The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Friday, September 01, 2006

The plays for Mangere

As no doubt every person who has ever read this blog (except ferringers of course) already knows, the MP for Mangere has been stood down on full pay* while the police investigate various allegations and complaints. I'm not even going to bother linking to a news article on it because surely it is the talk of the town (plus I'm lazy).

I've written about this a few times before, but what I wanted to focus on in this post was something Idiot/Savant brought up:

Meanwhile, I hope the smaller parties are lining up their candidates for a
by-election, just in case...
Well that's an interesting thought.

What would the parties currently in various coalition-like arrangments do if there was a by-election in Mangere? Given that Labour would almost certainly win (although possibly by a small margin if Field himself ran as an independent or for another party) would the Greens, United, NZ First stand candidates? What about the Progressives (and what about that Matt Robson)?

If a by-election happens it is usually jumped on by at least one minor party as an opportunity to get their profile up, revitalise their party organisation, and see if they can't increase their representation (even if merely on the local community board in the next round of local body elections, which of course are coming up next year).


* As you can see from my past writings about Mr Field I'm not a fan. However people do have the right to be paid as normal while they are suspended during an investigation, so enough with the harping on and on about this please. Besides which can you imagine what he might be forced to get up to if he wasn't on fully pay? (boom boom)

15 comments:

mike sweetman said...

Ex-party members don't traditionally do well in by-elections. For every Peters and Anderton, there's five Frank O'Flynns and Brian Neesons. You'd have to be something special to triumph as an independent or party-hopper. I don't think Field can do that. For one: who would take him?

And I don't think Field can claim he's been hard done by by a party that has lost touch with, you know, real Kiwis and all that; he's hardly the John A Lee of the new millenium. For another thing, South Auckland voters tend to vote party, not person. The byelection would come and go, and Field would vanish from public consciousness, and that would be that.

As for the other parties - they wouldn't do very well. The only non-Labour party in much any reasonable right now is National. And even National won't be targeting Mangere as a place to break new ground.

PabloR said...

But, thinking folk ask again, how to force a by-election?

A trial would take months or a year to conclude, Field is unlikely to resign voluntarily, the Party can't kick him out of parliament. Any other options? Labour's best case scenario for now is to let him sit on full pay, bank his vote and hold on until the next election.

Plus, isn't there a period before the next election when a by-election need not be held? What would that date be? Oh, and as a Mangere voter, does this mean I now have no representation in parliament?

Gerrit said...

Pablo,

Field has been banned from the party office in Mangere, but I heard labour will be staffing the office with other MP's. Most probably Ross Robertson from Papatoetoe. A man who I hold in very high regard and who I have voted for when living in Papatoetoe even though I'm not a diehard labourite.

Currently live in Manurewa but would never vote for George Hawkins. He is not doing much so maybe he will staff the Mangere office.

Julian said...

By-elections are a great issue for academics because they are so volatile the result is never known until the result has been . Remember the last time Labour had a by-election, they lost Tariana Turia which subsequently ended up in the formation of the Maori Party. It would be arrogant of Labour to so swiftly assure themselves of victory when the same was said of Turia. Fields may very well win a by-election if and when it goes ahead. He does have support. This is very much a wait-and-see scenario. But either way, this is a very messy business for Labour.

death knell said...

What about the Alliance?

mike sweetman said...

The Alliance is political rigor mortis. I say this with all due respect: they had one chance without Anderton, and they blew it. I think the smartes way of Alliance members to get what they want is to join the Green party en masse.

Or be what you effectively already are: a really pointless club that likes to spend a lot of money on signs people won't pay any attention to.

span said...

While I'm still a member of the Alliance I'm not very involved at the moment so I'm out of the loop in terms of any discussion about the possibility of a by-election candidate (not that we even know there'll be a by-election yet).

In terms of the future of the Alliance itself I'd say that's a topic for another post.

Anonymous said...

Can you do one then Span? It's quite interesting.

span said...

Yep, I've been intending to Anon, just a bit constrained for time at the moment so it may be a while.

Anonymous said...

If you could do it soon it would be great, it'd be good to know the state of the party, and the future possibilities. I'm thinking of leaving Labour (the corruption and their willingness to deal with the right bothers me) and need a new party to go to. It'll be the Greens or the Alliance, are you still loking for members?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Alliance is still looking for members. See http://alliance.org.nz/menu.php3?target=join.php3
The printable form hasn't been replaced with this year's version, but that's an oversight that should be corrected soon.

Anonymous said...

Not much point in joining if the Alliance isn't seriously going to go for Parliament again though, probably better to go with the Greens.

Commie Mutant Traitor said...

But whether or not the Alliance seriously goes for parliament again will depend on rebuilding membership...

Anonymous said...

Then you need to attract members back, they won't come near you unless you can show you are a viable alternative. Or are you just expecting people to flock back for no reason?

Bring back Laila!

span said...

Anon, this blog is by no means an official Alliance blog, it's just something I started up myself over two years ago for a place to post my left wing rants about politics.

Although I am an Alliance member, constantly using the word "you", by which you mean the Alliance party itself, and not me, Span, is both incorrect and confusing.

I will blog on the future of the Alliance when I get a chance. If anyone could kindly stop the people who create my work from doing stupid things that would hasten the process.