John Armstrong gets it right: David Cunliffe’s going to win tomorrow and if he doesn’t it will only be because the caucus has stymied the will of the members, which will kill Labour. But he also gets it really wrong. Armstrong cooks up a conspiracy where Cunliffe’s job is to win the election, then Robertson will roll him.
It’s almost as if, in the middle of Labour’s first democratic leadership selection process, he’s forgotten that Labour now has a democratic leadership selection process.
How would Armstrong’s scenario work? Cunliffe beats Key; for some reason, newly-minted ministers can think of nothing more fun than to then vote no confidence in the guy who just led them to victory; then, for no particular reason, the party votes against the guy they chose, who has just won an election, to select Robertson, the guy who’s just stabbed their favourite in the back.
That’s batshit crazy, John. Just batshit. There’s no way the membership is going to vote out a leader that they selected after he has succeeded in becoming Prime Minister.
The only thing that lets Armstrong come up with such preposterous scenarios is he has the elitist’s snobbishness about democracy. He thinks that the rabble shouldn’t be allowed a say in politics (he opposes referendums as much as he does democratic elections for party leaders) and politics should be the rule of a benign elected dictator. So, he naturally casts democracy as instability, when, in fact, it’s the opposite.
Labour’s leadership selection process will make its leadership more stable – no more midnight backstabbing coups, because any plotters will have to take their case to the membership and win, which will only be possible if you come to the race with clean hands.