In a new system of democracy the Labour caucus is having a supposedly secret vote on leadership in February. If forty percent or more of caucus support a leadership vote then the whole membership gets to vote for their party leader – if more than one MP puts themselves forward.
But there are indications this is sham democracy. The party conference last year initiated a more democratic leadership selection process, but it looks like the current leadership is openly abusing this.
The ‘Te Reo Putake’ pseudonym is being used as a caucus voice at The Standard. It has stated in a post comment…
The issue is settled, CV. The conference votes to dramatically change the process, but as caucus is the trigger for a wider vote and caucus is not going to make that happen, Shearer will be leading the party to some sort of a victory in a couple of years.
That implies that caucus is already whipped on what is supposed to be a secret ballot and will not give membership a chance to have it’s vote and it’s say.
Just after the conference vote for more membership involvement in leadership selection David Shearer squashed his main presumed opponent, David Cunliffe, demoting him to the back bench and removing him from spokesperson roles.
Since then it sounds as if caucus has effectively been whipped in what is supposed to be a secret process.Lack of unequivocal caucus loyalty to current leadership has obvious potentially drastic consequences, as per the Cunliffe warning. Cunliffe was supposedly punished because he wouldn’t pledge total support for Shearer in February.
Te Reo Putake also stated…
The Feb vote will not only confirm the current leadership, it will confirm the strength of the democratisation process that was formalised at conference.
That’s an open and farcical snub of party democracy. It’s a pretty blatant “stuff you” to the rank and file who are trying to have more democratic say in their party.
This follows the post election leadership contest where party rank and file clearly favoured David Cunliffe as leader but caucus overrode the membership and installed David Shearer.
The LP and the Greens will be able to go into coalition knowing that they both have genuine support in their parties, expressed democratically.
The Labour leadership/Te Reo Putake are either totally ignorant of democratic processes or are brazenly trying to convince their members that their dictatorial actions are somehow something wonderful and that all is well in Labour.
The reason I say this post is irrelevant is because the voting public don’t read the Standard (more’s the pity). They will elect the next government despite the whingeing. Sorry to have to inject some reality into the proceedings, but that’s life.
Labour leadership either are convinced, or are trying to convince, that the voting public can’t see the crap and will vote for Labour/Greens.
But most don’t buy the bullshit.
8 January 2013 at 2:55 pm
Like many over the Christmas period, I have been speaking to people who I don’t normally speak to. I spoke to a number of people who voted for National in 2008 and 2011 but have now become disillusioned, reality has hit them…National are useless. These people are looking for alternatives.
As a Labour member it was sad to note that all of the people I spoke to, none saw Labour as the alternative party to vote for…the main reason is because people simply don’t trust the group that are leading Labour caucus. When I told people that I have become a member of The LP, I received a myriad of responses. None of the responses were positive. This surprised me as many of the people I spoke to were public servants. The perception of Labour is very negative, some of this is to do with a very slick PR campaign by National but also Shearers 2012 performance, the fact that the Greens continually trump Labour in the MSM on the big issues, and the Greens appear to be well run and with unity (this by comparison shows how badly Labour is being run).
You are also wrong about what most of the members are thinking, in our branch most of the members are not impressed with Shearer’s performance over 2012 and also unimpressed with the way Shearer has treated Cunliffe after the conference.
You talk about injecting some reality into the proceedings, quite frankly you have no idea about reality. I suspect TRP that you are operating on hope and optimism rather than reality. In my view as a relatively new member (but a long time Labour Supporter), your attitude is a symptom of what is wrong with Labour. The absolute arrogance by a small clique that Labour are going to walk into power in 2014. Well given my anecdotal evidence you (and the small elite clique leading Labour) are dreaming.
Labour leaders seem to think they have The Standard under control and isolated, and they have the next election in the bag (albeit needing Greens).
I suspect the disgruntlement is much more widespread, and the more the membership is treated with disdain and disgraceful abuse of party democracy the wider the despair will grow and damage the party.