Paddy Gower has a kind of parody of himself piece up about the Internet/Mana Party deal:
The Hone-Dotcom-Laila political triangle is one of the dirtiest deals in New Zealand political history.
It is as dirty as National-Act in Epsom.
It is as dirty as the Key-Dunne deal in Ohariu.
Frankly, Lalia Harré made me feel sick today when she said “it’s time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.
That’s because Laila Harré is wrecking MMP.
Hone Harawira is wrecking MMP.
And Kim Dotcom is wrecking MMP.
They are using Harawira’s seat and MMP’s “coat-tail” rule to get a back-door entry into Parliament.
It is a rort.
It is a grubby deal, made all the worse by the fact Harawira holds the Te Tai Tokerau seat – a Maori seat.
And on it goes for many hundreds of words. He’s right, of course – it is a rort. That’s what I love about it. National had the opportunity to reform both electoral finance and the MMP system and they refused in the face of overwhelming arguments in favor of ditching the coat-tail loophole, because they like having a deliberately broken system to work with – because they can game it to their advantage. The beauty of the Internet/Mana deal is that it turns National’s strategic undermining of the electoral system against them. (Or at least tries to – there’s no guarantee any of this will actually work.)
I’m not sure what Gower thinks the left is supposed to do here. Sit back and lose election after election because National and its allies are allowed to scam the electoral system by running fake parties in Epsom and Ohariu but the left aren’t allowed to do the same thing in Te Tai Tokerau? This is the system. This is how John Key and Judith Collins decided our elections should work. Why should the left cripple itself by refusing to maximise their chances in a rigged system just because they argued against it and got ignored?