Members voting for the next Labour leader?

January 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

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I am not yet sure of it, but I think it is possible by the end of this year, the New Zealand Labour Party will have an institutional role for members in choosing the leadership of the Party.  We will, if that is so, be joining our fraternal parties around the world, and will be giving people a big new reason to join the party and be involved.

I’m a fan of giving the members a vote, as the UK Conservatives did in choosing David Cameron.

The process we choose will be important.  My view is that in a country as small as this, we should do our best to keep it deliberative.  We could, as Patrick suggests, have an electoral college model between the Caucus, Members and Affiliates, and that would work for me to a degree with postal ballots for the latter two, and in person ballots for the Caucus.

I’m more a one person one vote person. Jordan’s model (which is used in UK Labour) would see union bosses controlling say a third of the votes.

Why not just have a postal ballot of all members of the party, a member being someone who has filled in a membership form and paid a sub.

But good to see Labour looking at involving their members more.

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11 Responses to “Members voting for the next Labour leader?”

  1. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    Better still let their members vote on the entire list. The number 1 reason I didn’t vote Labour was the disgraceful way their list protected some of their utterly useless MPs while shafting people like Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash.

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  2. Cobolt (93 comments) says:

    I like the idea of publicly voted party leaders but leave to all registered voters, not just party members. Much like the US Presidential Primaries. The reason being is that while you want a leader that you can believe in they have to also be electable by the entire constituency.
    For example, if she stood for it, I dare say Helen Kelly would be a shoe in if labour party members had a vote. Come the General Election though I suspect the majority of voters would reject her militaristic socialist dogma.

    Now if the whole electorate had a say in party leadership then the likes of Shearer, Jones, et el would get the nod where as the ranting Cunliff or noodle Parker would not even get a look in. The same goes for National.

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  3. Positan (390 comments) says:

    It’s all but certain that irrespective of whatever system is ultimately opted for, the union factor will still be a steering, if not controlling, element.

    This is inevitable because, of all the leftist credos and factions that comprise the political swamp/undisciplined mess that is the Labour Party, only the union movement is capable of exerting and maintaining the directional influences that will ultimately be adopted.

    End result – lots of enthusiastic praise for, and embracing of, “change” that’ll be little different from what Labour’s structure has ever been.

    As far as elected talent might go, Labour’s greatest disadvantage lies in the fact that most possessed of any sort of economic capability will never ascribe to their simplistic outlook or their fatuous views.

    Pretenders to the contrary have been prostituting themselves politically.

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  4. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    Ohhhhh horseshit.
    Until the sectoral and union bloc voting provisions are scrubbed ,it is all smoke AND MIRRORS.

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  5. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    I would not trust the Labour Party to boil an egg.
    However I think the idea is great – it will help them more quickly into oblivion.
    It should happen when Shearer gets shafted late this or early next year.

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  6. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Why not just have a postal ballot of all members of the party, a member being someone who has filled in a membership form and paid a sub.

    Because all members are equal, but some members are more equal than others. Four legs good, two legs…

    (Obvious rhetorical question is obvious ;-) )

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  7. kowtow (8,522 comments) says:

    More bullshit from the party of “equality”. The balance of power goes to where the money comes from,the unions. Hardly egalitarian.

    I love the old revolutionary rhetoric of “fraternal parties”…..where does that leave the sisters?

    Arseholes.

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  8. Spoon (104 comments) says:

    @Cobolt: That leaves it very open to manipulation. If everyone could vote, I’d vote for Phil Goff or someone in the hope that they “win”, meaning the odds of the party being elected are minimal. Obviously it can be gamed now for anyone with enough money – $6.60 for an unwaged person to join, so a determined person with, say, $100,000 and enough friends could probably get 10,000 votes…

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  9. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    I would have thought that if the members of the Conservative party were instrumental in voting in Cameron as leader, that would be a very good reason to think that the idea is moronic, given Dave boy’s performance in the role to date.

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  10. Cobolt (93 comments) says:

    @Spoon: No more than say the Epsom seat strategic voting. It seems to work well for the yanks.

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  11. tas (625 comments) says:

    Let’s see. Suppose that Labour allows members to elect the leader. Now Labour has 6000 members. And joining costs $15. So you can buy the Labour leadership for $90,000.

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