Internet Party Thursday launch on track

The Internet Party is on track to launch this Thursday.

The Party chief executive Vikram Kumar says that apps have been approved for members to sign up via their iphones, ipads and Macs Party, as well as Android and website registration.

For the first time it will be based on online registrations with electronic signatures in a process approved by the Electoral Commission.

NZ Herald reports in Dotcom’s Internet Party app approved:

“What we did with them was to try and understand what the requirements were”, Mr Kumar said.

“We then found a way to meet those requirements, then showed them both through a concept stage then took them through a prototype and they were happy with that and they’ve approved the use of that.”

How this works will be of interest to other parties who want to register members. Last year UnitedFuture’s re-registration was delayed because the Electoral Commission insisted on paper applications signed by party members. There is now a fully electronic option.

Prospective members will be able to use a touch screen, mouse or track pad to sign the necessary declaration after filling out the membership form on the Apple or Android app or on the party’s website.

“Whatever people have it works for everyone. Essentially you’ve signed it as a document.”

It will be interesting to see how this works in practice, especially signing by mouse.

Kim Dotcom said recently he hoped to get the required members signed up in a day. Kumar is more realistic about it.

While the ability to sign up members online will speed up the process of getting to 500 members, Mr Kumar was unsure how long that process would take.

“There hasn’t been a way of trying to gauge interest. We’ve had a lot of people contact us, people working for the party and Kim directly asking how they can sign up. There’s definitely substantial interest. That has to be converted to people signing up and paying $1.29.

“I’m reasonably optimistic it will happen quickly.”

Expressing interest is different to providing personal details, signing up and paying up.

The cost of downloading an app for smartphones will count as payment for membership. That simplifies payments, but presumably website sign-ups will require a payment facility.

It’s also unknown what effect the talk of doing a deal with the Mana Party will have. Being able to take advantage of a sitting MP with a good chance of retaining their electorate seat is a practical benefit as it removes the 5% threshold hurdle,  but there have been eyebrows raised about the unlikely partnership between parties with very different attractions.

An alliance has caused concerns within Mana, notably from Sue Bradford who said she would walk away from Mana if it happened.

It may also make Hone Harawira’s chances of retaining his Te Tai Tokerau seat. Labour have indicated that Kelvin Davis will contest the seat again. Davis has been reducing Harawira’s majority over the past few elections.

And David Farrar blogs about this in The defence of the Mana Dotcom deal quoting Harawira’s press secretary saying “Ok so we would be helping a fat white rich prick with a bunch of money, but it would obviously help MANA to!” Reaction indicates major reservations.

NZ Herald refers to divisions in Mana confirms Dotcom talks.

The Internet Party won’t have much of substance to offer at launch time.

Mr Kumar said some “high level policy” would be discussed but party spokesman John Mitchell said there would be no information about candidates as they would be drawn from members once the party was registered.

Policies and people are what drives party support. Having vague policy details and no candidates seems to make it difficult to present a case for prospective members to join immediately.

We will see on Thursday if the party launch comes up with some compelling carrots.

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