Shearer the right man

In my NZ Herald column I label the right man for Labour. I conclude:

As a National supporter, I know National will not always be in Government. I think a David Shearer led Labour Party will pose more of a threat to National, than any alternative leader. But I still hope that the Labour Caucus will elect Shearer as their leader, as if there is to be a Labour Government, I think the sort of policies we would get under a Shearer administration would be far better than we had under Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, or were offered by Phil Goff.

Shearer is backed by many reformers within Labour. A likely area of reform is around list ranking and candidate selection – specifically the heavy influence union affiliates get in these decisions. Many in the caucus are upset that new MPs such as Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash were ranked below longer serving MPs with union backgrounds. They lost some of their most promising talent from 2008. If a Shearer led Labour can reform the party so that it operates on a one person, one vote principle then Labour is far more likely to regain the votes of its former supporters.

It will be interesting to see how Cunliffe and Shearer do on The Nation tomorrow.

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