Labour’s Dunedin North selection

September 24th, 2010 at 3:49 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports:

Party members in the electorate have a rare chance on Saturday to select a new candidate to represent them at the general election next year.

Well, the members don’t get to select the candidate. They get two votes out of seven – and even then only if not outvoted by “affiliate members” who get trucked in by the bus load.

The union movement has targeted both Dunedin North and Manurewa as seats it wants a unionist to win, to increase the proportion of unionists in the Labour caucus. Phil Goff may not last long after 2011 – even if he wins!

Three candidates have put themselves forward to replace Mr Hodgson – current electorate committee chairman (37), former electorate chairman (25) and uinionist New Zealand Nurses Organisation national adviser (55).

David Clark has a campaign website. He is Warden of Selwyn College (2rd best after Carrington and Knox). He has been an EMPU member since 2006. On the basis of his CV, looks quite good.

Glenda Alexander also has a campaign website. She has been a professional unionist for the last 20 years.

Simon Wilson is a former President of the compulsory Otago University Students’ Association.

So all three have a union background to some degree – but Alexander by far the most.

It will be interesting to see who wins – they will inevitable become an MP at the next election.

Hat Tip: Homepaddock

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27 Responses to “Labour’s Dunedin North selection”

  1. Mr Magister (409 comments) says:

    But David, the ODT makes it quite plain that the vote won’t be manipulated…

    In some selections, Labour’s head office officials have stacked the panel to ensure their preferred candidate is selected.

    However, it is unlikely the head office appointees will go against the wishes of Dunedin North members.

    The last time that happened, Labour lost the seat to National candidate Richard Walls, in 1975.

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  2. Mr Magister (409 comments) says:

    P.S. Which one is the token homosexual?

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  3. Badger (5 comments) says:

    David – I do believe you owe me money ($50).

    Remember when you made that bet and said that David Parker would be standing – but he didn’t?

    So yeah.

    I hope you do intend to honour the agreement – I promise to use the money wisely and buy myself a ticket of Le Sud which is playing in the Dunedin International Arts Festival….

    [DPF: Sure - send me an e-mail]

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  4. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    “(2rd best after Carrington and Knox)”

    Do you pronounce that ‘turd’?

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  5. Enzo (44 comments) says:

    Sigh. Enough already with the bullshit! Labour Party selections are decided by a panel made up of seven votes (six if the electorate has fewer than 100 members) – that part is true. Three are from, not ‘head office’ but from New Zealand Council, which is democratically elected by and accountable to Annual Conference – and before you go ‘ah but the unions run that’, read Chris Trotter’s blog post on last year’s and you will see that the unions lose more card votes than they win there. The other four are made up of two local electorate committee reps (one if the electorate has fewer than 100 members), one rep from the floor of the selection meeting and one vote decided by a popular vote of the meeting. So the locals control 4 out of 7 (3 out of 6 if the electorate has less than 100 members). Yes, NZ Council has a lot of power but there is no need to make out like they have all of it, or even more than half of it – they don’t and you also mistakenly assume the three NZC reps always agree and vote as one – they don’t.

    The Labour Party was formed over 90 years ago as a political vehicle of the Labour (union) movement. Union members are not bused in to outvote real members. Members of affiliated unions ARE real members who are entitled to come and have their say – the NZLP belongs to them just as it does any non-affiliate rank and file member. And don’t assume they just turn up and vote how they are told. I have been involved in many selections where they most certainly do not. They can think for themselves and they often do.

    [DPF: How much does a union affiliate member pay to join compared to a normal member? And is it not true that paid union staff spend their time organising union members to attend such selections? There are documented cases of this.

    You are right that Labour is a political vehicle of the union movement. ]

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  6. RRM (9,833 comments) says:

    This leftie doesn’t really mind if Labour returns to being more about the Unions, as I don’t party vote for them anyway. (I applauded clark’s social policy trip but I don’t believe that has to be Labour’s core business for all time.)

    Hopefully this will allow the Green Party to move away from their Workers’ rights / yaddah social policy stuff. They should never have gone there in the first place, and I am sure they were only filling a void the liberalisation of Labour had created.

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  7. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Q. What am I? -I have tits and have been a unionist for 20 years

    A. The labour candidate for Dunedin North

    Enzo “They can think for themselves and they often do.” Imagine that

    When they are allowed FFS

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  8. RRM (9,833 comments) says:

    PS: And FWIW I even think it might be helpful in the MMP era to have a landscape where Labour is about the Unions, National is about owners and lower taxes, and with the two big boys duking that out the minor parties would then be free to focus on their particular interests.

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  9. Enzo (44 comments) says:

    “When they are allowed FFS”

    When they are allowed? What do you think happens at these meetings? Do you think there are paid union officials standing there with electric cattle prods watching as their members fill out their ballots?

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  10. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see who wins – they will inevitable become an MP at the next election.

    Most likely, but you never now, te ti pāti might get legs.

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  11. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Enzo

    Do you think there are paid union officials standing there with electric cattle prods watching as their members fill out their ballots?

    Basically yes, a bit more subtle these days but yes, ask the local members at the Mana Selection last weekend, all the gripes on this blog were from Local Labour members stating that the whole thing was bent – the locals were de-enfranchised, nice word that, means – fucked over- because HQ knew better

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  12. Enzo (44 comments) says:

    [DPF: How much does a union affiliate member pay to join compared to a normal member?]

    A ‘normal’ member can get away with only paying $6.60 per year (unwaged fee) to join the party. An affiliate member pays around $350 per year to belong to their union. Their union pays an affiliation fee to the party on their behalf. It’s less than $6.60 a year per member I would think (I don’t know), but you are talking about such small amounts it’s not really relevant in my view.

    [And is it not true that paid union staff spend their time organising union members to attend such selections? There are documented cases of this.]

    Yes that is true. But once those members get there they can vote for whoever they want. It’s a secret ballot. Also, any candidate and their supporters can ‘bus in’, say Pacific members en masse to support them – there are documented cases of people complaining about that too. At the end of the day, everyone has the ability to orgainse. Sign up members who will support them a year out and get as many of them there on the day as possible. Door knock the membership and make sure your supporters turn out on the day. There are always people on the losing side who complain they didn’t get what they want because the unions robbed them or head office robbed them or whoever but the reality is, like any democratic process, the winner is almost always the person who ran the best campaign. Everyone knows the rules before they start, yet the complaining is most often afterwards…

    [DPF: Thanks for the responses. My view is that unions with paid staff,shared work locations etc are at a massive advantage when it comes to organising for selection meetings.

    I don't see whay union members who wish to join Labour, simply don't do so as individuals, rather than have union block votes at conferences etc. But as you say - Labour was formed partly to represent unions]

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  13. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    Simon’s a good guy I used to work with him. He’s labour through and through, but he’s a hard worker, and he has the guts to do what’s right, rather than what he’s told to do.
    Don’t agree with his politics at all, but for a lefty he’s not too bad.

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  14. Mike Smith (2 comments) says:

    @ David Farrar. I see you have corrected your post on local involvement by Labour Party members in the Mana by-election as requested – thank you for that. I think you should also correct your statement in this post that members only have two votes out of seven. As Enzo has shown, it is false.
    @pauleastbay – one of the gripers in Mana currently resides in New York. It’s a long-range gripe.

    [DPF: I will do a more detailed post next week, explaining the extent of union involvement under the rules, both at LEC level, and in terms of the selection meeting. Depending on the number of local direct members, affiliates can dominate both I believe. I just need to check with the rulebook]

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  15. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    I think David Clark would be the best hope he gets the nod. I would love to see national win a seat in Dunedin if for no other reason than Labour just takes Dunedin for granted. Catherine Rich was a fantastic MP and back in the days of Dunedin having 3 seats she might just have pulled of a Walls like victory. As of today Dunedin has 6 MP’s. I think that must be a record.

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  16. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Mike

    A lot of the voters would have had trouble naming a local street!!

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  17. s.russell (1,618 comments) says:

    Perhaps all three are such staunch union-types that “head office” really will leave it to the locals, figuring they are all equally good (or bad).

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  18. Kieran_B (76 comments) says:

    @ DPF, any legit Scarfie knows that Carrington, Knox and Selwyn are all halls people choose because they can’t make a choice themselves… “Daddy or Mummy went there so I’ll go there too.” The jab on Simon Wilson and OUSA was a bit unnecessary haha.

    Simon Wilson as OUSA President wasn’t anything stunning. No real leadership shown on major student issues. He was lucky to have some talented people elected to the major roles of the association as they carried a lot of load. He was the best of a shithouse bunch, but nothing on the quality of the President we had the previous year. But whoever gets the nomination will hose in Dunedin North. It’s so strongly Labour that after having a massive Michael Woodhouse/National sign stuck on my flat in the leadup to the election, the place was pelted with eggs on election night. Lucky I’d already left Dunedin.

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  19. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It’s not necessarily a done deal in Dunedin North. A new NAtional candidate versus a very established Labour candidate:

    Dunedin North 2008
    HODGSON, Pete LAB 17,127
    WOODHOUSE, Michael NAT 9,972
    TUREI, Metiria GP 3,611
    CALVERT, Hilary ACT 573

    BILLOT, Victor ALL 448
    CRAWFORD, Julian ALCP 483
    EDWARDS, Mary UFNZ 228
    McRAE, Olive NZDSC 105

    If they stand again three will have a parliamentary profile.

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  20. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    Labour really is a complete joke…I mean its ridiculous that in this day and age a party can be run by unionists and school teachers. Well, we always knew the ‘L’ stood for losers.

    It’s high time one of the parties came out with a policy to ban unions. ACT – please step up to the plate.

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  21. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    The candidates: Yawn, yawn and big yawn…

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  22. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    In what should be an easy seat for Labour, you would expect the list stacked with dynamic candidates, the cream of Labour, to ensure a showcase of the fresh new talent they can present to the electorate with next year.

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  23. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    Dynamic people who over achieve are not attracted to leftist parties. I mean, why would they be?

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  24. Inky_the_Red (756 comments) says:

    dynamic People like English, Hyde. Bolger, the ship and and DG?

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  25. somewhatthoughtful (464 comments) says:

    Gwilly, you’re an idiot. Name me one “dynamic” – what the fuck does that even mean? – member of the right-wing parties? just one. I’ve met a few, dynamic does not spring to mind.

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  26. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    somewhatthoughtful,

    Personalities outside of those endorsed by the Labour Party Ruling Commitee of the day are prohibited.

    You know that. I know that. Unfortunately for you, too much of NZ is waking up to that…

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  27. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Knox and Carrington better then Selwyn? I don’t think so David.

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