Labour review recommends members vote on leadership

May 12th, 2012 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald:

The Party is considering a major change in the way it elects its leader to allow party members to force a handover of power through a no-confidence vote, or to block an attempt by caucus to roll the leader.

The group set up to review the Labour Party after its poor election result has recommended party members vote on the leader. At present only MPs elect the leader.

Party president Moira Coatsworth said it was “a significant shift” for the party.

“At the moment, because it is a caucus decision, caucus at any time can walk in and have a vote. So this would decide on mechanisms for triggering [a leadership vote.]”

New Zealand and Australia were the only Westminster countries in which the equivalent of the Labour Party did not allow members to vote on the leader. 

It is unclear to what extent it is recommended that Labour members get a say on the party leadership, but this looks to be a step in the right direction.

Of course it may create tension, if implemented, as it seems most party members backed Cunliffe for Leader, while the caucus backed Shearer. So would Cunliffe’s supporters be able to trigger a leadership vote against the wishes of caucus? It will be interesting to see the detailed proposal.

What will also be interesting if whether unions will get a block vote for the leadership. This could give them even more power within the party.

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7 Responses to “Labour review recommends members vote on leadership”

  1. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    What will also be interesting if whether unions will get a block vote for the leadership. This could give them even more power within the party.

    It’s the golden rule – those with the gold make the rules…. It not surprising that the funding arm of the Labour party want to makes the rules.

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  2. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Maybe they should give the party membership the right to vote on candidates…

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  3. Michael (913 comments) says:

    Could be a weighted vote – 50% by the membership, 50% by the caucus. So if Shearer had 66% of the caucus and 40% of the membership he’d have been elected. (33/50 + 20/50 = 53/100).

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  4. pq (728 comments) says:

    it means nothing, Labour is dead

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  5. Daigotsu (471 comments) says:

    Letting members vote tends to give you extremist leaders.

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  6. Positan (396 comments) says:

    Surely, those closest to the person who wants to lead are likely to be far more knowledgeable as to their qualities, capabilities and failings than all the membership in its entirety.

    Simply, this latest act of microscopic intellects serves to underline how little in the way of life experience and general nous is possessed by those who’d deem that Labour is an alternative anything – let alone effective Opposition – let alone, let alone, let alone alternative Government!

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  7. backster (2,196 comments) says:

    Perhaps members should be allowed to vote by text 99cents a vote.

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