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The Standard

Labour chooses democracy

Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, November 17th, 2012 - 151 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour - Tags:

Labour has established its new leadership voting rules. As expected, caucus and the membership will have 40% each, the affiliates 20%. More interestingly, and positively, the attempt to effectively neuter the membership’s new power by setting a high bar of caucus support for a leadership vote to be triggered failed. It will take 50% of caucus to trigger a vote in ordinary times, and a 60% caucus endorsement of the leader to avoid a leadership vote in the compulsory mid-term caucus motion.

What does that mean in practice? It means that when there’s a motion in the first caucus of next year, David Shearer will need 21 MPs to endorse him as leader (3 more than voted to make him leader last year) to prevent a leadership vote in which the membership and affiliates get to vote as well as the MPs.

That’s as it should be. Even MPs who want a change of leader won’t lightly choose to trigger a leadership vote, any more than they lightly attempt coups now. But when a significant number of MPs, not to mention the membership and affiliates want change, then it shouldn’t be possible for a simple majority of caucus to prevent a vote on the issue. If a simple majority of caucus can block a vote, it’s little different from the existing situation where the leader survives as long as they have a majority in caucus – that would have stymied the democratic intent of these reforms.

So, it’s great that they’ve chosen democracy.

Now, will anyone try to trigger a leadership contest next year? Like I say, it’s not a thing to be done lightly. 40% of caucus is unlikely to vote for a leadership race unless a contender or contenders have already put their names forward, at least on the quiet around caucus. And it gets complex if there are two contenders (cough Cunliffe cough Robertson cough) – do their supporters vote for a leadership race that the other side might win? It’s serious politics this – whether or not Shearer can get 21 votes it’s likely to determine not only the direction of Labour but also who is Prime Minister of New Zealand in two years time.

John Key will no doubt try to make hay of the supposedly ‘instability’ of bringing democracy to the Labour Party. But he shouldn’t smile too widely. Because, one day, when the falling polls send enough worried backbenchers into Collins’ camp, he’ll discover some instability of his own. And he won’t get to contest her in a fair and open debate in front of the members… he’ll get a knife in the back when he’s at his weakest… the only question is whether she’ll leave him to realise his worst nightmare and lose the election first.

[Update: I was unaware that there was another undemocratic move to prevent the new rules applying in 2013 – that, too, has been defeated. A good day for the membership, a bad day for the entrenched old guard in the caucus]

151 comments on “Labour chooses democracy”

  1. Jim Nald - Once Was National 1

    Fantastic! I am excited by the developments and progress in the Labour Party!!
    This bodes well for the Party and the country!!!

  2. hush minx 2

    A new dawn indeed. Will be interesting to see how the msm portray the day.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      As a lose for Shearer and a win for Cunliffe.
      Shearer leadership suffers defeat

      This was a significant win for supporters of David Cunliffe as Labour leader, but Shearer insisted afterwards he had the party’s backing.

      In other words, they’re talking out their arse as per normal.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Precisely. There is a pretty good probability that members would not reward leadership battles coming to them too often. I know I normally wouldn’t.

        And there are now some pretty powerful incentives to deal with it inside caucus by cooperating on how to use people. Having a disgruntled rump who is able to talk up sidelining amongst members and affiliates becomes a very dangerous activity.

        Now these regional organizing hubs look like they could be pretty useful for Labour.

    • Bill 2.2

      Cheers for the link dtB. It kind of lays things out fairly clearly.

      But am I right to say that there are no mechanisms whereby members and affiliates can force a vote?

      And if a leader needs to garner 60% endorsement 3 months after an election, then why is there a need for Shearer to garner that %age of endorsement this coming February?

      And finally (rhetorically). Why doesn’t he just step down now, retain some dignity and allow the party more time to get its shit together and its message across before the next general election?

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Congratulations to the conference majority.

    For years the obvious rejoinder to the question “Why not join Labour?” has been “Why bother?”. It looked – and acted – like a self-serving clique. Never more so than during the contest for the leadership last year.

    Today the members have not just taken a big step forward for Labour. They have also saved MPs from their own stupidity. It is now clearer than ever that the caucus is the chief obstacle to a renewed and resurgent Labour, and those MPs who put themselves ahead of the people will now have to decide – get with the programme, or get out of Parliament.

  4. hush minx 4

    shearer should stand down and allow a contest to happen.Why wait until February? And those MPs who spoke against 40 should come out and support a challenge too-the party has shown it’s teeth and they need to illustrate that they have heard.

    • KhandallaMan 4.1

      Today was about making the Party more open, accessible and attractive to the members, supporters, and RELEVANT the wider public.  It was not about Shearer or Cunliffe. Don’t swallow the stUFO from the journos and RWNJs. 

      Today shapes the party for the next 20+ years. Shearer and Cunliffe will be revered kaumatuas when we go through a session like this today.

      This was the day for the Membership.  Don’t let the commentariat write our history. 

  5. liberty 5

    It is a bit rich to claim labour is democratic . When they ban dissidents such as John Tamihere .

    [non-members can’t attend party conferences, and Tamihere isn’t a member. The exception is media and even then, you can’t expect them to let in the likes of Slater any more than National would let in The Standard – they denied us in 2008. Eddie]

    [lprent: I didn’t realize that. I am intending to go to whatever party conferences that will allow us media passes on the first round. I was hoping to do greens, nz first, national, and possibly mana.

    Obviously as a Labour person I am a trivial biased at this one. But next time a green, mana, or unaffliated will go. Now hopefully using their psuedonym. Bloody hard to write when you’re involved.

    I gather that the main reason that Cameron wasn’t given a press pass was because he was previously given the bums rush from attending the National party conference because of his expected behaviour ]

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      He isn’t a “dissident”. He is not a member, so he is no more a “dissident” than John Key (who Tamihere endorsed for PM).

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      Tamihere isn’t banned, it’s just that nobody can stand him. Maybe you should ask him to join your party; the 100% increase in membership would be just the shot in the arm you need to be taken seriously. :roll:

      • Inventory2 5.2.1

        If he “isn’t banned’, why is Labour’s executive taking so long to approve his application to join the party? I can understand why Labour is reluctant to let Tamihere back in, but drop the “Tamihere isn’t banned” pretense; it’s frankly dishonest.

    • QoT 5.3

      Hahaha, nice smear attempt, but no cookie for you.

    • liberty 5.4

      My understanding is labour won’t let Tamihere Join the party.
      If this is true. Why wont the party let him join?

      • lprent 5.4.1

        Could be something’s do with the way that he left last time slagging off the party the whole way.

        Ummm and he did that again yesterday. What does that suggest to you given that there are rules about readmitting people who do that.

        The NZLP is like this site. We choose who is excluded based on their behaviour. If you act like a stupid arsehole troll then you will be treated accordingly.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.4.2

        Why wont the party let him join?

        Because he’s an arse-hole more suited to be in National?

        • liberty 5.4.2.1

          So is Peters. Who would have to be the last cab in the rank.
          And yet labour would have him as a coalition partner.
          Lust for power might have something to do with it.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.4.2.1.1

            There’s a difference between being in coalition with another party and accepting someone into a party. I’m sure that Winston wouldn’t be accepted into Labour either.

            • liberty 5.4.2.1.1.1

              You might not let Winston join labour. but you would snuggle up to him as a coalition partner.
              Labour would be better off to eat a rat and have Tamihere. His support base would be of more use than a charlatan.

              • fatty

                You might not let Winston join labour. but you would snuggle up to him as a coalition partner.

                its called MMP noddy…worse was Labour and United Future. And I’m sure many National supporters were pissed that they went into coalition with the Maori Party.
                But in the end it doesn’t make much of a difference, the only times the smaller parties make much of a splash in a coalition is when they are to the left or right, as has been the case with Act dragging National to the right, and Greens dragging Labour to the left. And in those two instances, National and Labour wanted those policies in, but they were acting centrist only to get swing votes.
                Liberty…how did NZ First limit or shape the direction of Labour?…as far as I can see not much. Your argument appears to be based more on Winston’s image in the media, rather than political reality

                • liberty

                  Rubbish. It’s called lust for power.
                  Real leaders like Key sent Peters to Coventry. Bolger and Clark didn’t have the spine. Consequently National and Labour lost big time.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Key isn’t a real leader. If he was he’d be accepting the consequences of his actions and holding his caucus to account. Neither of these things are happening.

      • karol 5.4.3

        Yesterday on 3 News, Tamihere not only slagged off the Labour Party, but gleefully indulged in some gay baiting – probably more as a bit of self promotion than any sincere attempt to join Labour.  i wouldn’t vote for any party that put him up as a candidate.

        • Jim Nald - Once Was National 5.4.3.1

          Indeed.

          Anyone with a brain would question the honesty of his intent and the integrity of his purpose.

      • KhandallaMan 5.4.4

        Tha forensic accountants at the Trust detailed 190,000 reasons Tamihere should not be in the Labour Party.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Surprise surprise the views expressed on the standard by active members who have the right to vote have done so.Maybe just just maybe Mr shearer and Mr little should stop bagging the standard and it’s posters.Well done to grass roots labour finally you will get to vote for your leader.

  7. The threshold may be more difficult than you think Eddie. It is 60% plus 1. 60% of the caucus is 21.6. Add 1 and round up is 23, which means that if 14 oppose the selection contest is required.

    [my calculator says 60% of 34 is 20.4 – you seem to be counting 36 MPs. I’m unclear, though, whether that means the leader needs 21 as the first number over 60% plus 1 more meaning the total needed is 22 or the first integer that brings the total to over 60%, which would be 21. I’m sure that’s clear in the actual rule. Eddie]

    • Feck right you are Eddie.  If you round up it is 22 but down it is 21.  It could be significant.  Call in the lawyers!

      • Benghazi 7.1.1

        On any literal meaning you cannot satisfy the remit “60% plus 1″ by rounding down. To satisfy the new requirement Mr Shearer has to enjoy the confidence of 22 MPs. That means there needs to be 13 MPs without confidence to trigger a Leadership Race in February 2013. I see the Herald is already running a story with the wrong numbers in it saying 14 MPs are required to have no confidence.

  8. Tom Gould 8

    Since when did 40 per cent make a majority? Weird kind of “democracy”. What’s next from Labour, 40 per cent vote for guilty on a jury?

    [No. You’re having trouble understanding. The new rules mean that it takes 60%+1 of caucus to block a leadership vote every three years. The leadership vote will be majority rule (the majority of votes in the college, that is). Eddie]

    • lprent 8.1

      It isn’t. The majority comes for the membership and/or affiliates.

      The 40% is a trigger that comes around once every 3 years. If the rump of dissatisfied MP’s gets to 40% in a leadership vote once every 3 years, then it triggers to a wider vote where 40% is from members, 40% from caucus and 20% from affiliates

      • Jimmie 8.1.1

        In practice if a leader gets declined from 40% of his team, the chances are they would likely resign as it would be seen as a pretty strong vote of no confidence in their ability.

        • AmaKiwi 8.1.1.1

          Don’t underestimate enormous egos.

          If Shearer takes seriously the mood and actions at Saturday’s conference, he would be resigning on Sunday. But read his press releases. “I will lead Labour into government in 2014.”

          Today 600 delegates including 33 MP’s know that nonsense. But a big ego marches on, even when everyone else knows he has no clothes.

    • Bill 8.2

      As far as I understand it, the 40% merely triggers a process that would then include members and affiliates and caucus. (the 40/40/20 split).

      It’s not meant to indicate a majority. It’s meant to indicate a substantial proportion (of caucus) ain’t that happy. And it’s not as though they could run around just ‘spitting the dummy’ every ‘5 minutes’ and demanding leadership change…. because they have to have the membership and affiliates agreeing with their position.

      • Jimmie 8.2.1

        One question:

        Scenario: Caucus votes no confidence in leader (say 43% of MPs)

        The leadership goes to the vote and the result is the current leader is re endorsed in their position.

        What is likely to happen to the no confidence bloc?

        Will this be a means to really send a message to the nay sayers that they aren’t welcome in caucus?

        Will the nay sayers trigger repeated leadership votes?

        Will it cause an out & out civil war between the nay sayers and the yes men?

        Will be interesting to see how it plays out in practice.

        [like I say, people won’t trigger a leadership vote lightly. There’s more to being an MP than simply who is the leader. Even if you want change, you’re not going to cause the kind of chaos that you’re fantasising about in pursuit of it. Eddie.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      As I understand it, a vote in caucus in which less than 60% support the leader will initiate a party wide leadership vote. It doesn’t automatically ditch the leader.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        Exactly. The 40/40/20 electoral college vote (why are we using bloody Americanisms) can easily reconfirm the existing leader.

        Just one of the advantages I see for Labour: the huge interest in Labour and in signing up as a new Labour member that we saw during last years contest will be multiplied many times over now that members have a real say.

        And up and coming unions will have another reason to affiliate with Labour. Bottom line: this is a massive win for the future of the Labour Party, MSM spin notwithstanding.

        Further any Leader voted in through such a democratic process can be absolutely sure that they earned their damned stripes and have the backing of the entire party.

  9. Chalupa Batman 9

    Giving the members a say on who runs the party is a good move. Does anyone know how National do it?

    • Jim Nald - Once Was National 9.1

      National does it not with members and votes.
      But money and cronies.

      • Chalupa Batman 9.1.1

        Thanks for the reply.

        Anyone actually know how they do it? Labour might have got a good ratio here.

    • BM 9.2

      I think it’s a bad idea giving members a say.
      It’s the fastest way for extremists to take over the party, for example all the Act party members could join up to National, vote for extreme right wing policies, undermine John Key and install some one like Don Brash.

      • karol 9.2.1

        Do ACT Party members out number National Party members?

        • BM 9.2.1.1

          How many people voted at the Labour conference?
          How many people voted Labour at the last election?

          A small number of people can have a hell of a lot of sway

          • KJT 9.2.1.1.1

            Which emphasizes why real democracy is essential.

            So. If the crazies get to the top, as in 1984 and now, we can vote against their policies one by one.

            Though I think even Brash is not nutty enough for ACT.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.2

            Hey BM if people want a say in the Labour Party they can sign up as a member for just $5.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.2

          do ACT party members outnumber ACT mps? :)

      • ropata 9.2.2

        national under brash lost in 2005, john key is just as extreme but hides it better.
        under the goofy, smiling persona lies a devious, selfish, gollum like creature

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    Great news. Will seriously look at renewing my membership now.

  11. jaymam 11

    After Helen Clark resigned I said that Cunliffe should be leader instead of Goff. Sometimes those within the party can’t see the wood for the trees. There’s nothing much wrong with Goff and Shearer but they are not aggressive enough. That’s what is needed for a leader in opposition.

  12. Fisiani 12

    Wow, Cunliffe will not deny standing in February, Will Shearer take such disloyalty meekly? If he does then best he go. He needs to sit Cunliffe near the door behind the Greens in position 34 and appoint him caucus potato peeler. If he cannot win the war against Cunliffe then he can never beat John Key. But then again neither can Cunliffe. Robertson can bide his time and take over in the aftermath of 2014.

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      Your bluster cannot hide your fear, Fisi.

      When Shearer goes, Key goes.

      • BM 12.1.1

        No, the Labour party goes.
        The MSM will crucify Labour, if Cunliffe gets the reins.

        • gobsmacked 12.1.1.1

          Oh gosh, we’d better leave Shearer in charge then!

          Thank goodness you were here to warn us …

        • felix 12.1.1.2

          Haha sure BM.

          By “crucify” you mean they’ll bring up things that right wingers don’t like about Cunliffe; Right wingers who would never vote Labour in a million squillion years; Right wingers who really really really want Shearer there ‘cos he’s an easybeat.

          You’ve been listening to too much Matthyawn Hooton, my dear. It’s melting your brain.

          • BM 12.1.1.2.1

            I prefer Shearer to Cunliffe anyday.
            Cunliffe strikes me as having quite strong megalomaniac tendencies, not the sort of guy you want getting hold of the levers of power.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.2.1.1

              What’s a “meglomaniac”? How did you figure out Cunliffe is a “meglomaniac”?

              • BM

                He’s got the look and swagger.
                If re education camps were to ever make an appearance in NZ , the odds of it happening under a Cunliffe lead government would be quite high.

                • The truth at last aye BM?, so why do you need re-education then?

                  Got away with a few evil acts yourself ?

                • felix

                  Ah, the Freudian slips from these guys are awesome.

                  Note the use of the phrase “Cunliffe-lead government“. When they sing Shearer’s praises it’s always that he’s good as Leader of the Opposition.

                  Interesting, eh?

                • I hear that he also abducts humans from a UFO that he borrowed and subjects them to terrifying sexual practices.  And don’t get me started on the death camps.  He has been over to America to learn from Obama.

                  Be very afraid, lock up all of your old people and young people and run, Cunliffe may take over … 

                • Pete

                  It’s because he’s ginger, isn’t it? That’s why there’s all these objections to him.

                • QoT

                  Thanks, BM. Your post reminded me of Matthew Hooton’s paranoiac comments about a fourth-term Labour government abolishing freedom of the press, and it’s always good to kick off Sunday with a laugh.

            • Te Reo Putake 12.1.1.2.1.2

              Um, have you ever looked at the current PM, BM?

            • felix 12.1.1.2.1.3

              “I prefer Shearer to Cunliffe anyday.”

              So what? You’re never going to vote for either of them so who gives a shit what you think?

              • Jim Nald - Once Was National

                + 100%

                Has Shearer and his team figured this out yet?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Best to appeal to the disloyal middleclass swing voter…they’ll really back you up when the chips are down…NOT

            • muzza 12.1.1.2.1.4

              What Cunliffe does potentially have is the Obama scenario, where so many see him as a saviour, only to have reality smashing them once again, when they realise , crap, it actually doesn;t make much difference at all, and then looking at whose next!

              Yes we caaaa ……um, not really!

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Oh God. Now Shearer’s on TV saying “Read my lips”.

    We need to find the National Party secret agent who gives this guy advice. After a week of misjudged macho posturing, he comes up with another one.

    Does Shearer really not know why no Presidential candidate in the USA ever says “Read my lips” any more?

    • karol 13.1

      Yes, but he is now, as the MSM say “beleaguered”: meaning the MSM has decided his position is precarious.

      It’s all “Cunliffe not endorsing Shearer”.  If Shearer survives this, he deserves to be leader, IMO.

    • QoT 13.2

      Or the more British allusion: Humphrey! Watch my lips move!

    • gobsmacked 13.3

      It’s only the very first result on Google. It only defined an election campaign. It’s only finished off a President. And there is nobody in Shearer’s camp who knows this?

      For the benefit of Shearer and his clueless staff … here’s Wikipedia on “Read my lips, no new taxes”.

      Republican pollster Richard Wirthlin called them “the six most destructive words in the history of presidential politics.”

      Bye, DS.

      • Jim Nald - Once Was National 13.3.1

        Btw he is not making it easy for his lips to be read when his distracting tongue keeps wanting to lick it.

      • bobo 13.3.2

        “Read my Lips, there will be no surcharge: Jim Bolger

        Cringe….

    • felix 13.4

      I’m not sure which was the worst blunder – the “read my lips” or the “come 2014 I’ll be Leader and nothing will change”

      His supporters keep saying he’ll get better at communicating but how is that going to happen when his advisers are feeding him shite like this?

      Fucking atrocious.

      • Hami Shearlie 13.4.1

        Agreed Felix. Hasn’t he worked out by now that “CHANGE” is the very thing that the members of the Labour Party want?

  14. OneTrack 14

    Why do the “affiliates” get a vote at all?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      Why shouldn’t they?

      • OneTrack 14.1.1

        If you don’t know, thats ok.

        • MikeD 14.1.1.1

          Because the affiliates are (wait for it…) affiliated to the party.

          • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1.1

            I guess if you didn’t know anything about “Labour parties” or what “affiliated” meant, it could be confusing.

        • karol 14.1.1.2

          I’m not a Labour Party member, but, as I understand it, Labour are very open about the organistations they are affiliated to than National.  Voters therefore know exactly what they are voting for.

          In contrast, National tends to do cronyism behind closed doors.

          • KJT 14.1.1.2.1

            You can tell by their legislation though.

            Dodgy US finance companies.
            Trucking firms.
            West pack Bank.
            Sky city casino.
            Property speculators.
            Tax dodgers.
            Incompetent businesspeople.
            Insider traders.
            McDonalds.
            Foreign corporates.
            Failed Ex National party MP’s.
            Fletchers.
            Rodney Hide.
            John Banks.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.2

      Aaah, because they founded the party? Because they continue to supply the intellectual and organisational grunt? Because the left is inclusive and not pursuing a class war against working kiwis? All three?

      • burt 14.2.1

        Was that a typo….

        Did you really mean: Aaah, because they founded the party?

        • felix 14.2.1.1

          Oh dear, which is it this week burt? The unions secretly control the Labour party or the Labour party secretly controls the unions?

          • burt 14.2.1.1.1

            The ball felix, not the player.

            • felix 14.2.1.1.1.1

              The fact that you think it’s scandalous that workers act collectively and help fund a political party to act in their interests is the ball in this discussion, burt.

              • burt

                That’s right felix, and I hope Labour do that – openly and thoroughly in the interest of that collective rather than sell out to be centralist with a “two ticks us” so we can govern alone mentality. Bloody hell felix, the environment is bigger than our economy and that’s got what percentage of our political control. What percentage did it have under Clark?

                You want workers right collectives running central government and setting policy for operation of business … when business is not run by these people. So you want a revolution… and you call me radical.

                • felix

                  It’s called democracy mate.

                  • burt

                    You talk like the Labour party never abandoned it’s union roots in favour of popularity politics.

                    • felix

                      They abandoned the roots in 1984 in favour of neoliberal bullshit.

                      I reckon it’s about time to change all that, but let’s see what the roots have to say about it.

    • burt 14.3

      I agree the affiliates shouldn’t get a vote. They get a vote at the election like everyone else. Furthermore they get to influence the party policy via the money they extract from low paid workers which they donate to highly paid politicians, so the highly paid politicians can continue to live far better lives than the people who pay for their party advertising etc.

      • felix 14.3.1

        I don’t think burt should get a say in the selection of any Labour party leader.

        • burt 14.3.1.1

          fair call, I’m not a party member.

          But help me here… if (god forbid) I went into deep cover over the next few years and joined the Labour party (stealthily hiding the personal opinions) and joined a union. The after a few more years I get active in the union and get a say in who the union backs, would that give me two votes… Would I get to have a bigger slice of the ‘choose’ in how Labour chooses democracy ?

          • felix 14.3.1.1.1

            zomg! And then after a few more years if you stood for parliament and won a seat you’d be part of the caucus and have THREE votes!

            Thanks for the concern but frankly it’s a bit bloody rich for an ACT supporter to be worried about how other parties select leaders.

            • Colonial Viper 14.3.1.1.1.1

              lolololol

            • burt 14.3.1.1.1.2

              If I supported ACT, or how ACT elected their leaders, then sure valid to distract to me – but I’m not the point here.

              But OK, lets talk about how ACT elected leaders? Which one shall we start with?

              • felix

                Brash.

                • burt

                  lol … Good call… What was all that about…. and Brash – bwwhahahaha

                  • felix

                    Just out of curiosity, I remember you had a gutsfull of Rodney and his, well, hypocrisy I suppose, but I thought you would’ve been keen on a Brash-led ACT instead.

                    Were you not into that at the time?

                    • burt

                      IMHO Brash is a steady set of economic hands I think his skills and experience are great in a political party. But leader… No. Ironically compared to the sort of academics, career politicians and unionists that Labour usually put forward I think the country would be better off with a Brash type person in charge (rather than a Clark or a Little – for example)

                      But Brash isn’t a leader…

                      Rodney … yes; do as I say not as I do Rodney… he blew it.

                    • Jim Nald - Once Was National

                      A good laugh on a Sunday morning!

                      On Planet Key, Brash was regarded as the best thing since sliced bread.

                      And he is now toast.

  15. Fisiani 15

    Old joke based on truth from UK
    5 Trade unionists nip into cafe for morning break.
    Who wants tea or coffee?
    Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, came 4 voices.
    Well I want coffee and since you each have a million votes and I have 7 million then coffee it is for all.

    The Labour Party has just committed suicide.

    • felix 15.1

      You mean based on “Truth”, the tabloid edited by the Slater child.

      ps thanks for the concern.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Then you can relax eh Fisi?

    • Doug 15.3

      Labour MP Damien O’Connor’s saying has come true. “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.

      • felix 15.3.1

        Don’t worry Doug, those of us on the left actually want the Labour party to represent working people more, not less.

        It’s not really a problem you need to worry your pretty little head over.

  16. Fisiani 16

    Damian O’Connor was prophetic…. “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      You guys gotta co-ordinate your lines better and decide upfront who is using them…

    • Te Reo Putake 16.2

      Hello, Doug, nice to hear from you again.

    • burt 16.3

      Correct..The unionists get to keep extracting money from low paid workers so they can bribe the party to tilt the playing field in their favour… so self serving it’s ridiculous.

      • felix 16.3.1

        That’s correct burt, the job of the Labour party is to try to “tilt the playing field” (not a game btw) to better favour low-paid workers.

        Well said.

        • burt 16.3.1.1

          Better favour is one thing, support and creating policy for is another. Now if the Labour party wants to return to a union based workers party and be open and honest about that then great lets see it.

          To me, Labour wanting to be a dominant centralist party discretely kowtowing to union interest is a repugnant beast – as a workers party it has a chance of wining my electorate vote and against any other “Two ticks us” party Labour could even win my party vote.

          But hey, cast my opinion as an assault on workers if you want – that is if you really can’t understand it’s aimed at a centralist party to pansy to stand for what it is because it’s trying to be all things to all demographics – to win absolute power. The epitome of a Clark/Cullen government all over again.

          • felix 16.3.1.1.1

            “Better favour is one thing, support and creating policy for is another.”

            Nah. Same thing.

            Face it mate, you don’t like workers acting collectively.

            • burt 16.3.1.1.1.1

              Nah, too simple felix.

              I think the unions and the political parties should be separate – like the church and the state. So sure it’s simple, but you picked the wrong simple conclusion.

              • felix

                Oh it just gets better all the time. Why shouldn’t workers act collectively in politics, burt?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Employers and farmers unions certainly act collectively, in politics.

                • burt

                  They can, with accountability and transparency. A workers party run by a workers collective – sure. A country – not so sure.

                • burt

                  felix

                  The day unions have the capability and tenacity to be of sufficient value that people with highly paying jobs support them – they are ready to have a crack at the country. The day they are running the country they entrench more highly paid jobs into unionism… you happy with that hidden taxation?

                  • felix

                    People with high-paying jobs are welcome to form unions or other types of organisations to look out for their interests burt.

                    And many of them do.

      • RedBaron 16.3.2

        Now Burt don’t quote incorrectly. Labour need to “level the tilted playing field” away from greedy right wingers so we can all contribute. Can I take it, that this a thought and phrase that frightens you because it might just catch on?
        I assume you are being paid to post here as you are obviously reading posts very carefully. Every time I see you and others like you arrive at a debate it’s like a light bulb going on – these are themes and thoughts that are dangerous to Nact and will get mileage on the left so you try to squash them. Not smart really is it, to give yourself away like that.
        BTW I’ve always wondered why right wingers have such a fascination with left wing blogs – the reverse doesn’t seem to be true. I’m guessing it’s really basic right wing insecurities and low self esteem.

        • burt 16.3.2.1

          Really… Am I that good an agent for a National… and people get paid for this??? Where do I apply. I come with a good CV apparently. Waa hoo… dream job ahead….

          I come from a deeply Labour friendly family background on one side, Staunch National on the other. The all really want the same outcomes RedBaron, just different ways of going about it.

          However it’s only the left who get this absolute, sometimes militant, compulsion to combine government provision and government funding via large central government administrations – why is that? What conflicts would such a government have being funded by the affiliated unions and why would such a government be best for NZ ?

          But hey, if Labour are going back to their roots, purge the old tainted crew and start with a new vision loud and proud to take the 25%-35% (*1) of the vote and get their policies agitated through the house then good on Labour – lets move forward.

          (*1) Just made that up based around recent polling.

          • felix 16.3.2.1.1

            “all really want the same outcomes RedBaron, just different ways of going about it.”

            Nah.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Watch now as the posters on the right come out with all their shit about Cunliffe cos they scared. Shearer will have all the right wing Journos singing his praises of how effective he is against the their man Shonkey we will get lovely back stories of how they were just getting to know and like him bla bla. The reason this lot like Shearer is he cant beat Key and they bloody know it.

  18. Doug 18

    Craig Glen Eden:
    Cunliffe would be a good choice for Labour more than half the Labour Caucus can’t stand him “anyone but Cunliffe” and about 70% of the population can’t stand him, just a pompous power hungry individual good luck with him at the helm.

    • felix 18.1

      Yeah and we know how much you lot just hate having “a pompous power hungry individual” at the helm.

      Better trolls, please.

    • Norman Fan 18.2

      Surely you must be use to those kind of people, our prime minister is one. Mind, the sooner he came out of he closet, the happier he will be!

    • Hami Shearlie 18.3

      Please give us the link to the poll which shows that 70 percent of the population can’t stand David Cunliffe? Because I’ve never seen one. Most newspaper polls have him leading the race for leader as far as I have seen!! The Labour party members in his electorate are very very loyal to him and are genuinely fond of him – I know, my cousin and her husband worked in his electorate at the last election and many before that! I have read his CV – darn impressive, very diverse range of jobs and very clever man – that must be why some of the caucus hate him! The green-eyed monster is alive and well! Talk of his ego is laughable when you hear what Shearer said tonight -he can “guarantee he will be leader in 2014 and nothing will change”! Obviously, he doesn’t consider that the caucus have their own thoughts about this and they have the final say, not him!!

  19. Saarbo 19

    Its an exciting time for Labour, many saying that Labour have finally put the cock up of the neo lib crap behind us and moving forward. We will see a clear differential between Labour and National going forward from this conf.
    Should be some great debate tomorrow on the remits, I have been impressed with some.
    However I would have thought that Shearer should have taken the stage today, instead of Robertson. I reckon that if Shearer was really serious about his leadership he should have paraded his caucus in front of the membership, introduced them all (should have done this on day 1 perhaps). If the organisers are really serious about Shearer they would be putting him in front of the membership at every opportunity.  Just my thoughts. 
    Great conference and a really great mix of people, perhaps should be a few more Maori members there…otherwise very positive.  

    • Benghazi 19.1

      Now let’s think about why Robertson spoke today……maybe it was because he and Mallard/King thought rather than Robertson playing the regular deputy’s day 3 sweeper role after the Leader has spoken (as per Clark/Cullen) he might ‘show his light’ a bit more.

      Wouldn’t it be better to have any instability that a February leadership race might cause EARLY in 2013? Otherwise it’s being left to Robertson (= Mallard/King) to bide his time to take out Shearer closer to the 2014 election.

    • rosy 19.2

      Its an exciting time for Labour, many saying that Labour have finally put the cock up of the neo lib crap behind us and moving forward.

      I hope so. I might just have to renew my membership. And btw, for those who think blogging is worthless -navel-gazing (looking at you, Shearer, his advisors and MSM shills) I for one, would never have joined any political party in the first place if it wasn’t for the engagement with intelligent, thoughtful and articulate people on this blog.

  20. I still don’t get how this can be called democracy when caucus and affiliates each have a larger influence than members, but it’s certainly better than what was effectively a completely closed-door system before.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      It is only an electoral college system, but it is a huge out-of-sight improvement on what we had 24 hours ago.

  21. Rhinocrates 21

    Whoah, John Armstrong’s in a panic:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10848250

    Delegates were so blinded and so intoxicated by the prospect of securing a say in the election of future leaders that they did not think through the consequences and have ended up undermining the current one – quite possibly fatally.

    Fancy that, delegates having a say!

  22. TighyRighty 22

    I thought democracy was where everybody could vote regardless of status, sans age, and everybodies vote was equal?

    How the fuck can you spin it tht the affiliates having 20% of the vote is democratic? So the Labour Party is beholden to unions? I’m sure that’s what you would say if th pe BRT had a 20% voting bloc with the National Party.

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