A conundrum: When is a secret ballot not a secret ballot? When you want to get rid of David Cunliffe of course!
Posted by BE on November 19th, 2012
In February of next year the Labour Party caucus is constitutionally obliged to conduct a secret leadership ballot. The key word in this simple statement of fact is “secret”. No caucus member will be required to say who he or she voted for.
None, that is, except David Cunliffe. Talk of Cunliffe’s demotion or exclusion from Labour’s shadow cabinet and, beyond that, of his possible expulsion from the parliamentary Labour Party, revolves largely around the issue of his refusal to say whether he will support David Shearer in that February ballot. Cunliffe is being asked to say how he will vote in a secret leadership ballot three months from now. His failure to do so is being taken as evidence of his disloyalty to Shearer and possible grounds for his expulsion from the Labour caucus.
This is not merely entirely unreasonable, it is a major breach of Labour’s own constitutional rules. A caucus member is being asked to declare in advance how he will vote in a secret ballot. Read the rest of this entry »