Polity warns opposition parties – Dotcom sounds pretty icky

Rob Salmond at Polity points out the obvious dangers of opposition parties getting involved with Kim Dotcom in Kim Dotcom’s 5% gambit (also posted at The Standard) He refers to Dotcom’s tweet yesterday…

If #InternetParty won’t poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we’ll self destruct & put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.

Like most pundits and journalists Rob thinks “it is almost certain that the Internet Party will not be polling 5% at any point this year”.

If I am right about that, then come ballot-printing day Mr Dotcom will be throwing his weight in with someone else. And by “his weight,” I presume he means large buckets of money. That sets up an silent auction for parties to compete for Dotcom’s money on the basis of policy promises, first and foremost about Dotcom’s own extradition case. That is, if parties decide they want to play.

I think the opposition parties should all take a pass. 

To me, it all sounds pretty icky. One of the reasons the left parties worked hard to try and make election funding fairer in the late 2000s was to limit the influence of individuals seeking to essentially buy government policy for cash. (These measures were, naturally, rejected by the right, citing freedom of speech and freedom of spending and so on.) Breaking it down, this gambit looks exactly like a convluted version of a rich guy offering up cash in exchange for personally favourable policies. Yuck.

We’re now in this odd position where left parties that actively compete in the policy space for Dotcom’s affections will be hypocrites and, by the same token, many of the right wingers who would cry foul about that will be hypocrites, too.

It’s not just hypocrisy that’s at risk. As Rob says, “it all sounds pretty icky”.

But is it too late for opposition parties to take a pass?

Russel Norman has met Dotcom at his mansion at least twice and has made some risky statements about his position on Dotcom’s extradition.

Winston Peters appears to have met Dotcom more than three times – Peters denied the number three but ducked for cover when asked anything else about it.

David Cunliffe appeared to carefully avoid denying any Dotcom meetings on Firstline this morning. He denied meeting with Dotcom on one specific issue only and no mention of any other Labour representatives meeting.

Potentially for all of the Green Party, NZ First and Labour it all sounds pretty icky. 

Associating with Dotcom has been bad  for John Banks, Martyn Bradbury (that could also have been bad for Dotcom), and Alistair Thompson who was forced to resign as Editor from Scoop.

It’s already looking icky for Russel Norman.

How deep are Peters and Cunliffe in Dotcom ickiness?