Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Beyer next to go?

Georgina Beyer has announced that she expects to follow Jim Sutton into retirement before the next election, which will allow Labour to bring more new blood from the list. Meanwhile, Dianne Yates, who is frequently listed among those expected to go, has denied any intention to retire. Dover Samuels has announced he'll go at the next election, and Russell Fairbrother wants to stay, which means Labour's renewal hopes really depend on Jill pettis and Ann Hartley.

Meanwhile, its been suggested I do some quick and dirty analysis of what this means for the voting balance on conscience issues. In terms of potential outgoing MPs, a quick look at the CommoNZ voting database shows the potential outgoing MPs are all much of a muchness; they all voted for civil unions, they all voted against the marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill, and most voted against Death With Dignity. As for their potential replacements, there's a dearth of data. Lesley Soper (number 45 on the list, and next in after Charles Chauvel) has been in Parliament before, but has only been in one conscience vote (on raising the drinking age; she voted for). Assumptions can be made about Charles Chauvel based on his sexuality, but that's all they'd be. As for the next two on the list, Louisa Wall and Su'a William Sio, they're a closed book. I'd expect them all to be about as liberal as other Labour MPs (which is good enough for my purposes), but I really have nothing to go on.

It's a shame the renewal process isn't shuffling off some of Labour's real dinosaurs - but they all have safe electorates.


I'm pretty sure that Lesley Soper is known to be a moral conservative.

She's definately anti-abortion.

Posted by Maia : 7/12/2006 12:40:00 PM

Bugger. Why the hell does Labour keep selecting these people?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/12/2006 12:48:00 PM

Maia is correct about Soper. Word was that Jonathan Hunt (pro-choice) deliberately hung around in the House for as long as possible to avoid her coming in last time.

Louisa Wall will possibly be reasonably liberal, particularly on sexuality issues. She is quite plugged into the Rainbow Sector and I believe also the Women's Council. However Soper was very involved in the Women's Council (which is how she got so high up I think) despite being anti-abortion, go figure.

I would expect Sio to be quite conservative, based purely on the part of Auckland he is from and the networks I know he is involved in. Quite similar probably to Winnie Laban in some respects.

Posted by Span : 7/12/2006 01:04:00 PM

That's rumoured to be the reason Lesley Soper wasn't placed higher up the list.

Although there's a long tradition of anti-abortion Labour party fuckwits (including David Lange, who was one of the authors of New Zealand's awful abortion law).

Posted by Maia : 7/12/2006 01:10:00 PM

Yates and Samuels voted against Prostitution Reform - that is probably a sign of moral conservatism.

Posted by Anita : 7/12/2006 06:15:00 PM

As Anonymous said Yates voted against prostitution law reform from a feminist perspective. I disagree with her, but it doesn't indicate moral conservatism. I don't think you could predict how she'd vote on other conscience issues.

I'm pretty sure Samuels is a moral conservative on most issues.

Posted by Maia : 7/12/2006 11:59:00 PM

Maia: Not according to his voting record. Sure, he voted against prostitution reform - but for civil unions, the relationships act, and death with dignity, and against United Future's marriage bill. He has voted to raise the drinking age, and for a bunch of sunday trading / easter trading bills - but neither is particularly unusual for Labour MPs.

He's not one of Labour's best MPs, but his record isn't too bad (especially when compared with Taito Phillip Field's, or indeed most National Party members).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/13/2006 02:14:00 AM

Thinking further on Sio - the impression I have is that he himself is politically very astute and probably quite liberal. However the networks he is plugged into, in particular the PI churches, are not. He will have some hard calls to make and I suspect that the tipping point will be whether or not he is expecting to inherit one of those South Auckland seats anytime soon, having got in originally off the list.

Posted by Span : 7/16/2006 09:58:00 AM

Also I should point out that Soper is highly likely to vote liberally on pretty much every issue other than abortion. She comes from a strong catholic background, hence her view on this when otherwise she seems quite enlightened.

Posted by Span : 7/16/2006 10:01:00 AM