Pagani on should Labour stand?

May 4th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

John Pagani looks at whether Labour should stand in the by-election. One of his reasons againgst is:

Even if Labour wins, we just get a re-run of the unhelpful list issues that followed Darren Hughes’ resignation. would have to be the candidate. He is absolutely top drawer as a candidate and MP and he will walk all over Hone. He speaks directly to Maori aspiration for better opportunity for their kids. So Mana won;t be able to attack Kelvin. Instead, opponents will run a ‘vote Kelvin get Mahara, or Dave Hereora, or even Lesley Soper’ line. They’re all nice people, but they don’t have a constituency in

There is a simple solution to this issue – not fill the list vacancy if Kelvin Davis wins the by-election. Under s136 of the Electoral Act the House by 75% majority can resolve not to fill the list vacancy as it is within six months of the election. I doubt anyone would disagree that it would be silly to bring someone in on the list for less than 20 sitting days.

Another option would be that Kelvin Davis simply doesn’t resign as a List MP. He wouldn’t get two salaries or two votes, but it would mean no list vacancy is triggered.

Balanced against all that though is a pretty big consideration: Labour would probably win, and in doing so it would knock Mana out of politics.

Labour and the Greens can’t afford to bleed a lazy one or two per cent to Mana, and both have an interest in minimising endless attacks from the tiny, but voluble, left. Taking out Mana in the by-election fixes an irritant.

Second, campaigns lift  morale and therefore increase the total contributions the party can call on. 

Managed the right way, total campaign energy is not a limited resource to be carefully apportioned between campaigns; If you do well in one hard fought campaign, then you inspire more enthusiasm. More people turn out everywhere to help. Enthusiasm is not a given, but in well-run campaigns this always happens. After all, fighting election campaigns is what political parties do. 

 So if Labour backs itself to do a good organisational job, then the campaign could be  worthwhile despite the potential cost.

Despite that, though, I think they’ll decide it’s best to stick to the main game.
Kelvin Davis is one of Labour’s future stars, and as Pagani says could do very well in the by-election. And if they don’t knock Mana out, then they face having John Minto sitting as an MP on their side of the house.
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17 Responses to “Pagani on should Labour stand?”

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

    Another option would be that Kelvin Davis simply doesn’t resign as a List MP.

    Huh? This is possible under our electoral laws? Wouldn’t this be ruled out somewhere (I’m assuming) as upsetting the treasured proportionality?

    Cue Graeme Edgeler in 3… 2…. :-D

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  2. Fentex (937 comments) says:

    I’ve no idea if it’s true that Labour could win but if they have a decent chance then it’s a no brainer they ought try.

    Having a win under the belt would go a very, very long way to revitalising the party, undermining criticisms of Goof, er, Goff and getitng onto a front foot going into a general election as recent winners rather than ongoing losers.

    And if it blunts bleeding votes to Mana there’s no end of the upside.

    The downside? Losing? Well, it likely wouldn’t be a novel experience for them this year then, would it?

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  3. BlairM (2,321 comments) says:

    And if they don’t knock Mana out, then they face having John Minto sitting as an MP on their side of the house.

    I just don’t even want to think about what a travesty that would be. In fact, if I wasn’t already living overseas, I think I would have to emigrate.

    Harawira has to be stopped at all costs. Unless the Maori Party have someone up their sleeve with a kickarse whakapapa, they should stand down and support Davis. Or vice versa. And all other parties should get in behind him too!

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  4. ciaron (1,423 comments) says:

    Maybe someone in National could send a little cash over to Kelvin, or would that be just a little too lock, stock & two smoking barrels?

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  5. anonymouse (710 comments) says:

    Well given that Labour have already now ruled out everyone on the 2008 list above Louisa Wall, I guess a win by Kelvin would result in the return of “a proud Southern woman, a feminist, a socialist and a trade unionist”

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

    Harawira has to be stopped at all costs.

    No. If enough people vote for him they “deserve” to be represented by him. If you don’t vote for or against him your preferences don’t come into it.

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  7. rouppe (967 comments) says:

    I’ve been saying for awhile that the Maori Party is gutless not standing a candidate against Hone. At the very least voters ought to have a chance to vote for an outspoken, rude and racist radical, or someone inside the tent.

    Even if Hone romps in, at least the choice was available. If no-one else stands, then democracy is not served because the people have been denied the ability to choose.

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  8. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    It would be more sensible for Labour to be seen as willing to allow the left wing rival to emerge and compete for votes with them at the GE. It’s the option that grows the total centre-left vote. It places Greens in the centre-left and Labour in the centre where they actually are. It places National as the centre-right party they are and ACT is the right wing equivalent for the Mana Party that already exists.

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  9. annie (539 comments) says:

    Unless the Mana Party takes a sharply Maori turn, I can’t see it lasting past 6 months, even if they do win a seat. The party will have 3 giant egos with Hone Harawira, Sue Bradford and John Minto. Combined with Hone’s and Sue’s tendencies to take their ball and go home if their egos aren’t properly fed suggests that the party would self-destruct pretty rapidly.

    Which would at least be entertaining.

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  10. jaba (2,137 comments) says:

    having the racist Hone in Parliament gives me the shits but there you go. Having Sykes and or Minto MUST not happen. A reason people say that MMP is good (and this isn’t really a MMP thing) is that we get a sprinkling of all sorts of people and ideas in our house of representitves .. fuck that in the case of these radical tosspots

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  11. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    The left has to tolerate Brash, it’s only fair …

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    Cue Graeme Edgeler in 3… 2….

    Sorry. In a meeting all morning!

    Yes it is possible. If you go back and look over Kiwiblog threads, I’ve repeatedly proposed it as an option in the various by-elections (e.g. to avoid the Tizard effect, or to give Hekia Parata something to campaign on).

    A seat is filled when there is a vacancy. There is a vacancy if there is a death, resignation etc. There is nothing to stop a list MP (or for that matter an electorate MP) from contesting a by-election. It is assumed that should a list MP win a by-election, they would resign as an MP before the writ was returned in the by-election. That is the mechanism by which their list spot would get filled. But it has never come in New Zealand, and there is nothing to require it.

    If someone did it, there is an unanswered question as to what would happen if they subsequently resigned/died/were imprisoned. Would both positions then get filled, or just the last one.

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  13. Inventory2 (10,299 comments) says:

    Ciaron said

    Maybe someone in National could send a little cash over to Kelvin, or would that be just a little too lock, stock & two smoking barrels?

    I’ve already suggested that I would be quite happy to chuck a couple of lazy tenners in Kelvin Davis’s direction if his funds for a by-election are low. I’m sure that many others, taking a long-term view, would see that as a good investment.

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  14. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    Labour isn’t averse to doing all they can to knock out those who actually espouse left wing and truly social democratic views. Look what happened when Labour put as much money as they could into Waitakere in 2002 to knock out Laila Harre and bring in Lynne Pillay, who has certainly proved herself to be a solid left intellectual heavyweight.

    Interesting how the pepsi and coke parties start to bandy together to keep out an openly left wing platform, which Goff labels extreme. Funny how he doesn’t refer to earlier Labour Governments and Prime Ministers as being extreme, remembering that they happily supported public ownership of resources, progressive taxation (not taxes like GST), and a stronger union movement. That all began to change once Phil and Annette’s lot began to have an influence over Labour policy.

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  15. emmess (1,427 comments) says:

    Personally, I’d be more than happy to have those commie fuckheads in the Mana Party in exchange for the watermelons dropping below the threshold.
    At least they are open about their ideology and they wouldn’t be able to fool the naive young voters to vote for far left policies who think ‘oooh I am voting for the environment.
    At lets face it they would be so hated by the general populace that there would be a massive call for the racists seats to go.

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  16. BlairM (2,321 comments) says:

    Harawira has to be stopped at all costs.

    No. If enough people vote for him they “deserve” to be represented by him. If you don’t vote for or against him your preferences don’t come into it.

    I was unaware that participating in political discussion, expressing an opinion on a potential by-election, and exhorting others to take sides and campaign in that by-election represented anything other than legal, moral, and moreover, logical activity.

    Opinions aren’t illegal in NZ… yet…

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  17. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    People like Hone, Sykes, Minto are all polarising. They are fairly instant polarisers.

    Not too many people haven’t made up their mind about those three, within the NZ political sub-population who have thought about it.

    This is their strength and their weakness. It gives them a base but they can’t expand it without gasp, slaughtering with wholesale abandon almost all gasp, of their sacred cows. Tiriti Principle No. 1: We own everything and you pay rent, for example, is out the gasp, door.

    Oh fuck it eh?

    I wonder what will happen to the parti when they finally realise that’s in fact going to be the case if they ever wish to accomplish even a minuscule little minor thing of a law or two.

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