Dotcom bombs could blow up Labour’s chances

While Laila Harré defends Internet Party video the ongoing prominent involvement of Kim Dotcom in promoting his party must make her job as party leader challenging at times – challenging to accept and defend some of what Dotcom and the Party does at meetings and on social media, and challenging to Harré’s principles.

This must also pose additional challenges for Hone Harawira and the Mana Movement. Harawira has closely associated himself with Dotcom.

How will Dotcom’s social media bombs go down in Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau and Mana’s wider constituencies? Perhaps they will be grateful that Internet coverage isn’t as good yet as they would like it to be. But the Dotcom impressions are also hitting television screens.

And it’s likely the Dotcom imagery will be used to campaign against Internet-Mana, accentuating the stark contrast between Dotcom and Mana.

Labour will probably not be welcoming this attention either. David Cunliffe has been gradually putting more distance between Labour and Dotcom, to the consternation of the left of the left who are demanding Labour joins forces to depose Key and National from government.

Moderate voters who may consider voting for Labour may have significant concerns about the potential influence of Internet-Mana in possible coalition support.

The ongoing Dotcom circus is likely to discourage potential Labour voters from fronting up at the ballot box and may move some votes further to the right.

Dotcom makes his main aims clear:

Are you ready for a revolution?

Are you ready to take down the Government?

Are you ready to extradite John Key?

His controversial and confrontational approach may win the support of some rebellious young people, if they can be encouraged enough to actually vote as opposed to attending a musical event.

But Dotcom’s bombs could backfire. He could blow up Labour and Green chances of election success.

Davis continues his Te Tai Tokerau fight

Kelvin Davis has not backed down in his fight against Hone Harawira and Te Tai Tokerau, despite his Labour Party apparently trying to hobble him. Someone presumably from within leaked emails about his campaign plans which got valuable media attention – see Davis raises hackles over Te Tai Tokerau.

Davis has made it clear he is determined to confront Kim Dotcom and to continue battling his way on his Facebook timeline:

I was on 3 News tonight because my campaign team had a look at a proposed website designed to take down Kim Dotcom and stop him from buying the seat of Te Tai Tokerau with his $3million dollars.

We explored this concept, debated it, then along with the Labour Party hierarchy decided it wasn’t in line with our Vote Positive messages and ditched it.

It was all about Kim Dotcom.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who donated $50,000 to far-right wing disgraced politician John Banks.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who said the police turning up at his front door was as bad as the suffering Maori have endured for close to two centuries.

This is the same Kim Dotcom had nothing to do with Maori until he found a way to take advantage of some to try to keep himself out of an American jail.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who’s garage is bigger and flasher than 99% of homes in Te Tai Tokerau, and still cries ‘poor me’.

This is the same Kim Dotcom, who if he really cared about the people of Te Tai Tokerau, would have got out with all the Labour volunteers after the floods and storms and distributed food packages to those who needed them instead of staying tucked up in the mansion.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who turned up to hui up north in a limousine while kaumatua and kuia rode in a rattly bus.

This is the same Kim Dotcom whose interference in Te Tai Tokerau politics was described as a disgrace to over 300 people at the Ngati Hine hearings in Pipiwai yesterday.

I make no apologies about looking at a website that asked the public to donate $5, $10 or whatever they wish to koha, to bring down a fake.

I’m just an ordinary Maori living up north trying to stop the biggest con in New Zealand’s political history from being pulled against my whanau, my hapu, my iwi.

I make no apologies if there’s another Maori politician in the north feeling pretty sensitive about all the criticism he’s copping from hapu throughout Te Tai Tokerau because of the con job.

I’m prepared to cop the criticism from him because it’s just the price a person pays when he stands up for his people and his principles.

And:

My campaign account number for anyone wanting to stop Kim Dotcom’s con job:

38-9009-0235341-01

Account name: NZLP TTT Campaign Acc.

Cheers

Kelvin

Presumably the Davis campaign team has systems in place to deal with donations according to the electoral rules.

Comments are very mixed on those posts, ranging from support to condemnation from apparently Labour supporters and it seems especially from Internet Party supporters.

Davis raises hackles over Te Tai Tokerau

Kelvin Davis continues to try and wage a vigorous campaign in Te Tai Tokerau against Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom, despite apparent Labour Party attempts to tone him down. 3 News reported last night Labour MP told off for anti-Internet Mana website

Emails leaked to 3 News reveal plans by Kelvin Davis’ campaign team for an online smear campaign against Internet Mana, until the party shut it down.

In Te Tai Tokerau there are a lot of billboards, but they are not for Mr Davis. His campaign team has been pushing for the new website instead – part of an anti-Internet Mana smear campaign.

According to emails leaked to 3 News, Mr Davis’ team doesn’t see Prime Minister John Key and National as the enemy. It says its fight is against Mr Harawira.

Who leaked the emails? They must have come from someone within Labour, either in protest against Davis’ campaign methods – or to attract media attention.

His team’s edgy web campaign was shut down by the Labour Party. It thought it was too negative for its “vote positive” campaign slogan – a cartoon of Kim Dotcom was deemed too offensive.

“It wasn’t really offensive; it was edgy,” says Mr Davis.

Emails show the divisions within Labour about whether to work with Internet Mana or fight them. The hierarchy clearly wants to play nice, but the tension between the two parties goes beyond Te Tai Tokerau – it’s nationwide.

It’s normal to attack an opponent and highlight potential negatives for them in an election. Labour have been doing this against National and John Key despite their ‘Vote Positive’ slogan.

Harawira was given a response:

“I’m gutted by how low they would stoop to do this,” says Mr Harawira. “He’s got to take responsibility and either admit it and resign or dump this campaign.”

“The whole thing is set up for Labour to solicit money from National to come after me,” says Mr Harawira. “That’s ugly.”

It’s ironic he describes it as ‘ugly’ considering his coalition with Kim Dotcom and acceptance of a rich man’s substantial funding, which has raised many eyebrows as an inappropriate liaison.

Te Tai Tokerau could be a pivotal electorate this election as it could be the difference between success and failure for the Mana Party and the making or breaking of Dotcom’s Internet Party.

Davis’ parliamentary future may also rest on the electorate as hi has a precarious list position. Taking a vigorous fight to Harawira and Mana will get a lot of support but there have been questions about Labour preferring to allow Internet Mana to win to assist a Labour coalition.

One thing’s for sure – there will be a lot of attention on the ongoing campaign in Te Tai Tokerau.

Cunliffe lying about electorate deals?

While David Cunliffe criticises National for doing electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, and insists Labour will not do any electorate deals, there are reports from Te Tai Tokerau that Labour have effectively thrown the electorate, leaving it to Internet Mana..

Is this a case of Labour doing something different to what they claim, and doing what they criticise National for doing? If so this is deceitful.

In NZ Herald Cunliffe denies double standards over deals:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has denied he has double standards for refusing to rule out relying on the Internet Mana party to form a government despite deriding National for its coat tailing deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

Mr Cunliffe has accused National of manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions to try to boost its support partners’ chances through electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu.

However, he will not rule out calling on the Internet Mana Party if needed to form a Government.

There appears to be double standards and deceit there.

Mr Cunliffe said he had made it clear it was “extremely unlikely” any Internet Mana Party MPs would get ministerial positions, or even lower level associate or undersecretary roles in a Labour-led Government.

But he would not rule out policy concessions in return for their votes, saying that was a matter to discuss after the election. “We will talk to whoever the voters serve up.”

But there are claims that Labour are ‘manipulating voters by using the coat-tailing provisions’ to try to boost Hone Harawira’s chances  in Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Cunliffe denied it was a double standard.

“Because I’m not trying to tell New Zealanders who to vote for. I’m being absolutely plain that they should vote Labour with two ticks.”

That doesn’t appear to be what’s happening in Te Tai Tokerau, despite Labour’s candidate Kelvin Davis previously saying he would vigorously contest the electorate.

A resident of the Far North commented on Kiwiblog:

A couple of earlier commenters mentioned Davies winning TTT. Forget it. He is invisible, no signage in the North. None. Labour have hung him out to dry again. A vote for labour is a vote for the Harawira crime family and Kim Dotcom.

And a similar story at No Minister:

NEWSFLASH … LABOUR CONCEDES TE TAI TOKERAU TO HONE

So much for the hypocritical beating from Labour about National doing ‘deals’ in Epsom and Ohariru (leaving aside the fact that MMP is all about doing deals).   It is now clear the Cunliffe and Labour, have done exactly that and conceded Te Tai Tokerau to Hone in a deal that should let the Mana/Internet Party come in with three MPs (based on their current pollling).

What’s the evidence for that?     Well, the Vet and Mrs Vet took a trip up to Kaitaia on Saturday for a meeting of the Far North Vietnam veterans.    On the way up we encountered numerous National Party signs; a sad looking half sign promoting Labour’s Northand candidate; two signs from a weird mob called Focus New Zealand ; a heap of signs from Hone, but from Kelvin Davis, the Te Tai Tokerau Labour candidate, zip zero nothing, nothing at all.

And I am told suma suma in the southern part of the electorate.

…now it’s clear that Cunliffe and Labour have pulled the rug from Davis as a serious player…

It may be that Kelvin Davis and Labour are yet to launch a candidate campaign in Te Tai Tokerau. I’m trying to check that out with him.

But at this stage of the campaign it looks like David Cunliffe may not be being truthful about Labour’s electorate intent.

UPDATE: Cunliffe has just spoken on Firstline repeating that Labour would contest electorates “up and down the country” and wouldn’t support coat tailing.

UPDATE 2: Kelvin Davis has responded this morning “That is a pure beat up. Im out to win the seat.” But he hasn’t replied yet when I asked when he was putting hoardings up.

Mana manouvres

Ex Mana Party candidate Clinton Dearlove announced he would stand in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate as an Independent, which would put him up against Hone Harawira – see Three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau?

He has now claimed that Mana have asked him to stand for Mana in a different electorate. He says he declined.

Details from his Facebook page.

Dearlove Declines Mana Party Request

Over the weekend Mr Dearlove declined a request to stand as a Mana candidate in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate by current Mana members.

“It had been a privilege to have had an opportunity to have stood for the Mana Party previously”.

“We firmly believe in the concept of MANA for ALL and carry that belief with us into the future. We honestly believe that politics is about people, we encourage the Mana Party to carry on its work to highlight the issues affecting our Whanau and Hapu”.

“There are numerous issues that are important, we believe there a number of different paths to achieve improved results for our Whanau and Hapu here in Te Tai Tokerau. We parted ways but we are travelling to the same destination, the empowerment of our Whanau and Hapu aspirations”.

There is a MANAinternet roadshow due to start this week. Mr Dearlove encourages Whanau and Hapu to join him at the roadshow to learn more.

“The Whanau and Hapu do not really know much about Laila or Mr Dotcom”.

However

“We are committed to our Vote Dearlove Get 3 campaign here in Te Tai Tokerau. We look forward to joining Hone and Kelvin in Parliament working for our Whanau and Hapu”.

Together building healthy communities – Tu Kotahi Tatou

Dearlove stood for Mana in Te Tai Tonga in 2011.

“Almost everyone” knows Wairangi Koopu

MANA announces their MANA Youth Ambassador – Harawira

Ex New Zealand Warrior hard man and Maori television media personality Wairangi Koopu has joined the MANA strategy team as the new MANA Youth Ambassador in another game changer move for the MANA party.

“When we say we want more change for rangatahi, by rangatahi, we mean it”, says Hone Harawira, MANA Party Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“The great thing about Wairangi is he is known by almost everyone in Aotearoa because not only is he a former Warriors League player but as a presenter on one of the coolest shows on Maori TV, CODE, so his public appeal is really up there”, said Harawira

Koopu is 34 so is getting on a bit to be a youth ambassador. The surname was vaguely familiar but f ‘Warriors’ hadn’t been mentioned I wouldn’t have connected him to league, although I’ve sort of followed the Warriors over the years.

I’ve never heard of “one of the coolest shows on Maori TV, CODE”.

I doubt “almost everyone” will know him, maybe some of MANA’s constituency but not across the youth of the country.

Koopu may work well for MANA but it will be difficult attracting disinterested youth to politics.

Harawira apologises for “bugger all” comment

Hone Harawira has given a ‘sincere apology’ for a comment he made last week about the Malaysian diplomat case when he said “I think all of the media, their heads should roll for making a big fuss about bugger all.”

Stuff reports: Harawira U-turn in diplomat sex case

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has apologised for calling the row over a sexual assault charge against a diplomat “bugger all.”

The Te Tai Tokerau MP made the remarks on political panel show Backbenches last week.

Asked on the show about the political storm around alleged attacker Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail, Harawira said: “I think all of the media, their heads should roll for making a big fuss about bugger all.”

The country was facing more pressing matters such as “kids starving”, he said.

Harawira added: “Let’s just keep it there, it’s allegedly, and so until such time that this sorts its self out, let’s get on with running the country in the best interests of all off the citizens.”

Now Harawira says he made a “big mistake” and praised Tania Billingsley, the 22-year-old victim of the alleged attack, for speaking out about mishandling of the case.

In a Facebook post this morning, Harawira said: “I want to sincerely apologise if my comments on Backbenches may seem to have minimised the gravity of the situation regarding the young woman who asked police to investigate the complaint of sexual assault against the Malaysian diplomat.

“I have reviewed the tape and I accept that my comments were not helpful at all.

“Sexual assault IS a big deal, and I applaud Tania Rose Billingsley for her brave and courageous appearance on television last night.”

It’s good of Harawira to acknowledge his mistake and apologise for it.

Disturbing attack on Harawira’s office

Hone Harawira’s electorate office in Kaitaia has had shots fired at it. MSN News reports:

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says shots have been fired through the window of his Kaitaia office.
“I get threatened with violence and I get death threats but when somebody starts taking shots at my office than that’s another matter altogether,” he said.

“It’s life-threatening and I hope the police catch the perpetrators soon.”

“Politics can be a tough game and you can get hardened against some of the nasty and mean-spirited attacks against you,” he said on Tuesday night.

“But shooting into an office without knowing who might be inside is more than scary.”

Stuff also reported this but it was the third item in their Today in Politics:

The main street office was reportedly peppered with bullet holes which a spokesperson for Harawira said were thought to have been caused by shots fired from an air rifle.

Harawira told 3 News he was not sure when office was targeted and said he was worried about the safety of his staff.

Oddly I can’t find this on the 3 News website.

If an (alleged) attack like this happened to an office of John Key or David Cunliffe it’s hard to imagine so little media attention on it.

Harawira is right, politics can be mean spirited and nasty. He has a history of being abusive and provocative. In 2009 he said Phil Goff “and his mates should be lined up against a wall and shot” – see ‘Goff should be shot’ – Harawira’s latest gaffe

But regardless of Harawira’s past the actual firing of shots like this is very disturbing.

.

 

Internet Mana right and wrong on electoral reform

The Internet Party with the MANA Movement are campaigning to make changes to MMP

Internet Party
PETITION

Sign the petition to give our party votes equal value by lowering the 5% MMP threshold and removing the one-seat threshold.

Who do we want to petition?

The NZ House of Representatives.

What do we want them to do?

We want Parliament to take action to make changes to MMP. The Electoral Act should be changed to give all party votes equal value. Parliament should lower the Party Vote threshold (from the current 5%), and remove the one-seat threshold (the coat-tails rule).
Why is this important?

The most important feature of a democratic electoral system is that everyone’s vote counts equally. MMP was a big improvement on First Past the Post – but some of its features still mean that some votes count more than others.

In the 2011 MMP referendum New Zealanders voted to keep MMP but to make it better. This lead to an Electoral Commission review of some of the details of MMP, including the Party Vote threshold and the one-seat threshold (the so-called coat-tails rule).

Currently your Party vote only counts if your Party either wins 5% of the vote or wins an electorate seat. Since MMP was introduced every new Party in Parliament has been a break-away from an existing Parliamentary Party.

Your Party Vote is your most important vote as it decides the make-up of Parliament. Under the current rules over 100,000 Party Votes can be wasted unless a party wins an electorate seat.

The Electoral Commission has said that the 5% Party Vote threshold is too high and it should be lowered. They recommended an initial change to a 4% threshold but also said that a 3% threshold would not create problems for Parliamentary stability. The Commission recommended lowering the threshold at the same time as abolishing the one-seat threshold. Research by Political Science Professor Rob Salmond presented to the Electoral Commission review showed that claims that low thresholds cause unstable parliaments are a myth and are not supported by the evidence from around the world. He recommended a threshold of no more than 2%.

The Internet Party has launched this petition with the MANA Movement because we believe that Party Votes should have equal value, whether or not a party wins an electorate seat.

I’ve posted a number of times on substantially reducing the threshold so agree with this aim, but I’m not sure that a petition is the best way to achieve it  fair result.

3 News/Radio Live report Internet Mana wants MMP threshold lowered

Internet Party leader Laila Harre says it is wrong that a party can get more than 100,000 votes and still not be represented in Parliament.

“In order for all party votes to have equal value, we need to see a reduction in that threshold,” she says.

Ms Harre says there would be no stability problems even if the threshold was lowered to 3 percent.

Internet-MANA would need the support of both Labour and Greens (at least) to get this changed but both those parties say they want recent Electoral Commission recommendations implemented. This would favour large parties even more, as while it would lower it would lower the threshold to 4% it would also drop the ‘coat tail’ provision which would mean smaller parties would be less fairly represented if they won an electorate.

In another 3 News report Internet Mana seeking electoral reform:

Mana leader Hone Harawira said the 5 percent party vote threshold was “undemocratically high” and should be separated from the one-seat threshold.

Internet Mana wants an equal value for all party votes to underpin any change to electoral law.

“This could be done before the election provided that those parties who have benefited from the current rules do so in the spirit of one person, one party vote,” said Ms Harre.

Calling for it to be changed before the election suggests this is more an election campaign strategy rather than an attempt to change the rules – there is nowhere near enough time to change the electoral rules this close to an election and it would be wrong to do so. Petitions

Few if any current MPs are likely to support this timeframe.

I don’t have any problem with Internet-MANA pushing for abolishing coat tailing while aiming to try and benefit from it, they are entitled to use the current system while promoting a change.

Harre and Harawira must be aware there’s pretty much zero chance of any change before the election, again I see no problem with them using the petition as a campaign tool, other parties have used petitions and a referendum promote their own agendas.

I hope that after the election they are still keen to promote the lowering or dropping of the threshold.

Three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau?

Ex Mana candidate Clinton Dearlove has announced he is standing as an Independent for Te Tai Tokerau.

Dearlove says that if he wins the electorate vote then Kelvin Davis will get in on the Labour list and Hone Harawira, backed by $3 million and the Internet Party, will get in too. That will be three MPs for Te Tai Tokerau.

Clinton Dearlove tonight announced that he shall be standing in the Te Tai Tokerau election as an Independent.

Mr Dearlove shall be running a “Vote Dearlove Get 3″ campaign, he goes on to say

“Kelvins high list placing for Labour, and Hones access to over $3 million with his list placing shall see them elected to Parliament.”

and

“If the voters of Te Tai Tokerau vote strategically it is possible to have 3 MP’s for the electorate. We shall only be seeking the electorate not the party vote in this election.”

“We shall be campaigning on building healthy communities, underpinned by 5 key policy areas Health, Education, Housing, Employment, and Regional Development” says Mr Dearlove.

Dearlove explains more in a Facebook video:

Our team has calculated that with Koro Kelvin Davis’ high placing in the Labour Party, that he shall get into Parliament on the list.

With over three million dollars at Papa Hone’s disposal, that he also will be in Parliament on the list.

So we will be running a ‘Vote Dearlove, get three’ campaign.

This would depend on MANA winning a different electorate, perhaps via Annette Sykes, or the Internet-MANA umbrella party getting 5% or more of the party vote.

Where we, Te Tai Tokerau, will have three seats in Parliament, we will have three voices speaking for our whanau, for our hapu, for our te Tai Tokerau.

This is an interesting proposal. I campaigned on something similar in Dunedin North last election (where the electorate could have had three or four MPS) but the media ignored the innovative approach – and so did the voters, most of whom never heard about it.

There are major hurdles to overcome if this were to succeed in Te Tai Tokerau. Both Davis and Harawira would just about have to support the concept and campaign accordingly. I doubt very much MANA and Harawira would take the risk, the success of Internet-MANA may depend on Harawira’s success.

Dearlove could have an adverse effect, and this may be more likely. If he takes enough of Harawira’s votes this would significantly improve the chances of Davis winning the seat, so Dearlove would miss out and also a possible failure for not just Harawira but also Internet-MANA.

Harawira may also lose votes through his alliance with Kim Dotcom.

And this depends on Davis getting into a list position where he will get into Parliament. He was placed too low in 2011 and there’s doubts about where Labour’s cut-off will be this time.

It’s most likely Dearlove won’t get any traction for his proposed three for one campaign but it’s an interesting approach. More electorates should try it.

Mr Dearlove when asked about about the other candidates in this years election stated “I look forward to helping Papa Hone feed the kids, and am quite excited about also helping Koro Kelvin with educating our kids.” Mr Dearlove finished by saying “This election should not be about us the candidates as individuals but as part of a community.”

Dearlove stood for Mana in te Tai Tonga in 2011, at the opposite end of the country to Te Tai Tokerau. Dearlove was fourth:

  • Rino Tirikatene (Labour) – 6,786 (40.62%)
  • Rahu Katene (Maori) – 5,311 (31.79%
  • Dora Roimata Langsbury (Green) – 2,546 (15.24%
  • Dearlove (Mana) – 1,360 (8.14%)
  • Emma-Jane Mihaere Kingi (Legalise Cannabis) – 703 (4.21%)
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