Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ohariu wtf & options

With a final majority of 710 in the 2014 election, the third-smallest overall, Labour renegade minister Peter Dunne is under threat.  Danyl McLaughlin reports:  "Former Police Association president Greg O’Connor is rumoured to be interested in becoming Labour’s Ohariu candidate. Nominations close on February 3." (
You can see the leftist rationale for selecting O'Connor to take out Dunne:  to defeat a center-right dork, use another.  Leftists have learnt that presenting leftist candidates doesn't work when most voters don't want them.  Using the theory of identity politics, Ohariu voters, most being center-right dorks, will identify with O'Connor as much as with Dunne, splitting his vote down the middle.

Some will vote National, of course, producing a three-way split of similar proportions.  The rationale cleverly factors in O'Connor's advocacy track record on the basis of its similarity to that of a union leader.  The dwindling bunch of Labour tribal loyalists will get in behind, so he will pull ahead of the other two.  This scenario assumes the Labour/Green MoU is activated to ensure the Greens don't stand a candidate.

What if a majority of the leftists in the candidate selection process want a candidate that is authentic?  What if they don't get over-ruled by the Labour hierarchy?  How about a barn-storming fire-brand wanting to return Labour to its roots, to replicate what drove it up in popular support a century ago?  They'd get Bomber Bradbury to stand against O'Connor - spooking the moderates, who'd then get Laila Harre to provide a feminist option as well.

What if the Greens insisted on a combined selection process, to prove that the MoU has enough substance to model how it would work in government?  They could offer Celia Wade-Brown the opportunity of becoming one of the first cabinet ministers in a Labour/Green government (if she rejoins the Green Party sometime soon).

Imagine these four candidates performing their speeches to a Labour/Green selection meeting.  O'Connor would present the case for Labour being a solid centrist government in his usual pedestrian style, Bradbury would rouse the old leftist spirit in the audience with team-building rhetoric by demonising the opposition, Harre would be the sweet voice of reason preaching at the converted, and Wade-Brown would tell them that the best way to change the government is to select candidates with a track record of winning and hers is the best out of all four.

Trump showed us lateral-thinking can produce political victory by confounding both wings of the establishment.  To get a suitable change of government in Aotearoa, we need Labour & the Greens to learn that lesson. Then use it!