The Rotorua Daily Post reveals that the former Chair of the Rotorua Labour Party voted National!:
A former Rotorua Labour Party spokesman says he has become disillusioned with the party and spent Saturday night celebrating with Rotorua MP Todd McClay.
Rotorua Weekender columnist and local businessman Fraser Newman said he had given up his Labour Party membership, saying the party had lost its way.
Mr Newman said he also voted for Mr McClay on Saturday saying he was an effective local MP who worked hard and had delivered for the city.
“It’s time for Labour to think about its future.
“Does it want to be a small left wing minority party or a centre-left party that appeals to middle New Zealand?”
Again this is from someone who was an electorate chair for them not very long ago.
And you know Labour has troubles when even Steve Maharey says the party has become too left wing!!
Labour moved left to secure what it assumed was its base and never moved back. Over six years it failed to effectively oppose the Government and propose a coherent policy platform that won the support of 40 per cent of voters. It persisted in arguing New Zealand was on the wrong track (which it may well be) when most voters thought the opposite.
In addition, it confused voters by vacillating between behaving like a major party and then like just the largest of a left grouping. When it began arguing that it really was a major party it was too late.
Maharey makes the point:
It should start by understanding that in New Zealand politics the foundation for victory is in the centre. A party seeking to form a stable, strong government has to have a message that appeals to around 40 per cent of these voters.
The Labour leadership contest forced the candidates to try and compete with each other to come up with the most left wing policies they could, to appeal to the base. Their strategy was to be hard left to energise the base and the million non voters. It totally failed as a strategy. They claim they were also trying to target centrist voters – but you know what – you can’t really do both – as the voters are not stupid.
Chris Trotter gets into the metaphors:
Overall, the image presented to the electorate was one of John Key as the embattled matador. Alone in the arena, he faced charge after charge from a seemingly never-ending succession of bulls. But with every twirl of his cape and flash of his sword, the pile of dispatched cattle-beasts grew higher.
The crowd cheered. The roses rained down. “Bravo!” shouted 48 per cent of New Zealand. “Three more years!”
As the dust of combat settles, the identity of the matador’s defeated attackers is revealed. Among them is the political corpse of the redoubtable Hone Harawira, his thick hide pierced by multiple lances. And, sprawled alongside this mighty bull of the North, his blundering sponsor, the massive German beast called Kim Dotcom.
Some distance apart lies the slim political carcass of the brave little steer known as Colin Craig – his wide-eyes still staring imploringly up at the crowd. (Missing from the pile are the bodies of those bulls whose horns actually drew the matador’s blood: Nicky Hager, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden.)
But in all that vast arena, the most pitiful sight is that of the old bull called Labour.
Its ancient hide is pierced and bleeding; around its mouth a bloody froth. The matador’s sword has penetrated the unfortunate animal’s lungs and heart, but the poor creature still stands there, defiant. Panting noisily, quivering legs about to fold beneath its battered body, Labour seems unaware that its wounds are fatal. That it is dying on its feet.
And Stacey Kirk blogs on today:
So that press conference was a train wreck. Cunliffe says he takes “full responsibility” for Labour’s loss, but they may be hollow words to the caucus as he refuses to take the blame.
He won’t be apologising to his caucus, and he’ll be asking them to trigger a new leadership primary under their constitution.
He’ll effectively do that by asking them to pass a vote of no-confidence in him, (which many would probably gladly do) but then have every chance of regaining the leadership with the backing of the unions and wider party.
That would hardly bring stability to Labour.
And no less than five minutes after Cunliffe spoke of his “disappointment” in Labour MPs speaking to media on their strife, were two MPs speaking to the media – David Shearer and Phil Goff. (I’ve got videos clips of boths of those – I’ll post shortly)
The party is in disarray.
Time to order up a three month supply of popcorn!
UPDATE: John Armstrong reflects:
An extraordinary morning in the Labour Party’s wing of Parliament Buildings. There were only two words to describe things – absolute mayhem.
And that was even before Labour MPs had even begun their crucial post-election caucus meeting, at which there was expected to be some very blunt language during a preliminary post-mortem on last Saturday s crushing defeat.
David Cunliffe is fighting tooth and nail to hang on as leader. His chances of doing so would seem to deteriorate further with every wrong tactic and mistaken ploy he uses to shore up his crumbling position.
Time is Cunliffe’s enemy. He needs an early party-wide vote to refresh his mandate as party leader before the true awfulness of Labour’s thrashing really sinks in and his support among the mass membership and trade unions affiliated to the party which backed him in last September’s leadership ballot rapidly erodes.
Other senior figures like former leader David Shearer are arguing vociferously that the leadership question be left in abeyance until a proper and fundamental review of the party’s failings and the reasons for its dreadful showing in last week’s general election are thoroughly examined. The results of such a review are unlikely to reflect well on Cunliffe.
Cunliffe wants caucus to roll him now, so he can have a quick members ballot. But the craft ABCs won’t play along, and they have three months before they have to have a vote.
UPDATE2: The Labour caucus meeting has now been going for seven hours. Generally they last two hours. It must be brutal in there.