Bob Clarkson

Could, Shmould

Kate Chapman writes that an Electoral petition ‘could’ see Paula Bennett tossed out of parliament:

Labour is weighing up legal advice over a challenge in the Waitakere electorate, after it emerged National Cabinet minister Paula Bennett could be tossed out of Parliament if Labour won an electoral petition.

With the Waitakere result hanging on just nine votes, the Electoral Commission has confirmed there are no guarantees that any candidate who loses their seat as the result of an electoral petition would automatically be returned to Parliament off the party list.

But it acknowledges that the outcome is far from certain and the courts could take different views.

Yeah and John Key could have a heart attack…that is how much intellectual integrity such supposition is. Labour have never won and electoral petition, national has won more than a few and always increases their majority. The Labour candidate also usually cops a corrupt practice conviction, so Labour should go right ahead with their petition. There may well be a few surprises lurking for Labour if they take that route.

Labour insiders say a petition is unlikely as the numbers are unlikely to change. The cost is also prohibitive at as much as $50,000.

But Labour has not discounted it entirely and under one scenario raised in blogs yesterday, Ms Bennett would be out of Parliament entirely if Labour won a challenge, because the 2011 general election writ has already been returned.

A highly unlikely scenario that predicates labour actually winning an electoral petition, something that has never been done. As to the claim that it costs as much as $50,000 there is no supporting evidence of an amount that low. The Tauranga electoral petition cost over $200,000 and if a recall correctly the Wairarapa petition cost more than $150,000. I think the reporter is basing their $50,000 number on the costs that were awarded to Bob Clarkson at the end of the Tauranga petition. Costs awarded are never a good indication of the actual costs associated with a court case, much less so int he case of an electoral petition.

If Labour wants to burn a couple of hundy on an electoral petition they are unlikely to win then all power to them. They should be especially mindful of the likely need to pay for a couple of by-elections if the rumours regarding forced exits coming my way are correct.

Tell her she’s dreamin’

Carmel Sepuloni is dreaming:

“We will take a breather for the next few days and make a decision in due course whether or not we go through with an electoral petition.”

She said she would go to Parliament on Monday to collect her belongings and meet the party to make a decision on an electoral petition. But it was unlikely.

Highly unlikely. For a number of reasons.

Firstly Labour are broke. They only just paid for their election campaign and only after Jim Anderton rescued them by arranging some large donations. Electoral petitions cost around $200,000 and are time consuming and heavy on legal resources. Despite the claims of a third rate flea lawyer from West Auckland to the contrary, Labour didn’t have a lawyer present at the judicial recount. Instead they tapped former president Mike Williams to witness the damage. If they couldn’t afford counsel for a judicial recount then they sure as hell can’t afford an electoral petition.

Then there is the history of electoral petitions in New Zealand. They do not go happily for Labour, and always benefit National. In 1978 Winston Peters overturned the result in Hunua to turf Malcolm Douglas out in an electoral petition.

In 1987 Wyatt Creech took an electoral petition and unseated Reg Boorman. This resulted in Reg Boorman being convicted of a corrupt practice.

In 2005 Winston Peters took and electoral petition against Bob Clarkson in Tauranga. He lost that petition.

National would like nothing better than for Labour to decide upon an electoral petition. They will then be able to challenge a considerable amount of “special” votes and some of the election practices they have gathered evidence on. Labour have only a very remote chance of succeeding against Paula Bennett in an electoral petition, but a high chance of having their unwanted attention focused on their behaviour.

If Labour sought an electoral petition I will predict right here, right now that they would lose it, and Paula Bennett would have her majority increased and there would be the distinct possibility that Carmel Sepuloni would be convicted of a corrupt practice.

Is David Shearer willing to have Labour die in a ditch for a David Cunliffe supporter?

ACT's Number 5

The ACT Party has a vacant list position as we all know at position 5. With the iminent demise of Winston First it is highly likely that someone at poistion 5 on ACT’s list could easily wind up in parliament.

The way I see it there are three possible candidates.

1. Cactus Kate, far and away the best candidate and currently outstripping other contenders on Farrar’s online poll

2. Owen Glenn, well hell he’s deserved it

3. Ron Mark, his party is dying, he is perhaps the only NZ First MP with any integrity and he really needs a lifeboat right now.

Any others? Comments please.

Name the Firearm

Well done on the relatively easy one yesterday.


Name the Firearm

Todays Girl with a gun Name the Firearm is little old, but a goody nonetheless.


Name the Firearm

Ok here is a tougher one. I love the tattoo as well.

Name the Firearm

Yesterday’s firearm was a HK G36C, correctly guessed by AGJ.

Today’s firearm is an easy one.

Name the Firearm

Welcome to my new feature for Sunday. “Girl’s with Guns”, it may alo be called “Name the Firearm”.

Here is the first image, see if you can name the firearm.