The Dim-Post

March 25, 2014

Mana/Dotcom Huge Pros and Huge Cons

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 10:15 am

Via Adam Bennett at the Herald:

Discussions over a potential alliance with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party will continue this week, a Mana Party source confirmed yesterday.

Mr Dotcom says Hone Harawira’s Mana is one of several parties he is talking to about forming an alliance to contest the election.

He also claims he is talking to a number of MPs in electorate seats about working with his party.

Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar yesterday said there was no firm proposal on the table for the two groups to work together. “Mana has to have their internal discussions.”

However, the Herald understands the two parties will continue talks this week over the proposal, which is already causing divisions.


  • The most likely scenario for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party was that it would cost a huge amount of money and effort, draw votes from other left-wing parties, fail to reach the 5% threshold meaning those votes were wasted, and so help keep the National Party in power. To prevent that outcome Dotcom promised that he’d withdraw from the ballot box if the polling indicated such an outcome, which must have made the whole endeavour look like a waste of money and time. Partnering with an electorate MP minimises that risk.
  • Hone Harawira is nominally a leader of a political party – because that secures him more funding and a higher salary – but for the past three years he’s been an electorate MP with almost no Parliamentary presence and no national profile. Now he’s about to try and fight an election campaign, and Matt McCarten, the guy who would have been a key player in managing that campaign has just taken a senior role with the Labour Party. Dotcom will provide Harawira with the resources to fight a national campaign.


  • Lots of people have already pointed this out, but Mana is supposed to be the party of the dispossessed and downtrodden. A merger with a party bankrolled by the guy who lives in the largest mansion in the country will be hard to swallow for an awful lot of Mana Party activists. I still don’t know who Kim Dotcom’s potential voters are but chances are that they dislike Hone Harawira, because a majority of voters do. I guess both parties are going into this with the fantasy that 1% of the vote plus 1% of the vote will give them 2%, thus an extra MP. But if the merger costs each party more than 50% of their potential voters because the complementary party is anathema to them then they’ll go backwards.

If you’re an adviser to Kim Dotcom or Harawira then a merger must look awful attractive, because it’ll make your life a whole lot easier. But voters don’t vote for parties on their track-record of making life easier for their MPs and staffers.


  1. This has the smell of Bomber Bradbury’s genius all over it.

    I think while Mana might position itself as “the party of the dispossessed and downtrodden” I think that even its supporters know it is the party of Harawera; to whit, I’m not sure that the cognitive dissonance will resonate with the faithful.

    Personally, I quite like the idea of two enormous egotists burning wads of cash while they attempt to create a political platform based on nothing other than mutual need.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 25, 2014 @ 10:31 am

  2. “…but Mana is supposed to be the party of the dispossessed and downtrodden. A merger with a party bankrolled by the guy who lives in the largest mansion in the country…”

    True. But what what they both above all have in common is Dotcom and Harawira are outsiders to the status quo establishment. So they’ve both got a shared interest in wanting to get a chance to shake the tree, even if they want vastly different stuff to fall out of it.

    I am doubtful though that the sort of person who might vote for Dotcom would be interested in voting for Hone.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 25, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  3. This is bad for Labour, and bad for the Greens, should it go ahead.

    An Internet-Mana party would suck up an amount of media attention larger than its ability to collect votes, depriving other opposition parties of ability to make an impact through mass media.

    Comment by George — March 25, 2014 @ 11:27 am

  4. I don’t think the Internet Party even has 1% of the vote to bring to the table.

    There aren’t many political ‘actors’ who can make Harawira look like the big man in a two-way deal, but Dotcom is one of them.

    @Sanc: Still pushing the Dotcom line, I see? I have limited sympathy for ‘outsiders to the status quo establishment’ whose exclusion from the political insiders’ club manifests in the fact that their massive sums of cash don’t allow them to launch platformless political parties. To claim that Dotcom has anything in common with a family struggling to get by on one minimum wage income in South Auckland is the very picture of an awful joke. In comparison, Harawira is positively swimming in legitimacy. And I don’t say that as anything even close to a fan of Harawira.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

  5. “potential alliance” snort!
    April 1 is rapidly approaching.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 25, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  6. “..@Sanc: Still pushing the Dotcom line, I see..?”

    I’m not pushing any particular line, I am just observing that the two do have a powerful something in common.

    “…I have limited sympathy for ‘outsiders to the status quo establishment…”

    Dotcom was, until his arrest, probably a near perfect poster child of our policy of cash for residency. He would have happily sat in Coatsville running his mega empire until the cows came home, paying for fireworks on NYE and pumping money into the local economy and making quiet shady donations to the willingly outstretched hands of our political elites. And if the police and GCSB hadn’t illegally spied on him, and if they had politely knocked on his door to arrest him, and if our politicians hadn’t taken his money then the NZ ship of state would have sailed serenely through his extradition hearings with a minimum of fuss. So I reserve my utter contempt for our rulers in this whole Dotcom business. Dotcom’s treatment by NZ authorities and the ruling elites has been shabby and illegal. Our security officials have behaved like craven lickspittles to a colonial master, lacking in any sense of pride in the centrality of our national sovereignty. Our political class is exposed at every turn as hopelessly morally compromised.

    I find it astonishing that anyone with an imagination would have any residual sympathy for our establishment. Whatever you think of Dotcom should not obscure the central fact that he has done us all a favour by illuminating exactly what a bunch of neo-colonial, muddling, moronic and casually corrupt desperados we have who dare to say “trust us”. As a patriotic sixth generation New Zealander, the whole lot of them make me sick.

    “…To claim that Dotcom has anything in common with a family struggling to get by on one minimum wage…”

    I didn’t, but a nice strawman.

    But anyway – you’ve alluded to it yourself Kalvarsen. In theory, it works perfectly – Dotcom has got the money, he has got a grudge but he’s got no legitimacy. Harawira has got the legitimacy, a grudge and no money. They compliment each other perfectly as marginalised outsiders. I don’t think it will fly with voters, but I can see the attraction.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 25, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  7. Bring it on. It has to be one of the best prospective sideshows in an election for a long time. Do Kim and Hone always have to meet outdoors to accommodate the two giant egos. Perhaps they have their kanohi ki kanohi encounters in the middle of Eden Park. Jevan Goulter serves the champagne and David Shearer watches from the Skybox.

    Comment by Tinakori — March 25, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

  8. The most likely outcome is Hone will come away with less legitamacy.

    Despite all that’s happened Dotcom can still pull them in.

    Comment by NeiiM — March 25, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

  9. It’s not the most obvious pairing but it could work wonders. Mana had a 16 hour policy to provide state housing exclusively to Maori to the tune of ten thousand homes per year, to be built only by Maori and to be onsold only to Maori. The merging of these two very small and new political parties could very well see that both of them are able to iron out the silly ideas that the other one has and then focus on some sensible ideas that will attract voters in the midst of our two major political parties still retaining a composure of utter boredom with their stale ideas, dispositions, and general attitudes.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — March 25, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

  10. Speaking as somebody who *did* vote for Mana last election, I wouldn’t be thrilled about Dotcom being involved with Mana.

    I support Dotcom’s apparent legal position, but I don’t really support him as a potential parliamentarian. I might still vote for Mana, but it makes me less keen and the vote would be despite Dotcom rather than because of him.

    Comment by RJL — March 25, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

  11. If the naked mole rat thinks it’d be good for Hone then it plainly isn’t.

    Comment by Joe W — March 25, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

  12. @RJL: Dotocm is not a potential parliamentarian – he can’t stand since he isn’t a citizen. He won’t be one of the Internet Party’s candidates.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

  13. @Sanc: Here’s an idea – spare us your paragraph-long denunciations of the state re: Dotcom? We’ve all heard it before. I know flowery moral outrage is your default mode but it doesn’t really add anything to your point. Anybody with even slight familiarity with your opinions will just assume that you are incredibly disgusted, there’s no need to spell it out every bloody time.

    Anyway,in theory, it does not work perfectly, because the problem Mana has is not lack of money. Don’t get me wrong, money is always useful for a political party, but Mana has adequate access to funds (for a small party). Its problem with growing its vote is more to do with its campaigning methods and Hone’s apparent lack of interest in being a Parliamentarian, not lack of funds. So it’s lopsided – Harawira is bringing something Dotcom desperately needs to the table, while Dotcom is bringing something that Hone could use, but doesn’t really need.

    Frankly, if Dotcom really does want to serve as a noble beacon of freedom for all the Sancs out there, he should just concentrate on winning his court case. This Internet Party has been a total and utter farce from the get go.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

  14. Harawira and dot com might understand each other perfectly. Dotcom was the smart kid who held the window open breaking into someones house while others in the gang went inside and stole their books and dvds, never getting his own prints left at the crime scene ( he hopes ), naturally taking a cut after the goods were fenced. Hone doesn’t care where the money comes from and that make him complicit, he knows it and doesn’t care. I am disappointed, up until know I considered him an honest rascal, now he’s just a scumbag like dotcom they deserve each other, Mana is dead.

    Comment by BEATINGTHEBOKS — March 25, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

  15. I can’t think of another country in the world where such an overblown self-seeking narcissist would be given the time of day.

    Comment by Lee C — March 25, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

  16. Oh what fun. This will jump the shark when Hone flies into the the marae at Waitangi in a big shiny black helicopter, throwing $20 notes out the door.

    Comment by Grant — March 25, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

  17. @Lee C: “Lord” Ashcroft (who managed to be a UK Tory cabinet minister whilst a tax exile)? Sarah Palin? Vladimir Putin? Gina Rinehart?

    Comment by richdrich — March 25, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  18. Anyway, there are 8,000 people who voted for Hone in Mana and 25,000 (1%) nationally. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a few more than that (30,000 maybe) who’d vote Dotcom, which would give them three MPs.

    Three MPs would give the party at lot more chance of being required for Cunliffe to form a government

    Comment by richdrich — March 25, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  19. “…Here’s an idea – spare us your paragraph-long denunciations of the state re: Dotcom..?”

    Let me guess, you are a minor functionary in some nameless government department?

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 25, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

  20. @kalvarnsen, 6:24 pm

    Good point. I’d still be reluctant (at first glance) to vote for Dotcom’s party — but I could perhaps be persuaded otherwise.

    Comment by RJL — March 25, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

  21. Shouldn’t that title be “Mega Pros and Mega Cons” 🙂

    Comment by richard29 — March 25, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

  22. Well, Mana have ruled out working with Dotcom, so I guess they disagree with Danyl about those huge pros.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

  23. @Sanc: Let’s try to keep the ad hominem to a minimum, shall we?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

  24. @Rich: PS – every poll has shown Dotcom’s party scoring 0%. So it seems like there are not, in fact, 25,000 such people. There’s been a lot of prognostication by commenters along the lines of “Well I guess it’s not impossible that he could get a small following” but the polls don’t show any sign of anything that justifies the term ‘support’. Dotcom attracts media interest, but people don’t seem to be interested in voting for him (or more accurately, in voting for whatever NZ citizens agree to act as his spear carriers).

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 25, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

  25. Has any polling actually included a party which hasn’t been formed yet? I don’t think so? so saying they are at 0% is meaningless, isn’t it?

    Comment by aj — March 26, 2014 @ 8:35 am

  26. @aj: I may be giving Fairfax too much credit, but this story seems to imply that the Internet Party was included in polls and registered no support:

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 26, 2014 @ 8:47 am

  27. Going to the poll results themselves they only mention the four ‘main’ parties. If you were a visitor from Mars you could conclude (as Vernon Small has) that Mana, ACT, United Future have ‘no support’. The methodology section doesn’t even mention the Colin Craig Party, so one could conclude it has ‘no support’ as well.
    I wouldn’t give Fairfax, or Vernon Small for that matter, too much credit.

    Comment by aj — March 26, 2014 @ 9:04 am

  28. cor.

    you could conclude (as Vernon Small has with Dotcom)

    Comment by aj — March 26, 2014 @ 9:08 am

  29. Well, perhaps I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen a poll that showed any support for the party. And I don’t think this is simply due to the technicality of their not yet being registered.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 26, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  30. Many polls put Mana (or indeed ACT) at 0%. Pretty much all polls put United Future at 0%. In a sample of 400, it’s only a handful of people who make that difference.

    Comment by richdrich — March 26, 2014 @ 11:38 am

  31. The shocking news today is that Dotcom likes dressing up in Nazi uniform.

    Oh sorry, that’s just our possible Head of State, my mistake. (Next: Patrick Gower demands that Key “rule out” King Harry, because Nazi !111!!1).

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — March 26, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  32. I see Tracy Watkins has updated her article to tell the readers what to think about this now.

    Funny how failoil is the first to scream racist if anyone dares express concerns about Chinese buying up large swathes of farmland but “ooo the German is a Nazi who loves Hitler!” is totally sweet.

    Comment by Rob — March 26, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

  33. I guess the idea that someone else might try and use their grotty little coat-tailing rule against them is just too much for the gerrymandering hypocrites in the National Party.

    Comment by Rob — March 26, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  34. I guess this merely shows that hypocrisy is the gift that never stops giving, isn’t it?

    Comment by Lee C — March 27, 2014 @ 6:20 am

  35. The Communist Party should combine with the Internet Party just for the sake of the resulting acronym ….

    Comment by Brent — March 27, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  36. Brent – did you mean portmanteau? If so, well done.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 27, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  37. I’d definitely vote for the Internunist Party.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — March 27, 2014 @ 10:49 am

  38. I was thinking more Comintern(et).

    Comment by Gregor W — March 27, 2014 @ 10:57 am

  39. I think he was meaning TCP/IP, Gregor.

    Comment by simonpnz — March 27, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  40. Even better.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 29, 2014 @ 10:47 am

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