National list ranking

May 14th, 2008 at 7:29 am by David Farrar

Vernon Small in the Dominion Post has an article on issues regarding within .

I believe the existing rules are very good. Regions rank all candidates from their region (including MPs), and then a National List Ranking Committee (with a majority elected by electorate delegates) combines them into a national list, making modifications as it sees fit.

I’m not a fan of any moves to exempt sitting MPs from the normal process or to guarantee in advance all MPs will be in safe list places.  I think it weakens the party to have less discretion over how the list is ranked. There is of course always a natural tension between the organisation and the caucus on these issues, but I have always felt that one of National’s real strengths over Labour has been a far more democratic process, and not protecting incumbent MPs in list ranking, as Labour did in the last three elections. Part of why Labour is now facing problems is it left its rejuventation too late.

National has a proud history of trusting the collective wisdom of its members. If National had rules protecting incumbent MPs, then Brian Neeson instead of John Key would still be the MP for Helensville. Likewise Judith Collins and John Carter woud not be MPs.

MMP especially poses challenges for parties – not just in list ranking. You also have situations where List MPs and new candidates compete for new seats after boundaries are redrawn.  While Selwyn has eventually resulted in a very good outcome, I think there are lessons to be learnt there about not trying to scare people off from standing against an MP – it tends to be counter-productive.

Now having said all that, I don’t think any National MP will be or should be retiring against their will this election. Of the 48 MPs, five are retiring (Connell, Rich, Blumsky, Clarkson and Simich) so that will leave 43 incumbents. On current polls if National should get at least 55 MPs, so there should be at least 12 new MPs joining the Caucus. And there have been some excellent new candidates selected.

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13 Responses to “National list ranking”

  1. big bruv (13,686 comments) says:

    What the hell is this crap? ……”I’ve made it clear … we should be using our list to build greater ethnic diversity and ethnic representation in our caucus and I will be supporting names that fit that criterion.”

    Will somebody please remind John Bloody Key that he is leading the National party, a party that should value ability over all other sickly liberal PC considerations.

    Any chance we can have out party back please John?

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  2. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Choice.
    It is so important.

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  3. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Any chance we can have out party back please John?

    Well, Big Bruv perhaps “we” should calm down a little. When Key starts talking about bringing in a patronising vagina quota or ethnic preferences I’ll be the first to fire up the burning brand and sharpen my pitchfork. But it would be nice to see some sections of the National Party (and not looking at anyone in particular) just getting out of their comfort zones. Just because Labour is arrogant enough to Balkanize New Zealand into ‘us’ and ‘them’ doesn’t mean National has to play the same old game by the same old rules. I don’t think talent, or center-right values, are the exclusive province of middle-aged white chaps.

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  4. Ross Miller (1,686 comments) says:

    It is an important tenant of the National Party that the Party at large determines the List via the Regional and National List Ranking Committees. Members MUST resist any attempt to artificially protect incumbent MPs (and particularly List only MPs) in that process (individual electorates have the power to deal to electorate MPs who loose their confidence). MPs should stand or fall on their record and the collective wisdom of the Party should be respected.

    One allied issue the Party will deal with at next years constitutiional conference is the proposal by Northland, endorsed by the Northern Region, that sitting MPs be excluded from the (current) five Board nominated positions which effectively bypasses the list ranking process. That process is designed to facilitate entry into parliament of outstanding candidates who, for whatever reason, are unable to take part in the normal selection process. Tim Grosner benefited from that last election but it is wrong that under current rules he could, if he wished, lobby for the same treatment this time (can I make it clear however that he hasn’t and will instead contest Te Atatu). The point is that the Board entry facility should be a one shot process

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  5. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Ross is right. National should resist any idea that the existing MPs should all go back on the list without facing a competitive process against the newcomers.

    I’m very pleased to see that National has a large number of ethnic candidates coming on board. Rather than a desire to pander to ethnic votes, it probably more closely reflects the fact that ethnic groups are finding that the National Party now represents their political home. And it’s great that these ethnic groups are seeking to get active in the political process.

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  6. Inventory2 (10,267 comments) says:

    Agreed Sushi – Labour has been quite open about promoting itself as the “Migrants’s Party”, and yet some of Labour’s social policy must be a significant concern to many migrants. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, migrants are here to stay (both figuratively and literally), and National’s willingness to diversify is welcome.

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  7. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    There should be 6ish new MPs EACH election including for elections where the tide is going out. Of those 6 there should be 2-3 very good peoiple who could potentially assume the highest positions should they become available. One cannot have hard and fast rules but there should be a clear expectation that this will happen. Especially to those MPs who have spent their political capital and should move on. Politics is NOT a lifestyle option, people are expected to have some goals, achieve them and then move on. I believe on each election each sitting MP should be quizzed on what they aim to achieve in the next parliament and if their answers are vague or insubstantual then they should consider moving on.

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  8. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Well, Big Bruv perhaps “we” should calm down a little. ”

    No we should not damn well calm down. This is PC bullshit that the National party should be trying to distance itself from. BB is perfectly correct. Ethnicity should not be any kind of factor in selecting candidates. How can the Nationals defeat Labour when they speak the same perverted language and have the same perverted ideas??? Calm down?? To hell with that. Its time for some anger. I’m sick to death of these charlatans under-mining and betraying the conservative side of politics. McCain- Bush- Key- all useless, and provoking growing dissatisfaction amongst the ranks. There’ll be a boil over soon, and if not, there damn well should be if the Nats (or the Republicans) are ever going to stand for anything.

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  9. Ross Miller (1,686 comments) says:

    and Redbaiter that is exactly why ‘wiser’ heads in the Party prevailed over`the misguided attempt to have sitting MPs given preference over newcomers. I repeat again. A central tenant of the Party is that the membership at large determines the list ranking by way of the Regional and National List Ranking Committees and that is how it should be and must remain.

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    tim barclay says:

    There should be 6ish new MPs EACH election including for elections where the tide is going out. Of those 6 there should be 2-3 very good peoiple who could potentially assume the highest positions should they become available. One cannot have hard and fast rules but there should be a clear expectation that this will happen.

    Yes, one can have hard a fast rules. They’re called term limits. Their disadvantage is that a talented and hardworking MP might be forced out just because their time is up even though they still have a lot to contribute. However, you’ve proposed a brilliant solution, Tim. Impose a percentage quota on each party, and let the members decide who gets put out to compulsory pasture.

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  11. chrlu693 (5 comments) says:

    Ahh.. Brian Neeson. Whats he up to these days? Funny you mention him when talking about following correct and democratic procedures. I bet he has a lot to say about John Key being installed by head office in Helensville. There was a lot of dodgy stuff going on there.

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  12. big bruv (13,686 comments) says:

    Ari

    Are you the same “Ari” who wrote this over at frogblog?

    “I would dispute whether the Green party list was “decided entirely by party member votes”. An elite group made up of those with the time and money to go to Auckland for a 2 day conference, as well as sufficient influence within the party to be elected as delegates, made an initial list, which was then sent to members.

    In theory members make up their own mind based on the profiles given and do not have to pay any attention to the initial list (this is the approach I took). In practice however, most members simply rubber stamp what has already been decided for them. The first 10 candidates were exactly the same as that in the initial list, with the exeption that one pair had swapped one place.

    A more democratic way of making the list would be for everyone to make up their own mind without an initial list. Contact numbers on the profiles would make it easier to make a more fully informed choice. I would have liked to have rang a few candidates up and asked them about their opinion on certain issues.”

    It is also a bit rich for you to talk about “retirement” given the way that your party is going to rort the system to get Comrade Norman into the house before the election.

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