Kim Dotcom has repeated claims that an electorate MP has committed to joining the Internet Party. If true this would amount to a three month betrayal.
Stuff reports in Dotcom launches into National:
He repeated his claim that it would be represented in Parliament, whether or not it achieved the 5 per cent MMP threshold for list seats, because a sitting electorate MP would join.
He would not name the person or say which party he or she represented, because of a confidentiality agreement, but it was not Harawira. The MP’s name would be revealed in June.
Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said another three sitting MPs had expressed interest in joining the party.
There’s no guarantee a sitting MP who jumped into the Internet Party waka would retain their seat. Far from it. If it happened there’s a high possibility they would be punished by their electorate.
But more important is what this means now. It would mean that at least one sitting MP has gone through (or is going through) their party selection process, and plans to represent their party and their electorate, with a plan to betray them in three months.
What party or parties could be involved?
Dotcom has said it’s someone other than Harawira. NZ First and Greens don’t have any electorate MPs. That leaves National. Labour, Maori Party, ACT and UnitedFuture.
It’s safe to rule out John Banks and Peter Dunne. And it seems very unlikely it would be a Maori Party MP. That leaves the big two.
While it’s possible sitting National MPs would consider it this seems unlikely – why would they swap being in the biggest party that’s currently in Government for a huge risk?
If it’s not from National that leaves Labour. This is more likely in a climate of disgruntlement and division.
Clare Curran has visited Dotcom but has categorically ruled out leaving Labour – see Curran rules out Internet party.
Shane Jones has visited Dotcom and must be considered a possibility. He has ruled out leadership of Labour as an option for him.
But what this does is raise suspicions on a number of Labour MPs. If there’s a traitor among them – or two or three or four – for the next two or three months that would be a bizarre situation.
Is Dotcom making things up and deliberately making mischief? Possibly, but it’s more likely he is overstating his case for securing a convert to try and establish political credibility.
But in announcing something as if it’s a done deal leaves a shadow hovering over electorate MPs, especially in Labour.
This isn’t a good way to kick off a new party. Either way it doesn’t look good – if it turns out to be an empty claim there’s egg on Dotcom’s face. And if it turns out to be try the Internet Party would have a severely tainted MP – until the election.