The debate as to whether or not MANA should progress talks with the Internet Party to form an alliance went very late into the night. I tweeted it at 11.33pm after the debate had concluded…
…I wasn’t the only one waiting to see a decision, my tweet was quickly re-tweeted by Te Ururoa Flavell…
…the Maori Party, who were facing obliteration in this election already, must be feeling a terrible sense of impending doom with the possibility of MANA picking up the kind of support and fire power The Internet Party could provide. The Maori Party are likely to lose Te Tai Hauāuru and Tāmaki Makaurau as both Maori Party leader candidates bow out of politics with no strong and credible replacements. That leaves the Maori Party with only Waiariki, with a 2% Party vote, if Flavell wins, he will bring in two Maori Party MPs with him. For the left, a combined effort to knock out 3 possible votes for National is a strategic must, and with Annette able to cute Flavell’s majority from 7000 to 1800 in only 6 weeks of campaigning, Waiariki is one of the lynchpin electorates the left must win to ensure Key doesn’t.
The decision to progress with talks was unanimous as a Rohe by Rohe vote was taken giving MANA a clear mandate to progress talks, but that didn’t come easily as some members felt genuine ideological trepidation at the idea of a rich man and poor man breaking bread together, which is fair enough.
What does a person of wealth like Dotcom have in common with the marginalised that MANA represents? Other than his own personal child hood poverty, I think that when 70 armed, masked paramilitary police kick down your door in a politically motivated raid and terrorise your family and confiscate all your assets, that tends to radicalise a person.
It is those experiences that help explain why Kim sees such a kindred spirit in Hone and the MANA movement.
For the next 10 days, a MANA negotiating team and an Internet Party negotiating team will meet and thrash out a deal for an alliance. If the negotiating team think the deal is in the best interests of the MANA Party, they will present it back to the MANA movement for them to consider. That process will take place immediately over a ten day period, with the MANA consultation also set for 10 days, so total time between negotiation and consultation and possible alliance will be about 3 weeks.
This was the first major argument in MANA and its process of discussing everything and allowing everyone to have a voice has delivered them a better, stronger democratic structure, but for the alliance to proceed any further, the deal with the Internet Party will need to proceed through the very same vigorous protocols and anything that doesn’t enshrine MANAs own mana within the alliance will be rejected.