Rob Salmond looks at the Internet Party’s launch and rather shallow vision. Is this politics?
Credit to the internet party: the app worked a treat, with reportedly over 400 people signing up already. This should create a second or third day news story about getting the 500 members needed to register, and doing so in record time. Whether other parties have similar membership apps up and running before September I don’t know, but I expect National, Labour, and the Greens will have them in time for the next election for sure.
Also, the Internet Party has been dancing to Hone’s tune, ruling out working with National after the election. That could help them secure some manner of deal with Mana, although any deal will be heavily tilted towards Mana’s candidates. I think the Mana membership will still be pretty skeptical about the idea – but the money does talk.
The cracks start to appear, however, when we look at the party’s initial values and policies. Here’s Dotcom talking to the Herald:
Q: Why was it founded?
“Because of the injustice I experienced myself with the destruction of my business, with [the] raid, with the illegal spying against me and of course the Snowden revelations about the global NSA spying,” Mr Dotcom says.
Which illustrates nicely my point from yesterday, which is that at its core the Internet Party is about Dotcom, not about New Zealanders.
And then when it came to policy, the Internet Party unsurprisingly wanted less spying and more internet. But it also wanted to promote a Bitcoin-style digital currency, despite the fact that Bitcoin has proven to be a dog. And it wants to use its technical expertise to fix Novopay. Fixing Novopay at a technical level is what you do when you’re running to be the Education Ministry’s IT guru, not running to be in Parliament.
So the Internet Party had a good launch short term, but its longer term problems with policy and vision remain.