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Oh dear.

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, May 4th, 2009 - 36 comments
Categories: mt albert, national - Tags: ,

A while back we heard a rumour that National had already printed its billboards for the Mt Albert campaign – with Melissa Lee as the candidate.

We decided not to run it. It was too implausible to think they would run the risk of doing that before they have their selection process tonight and name her as the candidate. Perhaps we were wrong:

National is holding a meeting in Auckland suburb Mt Albert this evening to select its candidate – but someone in the party has already decided who it is going to be.

The National Party Mainland Conference agenda lists Mt Albert candidate MP Melissa Lee as a speaker. – NZPA

Poor old Ravi. He never stood a chance.

UPDATE: And sure enough, Melissa Lee has been selected.

36 comments on “Oh dear.”

  1. vidiot 1

    Yep, Ravi suffers the same fate as Phil Twyford, Meg Bates and that other guy Russelll umm err wtf

    • r0b 1.1

      Ravi suffers the same fate

      Really? I missed the part where Labour announced Shearer as the party’s official candidate before the selection process had even taken part.

      The media of course knew that Melissa Lee was a foregone conclusion, eg here:

      Greens co-leader Russel Norman is standing for his party. Labour selects its candidate tomorrow. Melissa Lee is expected to stand for National.

      here:

      List MP, and this country’s first Korean MP Melissa Lee, is expected to get the nod.

      here:

      Nominations for Labour close on April 22, and about eight people have said they are interested. National is expected to stand Melissa Lee.

      and so on. But National effectively announcing it as a done deal before the charade has even taken place really is extraordinary.

      • Jared 1.1.1

        Two can play this game rob

        Here
        “Labour, which will select its candidate tomorrow, has shunned using a list MP. Its front-runner is top-ranking United Nations official David Shearer, who has returned from Baghdad to contest the nomination.”

        And Here

        “David Shearer, a former adviser to Mr Goff, is considered the one to beat for the Labour nomination.”

        Yeah, here too

        “A top-ranking United Nations official in Iraq is returning home to New Zealand to try and win the Labour nomination for the Mt Albert by-election.

        The Herald has learned David Shearer, currently the deputy special representative of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in Iraq, heads a list of up to a dozen possible candidates.”

      • r0b 1.1.2

        You might see no difference in “expected to stand” vs “the one to beat” (I certainly do). But even you must see that National effectively announcing the winner in advance is in a whole new league…

        • Jared 1.1.2.1

          Naively thinking the party meeting tonight would have much if any difference is like thinking the Labour candidate meeting was unbiased. You can harp on till the cows come home about how “democratic” and “fair” the Labour voting system is, but in reality both National and Labour had already decided who they wanted to stand well before their respective meetings.

          • r0b 1.1.2.1.1

            Naively thinking the party meeting tonight would have much if any difference

            OK, you’re comfortable with the Nat process being a charade, good for you.

            is like thinking the Labour candidate meeting was unbiased

            It was a genuine vote for a genuine candidate pool. I’ve been somewhat involved in Labour candidate selection processes in the past – they are genuine exercises in democracy.

            In Labour the central influence is quite explicit, 3 votes out of 7. In National it now seems that the central party just writes the outcome in advance.

    • groobenheimer 1.2

      Sounds just like the Labour ‘selection’.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Same could be said for David Shearer. And even the Greens who we assume are always more democratic than the other parties. These parties can make their selections as democratic as they wish. At the end of the day, party hierachy will take control and ultimately select the candidates they want.

  3. Good to see the party of freedom, democracy and transparency living up to its high standards.

    • groobenheimer 3.1

      You are deluded about Labour and National being any different in this respect.

  4. Andy 4

    Ironically when Lee is named, Labour’s David Shearer will be the only non-MP standing for a party of note and the only one who has a house in the electorate.

    Yeah, he’s spent a lot of time overseas in his career but if he’s a parachute candidate, what does that make the others?

    • groobenheimer 4.1

      you mean he has a rental property in the electorate, bought when kingsland wasn’t actually part of the mt albert electorate. yep that sure is a strong bond with the place.

      • Lindsey 4.1.1

        Some fact might just be useful here. When are you saying David bought his house in Kingsland that it was not part of Mt Albert??
        I bought mine in 1981 and Kingsland was part of the Mt Albert electorate then. It remained so until after the MMP changes when some of it it became Auckland Central in 1996. In 2002 parts of it returned to Mt Albert and some has since gone back to Auckland Central.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    V-Idiot & fellow spinners

    Musuku was the candidate in 2005 and 2008. Labour’s candidate was called Helen Clark.

    I don’t like missing out when I apply for a job. But it sure ain’t the same feeling as being sacked.

    There’s a clear difference here, and I’m sure you know it.

    • gingercrush 5.1

      Why is there a clear difference? You could say Meg Bates was waiting in the wings for the time that Helen Clark vacated her seat. The same could equally be applied to Phil Twyford. The leadership of the Labour party did not want Twyford to stand. That isn’t democratic. Its usual practice for high performing candidates to be pushed into electorates over candidates that have stood in that electorate for years. It isn’t anything new. Both Labour and National have a long history of doing such actions.

      Very few on the right here are defending National’s candidate selection as being democratic. I just don’t know why the Labour supporters continue to try and perpetuate their candidate selection as being democratic.

    • Jared 5.2

      Musuku may have been the candidate in the past 2 elections but it hardly gives him any more entitlement than any other candidate at the present. Mt Albert is a unique seat, one that has been held by Helen Clark for the last 28 years, and considering the conditions it is of tactical importance from all parties to win the seat. For Labour it would indicate either the Mt Albert electorate votes Labour yet again as they have always done, that Labour is clawing back at National, and for National it would indicate if it won the seat that it would solidify its role as the legitimate ruling party in Parliament. So for give me for running on, but getting hung up over a candidate who performed poorly in the last 2 elections and in the most decisive by election is replaced by a stronger candidate is hardly front page material. He has as much right to the seat as any of the unsuccessive Labour candidates.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    He didn’t perform poorly. National now say they can win the seat. He got them there.

    He doesn’t have an automatic right to be the candidate. He does have an absolute right to be told the truth to his face, and not be publicly humiliated by a charade.

  7. Yeh right 7

    yep Ravi was perfectly welcome to bash his head against a brick wall, provided he was going to lose…

    National regard for the local Indian community huh?

    • Jared 7.1

      Since when was this a race discrimination issue?

      • gingercrush 7.1.1

        Actually I think Yeh right has a point. Undoubtedly Musuku has been building up the Indian vote that likely favours National. By choosing to put in Lee those Indian voters may well not vote for National in the future. Its also likely, other local support for National has potentially been lost in the process of pushing aside Musuku.

        • groobenheimer 7.1.1.1

          Ravi was never liked by the Mt Albert indian community because he’s a baptist and made a point of regularly bagging hindisim and other ‘false religions’. that kind of christobigotry didn’t exactly make him a big favourite of the local indian community.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1.2

          that may happen, but I suspect it will only be a small factor.

          Tim Ellis has been going on about the ethnicity aspect a lot, so it’s not just yeh that’s brought it up. But then it was Tim that was waxing so lyrical about the National party’s proud democratic selection process. Phutt.

  8. toad 8

    Wonder if Ravi might want to consider a judicial review.

    There’s a guy called Roger Payne in the Nats he could consult.

  9. Yeh right 9

    You’re right Jared, my apologies.

    National showing this blatant disregard for a hard working candidate in an electorate they used to not give a stuff about, is going to be a popular move amongst the Indian community in Mt Albert.

    Low on the party list, and bumped off now he actually may have a chance of winning.

    used and abused wouldn’t you say Jared?

    • Jared 9.1

      The game has changed dramatically since the last two elections. There was no way Helen was going to lose her seat in 2005 or 2008, and its widely known that fresh candidates are put up in strong seats like Mt Albert to give them experience in an election. Congratulations, yes he has put in work. If we are taking a holistic approach, why have the greens not nominated Jon Carapiet who has stood in the last 2 elections for Mt Albert? Instead opting for a far safer option with Russell Norman. The truth is that just because you put in work in an election, unless you are sitting in that MP spot, you have just as much of a chance of selection as any other candidate. This byelection isn’t “fair”, its tactical.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    There is a clear difference between Goff and Key here, and pretending otherwise just won’t wash.

    Both leaders knew who they wanted. Except, only one was open and honest about it.

    David Shearer is Phil Goff’s man. Everyone knows it. People may or may not support the candidate, but Goff has promoted him, stood by him, and will be judged accordingly.

    Key, of course, does things differently. Why get your hands dirty when you can order somebody else to do the back-stabbing? Keep your distance, and keep smiling. Pretend it’s nothing to do with you. But make damn sure the knife goes in, on your orders. That’s Nice Mr Key.

    Still, the truth is out now.

    • Jared 10.1

      Come on, get with the picture. You know as well as I do that Labour was almost certainly going to pick Shearer, as with National picking Lee. This isn’t about backstabbing, this is about winning a tactical seat. Everyone knew Lee was Key’s preferred candidate, he even said so “National’s possible candidates are led by list MP Melissa Lee, whom Prime Minister John Key yesterday called an “outstanding individual”.”

  11. Nick 11

    @ 1min 20.

    A grassroots Labour supporter furious at the lack of democracy in the selection process and the arrive-by-parachute shennanigans of Goff Shearer.

    • DeeDub 11.1

      Really??? There is a guy ranting on there at 1:26, but where does the piece identify him as a ‘grassroots Labour supporter’? Do you assume that just because Fran Mould says ‘some members’ and then cuts to this guy having his fifteen minutes????

    • gobsmacked 11.2

      So what’s your point, Nick?

      Phil Goff pushed for Shearer to be the candidate. We know this, because he was quite open about it. Some people were unhappy that Shearer was the candidate. We know this, because they were quite open about it.

      So your point is that National have been better at repressing dissent and faking unity, in a sham selection process? Well, whoopi-doo!

  12. gobsmacked 12

    A telling clip on One News tonight, of Ravi Musuku being interviewed by Francesca Mold, and two unsmiling MPs from National’s Goon Squad literally at his shoulder … you could almost see the arm being twisted behind his back.

  13. Nick 13

    True gobsmacked. Just like the TV1 clip I put in above where Andrew Little and Phil Goff are whispering in Shearer’s ear the answers to the interviewers questions.

  14. Pat 14

    Homepaddock posted on this earlier:

    “But it’s the paper (NZ Herald) that’s got it wrong. I’ve got a copy of the official programme and it says:

    Address by Mt Albert’s List MP Melissa Lee.

    Note the difference between Mount Albert candidate which she may or may not be after tonight’s selection, and Mount Albert’s list MP which she is.

    The programme notes her position as buddy MP for the electorate which isn’t represented by National, it’s not second guessing the selection process.”

    Conspiracy theory over, methinks.

    • TripleStandards 14.1

      So many commentators here whinge and moan about the lack of effort that the Herald makes in uncovering the facts, and yet they are so quick to jump on the bandwagon when a false story like this comes out. I would expect a few withdrawals and apologies (am I dreaming?)…lets just see how you guys spin this into either an attack on John Key, or an attack on the Herald.

  15. gingercrush 15

    “We had eight strong nominees vying to keep Mount Albert Labour and we’re proud that our selection process was transparent and democratic.

    You gotta love Darren Hughes. He’s in such self-denial he actually believes that Labour’s process is transparent and democratic. Exactly how is it transparent? And what is so democratic about shutting up members on the floor. I don’t believe National’s selection was democratic. But the hypocrisy and blatant denial of Labour’s selection processes is truly maddening.

  16. Tigger 16

    Look, both National and Labour’s candidacy processes are different examples how MPs gain selection. You can complain about it, you can sling mud, but it’s politics. Get used to it and get over it.

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