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Friday, October 10, 2014

Oestrogen May Be the Answer


I have thus far refrained from commenting on the Labour leadership race.  Not because I am not interested but because I am a bit over politics.  I am surprised more are not 'over it', after the disaster that was the so called Election, the mess that was #dirtypolitics and the lack of cohesive team work that was the Labour election campaign.

I need to address why I have been disinterested in politics since the election and up until now, before I throw in my opinion about the need for oestrogen in the leadership race.

The election was a farce.  No party should be happy about the outcome when you take into account the circus that was the media reporting, the lack of emphasis on policy and the apathy regarding voter turn out.  Even the 'winners' shouldn't take it as a big coup - not when you consider they really won by default.  I won't rehash this here - many pundits have done this to death already (another reason I am over politics).

Then there was the disgrace that was #dirtypolitics.  It would seem that irregardless of how appalling ones behaviour is, the average punter will overlook it.  I can understand that when you consider other factors impacting on the election campaign and how unappealing the left were made to be, but for the media to pretty much overlook the blatant atrocities and our own justice system to do the same - well, what can I say.  We sure do live in perplexing times.

Finally theres the mess with the way Labour ran its campaign.  No cohesion, a failure to capitalise on the obvious because of the notion they were going to run a 'vote positive' campaign, and then there was the biggest mistake of not working closer with the Greens.  In my opinion it was a dumb move.  The public needed to see how Labour and the Greens were going to turn this country around, how they have done it before and how they have the credibility to do it again.  I don't know whose idea it was to not work with them, but it was dumb.

My biggest wondering is, where the heck has Matt McCarten been hiding?  I have yet to see ANY response from him about the campaign and that perplexes me.  (I am happy to be pointed in the direction of said response if you know where it might be lurking)

So, now that I have those particular chestnuts out in the open, let me put in my two cents about the leadership race.

I am over this particular issue as well, and I know other people feel the same way.

Labour has had three leaders since Helen Clark.  The first, a lovely man but doomed to live in the shadow of the greatness that is Helen.  The second, another lovely man, but one not that well chosen to begin with in my opinion, and I don't think many were surprised when that went sour.  Then  Labour got a leader that the membership liked and could follow,  one that had the ability to take the current PM on head to head.  But he faced one incident of sabotage after another.  Some from within, some self inflicted, some from the media (intentional or not I am not qualified to comment on) and some from forces bigger than the average kiwi can comprehend.   In hindsight, like those before him, I think he was doomed from the beginning.

Now we have yet another Leadership race and it leaves me with a big wondering.

I am wondering, why are they all men.  Labour demographics show they are reasonably popular with women.  You would think they would like to capitalise on that and throw a pair of womans heels into the race.

Three men later and we know what the record is - and its not good.  Please don't misunderstand me, I have nothing against a male leader or support policies like the 'man ban',  but I am over the testosterone only dogma that seems to permeate the Labour leadership since Helen left.  At least Goff had King.  I was disappointed to see Dalziel leave (but pleased to see her lead Christchurch) because she was a real contender.  It frustrates me to see Adern sidelined and it concerns me that there are not more woman being held up with leadership potential.

So, as a woman, I wonder.  Whats the point in participating in this leadership debacle?  I am left with the choice to vote for one of the 'DDDAG's (David, David, David, Andrew or Grant), assuming they all run.  None of which have indicated they will bring a woman alongside them.

Then I wonder, why can't Labour do what the Greens have done, and whats wrong with a co-leadership, where there is a male and female leader?  Now would be the time, and what does Labour have to lose.  It needs to stop being unprogressive, out of date and out of touch.

Either way, I am still over it.  I am tired of the lack of vision, the lack of cohesion and the lack of understanding what membership and the average kiwi needs.  There is a distinct chance that a key demographic will be overlooked and taken for granted once again.

That is why I think oestrogen may well be the answer - but I don't think Labour is ready to take cognisance of what it needs.

UPDATE:  Today was the close of nominations for the Leadership Race.  It is no longer a DDDAG race but a race between the DAG and the N!

As of today, Nanaia Mahuta has put her heels into the ring, and I for one am pleased to see a female leader who has a proven record taking on the boys club. Having worked with her on Educational policy 'back in the day' when she was spokesperson for Education, I am confident she has the necessarily skills to lead, especially when it comes to taking a measured and considered approach to an issue.   This will be vital when it comes to strengthening Caucus into a united and cohesive group of people working towards a shared vision for New Zealand, a vision based on the core values of Labour.   Labour finally has a race worth participating in with Nanaia who is a strong Maori female role model.  Now its a DANG race, thats for sure!

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