The Dom Post editorial:
Labour leader David Cunliffe has been crowing about the growing number of National MPs who have decided to stand down in 2014, likening it to rats deserting a sinking ship. Instead of seeking to make political capital out of his opponent’s obvious drive to bring in new talent at the next election, he would do better to follow suit and start sending the underperformers and time-servers in his own caucus the message that it is time to move on.
Almost a third of Labour’s caucus entered Parliament in the 1980s or 1990s.
Rejuvenation is critical to all political parties. It allows them to bring in new blood to remain fresh in the eyes of voters. However, all too often it is not the parties themselves that do the job, but the electorate, via crushing defeats which see large numbers of sitting MPs turfed out of Parliament.
That is what is so significant about the rejuvenation underway in National. So far, seven of its 59 MPs – nearly an eighth of its caucus – have indicated they will not seek re-election, and there was talk last week that up to six more are considering whether to stand again.
Rejuvenation is a sign of strength, not weakness.