Mt Albert candidate selected

Written By: - Date published: 3:48 pm, May 3rd, 2009 - 92 comments
Categories: labour, mt albert - Tags:

David Shearer has been selected as the candidate for Labour.

Congratulations to all of the candidates

[updated: The vodem was a bit slow. So I’ve now updated the post with links to the byelection campaign site after I got home.]

92 comments on “Mt Albert candidate selected”

  1. gingercrush 1

    You wouldn’t happen to know how the votes went?

    No surprise. I feel for the other candidates. They never had a chance once Goff had his candidate.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      Ginger, if Shearer had not stood, Twyford would have.

      It has worked out far better than the blog-fed media would have us believe. There is now a choice between David Shearer and 3 list MPs (if Lee is selected).

      Norman will do well, Boscawen will take votes off the Nats (and embarrass them too) and Shearer will win.

      • gingercrush 1.1.1

        Why do you think Twyford would have stood? He wanted to stand only he was told not to stand. End of story. Labour was suppose to be more democratic than National when choosing candidates. This suggests otherwise. Though the Greens were considered even more democratic Yet I don’t even know if a vote was taken to stand Norman.

        I think Shearer has the best chance to win. But if National chooses Lee, I could well see this contest becoming what Ohariu was in 2008. A three-way contest.

        • gobsmacked 1.1.1.1

          Twyford was the MP in waiting. He would have been overwhelming favourite for the nomination.

          But that’s history now. Out of interest, why do you rate Melissa Lee highly? This is received wisdom, apparently based on a Spanish internet poll which said she’s hot. Anything else?

          • gingercrush 1.1.1.1.1

            If she was to be chosen. She offers a difference to the white male which Act, the Greens and Labour are offering. She is talented and an absolute scoop for National. I would consider her the top National MP to come in from the 2008 intake. I think she will be rushed into a ministerial position before the 2011 election. Though National has too many MPs that ideally should have ministerial positions etc. Its just that some of the older National MPs need to move on for that to happen. I would say Labour has the same problem. Move half of Labour’s front bench, other MPs such as Hodgson etc on and move-up Hipkins, Arden, Twyford, Robertson and Davis, Curran and Burns.

            I think she can attract a large number of Asian voters. I know she is Korean and Mt. Albert tends to have more Indian voters. Indian and Korean people, likewise Chinese are not the same. They have very distinct differences. But I do think she and National can get a number of those voters. That may be more important than actually winning the seat. Asian voters are growing substantially particularly in Auckland. National is unlikely to grab a number of Pacific or Maori voters. They need the asian voters for their future as the proportion of white voters fall.

            I think her ability in the house from what I have seen has been very good. Her maiden speech along with Lotu-Inga were absolutely stellar. I think her journalism skills will prove helpful in National’s caucus and to get messages out. There is much more to politics than merely what we see in the house. Lee to me is the type of MP that can do a lot of work behind the scenes. As for her being selected as one of the most beautiful politicians in the world. I really couldn’t care less.

            In terms of Mt. Albert. The suburb is highly gentrified. While I don’t believe it is a National seat yet. I think Mt. Albert along with Mt. Roskill and Auckland Central are electorates that in time should prove to be more and more favourable towards National. National got Auckland Central in 2008 though it still needs to work in retaining the seat and getting more party votes. I think Mt. Roskill and Mt. Albert are the next electorates in Auckland that will in time become National.

  2. megsahottie 2

    dammit i wanted to see meg more often!

    shes a hottie

  3. Chris G 3

    cue more Farrar spin about Shearer.

  4. lprent,

    Out of interest, what is the selection process? The Herald explained the National process in gruesome detail but I haven’t seen the same for Labour. Is it a straight vote from electorate members? Or something more complex?

  5. Anita

    Labour Party head office has three votes
    Mt. Albert Electorate organisation has 2 votes
    One vote is decided by members at the meeting through a vote
    and one vote is cast by a member elected (during the meeting) by the electorate organisation

    • Anita 5.1

      Loco Burro,

      What’s the difference between the last two? I would have thought that if the members at the meeting want one candidate they’ll use their vote for that candidate, and also elect a member who will vote that way.

      Also, how is the electorate organisation defined? Is it the elected officials of the branch in a straight majority vote?

      • Loco Burro 5.1.1

        Anita

        Here is the relevant part of the Labour Party Consitution…….

        246. The Selection Committee shall consist of:

        i. three members appointed by and on behalf of the New Zealand Council, at least one of whom shall be a woman, and in the case of the Maori Constituency seats at least two of whom shall be Maori; one of whom shall be a woman.
        ii. two local LEC representatives elected by the LEC, at least one of whom shall be a woman; There shall be two representatives.
        .iii. one local Party members’ representative elected by and from local Party members present at the selection meeting entitled to take part in the floor ballot, elected before the nominees presentations;
        iv. one vote for the preferred nominee selected by preferential ballot by eligible Party members present at the selection meeting.
        ———————————————————————————————————–

        The LEC stands for Labour Electorate Committee which is an elected Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer plus six members for Labour Electorate Committee Executive. All elected by fianncial members of Labour

        Hope that kinda explains it Anita

        • Anita 5.1.1.1

          Ah, so the difference between (iii) and (iv) is that one is a vote cast by the attendees before the presentations and the other after it?

          Plus perhaps (iii) is winner-takes-all while (iv) is preferential.

  6. 7 votes in total I meant to add if it wasn’t clear

  7. Adolf Fiinkensein 7

    Somebody wrote a book about this process. I think it was called “The Carpetbagger.”

    • gobsmacked 7.1

      Poor Adolf. I can see you’re going to need this explained very slowly.

      National had a candidate at the last election. He wants to be the candidate again. Somebody is trying to replace him, against his wishes. A carpet-bagger.

      Labour had a candidate at the last election. She is now in New York. It’s a long commute to Mt Albert. So they had to choose a new candidate, from an outstanding list. Which they’ve now done.

      No doubt you and your mates in the blog-sewer will now try and destroy David Shearer. All you will do is destroy John Key’s carefully constructed image of the nice new National Party. For this, many thanks.

      • Anita 7.1.1

        gobsmacked writes,

        National had a candidate at the last election. He wants to be the candidate again. Somebody is trying to replace him, against his wishes. A carpet-bagger.

        If Melissa Lee tried to take the Epsom candidacy off Richard Worth she wouldn’t be a carpet bagger IMO.

  8. andy 8

    In terms of Mt. Albert. The suburb is highly gentrified.

    So you have never been to Mt Albert then! Certainly parts of the electorate are ‘gentrified’. Remember that nice Mr Key visited a street in Mt Albert that was full of the ‘under class’ ,McGehan Close! Highly ungentrified…

    in fact Mt Albert is remarkably average statistically. Th e only statistical outlier is the ‘ethnic’ make up, one of the most varied in the country!

    • Jarvis Pink 8.1

      Ah, but ginge thinks it’s gentrified, and in his world that counts as evidence. (He also thinks global warming is “absolute bullshit“, so it is)

      • felix 8.1.1

        Evidence? Well I do. Think it is more gentrified. Than perhaps some other electorates. You see there are many opinions. Some people. Might think that National. Are more popular with rich people. But I disagree. If you watch question time you’ll see. That National talks about ordinary people. You see there are some electorates. Where there are lots of different people. I think National will do well here. Because they are more concerned. With working people and wealthy people. So Mt Albert is gentrified.

        • gingercrush 8.1.1.1

          You do my sentence structures so well Felix.

          I should have said, “Mt. Albert is undergoing gentrification” rather than say its highly gentrified. Though, I certainly don’t think Mt. Albert is as average as you say. Mt. Albert itself has had some significant gentrification, Point Chev has certainly moved up and Kingsland isn’t average.

    • Tim Ellis 8.2

      Actually, andy, McGehan Close is in the Mt Roskill electorate. Have you ever been to Mt Albert?

      • lprent 8.2.1

        Yes, this last election it is. I seem to remember that we lost it in the boundary changes in the census. Like my apartment, it keeps flipping in and out of Mt Albert

      • andy 8.2.2

        Tim I have been to Mt Albert, Happen to live in Sandringham! You are correct McGehan close was lost to to Mt Roskill. It was an example of the mix in the electorate.

        The mix in the electorate makes it hard to predict, places like kingsland are populated by the arts/creative crowd which could vote either way, local issues will trump national issues this early in the election cycle, but I think the media will report it like a referendum on National which it isn’t.

        E.g the new section of motorway terminates at the end of Sandringham Rd, this is due to open mid May, I think the locals will notice changes in traffic patterns (hopefully it will ease :)), and will focus on the waterview option. The Super city legislation is coming up this week so will be in the news.

        It is Labours to lose!

  9. Stephen 9

    No doubt you and your mates in the blog-sewer will now try and destroy David Shearer.

    Well, maybe. We haven’t heard ANYTHING from him apart from his desire to use mercenaries when appropriate. So who knows.

    edit: not that ‘we’ implies i’m a card carrying blog-sewer member.

  10. Sweetd 10

    In someone’s haste to complete this, they linked the wrong photo to Shearer. When I click on his pic, Sultana’s comes up. Very sloppy work. Or, were other agenda’s at play?

  11. gingercrush 11

    Hmm looking at the electoral details. More looking at the party vote as opposed to what Helen Clark got.

    For National to win. They need to retain the votes they got in Mt. Albert and Point Chev and increase their votes in Avondale, Kingsland, Sandringham and Waterview.

    For the Greens. They’re going to have to grab a shitload of votes from Mt. Albert and particularly they have to win the left votes in Avondale which were not kind to them in 2008. While taking away so many votes from Labour elsewhere.

    I don’t see this as a three-way race now. Very much seems to be a two-way between National and Labour. The Greens I just don’t see unless Labour’s vote completely collapses. But if anything if Labour collapses the votes would tend to drift to National.

  12. Some interesting points out of all of this.

    First, Labour seems to be trying to take National on in the centre. The Greens must be delighted on the one hand although Labour in the past hasn’t shared the love.

    Second, the fact that even in the middle of a recession that National think it has a chance must be a real concern to Labour.

    Third, Goff got his way with the selection (cue shock horror probe response here) so he must be pretty solid in the short term. I can only imagine the comments here if a mate of Key got selected.

    Having said that, he seems to have decent credentials but it will be interesting to see what happens.

    • But the Greens are no longer left wing. They have sided up to a government that is turning out to be more and more right wing each week.

      I think they will actually suffer some damage. The line will be “a vote for Green will help National”.

      The local people will be fine. There were five very good local candidates and this actually helped Shearer. If there was only one strong local then anything could have happened.

      Fryer, Bates, Vaithianathan, White and Tremewan were very creditable. I suspect that we will see more of them in the future, particularly Vaithianathan.

  13. Yes well done David. I for one would like to know more about the guy than just his views on mercenaries before I judge.

  14. gingercrush 14

    Daveski – That assumes the Greens pick-up those left voters. The Green Party gets certain left-wing votes but they have not been able to show an ability to grab lower income voters. They do very well with middle and upper class inner-city urban voters. But if you look at the electorates around New Zealand. It is evidently clear that lower income urban centres tend not to vote Greens. There could also be an argument that asian voters don’t vote Greens. That is two factors that will affect the Greens in this by-election.

    For Russel Norman to win he effectively need to take Labour votes away in Mt. Albert, Kingsland and Point Chev. Those three areas are where the Greens got most of their votes from in the 2008 election. They’re more upscale, more gentrified and more middle class. They literally would need the votes to collapse in those areas for Labour and hope they turn their way. The Greens then have to convince voters in Avondale, Sandringham and Waterview to vote for them. Not as gentrified, has more lower-income voters. That is a big ask, particularly in Avondale which just isn’t Green voting territory. Shearer would have to perform so significantly bad for Norman to even inch his way in.

    • George Darroch 14.1

      The Labour Party presents themselves to the electorates they campaign in as a left wing party, despite being deeply centre-right on many issues. The Greens present themselves as a centrist party, despite being deeply leftist on many issues.

      The Greens consistently fail to target the concerns of the majority of the spectrum – health, education, personal economy, and ‘security’. Get any two of these and nullify the others, and you have the vote of the majority of the population. In order to win this seat, the Greens will have to talk seriously about more than motorways. I don’t think they will, to anywhere near the extent they should.

      I do think they’re in a better position to talk about health than they’ve ever been with Kevin Hague addressing the issue, and starting to be seen as serious about other issues. I think they could do a lot better, and maybe they will.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    This carpet bagger talk is all a bit funny. I think the definition of what carpetbagging entails needs to be updated from the FPP system to account for the shenanigannery that parties can now get up to with the MMP.

    Seems to me that the ‘wrongness’ of carpetbagging is the the fact that the party is putting it’s interests over that of the electorate, by putting some newbie that they want in the house into a safe seat, or in a marginal seat sending in a high flying or nationally popular candidate that’s got an easier chance.

    In the MMP environment, the equivalent would be putting a sitting list MP in to run, so that the electors aren’t really voting for a new face in the house. The new face will be some other fecker off the list that barely gets a mention. The new face in the house willnae have any connection to the seat, and the new electorate MP wouldnae be reliant on the electorate ’cause they’ve already got the cushy list spot. If they win the by-election they are hardly going to be punished by being pushed down the list are they?

    • Anita 15.1

      Hm it depends what you think the sin is 🙂

      I think that MMP was deliberately constructed to ensure that political representation was proportional and local representation was real. When a party brings in a non-local they show they don’t care about local representation, when they do it to distort proportionality they show they don’t care about proportionality.

      The Greens are supposed to care about both. National and Labour ?

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        Haven’t thought it out completely, which won’t stop me from putting in the interwebs of course, but maybe those nutters that are always writing letters to the editor are right for the wrong reason.

        The letters I have in mind are the anti list mp people that get all upset that electorate MP’s can be chucked out, but come in anyway via the list. I’ve always found that stupid because lists get voted for too, so why should a single electorate have a veto over the rest of the country.

        But maybe they have a point. Perhaps electorate MP’s should not be allowed on the list, and further, not be allowed to hold a ministerial portfolio. Let the blighters represent their electorate, which should be a full time job. If they are super fine MP’s and are ministerial potential, ‘promote’ them to the list and let the nation as a whole vote on their err worth.

        That would seem to protect both aspects of MMP. Apart from the unlikely situation that a party swept the electorates so much that they couldn’t field a cabinet, but they’d probably need a coalition partner anyhoo. so they could make up the numbers on account of the minor party not having any electorate MP’s.

    • Daveski 15.2

      For one of the few times, I agree with you PB 🙂

      In any case, the normal rules don’t necessarily apply in a by-election.

      For what it’s worth, I struggle to see Labour losing.

  16. outofbed 16

    Anita
    But if Russel wins John the Local Green Candiidate (2008) is the next on the list
    so therefore gets in
    Cake and eating it eh ?

    • BLiP 16.1

      . . if Russel wins . . .

    • Anita 16.2

      Even if that were true, the Right Thing for the Greens to do would be to run Jon the Local Green Candidate for the local seat. The point of the electorate seats is to have local representatives.

  17. outofbed 17

    Anita I actually agree with you
    But its a sign of the Greens new pragmatism
    We need the media coverage to enable us to get the Green New Deal message over
    So yes wrong in the small picture possibly right when looking at the big picture

    • Anita 17.1

      How many principles does “the Greens new pragmatism” mean they will/should give up?

      I think they could run a strong effective media friendly campaign with a local candidate. Is running Norman the only way to get coverage? and will it be the right coverage?

      • mickysavage 17.1.1

        Agreed. Norman appears to me to have an ego that gets in the way of the politics sometimes. I have always had a soft spot for the greens but their performance over the past month has really made me reconsider.

  18. outofbed 18

    No they can’t run a strong media campaign with a local candidate
    The MSM generally misrepresent the Green party and it is really hard to get media coverage Putting up a co leader gives us a lot more exposure then we would have otherwise had ,whether its the right coverage or not we shall have to see.

    And as for principles rest assured it all good, the grass roots of the party is where the power is vested and they are a very principled bunch 🙂

  19. outofbed 19

    but their performance over the past month has really made me reconsider

    can you be more specific ?

  20. outofbed

    1. MOU with the nats on the day that the Auckland Governance decision was announced, boy were they played like chumps by Key
    2. Standing a candidate in Mt Albert
    3. Even worse standing Norman in Mt Albert.

    The dynamic they seem to refuse to accept is that if somehow Labour lost the seat all hell would break loose and we would probably have at least 6 years of right wing rule. They could have stood a local and brought Norman and the others in to speak about the issues. Their decision really does feel like a declaration of war against Labour.

    • Anita 20.1

      What’s wrong with the Greens standing a candidate in Mt Albert? If they’re committed to local representation and they care about Mt Albert they should be running a strong local candidate.

  21. George Darroch 21

    Micky, regarding 2. and 3.

    Labour have never stood aside for the Greens, why should they do anything different?

    • Labour gave out the message in 1999 in Coromandel to support Jeanette Fitzsimonds when it appeared she may have been able to win the seat.

      Most of the time the Greens are not close enough to even consider this.

  22. outofbed 22

    The best thing for social democracy is that Norman wins the electotate seat of MA for the Greens and gives them a strong base They go under 5% in 2011 The nats will definitely be in
    therefore labour should stand aside

    Won’t happen though will it They ( Lab)prefer to stand a someone on the right of the party
    shows where they are at

  23. TS 23

    The result of the selection meeting today was an absolute triumph of cronyism over talent. Good luck to Goff and the Mt Albert LEC. Now they will really need it. There was a very clear winner at that meeting and it surely wasn’t Shearer.

    • I bet you were not even there …

      • TS 23.1.1

        no i was there mickysavage.
        to prove it, i’ll tell you who was on stage when the stich-up was announced.
        i’ll just use their initials to protect their privacy.
        from left to right:
        DT (elected from floor), MS, AL, JH and PH (representing Mt Albert LEC).

        Shearer came a distant 4th at the selection, and did even worse at the Q&A.

        I’d prefer Labour didn’t bother with the farsical venner of democratic process, it’s just an insult to it’s members.

        I am very angry with what happened at that ‘selection’ and you know perfectly well, if you were there, that a lot of people who left that hall were very angry too. screw you and screw your party. it definitely isn’t my party any more. good luck with hiring enough volunteers to run to campaign because after that fiasco don’t expect too many grassroots volunteers.

  24. I don’t think it’s fair to grump at the Greens for standing a candidate at all… I mean heck even Act are standing a candidate (a current MP too) who is undoubtedly going to undemine the National vote. And the Act-National relationship at the moment is much stronger than that Labour-Greens.

    Regarding whether the Greens should have stood Norman, there are good arguments either way I think. But in the end, for the sake of democracy it is good to have the best possible candidates. And Norman will certainly be a good candidate – the more choice for Mt Albert electors the better I reckon.

    TS, who was it?

  25. Tim Ellis 25

    Good on Goff for showing some mettle and not giving in to the right wing blogs this time by backing Shearer.

    I agree with other commenters though that Goff has put his leadership on the line by backing Shearer so completely. He has turned the election into a referendum on the Labour Party. Unless Labour win big, he will be in big trouble.

    • r0b 25.1

      You’re funny sometimes Tim. Unlike the Nats thrashing about with their five leaders during Clark’s time, Labour have learned the lesson of stability in leadership.

  26. George Darroch 26

    Looks like Labour picked the right candidate….

  27. gingercrush 27

    I don’t think Labour needs to win big. The party vote difference between National and Labour in 2008 was 2, 426 votes in terms of the party vote. Helen Clark’s majority of 10, 351 is not important. Since it was more a vote for her than it was Labour whereas elsewhere other electorates were more defined by the parties. While certainly some of Labour’s party vote can be attributed to Clark. I can’t believe that is anymore than an extra 500 votes. If Shearer can win by 1, 000 or more that will be a significant result. In fact I would say a mere win itself will be credible.

    • lprent 27.1

      Bullshit. This is a by-election. You’re correct about the Clark figure. The party vote has to be the measure.

      The most interesting figure is going to be the turnout. Typically by-elections have 10-20% drops in turnout, with less of the left vote turning out than the right. If the turnout drops too far then the left loses. The key for the nats is to encourage a low turnout – highly democratic….

      • jerry 27.1.1

        Surely if voters are too lazy to get off their collective arses and vote it’s their own fault ?

        Don’t really see why the political junkies on either side of the fence are getting excited Shearer will do it in a canter.

  28. outofbed 28

    Greens attack Labour’s ‘grey’ man

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10570156&pnum=0

    looks like Russ is going for it

  29. I see he’s not above running National Party lines either. Disappointing.

    That seemed pretty churlish, didn’t it?

    I’m also surprised no one has made more of this claim in an email announcing Norman’s candidacy to members and supporters:

    “It’s important for you to know that no matter who wins the Mt Albert seat it will have no impact on the Government’s majority in Parliament.”

    This just isn’t true. If National were to win, it would gain an additional MP — and the ability to get legislation passed with only an Act abstention. At the moment, they need an Act abstention and Dunne’s vote. It’s not a trivial change.

  30. outofbed 30

    Tane

    In the unlikely event that Norman wins
    would that be better for the cause of social justice in Nz then Shearer ?

    Also Ii want a rejuvenated Labour party I don’t think Phils the man
    it might hasten his demise which would be better now then in 18 months, methinks

    • Tane 30.1

      I don’t know enough about Shearer to know. Neither does Norman, but that hasn’t stopped him dishonestly running National’s attack lines.

      The only progressive candidate? Give me a break. This isn’t how progressives behave.

  31. outofbed 31

    Shock horror after being stuck in the 5% – 7% range
    The Greens piss people off for running a campaign as as independent party
    What would you like them to do then ? more of the same?
    if ever they fall below 5% you have no chance of a progressive GOV

    Attacking the Greens is no substitute for Lab getting its act together

    • r0b 31.1

      Yes, the Greens have been stable above the 5% for some time. “New pragmatism” is never going to get them a big increase in votes – it just isn’t going to happen – there aren’t enough tories who will suddenly decide to vote Green. All “New pragmatism” does is risk alienating core Green support, a loss which could pull them under 5%. Sorry, the Greens are perfectly entitled to play it this way if they wish, but looks to me like a huge risk for no possible gain.

      • Daveski 31.1.1

        Actually r0b what exactly is the Greens’ “core support”? The problem the Greens have is that their original focus was on environmental issues but the head office appears to have a left wing agenda.

        Given the core support of the Greens has been middle class urban liberals, it would seem to have a bit of a personality conflict that is likely to undermine their attempt to grow their support.

        • r0b 31.1.1.1

          You mostly answered your own question Daveski, add in core environmentalists, and a good share of young / student voters.

  32. outofbed 32

    No there is a huge group of voters who are not committed to any party
    I agree core Nats would never vote Green any more then core Labourites would.
    Anyway climate change is happening all to fast we have to take risks to get people more aware Its not really about the “Greens” is it ?

    • r0b 32.1

      I am core Labour, I’ve voted and supported Green tactically, I know others who have. And I don’t think uncommitted voters (almost by definition) are any more or less likely to vote for “new pragmatic” Green than good old fashioned leftie Green.

      As to climate change, I think that message is well and truly out there already. It’s action that we need now.

      Its not really about the “Greens’ is it ?

      It does come across as being about the Greens – as a party, not as a cause. In my opinion it’s a mistake for the Greens to play the game like any other party. Being a cause was what set them apart.

    • lprent 32.2

      Ditto. It has been routine for me to try and activate green support in mt albert. Cannot see a reason to do so. MOU

  33. Mark Webster 33

    Phil Twyford is still the MP in waiting – Auckland Central, all right!
    (Besides, he’s still in parliament)

  34. Shock horror after being stuck in the 5% – 7% range
    The Greens piss people off for running a campaign as as independent party

    And they have every right to do so. I can’t see how that equates to a free pass. Kicking off by slighting the Labour candidate as a “grey man” seems particularly churlish to me. It might have been more graceful to have acknowledged Shearer’s years of service in humanitarian work.

    And the claim about National’s majority being unaffected is simply wrong in fact.

  35. Mark Webster 35

    What worries me is the Greens ‘up yours’ to Labour by putting Russell Norman forward. Not to say I can’t understand the ill feeling engendered by many of Labour’s actions over the last three terms this could have been handled a lot better.

  36. Tim Ellis 36

    There does seem to be a quite stunning contrast between the Nats’ response to Act standing a high profile candidate–no sense that Act doesn’t have a right to do so–and Labour’s panic about the Greens doing the same.

    Labour really are behaving like they are entitled to Mount Albert and don’t seem to like the idea that the Greens should have a strong Green option in Mount Albert.

  37. schrodigerscat 37

    Sorry Tim, where is the panic?

    • Tim Ellis 37.1

      There clearly is panic scro. From the Herald this morning:

      The contest is shaping up to be a thrilling one. The Green Party decided to stand Dr Norman despite hints from Labour that it should step aside to maximise Labour’s chances of retaining the seat.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10570156&pnum=0

      If Labour is so keen on a free pass from the Greens then Mt Albert can’t be considered a safe seat for Labour.

      • gobsmacked 37.1.1

        Oh well if the Herald says so …

        Next!

        • r0b 37.1.1.1

          Yes indeed – The Herald said there were “hints”! “Hints” no less. That’s panic all right!

          And of course it’s not a safe seat for Labour. It’s really a referendum on Key’s leadership. Key really has to win it big to avoid utter humiliation and a leadership challenge. Just applying Tim’s logic you know….

  38. gobsmacked 38

    I vote Labour (and hope to help out in Mt Albert) but have no problem at all with the Greens putting up Russel Norman in the by-election. It is in their interests, and the wider left’s interests, to boost their profile and their vote. And in any case … it’s their call.

    But I certainly have a problem with the Greens aping the Nats’ attack lines. If Shearer is a “grey man”, you might as well call Kennedy Graham and Kevin Hague “grey men” (pen-pushers, bureaucrats, blah blah). It is both false and infantile.

    Come on, Russel, you’re better than this. You’ve got the policy issues, use them.

  39. Pat 39

    Are Norman and Clendon going to campaign together? It would seem like a good idea to promote that a vote for Greens will get 2 Mt Albert MP’s, with Clendon next on the list.

  40. There does seem to be a quite stunning contrast between the Nats’ response to Act standing a high profile candidateno sense that Act doesn’t have a right to do soand Labour’s panic about the Greens doing the same.

    Uh, do you have a quote to that effect? Shearer seems to have rather notably declined Norman’s invitation to a slanging match.

    • Tim Ellis 40.1

      Russell, good point.

      Take the comments online from Ian of Glen Eden on the Herald’s comments page. Ian is a frequent pro-Labour commenter:

      It’s a bit “rich” for Russell Norman to be talking about David Shearer as National-lite, when Russell Norman and his party have signed an agreement with the National led government.

      We are not all as stupid as Russell Norman.

      Or how about PacificFrank:

      And then there’s Russell Norman, another needing GPS directions, stretching incredulity to say the Labour candidate is National-lite! A supposed intelligent man, Norman obviously hasn’t checked out his opponent’s CV to see he has no values aligned with National’s.

      • r0b 40.1.1

        That’s so weak as to be pathetic Tim. Shall we present views from the comments section of Kiwiblog as National Party policy?

      • felix 40.1.2

        Is that it? That’s the panic?

        A couple of people post comments on the Herald blog who don’t think much of Russell Norman?

        Jeez Tim, even for you that’s a stretch.

  41. Zaphod Beeblebrox 41

    What are National going to campaign on? Super City and increased costs for next 2-3 years and putting an overland motorway through the electorate would seem a hard sell. Also, what is their jobs’ strategy? The summit seemed to produce very little and all the treasurer seems to spout is the need to be stingy. Sooner or later they are going to have to come up with something to promote as their own.

  42. r0b 42

    The always excellent Gordon Campbell says it all pretty plainly:

    So David Shearer is to be the Labour candidate in Mt Albert. The claims by Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman on Morning Report that this leaves Norman as the only progressive candidate on offer in the Mt Albert by-election were singularly depressing, as an index of how the Greens plan to fight this campaign. To reach that conclusion, Norman has willingly bought into the distortion of Shearer’s views on mercenaries in extreme Third World hot spots. …

    Is it hard to see anything progressive in this array of smear tactics. For one thing, Shearer has spent a good deal of his professional life in humanitarian work in the Third World, some of it while Norman was kicking back safely on Waiheke Island. …

    As a self described progressive, perhaps Norman could focus on what the government is doing to the people of Mt Albert.

    Plea to the Greens – don’t go any further down this path…

  43. CMR 43

    When I was in NZ last November I distinctly heard “I’m going to be the MP for Mt Albert for the next term.” I believe this was the utterance of a defeated liar. The Labour Party deserves to suffer the consequences of having a duplicitous ex-leader of its party and lose the seat on 13th June. It doesn’t concern me who the other party may be which triumphs at the by-election provided it is not Labour.

    By the way, NZ’s present government is being positively trumpeted by the more sophisticated economics commentators in UK/USA/ Canada/Australia. The critics embedded at this blog must be right to slate Key’s government and the offshore commentators all deluded? I wonder?

    • r0b 43.1

      I distinctly heard “I’m going to be the MP for Mt Albert for the next term.’

      Do you have a reference / link for this claim please?

      I believe this was the utterance of a defeated liar.

      I believe the utterance exists only in your head, the irrational spawn of your irrational hatred.

      By the way, NZ’s present government is being positively trumpeted by the more sophisticated economics commentators in UK/USA/ Canada/Australia.

      That’s an interesting claim, given that our present government hasn’t actually done anything except “hope for the best”. So, could you provide links for a couple of these “more sophisticated economics commentators” in each of the countries “UK/USA/ Canada/Australia” please? I’d be fascinated to have a look.

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