On September 13 David Cunliffe said on twitter that “the campaign for 2014 starts now”.
Great. It needed to, and I know that around the country Labour Electorate Committees, inspired by the new leader, are working hard to reach to campaign fitness for next year.
But even so I was a little surprised to hear that over the past few weeks Labour has selected a number of candidates.
Not surprised that the candidates have been selected, early selections are fine, but surprised that I’d heard virtually nothing about them in any media that I pay attention to or in any communication from the Party.
I knew that Kieran McAnulty was standing in the Wairarapa last Sunday but I had to ring him up to find out how he did.
I’ve been online to discover what else has been happening and I’m happy to let the rest of NZ know the results, to the best of my knowledge, and where I found them:
Otaki (contested) – Robb McCann – Party press release on Scoop
Rangitikei (contested) – Dr Deborah Russell – Party press release on Kiwiblog
Whanganui (uncontested) – Hamish McDouall – Hamish posted on Facebook & Wanganui Chronicle
Wairarapa (contested) – Kieran McNulty – Kieran told the Wairarapa Times Age
Clutha Southland (uncontested) – Elizabeth Craig – Home Paddock
Waitaki (uncontested) – Glenda Alexander – Stuff via Southland Times
Te Tai Hauauru (uncontested) – Adrian Rurawhe – Wanganui Chronicle
While searching I came across a blog called The Progress Report written by Patrick Leyland, a former Labour staffer; well known, well liked and well linked in and now in Australia:
“While recently I’ve been more interested in what’s been happening with Labor’s preselections for next year’s Victorian state election, the New Zealand Labour Party has also quietly started getting together its candidates for next year’s New Zealand general election.” (Italics mine)
Quietly getting its candidates together? Why oh why would Labour do this quietly? Surely getting the candidates name out there, early and as often as humanly possible, plays a pretty important part of getting elected.
And just in case you’re wondering if I missed the bleeding obvious, there’s no mention of any candidate selections on Labour’s website and, it almost goes without saying, Labour’s Facebook page is hopeless.
I don’t know if Labour’s official site is paid for by Parliamentary Services, the Party or a combination of the two. If it’s the former then, if my knowledge of electoral finance law is correct, party campaigns are a no go. If it’s the latter then why not have a space on the website for Party business? Oh wait, I just looked again, and they do, it took me four clicks to find it and it’s under Contact the Party/Resources but its policy papers, membership forms, the constitution etc.
I may be wrong but it seems to me that Labour won’t have a place online where people can find out about candidates and campaigning until it changes its existing website or launches a campaign website.
Please let it be soon.