Phil Twyford’s private members bill, the Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill, was pulled from the ballot last week. It will force a referendum before any of Auckland’s public assets are sold off. Criticism from the right is that there are no plans to sell off assets, and if true, surely means they have no real reason not to vote for it.
On a related note, it’s fantastic to see more from Phil Twyford on Web 2.0 style campaigning, and a focus on grassroots campaigning within the community. Twyford is a real asset to the Labour Party with his experience in these areas, and it’s great to see them realise the advantages with the use of Red Alert.
One thing I have enjoyed seeing from Phil Twyford on Red Alert is that he is not scared of putting ideas out there for discussion, even when he isn’t necessarily advocating the idea as policy. A good example of that was his post on Demeny voting, the idea that parents would get to vote on behalf of their children until they are old enough to vote for themselves. Personally I would be 100% against the idea, but it was clear Twyford wasn’t advocating the idea. He was acknowledging the real issues around inter-generational theft (like stopping contributions to the superannuation fund), and advocating discussion on ideas to fix the problem.
One of the few benefits of being in opposition is that Labour should have plenty of time to build up infrastructure for when they are in government. A blog by MP’s (and hopefully in future cabinet ministers) for putting ideas out there and getting instant feedback would be a useful tool in government, and hopefully help to keep Labour listening and engaging with voters. The difficult part will be encouraging more MP’s, and more voters to use it.