, attitude and behaviour.

        • Kepeing Left all the time 4.4.3.2

          Your wordss are bordering hatred and contempt for someone who has a differing opinion to yours. Aren’t others of the left aloud to have an opinion without being vilified for having differing views? This rhetoric is as bad as Whale Oil. Might want to give others a fair go eh?

          [lprent: vto isn't exactly "left" but you will find that out. Making assumptions will get you dipped in hot oil and neatly dissected by someone. For instance there is no requirement here to be "fair". I suggest you read the about and policy pronto. ]

    • MikeD 4.5

      The criteria is really simple. It goes like this:

      Are you John Tamihere?

      No?

      You’re in!

      On a more serious note, all organisation retain the right to approve memberships, doesn’t matter whether its a union, a golf club or a political party. BTW, the unemployed rate has just been dropped at conference to a mere $5, so if you are in the unwaged category, you’re one Ed Hillary away from being part of the future of left politics in Aotearoa.

      • felix 4.5.1

        Jeez you guys, get your shit together and pick one line each.

        • fender 4.5.1.1

          Yeah I reckon.

          And “you’re one Ed Hillary away from being part of the future of left politics in Aotearoa” might be stretching the truth a little considering Labour are right of centre. Watching that little upstart Hipkins playing head prefect on telly makes me think they are going right off the rails. They are missing the skills of Darren Hughes, he was a better senior whip than the schoolboy Hipkins IMO.

  5. Doug 5

    Do you except National Party members to join Labour? A vote in Shearer in February would be the best outcome for National.

    • Peter 5.1

      As you know, can’t be a member of any conflicting organisation.

      • Uturn 5.1.1

        How broad is the definition of “conflicting”?

        • Peter 5.1.1.1

          ie. Any other political party except the Progressives. You’d probably, at a pinch, get away with being member of the Greens but I wouldn’t push it.

          Definitely not any right wing party.

          • debatewatcher 5.1.1.1.1

            This is pretty standard fare for political parties. From memory only Act allows members of other parties to join. That’s why they had the supporter category, so that members of other parties wouldn’t conflict with the usual rules.

            Realistically I doubt much vetting can or does go on, parties simply don’t have the resources for that. Of course a known name might well be scrutinised more closely.

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.2

            Looks like the Greens don’t allow for dual membership though. Which is a pity in my book. I reckon a lot of their members wouldn’t have been averse to pushing Labour from within while retaining their electoral preference.

            • debatewatcher 5.1.1.1.2.1

              It’s a fair point. I suppose the traditional justification for requiring exclusivity was to stop details of tactics etc. being leaked to rivals. But realistically ordinary members are not going to be privy to any really sensitive information. And when you’re talking about allied parties like the Greens and Labour some sharing of members and strategy would be a positive thing.

              Perhaps a better rule would be to exclude office-holders from dual memberships.

            • George D 5.1.1.1.2.2

              There are good reasons for it. The times when someone becomes a victim of conflicted loyalties offer plenty of problems for that person and their respective parties.

      • Fortran 5.1.2

        Peter

        You are assuming that a list of Nacts members are available to cross check membership applications.

  6. Georgy 6

    I think some posts about how the party works would be great and look forward to seeing them.

    • weka 6.1

      Me too. A clear explanation of the new rules would be good too. Plus how the affiliates thign works (and who they are).

  7. Lanthanide 8

    Presumably becoming a member means I’ll get stuff put in my mailbox in obvious Labour party envelopes?

    • felix 8.1

      It’s ok Lanth, people are still allowed to join political parties in nz.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Perhaps “people” don’t mind getting stuff in their letter box obviously branded with their political affiliation.

        I, being just a “person”, actually do, for reasons I don’t particularly want to go into.

        When I made my $400 donation to Labour before the last election I got an A3 envelope emblazoned with Labour in the mail that I didn’t ask for or expect. So I think I’ll be giving this a miss, unless there is a way to specify in membership that you do not want any mail correspondence (or such correspondence is in discrete envelopes).

        • just saying 8.1.1.1

          You can use my PO Box as your postal address if you’re serious.
          I could file all your mail in my recycling bin

          • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I’m serious. Sending my postal mail to someone else would be rather compromising my privacy, however.

            • just saying 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah true.
              Could you use somone in your whanau’s address? – c/- must be something the party has accommodated before in relation to privacy matters

              • Lanthanide

                Could do that, although they get annoyed enough as it is when the occasional thing turns up there.

                • felix

                  I suppose you’ve tried asking them not to send you anything then.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I haven’t yet signed up to the Labour party, the point of these questions was to ascertain whether one would have the option to not receive anything by mail.

                    So far the answer appears to be no.

                    • Jim Nald

                      Given the modernising moves, there should be a range of options which people can indicate whether:

                      - they might or might not wish to receive mail by post (and even discretely in brown envelopes) or

                      - they prefer to receive electronic mail (and a special or more private email address can be set up in advance and provided for this purpose) … or both.

                    • George D

                      The Greens allow you to specify all correspondence by email. It saves a little of the environment, and a reasonable amount of money.

                    • felix

                      Well George, it wouldn’t be the first thing that the Greens have figured out and Labour haven’t.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      There aren’t many of those, the party doesn’t want to keep paying thousands of dollars to NZ Post for frequent mail outs. Most comms is by email.

  8. Perhaps we should apply to have a special online branch that Standardinistas could join.  We would then have to choose an electorate to be associated with.

    Imagine the power that such a branch could wield … 

    • debatewatcher 9.1

      That would be fantastic!

    • just saying 9.2

      :-D Let’s apply. We’d be like an urban Marae, connected by common interest and camaraderie rather than a physical place.

    • King Kong 9.3

      It’s all about the power for you isn’t it, Micky. Loyalty seems like an inconvenience

    • Bill 9.4

      hmm Wouldn’t a branch wielding an inordinate amount of power be kind of similar in anti-democratic terms to the situation at the moment where the caucus wields an inordinate amount of power?

      Or, as Nietzche cautioned “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.”

      • Colonial Viper 9.4.1

        The democratic checks and balances would have to be set up within the branch.

        But basically, a Standard branch with 1000 members will be by far the biggest branch in the Labour Party (in fact, way bigger than any LEC, with only the affiliates being bigger), so democratically it deserves a very strong say.

        In fact in terms of delegate votes you would want to split a 1000 person branch into maybe 8-10 separate branches to maximise the number of delegate votes you get.

        There is also an issue around belonging to an LEC that you live outside the electorate of. To do that you need approval from NZ Council.

        In fact, what this means is that there need to be Standard branches attached to LECs up and down the country – there is little possibility of a big Mega Branch.

        • Peter 9.4.1.1

          I investigated this at some length in 2005, for an electronic branch for Young Labour. I got as far as getting permission from the Wellington Central LEC to use them as the proxy LEC for the branch. It was Alastair Cameron (current Chief of Staff for Shearer) who gave us that permission from memory.

          So find a nominal LEC to attach yourself to, and it can be done. Right now though, I don’t suggest attaching yourself to New Lynn. Hutt South might be more fun :)

          • lprent 9.4.1.1.1

            Northland or Te Tau Tokerau. Any LEC that puts up Amendment G would be worth being around.

            • Jim Nald 9.4.1.1.1.1

              Having electronic branches as Peter notes is a great idea.

              Personally, my choice would be Rimutaka to whip up some fun.

              • Jenny

                Maybe New Zealand needs a Pirate Party. Dedicated to full internet freedom. Funding shouldn’t be a problem. After having his hands burnt by the Right and with his peculiar personal interest in securing internet freedom. A certain Mr Dotcom might throw a few hundred dollars towards it.

      • quartz 9.4.2

        AH. Thursday morning Nietzsche.

      • King Kong 9.4.3

        If you are quoting Nietzche, he also said something else you chaps might enjoy.

        “For man to be redeemed from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.
        Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!”

      • rosy 9.4.4

        Dunno about MS, but I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek there Bill.

        But otoh I do wonder whether a cyber-branch is worth exploring, a branch that could cater for people who move house a lot, or live overseas (but returning often enough to remain on the electoral roll – is there an ex-pat branch?), have difficulty getting out and about etc, etc. An on-line branch could be pretty useful.

        • Colonial Viper 9.4.4.1

          It would have to be allowed for in the Party constitution and, well, no one wants to go near that for a while :D

          Tell you what though – a Labour Party Sector grouping could be formed, The Standard Sector. The downside is that its more factionalising; the upside is that The Standard Sector could play a role for and against policy across all other sectors.

          Ahhh, we’d be hated lol

          • rosy 9.4.4.1.1

            Ahhh, we’d be hated lol

            Moreso than now?

            • Colonial Viper 9.4.4.1.1.1

              The upside is we’d have the best parties in the party :)

            • just saying 9.4.4.1.1.2

              Mickey is an office holder in an established branch. I’m assuming members can only be in one branch at a time.

              Try again later.
              edit in wrong place, should be in reply to the crack about Mickey below.

              • Nope JS

                Members can be members of and have votes in an ordinary branch and a special branch.  Happens all the time with youth branches.

                • Correct Micky S. Im a branch member in town but valso a member of the Rufus Rogers Branch. ie (over 60s )_ Trouble is these days Im more at home at home with “my old wrinklies than the younger members) However that’s a good sign . Because our party now belongs to the young .

                • Correct Micky S. I’m a branch member in town but also a member of the Rufus Rogers Branch. ie (over 60s )_ Trouble is these days I’m more at home at home with “my old wrinklies than the younger members) However that’s a good sign . Because our party now belongs to the young .and I’m happy with that. The presence off so many young people at the conference was in stark contrast to the old grey heads in National . Labour and the Greens are stacked with the young. Oldies like me can be proud .

          • King Kong 9.4.4.1.2

            The Direct Internet Consulting, Heart of Labour Enterprise.

            or

            D.I.C.H.O.L.E

        • just saying 9.4.4.2

          :-D And we’d have the best attended meetings in the country (as well as the cheapest to run).

      • Rogue Trooper 9.4.5

        s ssshhh

    • John Chapman 9.5

      Perhaps an affiliated Org mickey.

    • vto 9.6

      mr micky, don’t you have to be a real person to join such a thing? how would you get around that and the anon thing?

      • Colonial Viper 9.6.1

        You join as a member, a real person, choose the branch, you just don’t put your handle down on the application form :)

        BTW head office has to approve the constitutionality of a new branch.

    • Kepeing Left all the time 9.7

      As long as it is isn’t Manukau East, their branch is as moribund as its candidate.

  9. David H 10

    OKay so I followed the link. A question or 3

    1: How long is the membership for? if it runs out in dec, then i’ll wait till feb thanks.
    2: Is the party going to honour that, what was voted on, and passed over the weekend?
    3: Why should I pay for a party that has just done it’s level best to alienate me, and thousands of others?
    4: Why should I, by joining, give the party even the least satisfaction of seeing their numbers go up?
    5: When are they going to start listening to us?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      1. Only 2012 members can vote in any post Feb leadership 40/40/20 contest. If you join as a 2013 year member your vote will not be valid.
      2. They have to, unless they declare that they are going to abrogate the constitution of the Labour party and turn Bainimarama.
      3. Because this is politics. When they piss you off and try and push you away, you stand your ground and fight back. Leaving is them winning.
      4. You mean seeing the men* and machinery of the insurgency increase. They won’t find that very satisfying. *Gender inclusive languaging to be inserted later.
      5. Oh, shortly after we organise an LEC levies strike until we get satisfaction that caucus rules are being applied to all MPs equitably.

      • AmaKiwi 10.1.1

        The Labour Party central office is understaffed, underpaid, and overworked. If you wait until the last minute (end of Dec. 2012) to join you might not be counted as a member for 2012 and can’t vote in Feb. 2013.

        On top of their usual workload they now have to organize a postal ballot in case there is an election for leader. On their first try, they have to create a system which is seen to be completely fair and not vulnerable to tampering.

        They have got a lot of extra work this holiday season so BE NICE TO THEM.

      • QoT 10.1.2

        *Gender inclusive languaging to be inserted later.

        Sigh. Typing “people” is just so difficult.

  10. Send Shearer an e-mail from our darkened room and closed curtains,let him know
    that people are going to join the labour party not because they support him,but because
    they are disgusted with his and his ‘troops’ in the actions that he took against cunliffe and
    giving the membership the two fingered salute, our membership vote will help unseat him in feb, he needs to have confirmtion or he will assume it’s because he is adored by all and sundry and he did the right thing re; cunliffe.
    This is a character that lives in his own fantasy world.
    I will join up with labour,my e-mail to him, will say the above.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Ahhh Shearer’s not a bad guy actually, sadly speaking in this political drama, he’s actually the fall guy.

    • lprent 11.2

      My apartment is commonly known as “the cave”, and yes I did buy it precisely because it was long and therefore there would be a place that I could stick the computer screens here neither my eyes nor the screens got washed out.

      But these days with LCD’s it isn’t as bad. At work, I’m just a few metres away from the harbour – but at the back of the room.

      I’m a computer programmer and so my brain, back, wrists, and especially my eyes are really really important to my profession. I take good care of them.

    • starlight 11.3

      Update, I have e-mailed his electorate office.

  11. Mary 12

    No, now is not the right time to join Labour – now is the right time to join Mana or perhaps the Greens. This is what will send the right message to Labour which is that people are sick of the party failing to make a stand for the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor and therefore for fairness. I hope Labour gain just the minimum amount of support necessary for a Left coalition but that Mana and the Greens effectively run the show. This is the message that Labour needs to hear. It’s way too early to show support for what they’re doing because they ain’t doin’ yet.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      leaving Labour now gifts the win to the bullshit Palace Politics of the last few days. Now that members have a constitutional say its more important than ever that we drive up party membership.

    • just saying 12.2

      Obviously it’s a personal decision.

      Two things:

      Membership is not a liftime commitment (unlike support for the leadership it seems). It can be rescinded as and when.

      And neither is it a commitment to vote for the joined party.

      At the moment I’m going for Mana for the party vote. I’m waiting to see how things unfold as far as my electorate vote goes, at this stage, it’s green,

      Edit – now I am a member I will be lobbying my local branch

      • Jim Nald 12.2.1

        “And neither is it a commitment to vote for the joined party” – indeed.

        If anything, I sometimes feel some of the Labour Party MPs in the past tend to put a higher value on a vote they have to chase, rather than accord due weight to a vote they think they already have.

      • AmaKiwi 12.2.2

        Strategically, this IS the time to join Labour.

        In Feb. 2013 you might find YOU can make a difference.

        If you find you don’t, quit then.

        Greens and Mana members are not going to decide the Labour leadership.

        • Jim Nald 12.2.2.1

          As stated above, the membership should be for the long haul, a constant thorn on the side to ensure the party becomes more democratic, accountable and representative.

          If the decision post-Feb 2013 is to resign, then make sure the resignation will constructively, visibly or audibly (and preferably with documented trail), aggravate those who have not exercised power fairly and responsibly, with the aim of galvanising positive change.

  12. Richard Down South 13

    Joined and paid… hopefully I can help make a difference… if not, Labour will be in serious trouble, as I doubt I’ll vote for them again, and I have always voted Labour, except for the last election where it was Greens party, Labour local seat

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Good man, join the ranks, it’s going to be an interesting year 2013

      • David H 13.1.1

        Then maybe the membership should do some talking to the undecided’s and remind them a storm is coming, and it’s the pissed off members wanting change!!

  13. Hami Shearlie 14

    Looks like the Labour Party are going to be swamped with new members!! Shearer will be overjoyed, he’s a success at last!! For about 10 weeks!

    • rosy 14.1

      I think it’s a case of biding time until even caucus decides he’s a lost cause. It’s supporting the members that voted for greater transparency, and adding to their voices, that is important. It can take some time to take a party back. Voting for Labour as it is is not compulsory.

    • Jim Nald 14.2

      If Shearer falsely trumpets and claims the credit, he would truly be confirming most of the observations made about him here and elsewhere. And to disabuse him of any incorrect claims, the new members can come here and state the reason why they joined.

  14. gobsmacked 15

    Currently I’m more inclined to join the Greens. But I’ll give it some thought.

    Can anybody advise what would happen in this scenario (highly likely, IMO) …

    1) Shearer survives in Feb. Has the numbers in caucus.

    2) Shearer is declared to be “secure”. He then carries on … being hopeless.

    3) By late 2013, or early 2014, the caucus are getting panicky. The media are having a field day with Shearer’s performance, the members and union backers are frustrated. Plus, with new list rankings and all that, MPs start worrying about their own jobs.

    So … Shearer “steps down” (jumps, pushed, doesn’t matter). Robertson steps up.

    Who then chooses the leader?

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      Caucus with a simple 50% +1 majority.

      The special 60%+1 threshold and possible subsequent wider party votes only happens every 3 years, shortly after each election. Shearer said he held the vote on Tuesday under the same rules, but really it was held under the old/current rules, he just added his own condition that if he didn’t win 60%+1 he would voluntarily resign. Of course he got “100% support” anyway.

      The reason one is being held this upcoming February is because the leadership vote that would have occurred last year after the election was postponed till now, because Goff was stepping down and they had that silly tour of the country (that was then ignored by caucus) before they picked Shearer as the new leader.

      • gobsmacked 15.1.1

        Thanks, Lanth.

        In that case, Robertson’s got it in the bag. He just has to keep saying he supports Shearer 100%, until “for the good of the party and the country” Shearer gets rolled.

        • Galeandra 15.1.1.1

          No problem Gobsmacked, ‘in the bag’ until after leading in a losing election; then Cunliffe can roll him in 2015….
          Probably optimal for Cunliffe anyway– this caucus is too weak to carry the country and win anytime in the next three years no matter who leads them.

      • Jane 15.1.2

        I had thought the 60% +1 or wider vote was now the norm, a little less happy that it is only once after an election. After an election is an odd time to only have it, if they win why would the leader be changed, easy to get 60%+1, if they lose then the old one resigns and someone takes the poison chalice of the subsequent post election turmoil with 60%+1. It is mid term when the party leadship is disarray and distracted like it is now that 40% of caucus should be able to call a vote and if not 60% +1 then the wider one. Feel like we have been had a bit.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.3

        Caucus with a simple 50% +1 majority.

        Not quite – this is the caucus trigger threshold in normal times.

        If it is triggered by caucus, it then goes to a 40/40/20.

        • just saying 15.1.3.1

          This is important and I’m not clear on it.

          Am I right in thinking that outside of specified votes (next feb and after an election), if 50percent + 1 of the caucus vote “non confidence” in the leader at any time, an ensuing leadership race will be decided by the 40/40/20 formula (members, caucus, affiliates)?

        • Lanthanide 15.1.3.2

          Ok, can you confirm that Viper, because that wasn’t my understanding of the process, at all.

          Essentially you’re saying at all times, leadership votes are 40/40/20, the only thing that differs is the caucus threshold to trigger such a vote (40% or 50%).

          • just saying 15.1.3.2.1

            Where in the b’sphere could i find the actual party legislation?
            Will try red alert.

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.3.2.2

            Indeed that is my understanding Lanth. I believe the following is the rule (also known as the 40/40/20 rule) which applies no matter how it is triggered (40% or 50% caucus threshold).

            Rule 297A

            d) The election of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party shall be determined by the votes cast in an electoral college composed of the following:
            i. Parliamentary Labour Caucus (40% of the total vote)
            ii. Party members (40% of the total vote)
            iii. Affiliate Party members (20% of the total vote).
            Voting will be preferential and concurrent in all cases.

            • gobsmacked 15.1.3.2.2.1

              OK, so if a leader gives an interview to Ian Wishart 3 months before the election and says “White Power! Nuke the Darkies!”, can the caucus choose an interim replacement, or do they always have to trigger a party-wide contest?

              Is there a “Mike Moore 1990″ scenario, in which Labour MPs say “We’ve picked a new caucus leader, just before the election to try and save our skins”, and it would then have to wait to be confirmed after the election?

              I’m sure it’s in the fine print somewhere … leaders can die in office, after all. I’m just wondering about the logistics of it.

              I suppose I should ask Grant Robertson, he’ll have it all worked out.

    • Hami Shearlie 15.2

      In Robertson’s electorate Labour rank THIRD in the party vote – oh dear!! Robertson may be “liked” by the ABCs’ in Caucus! So what! I don’t want someone they “like” to be leader – I want someone who can WIN THE ELECTION! I want someone who can burn Jonkey to a crisp! And that someone is definitely NOT Grant Robertson. He has the wrong look(which is shallow but necessary on tv), won’t appeal to the South Auckland voter, and has as much political grunt as a Furbie. Can’t see him being able to produce great new ideas on the economy or anything else. Being “liked” doesn’t win elections! Being confident, being able to compose great economic policies , being a great salesman, being self-assured on television does! Simple!

      • Wellington is a Green stronghold, it really has very little to do with Robertson.

        • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1

          Ahem…bullcrap :)

          In 2005 and 2008 Labour scored almost twice to three times the number of party votes than the Greens.

          In 2011, Labour lost the party vote to the Greens.

      • weka 15.2.2

        “In Robertson’s electorate Labour rank THIRD in the party vote”
         
        Doesn’t matter. With MMP lots of people (self included) vote tactically – eg giving their electorate vote to Robertson and their party vote to the Greens. That’s good, and is how it is supposed to work. It’s also a distinct message to Labour. If you want to look at Roberton’s performance reflected in the vote, look at the electorate vote.

        • Jim Nald 15.2.2.1

          James Shaw, Wellington Central Green Party candidate, is on the cusp of the list.
          James is a fine bloke.

          For the party vote, the Greens got 556 votes more than Labour. (Labour was even further behind National which was 4669 votes ahead.)

          For the electorate vote, the difference between Shaw and Robertson was 13,611.

          That is one hell of a message.

  15. pete 16

    “Who then chooses the leader?”

    National voters, of course.

  16. newsense 17

    Can anyone tell me after that absolute failure of political maneuvering, ability to handle the media, and ability to control the message amongst a handful of MPs and the New Lynn LEC any non-members should seriously consider joining to vote David Cunliffe into the leadership?

    Sure we don’t want more of this Mallard/Pagani crap that gets haegeographies from Fran O’Sullivan, DPF, Matt Hooton, John Armstrong and co, but how has Cunliffe proved himself capable of being leader over the last year?

    He has been active with his speeches and positions, and has been a very capable minister, but has not shown himself to be a shrewd political operator. If he’s on a winning ticket there needs to be some people backing him who can make sure this shite wouldn’t happen when fronting up for NZ overseas. Or he just needs a better team, and perhaps not have himself as the leader of it.

    • lprent 17.1

      I’d guess that the answer to that is to say that I haven’t seen him ‘maneuvering’. He just has a lot of noisy supporters – many of them here.

      In fact I’d guess that if he was looking at anything then it’d have been in Feb, or after the next election if there was a loss. The ‘maneuvering’ seems to have largely been from the Shearer/Robertson et al camp with their assorted minions. They are also the ONLY ones I have seen pushing media.

      The biggest problem that I think that Cunliffe has is that he has been a bit lazy in not anticipating that this kind of move would be made against him.

      • Jim Nald 17.1.1

        To be fair, I would not say lazy but he was a bit too trusting of the process.
        And had not really anticipated the underhanded moves.
        My message to DC is –
        from now on,
        be constantly vigilant,
        don’t be surprised by the worst and be prepared for the ugliest,
        and keep smiling.

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          Excellent advice Jim Nald. I hope David (Cunliffe) sees it. :)

          • Jenny 17.1.1.1.1

            I support the last two words to which I would add. Keep and open heart. People aren’t as bad as they seem they are just frightened.

  17. Fisiani 18

    When there is Snowfall in Hades is the answer to ” A good time to join Labour.”
    I made that mistake as a 18year old but saw the light as I grew up and my idealistic cliches turned into a realisation that socialism like slavery will one day be a thing of the past.

    • lprent 18.1

      Ah yes. I think that you are pretty much working against the tide of the last couple of centuries of history. You do realize that to a gentleman of the early 19th century that in every developed country that the political parties would all look socialist? Including the tea party republicans.

  18. Member41 19

    Love it. Same people that have finished tearing the Alliance apart have now got Labour in their cross-hairs. I just hope we have the strength to withstand this hysterical minority.

    Pretty sure we do. Democracy has challenges but will set up us much better. Our membership are by-in-large sensible. We have set a new left-ward direction for the Party’s policy and are getting behind it. Most of us.

    Would very much encourage people to join to help us and to be a part of setting our direction. But being a member does include an obligation of loyalty and solidarity to the cause above personalities, and above getting everything your own way all the time.

    • IrishBill 19.1

      Our membership is barely five percent of what it was immediately before the fourth Labour government drove out many members of the same ideological spectrum as the Standard’s community. Some of us are the same people.

  19. Jenny 20

    I’d like to take this opportunity to invite Standard readers who aren’t already party members but who care about the direction of this fine (and occasionally not so fine) institution to put their money where their strongly held opinions are and sign up.

    IRISHBILL

    Would they have me?

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      Too right, Jenny! If you’re not a member of another party, you should be sweet. You’ll find plenty of like minded members and this is an historic opportunity to take back the workers party. So, if you’re ever going to join, now’s the time.

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        :)

      • Herodotus 20.1.2

        Even if we are under continual moderation with Redalert. Would be fun to be a member and be banned from their blog !!!! Even if I am in an electorate that the caucus and the party gave the bird to in the by election a few years ago. the only active member in the electorate am aware of is A1len’s.

        [lprent: You're under continual sparodic moderation here as well. But we're far more interested in overall behaviour. ]

    • lprent 20.2

      Yep. Just at present I think that some of them would adore someone who gets my first name wrong. ;)

      Oh well at least it isn’t Lyn. How in the hell did I ever hook up with her? Makes answering the phone a bit confusing…

  20. Tim G 21

    Just renewed (last paid year of membership was 2009) – thanks for the reminder Irishbill. Couldn’t resist e-mailing the admin:

    a) asking for branch information for those living overseas (noting that you are forced to provide an NZ mailing address when you complete the application form); and
    b) pointing out that my renewal had nothing to do with my impression of the success of the parliamentary wing.

    I am afraid a Standard(in)ista Branch would be doomed to failure. There is such a pluralism of views represented across those commenting on this blog. To be honest, while most commenting do show respect for that pluralism there is a bit of shutting people down/telling them their views are BS etc., and the last thing we want is to legitimise that through a party structure.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Oh, it’d make for lively branch meetings haha…In fact the branch meetings would be just like another day on The Standard haha

  21. venezia 22

    Just renewed membership and sent the email as just saying suggests.

  22. Jenny 23

    Thank you for that kind invitation TRP. Your kind offer has given me serious pause for thought. The Labour Party has achieved truely great things in the past, maybe it could again.

    Unfortunately I do somewhat consider irksome and petty, the condition placed on membership, not being a member of another party. I have often considered modern party politics to be too sectarian for my taste. I wish I could belong to them all. (Though I might draw the line at ACT and U.F. and probably National as well, because they all seem to have no internal democracy at all, So what’s the point?)

    Being a more movementist sort of girl. I like to belong to groups, like trade unions, or anti-nuclear, or anti-apartheid, or antiwar, or Occupy, or environmentalist. These movements’ greatest strengths were that they were open to everyone as long as they agreed the basic kaupapa for their reason for existing. I have often found myself working alongside National Party members and Labour Party members in the same cause.

    To my mind the greatest danger we face and probably the greatest calamity humanity has ever faced is the threat posed by global Climate Change. Colonial Viper once said it, “It will take more than a political party to address climate change”. He’s right it will. What I don’t want to do, is get trapped in a silo which prevents me engaging with every sector of society that might agree to join the battle against climate change, left right or centre.

    This is my emotional response to your offer. However though these are my own feelings and though it may sound hypocritical I support as many people as possible from the left joining Labour at this critical juncture.

    More particularly I hope Cunliffe sticks with Labour and continues speaking and advocating for the climate and social justice both. If he gets the policies he has been talking about taken up then yes I would join in a flash. And would probably be joined in a flood back to Labour by the movementist activist left.

    Until then. I hope you will understand me that I feel I must keep my options open at the current time. Though in saying all of the above, I and I am sure many others on the wider left are willing to be convinced.

    • Bill 23.1

      The problem with having open membership to any organisation that issues, makes or filters decisions at the center or top that perculate out or down, is that those occupying the positions of power (which are also the positions that most information flows through) are vulnerable to number’s games. (Ie, their power and positions can be usurped)

      Think of the Greens (or any other org. that adheres to a more or less fixed ideological view). When they first started, what would it have taken for another party to ‘wash in’ through their membership and, essentially, wipe them out?

      Completely open membership – or more accuarately, open participation – can only occur safely when decisions don’t emanate from a fixed higher position that is vulnerable to being assailed – where substantive democratic processes have levelled the environment where decisions take place.

      To put it another way. Entry into an environment that empowers people and that is structured to help them make decisions – that is truly democratic – will always be open. But any environment that encourages power to concentrate in the hands of some at the expense of others can never be open. And the more concentrated the power, the less open the environment (by necessity) becomes.

      That space where the power concentrates becomes the domain of the ‘high priests’. And the ‘high priests’ (in their own eyes at least) are the ‘rightful’ repositories of the ‘proper’ knowledge and understanding – the appointed – and thereafter protectors of the true vision/ideal or whatever. And, of course, the ‘true’ vision or ideal will become bastardised and merely a script to follow for those focussed on attaining a position of power over others (with all the privilege and respect and so on that goes with the territory)

      And over time, everything that was once fluid ossifies into rigid structures that are maintained through processes of patronage and cronyism etc. The next positive step beyond that, if there is to be one, is iconoclasm…a breaking up and a smashing apart of those structures and traditions before the whole sad cycle begins again.

      Well, unless during or after the breaking up, democracy is demanded and any potential for power to concentrate thwarted and denied.

  23. mike e 24

    fishy business So you have become a slave of delusionary behaviour.
    A slave to failure of neo liberal BS policy of the Chicago Cult!

  24. xtasy 25

    Having been to the odd protest over the last few years, which sadly seem to get less and less public support (due to total ignorance and stigmatisation by MSM, police surveillance making participants feel like “crims”), I have seen the odd Labour supporters be there. Sadly their numbers have been very small, albeit appreciated. There usually was good support from Mana, in some cases the Greens and even the Maori Party.

    So in order to have a true “game changer” one would expect any persons associating themselves with Labour to also take more action and be on the street and in certain venues. The unions seem to largely only look after their particular clientele and forget others.

    We have draconical welfare reforms to be heard by the Social Security Committee shortly, so where is bloody Labour on that?

    Ardern is rather quiet, so are others. It almost seems they do not mind the reforms bashing beneficiaries even more, to make life unliveable and encourage suicide, rather than take a bloody stand and defend human rights.

    That is what makes me bloody furious about “Labour”. So much talk and little walk, so much catering for some bizarre “centre population”, they themselves cannot clearly describe.

    I am sorry, I have NO faith in Labour any more. Basta! A NEW party to the left is needed!

  25. happynz 26

    For us overseas Kiwis with no fixed address nor regular income, where would we apply for membership?

    • Tim G 26.1

      You just need an NZ mailing address by the looks of things – I used my parents’ but I don’t see why a friend’s wouldn’t do. It is clear they are not squaring it with the area in which you are a registered elector (if indeed you are one).

      I sent an accompanying e-mail to their office admin with some questions in that vein, so if I hear anything I’ll let you know.

  26. karol 27

    I have pondered on this issue of membership.  I am not a committed Labour Party supporter, so won’t be parachuting myself in to membership, just to vote on the leadership issue.

     
    I will not be giving my party vote to Labour under the present caucus leadership.  They will need to move away from neoliberalism and to a new style of leadership for me to consider voting for the Party.

    I will be lobbying/emailing my electorate (Labour) MP over the leadership issue, as it will determine whether I give him my electorate vote. 

    • Bill 27.1

      I’d like to think that members of Mana and the Greens would do likewise. Not because they would consider giving their vote to Labour (although some might be in that position with regards the electorate vote), but just on the honest basis that for their preferences to gain more traction they need a more left leaning parliamentary bloc.

      It would certainly allow Labour mps to get a taste for where the broader parliamentary focussed left is sitting at the moment. And who knows? Some of them might well be a bit shocked at the degree to which they have been ‘out of touch’. And those same mp’s might just reposition themselves in light of their new understanding.

      Like I say. Who knows? But it certainly wouldn’t do any damage.

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