Monday 12 December 2011

Waitakere Woman Beats "Waitakere Man"

Waitakere's Choice: Congratulations Carmel! You and Labour were right - and I was wrong.

CONGRATULATIONS CARMEL SEPULONI! There can be no greater riposte to the pronouncements of a political commentator than to actually do what he says cannot be done.

In a Bowalley Road posting on 10 March 2010 entitled “Outrageous Choices” I stated that:

The clear goal facing Labour in Waitakere was to choose a candidate who can beat Paula Bennett. That candidate needed to be: female, have a solid working-class background (to which, at some point, she had added a tertiary qualification) be either Pakeha or Maori (or, ideally, a mixture of both) and, most importantly, be capable of “talking shit” with the same cheeky facility as the incumbent. Think Outrageous Fortune meets Erin Brocovitch.

A healthy Labour Party would have women like that lining up for the Waitakere seat. That it has ended up selecting a candidate who would, quite frankly, have been much more usefully matched against National’s Sam Lotu-liga in Maungakiekie (where I also happen to think Labour has made a wrong choice) speaks volumes.

Well, by winning Waitakere (albeit with just 11 votes to spare) Ms Sepuloni has vindicated Labour’s choice and proven that Paula Bennett isn’t the only one with a facility for “talking shit”.

Well done, Carmel. The Crow is in preparation. (Dammit – but I hate those feathers!)

This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Anonymous said...

It seems strange though that she was so graceless in victory, given that she won by only 11 votes.

Unknown said...

Don't forget to overcook the crow so it doesn't stick on the way down Chris!

If I can be permitted some bragging rights I predicted Carmel would win it on specials ( I would have to concede however that a variety of other predictions that I made were not correct and the country is again in the grasp of the tories.

However Carmel is a wonderful person and much more suited to the area than Paula whatsherface ...

Kate Sutton said...

Its great you have recognised Carmel as she deserves it and so do her incredibly hard working team but I think its important to reflect on how much weight you place on the selection of candidates and their ability to influence an electorate above and beyond a swing (there are exceptions for celebrities and I think small towns are more easily swayed by a candidate than cities although I could be wrong here)

If you look at the analysis here What you should be looking for is average swings and who did better or worse that those swings and then working out if there are any other factors involved like change of MP (electorate vote might go down after well known MP has retired) or earthquake etc.

It is very hard to counteract a swing and Carmels win showed me that Waitakere was still Labour as well as Carmel being the right candidate and the team worked hard.

The teams worked just as hard in Auckland Central and Maungakiekie and Hamilton (campaigns I got to see first hand) but they didnt get there - not because they had the wrong candidate but because the tide was out.

I take exception to your comments about Maungakiekie - the reality is when we lost Otahuhu and the boundary shifted to Greenwoods corner (bordering on Epsom electorate) the demographic changed. House prices for 3 beds sit comfortably in the $500,000 + price bracket across Onehunga/Penrose etc. Carol worked really hard and the people in the community are devastated to see her go.
I just feel that an analysis for the "right" candidate based on - are they black/white/brown/tall/short/man/woman etc is so closed minded in thinking about who can win a seat and what the electorate responds too. It also assumes that a candidate could win against a swing which if you look at the data - is very hard to do.
Should a candidate be asked - what is going on? if they are - 10% and the national average was - 3% - hell yes! But replacing them with someone who might fit a community better ignores the fact that our communities are diverse and ignores the fact that MPS for as far back as I can see have been representing communities that are not exactly where they came from and do a damn good job of it - and get elected!

DKL said...

Proves two things: 1 don't underestimate the power of pacific and 2 you don't have to talk shit to win. Carmel fought hard,clean with mana and grace.

Anonymous said...

It's refreshing to see "some" media commentators eat humble pie but there are plenty of dead rats out there waiting to be claimed by some Herald & Television commentators.

Anonymous said...

Indeed she did. Fought hard and clean with mana and grace. Same too upon winning. Dignified throughout - without the shit ! A well deserved win, if ever there was one. A "Carmelite Follower" & Former Westie ... and Paula never was one - ever ! Talk about shit !

Victor said...

Don't worry too much about crow feathers, Chris.

The real problem is that Labour's turkeys have just voted for Christmas.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Chris

I think you have been saved from crow, hopefully it's not too late!

NZ Herald: 16/12/2011

"Paula Bennett reclaims Waitakere."


Anonymous said...

God's got a wonderful sense of humour.