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.