New Left Party odds go up
Bradford confirms Leftist party talk
Talk of a new Left-wing party is gathering steam, with veteran activist Sue Bradford confirming behind-the-scenes discussions and revealing she would consider leading it if asked.
Expectations are growing in Left-wing circles that renegade Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira could be the lightning rod for a new movement if the rift between him and the Maori Party hierarchy ends in divorce.
Mr Harawira faces disciplinary proceedings after Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell complained about a newspaper article that was highly critical of the party's relationship with National.
Efforts to resolve the complaint without a formal disciplinary hearing failed after Mr Harawira's electorate excluded party leaders from a hui last week, and it now seems increasingly likely he will either leave or be expelled.
He has left open questions of whether or not he would form a new party if he was cast into the political wilderness – a notable shift from his previous insistence that he was interested only in the Maori Party.
He did not return calls yesterday.
Ms Bradford, a former Green MP, said the row posed a major threat to the Maori Party, which was facing mounting internal criticism over its support for National.
"The Maori Party is a total mess now. They have so betrayed their base and now Hone is out there painting the picture in words of one syllable.
"If some other party or individual [comes along], I think they're done for. Even Pita [Sharples] isn't that strong if a credible candidate is put up against him."
She said a lot of discussion on a new Left-wing party was "happening under the surface", but she would not be drawn on who was involved or what was being discussed.
The odds for a new left party on Ipredict have just gone up while the mainstream media slowly start to get their heads around the New Left Party prediction I made on backbenchers last year. Indeed Patrick Gower breathlessly misconstrues Hone's intent to take over the leadership of the Maori Party.
Here is what is actually happening. the National Party have realized that even IF Rodney wins Epsom, he won't bring in any MP's with him because their 3.6% party vote last time was bloated by the Sensible Sentencing Trust's raw meat law and order policy. Post David Garrett's jaw dropping hypocrisy, that political brand is dead and as such National will need to rely on the Maori Party, they can only do that if Hone has been kicked out.
Hence Mai Chen and her $25 000 price tag and because the Maori Party are suffering from Stockholm syndrome with mana enhanced baubles on promise post election Hone is being made to walk the plank.
The issue for Hone is how can he best fight this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government.
1: Can he do it best by taking over the leadership of the Maori Party?
2: Can he do it best by being an independent?
3: Or can he do it best by launching a New Left Party and with his electorate seat aim to pull a 2% Party vote bringing into power Matt McCarten and Sue Bradford?
The first would be great, but as powerful as Hone is, the rest of the Maori Party leadership have the numbers to block him.
The second would do little in altering the MMP math meaning this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government would still win.
The third option would alter the MMP math and give Hone his best chance to halt this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government while doing more for Maori outside of the Maori Party than inside it.
Currently there is over 2% in wasted Party vote that goes to the Maori Party, I say wasted because the Maori Party vote would need over 5% for them to gain another member off the Maori Party list because of their high electorate ratios. If Maori Party voters wanted a strong Maori voice, rather than waste their party vote on the Maori Party, they could make it count by giving it to a New Left Party.
Labour (whom invited me to their State of the Nation address) and the Greens (whom did not invite me to their's) would not need to see a New Left Party as a threat as the attempt would not be to cannibalize their vote, it would be to add another ally in the MMP math required to stop this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government.
Next month the Government release their ideologically stacked Welfare Razor Gang reforms. Beneficiaries represent 14% of the 2008 electorate, those beneficiaries need to ask themselves who would they want in their corner fighting for their interests as Paula Bennett lines them up for the mother of all cut backs. Do they want Sue Bradford who has fought for the rights of the unemployed all her life in their corner? Do they want Hone Harawira who has fought for the rights of those hurt most by recessions and social alienation all his life in their corner and do they want Matt McCarten who has fought for the rights of minimum wage earners all his life in their corner?
There is much to discuss and Hone needs to decide where he can most effectively fight this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government.