I think the Internet Party can best be seen as a fusion of cyberlibertarians and social liberals. Some overseas Pirate Parties (ie Australia) have adopted issues like euthanasia law reform, for instance. And some cyberlibertarians are quite willing to provide tactical and logistical advice on issues like (say) surveillance camera reach and street sex work.
The German Pirate Party currently has forty-five elected representatives in German state parliaments. However, it has failed to gain federal Bundestag representation.
How might the Internet Party do in our political context? Centre-right blogger Cameron Slater thinks that the Internet Party is excessively narrow in pursuing its planned political niche and that it might therefore remain an unelectable microparty. Is he correct about this? Dotcom's proposal sounds similar to that advanced by the German Pirate Party and its cyberlibertarian counterparts in New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Slovenia, Poland, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. Of these, state German Pirate Parties have won state legislature and city council seats, the Czech Pirate Party has a Senate and city council seats, the Iceland Pirate Party has three parliamentary seats in its national parliament, the Swedish Pirate Party elected two European Parliamentary members and the Swiss Pirate Party has two municipal councillors while the Catalonian Pirate Party has two municipal councillors. So, parliamentary and local council representation does seem possible, although it seems to be the case that cyberlibertarian parties have had their greatest success in European politics, particularly within the German state and municipal context.
Could that be replicated here? There have been considerable public protests about Key administration online surveillance and data interception legislation and its potentially chilling effects on government transparency and accountability and civil liberties. However, the federal German Pirate Party failed to pick up Bundestag seats due to its political naivetie and absence of legislative experience. Still, given that former Scoop parliamentary press gallery journalist Alistair Thompson is interim party secretary, the Internet Party may be able to sidestep these potential teething problems. But is New Zealand too economically underdeveloped for such parties to be politically viable? Or could the Greens end up incorporating cyberlibertarian concerns into their greater party agenda?
As much as I abhor Colin Craig and his sycophants for their advocacy of parental corporal punishment, could I note that the Con Party has other undesirable attributes...such as supporting restrictions on abortion access for competent minors under sixteen, for instance?
However, we should recall that the Mysterons always failed in their objectives. Although is Len Brown capable of retro-metabolism?
Who were those anti-Brown protestors from yesterday?
Uh, I did say I thought that extramarital nookery wasn't a sackable offence, remember? However, he did use council funds to finance his personal dalliance with Ms. Chuang. And as for the irrelevance of his council's more conservative policies to this situation, it's ironic that the moralists calling for his neck are those who praised him precisely for those anti-sexworker and anti-transient civic ordinances.
Come on, is this bloke really the Auckland Left's great white hope?
Sorry, I refuse to give Len Brown a free bus ticket, given that he backs destructive attacks on Manukau City street sex workers, many of whom are transgender and therefore part of my LGBT community through backing the Manukau City (Regulating Prostitution in Specified Places), as well his council's anti-beggar bans.
Critical scrutiny of Brown's unethical actions is therefore justifiable. I don't think he should be forced out of office merely for extramarital sex, but misuse of council funds does render the issue more serious.
It's interesting to compare this to Canada's equivalent Toronto imbroglio with its own scandal-ridden, embattled Mayor, Rob Ford (although he's aligned to Canada's Conservative Party)...
Malignant past and present figures who may shuffle off this mortal coil in the not too distant future...
Pat Robertson, past US televangelist and Republican presidential aspirant- 83
Ian Paisley, former Northern Ireland First Minister and fundamentalist
Protestant agitator- 87
Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI- 86
Fred Nile, fundamentalist homophobe and NSW Legislative Councillor- 79
George H.Bush- former Republican US President- 89
Lord Norman Tebbit, Thatcher era relic- 82
John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister- 74 [sadly, this is a long-term prospect]
Fortunately, none of the great and good from the past seems to be in this category- apart from
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Capetown Desmond Tutu- 82