An opportunity for Labour?

August 12th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong writes:

will have very mixed feelings about being forced by one of its MPs to fight a byelection in , even though it is one of the party’s safest seats in the Wellington region.

The byelection sparked by Winnie Laban’s departure to a job at Victoria University is a nuisance for Labour and an opportunity.

I like the idea put forward by on National Radio this week. Matthew proposed that Labour should arrange an effective mini-election in November – in Mana, , and .

This could be a circuit breaker for Labour – they’d get publicity for four to six weeks, and would probably win all four seats, achieving a massive rejuvenation. This would help their chances in 2011 significantly, as they would look a lot less like the bunch thrown out.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 Responses to “An opportunity for Labour?”

  1. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    As a National supporter I’d quite like to see Hooton’s plan played out – I really, really would like to hear more about Labour’s alternative plan.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. george (398 comments) says:

    Hooton’s idea is a good one for Labour in theory, but they’ll never do it. If they do, they’ll make union careerists and lesbians the candidates, so it wouldn’t work anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    Yeah that would be just typical Labour if they did do it. By elections cost tax payer money but it’s not like Labour have ever really cared about blowing tax payers $ in the past.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Hooton’s idea is a good one for Labour in theory, but they’ll never do it. If they do, they’ll make union careerists and lesbians the candidates, so it wouldn’t work anyway.

    How exactly would this differ from a general election?(!)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @Cunningham – correct about Labour blowing taxpayer money. Shame too that National continue to borrow $250m/week, rather than take the axe to Labour’s WFF, interest-free loan and other vote-securing bribes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. wreck1080 (3,815 comments) says:

    Equally speaking, this is a good chance for national to test various election strategies ……….

    National have nothing to lose, labour have 3 seats to lose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. toad (3,673 comments) says:

    I don’t get the impresion the incumbent in Te Atatu is ready to go.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Inventory2 (10,182 comments) says:

    You’ll NEVER get Jim “Ol’ Man River” Anderton to walk away from Wigram before the writs are issued in 2011. To do such a thing would be beneath the dignity of a Party Leader, even if the party he leads exists in name only, and for one reason only; to extract more dosh from the long-suffering taxpayer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    “Shame too that National continue to borrow $250m/week, rather than take the axe to Labour’s WFF, interest-free loan..”

    Key and his ministers are just too spineless to do that. It’s much easier to spend money now, even knowing NZ cannot afford it.
    The whole thing reeks of political cowardice, and National fully deserves its Labour-lite label.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    I agree with Hooton. This would be a smart thing to do. Labour have little to lose really and he is right about the potential upsides. There is no real prospect of losing the seats and it would give them lots of publicity (which is always hard for an Opposition to get). National – riding high in the polls – could only be hurt by this. The whole thing would be a distraction they do not need.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Hooton has a good idea but fails to recognise that Labour would need to display a few attributes they are sorely lacking in order to execute such a plan.

    1) Leadership
    2) Unity
    3) Speedy decision making

    I look forward to the inevitable flailing that will ensue in the Labour camp.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Cunningham (829 comments) says:

    s.russell I actually think it would be a mistake. People are sick and tired of politicians after all the spending scandals and if they came out and purposely caused by elections that cost US money then I think it will piss people off even more. Should they do this then National should really take them to town on how much it will cost the tax payer.

    krazykiwi I thoroughly agree. It is a shame but I expect them to start making some more radical changes in the next term (assuming they win). I don’t think Nat supporters would put up with another term like this one but I am sure alot of them are banking on Nat being more ballsy next time around. I would be interested to hear if anyone else is expecting this as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    rather than take the axe to Labour’s WFF

    …there’d be blood in the streets if they did.

    Without WFF theres no safety net for low income workers with kids and no incentive to work if it was gone. You’d end up with a ‘cashies’ black market economy of untold bludgers maxing out the unemployment benefit and a spike in crime like you would not believe for those who dont have tradeable skills.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. BeaB (2,084 comments) says:

    I know some of you tough guys just love throwing around words like ‘spineless’, ‘gutless’ and ‘cowardice’ from the sanctuary of your keyboards but the political reality is the NZ electorate is still at the infantile stage where they whine, “But Mummy you promised…” whenever a government changes tack according to the conditions of the time. Helen Clark made this such a feature with her childish and simplistic pledge card that we haven’t regained the maturity we used to have.

    John Key would be lambasted left right and centre if he touched WFF, interest free students loans etc. What I am looking forward to is the modification of these for the next election campaign.

    I’d go for a 5 year limit on the interest free loan; flat tax for all rather than tax benefits for some; a universal benefit amount; no DPB under the age of 20 or for more than 2 children; state houses for families only with school-age children etc etc.

    The UK Chancellor who said he is for the man who gets up every morning to go to work for his family rather than the household over the road where nobody bothers to get out of bed because the state is supporting them.

    It is a criminal waste of human talent and an indictment of our welfare system to have so many NZers on benefits.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Pete George (23,346 comments) says:

    I would be interested to hear if anyone else is expecting this as well.

    Yes, they can get away with a safe approach this term, especially having to deal with the recession, and Labour taking so long to adjust and get their act together. But if National don’t make major moves next term they will find reelection a second time to be much more difficult.

    BeaB – I agree there is a lot of political immaturity displayed here, especially by opposition parties and Media, and by politically aligned political posters.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. glubbster (352 comments) says:

    All good and well, but has anyone actually considered that Labour have no $$ to run 3-4 bi-election campaigns, let alone 1!!
    Isn’t the Labour Party broke and relying on the Unions to prop it up, thus making Goff’s chances of moving towards the centre even more difficult?
    Secondly, Labour would also need to provide an alternative vision, something they need time to do since they have achieved precious little in opposition during the last 18 months. How many policies have they released?
    Hooten is a very good commentator, but some of his ideas are not practical.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Shazzadude (522 comments) says:

    Cunningham: “Should they do this then National should really take them to town on how much it will cost the tax payer.”

    You can only claim this high ground if you don’t stand candidates however.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    george suggests:

    …they’ll never do it. If they do, they’ll make union careerists and lesbians the candidates, so it wouldn’t work anyway.

    I think that reasoning is back-to-front. Parties stack safe seats with mediocre candidates during general election campaigns, where the focus is now almost wholly on the respective leaders and occasionally on policy. Putting up such people in by-elections, where the focus falls almost entirely on the candidate, would be a tactical error.

    Similarly, you rarely run your best candidates in marginals (assuming you want them elected and aren’t putting them there because you see them as an eventual threat to your leadership).

    I’d love for Hooten’s idea to occur because I think we’d see the best candidates Labour can muster. In turn, their quality (or lack thereof) would tell us much about the Party’s chances of rejuvenation and willingnes to bring in new ideas.

    And because of the candidate-centric nature of the campaign, it also forces the other parties to find people who are at least capable of standing up to media and public scrutiny, and thus tells us a bit about them also.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Viking2 (11,283 comments) says:

    Problem there though Rex is that you and others assume you know who all the candiates will be. But, as Goff showed in Mt Albert he put a person in that he wanted not what she wanted.Likely he will do the same again. You would if it was you in charge and so woulkd anyone else.

    Stop underestimating Goff.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Pete George (23,346 comments) says:

    would tell us much about the Party’s chances of rejuvenation and willingnes to bring in new ideas.

    Most likely a much better indication than rolling a leader (replaced with another old schooler).
    Especially if, as Viking suggests, Goff has some influence in candidate selection.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. projectman (206 comments) says:

    It may be a smart idea, for Labour, but doesn’t the Prime Minister set the actual date within the allowable boundaries. Why should John Key do something that is a good idea for Labour?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    Viking2:

    How am I underestimating Goff? Surely he will want a person who can withstand the kind of scrutiny that comes with being a candidate in a by-election? David Shearer is the perfect example of the kind of candidate I’m referring to.

    And if that was just luck and he didn’t “get it”, then Key’s choice of Melissa Lee will have driven the lesson home.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    They will never get Carter and Anderton out, those two are some of the biggests rorters in Parliament and know every year they stay the get a biggest pension and cheaper flights for the rest of their life…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. BeaB (2,084 comments) says:

    And now look at this blatantly misleading pamphlet Labour is making us pay for.
    Considering 12.5% of GST is Labour’s, to be honest (now, there’s a novel idea) they should be talking about National’s 2.5%.
    What a dishonest crowd they are and it’s even more nauseating that 1. they make us pay for it and 2. they adopt such an air of pompous self-righteousness.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.