So, those wishing to participate in the Labour leadership election (2014 edition) have until 11.59pm on Wednesday the 1st of October to join.
I won't be joining, but I've noticed an alarming number of people on The Standard announcing that they will join, because they want to vote in the election. Fair enough. But then they add that if David Cunliffe doesn't win they will resign their membership.
This is a particularly worrying aspect of the Cunliffe cult-of-personality that seems to have deranged too many on the left. The really seem to think Cunliffe is something different to the other options. Much talk is made about factions and positions and ABCs and the need for a shift to the left (as if the million voters who have studiously say out the last three elections while National assailed their quality of life will be motivated to vote if Labour just nudges a bit further left ...)
This over looks the fundamental reality. Cunliffe, Robertson, Shearer and whoever else you care to name are just politicians. They are all politicians. Cunliffe comes across as no different to Robertson or Shearer – he’s a professional politician, just like them, and part of the monied, highly educated elite, just like them. He doesn’t speak to the ‘missing million’ – you may have noticed they didn’t show up last week.
One is good at waving his hands about and shouting at John Key. The other is liked by his colleagues but no-one else. The third one has an amazing backstory and isn't shouty but possibly isn't even very talky.
But that's beside the point. The issue is the carpetbaggers - people signing up just to vote for one candidate and intending to flounce off in a huff if he doesn't win.
For people contemplating joining and planning on leaving if their preferred candidate doesn't win ... please don't. What you are doing is profoundly undemocratic. It's tantamount to stuffing the ballot box.
Beofre you join, ask your self it you would still be willing to maintain your membership if Cunliffe (or whoever) is not elected leader? If not, don’t join.
It’s a democratic process electing the leader of the party and if you aren’t willing to accept the decision of the party, you have no business joining it. People doing that are simply trying to fix the result.
(I suspect they might often be the same people signing the ludicrous ‘recount’ petition and who are claiming the election was fixed …)
If you are not willing to stick with the result of a democratically agreed decision, you have no business joining a party just to try to force the decision one way or another. If you want to join a party, fine, but it is a commitment, and you shouldn’t be resigning just because your favoured candidate didn’t win. If your loyalty is that precarious, you shouldn’t be joining that party in the first place.
What if a horde of Nats joined up with the explicit intention of voting for Robertson? Would you be happy with that?
Don’t lie and say you would be.