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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Telling people that their short-term feelgood doesn’t address long-term challenges is never going to be easy, but it’s intellectually honest. It’s not expecting the “peasants” to come to Jesus.

    No, but I think it's simply shitty -- and counter-productive -- for any politician (or political activist) to treat voters like they're selfish rubes and gullible idiots. To be blunt, I think there's way too may media-political types who should look hard in the mirror when they're wringing their hands about why people don't engage with politics.

    Of course it's bloody hard to get people who are focused on things as immediate on paying the bills this month (and whether they'll still have a job this time next year) to think deeply about long-term structural issues. Tell me when it was ever otherwise. But you make the investment in making the argument, and convincing people who aren't malignant idiots for need to be convinced in the first place. And you better be ready to play the long game. Totally agree with you that the Fabians do that in a constructive and useful way, but too many don't.

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

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Or to put it more succinctly, we’re currently on a fool’s gold rush.

    And no one seemed to notice that in the last week of the election campaign, John Key announced the future prospect of tax cuts.

    Fool's gold indeed.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Cunliffe has as much right as anyone to put his hat back in as does Shearer and Goff if they want to prove Cunliffe isn't right for the job.No matter the numbers ,they still all lost.their leadership popularity somehow. The rules for leadership changed and not only the members of the Party wanted it but the public embraced it with bells on also, so now it is what it is. So if anyone wants to tell Cunliffe to forgetaboutit they can campaign to be a better choice.Then the public get to choose and if he cant win, he can realise that without prejudice. This is an opportunity for all the factions to put a contender forward. The real thing that Parker could be addressing right now is. infighting needs to stop with consequences for anyone trying to disrupt the Party. Rules around campaigning for Electorate with acceptance of List if it's not a strong electorate. Campaigning needs to be universal rather than individuals taking care of their own. There has to be strong communication throughout for concerns to be allayed and constant support around each other. Dont let MPs struggle on their own or you will recreate the factions. The pissing contest should stop. Young fresh faces look great but often it's wisdom that makes one feel comfortable which voters like and it's when they are comfortable that they will feel secure with a vote. So, perhaps leaders in waiting (leftovers from the contest need to flank their elders or vice versa to show they are united as one Party in front of media until the leader and deputy bed in.Solidarity. It takes the uncertainty away. Grant should contend solely because he wants to ,but he should know the Team Key machine will use Slater to denigrate him perpetuating support of his commentators who will then feed this via MSM comments also. It will constantly happen (that's how it works), and Grant needs to be ready to throw it right back in their face. Pressure on Ardern should stop. She has not felt ready and she knows that best out of everyone so let her decide for herself. If she's not ready, she wont do a good job. Labour MPs need to accept that it takes all sorts and some don't like Cunliffe or Grant or Goff or King or Shearer or Mallard or Cosgrove.But that's all it is. Their age is of no consequence. Their differences is what Labour is. They need to be all in this together . The posturing is pointless. No one of them is more correct than the other, so heads down and realise the differences as a positive attribute. JMO

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

  • Goodoh,

    I've been composing a post re David Cunliffe all day. I was going to put it on The Standard because I was frustrated at the nasty, one-eyed, posts on there. Then I saw the link to this - exactly what I was going to say. I posted leaflets in the bloody rain, talked on doorsteps till I was blue in the face, hounded young people to register etc. I also voted for Cunliffe in the leadership election.
    No more. If Cunliffe gets in I'm off to the Greens, with all my whanau and all my mates. He won't get Labour over the line - he doesn't cut through and appeal to those people the party needs to get over the line. Simple as that.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I'm not sure the Greens do have better discipline. I think they're just better at getting along with each other for the common good, and, being a smaller party, have a greater commonality of views, whereas Labour's bigger, more disparate, and attracts candidates for whom their political ambitions are at least as important as their political goals.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Goodoh,

    No more. If Cunliffe gets in I’m off to the Greens, with all my whanau and all my mates. He won’t get Labour over the line – he doesn’t cut through and appeal to those people the party needs to get over the line. Simple as that.

    So put your money where your mouth is. Vote against him! It is as simple as that. I’d suggest that to anyone who wants to decide Cunliffe needs to go and someone else should try. Shearer and Goff are the only ones we’ve seen try and guess what ,they didn’t lead Labour to victory either. Also why did you door knock in the rain etc if you didn’t believe in him? Sounded like you did. What made you change your mind so vehemently now. Was it the people or was it him?
    I just don't get why people don't use their democratic right as members and vote against him. It's the democratic thing to do if you don't want him.

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

  • Goodoh,

    I've been a member for years. I will be voting! Agree leadership isn't the only issue and will input into the review as well. As I did last time.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    No, but I think it’s simply shitty – and counter-productive – for any politician (or political activist) to treat voters like they’re selfish rubes and gullible idiots.

    If anything, I was suggesting the opposite – the hard path of being straight with voters about the day after tomorrow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Goodoh,

    Goodo Goodoh ;)

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

  • Mr Mark, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    "And it worked: Ilam did pretty well in what was a tough year for us"

    Ahh, right, well now I'm totally confused. Your close confidante, Ilam Labour Candidate, James Dann, tells us "I lost count of the times I door knocked someone who told me they had voted Labour all their life, but wouldn't vote for us as long as you were leader....While those examples are strictly anecdotal, the result on election night isn't."

    James' former campaign manager, PAS regular, Stephen Judd, then confirms that he came across "lots" of these 'life-long Labour but will never vote for a Cunliffe-led Party' people in Ilam during the campaign.

    And yet now you suggest that, despite these untold hordes of vigorously anti-Cunliffe erstwhile Labour supporters, Labour actually did pretty well in Ilam after all. A fact confirmed by a quick comparative Ilam Election Night Result analysis I've just done. Labour's Party Vote down in Ilam by significantly less than nationwide (admittedly, I've been unable to take any boundary changes into consideration).

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The thing is, we did pretty well. We did all the right things we were meant to do: got out in the community, talked to Labour voters who maybe hadn't heard from the party in a long time, all that good stuff.

    But as you point out, we still went backwards on the party vote in Ilam. We did well, but we didn't do that well: because no matter how great a campaign you run, no matter how hard you try, when you're on 24% nationwide, it's always going to be an uphill struggle.

    Similarly in Christchurch Central, where Tony Milne ran an amazing campaign. Fundamentally, when only one in four voters will back you, no matter how well you do comparatively, you'll still be looking at a pretty depressing result.

    PS. there were no boundary changes for Ilam.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    So, the Horrid Online has discovered this story

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Timmy Hayward,

    Does Labour understand that this is their one shot to change or reaffirm the leader? There simply won't be another opportunity to do it again before next election - they have to show stability. And whoever wins has to get the rest of Caucus and the Party's full support for 3 years. If they can't achieve this then 2017 is already lost.

    While DC isn't perfect by a long shot there has been a lot already invested in him and he has improved I think over the last 12months. And I'm sorry I just don't see another credible option. I was a little horrified he is holding out olive branch to Robertson, probably indicates the level of factional divide. I would've thought deputy has to recognise the Maori/Pacific/female skew of Labour support.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    "Think positive, Act positive, Vote Labour"

    _was the British Labour slogan in 1983, with Michael Foot as leader.

    The result was Labours worst result since 1918.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Yes regurgitated to make this letter prove how bad Cunliffe did and how much he is disliked by the whole Party instead of the fact it is one Candidates view. Making the Party yet again look in trouble one more time. It's like a concerted effort to see more blood. TV3 ran with he uses the ministerial Car! shock! on his last trip before he resigns! Well blow me!

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

  • jh,

    I'd say Helen Clark lost more people than Roger Douglas. Clark attacked the national identity (if anyone objected they were branded racist).

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    We should have done better on PV! We certainly tried. And, incidentally, when the specials come in, we'll probably equal 2011. But my party vote target was 10,000, ie getting back up to the levels before 2008. You certainly don't campaign in a safe National seat with any other intention than party vote turnout (at least not if you don't want to waste your money and time).

    Anyway, our goal turned out to be a level nobody reached anywhere that I know of (that is, getting up to 2008 level or higher). The plan was to get people who didn't turn out in 2011 to do so, and we failed at that.

    Bear in mind that my only previous personal cavassing experience was in the Chch East by-election -- it was quite shocking to understand how much people talk about voting for Key, or voting for Winstone, or whatever, as opposed to issues or policy. Leadership turns out to be super-important.

    FWIW, the biggest negatives I got canvassing apart from DC were the super age policy (which is hard for me to defend because I don't agree with it either) and inchoate moaning about the man-ban thing (recall I've argued strongly in favour of those rules right here on PA). But they trailed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    James could have come and said something at the rezoning meeting in Ilam a few months back. He might have added his voice to the Councils man who said "well, we have immigration and you have to have population increase (to increase the wealth). So it suppose it is one of the imperatives of government".
    He could have chipped in with the benefits of multiculturalism.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to jh,

    He could have chipped in with the benefits of multiculturalism.

    Oh get bent ya racist twat.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Seb Rattansen, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Agree. They need hard data. Hopefully they are in touch with the UoA researchers behind Vote Compass on TVNZ.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    I am sure David Cunliffe is a nice, smart fellow, but he consistently fails to communicate effectively with voters. He always sounds defensive, he often sends a slightly off message, and he lacks the charisma to front the party and challenge a loved PM like John Key.

    A large minority of NZers worships JK, even after all the revelations in Dirty Politics, ministerial resignations, assets sales, unswimmable rivers, punitive policies for beneficiaries, tax cuts for his rich mates, huge deficits, memory “lapses”, expensive and ineffective charter schools, and failed responses to climate change. The man is a master manipulator of the media and a clever dissembler. Labour needs someone who can cut through all that and connect with the public. DC is not that person, and neither is GR. I think Jacinda Ardern shows promise – she’s sharp on message, inoffensive, and likeable in front of a camera. Labour should take a punt and install her as leader with the full support of the party, then sort out how to bring all of National’s failures into focus while offering a positive alternative in partnership with the Greens (who performed far better than Labour with their own natural constituency).

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Labour's campaign was pretty bare, wasn't it. I still haven't had anyone tell me what I'd have been voting for with a vote for Labour.


    Still, keep on stabbing each other in the back there, reds. Just because what's worked in the past, where every Labour PM EVER lost an election before winning one from National, doesn't mean you should stop trying for the opposite of that now.

    Or it does. I forget. One way works, the other way defines insanity. Repeating what works, vs repeating your actions in the hope of gaining a different result. I'm sure someone down there knows the difference.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Labour should take a punt and install her as leader

    .. if she wants it. The pressure is not fair if she isn't ready, for the good of the Party. Think about it.

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

  • Hilary Stace,

    Is David Shearer back from the UN yet? His peacekeeping skills would come in handy just now.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Labour should take a punt and install her as leader

    .. if she wants it. The pressure is not fair if she isn’t ready, for the good of the Party. Think about it.

    I agree, but what would give her pause is all the competition from over-ambitious colleagues who delude themselves that they are in a strict pecking order for the PM spot. With loyal support from them she would do well, I think, and that would be good for the party.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

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