Imagine my delight when I received an email stating that I will be able to cast a vote re the leadership of the Labour Party. Hell, I hardly remember joining the said party. I vaguely remember receiving a visit from my old mate, Phil Goff a few months ago and signing up. My intention was to support Phil as he is an excellent MP to say nothing of the lost chance to lead the Party. He would have been a damned good PM!
OK, put aside history, although we seem never to learn from the lessons that keep repeating themselves and I shall focus on my upcoming decision. Do I follow the endorsements of the Harawira family whereby Titiwhai gave her blessings to Grant Robertson, or do I accept the recommendations of Hone, who gave the nod to Shane Jones? The very fact that they are not united must have raised a few eyebrows, given the attention the media has given to their ‘united’ actions in the past.
Then there is the plethora of opinion on Facebook, some of which is nothing more than ‘babble’ from souls who have an axe to grind and very little political savvy, but once again, who am I to derail such attempts to take part on some sort of collective decision influencing statements? After all, look overseas and try to understand how leaders of other countries end up in power. At least here, we can make fools of ourselves and take part in ‘opinionating’ and genuinely influencing who would be our leaders, without worrying who is looking over our shoulders.
We also have the Party Whips (I have always wondered about that term!) doing their best to keep a ‘level playing field,’ by controlling who and when questions are asked in Question Time in Parliament. Young Chris Hipkins is doing his utmost to make sure that none of the candidates has an advantage. The result of course is that by the time the actual vote is taken, we will have seen very little of how ‘they’ preform in Parliament, so it is going to be the ‘road show’ that gives us some more to go on when making our decisions as ‘Party Members.’ That 40% influence we get is indeed a new factor in the upcoming battle, so we must exercise our rights with attention to the issues and help deliver a candidate who will make a difference.
At this stage, I am neutral and will be garnering as much I formation as I can and try not to be influenced by stupid commentary that emanates from anyone in the future Opposition National Party or their like. I shall also steer clear of some of the rubbish coming from ‘members of my own Party.’ On the day, I shall make my decision and live with the results. Either way, Labour must unite behind the chosen leader or be consigned to another three years in the wilderness!