Guest Post: Winners and Losers

September 14th, 2013 at 7:29 pm by David Farrar

A guest post by Michael Lu:

Winner and Loser

By Michael Lu .

Whatever the final outcome of the ’s contest, it is hard to say who is the loser amongst the three contestants – David Cunliffe,Grant Robertson and Shane Jones. If I have to determine whose the loser in this contest is, then it is probably the Labour Party itself.

The three contestants are now pulling out all the stops to try to woo the supporters, unions and caucus to support them in this leadership contest. All of them have released their policies in their leadership roadshow. Shane Jones has not  specified the financial commitments in his policy to woo the voters, whereas the other two candidates are more specific in what they can offer.

Amongst the three contestants, Shane Jones has little chance in winning the leadership contest. His participation is to assist him to increase his profile. He wants to seize this opportunity to address voters’ concerns and show his political astuteness. The recent roadshow has shown his ability to attract the supporters and raising his profile. In my opinion, Shane Jones is a winner. His increased popularity and his future political career are more likely to attract media and voter’s attention. The once ranked fifth minister in former Labour government with great leadership potential will struggle to be elected to be the leader due to his indiscretion and actions in the past. 

Many people have commended that both Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe are the front runners in this leadership contest.  The policies released by both of them have shown that they have put up sweeteners like living wage in order to attract more votes. Whoever the elected leader is, he will face pressure to honour these commitments and increase the popularity of Labour party amongst the voters.

In the leadership contest, I believe David Cunliffe has the upper hand in winning the leadership. He has been ranked third in the Labor Party heavyweights, highly educated at Harvard University and has been in politics for a number of years . His political view is more leaning towards left-wing voters which will appeal to the blue collar support. This will be a risk for David Cunliffe to unite the faction of party and supporters which has a more centre political view. It is important to note that in the last election, one of the contributing factors that Labour lost the election is the voters has lost confidence in the leader and hence has decided not to vote.

David Cunliffe, although popular at the grassroots level, seems to be unpopular and left out from the Labour caucus. His personality has made it difficult for colleagues to support him.  It is crucial for him to change his leadership style and make it conducive for his colleagues to vote and support him in order to win this contest. 

Under the MMP electoral system, both the Labour and the National need to find allies in order to form coalition government. It is important for any leaders to have good political relations with potential partners. In the past, Helen Clark was reluctant to form a coalition government with the Greens in order to avoid being overly containment policies. Helen Clark rarely ruled out any coalition deals in the public. David Cunliffe’s recent speech of ruling out giving the finance minister post to the Greens did not make much sense. If the Greens performs well in the next election and the Labour needs to surrender the post of finance minister for them to form the coalition government, the opponents will accuse David Cunliffe to be untrustworthy. If and when David Cunliffe becomes the leader, his focus is not only on uniting the party and also building the good relationship with political parties for Labour to form coalition government.

On the other hand, Grant Robertson is more likely to gain support from the caucus. His centre-left policy and good performance throughout his career is well known. However, it is difficult to predict his gay identity is seen to be favourable or disadvantage to lead the Labour in the upcoming election in 2014. New Zealanders considered themselves always open, egalitarian. An openly gay prime minister perhaps would make New Zealanders proud.

From another perspective, whoever loses this contest, this might not be a bad situation. Firstly, the new Labour leader will face lots of challenges from Russell Norman and Winston Peters whose outspoken style is always the focus of media. Secondly, the winner of this leader contest won’t make everybody happy. The losers will challenge the leadership again once there is an opportunity. Finally, the John Key led National Party has been in the government for two terms now and still leading in the latest polling. It is not an easy job for the Labour new leader to lead the party to take over the power from National in the upcoming election in 2014. Once the Labour loses the election, the new leader may be forced to step down. Therefore, whoever loses this Labour leadership contest; he is not to be a loser yet. If the Labour loses the upcoming election, he still has a chance to become the next Labour leader and has a better chance to defeat National in 2017.

 In the end, who is the real winner from the leadership contest, I am afraid that only time will tell.

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19 Responses to “Guest Post: Winners and Losers”

  1. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..David Cunliffe, although popular at the grassroots level, seems to be unpopular and left out from the Labour caucus. His personality has made it difficult for colleagues to support him. It is crucial for him to change his leadership style and make it conducive for his colleagues to vote and support him in order to win this contest…..”

    Sure he can – Rudd did! :cool:

    Cunliffe, just like Rudd was, is popular at the grass roots level but it is his colleagues that have to work with him to get policy through, along with a coalition partner – or two! But the reality is that once arrogent people like Cuncliffe and Rudd get into ‘power’ they can’t change, as their personalities – to them, have been reinforced by the media and voters. They therefor don’t change – but just get worse. And it is their colleagues who get the brunt of their bad attidudes – away from the media.

    Labour/Greens/Mana under Cunliffe ? and with Winston in the mix ?

    Get the popcorn out if Cunliffe wins! :cool:

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  2. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    Amongst the three contestants, Shane Jones has little chance………
    Many people have commended that both Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe are the front runners ………
    David Cunliffe, although popular at the grassroots level………
    From another perspective, whoever loses this contest………

    Ho hum. Who actually gives a fuck…..? :)

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  3. Reid (15,603 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe’s recent speech of ruling out giving the finance minister post to the Greens did not make much sense. If the Greens performs well in the next election and the Labour needs to surrender the post of finance minister for them to form the coalition government, the opponents will accuse David Cunliffe to be untrustworthy.

    Liarbore could not possibly give Finance Minister to Wussell and I suspect Cunliffe will give it to himself like Muldoon did, that’s why he ruled that out. But giving the Gweens Finance would be unacceptable to the markets and business not to mention everyone in the country with a 3-digit IQ, but the two former groups would work actively to sabotage the whole govt in that event, I guarantee it. But they could resurrect Winston’s Treasurer role and Wussell and the markets etc would accept that. Until they realised Wussell intended to make it into an actual portfolio and not a peacock one like Winston had. After all, what else is a commie going to do?

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  4. HC (130 comments) says:

    Good grief, “most people have commended”, “the Labour”, “the National” and what else? What happened to some good old quality “proof reading” and English grammar?

    Is Michael Lu a journalist, or what is he usually doing? Is he one of the persons listed under this:
    http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Michael/Lu ?

    This post seems to be the result of putting together the editorials of various other writers in one piece, and it tells me nothing that I do not already know, or have read about.

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  5. Psycho Milt (1,988 comments) says:

    If I have to determine whose the loser in this contest is, then it is probably the Labour Party itself.

    I’m confused. Does it lose because a party that introduces a means for members to have a say in the leadership vote is going to make the party unattractive to existing and potential members? Or is it because having three of its MPs getting a shitload of media coverage and dramatically improving their name recognition is a terrible thing to befall a party?

    Under the MMP electoral system, both the Labour and the National need to find allies in order to form coalition government. It is important for any leaders to have good political relations with potential partners.

    Well, yes. One of the two main parties does seem to find itself short of good political relationships with potential coalition partners – thing is, it’s not Labour. To give it credit, National does seem to have woken up to this fact – hence Key’s recent discovery that actually he could work with Winston First if it became necessary. Not that ruling out working with Winston First previously was the wrong thing to do, it was of course a courageous, albeit risk-free, stand for political integrity. It’s just that taking the opposite position now is an equally courageous stand for political pragmatism…

    Firstly, the new Labour leader will face lots of challenges from Russell Norman and Winston Peters whose outspoken style is always the focus of media.

    Yeah – if only Labour had potential coalition partners as free of outspoken characters and media embarrassments as National’s reliable partners ACT and the Maori Party have proved to be…

    Secondly, the winner of this leader contest won’t make everybody happy. The losers will challenge the leadership again once there is an opportunity.

    Sure. Just as National’s ambitious types will challenge for the leadership once there is an opportunity. The trick is not to provide the opportunity.

    Finally, the John Key led National Party has been in the government for two terms now and still leading in the latest polling.

    I wonder how many decades it’s going to take for right-wingers to figure out that being the highest-polling party counts for shit under MMP? What counts is which potential coalitions get the most votes, not which individual party gets the most votes (unless one of them gets over 50%, that is).

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,684 comments) says:

    The winner will be Mr Key and the National Party. Simple, really.

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  7. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “I wonder how many decades it’s going to take for right-wingers to figure out that being the highest-polling party ……”

    Psycho has nailed it. He who is prepared to sell all his principles (including his arse) is destined for leadership.

    MMP is a wonderful cure for piles! :)

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  8. Reid (15,603 comments) says:

    What counts is which potential coalitions get the most votes

    PM, when your coalition partners consist of mentals like Hone and the Gweens; you’re welcome to hallucinate it’s a good tactic to try to get them on your side, because they’re like convolvulus and any govt that has them, is going to have a pretty tough time getting re-elected after a single term. In fact, your caucus is going to be lucky to escape being tarred and feathered and getting their pensions confiscated by angry taxpayers rising up from the smoking ruins.

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  9. Keith Johnson (2 comments) says:

    Hence guilty ploys, distastes, surmises,
    Hence false fears, deceits, disguises,
    Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises;
    Huffs and puffs and none the wises!

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  10. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (530 comments) says:

    Waste of time post bro. Curryleaf will be a run away winner. Latest Roy-Morgan poll shows Labour-Green alliance cruising to victory without breaking any sweat. Curryleaf will be the Prime minister in 2014. He has to offer Finance to Greens, but he can easily say that that is being done for the good of New Zealanders and the suckers will accept it. Power hungry Winston, Hone will fall in line in exchange of cabinet posts. Tax the hell out of Kiwis and spend as if there is no tomorrow. Life is easy really.

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  11. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,684 comments) says:

    Is this fellow the chap Shane Jones gave citizenship?

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  12. Tom Jackson (2,263 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe’s recent speech of ruling out giving the finance minister post to the Greens did not make much sense.

    Unless he’s promised it to David Parker in return for a vote. Even if it’s not a quid pro quo, Parker seems the obvious choice for MoF if Labour becomes the government.

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  13. Mobile Michael (367 comments) says:

    Going more left wing will not appeal to blue collar workers. They want low tax, good services, and real job security (not legislated security, but economic growth.) The living wage will not interest them as most blue collar workers are already beating it. Remember the salaries blue collar Auckland Port workers earn?

    The living wage will appeal to two groups – the minimum wage earners, and intellectual non-private sector workers. Both of these already vote left so no new votes from this policy. Only Shane Jones seems to have grasped this with his middle earth (not flat earth) pledge.

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  14. holysheet (196 comments) says:

    “An openly gay prime minister perhaps would make New Zealanders proud”

    Where did this comment come from? I would suggest that mainstream nz would cringe with the thought of this happening. It was bad enough having lesbian as pm before jk.

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  15. wiseowl (578 comments) says:

    God help ‘the’ New Zealand.

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  16. flipper (3,274 comments) says:

    Mr Lu, if he is male, is in the loo, with it spread all over him.
    The Loo must exist in the tiny, unrepresentative, land that is academia and main city rainbow enclaves.
    The vast majority of those over-educated idiots already vote green or labour.
    Robertson will not increase their vote. He would make New Zealander’s proud? Lord help the Loo.The only one of the three who will appeal to the vast majority, to the “westies”, and to the provinces, is Jones. He is the candidate most National MPs respect – for his intellect and commitment to a better New Zealand. He would be National’s strongest opponent.
    Loo needs a super size pack of loo rolls, albeit pink.

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  17. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    I think the winner of the Labour leadership contest will be Andrew Little. He has run a very smart race by saying nothing and not taking sides. He will be in a great position to take over and unite the party after Labour loses in 2014.

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  18. Bingo99 (42 comments) says:

    Thanks to those kiwiblog patrons for the overt racism because the author has an Asian name. Way to reinforce the righties-are-racists stereotype you tools. DPF why aren’t you moderating that crap?

    The author has put himself out there and good on him. But please can we play the ball (his argument ) not the man? For what it’s worth, if Cunliffe wins with a minority of caucus support, I just don’t see how labour can possibly function let alone claim support for the leader.

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  19. HC (130 comments) says:

    Bingo99, 10.23 am, 15.09.: I am not sure whether Michael Lu is being attacked in a “racist” way. That was certainly not my intention with my comment and question above. I would expect any person writing a post like the above to make at least some reasonable efforts to get the spelling and grammar right. We are after all in New Zealand, where the main official language, also in the media and social media, is still English.

    So any person repeating mistakes and not proof-reading risks some critical feedback re that at least. I am not speaking for other commenters, and whether they are over the top or not though.

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