Written By: - Date published: 12:34 pm, December 1st, 2011 - 84 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, democratic participation, labour, leadership, Media, Shane Jones - Tags: andrew little, david shearer, grant robertson, jacinda ardern, nania mahuta
It worries me that the media and right wing are trying to take control of the Labour Leadership contest. There’s no great hurry with Christmas around the corner (no new leader is going to get a lot of traction over the summer holidays), but the consequences of making a hasty decision will be disasterous for the party, and disasterous for New Zealand. The new leader has to be ready and able to win 2014 and lead the country in three years time.
Rushing into this decision makes no good sense and there’s surely nothing owed to the media to follow any two week schedule they seem bent on pushing. There are also more than three options we should consider over and above the Davids but so far all others have been shoved off the menu (I guess the media just thought ‘The Three Davids’ sounded too catchy). I also wonder a bit about why Shearer seems to be the media’s and the right-wingers’ favourite.
More time will allow other potential candidates to think seriously about whether they want the job. I seriously hope there aren’t good candidates holding back with the expectation of the next leader losing in 2014 then going for a shot after that because to me that would be a betrayal of the needs of the party.
Making a real contest of who the next leader will be is a good move, and has the potential to kick-start their public awareness and build sound media relationships. But in the end the decision, the process, the timing and options are Labour’s decision. Other voices that want to control the process most certainly do not have the party’s interests at heart.