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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

614 Responses

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  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's not like they've never once chosen a lemon before the members were allowed to vote. They've lost more than half of the elections since they first won one.

    True. But lemons were quickly dropped when it was obvious the people didn't like them. In recent history the only ones who lost and stayed on were Mike Moore and Helen Clark. In Moore's case it was because he took the leadership on so close to the election. In Clark's case it was because she did well and by many rights should have been PM and was clearly going to be favourite at next election.

    The voting public have resoundingly said no to Cunliffe.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Jones, in reply to andrew gunn,

    I am in totally the same boat as you and agree with what you've expressed.

    Plus I still don't agree that a change in leader is what should come first.

    Over the Bridge, Auckland… • Since Jun 2009 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    Leaving it to the caucus alone is the exception these days.

    Especially when its turning
    into a three-ring caucus,
    being held in a big top...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    But lemons were quickly dropped when it was obvious the people didn’t like them.

    You’ve heard of Bill Rowling? He managed to lose not one, not two, but three consecutive elections!

    ETA: Oh, and don't forget Mike Moore, 2 time loser.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    If the US doesn’t withdraw troops from Iraq, I will paint my nails purple.

    Ultimatum.

    Authoritarian brute.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    he ran for an electorate this time. that’s committed enough, surely.

    Yeah, from what I saw over the wire I never doubted James’ commitment.

    I wish more people would get really clear about what they are prepared to support and what they aren’t and then act accordingly.

    I wish people would stop grasping at technicalities, and on that note my response over the page was in relation to ‘so quickly’. :) But seriously.
    I can’t fault that thought Sacha, and I’m strongly in favour, once someone has stated their position (even if that opinion later changes) to let them stand with it without chasing them down, taking them in bad faith, arguing semantics etc. Though these threads would be a hell of a lot less interesting, and despite how I may or may not respond when attacked. There are a lot of great writers here, but reading seems to so often take back seat to misreading between the lines. Take it slowly, stick to the lines. It’s difficult to feel comfortable posting when the calls for further justification of that opinion are most often bedded in dismissal, antagonism, formal written assessment, backhanded one liners, misappropriation, misreads and lexical disputes;

    If the US doesn’t withdraw troops from Iraq, I will paint my nails purple.

    If you’d threatened to quit the army Lilith, that would have had an actual impact on the war.

    a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.

    e.g.

    if you win, I’ll step aside from the party

    I am a hypocrite, and it’s tiresome. As far as who I support, I’m with the Andrews.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes I've heard of Rowling which is why I qualified it with in recent history. Moore kind of proves my point, the '90 election he was never expected to win and only shortly before it was he installed as leader.

    The '93 election he did far better than anyone expected. There was nearly a hung parliament which would have been pretty amazing considering National had had only one term. And despite all that he was dropped as leader.

    Ironically, Moore made a similar mistake to Cunliffe by giving a tone-deaf election night speech.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In fact, bmk, the more I look at Labour's leadership choices, the less they back up your claim of their amazingly rapid dumping of unpopular leadership. They elected Nordmeyer after getting kicked out of office over his "Black Budget", and he got a couple of years before getting rolled. Walter Nash managed to also lose 2 elections.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    Yes I’ve heard of Rowling which is why I qualified it with in recent history.

    But in recent history, since Moore there has only been 1 successful Labour leader, and she was kept on after losing. There's no other wins on the board at all to bolster your point about the wisdom of the old guard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I wouldn't look backwards so much for precedents. Things move faster now.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Such a demonstrable inability to compromise is a really bad look for a party in the MMP system.

    Seconded.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • bmk,

    Perhaps you misunderstand me (no doubt because I am not expressing myself well). I don't think the old guard is wise. I just think you can't ignore such a massive, historic loss.

    The public have unequivocally passed judgement. No caucus could ignore this, I doubt the party membership and unions will either tbh. But if they are foolish enough to then they're just telling the public you were wrong and we were right.

    When a party has such a loss they need to accept it and listen and take on board what the public have told them.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Just for the record, I'd like to state that I don't support or oppose either candidate. What I support is their internal democratic process, although it isn't anywhere near as good as what it could be.

    I find arguments that it shouldn't happen to be incomprehensible and insubstantiated gobbledegook, for the most part. Filled with the platitude of the wisdom of the elders and total contempt for the wisdom of crowds, yet somehow in favour of pointing out that wisdom vis-a-vis the election result, as if somehow Cunliffe's democratic election defeat is a reason why democracy should be suspended internally.

    It does not compute with me, and that in itself is a large part of my own detachment. The way they operate is bizarre, like some lost tribe in New Guinea, with a circle of elders, an indentured semi-religious pressure group, and bunch of angry disenfranchised villagers. It's not something I want to have anything to do with, but I unfortunately have to take notice of it because this is a powerful tribe in my neighborhood, and there are even worse tribes around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    When a party has such a loss they need to accept it and listen and take on board what the public have told them.

    I respect your opinion on this but I don't see it as any kind of axiomatic choice. Sometimes you do actually have to double down on a choice, for the big payoff. Maybe those people who form the vast bulk of the Labour Party itself genuinely feel that this is a battle worth fighting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If the US doesn’t withdraw troops from Iraq, I will paint my nails purple.

    Ultimatum.

    Authoritarian brute.

    Yeah, but I'm an authoritarian brute with pretty nails. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Lilith __,

    =) Time for a tune:

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    The way they operate is bizarre, like some lost tribe in New Guinea, with a circle of elders, an indentured semi-religious pressure group, and bunch of angry disenfranchised villagers.

    I remember you expressing similar thoughts a while back, and me citing James Dann's Ilam campaign as an exception. Ah well.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to BenWilson,

    I respect your opinion on this but I don't see it as any kind of axiomatic choice. Sometimes you do actually have to double down on a choice, for the big payoff. Maybe those people who form the vast bulk of the Labour Party itself genuinely feel that this is a battle worth fighting.

    Maybe they do and maybe they will. I just hope that if they do another genuine opposition party arises - as I don't want another 6 years of National. And doubling down seems like that would be the result to me.

    yet somehow in favour of pointing out that wisdom vis-a-vis the election result, as if somehow Cunliffe's democratic election defeat is a reason why democracy should be suspended internally.

    To me this is democracy of the public - the election result. I think it was clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the public don't want Cunliffe to lead them. Therefore he should resign. To ignore the will of the public and then say it's democracy when the membership of the party is much smaller than the general public seems bizarre to me.

    Kind of like if my whole city were polled on something and made an overwhelming choice, then rather than accepting that result the mayor polls the street he lives on and makes his decision based on his street not the whole city that has just been polled.

    I'm all in favour of democracy. I just think democracy has spoken and Cunliffe has ignored it because he didn't like the result.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    To get less insular, how can Labour best improve the prospects of a broader left coalition?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sacha,

    I was thinking about this and it's hard. A big problem is that National has kept or expanded the most popular parts of the previous Labour government.

    There's still Working for Familes, 4 weeks Annual Leave, interest-free Student Loans. They're extending maternity leave and free GP visits.

    All of this makes it hard for the left to get traction. I think many on the left imagined that by now National would have re-introduced interest on Student Loans, made cuts to WFF, etc. But the fact that National haven't slashed and burned on the issues close to voters has made it hard for the opposition. Health has amazingly stayed out of the headlines for the last 6 years.

    Where the government has gone against public will was asset sales but that's not strong enough an issue to lose by itself.

    I guess this is all a long-winded way of saying the left have to show a clear vision of how life will improve. And raising the retirement age and compulsory kiwi-saver don't really do that.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    I just think democracy has spoken and Cunliffe has ignored it because he didn’t like the result.

    There wasn't a "David Cunliffe should resign as Labour party leader" option on the ballot from which we can clearly divine what democracy said. The election result was a Party vote. And Cunliffe hasn't ignored the result. He stepped down, and offered his party the choice about what to do with him. He probably quite genuinely does actually believe he can do better.

    To ignore the will of the public and then say it’s democracy when the membership of the party is much smaller than the general public seems bizarre to me

    Well perhaps a thought experiment on what the Labour Party would look like if it operated how you seem to think it should would make it seem a bit less bizarre. If they are to simply take the public choices as their only guide on what to do, they should get rid of 48% of their people and replace them with people like those in the National Party, and they should elect a multimillionaire currency trader as their leader, and then finish the job of privatizing the whole country. They absolutely should get Cameron Slater to start running their more offensive lines, because the country has spoken and they clearly think that's the way to go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    How come that shit couldn’t be sorted in a 7 hour meeting?

    Because David Cunliffe wanted to pull the trigger as soon as possible to maximise his chances of winning, and when the caucus refused to play along, he went unilaterally, again to maximise his chance of winning.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    Well Here’s some interesting News from the Labour Party Powers that be
    WE now have a code of conduct letter that all Party members must adhere to

    Which makes me wonder how hard it is to get fired from a party?
    Assume it doesn’t apply retrospectively or nobody could stand... ever

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    I wonder how hard it is to get kicked out of a party

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to bmk,

    Health has amazingly stayed out of the headlines for the last 6 years

    Only if you're healthy. You might get a more negative response from the chronically ill or chronically disabled.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

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