27 May 2014

Hone and Kim: Friends with benefits?

Hone Harawira's Mana Party and Kim Dotcom's Internet Party have announced a pre-electoral 'formal alliance.' This is a 'cash for coat-tails' deal, by which Mana benefits from Kim Dotcom's cash, and the Internet Party stands to get one candidate into Parliament thanks to Mr Harawira's (probable) hold on the Te Tai Tokerau seat. To get a second seat, this alliance will still need to get over 1.6% of the party vote, which is achievable (especially given Dotcom's money), but not guaranteed. Mana won only 1.08% of the party vote in 2011.
The identity of the Internet Party's leader is (as I write this) yet to be revealed, but that choice will make a difference to voter perceptions of this alliance.
In terms of policies, it's hard to see these two parties as ideologically compatible, and they appear to be united largely by a desire to win a seat or two each and to help bring about a change of government. Dotcom's antipathy to John Key is legendary.
But a long-term alliance (as opposed to a temporary, pre-electoral deal for the sake of seats) would require a much more convincing platform that somehow melds Mana's commitments to the poor and dispossessed with Internet Party's commitment to a freewheeling, globalised, internet-savvy future. But perhaps long-term commitment is not the aim.


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