Q: When is a political party not a political party?
A: When it is the New Zealand Internet Party.
The internet party 101
The IPNZ must implement internal democratic processes quickly or be cast into the dustbin of history.
IPNZ must show that it respects democracy or New Zealand voters will throw it out by September.
The IPNZ leadership must be elected by the IPNZ membership, by transparent democratic process soon, or they lose what credibility they may have had: Vikram Kumar and Laila Harre can no longer represent Kim Dotcom; they are his employees and have 100% conflict of interest, as such, and are therefore unable to represent democracy at the same time.
Think of the equivalent civic voices in the New Zealand Labour Party – Moira Coatsworth and Mike Williams, current and past party presidents – elected by and accountable to the NZLP membership, to run the organisation well: working for democracy, as expression of democracy, is apparent in the party structure. But the same cannot yet be said of the Internet Party, who, on the face of it, are anti-democratic therefore.
Kumar fills the role of Coatsworth for the IPNZ, but as hired chief executive. This defines the Internet Party as a corporation operating in the political space, and not a ‘political party’ at all. IPNZ is a political corporation, so far… and, like all corporations, is anti-democratic in getting its way.
So IPNZ dangles dollars to hire representatives – of Kim Dotcom, not the New Zealand public – to push into Parliament, using multi-media advertising cash instead of traditional, on-the-ground community organising and legwork. A revolution, indeed, but not in a good way.
Hence the coat-tailing exploit by which IPNZ seeks entry to Parliament, which is wrong on numerous counts:
a) New Zealanders are not fools and reject such tactics for the scamming ruse that they are;
b) Dotcom, Kumar and Harre are dictating this strategy to IPNZ members, never thinking to consult them on what electoral strategy is best for progressive politics (top-down politics at its worst, securing only Harre’s seat);
c) denying IPNZ members and voters electorate candidate representation, to rely on the coat-tailing exploit and an untested parliamentary list, undermines the democratic process New Zealanders have and greatly value – confirming the anti-democratic nature of IPNZ so far;
d) in total this is a patently stupid, losing strategy, that wastes the opportunity to achieve more – strong and stable new coalition government with a 5%+ IPNZ contribution – which thus wastes everybody’s time and should stop. Internet Party viability looks like this.
Bring democracy to the New Zealand Internet Party, now!
The confused, right-of-centre tendency of IPNZ was further revealed yesterday:
“For me it is not about the left or the right. It is about what is right or wrong. And the Internet Party is about fixing things,” said Dotcom. – By whose rules please, and is that by fixing elections too? IPNZ unelected leaders have proudly admitted it, with their strictly-list, Mana coat-tailing campaign: “Yes, we are disruptive. Yes, we are strategic… but that is what New Zealand needs.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10131512/Dotcoms-political-idol-under-way – Not good enough by far! *
Without a rapid absorption of democratic principle, of authentic progressive cause, the Internet Party’s further-right opponents will surely defeat them at the election polls this year:
“we need to be damn careful before we take our vote and put it behind a machine that is possibly one of the most aborted, mangled, and ugly conglomerates ever seen” http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/opinion-mana-and-internet-party-unholy-alliance-insult-all-nz-ict-workers-dc-157308
“reading the candidate bios and watching the news footage felt like just another nail in the coffin of the Internet Mana Party’s intention” http://jononatusch.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/internet-idol-just-as-bad-as-any-other-talent-show/
On Saturday NZ needed to see political fireworks, to maintain IP momentum. The first thing we heard as Chch-IP candidate nominees was ‘We are sinking in the polls and need something to turn that around’. The candidate screening session involved many and gave us all that boost for a week. But then ‘know better’ (Alliance?) bureaucracy took over and hosed democratic impulse down, culminating in Laila’s “reveal” – a term from game show territory.
So three weeks later, where are the ‘fireworks’ of IP energy, grabbing media attention? No doubt there are stories like this in every NZ city and town – actual political experience discarded for a manicured, often boring or twee TV performance by Kim Dotcom avatars. Laughing stocks propped up by minor celebrity, otherwise barely noticeable or managerially embarrassing.
Full marks for gender and ethnic range though, none for the ageism.
From travesty to farce.. So Laila is already deputy? This can’t sell or fly, any way you spin it. Sad.
But welcome, if you make it, citizen K.
Yet who is telling the truth here? – * “Empty seats out-numbered those taken by Internet Party supporters” or “20 crowd-sourced candidates that people can actually relate to packed out the Q Theatre on Queen Street” http://occupysavvy.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/internet-party-of-nz-crowd-sources-candidates-live/ ? …
http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/internet-party-push-decriminalise-cannabis-video-5992134 – false link at TVNZ