Sunday, September 03, 2006

Manipulating the list

Once upon a time MP's got elected. They stood for elections and the public chose who they wanted to represent them. If MPs died or resigned, there was a by-election. These two avenues were the sole means of getting into Parliament

Not any more. If a MP is not particularly liked he can be booted out, and another one take their place without an election or a by-election, provided they were a list MP. This happened when Charles Chauvel replaced Jim Sutton - the voters had no say.

Now that Taito Philip Field is on the way out a similar thing is happening, except that there will be a by-election to do it as Taito is an electorate MP. Yet Labour ( ie: the unions) is merely suggesting that the next Pacific Island male on the list be
selected as a candidate even though Taito is still an MP. Given that about three more Labour MPs are about to be turfed out by Helen Clark prior to the next election - and one of these would have been Taito had he been a list MP - we could see Brendon Burns in as an MP should Su'a William Sio be selected as a candidate and be sucessful as Sio's list place will be irrelevant if he is selected as an electorate MP. Burns is lower on the list.

The list is able to be manipulated by parties and unions, and I`m sure voters who voted for MMP in 1993 didnt want parties who didnt like their MPs all of a sudden ditch them based on whether they were favoured or not. If its good enough for Taito Philip Field to be replaced, David Benson Pope should have gone as well.

Of course the unions had nothing to say about Benson Pope, did they?

You may wonder how Taito Philip Field got selected for Labour? Well, two reasons, he was a union official and his interests include oil painting. Now we know the third reason - he's dodgy and that fits in with the Labour mould - provided you are not caught out.