Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:
Labour is proposing to make future leadership contenders take a “behaviour pledge” to try to prevent messy cannibalistic attacks on each other during leadership races.
The change is among changes party delegates will consider at its conference this weekend following a major review of the party.
A change to give the party members and affiliated unions a vote on the leadership will include new rules under which a leadership contest is held – including a “behaviour pledge” for contenders and a spending cap on any advertising in a leadership contest.
Will the oath include angry bloggers trying to force the current leader out on your behalf?
The Herald editorial:
Those calling time on Mr Shearer blame him for the fact that the present Government is clearly not on the wane. It has endured a difficult year. There has been the Dotcom saga, the setbacks over partial asset sales and the pokie deal, privacy breaches, the resignation of two ministers, not to mention the Prime Minister’s “brain fades” and occasional careless remarks. Yet National still polls at around 47 per cent, a dozen points ahead of Labour, and Mr Key seems as popular as ever.
Mr Shearer’s critics cannot understand this. They know there are only two explanations: either the Government is genuinely popular and they are out of touch with the country’s mood, or the mood has changed and Labour’s leader is failing to capitalise on it. Naturally they prefer the latter view but they are wrong.
This is spot on. Many of the critics are angry. They even blog proudly how angry they are. They detest John Key. They hate National. All their friends hate National also. They don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate National. So it is a huge mystery to them that National remains ahead in the polls. Hence someone must be to blame, and they have decided it is David Shearer. Never has the possibility dawned on them that they live sheltered little lives where their only friends are fellow political activists or unionists, mean they are not in touch with the majority of the country.
He was thrust into the limelight too quickly and he still sounds diffident. But his judgment on policy so far has been good. He appears to be a moderate, responsible decision-maker and a personality the country would like when Labour’s time comes. That cannot be said for some of his possible replacements. All he may need is time.
Shearer is moderate, and I think that is a strength. But party activists are not moderates.Tags: David Shearer, editorials, Labour Leadership, NZ Herald