John Pagani blogs:
Give me a break.
“Interesting to be in a party where the leadership decide selections,” David Farrar says of David Parker’s decision to stand in Epsom, as if National’s selection of Paul Goldsmith wasn’t one of the worst leadership stitch-ups in the entirety of MMP.
I mean, he’s just shameless. I blogged when Goldsmith was selected that it made sense. But to then take the mickey and claim it was a local decision is bizarre. Goldsmith has been selected by party command to throw the seat to former National MP John Banks, whose biography Goldsmith wrote. The locals wanted Bhatnagar.
John’s experience of political parties is limited. In the Alliance Jim Anderton decided everything. On the one occassion the rest of the party wanted a say, Jim stormed off in a huff and killed the party. Then in the Progressives Jim even named the party after him so he had full control.
In Labour, the head office had three votes on a seven person panel, and combined with the unions can decide most selections.
This is why John thinks that in National, the head office decided the Epsom selection. He can’t imagine a party where this is not possible.
In seats with membership under 900, the Regional Chair can have influence as they select some of the 60 delegates. But in a strong seat like Epsom, the 60+ local delegates are selected purely by the members in their branch meetings, and those delegates get 100% of the votes (the Regional Chair has a casting vote but not a deliberative vote).
Party members take their duties seriously as delegates. Unlike Labour where a union can bus in scores of “members” who have never attended a Labour Party meeting in their life, and have never even met the candidates, National has eligibility criteria. You must have been an individual member for at least a year, and more importantly you must have attended a Meet the Candidates meeting to be able to vote at the selection meeting.
On top of the formal MTC meetings, candidates generally will meet every delegate one on one in their house. To win a selection you need to spend weeks getting around all the delegates – some you may even meet two or three times as they question you on your beliefs, your experience, your ambitions.
I accept this is all alien to John, but it is how it works in the seats where National has membership of 900 or more.
Meanwhile NewstalkZB report:
Labour Party frontbencher David Parker’s to take a tilt at Epsom.
The list MP has confirmed he will be taking on National’s Paul Goldsmith and Act’s John Banks at the general election.
Now I am told nominations are still open. Yet the story treats Parker as if he is the confirmed candidate. That is because they know in Labour if the hierarchy support you, you will almost always win – their rules are written that way.
What is more interesting is that Parker is moving from Dunedin to Auckland. His relationship is part of it no doubt, but look at the politics.
If Goff loses, him and Annette will go. Parker and Street could well be the replacements. But Labour could not have a Leader from Dunedin and a Deputy from Nelson. Auckland is their stronghold, and where elections are won.
By moving to Auckland, Parker makes himself a far stronger contender for the leadership.
Also I should note that the blogs were first to say Parker would seek Epsom.