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Monday, May 07, 2012

The Independent Candidate strategy for Epsom by-election

Every day there is a new Banks scandal, every day there is blood in the water, every day the wound that is ACT grows more septic and infected.

"Who will rid me of this clown", will be what John Key must be wondering. Key needs Banks to pass the budget on the 24th, without ACT the right wing asset privatization/charter school/welfare crucifixion wet dream won't get passed. This means Banks is safe until the 24th, after that National will need to decide when is strategically best to go ahead with the by-election.

Here is what confronts National, do they leave Banks in power and let the rot infect them or do they nudge the Police prosecution into immediacy and stand Banks down post the budget and let his fate be decided by the investigation. If the evidence is striking, National will want the by election done and dusted asap, they won't want it in the year of the election.

What is at stake and how should the left play an Epsom by-election? At stake is the one seat majority of the Government. Because it's ACT, this one seat pulls the entire Government agenda to the hard right, so winning it for National is no real gain as the majority is then reliant on Dunne and the Maori Party who will be able to renegotiate their new found political leverage.

Colin Craig doesn't have the Epsom support base (only 342 votes in the 2011 election), so even with a cup of tea with Colin and John, the voting base isn't enough for him to be anything other than a vote splitter on the right while ACT would have to fight like a wounded badger to try and win, further splitting the vote.

So what is the left to do in an electorate as right wing as Epsom? A by-election is a verdict on a Government, so even the safest seat can turn if they are given the right candidate. Labour, the Greens, NZ First and MANA should all agree to not stand a candidate in favor of backing an Independent Candidate.

This Independent Candidate would only agree to stand till the 2014 election with one very clear mandate to not sell assets and to confront the Government with economic realities. That Independent Candidate should be someone like Bernard Hickey or Gareth Morgan.

The Green, Labour, NZ First and MANA Party votes combined didn't gain as many votes as ACT did. Not standing and endorsing an Independent Candidate that appeals to the electorate and fulfills the by-election desire to send the Government a message is the progressives best strategy if they really want to neuter this Governments asset sale agenda past this years budget.



At 7/5/12 7:21 am, Blogger Nitrium said...

"every day the wound that is ACT grows more sceptic and infected"

Do you mean "septic"?

Anyway agree with this post. Hickey and Morgan could win Epsom easy, but I suspect they have no political ambitions. None of the good ones seem to. Maybe I'm being too cynical, but is there even such a thing as a good and honest politician? From what I can tell they mostly in it to stroke their egos and collect perks the private sector would balk at.

At 7/5/12 7:50 am, Blogger Nitrium said...


Dotcom has obviously had a guts full of Banks' and Key's BS.

At 7/5/12 8:57 am, Blogger CosmicRocketCultivator said...

This has got to be the worst showing of any grown man trying desperately to hang on to his fading power source of his fallen ego. Just go and leave with the little dignity you have left,John Banks.

At 7/5/12 9:18 am, Blogger Chris Trotter said...

The plan is a sound one, Martyn. I think Hickey would attract a surprising level of support - even in Epsom.

The only problem I see is the Local Electoral Act. The chances of securing a conviction against Banks under this poorly drafted piece of legislation would appear to be minimal.

Banks can be stood down from the Cabinet. He can have his ministerial warrant withdrawn. But he can't be thrown out of Parliament until a conviction is entered against his name for an offence bearing a minimum of two years imprisonment.

So, even if a charge is laid (and that could take a very long time) Banks would still have to stand trial (again, a very lengthy process) and be found guilty (a verdict he could, presumably appeal) before a by-election would have to be called.

All of which adds up to the very strong likelihood that Banksie will still be the MP for Epsom by the time the next election rolls 'round in 2014.

It's a nice idea though ;-)

At 7/5/12 10:09 pm, Blogger DebsisDead said...

You could put up Nelson Mandela for Epsom and he wouldn't win without jonkey's blessing.
Last poll I saw of the epsom electorate (just b4 last election) showed that it was the only electorate in the country that supported asset sales.

This is the home of the rogernomic stromtroopers. Remuera might have all of NZ crassest noveau-riche and 'old money' industrialist families but epsom is where the neo-liberal apparatchiks live, and as someone who has debated politics with a pretty broad cross section of the self interested greeheads who have infected Epsom like a fucking bird flu virus, I can assure you that none of these strokes stand buckley's chance of working.

These are peeps who spend an extra half a mill on a house just to send Peregrine & Brianna to 'a good' primary school. As soon as the kids finish Epsom Normal it's off to St Kents or Dio.
They work in the law firms that get the $14 mill of taxpayer funds to draw up the contracts for Mighty River's flog off to the yanks.

Their 'little boutique accountancy shop' will have its snout in the trough for the independant audits of the former assets of the people jonkey has promised us the former owners, the merchant bank where epsomites work is 'developing the private equity package' for the new road/charter school or whatever.
If there is a by-election, that little twerp who looks n sounds like a young banks & who wrote his biography will piss it in.

Accept that and instead consider Kim Dotcom's long game. This is not a man who would blow his best chance on one roll of the dice. I reckon the banks stuff is just a shot across key's bow to let him know he will pull out the rug if some deals aren't made, & made soon.

At the sanme time Dotcom gets a good look at who he can use in the media if he does have to go nuclear.


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