That’s all well and good. But this is where Mana differs from the Internet party:
It is now up to the Internet Party over the next few weeks to show to Harawira in concrete terms that it can walk the talk. In short order, it has to do the basics of getting its 500 members, creating a structure of leaders and candidates and getting some policy priorities sorted.
Mana, as Campbell said, is ideological. The Internet party is fabricated out of plastic. Mana has a politically active membership. The Internet party raised its member ship in 7 hour flat, last night, over the Internet. Campbell talks about ideology in politics as some sort of liability. I see as part of the democratic process. It's helpful what principles our representatives adhere to.
They have 1000 members now.
I think people are missing the point on the Internet Party's commonality with Mana. Both Dotcom and Harawira have been flung in jail by the government. They aren't on the side of "authority". That's enough for a lot of people to side with them, oddly enough.
Detailed policies don't need to be part of this at all. It's more about having a few MPs in government who will always say no to draconian copyright infringement, spying on NZers and letting the US decide our laws under the guise of dubious free trade agreements.
It's fully possible that if Mana & Dotcom team up, they'll get to 2.5% (3 MPs) with many of those votes being *new*. If that happens and the Labour-aligned parties get within reach of forming a government, they'll have to concede whether they want to or not.
And that's why the powers that be are pulling out all the stops on Dotcom - they want National to win, are happy with a Clark-like Labour government of the authoritarian centre, but don't want anyone like Dotcom or Harawira influencing government.
(I doubt I'd actually vote for them, will probably vote Green, but it's not about me, it's about finding 40,000 voters who are probably quite disengaged from politics. Remember RAM [way more out there than Mana or Dotcom] got 87000 votes in an ARC election once. There's a big grumpy vote).
The law I referred to requires political parties to have democratic selection of their candidates. That's the minimum bar, with the details of the democratic involvement not prescribed by law.
In the case of the Internet Party, any member can put up their hand to be a candidate. Members will express their views about the potential candidates and rank those on an "indicative list". Then the Executive Committee will finalise the list. Much of the member evaluation will be facilitated by digital means which, in practice, allows all members to be far more involved in the selection than decentralised approaches.
Re policy development, while the Executive Committee appoints people on to the Policy Committee, there will be a process for all members to get involved in discussing the policies and manifesto.
I see your point Rich, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it pans out.
In the case of the Internet Party, any member can put up their hand to be a candidate. Members will express their views about the potential candidates and rank those on an “indicative list”. Then the Executive Committee will finalise the list.
(1) The "Executive Committee" doesn't just finalise the list in accordance with the membership's wishes - it has complete discretion over what the final list will be, and also puts together the "indicative list" that members can "express their views" on.
(2) For the 2014 election, this Executive Committee consists solely of the "founders" of the Party, with no membership input at all.
I think there's a very strong argument that this arrangement will breach the requirement of s.71 of the Electoral Act (once the Internet Party is registered) - http://pundit.co.nz/content/clickbait-do-the-internet-partys-rules-breach-the-electoral-act
Exactly my point... Thank you Keir Leslie
So which version of democracy is that? It makes no sense, and will certainly will not stand up to test in a court of law.
"There will be lots of member inputs, more so than any other political party. But final decisions will be made by the Executive Council. That’s what the rules (and, by the way, the law) says."
Which law says that?