Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The sole party of government

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  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    I am not counting the election Clark lost because she dominated the party in a way that ensured discipline.

    And if you think I am exaggerating the scale of the rejection of the current Labour party and the domination of liberal identity politics, look at Rangitikei, a seat contested in 2011 by none other than Josie Pagani and this time by that favourite daughter of PAS Deborah Russell. In 2011 Pagani got 8902 electorate votes and Labour got 6723 party vote. In 2013 Russell managed 8521 votes and a derisory 5673 party votes for Labour. Yet Deborah Russell was touted as a great candidate, someone with a bright future. Wrong candidate for the seat, pure and simple. A local farmer would have been better.

    What idiot couldn't see that an university feminist academic was not the ideal candidate for a rural conservative seat? As it is, she has probably had it now, because she failed politics 101 of doing well in an unwinnable seat before promotion.

    You could make the same argument for Tamati Coffey - the wrong candidate in the wrong seat for the mood of the electorate who did nothing to dent National despite being "high profile". At least he didn't go backwards.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Also: loud and self-assured pontifications based on ex-recto evidence is part of the problem not part of the solution. Self-doubt, humility, listening not talking, those are the kinds of attitudes the left needs now, not apocalyptic echo chambers.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    They did not welcome or trust the change Labour was offering.

    True. What was that change, by the way? Off the top of your head? Non-specific answers involving "change" and "not like National" aren't valid, you know. The messaging, I didn't hear it.


    If I was to get snarky (heavens forfend), I'd point out that "vote positive" worked out pretty well for National's highly positive campaign slogans, as against Labour's kinda mealy ones. Kept the team that's working, eh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Wait, wait, Tom. Are you telling us that Deborah Russell, well known university academic, feminist, and abortion law reform advocate, on her first foray into electoral politics, polled only 400 votes fewer than experienced hack & media commentator Josie Pagani, in a year that Labour went down all over the country? Sounds like she did quite well, actually.

    (Same point on the party vote --- Rangitikei doesn't seem to have done much worse than anywhere else, to be honest.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I think there is a lot of evidence that voters of all persuasions understand MMP now. I certainly think it highly likely Labour and Green voters were giving Goldsmith their electorate vote (the alternative theory would be that Labour and Green voters were supporting the ACT candidate while Goldsmith's support came from National). So what it mostly boils down to is people who have partied voted Labour on previous occasions not doing so on this occasion.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Wait, wait, Tom.

    What I am saying is in Rangitikei Labour went backwards against a second term government. Russell more or less hung on to the core Labour electorate vote, but Labour got a complete drubbing in the party vote.

    Why are you even bothering to defend the party organisational culture after such a comprehensive rout?

    WE GOT SMASHED. Time for accountability.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to RG,

    There are two problems with that idea the Mt Roskill is no longer Labour.

    First is that over 25 years here I've seen little evidence of increased wealth of the locals. Yes some houses are worth more but you can't buy anything better than what you've got even if the numbers traded are bigger. My neighbours are roughly the same wealth they always have been, there are more of them but they aren't much different.

    Second is that even if you were right, I'd argue that Labour needs to adapt to the changing demographic otherwise they end up walking away from all the suburbs that are like Mt roskill

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Why are you even bothering to defend the party organisational culture after such a comprehensive rout?

    I’d like to hear your ideas about an alternative organizational culture for Labour.

    ETA: As in, I'd like to hear actual suggestions, rather than slogans

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Tom, I'm pointing out you're talking complete nonsense. I have lots and lots of criticisms of the NZLP, but they need to be grounded in actual facts, and you don't have the facts to back up your claims.

    Rangitikei did better than expected. Deborah was an above-replacement-candidate candidate. That's just the reality of the result.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    And much as I admire Deborah who worked hard but the vote for the left dropped as this time there was no Green candidate, where did those 2000 votes go?

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    WE GOT SMASHED. Time for accountability.

    First part is correct. But what I and some others have been saying is quite different from the second part. I'm happy to make guesses about what went wrong but what is actually needed is some feet on the ground talking to the people who chose not to vote Labour and listening.

    Not arguing.

    Not trying to convince them that they were wrong just listening.

    And then decide, as the Labour party, if you want those people to vote for you and if the Labour party is able and willing to change enough to get them to vote for you. Or alternatively, if the ideology is worth sticking to even if it means becoming a minor party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    People didn't seem to know who Goff was at New World doing a stunt for Jono and Ben on Friday nights show. His office of course is opposite Countdown in 3 Kings where everyone does know him so yeah the newer supermarket in his area had a different demographic.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    I'm not sure exactly why the local candidates are being held accountable for the party vote in this reasoning at all. There's nothing about the party vote that signals the candidate. It's called the party vote for a reason. The failure to get party vote is on the party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    You might have a point, if the Rangitikei seat were in the slightest bit marginal. But it never has been- farmers, as you say.

    And the general ethos is to throw junior candidates into safe opposition electorates so that they can prove their work ethnic while leaving the more prominent candidates to fight the more marginal electorates.

    Show us a "close" electorate where there was such a candidate mismatch, and we might then see the point of your fulminations against "liberal identity politics".

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Also I don't remember ever seeing any consensus here on PAS about whether the direction of the Labour party was right or wrong. Lots of discussion and ideas but certainly no consensus.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Thanks for nothing, Tom. So nice to be criticised so much on the day after I've just fought a huge battle in a rural electorate, the very first campaign I've ever run, for which people have had high praise.

    Labour Party vote in Rangitikei always comes in about 6 to 7% below Labour party vote nationwide. So my 18% party vote in Rangitikei is about what is to be expected there.

    My personal candidate vote is about 27%. That's just 1% below what Josie got in 2011, in what was regarded as an excellent campaign.

    So actually, in my first ever outing, I think I did fine. Your criticism is misguided, and mean spirited.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    The bullsh*t from the Herald continues... A piece about Judith Collins this morning completely overlooks that fact that her majority was significantly reduced compared to 2011 (or have I done my maths wrong).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    There are two problems with that idea the Mt Roskill is no longer Labour.

    There's one really big problem with the idea that it still is Labour, which is that 8% more people voted for National there than Labour. Yesterday.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Deborah,

    I think it's your enormous influence over the party that Tom is bitter on. Can you contextualize that for him? What part of the identity politics machine did you influence to get that prized spot of contesting a really hard rural seat? Which salty earthy candidate were you up against, that hardened Labour loving farmer, whose rightful spot you stole? Which part of the vast left wing feminist cabal gave you the seat? It's my understanding that the process is somewhat democratic.

    Oh, and congratulations for your debut! Pity the overall result was a beating, but at least you've got that rite of passage behind you now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    2011 Winning Candidate: COLLINS, Judith (NAT) Majority: 9,890
    2014 Leading Candidate: COLLINS, Judith (NAT) Majority: 4,851
    A loss of 5039 but were the boundaries changed? I can't recall.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    I will say that I think it's very true that there is a perception that the Labour parliamentary "branch" has been hijacked by a bunch of out of touch wankers.

    But I personally think of many of those who did their apprenticeship during or in the aftermath of Rogernomics, which is when Labour lost its way. I lost what trust I had in them after that, although obviously they were the better of the two evils.

    Yes, Helen got in power because she did unite the parliamentary section, and was an amazing horse trader in the new MMP system. Now that this able - not flawless - leader has been lost, the quality of the post-Rogernome candidates is showing through.

    That's where fingers should be pointed. And yes, distractions along the identity politics debates should be met with resounding yawns, and the message that Labour is about a fair go for EVERYONE. Higher minimum wages help everyone, gay, brown, factory workers, service industry. State houses help everyone at the bottom of the pile and take power away from rentier landlords. Gay, straight, brown, factory workers with two jobs, people unable to work...

    Stop throwing each other under the bus, and get back to "power to the people". ALL the people.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    Thanks for nothing, Tom.

    If it’s any consolation, he was way worse then the All Blacks lost to France in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    2011 Winning Candidate: COLLINS, Judith (NAT) Majority: 9,890
    2014 Leading Candidate: COLLINS, Judith (NAT) Majority: 4,851
    A loss of 5039 but were the boundaries changed? I can’t recall.

    Not significantly. Her majority was halved.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to TracyMac,

    Stop throwing each other under the bus, and get back to “power to the people”. ALL the people.

    Amen. And snobbery, whether it be academic-tinged elitism or the prolier than thou variety, has NO PLACE in the Party of social justice.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    And what Ben says. Congratulations, Deborah, on doing so well in such a horribly bad election for the party as a whole.

    Certainly better at retaining such party support as their was compared to senior figures like Goff et al.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

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