Agreeing with Russel

May 29th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Pete George blogs:

Some party leaders were asked their views on . National:

“I think there is potentially the need for legislation to support that view,” says Mr Key.

And National’s rank-and-file are calling for a law change too, clearly worried Mr Gilmore was going to do a Horan, and stick around on $144,000 a year.

Labour:

And the Opposition agrees the likes of Mr Gilmore and Mr Horan should not be able to stay.

“It wouldn’t have helped good government, and actually overall it brings the Parliament into disrepute as well,” say Labour leader David Shearer.

NZ First:

“People are voting for the party, not for someone who thinks they can behave any way they like,” says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

There was one party leader who bucked the majority in support of protection against leaders abusing their power:

But the Greens don’t agree.

“Party leaders like me would basically get to say to individual MPs, ‘If you don’t do what I like then I’ll expel you from caucus and you’ll be kicked out of Parliament,’” says Greens co-leader

On this issue, I agree with Russel Norman. As frustrating as it is, when a List MP leaves their party and goes rogue, the solution is better candidate selection procedures – not turning List MPs into party creatures even more than they are. Once parties gain the ability to sack MPs from Parliament mid-term, there will be a chilling effect.

 

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35 Responses to “Agreeing with Russel”

  1. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    I agree David, but the thing I hate is that someone like Horan is now on a taxpayer funded 20 month campaign for the seat of Tauranga at the next election, not that he really stands a chance, but that is purely and simply all he is doing nowadays

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  2. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    Norman tweeted on this last night:

    I’d rather that we wasted a couple of years salary on Horan than give party leaders dictatorial powers

    I agree with him on that too. And it mightn’t even be that bad, I don’t think Horan has a mandate to stay on as an independent MP – he didn’t stand as one, but I think he is trying to do some work as an MP.

    And there’s no guarantee that a replacement for Horan would be any better value for money. Being the lowest ranked NZ First MP ruled by Winston, with no experience and half way through a term you can hardly expect a huge return on taxpayer investment.

    Norman was arguing his case with Paddy Gower, who thought that a quick and narrow TV3 poll and getting some party leaders to sort of agree was all that was needed to justify changing our way of doing MMP.

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  3. MT_Tinman (2,994 comments) says:

    No!
    No!
    No!

    Under the god-awful MMP We elect a party, not the personnel.

    If you have your way every list mp who is retiring or being retired is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants no matter which party they were elected to serve with no sanction at all available to the voter or the party.

    At least if party leaders stack their parties they can be voted out of office – assuming the slime at least partially do their job and report the actions.

    The far better of two terrible options is to insist ALL list MPs are part of the party caucus that they were voted into.

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  4. hj (6,374 comments) says:

    On this issue, I agree with Russel Norman. As frustrating as it is, when a List MP leaves their party and goes rogue, the solution is better candidate selection procedures – not turning List MPs into party creatures even more than they are.
    ………………………..

    I don’t agree. Political parties often have fairly small membership to choose from.

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  5. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    MT_Tinman (2,246) Says:
    May 29th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    If you have your way every list mp who is retiring or being retired is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants no matter which party they were elected to serve with no sanction at all available to the voter or the party.

    Surely you realize that Parliament consists of over 120 MPs and that one list MP cannot do “whatever” they want. By themselves they will accomplish approximately nothing.

    The trade off is between wasting a bit of taxpayer money paying a list MP’s salary, who will be gone at the next election anyway, or giving excessive power to party leaders.

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  6. rouppe (918 comments) says:

    Nah… A list MP thrown out of the party should go. However this can be balanced by what equates to an employment process to get rid of them.

    That way there has to be demonstrable evidence of criminal activity, disreputable behaviour, non-performance just like any employer wanting to get rid of an employee

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  7. kowtow (7,653 comments) says:

    List MPs are there cos we put them there based on the Party List.If they’re not with the party they got in on then they have no business in parliament.

    Bit of a joke really,like that stupid term “waka jumper”. Is it racist?

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  8. wreck1080 (3,735 comments) says:

    I disagree with dpf.

    List MP’s get in purely by the will of the party.

    So, it should purely be at the will of the party if they want to expel them.

    If you don’t want list mp’s to be scared of this, then we have the wrong political system.

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  9. Matthew Hooton (124 comments) says:

    It is awful to agree with the Australian communist on anything but, yes, he is absolutely right on this.

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  10. iMP (2,247 comments) says:

    DPF, “agreeing with Russell Norman,” this is getting a bit scary. Might be all the bean-sprouts you’ve been eating as main courses? “Someone get that Nat a steak with chips cooked in baby harp seal fat!”

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  11. s.russell (1,565 comments) says:

    I agree with DPF and Russel Norman: in this case the “cure” is worse than the disease.

    And people who hang around with no mandate don’t do themselves any favours: they become pariahs who will spend decades trying to get the stain out.

    That said, I have a grain of sympathy for Horan: I do not know if he is guilty or innnocent, but neither does anyone else. Peters condemned him on accusation without giving him a chance to defend himself. Gilmore was treated far better by Key (who, whatever he said in private did not knife his MP in the back in public), and that may have been a factor in his eventually choosing the honorable course.

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  12. Viking2 (11,146 comments) says:

    Much like Peters has accused P Dunne today.

    Now where have I seen that behavoir before?

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  13. gravedodger (1,516 comments) says:

    Remaining members of the party caucus should have the power to remove the rogue.

    MMP is a dog but it does not have to be accepted that a Kopu can have such ramifications.

    Had Aron Gilmore gone against the Nats with his threatened UTU it had a potential to abrogate the electors wishes, who in the final election did not even get him to Wellington, he only made it with others, who possibly those voting National had based their decision on, leaving during the term of the parliament.

    I will repeat my suggestion, any candidate hands a signed letter of resignation from the parliament with their nomination that only requires a date entered.

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  14. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    I think NZ Green Party members should retain the right to fire AussieGingaAboDugoutJumpers who come to our fair Aotearoa to pursue a new political career cause everybody laughed at them and their dickhead policies in OZ cause their eyes were too close together! :)

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  15. Griff (6,827 comments) says:

    Sutability is the responsibility of the party selection process once a list mp is in they stay until they resign or the next election.
    The more partys to the right the better.
    The present centrist inoffensive national compromises the ability for different views and policy from a range of possible voting choices from libertieran to reddys authoritarian conservative to be represented .
    The ability of our represenatives to be able to splinter from a party if during a term personal /ideological boundaries are crossed by party policy enhances representive democracy .

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  16. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    I almost followed that comment Griff.

    You should have another drink Bach! :)

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  17. Michael (896 comments) says:

    I wish the idea that List MPs are party creatures would stop. If List MPs are solely in Parliament to allow for proportionality in voting for legislation then we shouldn’t have them at all – just amend our electoral system to allow for parties with electorate MPs to cast the votes they recieve at the election, and tally the votes for and against.

    The advice I wouls give is if you don’t want a particular person to be a List MP, don’t vote your Party Vote for that Party. And if a Party doesn’t want a person to leave them, then don’t select anyone but long standing activists who have proven loyalty to the party.

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  18. Griff (6,827 comments) says:

    :lol: :cool: :twisted: :wink:

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  19. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    Sorry but I have to disagree with DPF on this occasion. List selection procedures should be robust anyway, but really what the OP seems to be saying that it’s ok to ensure conformity via list selection process, but not when the list MP acts contrary to caucus. I am a believer that conferred privilege should be matched by accountability. An electorate MP is accountable to their electorate first, a list MP to their party.

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  20. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    An electorate MP’s accountability to his or her electorate can only operate every three years. I think it is more useful to see a list MP as representing a nationwide electorate – accountable at the end of the three-year term. I also favour few distinctions between list and electorate MPs. We already read enough nonsense that suggests only electorate MPs are ‘real’ MPs.

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  21. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    Mikemild but they are accountable only indirectly anyway; by the share of the party vote. And the public don’t set the list, or its order.

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  22. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    Yes, I realise that, but effectively every MP is elected for a 3 year term, at the end of which they need to be re-elected by an electorate or re-selected for a party list and re-elected that way. I strongly agree with Michael’s point above about the nature of list MPs – if they are to be purely creatures of their party trhen there is no need to have them at all – parties could simply cast parliamentary votes according to their share of the last national vote.

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  23. adze (1,870 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with that option either. It would save a lot in parliamentary salaries while preserving proportionality. But that’s another matter and I don’t feel strongly either way.

    But what I do feel strongly about is that my party vote being served for less than a full term. There’s no reason to give the power to fire solely to the leader – they could make it a majority caucus vote by secret ballot – but it is intolerable to have people in parliament with not even the pretence of a mandate.

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  24. Nostalgia-NZ (4,914 comments) says:

    “Party leaders like me would basically get to say to individual MPs, ‘If you don’t do what I like then I’ll expel you from caucus and you’ll be kicked out of Parliament,’” says Greens co-leader Russel Norman.

    Norman misses the point, if a MP misleads the electorate, Parliament or his or her party leader, brings the Parliamentary process into disrepute, they should be on a one way ticket out. No NZ voter votes in favour of a party not be able to control the conduct of it’s members. We watch a situation where a loyal ‘member’ one day, becomes a maverick overnight without voter mandate – impairing good governance, something not in the interests of the people. Taken a step further if political party knowingly ignores the unsuitability of a candidate to be a Parliamentarian then they should be seen under Constitutional law to have lost the mandate of a fair and honest electoral process. But of course, one step at a time.

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  25. Mobile Michael (414 comments) says:

    Adze – that would depend on the number of electorates which I expect would grow to over 100.

    Mikenmild – When I said vote the number of votes, I mean every party vote cast. i.e. National would cast 1058000 votes, Labour 615000, etc. If the Greens and NZ First want to vote then they would need to win a seat.

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  26. Griff (6,827 comments) says:

    I view the selection process as giving the party a great deal of control over list candidates. If later they become unpalatable so be it. They represented the partys views at the time of election. To make them a disposable commodity that can be swaped out at the whim of the party makes a mockery of the election process.

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  27. Nostalgia-NZ (4,914 comments) says:

    ‘I view the selection process as giving the party a great deal of control over list candidates. If later they become unpalatable so be it. They represented the partys views at the time of election. To make them a disposable commodity that can be swaped out at the whim of the party makes a mockery of the election process.’

    And of course a maverick mp represents the party more than the policies on which a voter decided to place his or her vote. I get it.

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  28. Griff (6,827 comments) says:

    So just to say you vote for a minor party thinking you, according to polls will help elect a list candidate you approve of .
    The party has a leader and direction change and boots out the candidate you helped to get elected?
    Rouge mp is a risk you take when you select them to bail from a party spells political death for most who attempt it.

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  29. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Rouge (sic) MP’s have always been a risky proposition to a Blue fellow like me! :)

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  30. Jim (400 comments) says:

    Disagree with DPF/RN.

    List MPs are there to maintain proportionality. They represent the party, and were chosen by the party.

    If we must have them, and if we don’t want to give dictatorial power to the leader, then why not have the party decide whether they still represent. Perhaps a secret ballot.

    That way if they are still reflecting the values of the party (and the leader has gone rogue) then they should be safe.

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  31. seanmaitland (455 comments) says:

    So, you agree with Russell’s strawman argument then? Thats not the way to run a political party, and you’d find if someone tried it, it would go down in a screaming heap.

    A lowly list-MP who got in by default shouldn’t have the opportunity to stay on.

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  32. Liberty (236 comments) says:

    “than give party leaders dictatorial powers”
    What a load nonsense .A List MPs aren’t elected they are appointed by the party.

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  33. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    This is why we need electorate vote ranked lists.

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  34. Scott1 (451 comments) says:

    It doesn’t need to be the party leader kicking them out of parliament.
    How about giving parliament a vote on it? Or some sort of legal body?
    There should be a group of people somewhere in the country we trust to judge that a list MP no longer deserves his place in the parliament.

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  35. big bruv (13,328 comments) says:

    How can anybody agree with, or believe Russel Norman?

    Remember this is the man from the party that has no interest in democracy, this it the party that thinks it knows best and the party that ignored 85% of the population by ramming through the anti smacking bill.

    It is all well and good to say that he does not support a bill to deal with party hopping, however given that we already know Norman to be a lying bastard you can be sure that when the day comes that he has to deal with an MP gone rouge then despite what he has said here he will be all for a bill that allows him to keep control.

    When you think about it this a little more it just does not make sense for a communist like Norman to say he should not have the power. Power is what he (and the rest of his dirty, stinking party) stands for.

    Remember, there is a simple rule of thumb that always applies when dealing with the Greens, trust nothing they say and nothing they do.

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