Some thoughts on Internet Mana and Laila Harre
- Date published:
9:02 am, May 29th, 2014 - 260 comments
Categories: internet party -
Tags: hone harawira, kim dotcom
These thoughts are entirely my own and are somewhat random. But every political junkie in the country must have followed yesterday’s developments concerning the Internet Party with interest. And the implications of Laila Harre’s selection as the top Internet Party candidate are considerable. So here goes …
- The Internet Party faced huge risks in the selection of its leader. If it chose someone who looked like they were going to be a Dotcom puppet then the party could have been written off as a machine trying to make Dotcom’s extradition less likely. The only way to counter this was to select a hard nosed experienced lefty politico with a reputation for doing the right thing and for toughness and Helen Clark was not available. My second choice would be …
- The social media release has been impressive. At the time I am writing this the candidate has not been confirmed. But twitter has been abuzz and all the political blogs and MSM leaped at the rumour. The roll out has been a lesson for the other parties. Sort of a slow strip tease if you excuse the description …
- Dotcom has shown that he has a similar approach to the release of information concerning his case. With devastating effect he has dropped into the public discourse all sorts of fascinating factoids which attract immediate attention.
- The Mana Party may be winners but losers from this. The offer of free money is very difficult for a left wing political party to refuse. All left wing parties wish they had similar funding to National/Act/Conservative who have money beyond our wildest dreams. The Mana Party is running a significant risk however. The loss of Te Tai Tokerau will almost inevitably spell the party’s demise.
- National will be hoping that Internet Mana may take 3 to 4% of the progressive vote and waste it. This sort of event normally is the difference between winning and losing an election.
- If it succeeds Internet Mana could neutralise the unfair advantage that Peter Dunne/Act/Maori Party delivered to National last time. These parties received 3.6% of the party vote but won 5% of the seats in Parliament at the 2011 election. This difference was crucial.
- For any right wingers claiming that this is a bastardisation of our electoral system they should blame Judith Collins. If she had not shelved proposed MMP changes this particular arrangement would not have occurred.
- As Stephanie Rodgers said Labour supporters should not accuse Mana of selling out. The Mana supporters I have met I like a lot. They have their own world view and they do their own thing which mostly is very valuable. We should not lecture them when they make decisions they believe will improve the plight of the people they represent.
- Dotcom is a terrifying individual for both parties. For National he is terrifying because he is tribally one of them but he has significant resources and he hates them with a vengeance because of their treatment of him. I wait with baited breath the piece of evidence he believes he has which contradicts Key’s claim that he did not know about Dotcom until just before the raid. For Labour (and the Greens) Dotcom could suck in and waste support which would otherwise go to either of the parties. He introduces a randomness to the election which is unnerving.
- The election will be tight. The day after the election we may be asking who the third or fourth Internet Mana MP is going to be.
So on election night a bunch of us will think that Dotcom’s involvement was either an act of genius or the wasted trashing of our democracy by a large German with a huge ego. Time will tell …