Thursday, October 02, 2014

Here we go again

The NZ Labour Party’s selection process for its next Leader has begun, only about a year since we last did this. I haven’t made up my mind who I’ll support, and I’ll wait to do so until later in the process.

Nominations for Leader will close at 5pm on Tuesday, October 14, and there’s been a lot of speculation (mostly by media pundits, it has to be said) that there may be more folks throwing their hats in the ring. At the moment, there are two candidates: David Cunliffe, who was leader at the recent election, and Grant Robertson, who came second in the leadership contest last year.

Just like last year, if we have three or more candidates, we’ll rank our choices in a preferential vote system. Last year, I ranked Grant Robertson 1 and David Cunliffe 2 and Shane Jones, who I did not support, third.

There were also be a series of meetings, which the Party calls "Hustings", where Party Members can listen to the candidates make their pitches. I couldn't make one last year, but I hope to this year.

The Party has issued some “expectations” that they want Members to “comply” with during the campaign time. All the discussion of the party leadership by media pundits, as well as ordinary people on social media and blogs has been, on the whole, not productive, as I’ve said already said, or even particularly helpful. I don’t know whether Party Members will actually comply with the “expectations” or not, but non-Members certainly won’t. That’s just a reality.

Still, trying to get Party Members to be more disciplined is a good idea, even if some choose to ignore the request. A disciplined party stands a much better chance of winning elections, and what’s the point of this whole thing if not to pick the person best equipped to lead the party to victory?

So, we’ll see how this goes. I imagine I’ll have more to say about this later.

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