By-election or general election?

When news came out that David Shearer was likely to resign from his Mt Albert electorate to take up a UN job Andrew Little suggested an early general election would be more appropriate than a by-election.

One News: Little calls for early election instead of Mt Albert by-election brought by David Shearer’s expected move to UN role

Labour leader Andrew Little says his party is “ready to go” and that a General Election should be held in mid-winter 2017, instead of a by-election that would be triggered if Labour MP David Shearer takes up a new job at the UN.

Labour Leader Andrew Little said today it was his preference for a General Election to be held mid-winter in 2017 instead of later in the year.

General elections are not supposed to be scheduled at the convenience of a party leader.  It would be ludicrous if an Opposition MP resigning before the end of their term justified interfering with the normal 3 year term, which is short enough as it is.

But after new Prime Minister Bill English announced a Mt Albert by-election date (25 February) acting Labour leader Annette King continued asking for an early election. She posted this PR yesterday:

National no-show gutless, but Labour is ready

Labour is ready and keen to talk about the problems facing electors in Mt Albert despite the gutless decision of Bill English not to front a National candidate there, says Labour Deputy Leader Annette King.

“English is running scared from his first test as a leader. He clearly doesn’t want another bloody nose after the Mt Roskill defeat.

“We are more than ready for another contest and relish the chance to talk to people in Mt Albert about how Labour can help them deal with the problems around rising crime, health, public transport and housing affordability.

“We take nothing for granted and will be seeking a mandate for Labour’s new candidate in Mt Albert. As we showed in Mt Roskill, we are ready to fight a by-election and a general election.

“The easiest solution really is for Bill English to do everyone a favour. For tens of thousands of Kiwis a change of government can’t come soon enough so let’s save the cost of a by-election and bring forward the general election,” says Annette King.

The easiest solution would be for Labour to not dump so many leaders who then find better jobs outside Parliament. Already this year Phil Goff has resigned and David Cunliffe has indicated he will resign as soon as he can avoid precipitating a by-election. With David Shearer that’s all three post-Helen Clark ex-leaders jumping ship.

Labour want an early election so they can try to beat Bill English before he can establish himself as Prime Minister.

Or they want a by-election so they can benefit from a taxpayer funded campaign opportunity to kick off their election year.

Someone as experienced as King promoting this pathetic bull is ridiculous. Perhaps her influence is one of the reasons Labour has become a party of whinging and negativity.

It’s a bit rich of King to grizzle about National deciding not to stand a candidate in Mt Albert just after announcing she has decided not to stand in her Rongotai electorate in the general election, giving her leader Little an opportunity to win a safe seat.

General elections should only be called if it becomes impossible for the Government to continue governing effectively. King must know this, yet she barks at a by-election, and barks for a general election.

Leave a comment

54 Comments

  1. Strong For Life

     /  20th December 2016

    Little also has a court date in 2017 for his slander of the Hagaman family. Bill English should call a general election to coincide with when the court case is proceeding.

    Reply
    • Very good point…… that trial will be interesting as it reveals his lack of thought before making comment. Not what you want in a leader.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th December 2016

        What I can say…is ..it didn’t seem to affect John Key.’I can’t recall’…I can’t remember’…’I said that as a private individual’….I’ said that as a member of the National Party’…’I didn’t say that as P.M’……so many hats ,hanging in his wardrobe.

        Reply
    • Has a court date been set?

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  20th December 2016

      I doubt this will get to Court. There will probably be a retraction & apology from Andy before then. The AG found no evidence of impropriety & Little won’t want to risk being found guilty of defamation before an election.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  20th December 2016

      I hope they do. I can’t wait for Graham McCready to sue someone for giving Little a forum at election time.

      Reply
  2. And false comparisons been drawn again by the Flickering one….

    Andy has a big problem, in my view, because the Haggamans are people with deep pockets who care about their reputation, they appear to have a solid factual rebuttal supplied by no less an independent body than the Auditor-General and are prepared to stand up to Little’s shoot from the lip tactics.

    A Union leader can run their mouth because when confronted they can jack up a go-slow of strike that hurts the offended party.

    A Party Leader, particularly one who is unlikely to ever be PM has to be a little more circumspect in their utterances…

    Andy would be well advised to withdraw, apologise and meet the Haggamans costs to plus a donation to a charity in their name asap. Otherwise things are going to get unpleasant for him. In my opinion of course

    Reply
  3. Corky

     /  20th December 2016

    I’ve been been pontificating for ages that an early election should be called, preferably after an early budget containing lots of jelly beans. English has made one tactical mistake already- not allowing families into the Pike River Mine. His second tactical mistake will be not calling an early election.. Especially given Labour think they are ready to fight an election. They aren’t, they are a joke. But that joke now has six months to capitalise on a National leader who has no charisma, who isn’t coated in Teflon and who is leading a tired 3rd term government. Add to that events beyond Nationals control and I can state categorically National will rue not going early should the polls turn and a crisis erupt.

    While National has nothing to fear by losing the upcoming election- Labour will be a one term disaster that the media will quickly learn to hate- that misses the point that it didn’t need to happen if simple common sense had been used and an early election called.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  20th December 2016

      trying to read tea leaves this morning …Corky!

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  20th December 2016

        No need. If like Billy you can’t see the writing on the wall, then I can’t help. We already have had a taste of the unexpected….Key resigned.

        Reply
    • But elections should not be called by the governing party to try to gain political advantage.

      That’s something John Key was strong on, and rightly so.

      Key also ended the stupidity of game playing over naming election dates.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  20th December 2016

        Politics is a dirty business, Pete. The choice is simple: ethics or a better chance of survival.
        Key had leeway to be magnanimous… he was born under a lucky star and was untouchable.
        Bill has to work for living and has no leeway. I watched a kickboxing match once. One fighter dominated the whole 12 rounds. He put on a master-class, showing incredible skills. We were enthralled. The bell rang for the final round, he waved to the crowd, who stood in appreciation, and went to town on his opponent as usual. Seconds before the final bell he was caught with an uppercut that left him tangled in the ropes unconsciousness. Its a lesson I have never, never, never forgotten. Especially his limp face as his stretcher passed our table. Billy could be that fighter.

        Reply
        • Bill embarrassed himself in 2002 trying to be a try-hard boxer, and a try-hard leader.

          He looks far more mature and sensible now.

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  20th December 2016

        The notions around John Key not calling for elections to try to gain political advantage are cause to ponder. In setting dates did Key consider political advantage? The dates chosen being ‘traditional’ was that a sign that he didn’t consider political advantage?

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  20th December 2016

      Corky – none of which makes a very poor Labour team look any better. Elections are never a good idea in winter.

      I think National for some time has been taking the approach that NZL First is needed to form the next govt, Key leaving early is part of that. The only likely benefactors from Key going are Winston and ACT. Nothing has changed.

      Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  20th December 2016

      Oh you are a great pontificater corky which means express one’s opinions in a pompous and dogmatic way.
      key resigning may have been unexpected to you OH Pontiff wanna be one, but to us people who could read the writing on the wall (much more reliable than teacups) it was too late and too little. Keys ride to Rock stardom was directly due to his attack dogs going for it while he orchestrated from his office appearing to be a good clean BBQ beer drinking cat walk mincer.
      If this farce called election 2017 are to mean anything for the working man and woman Andy Little will win on just pure Honesty alone and corky the joke will be on YOU the sad got no life individuals who have their toxic spraying say all over the internet. Amen.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  20th December 2016

        “If this farce called election 2017 are to mean anything for the working man and woman Andy Little will win”

        Considering it is obvious (except to the people still living in Labour past) that Labour don’t represent working people anymore then Labour shouldn’t win, and in recent years haven’t.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  20th December 2016

        You know, if you hadn’t commented on the word ‘ pontificating” you wouldn’t have confirmed once again what a prat you are. I guess the chance to be nasty was just too tempting. Don’t worry, that was an early Xmas present for you. Blazer has already received his. Happy Xmas.

        As for the rest of your post. Its incomprehensible crap. Perhaps you should try pontificating?

        Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  20th December 2016

    ‘But elections should not be called by the governing party to try to gain political advantage.’….you are kidding….I hope!

    Reply
    • It was done in the past, but Key scheduled elections well in advance at logical times.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th December 2016

        Maybe coincidence.The timing of elections has and still is closely looked at for strategic reasons.

        Reply
        • If setting an election date well in advance is a strategic reason I guess.

          What other ‘strategic reasons’ Key have for setting the 2011 and 2014 election dates?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th December 2016

            they are many and varied.Heres a small sample from Wiki….’The Prime Minister’s power to determine the election date can give the government some subtle advantages. For example, if governing parties believe that a section of the population will either vote against them or not at all, they might hold the election in early spring, when the weather may well keep less-committed voters away from the polls. Party strategists take the timing of important rugby union matches into account, partly because a major match in the same weekend of the election will likely lower voting-levels, and partly because of a widespread belief that incumbent governments benefit from a surge of national pride when the All Blacks (the New Zealand national rugby team) win and suffer when they lose.’…….

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  20th December 2016

              oh the …pain…5 downticks….truth hurts so bad.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              Its a good hurt ‘Spanky’. Stop pretending you don’t enjoy it 😉

          • Pete Kane

             /  20th December 2016

            Rugby World Cup? Mind you, they have something in common with elections also.

            Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  20th December 2016

    “English is running scared from his first test as a leader. He clearly doesn’t want another bloody nose after the Mt Roskill defeat.’

    ** 100% agree 😀

    Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th December 2016

    Pragmatic. Why contest a seat you can’t win, waste money and give your opponents extra media coverage – all unnecessarily?

    Reply
    • This “pragmatism” for which National are so famous and admired, taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to a potentially fascinating ‘overall’ general election strategy Alan …

      A kind of ‘cartelocracy’ [new word # 77] might develop, whereby only marginal seats are contested the rest being decided by previous election results, polling, unspoken or secret agreements … cups of tea … or ‘coalitions-in-advance’ …? Even marginals might be traded on an informal political ‘stock exchange’?

      Eventually we’ll have a sort of ‘self-pollinating’ Parliament!

      In the Friedmachiavelli spawned, Labour ‘shocktroduced’ [nw # 78] and National Ruthanased (so-called) ‘free-market’ economy, which ‘Bolger’s conscience’ [or ‘Jim’s Pledge’] MMP is perhaps designed to ameliorate somewhat, cartels are frowned upon to the point of illegality …

      An extraordinary and probably unforeseen outcome of MMP …?
      As poverty and inequity are to neoliberalism, so cartel-plutocracy is to more minority forms of representative democracy … “It was supposed to just trickle down …”

      It’ll save the country heaps of money … We eventually won’t need elections at all …
      And things will essentially stay more-or-less the way they are … Won’t they?
      Like, there won’t be any backroom deals going on …. Will there?

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  20th December 2016

        ‘Wax philosophical’ as much as you like PZ, even if you could bring everyone on this forum around to your way of thinking, that would only mean twenty more votes to the party you support, at most.

        Reply
        • Unlike you patupaiarehe, I don’t know which Party I support …

          My waxing lyrical bears no relation to any particular Party.
          I do it … because it’s there!

          Reply
          • And because …

            “This interconnection or accommodation of all created things to each other, and each to all the others, brings it about that each simple substance has relations that express all the others, and consequently, that each simple substance is a perpetual, living mirror of the universe.”

            ― Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Monadology

            Reply
            • And …

              “The whole world may call you to follow the wrong path! In such a case, tell the whole world to buzz off!”

              ― Mehmet Murat ildan

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              My waxing lyrical bears no relation to any particular Party.

              Which proves exactly what the problem is with our current system. Who represents your opinions PZ? Nobody represents mine, I just vote for whoever is closest to them, even if they are ‘a mile off’…

        • And …

          “A person who has been influenced by Marxism takes it for granted that an event in Siberia will affect one in Botswana. I think it is possible that Marxism was the first attempt, for our time [written by Lessing in 1971], outside the formal religions, at a world-mind, a world ethic. It went wrong, could not prevent itself from dividing and subdividing, like all the other religions, into smaller and smaller chapels, sects and creeds. But it was an attempt.”

          ― Doris Lessing

          Reply
        • But wait … there’s more …

          “But if you do know what is taught by plants and weather, you are in on the gossip and can feel truly at home. The sum of a field’s forces [become] what we call very loosely the ‘spirit of the place.’ To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are a part of a part and that the whole is made of parts, each of which is a whole. You start with the part you are whole in.”

          ― Gary Snyder, The Gary Snyder Reader, Volume 1: Prose, Poetry and Translations 1952-1998

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  20th December 2016

            The sum of ‘a fields forces’ means sweet FA, when a harvesting machine drives around a field, chops everything to pieces, and blows them into the back of a truck thru a chute… Just saying, PZ….

            Reply
            • I’m feeling kinda lyrical tonight myself patu …

              So I say: No, “the sum of a field’s forces” does not mean sweet FA at all. It means exactly what it says. It means “the spirit of the place” or sense-of-place or perhaps ‘turangawaewae’ … as it has always done … and as it always will …

              Only today the harvesting machine, the truck and all that surrounds them has drowned it out …

              In a sense, the truck driveth the man …

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              I could argue with you all night PZ, if I didn’t have a job to go to at 6am. But I suspect I’d only argue for 15 minutes, before we found some ‘common ground’. Probably only 5, actually… 😉
              I’m off, enjoy this one until tomorrow…. Plug in your headphones, & fullscreen it…

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              “Repugnant is a creature, who would squander the ability, to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here”. Nighty night PZ 😉

        • “There is no work-life balance. We have one life. What’s most important is that you be awake for it.”

          ― Janice Marturano

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  20th December 2016

            There is for some PZ. But not most…

            Reply
          • PDB

             /  20th December 2016

            If what’s most important is that we are awake for it then you should stop posting immediately PZZZZZZZ………..

            Reply
            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              If that is the best response to PZ’s comments that you can come up with Pants, you might as well go to sleep…

            • “The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.”

              ― Bob Iger

            • “Leave me alone; I can’t struggle when I have the whole world on my side.”

              ― M.F. Moonzajer, A moment with God ; Poetry

            • patupaiarehe

               /  20th December 2016

              He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man…

              -Dr Gonzo

            • Gezza

               /  21st December 2016

              “National not standing a candidate in a by-election in a general election year might not represent the collapse of democracy in New Zealand, but, we’ll see.”

              – Gezza

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