Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Digital Natives

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  • AlistairC,

    Let's be clear... anywhere else in the world, it would be called the Pirate Party... but Dotcom is already in a power of sh*t with the FBI, so that name was out of the question. If you look at the history of pirate parties in Europe, they tend to last one electoral cycle and get swept aside, because they don't manage to broaden their agenda or acquire wider legitimacy. But the essential questions they raise are very important ones, not at all trivial. And by starting out as part of a broader alliance, Dotcom has a chance to make his mark. NZ needs a party to the left of Labour (why should the right wingers get all the fun?), and this Mana/Internet tie-up looks like a historic opportunity. And if it doesn't work... they will be out in 2017. But I trust Laila to build something that will last.

    France • Since Sep 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A useful Herald profile of Harre from 2010, as she was leaving the Auckland Transition Agency, noting her zstrategic and organisation skills.

    And a weird, petulant editorial from this morning's Herald. The author doesn't understand extradition law and can't even spell Harre's name correctly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    I just love this election, so full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises. Its going to be a wild ride.

    I am not convinced IP/Mana will fit neatly onto the old Left/Right spectrum. Actually I am hopeful we are seeing something else emerging here.

    When the IP first approached Mana it seemed a somewhat cynical move but like any party its a bunch of human beings and I wonder what influence the shear human power of the maori world had on the Internet Party people . To emerse yourself in even a part of that world can be a moving experiance - life changing for some. Humanising the digital world with maori wairua seems like a creative way to evolve a something new in the political world. Hell lets face it parliament needs humanising it can be a disgusting little fight pit at times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking, in reply to DeepRed,

    If it’s not Laila Harre in the end, then the media have just done a Dewey Defeats Truman.

    Believe me when I say there are those of us who have nightmares involving that very image.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Richard Aston,

    it can be a disgusting little fight pit at times.

    I am doing quite a bit of phone canvassing at the moment. It stands out how many people who don't vote or don't support any party follow up with a complaint about how politicians behave, usually mentioning behaviour in the House.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Three of the top four potential IP/Mana candidates haven't been MPs for a while (or ever) and Hone prefers to campaign outside the house, so that would be a plus for them.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    drop kick right in front...

    Here’s a wild punt. Brendan Horan.

    The Weather Underground reveals its hand...
    <mwahahahaha...>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And a weird, petulant editorial from this morning’s Herald. The author doesn’t understand extradition law and can’t even spell Harre’s name correctly.

    Another Roughan Special?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    Another Roughan Special?

    Possibly Fran. Although bizarre "I can see into the minds of non-voters" part near the end is Roughanesque.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Richard Aston,

    I am not convinced IP/Mana will fit neatly onto the old Left/Right spectrum.

    Do you expect them to fit worse than The Greens or Maori do?

    I think that's a complaint like "National doesn't fit neatly into the communist-fascist continuum" or "Labour doesn't fit neatly into the green-brown spectrum". Yup, it's sort of relevant but it's not a prime focus of the party so they're likely to make decisions that range over the spectrum.

    That said, I agree with Mr Geddis that it would be hard for ManIP to side with National.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 409 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Another consequence of the IP getting involved is to damp the perception that Mana was specifically a Maori political party. Its just that Maori don't do so good under right wing governments just like anyone else that who for what ever reason, has no capital or high income earning capacity. The alliance might also raise questions about some of the patronizing commentary on how the Maori electorate shouldn’t be getting above there station, in time. Which is what Hone has been aiming for.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2476 posts Report Reply

  • A C Young,

    I wonder if this party might not wind up pulling in a few of the less hardcore libertarians?

    It's definitely not a world-view that I share but I've always felt they were really underserved in terms of both ACT and national (and obviously the conservatives weren't going to help).

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It is a grubby deal, made all the worse by the fact Harawira holds the Te Tai Tokerau seat – a Maori seat.

    Patrick Gower said that and this on the 3 news web sight.

    The Maori seats are special. They have a unique constitutional role which is to give the Tangata Whenua a place of their own in the New Zealand Parliament.

    Which is what I mean about patronizing commentary.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2476 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W., in reply to AlistairC,

    "Let’s be clear… anywhere else in the world, it would be called the Pirate Party… but Dotcom is already in a power of sh*t with the FBI, so that name was out of the question."

    The name Pirate Party has already been used in NZ. Not actually a registered party at the moment though they say that they are working on it. They did have candidates in the 2011 General Election in a few electorates and also in the 2011 Botany by-election.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The story has managed to make it globally on CNN and ABC, among others.

    If Hone & Kim somehow manage to pull a Beppe Grillo and hold the balance of power from a near-zero base, I wonder how strongly it would turn the voters of Epsom and Ohariu against the MMP coat-tails rule?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • AlistairC,

    Coat-tails... Well, I can see a scenario where the campaign catches fire, for Mana as well as for Internet, and they get, say, four Maori seats, 4% of the list vote... and Laila doesn't even make it into parliament. That would still be an excellent result, but not really the one Dotcom's paying for. Another scenario : a couple of Maori seats, and Laila and John Minto off the list. Would they dissolve the grouping, as they claim, six weeks after the election, leaving Laila as sole Internet MP? I think not. Laila would function as an additional Mana MP (while still defending the Internet issues, no problem there). And when the coat-tails thing bites the dust, as it must, there is a strong enough Mana brand, to the left of Labour, to survive in the longer term.

    France • Since Sep 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd point out that Dunne and Banks aren't actually exploiting the "coat-tails rule" as neither of their vestigial parties gain enough votes for a second MP (and Dunne doesn't have enough for a first, I think).

    What they are tending to do is exploit the "affiliated parties" loophole where a party in loose alliance with another can have candidates (Dunne & Banks) whose seats are not added in to National's total when calculating the latter's list seats. Thus National has two more seats than they would have if Dunne & Banks were National MPs.

    If Mana really wanted to rort the system, Hone would keep his head down, never leave Northland and not campaign for the party vote at all. That would get him into Parliament and maximise the left-wing vote.

    Running as a composite party, on the other hand, simply ensures that the votes of Mana and IP supporters are less likely to be wasted.

    E&O E

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Thanks Rich , I hadn't understood how that worked and what the advantage of two single independents was to National . So you are saying if Dunne and ACT were national electorate MPS , National would get less party seats as opposed to them being partnered independents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Richard, yes.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I’d point out that Dunne and Banks aren’t actually exploiting the “coat-tails rule” as neither of their vestigial parties gain enough votes for a second MP (and Dunne doesn’t have enough for a first, I think).

    They aren't, but they would like to be, and they could, if they got more party vote. Same goes for Mana+IP. It's coat-tailing which is the sole reason for the IP to be a part of it. I'd say it's only money that gives Mana a reason to be a part of it. Well that and the fact that the IP candidate would have been a good pick for Mana in the first place.

    the “affiliated parties” loophole

    This is a loophole that has not really been exploited to anywhere near the degree it could. But I think the reason for that is because what I outline next would be considered a nuclear option:

    The maximal exploitation would be for a major party to split into 2 parties, one of which only contests seats, and the other only contests party vote. The first one basically instructs its voters to give their party vote to the second party. The second one stands no candidates in electorates. So the first party, the electorate seats, is pretty much all overhang. The second party gets its proportional number of seats. But the two added together are a lot more than that proportion.

    It's nuclear because if one major party did it, the other would have to. It would make a complete mockery of MMP. National flirts around the edges of it with Dunne and Banks, and Labour did with Anderton, and if they had tactical ruthlessness they'd do it with Harawira too.

    There is also the danger of the split-off party going rogue. It would have to be formed from the old-guard of the original party, which it would be anyway because they're the only ones with enough kudos to win electorate seats.

    Just another one of those possible system hacks that sits there unexploited, hopefully forever. I always think of it when left wing voters complain of the Left's powerlessness against the Banks/Dunne situation. That powerlessness is self-enforced.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    I don’t think anyone would claim that Harre was chosen to drive IP policy development in the IT/tech freedom area.

    Presumably, however, she will push for whatever is developed?

    So stepping back and looking at this in terms of pure power dynamics, MANA actually held more cards in this liaison than did the IP. So if the price of a deal was choosing a leader that the MANA Movement could recognise as “one of us”, then the IP pretty much had to pay it.

    Yes, and the price was that basically everything they originally appeared to stand for that had any distinction from Mana has been swept aside. Also, money.

    Does this make the exercise a “sham”?

    Pretty much.

    Well, political reality is...

    ...full of shams. Finished that for you. I'm not especially bitter on this particular sham, just seeing it for what it is. Mana gets money, KDC gets a high profile vanity party that stands for nothing more than what Mana did in the first place (by the time the deal is finished), and hopes that this party might stand at the balance of power and keep him out of jail. The internet gets a website where they can dream about what might happen if politics were dictated by bloggers, and we can sit back and wonder after the election why none of this grew Mana's party vote at all.

    The only political point I could see in any of it was that IP might actually offer something different, and thus appeal to a different segment of voters. Harre standing up and locking ranks with the rest of Mana is something that people who might have been considering voting for the IP will now be scratching their heads over.

    Sample thought:
    "WTF? I thought this was the IP. When did it become that Harawira Party? What's he ever done for the internet? What's Harre ever done? Fuck that, I think I won't vote (again)."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I’d say it’s only money that gives Mana a reason to be a part of it. Well that and the fact that the IP candidate would have been a good pick for Mana in the first place.

    I don’t know about that. You can’t actually buy votes with money. But you can hire constitutional lawyers, PR company’s, cars, conference centers and so on. But Mana has a grass roots infrastructure, so these things are not so much of a problem.

    I think it’s more about diversity. They need to get out of the pigeon hole. And attract voters who don’t identify as Maori. The internet party would be call geek party or n00b, if it was actually all about IT. It is more symbolic. The internet party movement is like flower power.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2476 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to steven crawford,

    The internet party movement is like flower power.

    Heh. So it's a sweet smelling sham then. "Sham of Roses", available at all leading retailers. To me, it smells nothing like napalm in the morning.

    I don’t know about that. You can’t actually buy votes with money.

    You can, however, buy advertising. You can get the Mana message out far, far harder than without money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What's he ever done for the internet?

    Hone Harawira voted against:
    the Copyright "Infringing Filesharing" Bill aka three strikes.
    the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill
    and the
    GCSB bill.

    What do you expect him to do, write a compiler?

    Hey, we could have had that Richard Stallman as Internet party leader, if it wasn't for the pesky citizenship requirement. Oh, and the fact he makes Bomber seem unpolarizing.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What do you expect him to do, write a compiler?

    Made me laugh , thanks .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 451 posts Report Reply

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