Dr Russel nominated for Mt Albert

As you will have heard in this morning’s news, Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman has been nominated as a Green Party candidate for Mt Albert. A selection meeting next Wednesday will consider his nomination.

Russel has described himself as the “underdog”, and said he did not believe National could win the seat. The Herald reports:

He said National had ruined its chances with plans to “bulldoze their way through the electorate”… and the ramming through of the Auckland governance changes.

Russel said:

If we do this, we’ll be the underdog, but it is a great chance for voters to make the old parties listen to them on Auckland governance, Auckland’s transport problems, Auckland’s electricity supply as well as on the region’s beaches and open spaces. These are all areas where the Green Party has consistently offered answers and listened to local communities.

[On the transport dilemna] the old parties are arguing over two bad ideas in Waterview.  They want to either bulldoze a suburb or blow $3 billion.  The Green Party offers a better solution. We would fix the public transport system first, relieve congestion and give Aucklanders a faster, cheaper way to get to work and the airport.

[On national political issues] the Greens stand for a fairer and more sustainable society in New Zealand. Our long and hard-fought campaign for warm, dry, healthy homes is one example.

Dr Norman lived in Auckland for five years. If he is confirmed as the candidate and elected, he would move back to Auckland.

126 thoughts on “Dr Russel nominated for Mt Albert

  1. So…… a good showing by the Greens splits the centre-left vote, and National wins the electorate. If I were cynical I would wonder whether this was an agreement coming out of the MoU.

    I don’t know if I am quite that cynical though.

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  2. May I suggest you read the MoU, as you’d see that wasn’t the case.

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  3. LoL! Surely you’re not that cynical jarbury! Regardless of who wins the electorate, the Greens should not be taken for granted. No deals of any sort that I’m aware of, left, right, or MoUs notwithstanding.

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  4. Oh just being slightly facetious there Valis. Though it is an interesting issue. Whilst I am a member of the Green Party and voted for the Greens at last year’s election, I also prefer Labour to National about a million times over.

    Due to the risk of the centre-left splitting their vote between the Greens & Labour, which would allow National an easier ride, it is hard to see a vote for Norman being anything other than a de facto vote for National. Even DPF is playing up the Greens’ chances in Mt Albert as he knows it’s National’s best chance of winning the seat.

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  5. there is some small chance the three-way split cd see national sneak in..

    but those odds aren’t great..

    ..and anyway…

    .the worst-case scenario there is not govt. changing..

    ..it wd mean one more national mp..

    ..for the rest of this term..

    ..(meh..!..)

    whereas if norman performs well..and resonates with the electorate..

    ..(has he started door-knocking yet..?

    ..if not..why not..?..)

    ..his opponents are a party recently dismissed by the voters..

    ..and national..

    mt albert is a working class/multi-cultural melting-pot..

    ..and despite the ethnicity of nationals’ candidate..

    ..is hardly their sorta seat..

    the upside is that norman will offer the voters of mt albert an opportunity to roar..

    ..(on behalf of the rest of this beleagured city..)

    ..and should norman win..

    ..his victory would not necessarily..like nationals’..be just for one term..

    ..norman has the opportunity here to take/win/hold an urban seat for the green party..

    ..and as such the splitting the vote danger is well over-shadowed..

    ..and i would be expecting the green party to be throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this campaign..

    ..and i expect to be stumbling over green mp’s on every corner..

    ..saturation coverage/campaigning is called for..

    ..anything less will be a crying loss of opportunity..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  6. I totally encourage Greens to fight this one. Don’t let Labour take you fro granted! ;)

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  7. I like Phil’s summation. If there is a strong likelihood that there would be significant/sizeable suppport for the Greens, the Russel’s ‘hat’ ought to be in the ring. Great focus, country-wide and what fun! I’d like to see the Greens ignore the blathering from the other contenders and their minion spin-bloggers (including our own sly trolls :-) , and ‘do it our way’. All power to us!

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  8. Seems a bit weitrd to put a sitting MP into a by-election – it’s sort of telling people you’re not expecting to win, and they are really voting for the next person on the Green list by proxy. Wouldn’t a local have been a better choice?

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  9. All good points Sam, and I am sure they were all aired. I will say that this choice shows we’re serious.

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  10. BP – remove your tounge from your cheek please. It’s disconcerting hearing such things from you! ;-)

    If you think this will ensure a Nat victory in Mt Albert, I ask you what difference this makes? Difference to the Greens?

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  11. Well I am enrolled in the Mt Albert electorate so I’m kinda uncertain as to who to vote for.

    I would be very happy if the Greens won the byelection.
    I would be happy if Labour won the byelection.
    I would be very unhappy if National won the byelection.

    So…. to base my vote on what I ideally want, or to base my vote on what I really really don’t want to happen.

    Tricky choice.

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  12. I would be very unhappy if National won the byelection.

    On what basis – symbolism?

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  13. Well said Greenfly (love those sly trolls).

    Great strategy to inject some fresh Green ideas into the metropolis. This might sound like a silly question … but if Russel wins … do we pick up any more Green seats in the House ?

    Me rongo.
    iaroha

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  14. “On what basis – symbolism?”

    Somewhat. Having National win what should be the safest of centre-left seats would cut pretty deep. It hurt enough to lose west Auckland and Auckland Central.

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  15. Somewhat. Having National win what should be the safest of centre-left seats would cut pretty deep. It hurt enough to lose west Auckland and Auckland Central.

    Depends. Like phil said, if the Greens put up on a strong showing, that should provide momentum of a sort for the next general election, when they would presumably have a few years of a stronger presence in the electorate to help them. If there is a strong shift to National, that would be bad. So would National winning, but if it’s just the result of a Labour/Green split…whadya gonna do*?

    *STV!!

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  16. Thanks Jarbury … I had a feeling it was young Gareth but either way … wouldn’t that be great ?

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  17. The downside of FPP shines through again I suppose. I imagine there will be polls done, so I’ll have some idea of what the Greens’ chances are before polling day. If Russel’s in with a chance then I’d vote for him, but if National are leading then might have to vote for whoever Labour stick up.

    In the long run is would be great for the Greens to have a safe seat, as an insurance policy really just in case that 5% threshold becomes a worry (which hopefully it won’t). However, I think Wellington Central is the best shot for that, as it was the Greens’ best electorate last year (party vote wise).

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  18. I think there is an obvious risk of a split vote but the question goes to the root of whether the Green Party is an independant voice and a viable option on its own or whether it is just a adjunct to Labour. A point is reached where we to regard both National and Labour as our opposition and that we have to take them both on to establish a unique option for the voters. In this regard I think it may be good tactics to choose a seat in which we are at our strongest and a candidate that is our best/highest profile and take the fight to the other parties. The significant of this by-election is in its symbolism – it being since its inception a safe Labour seat. The winning of the seat by whoever will not affect the power relations in parliament, the nat coalition will stay in power. So, even if we were to split the centre left vote and Labour looses the seat to National, little harm will have been done. It gives us chance to get away from the “labour poodle” tag and imagine the symbolic effect of a win.

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  19. A rare point of agreement. Trolls and Greens united over Mt Albert.

    The outcome could be fantastic…..well, not for Labour I guess. Win-win!

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  20. Sam Buchanan said: …it’s sort of telling people you’re not expecting to win, and they are really voting for the next person on the Green list by proxy. Wouldn’t a local have been a better choice?

    Sam, Russel isn’t unfamiliar with the electorate – he worked just outside its border for seveal years and many people from the electorate will remember him for the amazing GE Free march he organised.

    And Dave Clendon, who would come in on the list if Russel won, lived for a number of years in Mt Albert and now lives just outside it, so is extremely familiar with local issues. So the electorate would effectively get 2 MPs for the price of one if Russel were to win.

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  21. That is true Johan. I know that for the Greens to really grow their vote and in the future form an important part of a government they need to be seen as more centrist and also they need to start stealing voters from National. The more they appear as separate to Labour the more likely they are to do this.

    I suppose that my dilemma is more of a personal one, being very much a borderline Labour/Greens supporter.

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  22. The By-election effect can be an interesting one. At the top level, if this were a national election, one would say that the Greens should not be running at all as it would risk splitting some of the left vote and letting National in the door. However I would say that the voters of Mt Albert should be able to work out that no matter if they vote National or Labour that it will not shift things too much at all. (won’t rock the boat). This means that they can safely Vote for Russel as this will not be at all risky to the big parties but will provide more of a Green conscience in the house. A classic example of what happens occurred when there was a by-election in Rangitikei some years ago and the Gnats tried to muscle Bruce Betham out and it back fired.

    Fingers crossed in Mt Albert. Go Russel!

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  23. BluePeter – straight answer mate – do you support the Greens winning the seat?

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  24. “Given the oft-espoused integrity of the greens and their respect for the wishes of the electorate, will Rusell resign his list seat either before standing as an electoral candidate and take his chances OR, if not and he is rejected by the Mt Albert electors, will he then resign his list place on the grounds that he has been specifically sent the message that he is not wanted?”

    Hat tip – Anon

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  25. Trouble with the MoU is that even if the Greens had put their heads together with National to split the vote, the couldn’t tell us anyway.

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  26. I see you’ve been reading Kiwiblog Strings….. I don’t think anyone would propose such a situation, especially for a seat where it is a pretty long-shot for the Greens to win.

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  27. Greenfly,

    >>BluePeter – straight answer mate – do you support the Greens winning the seat?

    Frog picks it. I think it will split the vote, which may hand the seat to National. I think the best chance National have of winning the seat is if the Greens run a strong campaign.

    Other hat on – if National were to not win this seat, I would prefer the Greens to have it, because I detest Labour that much.

    Other hat on – I’m really hoping the Greens abandon the f@r left and move to the center. Winning such a seat may give them the courage to do so. The Greens stand for some good things I agree with – animal rights, clean environment, adoption of alt energy technology – and if National could be pulled a little further in that direction, that would be great.

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  28. No – I stay away from the sewer, I came up with that all by myself. Its more of a dig than a serious suggestion. I’m still venting at the my beloved Greens lending legitimacy to National.

    But – why Norman? Why not some other candidate to provide the “exposure to Green solutions” – has the Co-Leader got nothing better to do? Is he so happy with the National Government that he can take his eye off the ball and narrow his focus to Mt Albert?

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  29. BLiP – that kind of cynicism leads to eventual ruin – turn from that path while you still can!

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  30. BP, most people do not manage to wear three hats, it’s so impractical.

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  31. if, but, hat on, hat off…hardly a straight answer at all.
    Perhaps you should stop with your facile
    if National could be pulled a little further in that direction, that would be great.
    A little! You jest, surely! Live sheep shipments, anyone? Redrawing conservation park boundaries to free up the coal… coal to diesel plant for Southland’s lignite .. sound green enough for you Blue?
    Great indeed.
    Perhaps you should stop with the facile
    I totally encourage Greens to fight this one. Don’t let Labour take you fro granted!
    faux support. It’s supercilious.

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  32. Greenfly,

    That’s the problem with the Greens – no practicality.

    As a country, we’ve got to earn a living. Unless you can come up with a detailed analysis of how we’re going to not impact the environment and pay for endless social schemes you want implemented, and still motivate people to work, then no one is going to take you seriously.

    Frog’s analysis is pretty good. There isn’t really a downside for the Greens or National. Only Labour. If you really are independent, then what do you care if you split Labours vote? Or are you just a Labour front?

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  33. How delicious!

    Campaign hard Greenies, get out there and knock on doors, encourage the people to vote Green as best you can.

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  34. Hey Big Bro! Welcome! What do you think of the live sheep plans? Don’t run away now! You’ll have people thinking that you’re afraid of debate.

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  35. BluePeter – Oh that’s the problem with the Greens! Only, it’s impossible to take anything you say seriously, as we never know which of your interchangable hats you have on at any time. Safer to dismiss all your comments as insubstantial and supercillious.
    btw – that pale light you can see is sunshine alright, passing through the walls of your lower colon.

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  36. JArbury

    re

    I see you’ve been reading Kiwiblog Strings

    Actually no, it came from another place, and as you will see it’s in quotation marks, so I didn’t claim authorship.

    I don’t think anyone would propose such a situation

    Now that is sad! You see, I truly believe that if you get a seat in Parliament, irrespective of how, you shouldn’t run for another seat in without first relinquishing the seat you hold. To me, that’s ethical. I was almost convinced of the GP’s commitment to ethics, now I have to rethink that position.

    Sad.

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  37. The logical extension of that is to expect everyone who has a job to relinquish their job to stand as a candidate?

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  38. Hey this is awesome news. What a fantastic, bold and independent move. Makes me proud to be green.

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  39. BP – what a beautifully contradictory comment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you do that to yourself so eloquently or succinctly.

    First:
    “That’s the problem with the Greens – no practicality.”

    Then:
    “Frog’s analysis is pretty good. There isn’t really a downside for the Greens or National. Only Labour. If you really are independent, then what do you care if you split Labours vote? Or are you just a Labour front?”

    So we are both practical and impractical at the same time! Beautiful!

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  40. strings – surely you need only rethink jarbury’s position. It didn’t take much, btw, to rock your faith in the GP’s ethical standards!

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  41. Awarua Bay:
    April 24th, 2009 at 1:02 pm
    The logical extension of that is to expect everyone who has a job to relinquish their job to stand as a candidate?

    No way my friend. The logical way to view this is that if you are the head chief poster of blogs, you don’t apply for the position of head chief poster of blogs. What Dr. Norman is doing is applying for a position he already holds. I think the last time a sitting MP stood for election was Winston Peters, who had the grace to resign and stand again for re-election when he was thrown out of the National Party. He didn’t have to do it, he could have continued as an independent, but on principle he went through a bye-election.

    I don’t hold up Winston Peters as a paragon of virtue or ethics, but in this one action he had my admiration. Hence I say to Dr. Norman, before you apply for the position of Member of the current Parliament, please resign your position as Member of the current Parliament.

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  42. Greenfly
    Please see my 1:23, I think that might clarify it for you!
    Ethics is ethics. Or to take another view on it, who is there that might have received the GP nomination for the candidacy that Dr. Norman doesn’t want to see in parliament?

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  43. strings – nice thinking. Precedence, eh! I’m guessing that Government MPs have to resign their position before a general election also – yes? Country in limbo for how long?
    Would you also call for Russel to resign from Parliament if he doesn’t win the seat?

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  44. The position is Member of Parliament.

    Please don’t be a g0bsh1te

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  45. Greenfly
    I think you will find that all MPs cease to be Ms of P whe the writs are issued, although Ministers keep their positions until a new Government is called by the GG.

    As for resignation, I call for him to resign his position as MP before he stands for the seat actually. After all, it is a list seat, and so appointing the next person on the list wopuld not be a big deal, the seat needen’t be empty for a single sitting and the balance of parties under MMP would not be affected.

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  46. Electorate Mps have some different responsibilities to list MPs, and are voted by different groups of voters so I do consider them to be different jobs.

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  47. Greenfly

    You are a mindless troll, I would be happy to debate the issue with you however it is pointless, I have said I am against it but you have not yet provided proof that it is going to happen.

    Unlike you Greenfly I often speak out against my party.

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  48. You may consider them as you like. However, their job is Member of Parliament, and that is what they are paid to be. The fact that their party might have different expectations of them based on their right to the job is neither here nor there.

    I would, however, be interested to hear what responsibilities you view as common and what as different.

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  49. Vote Red Russ get Sue B as co leader…..

    Vote Red Russ, get another seat in the house for the Nat’s…..

    Vote Green, get Red………

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  50. Electorate MPs are expected to represent people in their electorate and have more funding/staff to fulfill this extra responsibility.

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  51. Strings is just being silly. Winston resigned because of an issue with his party, not for any other reason. There’s just no comparison to this situation. The Green’s certainly have a commitment to ethics, its just that this isn’t an ethical issue. And as was pointed out, the positions of list MP and electorate MP are not the same. Of course there is overlap, but electorate MPs have more responsibilities and more funding.

    Ethics is ethics. Or to take another view on it, who is there that might have received the GP nomination for the candidacy that Dr. Norman doesn’t want to see in parliament?

    Which shows that Strings is just stirring for the hell of it.

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  52. Frog,

    Quoting me out of context is neither big nor clever :)

    Please outline how we’re going to not affect the environment, pay for all these wonderful social schemes, and motivate people to work. Seriously.

    Greenfly,

    If my comments are so insubstantial, why do you bother responding to them?

    The books are looking sick. I want a government who will address the problems we’ve created for ourselves – namely spending more than we earn, whilst at the same time helping ensure NZ is a free and pleasant place to live.

    The Greens are big on arm waving, but I’ve yet to hear much in the way of rational economic problem solving.

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  53. “Vote For Me” ;)

    (“me” being National, in a round about kind of a way)

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  54. BluePeter – If my comments are so insubstantial, why do you bother responding to them?

    It’s because your comments are so insubstantial, that I bother. I know you can do better, if only you approach ‘Green thinking’ differently. You delight in poking the borax, where you would learn a great deal more by questioning with genuine intent.

    Valis said Strings is just being silly.
    Thanks Valis. Stop it Strings!

    Big Bro – I smell your fear everytime you swing by Bruv. Think of the sheep!

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  55. Greenfly
    this bit was, I admit, mischievous

    Ethics is ethics. Or to take another view on it, who is there that might have received the GP nomination for the candidacy that Dr. Norman doesn’t want to see in parliament?

    The rest was serious!

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  56. Greenfly,

    >>you approach ‘Green thinking’ differently

    I hope this doesn’t involve The Charter….

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  57. now greenfly, stop sheep baiting big bro. It’s one of the few things we come close to agreeing on! ;-)

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  58. Valis

    The arbiter of correctness you are, sadly, not.

    Winston was dismissed from the party and, by resigning, caused a by-election in his own seat, which he stood for and won. His argument was that he was not elected as an independent but as a member of the National Party, and he wanted a mandate to continue as representative of his constituency. He got it. You need to get your facts right.

    As I said, I don’t hold any brief for him, and have been very critical of many of his actions, but in this he was honorable and ethical.
    In the current situation I do not see Dr. Norman in the same light.

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  59. You need to get your facts right.

    Which fact of mine is wrong? I said Winston resigned due to an issue with his party, that issue being he was thrown out. You’ve said the same – we agree!

    The rest of your post shows well why that by-election is so different to this one. Winston created his by-election only because he needed to regain his mandate An ethical move I agree (on the surface anyway – I’m sure he calculated his chances first). It simply bears NO relationship to the present situation, except that both were called by-elections!

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  60. you would also be well advised to ask nandor if he will come and campaign in mt albert for you..

    ..he would be a real asset/vote-catcher..

    ..you should also emphasise the party leader to party leader thread..

    ..and also that auckland will get two green mp’s for the price of one..

    ..and that next-on-list david clendon should also feature heavily in the campaign..

    ..but as i’ve already noted..

    ..you should saturate the electorate with green mp’s..

    ..and jeanette..

    ..and nandor..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  61. Ah frog, I’ve been puzzled about the “Dr Russel nominated for Mt Albert” headline all day.

    I think I’ve just realised the significance of it – there’s a post on Kiwiblog this morning “Dr Helen Clark“.

    The difference is that Russel Norman’s doctorate is a real one – an actual qualification that he’s worked for. Helen Clark’s is a bit like the titular honours that National have just brought back.

    Very clever frog, with Russel aspiring to succeed Helen as the Mt Albert electorate MP!

    But I’ve been busy – how come no-one else has got this until now?

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  62. you should also get those mp’s door-knocking..

    you should be aiming to have a green personal-contact with every electorate member..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  63. phil u said: you would also be well advised to ask nandor if he will come and campaign in mt albert for you

    We’ll be asking Nandor, and Jeanette, and Dave Clendon, and, well, anyone who wants to help get Russel elected actually.

    Sue K’s up in Auckland on Monday, I understand, for meetings about Auckland local governance.

    It’s all go!

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  64. campaign arguments should attack both national and labour as having let the people of mt albert down..

    national with their tax cuts for the rich..

    ..and their broken election promises..

    (‘closing the wage gap with australia’ should resonate..)

    ..and labour can be attacked as representing the party that p*issed away all the opportunities..

    ..had they listened to the green message..

    ..and invested here in renewable energy etc..

    we would now be so much stronger..

    ..and not now still staring down that barrel..

    ..go hard..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  65. “We’ll be asking Nandor”

    I get the feeling Nandor is a little put off the control freakery in the green party of late, you sure he is an option?

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  66. i think nandor is big enough to put that history behind him..

    ..and he would enjoy the theatre excitment of such a tightly-focussed campaign..

    ..i can just see his turban bobbing throughthe mt albert shopping centre..

    ..and the interest/excitment his campaigning would achieve..

    ..especially in such a multi-cultural electorate..

    ..anyway..

    ..asking/leaning in on him sure wouldn’t hurt..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  67. Phil – that’s the power of u ! You’ve a strength with positive planning and creative strategy and the Greens, I’ll bet, appreciate your skill.

    Shunda – party pooper!

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  68. I note that once again the Greens have rorted the system to allow Red Russ to stand.

    It seems there were two other candidates for this seat but once Comrade Russ put his name forward the other two “stood aside”.

    Where have I heard that lie before???

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  69. “Shunda – party pooper!”

    No no, I have a sneaking suspicion that Nandor is a much more interesting fellow than I first thought, me thinks he may have some serious concerns over a certain parties direction.

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  70. shunda – you’re realisation that you underestimated Nandor should alert you to the probability that you are underestimating the other Green MPs still!
    I think you are correct with your second assertion: Nandor very likely does have serious concerns about a certain parties directions and he has been quite outspoken about many of the things National has done since they came to power (and who could blame him!)

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  71. Where have I heard that lie before???

    In your dreams. As usual, big bro don’t know shit, but spouts it anyway.

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  72. I would have to meet the guy to be sure greenfly.
    And though you are being cheeky, I have to admit to some nervousness over how the resource management act will be reformed (though I still think it is necessary). I know some staunch national supporters that would love to excavate every square inch of gravel near me, due to the current gold price.
    These locals are really bad, it is beyond belief some of the attitudes they have, talk about a sense of entitlement to resources.
    But hey, hopefully someone will keep these buggers on a tight leash!.

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  73. It won’t be the guys you voted for! Must be some sort of poetic justice :-)

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  74. big bro said: I note that once again the Greens have rorted the system to allow Red Russ to stand.

    You mean that you note it yet again BB! But erroneously. The manner in which Russel was first elected was totally lawful. “[R]orted” implies legal impropriety, and there was none.

    If you want to go down that path, why don’t you comment about Labour flying one of Goff’s university mates in from Baghdad (good candidate that he may be) to try to win the electorate without getting Judith (s 92A, Minister of Wine and Cheese, and all that) Tizard back?

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  75. “It won’t be the guys you voted for! Must be some sort of poetic justice”

    Not at all, I always said the last election was about bringing balance, I just don’t want it to go to far the other way.
    There are vultures on both sides.

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  76. Shunda, there’s a heck of a lot to be worried about regarding the RMA amendment bill. I haven’t gone through it with the finest of combs but I can certainly see many many problems with it.

    Oddly though, National has completely ignored one glaring hole in the RMA at the moment – Controlled Activities. I was at a hearing on Wednesday presenting evidence to save the Wong Doo Building in Auckland City from demolition. This is an 1885 building that was the centre of the Chinese community for around 50 years, but because it wasn’t scheduled until after a demolition consent application, the demolition of it is a Controlled Activity. This means consent cannot be declined, but conditions can be applied. Furthermore, conditions can only be applied regarding certain issues. This leads to the stupid situation where under s104 of the RMA you must take into account a pile of issues (part 2, regional policy statements, effects on the environment and other matters) but must then ignore all those previous issues as consent can’t be declined. Extraordinarily stupid.

    But does National try to get rid of that activity consent? No. Instead they focus on trying to get rid of Non-Complying Activities – which are critical in terms of defining something as “probably not OK unless there’s a real strong argument for it”.

    I’m looking forward to having a good moan at the select committee over this. When are the Auckland hearings?

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  77. It is obviously too late for this election (and even if it wasn’t, National probably wouldn’t support it for this election), but the whole vote splitting issue once again demonstrates just how unfair simple majority is as a voting system (as an Epsom Green party member I faced the same dilemma in the last election – in the end I voted for the National candidate as I preferred him to Rodney Hide, despite the fact Keith Locke was running and is one of the best MPs there is).

    Perhaps it is time to push for a fairer system. Local representation and the accessibility of MPs is a good thing, but at the same time, the current system is unfair. If we are going to have a single-winner election, using a clone-proof method which meets the Condorcet constraint, such as the Schulze method, would remove the need for tactical voting altogether.

    In addition, it is suboptimal that members of the public only have one representative – who may be from a government party who will only tow the party line. It would be better if the size of electorates was increased, and there was more than one representative per electorate. There could be procedures to require the elected MPs space out their electorate access so everyone has easy access to an MP in areas with lower population densities (and especially for the Maori seats).

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  78. Fortunately, it’s only in fairly rare situations that the electorate winner actually makes a big difference. I’m quite keen on a party that gets under 5% but wins an electorate only getting that electorate seat – so that not so much rides on an electorate result. That would be one way to slightly modify MMP.

    Alternatively, the 5% threshold could be lowered a bit, which once again would make electorate battles less of an issue.

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  79. This is too important to make assumptions about. I’ve searched the Gazette and the Parliament website and couldn’t find anything referring to the Auckland fuel tax with a more recent date than one in the link I provided. Do you know a good Q.C., an injunction might be in order. John-ston mentioned the Muldoon precedent case some time ago. ;)

    http://online.gazette.govt.nz/MSOS118/On-Line/NZGazette.nsf/vYearOfPublication?OpenView&Start=1&Count=30&Expand=17#17

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/SC/BusIndex/0/c/6/00DBHOH_BSC_SCALL_1-Bills-before-select-committees.htm

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  80. “Helen Clark’s is a bit like the titular honours that National have just brought back.”

    Heh heh.

    Wasn’t she claiming to be vehemently opposed to titles and such? Hope she remains consistent and turns down the doctorate on that basis.

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  81. ‘is a bit like’ Blue. A bit.

    Helen Clark staunchly opposed the ‘M’lud’ing, ‘Sire-ing’ and ‘Dame-ing’.
    I’d wager she would hold to her position on the ‘class’ titles til she breathes her last.

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  82. Uh-huh.

    People who use “Dr” before their names are doing it, why? Why is it necessary to make known your level of university qualification?

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  83. Wasn’t she claiming to be vehemently opposed to titles and such

    Which ‘titles and such’ were she opposed to Blue?
    I don’t recall Helen Clark saying anything at all about doctorates – do you?
    * two questions for you.

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  84. You haven’t answered my question.

    >>Helen Clark saying anything at all about doctorates

    So honourary titles of distinction (marking one person as more special than the next) are ok in academia but not ok in a monarchy. Got it.

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  85. You haven’t answered my question.
    This one? Why is it necessary to make known your level of university qualification?

    Blue – is it not the case that everyone who achieves anything in tertiary education gets a ‘title of distinction’ – letters to follow their name, to indicate the field they achieved in and the extent to which they persevered with their study?

    Will you have a go at my two questions now?
    Which ‘titles and such’ were she opposed to Blue?
    I don’t recall Helen Clark saying anything at all about doctorates – do you?

    Thanks.

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  86. >>is it not the case that everyone who achieves anything in tertiary education gets a ‘title of distinction’

    It’s one thing to have met the requirements of a qualification, another to use it as a marker of status/authority. Do you have a degree? I do, but have never felt the need to include it in my “title”.

    I thought she was against that sort of thing? Perhaps she won’t use the Dr title….

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  87. >>I don’t recall Helen Clark saying anything at all about doctorates – do you?

    I’m not sure why you’re having such trouble grasping a simple point.

    Awarding a doctorate is an honour, as is awarding a knighthood. Both honours are bestowed on others, marking that person out as “a cut above”.

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  88. I’m mostly interested, Blue, given that you are implying that Helen Clark is about to be hypocritical, to know what she said and how she regards the two streams of recognition.
    btw – you haven’t ever included your ‘letters’ on a cv or the likes?

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  89. Clark doesn’t have an issue with honours, she just doesn’t like royal honours – she is a republican after all. So she didn’t simply abolish the honour system, but replaced it with a New Zealand honours system. If she starts calling herself Dr, you might have a valid complaint, but not simply if she excepts the honour.

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  90. I have nothing against honours per se, But the old honours system became dishonourable when governments started giving knighthoods to people like Frank Renouf.

    a more cynical view would be that governments gave knighthoods to people like Ed Hillary to boost the esteem of knighthoods, so that people like Ron Brierley would pay more for them.

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  91. Toad

    If Russel wins in Mt Albert I cannot see how this would allow David Cendon into Parliament as well. The Green’s party vote would be exactly the same, and they would still have the same MPs in Parliament. The only difference is that Russel would become MP for Mt Albert instead of list MP

    The same system applies if the Greens do split the vote and a National member becomes MP for Mt Albert. National will not gain any more party votes, so would not gain any more MPs.

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  92. Kahikatea, you old swamp pine you, Sooo cynical, the Beer Barons have done such wonderful thing for the country and it’s people!

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  93. Kiore, different rules apply for by-elections. If the Greens won it would be a straight replacement of a Labour seat becoming a Greens seat. It would mean a slight imbalance from the party vote stats, but rest assured the Greens would get an extra seat.

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  94. Jarbury, it doesn’t seem right. The Greens would have more representation than their party vote entitles them to. At the moment the number of MPs is the greater of either actual seats won (as with the Maori Party) or a proportion of party vote. If the Greens won they would have one seat and 6-7% of the party vote. It is the latter that would determine the number of seats.

    Would National also get another MP if they won? Do you have a link to the rules for by-elections somewhere.

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  95. Yes, National would get an additional seat as well. It isn’t intuitive I agree, but its true. The only way to think of it is that what happens in a by-election is simply separate from what happens in a general election. There is no cross over. The only scenario I can offer to explain why is that of Winston winning in Mt Albert. If proportionality was taken into account, he’d bring his 4.2% with him and several sitting MPs would be pushed out. I think we can agree this would be absurd, but the rules that prevent this also allow an additional seat for the Greens, Nats, or ACT.

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  96. Valis, if Winston won Mt Albert then he would become an MP but nobody else would. As far as I know the party vote stats of the 2008 election become irrelevant with regards to a by-election. It’s a simple FPP process.

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  97. VAlis . . . .

    “Winston created his by-election only because he needed to regain his mandate ”

    An Dr. Russell is trying to get one.

    However, the Party is showing its lack of understanding of the parliamentary make-up. If a non-sitting member were to run and be elected, the Party would gain an extra seat in the house. By having a sitting MP run you eliminate that as a possibility.

    (PS, if, as rumoured, a sitting National MP runs for the seat, I would expect them to resign as well prior to the poll. It would also show the naivety of that party!)

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  98. Fantastic the electors now get a chance without risk to pass judgement on all parties contesting the bye election and also to give an indication of the strength/suitability of the respective leaders. Judging by Goffs reaction he is worried – for the others we need to wait for the results.

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  99. “Winston created his by-election only because he needed to regain his mandate ”

    An Dr. Russell is trying to get one.

    Yes, which is a very different matter. The first question the media ask when an MP leaves their party is “will you resign your seat?”. Yet I’ve heard no one in the media asking this now. Why do you think that is Strings?

    However, the Party is showing its lack of understanding of the parliamentary make-up. If a non-sitting member were to run and be elected, the Party would gain an extra seat in the house. By having a sitting MP run you eliminate that as a possibility.

    Our info comes from the Chief Electoral Office. Where’s yours from?

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  100. Strings Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    > However, the Party is showing its lack of understanding of the parliamentary make-up. If a non-sitting member were to run and be elected, the Party would gain an extra seat in the house. By having a sitting MP run you eliminate that as a possibility.

    That would be logical, but it’s not how the system works. Actually, a sitting MP who wins the seat is no longer counted as part of the party’s list seat allocation, so they get another list MP. Don’t ask me why, I only know that it works that way, not why it does.

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  101. ONly if the party falls below its proportion, rounded to a whole number. Think about it, as there is no party vote in a bi-election.

    I may be wrong, and the person I asked may be wrong, but the number didn’t work for another MP when he explained it to me.

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  102. Oh. There is no “list seat allocation” the list is used to bring the number of MPs up to the vproportion of the vote. i.e. if a party won 10% of the vote, and had 12 electorate MPs, it wouldn’t get any more off its list.

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  103. 1. No MP has left their party

    Winston did and that’s the example you’re comparing the current situation with.

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  104. ererm
    Valis

    You said

    The first question the media ask when an MP leaves their party is “will you resign your seat?”. Yet I’ve heard no one in the media asking this now. Why do you think that is Strings?

    My answer No MP has left their party seems appropriate.

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  105. Are you just making the pedantic point that Winston got thrown out rather than chose to leave? That doesn’t matter to my argument.

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  106. The candidacy seems to be in response to the difficulty the Green Party has in getting media coverage.

    Whether Labour win or lose Mt Albert is not that important to the way the parliamentary term continues.

    Coverage of the campaigns of the Labour and Green party, rather than just the Labour party, is of greater assistance in raising the profile of the opposition to this government.

    It’s not about now, but 2011.

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  107. Lots of Posts for this One Frog….the Labour Govt did get Voted Out as opposed to the Greens; as to a right landslide, I dont see it happening – New Zealands No1 industry is tourism, a matter very much bound up in concept – spotless turqouise skies and purple dusk ocean; it is a quite beautifull heritage.
    We wiz talking about Anzac Day and watchin a Spitfire counqor the valley sunday; wondered what the world would have been like if two abhorrent wars hadn’t banished whole civilizations to eternity…..the willingness to banish War Frog! Did it die or is it a banner worth raising?
    The current crop of attendees are still fightin needlessly and the Vets are still calling it ‘madness;’ and say too, that their best died there….aren’t there enough words, is there no gold left finally not worth a single solitary life…if a computer had brought that I’d buy one….whoops closin the library….only colored in one book too – guess i’ll smuggle the other away, my anzac fare-the-well to the fellers, who went over there.

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  108. Its tricky for them people in Mt Albert,
    labour will win, yet it can’t help anything,
    whats a new young labour mp to them?

    We have a NZ PM John Key Govt for a while dudes.

    Now if I in Mt. Albert and i didn’t like Key, i would vote for Green,
    I am revising my figures,
    pq says green should get 8% plus,
    this could be major for Norman,
    but he needs a change of name and clothes,
    get me in,
    I will raise your vote to ten per cert,

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