In the hypothetical Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Mana/Internet Party coalition that voters are being asked to put in charge of the country this election year, its hard to figure out which inter-party relationship is the most poisonous, or who would like to destroy whom the most. But now that Laila Harre’s gone and started pre-releasing Green Party policy on the same day as the Greens and justified it on the basis that she worked for the Green Party for fifteen months, and therefore owns all their intellectual property, somehow, I’m gonna nominate the Green/Internet Mana relationship as, from here on in, probably the most toxic.
What’s the strategy here? The original vision for the Internet Party was that it would be a, y’know, Internet Party, focused on digital issues and changing the government by turning out young non-voters. My guess is that Dotcom’s money has paid for some market research which has found that the number of non-voters passionate about copyright restrictions is close to zero, and that the demographic most sympathetic towards the Internet Party are current Green voters. Harre doesn’t share Dotcom’s interest in digital rights, or his legal problems, so her focus – like any other political leader – is purely on maximising her party vote. Which explains why the Internet Party is now a tiny cannibalistic version of the Green Party.