Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The people are right: Field should resign

59% of people think that Taito Phillip Field should resign, according to a One News poll. And they're right - if he had any shred of honour or decency, Field would have resigned and taken his odour of corruption with him, or sought to clear the air and reconfirm his mandate with a by-election (not that this saves anyone from criminal charges - but it is a powerful cure for political ones). The fact that he didn't speaks volumes about his integrity - or lack thereof.

As for the argument that a by-election would threaten the government's majority, what of it? There are some things more important than being in government - and maintaining the integrity of our political system against corruption is one of them. If Labour can't stay in power except by looking the other way on this sort of thing, then arguably it shouldn't be in power at all.


Labour would probably win a by-election anyway. Field has the largest majority in the country, so even if a minority of people in South Auckland *want* a corrupt, right-wing git as an MP, they should still win out with a decent candidate.

Posted by Rich : 8/15/2006 01:29:00 PM

I agree with Rich - Labour would win anyway. I suspect however that they are doing everything they can to put off what could be a very messy, very public selection battle for the nomination in that seat. I'm sure there are many Labour people who agree that Field should go, however the man himself clearly does not, which means he'd be seeking the nomination.

Posted by Span : 8/15/2006 04:33:00 PM

and from what I gather, the local Labour people would back him. Were he to win as an independent it would be a bit of a bugger for Labour.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/15/2006 05:00:00 PM

PabloR: A bugger indeed. But OTOH, they'd be free of the taint - which is fairly important.

Last election, I was very much saying party vote: left; it didn't matter which of the left-wing parties people voted for, because what mattered was our total. But unless Labour does something about Field, I won't in good conscience be able to endorse a party which openly supports corruption. Of course, I'm just an insignificant nobody, but I think the feeling is going to be rather more widespread than Labour will be comfortable with... as the UK shows, there's only so many times people will vote with a peg on their nose before disgust gets the better of them.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/15/2006 05:28:00 PM

Exactly PabloR, there would be a clash between the local party and head office. I can just see the queue from eager Labour MP wannabes to stand in such a safe seat, even as a carpet-bagger, and of course head office would want to see Field go, but it's definitely not that simple.

If I remember correctly there is usually equal representation from head office and the local party on the selection panel and then there is one other vote based on the outcome of a floor vote at the selection meeting. With any Labour member (not just locals) present at the time entitled to a hand up in the floor vote, I imagine they'd have to hire Eden Park to fit in all the Labour members who would want a say...

Actual Labour members should feel free to correct me if this is total shite.

Posted by Span : 8/15/2006 05:46:00 PM

John Tamihere might be licking his chops at the prospect of a Labour nomination in Mangere. That is, provided he isn't going for Mayor of Waitakere City instead. (A city which is likely to become a bit of a dead duck anyways, given the unified Auckland bandwagon).

Posted by dc_red : 8/16/2006 09:18:00 AM

Span you are right with the 3+3+1 voting formula. Whether non-local members can vote on the floor (towards the "1") I don't know though.

Posted by Anonymous : 8/16/2006 09:34:00 AM

I was pretty sure they could because I remember a lot of out of area people heading to the Waitakere selection meeting back in 2002... Also as Labour people can be members of multiple branches as long as you had enough forewarning you could get around this anyway.

For comparison's sake, the rule in the Alliance is (I think) that you can vote in an electorate selection if you have been a member of that branch for 6 months or more.

Posted by Span : 8/16/2006 10:07:00 AM

Perhaps the reason Labour don't want a by-election is because Head Office is quietly trying to organise Field's de-selection for 2008, and couldn't do that in time for a B.E?


Posted by Anonymous : 8/16/2006 11:42:00 AM

M'lud - exactly. Or that they are pressuring him to "retire" and it will take time to ensure he won't put his name forward in '08.

Posted by dc_red : 8/16/2006 01:17:00 PM