Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: An Open Letter to the Labour Party from a People of Christchurch

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  • Gee,

    this by-election is a chance for our issues to make the news night after night. We need you to stand someone who knows how we feel. Your candidates should be people who marched with us, who fought with us even when nobody else was paying any attention. I would love it if at least one of the candidates you chose, for Central or East, actually was one of us: the exhausted scary fucked-off mothers of Christchurch.

    Exactly. I'm not in Chch these days but I have enough family & friends in the area to know that this seat is not just another seat. Pity John Campbell isn't a mother from Chch East, I think he'd win hands down...

    Canada, eh • Since May 2011 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Gee,

    Pity John Campbell isn't a mother from Chch East, I think he'd win hands down...

    He might be the carpet-bagging exception: he'd win in a freaking landslide down here.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I like this column.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Thank you for writing this Emma.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    yeah, those are traditionally safe [insert party/incumbent here] seats

    Which fucks me off beyond reason, because... you know, parliamentary democracy and all that jazz. It's a little hard to expect high quality candidates when you're either being treated like a family heirloom or not worth the effort.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Yup. As a former Easter until a few years ago, you're right

    Though your column assumes Dalziel will resign if she _stands_ for the mayoralty, not if she _wins_. Is that clear yet?
    The other factor to consider when shopping for a candidate is that the nature of the electorate will change in the next boundary redraw: many voters have left the area, so it's possible the East geographical area will expand while Waimak shrinks in area with the influx of people. So the next candidate may need to be one with a wider appeal who will capture the centre vote. Which will make any by-election effectively a
    pre-campaign campaign.

    The other thing to note is that nominations for local body elections don't close for a while: who knows who else could stand. I think Bob Parker will only stand if he thinks he is in with a good chance of winning. Today's Stuff poll on would you vote for Liann or Bob is interesting: either the Parker team have hammered the keyboards or it is not at all a foregone win for Dalziel. (Parker is a great user of social media).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Hebe,

    The other factor to consider when shopping for a candidate is that the nature of the electorate will change in the next boundary redraw:

    Oh, man, Hebe, I have this rant I do after a couple of beers about how nobody seems interested in the boundary redraw. The by-election will be on the old boundaries*, but the next general? The knock-on effects of the big population moves will flow through the whole greater Canterbury area.

    *I was told this in a pub.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Nicola Eccleton,

    Love your work, Emma.

    Christchurch • Since May 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Correct. I expect a scrap by National and Labour over the redraw -- which will have significant changes for the city and province. National will be trying to bed in their perceived shift in in Chch Central to surrounding electorates like Port Hills and Waimak (though Cosgrove's in with a good chance next time because Kate Wilkinson's star has tarnished, nationally and locally).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Hebe,

    Stuff polls are notoriously right wing, to be fair.

    I don't think anyone expects it to be a walkover. The Christchurch local body left had any traces of that rudely dispelled about three years ago now...

    As far as boundaries go, I think it's easy to overstimate how much will change, but on the other hand I have no idea at all what will happen. It is a big story around the by-election, though.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    the exhausted scary fucked-off mothers of Christchurch.

    A lovely line and a frightening visual image Emma.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Stuff polls are notoriously right wing, to be fair

    Yeah but sometimes they are odd: only two-to-one against a council bee convenor last week surprised me.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    the exhausted scary fucked-off mothers of Christchurch.

    A lovely line and a frightening visual image Emma.

    Something like this?

    Big hair FTW.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Hebe,

    General rule: weird ideas of Aaron Keown's are far more popular than they should be.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    assumes Dalziel will resign if she _stands_ for the mayoralty, not if she _wins_. Is that clear yet?

    Apparently. Dalziel firmly told Kathryn Ryan this morning she wanted to deliver her valedictory in Parliament on the 4 September anniversary. (24 mins, listening options)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    Correct. I expect a scrap by National and Labour over the redraw -- which will have significant changes for the city and province.

    And they can scrap away, because (it's worth noting) the Representation Commission is a statutory body and political parties have no more standing than anyone else.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I , cough, am very supportive of the bees. I can make a case for the bees thriving being the foundation of agriculture etc, but I'm not sure the council in this city at this time should commit funding to it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Are you a member of the Labour Party? If so, and they have a democratic candidate adoption process, you could go along and vote, or even stand yourself.

    If not, then consider voting for a more democratically based party.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    To be fair to Labour, if you look at the people who've gone on record as unimpressed with the Clayton for East story, you've got two LEC Chairs and a couple of other assorted bods. It's not exactly been greeted with waves of rapturous applause.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The jockeying by parties in boundary redraws is part of the process, though the commission obviously has the final say.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    f you look at the people who've gone on record as unimpressed with the Clayton for East story, you've got two LEC Chairs and a couple of other assorted bods

    Yes. I know a bunch of Labour people, and over the last few months I've been party to some Conversations of Discontent over stuff like this. If I'd given up on Labour, I wouldn't have bothered writing this.

    However. I personally quit the Labour Party in 1989 and it's a decision I'm at peace with. For a long time, I've felt that I could do the kind of issues advocacy I do more effectively by not being a member of any party. Until this morning, when I joined the Greens...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I think this post is really good as far as being fair to Labour, and making it clear that it's not some kind of monolithic top-down organisation goes. I'm more thinking of say, NRT's post as treating it as if "Labour" has somehow decided to Stiff The Good People of Christchurch.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Emma Hart,

    One of the great things about MMP is that unless you live in Epsom or are on the Maori role, electorates don't matter. So I generally vote for the Green candidate - sure, they probably won't win, and a split vote might let the Nat in, but the list allocation will nullify that. If Labour happen to put up a candidate who seems to align with my ideas, then I might vote for them (e.g Grant Robertson, last election) but otherwise not.

    The other thing is that the media, who are no friends of the left, often portray perfectly diligent and sincere politicians as being unpopular liabilities on a basis of absolutely nothing. Because someone loses a marginal electorate on a swing against their party, or a demographic change, doesn't mean they put up a worse performance than someone who's entrenched in a safe seat and under no risk of loss.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    if you look at the people who’ve gone on record as unimpressed with the Clayton for East story

    Sounds like another case of stuffing words into mouths for the sake of a 'sexy story'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Sounds like another case of stuffing words into mouths for the sake of a 'sexy story'

    More like a credulous reporter who doesn't do a lot of deep thinking.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

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