Labour

November 28th, 2011 at 11:19 am by David Farrar

MPs in

David Clark (Dunedin North), Louisa Wall (Manurewa), Rino Tirakatene (Te Tai Tonga), Megan Woods (Wigram), Andrew Little (List)

MPs out

Steve Chadwick, Stuart Nash, Rick Barker, Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis, Carol Beaumont. One of either Raymond Huo or Brendon Burns depending on if Burns wins Christchurch Central.

Result

2/10.

’s share of the popular vote is an 83 year low. At 27.1% it is the lowest they have had since Harry Holland got 26.2% in 1928. Despite a Government promising (partial) asset sales, and an 11 month campaign against them, dropped 7% from 2008. They have lost their Senior and Junior Whip, and seven incumbent MPs, of whom three or four will be seriously missed. A significant  lack of rejuvenation also.

They lose around 16% of their parliamentary funding, and some question times will have only three primary questions in the House.

Challenges

First is the leadership. Goff will go, but smartly not straight away as that means the new leader gets little publicity. The three Davids look to be the main contenders. If Labour were really smart they would have the vote in February 2012 just before Parliament resumes and have a two month campaign for the leadership. Have the three contenders talk up and down the country to members and supporters about their vision for the future. It will boost the profiles of all three men, and start to get people to tune into Labour again.

All three Davids have strengths and weaknesses. I’ll cover their contest in more detail, but briefly at this stage, I’ll comment.

David Cunliffe was the front-runner. He no longer is, and according to Phil Quinn trails Parker now. Quin has 22 for Parker and 11 for Cunliffe. Cunliffe is very competent. He was an excellent Minister in the last Government, and performed well against English. He has the strongest business background of any Labour MP, and would have the potential to appeal to the centre. His weakness is relationships – with his colleagues and others. Some of those close to Goff blame him for Goff not getting the numbers right, and that enmity will be hard to overcome.

David Parker is now the leader. A generally pleasant guy, also with a good background in business and the law. Led Labour’s policy renewal, and has few enemies in the caucus. Has shown his ability to master complex areas such as the ETS. Some grumbles about his standing in Epsom helped John Banks win. Another issue is whether a Dunedin based List MP can lead Labour to electoral victory. A shift to Auckland is likely if he wins. Perhaps he could take Mt Roskill, but Michael Wood and Jacinda Ardern may be less happy with that. If Leader, likely to push for some reforms within Labour.

David Shearer is the dark horse, but for my money the one who would have the best chance of beating John Key (now that Shane Jones is out of the mix). Imagine this in an advertisement:

“John Key and David Shearer both left New Zealand for 20 years to work overseas. John Key worked on Wall Street to make himself $50 million dollars, while David Shearer worked to help save 50 million lives in some of the most dangerous and impoverished countries on earth.”

Shearer’s back story is very impressive.

I’ve also heard Shearer speak to groups such as the Business Roundtable. He deeply impressed them, and has strong appeal across the spectrum. He would also be a more active reformer within Labour – both in terms of reducing union domination which led to them losing so many talented MPs due to low list rankings, but also in terms of policy. Shearer is more focused on the ends, not the means, and doesn’t share the loathing of the private sector some of his colleagues do. The big question over a Shearer candidacy is does he want the leadership badly enough? A really nice guy, who isn’t shy but isn’t an extrovert either.

Labour also has other positions to fill. A number of MPs will be keen on the Deputy Leadership. My only advice at this point is not to elect someone who wants to be Leader eventually. The best Deputy Leaders are those in the McKinnon/Cullen/Sowry/King mould – there to support the Leader 100%. I’d add English to that also – a former Leader is fine, a future Leader is what you don’t want as Deputy. It just allows bloggers to foment mischief about when they wiill challenge :-)

Ross Robertson I presume will remain Assistant Speaker. Chris Hipkins would make a good whip. Ideally junior whip before he becomes senior whip, but he may have to go straight to the senior role. Robertson could be a good Shadow Leader of the House, as Trevor should be consigned to a dark cupboard somewhere.

The new Leader will or should have to reshuffle the Shadow Cabinet and especially the front bench. All nine front benchers were Clark era Ministers. They can not go into 2014 hoping to win, if that is the case. Could 2014 also see a return of Darren Hughes who might in hindsight be glad not to have been associated with the electoral thrashing of 2011.

In the medium term, the challenge for Labour is to build up support so a Labour/Greens Government is viable. They have 37% at the moment and really need to get to 45% or higher between them. If Greens had got 14% rather than 10% then the Greens might have tried to become the major opposition party, but that is now unlikely. The more likely scenario for 2014 is that Peters holds the balance of power, and Peters deeply dislikes the Greens, so his support can not be taken for granted. Labour needs to get their party vote to at least 34% to be seen to have a “moral right” to govern – the level at which National got in 1996. Claiming the Prime Ministership if your party vote is in the 20s will be difficult.

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50 Responses to “Labour”

  1. Grendel (1,032 comments) says:

    you would have to hope that Trevor sees the way way the wind is blowing and resigns.

    i mean firstly he ran an atrocious campaign.

    2nd, he seems to think he is losing money by being in parliament and can earn more outside (though as a teacher and aggro prick i cannot see how).

    and thirdly he is clearly yesterdays man, having been elected in 1984. at least thats what Charles Chauvel thinks.

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  2. davidp (3,622 comments) says:

    I don’t see how Parker can be a candidate when he came third in Epsom. If he has genuine leadership aspirations then I wonder what he was thinking even standing in a seat when he was going to be given an absolute hiding.

    I have no idea why anyone would think standing Darren Hughes would be a good idea. There are plenty of talented people in NZ who could stand for parliament. Hughes showed impossibly bad judgement and there isn’t any reason to give him a second chance, especially when he’d be dragging all his rooting baggage with him.

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  3. dime (10,855 comments) says:

    Parker reminds me of RUDD – effeminate.

    And as the dude above me says – he doesnt hold a seat. hes a dirty list MP

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  4. dime (10,855 comments) says:

    “Could 2014 also see a return of Darren Hughes who might in hindsight be glad not to have been associated with the electoral thrashing of 2011.”

    I think you’re too kind there DPF. The guy is a disgrace.

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  5. oldpark () says:

    Robertson in Wellington and the insignificant pest Parker think Lie-bor ran a grand campaign.

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  6. Elaycee (4,488 comments) says:

    DPF Says: “David Parker is now the leader. A generally pleasant guy, also with a good background in business and the law… ”

    Really?

    I think he has much to learn in terms of corporate governance and director’s responsibilities. And I wouldn’t pick him to manage matters relating to business taxation either… Hah!

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  7. toad (3,676 comments) says:

    If Greens had got 14% rather than 10% then the Greens might have tried to become the major opposition party, but that is now unlikely.

    Don’t count on that, DPF. Just received a “thank you for your support” email from Metiria Turei that says (among other things):

    In 2012 we must work to build our vote to the point where the Green Party is no longer seen as a “minor party” but instead becomes recognised as a large party, of equal strength to National and Labour.

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  8. adze (2,131 comments) says:

    She’s aspirational Toad :)

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  9. anonymouse (729 comments) says:

    D Hughes can only make a comeback in 2014 by gaining a mandate from an electorate, sticking him on the list would see him become a lightning rod for the downside of MMP.

    With Nathan Guy now having a 5000 vote majority, Otaki is out of the question, maybe Rongotai when his former landlord retires…but this is just all serious speculation,

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  10. big bruv (14,418 comments) says:

    Please let it be that little creep Parker. A man of highly questionable moral values, and a man with dodgy dealings in his business past.

    Parker is the modern day Bill Rowling.

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  11. slightlyrighty (2,125 comments) says:

    Who is selected will be great indicator as to wether labour has been listening to the whole electorate. Shearer would be the obvious choice to get support from outside the party, but the qualities that make him acceptable to the wider public will not endear him to the inner party and certain caucus factions.

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  12. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > Parker is the modern day Bill Rowling.

    Are you suggesting that Rowling had highly questionable moral values? I must admit I think Parker is quietly spoken and in that regard is similar to Rowling.

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  13. Mark Unsworth (42 comments) says:

    Minor point David but you counted Louisa Wall as a new MP which she isnt as she was already in Parliament ,albeit on the list.If she is counted ,which she shouldn’t be ,then you would have to add Damien O’Connor who also shifted from list to electorate .

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  14. Fletch (6,969 comments) says:

    Yeh, Parker allegedly filed false income tax statements. Investigate published the evidence in 2006, Parker gave up all his portfolios, then the whole thing was whitewashed by Klark and Labour (a possible collusion with the Companies Office).

    It stunk then and it still stinks.

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  15. davidp (3,622 comments) says:

    Toad>In 2012 we must work to build our vote to the point where the Green Party is no longer seen as a “minor party” but instead becomes recognised as a large party, of equal strength to National and Labour.

    I think the Greens should spend 2012 reflecting on the fact that by 2014 they’ll have been in opposition for 18 continuous years. And that they’re the only party never to have been in Government (if you consider that Hone was in government in his pre-Mana days). They could work out why they’re always everyone else’s last choice, and try to remedy the situation.

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  16. kiwi in america (2,393 comments) says:

    I totally agree re Shearer. I watched him with Matthew Hooten on iPredict and he was most impressive. Not ideological enough for the ‘gaggle of gays and unionists” I fear. Labour would be wise to allow its new leader to make the case to the rank and file BEFORE the caucus votes.

    toad
    The growth in the Greens vote was largely at the expense of Labour which does the centre left’s cause no good. There is not that much Blue Green crossover vote to seriously boost the Greens above 10%. The Greens are a romantic notion but always underperform on the night vs polls because their constituency is young and the young are the least reliable voting demograph. If the Greens are to get to 15-20% (your wet dream I’m sure) you’re going to have to raid Labour, Mana, the Maori Party and a smidgeon off the urban liberal wing of the National Party. I’m sure Labour will have alternative ideas. There is a finite number of people that will go with watermelon economics. If the Greens become even more centrist and ditch some of their wackier more left wing stuff, the purists will storm out and form the People’s Front of Judea and accuse the Greens of being the Judean People’s Front!

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  17. RRM (10,531 comments) says:

    @davidp –

    I think some principled little pressure parties LIKE being in opposition!

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  18. Grendel (1,032 comments) says:

    who are you talking about RRM, can’t be the greens as you are talking about a principled party and the greens have none. a lot of convictions yes but no principles.

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  19. mattyroo (1,044 comments) says:

    I want it to be Shearer. National needs a decent opposition, that is actually engaging on policy that is for the betterment of the country, rather than pandering to unionists, poofs and beneficiaries.

    Also, Shearer will strengthen the Labour party back to its original position. That way all the people who wanted to vote left, but couldn’t vote for Labour and hence voted green will return to Labour. Thereby, the odious greens will be relegated back to their true level of support, <5%.

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  20. calendar girl (1,432 comments) says:

    I’m annoyed that the unprincipled Peters is back in Parliament, although I concede that his Party’s re-election represents the preference of over 100,000 voters.

    If Hughes was smuggled back in on the Labour List, that would be just what we have come to expect of New Zealand’s political structures and standards.

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  21. Keeping Stock (9,725 comments) says:

    Parker’s biggest issue is not holding an electorate seat. There’s not only his humiliation in Epsom at the weekend, but there’s his history in the south. He entered Parliament in 2002 with a 684 vote win in the Otago electorate. He only held Otago for one term before being beaten by Jacqui Dean in 2005 by 1995 votes. In 2008, he again last to Dean, this time in the Waitaki electorate, and this time by a whopping 11.039 votes.

    David Parker is a three-time loser in electorate contests. I have real doubts that Labour will give the role of leader to a List MP, especially one with an electoral history to match Parker’s. For the more conservative faction within Labour, David Shearer may well emerge as the preferred candidate.

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  22. Mark (1,518 comments) says:

    The Greens were probably the most effective and disciplined campaigners during the election and reaped the benefit. Labour got this horribly wrong tactically and it cost them party votes across the country. Their Campaign was far to electorate focussed and did little to attract the Party vote. Good case in point is my electorate in rimutaka. Hipkins increased his majority from 700 to 3500 yet national won the party vote handsomely. Partially is was due to a weak National candidate against a very visible local incumbent but the local campaigning was all about Hipkins and not the party. If this was true in other electorates and from what I sow around Wellington it appeared to be then it should be an uppercut for Mallard and his crew.

    Onto the leadership. I would like to see a bold change and would be shearer. He is the only one of the three likely candidates capable of taking on Key head on. Cunliff is simply not appealing enough and Parker is potentially a latter day Bill Rowling

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  23. Nookin (3,784 comments) says:

    “Yeh, Parker allegedly filed false income tax statements”

    Don’t think he did. He filed an annual return in the Companies Office. This is a mandatory return primarliy for the purpose (now) of enabling the Registrar to identify non-trading companies that can be struck off. Parker recorded that the company had held an AGM and had resolved that no auditor be appointed. This is now regarded as an administrative function and I would be willing to bet that more than half of the shareholders and directors of small to medium sized companies are blissfully aware that their accountant does that every year on their behalf. Parker had the integrity to resign as A-G. No debate, no pushing – he said it wasn’t good enough and left.

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  24. 103PapPap (130 comments) says:

    I Think Damien O’Connor should be the next Labour leader – he is a ‘proper’ bloke – not scared to take on the gaggle and the unions – and he did a great job for Labour getting the Coast back in the fold.

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  25. Keeping Stock (9,725 comments) says:

    @103PapPap – did you see the party vote for the West Coast Tasman electorate? Labour got wasted! By going electorate-only, O’Connor did the smart thing; won the seat back, even though the electorate where the Labour Party was born has turned blue.

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  26. BeaB (2,248 comments) says:

    Perhaps we are seeing the end of Labour. As a working class movement and voice it had credibility and purpose, especially when its leaders came up through the ranks from real jobs.

    What purpose does it have now as a party? Good Labour relations are now built on legislation not hard-won awards. Social welfare is now mainstream. Labour MPs are mainly from middle class backgrounds, university educations and jobs as union careerists. They have captured union admin just as they have captured Labour.

    It is sad to see someone like Phil Goff spend his whole career in Parliament. Who can he possibly represent?

    The Greens have a better story and set of aims. They are middle class, well-educated, young and sincere.

    There is no real room for Labour any more. The death of socialism has left it without goals, a purpose or a reason for being.

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  27. Pete George (24,333 comments) says:

    I don’t think being list should rule out Parker – a party leader is better to be a list MP without electorate commitments, their responsibilities are whole party and whole country.

    The new leader will have to lead their party out of dysfunction, something Goff was not able to do – hence his determination through the campaign meant little apart from earning some honour on exit.

    If the replacement is not Cunliffe (hopefully) their first task will be to not allow Cunliffe anywhere near knives or their back. Task two is to not allow Trev anywhere near keyboards and their blog. I won’t go on but there’s a list of things that need done to be seen as leading a party instead of being head rab of a rabble.

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  28. davidp (3,622 comments) says:

    BeaB>Perhaps we are seeing the end of Labour. As a working class movement and voice it had credibility and purpose, especially when its leaders came up through the ranks from real jobs.

    It certainly has the feeling of being a crusty old party full of trade union hacks. The party of Darien Fenton, perhaps. Most young lefties seem to be gravitating to the Greens. The Greens have got rid of their pensioner MPs and most of the nutbar wing and look a much more appealing alternative. The trick for the Greens will be surviving in government if they actually make it in to government one day. The Greens in Australia seem to be poison for Labour and themselves. The Aussie wing of this international movement are nasty looking bunch of anti-semites and global warming zealots led by a guy who looks like a zombie, so the NZ Greens don’t have to reproduce their tragedy. However, it’ll be hard for them to deliver on any of their core promises without enormous electricity price rises and an economy that looks like that of Italy or Spain.

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  29. davidp (3,622 comments) says:

    Pete George>I don’t think being list should rule out Parker – a party leader is better to be a list MP without electorate commitments, their responsibilities are whole party and whole country.

    I agree with you for much the same reason. If Parker had conciously decided to be a List MP then that would be fine with me. But, he tried to win Epsom and came third. It’s hard to convince people that you’re the best person to run the country when Epsom voters decided you were their third choice to represent them.

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  30. Keeping Stock (9,725 comments) says:

    Agreed davidp; Parker has sought a mandate four times from the voting public, and for the last three he has not been given it.

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  31. double d (226 comments) says:

    davidp and keeping stock.

    do not agree. part of being a leader of a mainstream political party is being electable. that the peeps will vote for you.
    look at ACT – Brash is a toxic brand to voters and they stayed away in droves. It is beyond belief that he was installed as leader.

    parker does not have any charisma. he does not have a track record of being elected. it would be great to see him selected (silent T would be equally OK as they are equally average).

    On Dazza Hughes – no issue on him coming back but not via list. if he can gather enough support through electorate mandate – fair enough, although unlikely.

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  32. Andrei (2,943 comments) says:

    Maybe they should pick Damien O’Conner – after all in the face of a Labour rout he actually took his seat back off of National.

    And unlike most of the Labour riff raff he has actually done real things in life

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  33. Elaycee (4,488 comments) says:

    “MPs out: Steve Chadwick, Stuart Nash, Rick Barker, Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis, Carol Beaumont”

    Heh. :P

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  34. Pete George (24,333 comments) says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings on whetehr someone like Parker should be able to take over leadership from the list.

    It may be that he suits a leadership role more than being a rural electorate MP.

    He chose to contest Epsom knowing he had little chance of winning beyond perhaps punting on it being a major long shot.

    The most important thing for Labour is to find someone who can gain the confidence of the caucus and elad them, and then to gain the confidence of the country and look like they could lead government. Very different skills required to being an electorate MP.

    Fa’afoi has won two electorate contests, does that means he’s earned a shot at leadership?

    Brash nearly won an election without winning an electorate.

    I’m not trying to promote Parker’s chances, I doubt he could overcome the difficulties facing Labour right now, but I don’t think it’s necessary to weedle your way up a party system – often owing too many favours.

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  35. kiwi in america (2,393 comments) says:

    BeaB and davidp
    The current Green MPs absolutely believe the ‘nubar’ economic theories – they just worked really hard to not mention it much and to stay on simple message. With respect to message discipline yes they did well but with someone like Delahunty in their caucus, they are never going to shake the looney tree hugger image entirely. Just look at their economic policy – its a hodgepotch of socialist staples for decades and if implimented would lead NZ quickly to the place Greece is at. As I’ve said earlier, if the Greens abandon the watermelon policies and genuinely move to the centre to to be a cleaner, greener younger version of Labour, a big chunk of watermelon economics true believers will walk and form a new Greener Party.

    Mark
    The huge discrepency between Labour’s electorate and party vote was born of electoral survival of the incumbent electorate MPs. Knowing their brand to be toxic and their leader to be unpopular they did what they had to do – downplayed the Labour Party brand and pushed their “I’m a great local MP” line and they ramped up their localized GOTV. It is an illustration of the loss of control Labour’s union, gay and feminist activist base over the rank and file workers in key seats. Those closest to the voters knew that attempts to get people to 2 tick for Labour was not going to work. Party strategists were in survival mode. It was significant that Williams, Cunliffe and others frequently mentioned post election that at least Labour averted a 2002 National Party 20% result. Goff’s campaign needs to be seen in that light – preventing a complete meltdown to the Greens and NZ1st and on that narrow basis, Goff actually succeeded. Labour will rebuild just as they did after the 1990 drubbing but only by listening properly to the voters as to why their core activist base is so out of touch with middle NZ something the front bench never did after 2008.

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  36. PaulL (5,567 comments) says:

    I think that Parker standing in Epsom shouldn’t count him out. If the rule was that losing in an electorate meant no future, then clearly Epsom would never get any decent quality Labour candidates, since a Labour candidate will never win in Epsom. I don’t see list only, nor standing for electorate and not winning, as being a deal breaker. Shearer is the better candidate though based on what I’m hearing – although who knows what he has hiding in his background.

    The Greens and principles. I reckon they are reasonably principled. I can guess their position on almost any matter based on what I know of their principles. It’s very rare I find them supporting something that their principles would not fit with – unlike National with the failure to roll back youth rates for example, or Labour with any of a myriad of compromise calls. Of course, being principled doesn’t make for an easy coalition partner, and I don’t really agree with their principles. Something for them to think about perhaps is whether sometimes a part-solution is better than no solution – I see them sometimes holding out for perfection. But then again, they wanted a carbon tax and settled for an ETS, which is clearly (in my opinion), worse than nothing at all. So maybe not.

    Big issue for Labour is how to reconnect to their roots in a modern way. They need to capture the younger generation, and that generation mostly wants the government out of their lives. That means that Labour should give up, to a large extent, on some of their economic policies (things like compulsary unionism that appeal to nobody), and focus on some of their social policies that younger people like. Their capital gains tax and low income tax threshold policies are reasonable ideas (albeit poorly designed and sold), and people would support those if properly put together.

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  37. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Labour need a real point of difference (perhaps in some form of online engagement with voters and they need to gag some of the Nasties. There is nothing wrong with a bit of shit fight – politics is about making a bit of an arsehole of yourself to bring about change but some of those lovely Labour ladies utterances promote victim-hood.
    “It’s not the fault of the pooooorr they’re poooorr”, is not an adequate mission statement. Labour now more than ever need vision.

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  38. backster (2,263 comments) says:

    “MPs out: Steve Chadwick, Stuart Nash, Rick Barker, Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis, Carol Beaumont”

    I am happy for them in a way. They have made the sacrifice and now they can go back to earning salaries in excess of $150,000 plus expenses a year.
    As for Parker didn’t he show his economic and business ability in the Property Development world by investing in a property which went bust leaving his partner bankrupt but having little visible effect on his viability.

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  39. PaulL (5,567 comments) says:

    Backster, I’d be more worried about a businessman who’s never lost money than one who has. The former has something fishy going on, the latter is probably just like everyone else. Unless you’re saying that he shafted his partner in that deal – which I hadn’t heard before.

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  40. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    I think Shearer is the best bet for Labour but hope the leadership goes to Cunliffe. This would help National in 2014. Same thing if they bring Hughes back.

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  41. mickrodge (27 comments) says:

    What chance a return of Klarkula to save the Labour Party between now & 2014?

    She can’t stay in New York for ever can she…what about the strain on her marriage?

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  42. tvb (4,821 comments) says:

    All 3 candidates have some disadvantages. Shearer in a perfect world does still present some risks. He does not have sufficient experience to lead labour in the complex mmp environment. He while presenting some attractive qualilties is a big risk. Parker will get much more scrutiny than he has so far and he also presents a risk but for different reason. Cunliffe is probably the best on paper but he too has problems not least because he is a cold person who will not beat key. A difficult choice for labour that needs time to consider.

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  43. Pete George (24,333 comments) says:

    @AliIkram
    The Labour dilemma- 3 Davids, no Goliath

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  44. Australis (101 comments) says:

    Parker has mastered the complexities of ETS?

    He didn’t seem to know that the Government desn’t make any money by bringing Agriculture into the scheme. And he calculated that Labour would mulct $218m pa from the farmers when the figure couldn’t possibly be higher than $80m.

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  45. mavxp (484 comments) says:

    @mickrodge, Helen will only come back as el Presidente after QE2 passes this mortal coil and the republicans like DPF go into overdrive.

    David Shearer is the best candidate within Labour currently. Jones doesn’t have a heart in it anymore, and will exit as soon as he finds a better offer. Cunliffe comes across as smug – no doubt with some skills, but he is an arrogant one, and humility is hard to fake for such people. Key will have no trouble with Cunliffe or Parker methinks.

    John Key has taken National to the centre and attracted many centrist and centre-left voters. Shearer is the only possibility I can see that can win them back. They should jettison their more left-wing crazy ideas like raising the minimum wage to solve poverty and with it the nonsense class-warfare rhetoric designed to appeal to their base (but turns off the aspirational centre, who either run businesses or know how difficult it is to get ahead). Leave that end of the spectrum to the Greens and Mana. Go for the middle – who want balance, economic stability and management that is at least as good as Key’s National, maybe with revised CGT and a few ideas well developed and thrashed out and have the approval of the business community. They don’t even have to be much different to National’s policies, just wait till the electorate tire of National, and want a change of leadership, then waltz in when the wind blows your way. This will naturally push National to the right under any new leader that replaces Key, and give them a couple of terms in government.

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  46. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    lol

    Parker and Robertson (Weasel & Beltway Boy) – No.
    Cunliffe and Mahuta (Sleazeball & entitled Princess) – No.
    Shearer – possible caretaker for 3 – 6 years.
    Nash and Ardhern – 2014 > makes a lot of sense.

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  47. catwoman (98 comments) says:

    Oh just make Clare Curran the leader. This will save our energy resources as the last person leaving the Labour Caucus can turn the lights out.

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  48. Grant Michael McKenna (1,115 comments) says:

    In 1995 I was working for the Crown Agents, on attachment to ECOMOG in Liberia. David Shearer was present as a UN Humanitarian worker, and was well known for his willingness to take on the corrupt Nigerian officers. I’m not a Labour voter, and won’t ever be, so my praise of him isn’t worth much, but he is solid. Physical and moral courage, humour and brains; quite a winning combination, so hopefully Labour will take Cunliffe.

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  49. sthn.jeff (101 comments) says:

    I think Parker showed his true colours on election night, when he rattled on about how it was not a rout for Labour, saying a rout was what occured to the Nats in 2002. He also made a point of saying “we had the right policies, but people just did not understand them”, showing he has learnt nothing from the last two elctoral defeats. Contrast that with Shearer who speaking immediately after Parker said that it is a clear message to the party of a need to rebuild and rejuvenate. He seemed far more humble and accepting of the need for drastic change. That is what will rule him out of the leaders role for Labour! Too many people will see him as a threat to there comfy position. Would be great to be a fly on the Labour Cacus room wall today!

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  50. William J (44 comments) says:

    Can’t believe Labour are considering David Parker – a Helen Clark ‘yes’ man, renown for being indecisive and unable to make decisions, questionable previous business deals, responsible for political interference at the Environment Ministry not only while he was the Minister but also while he was the Attorney General and Minister of State Services (i.e. clearly lacks judgment and hardly an example for the public service), tight with his ‘right hand woman’ Clare Curran and Trevor Mallard and supportive of them being the front people of ‘brand Labour’ and in charge of the campaign, Red Alert and other stakeholder engagement tools. If Labour wants a fresh start Parker is the last person you would pick. Hope they pick him though – will be a 3rd term for National in 2014 :)

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