No democracy for the Selwyn National Party?

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, December 13th, 2007 - 15 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

Colin Espiner has a story in yesterday’s Press saying that the heads of three National Party branches in the Canterbury district supported by 35 other party members have made a formal complaint to National President Judy Kirk alleging breaches of rules by the selection committee for the Selwyn candidate for National. List MP David Carter’s was the only name placed before the pre-selection committee. One other candidate is reported as saying that he had been “notified by the preselection committee that he would not be going further in the process”.

Regina Christey, a former electorate secretary, in a letter in the paper on the same day, said the process was “disgusting”; with “not one meet-the-candidates meeting of party members, no confirmation of who sat on the selection panel, attempts to bully candidates into withdrawing, no open delegate selection.’

She raises some important points in her letter, published on page A19 – “Did any meeting waive the right of members in the electorate to select the candidate, or was it a case of the National Party board assuming the right to choose for the people of this district? Why did the selection process differ from that in the party’s rules?”

If the process was different from the rules the National Party is in breach of the Electoral Act. Clause 71 of the Act sets out a legal requirement for registered parties to follow democratic procedures in candidate selection. Provision must be made for participation in the selection of candidates by current financial members of the party who are entitled to vote, or by delegates who have been elected by current financial members. The party’s rules governing the selection of candidates must be filed with the Electoral Commission.

Judy Kirk said she was looking into the concerns and would deal with them “in the appropriate way.” It will be interesting to see if that does provide for a more democratic process; or perhaps the National Party this time around wants to hang on to its dead wood?

15 comments on “No democracy for the Selwyn National Party?”

  1. all_your_base 1

    Sounds like democracy under attack.

    I expect we’ll be seeing a Herald editorial shortly.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2


    Shades of Chavez. That’d be a good name for a band.

    But what a bunch of hypocritical wankers tories are anyway.

  3. I know what this sounds like – it sounds like the Labour Party election that I was part of in the Princes Street Branch this year!

    High party intereference, dodgy election procedures and Helen Clark’s right-wing sycophant Phil Twyford carrying the orders from General Secretary Mike Smith to bring out some 1960’s party by-law…

    The major parties in New Zealand need a kick up the arse with the way that their members are treated within the extra-Parliamentary wing of the party.

  4. Wayne 4

    Oliver. I agree that the major parties do need to be more responsive to their members, as I’ve found myself. National appers to’ve broken the law here though which is something of a worry.

  5. rjs131 5

    Lets hope the national party hierarchy listens to their members, jsut like the labour party members decided to ignore the hierarchy in selecting Russel Fairbrother over stuart nash

  6. get out of the woods 6

    ooo oliver how is that delusional world coming along? if you are trying to dredge up the period where ps was harassed by a narcissistic, angry little spoilt boy and compare it to this you are even sadder than first thought. you know well the party, after the delightful prebble, rightly introduced branch stacking rules to prevent a whole lot of people paid off the street from voting in elections. if you call a constitution dodgy election procedures your understanding of a free and fair society is slightly distorted. as if if you think the violence and intimidation ps members faced at the hands of your little brigade of “labour” members is a valid way to behave. go back and peddle your bullshit to dpf- at least then you can feel like a reeeeal political somebody.

  7. Billy 7

    Tane promised me there were no wings in the Labour party. Tell me more Oliver and gootw.

  8. Tane 8

    Billy, don’t be disingenuous. I never said there was no conflict within the party – that’s absurd. What I said was the grand left/right factional divide Farrar was talking up a few months back didn’t exist. It doesn’t.

  9. Greg 9

    From my understanding of the rules there was no technical breach of the Constitution.
    There is nothing which prevents the Party President from placing pressure on nominees to not stand.
    The pre-selection committee has the right to “exclude a candidate for unsuitability as disclosed from the interview material and/or reference checks.” (rule 100, b, iii)
    There is no requirement that the waiver be given to recent party members (95, b)
    Also of note is that Judy Kirk nominates two of the nine members of the pre-selection committee (100, d, iv).

  10. get out of the woods 10

    yes, it wasn’t anything to do with ideology i can promise you that. just think the nats got the madness of liz shaw…so surely labour will get it’s nutjobs now and then

  11. get out of the woods, I know this was a really awful time for all of you and you all should be admired from dealing with the harassment as maturely as you did. But just ignore it now- let Oliver have his five seconds of blogger infamy. It is not worth you getting upset about that lot again and letting yourself stoop to their levels.

  12. Billy 12

    Obviously, I know nothing about the internal machinations of the Labour Party. I’ll take your word for it, Tane. Only, Oliver did make a special point of mentioning “Helen Clark’s right-wing sycophant…”

  13. Billy 13

    Beany’s right gootw, not in front of the children.

  14. Tane 14

    Hey Billy, yeah I’ve only met Twyford once and he struck me as a thoroughly nice guy. Can’t say I know much about his politics but I’d be careful about labelling someone who headed Oxfam for nine years ‘right-wing’.

  15. Billy 15

    Not my label.

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