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Monday, March 14, 2011

Hone's 'Real' Maori Party vs a broader Left Party

Harawira party Maori-focused
The chances of a broad-based Left-wing party rising from the ashes of Hone Harawira's meltdown with the Maori Party have been dashed after he made it clear that any group he led would have to be Maori-focused.

There are two choices facing Hone's new party and that is between a broader left party and a 'real' Maori Party.

The broader left party articulating the aspiration of Maori whilst identifying with beneficiaries and minimum wage earners aims at a 3% vote that would change the MMP math in Parliament to end this anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government. Such a king maker status would enforce upon Labour a progressive set of left wing policy the Greens and the Maori Party could only dream of.

That vision was excellently articulated by Annette Sykes on Waatea and Radio NZ early this morning, however it is running into stiff opposition from those who want to fight the Maori Party.

It wasn't until the Wednesday before the Friday truce was announced that Hone and his people realized that the Maori Party were set on ousting him.

Some of us had made this call back in November. It was obvious that National needed the Maori Party as coalition partners once Rodney looked dead in Epsom and Dunne's grip on Ohariu not so certain. This meant Hone was always going to be sacrificed so National could assure the Maori Party as their replacement coalition partner. It seems everyone other than Hone's advisors had come to that conclusion.

This lack of political foresight coupled with Hone forgetting to actually vote on the Seabed and Foreshore Confiscation Bill Part 2 alongside his desire to renege on the political truce cut with the Maori Party based on his seating in Parliament all suggest the machinations occurring now are that of a spurned lover, not a political movement building.

Forgiving his camps sudden realization of their dumping, the time to move on from the angry phase which is dominating strategic planning is fast running out, already Labour are planning their brilliant counter strike...

Goff rules out deal with Hone Harawira
Labour leader Phil Goff has ruled out a deal with Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira or any party he leads.

''I don't believe he would be a suitable coalition partner,'' Goff said.

He said Harawira was not reliable and had expressed some extreme policies that Goff found personally offensive.

"I don't believe you could form a stable government on a relationship with Hone Harawira."

...Labour sense that Hone has dumped the concept of a broader left party to focus on a civil war with the Maori Party, the negotiated truce between him and the Maori Party was to avoid Labour outflanking him, with Hone and the Maori Party locked in a death match, it allows Labour to come up the middle in each of the Maori electorates other than Hone's.

The only problem for Goff is that he is ruling out Hone's supposed racism in favour of Winston's racism and seeing as NZ First's yet to be announced policy are all rump National Party policy (1: repeal of the section 59 repeal. 2: Nationalize Foreshore and Seabed. 3: Make all referendum binding) it is no way certain that NZ First's carefully crafted National Party protest vote strategy will reward them the 5% threshold now Key has ruled Winston out 10months before the election.

It's important to note however that Hone's limited 'real' Maori Party option will still earn him an extra seat...

Firm support for Harawira
A third of Maori roll voters would support a new political party led by Hone Harawira, a Native Affairs/Baseline poll has found.

...as for Goff's claim that he won't work with Hone? Pffft, the only difference between Key's ruling of Winston out and Phil's ruling of Hone out is that Phil won't actually mean it.

If Goff needs the numbers he'll cut a deal because if he doesn't he won't be leader by January 2012, Key has already stated he'll quit politics altogether if he doesn't achieve an all out 47% majority or can cut a deal with the Maori Party.

So in conclusion, Hone will be deciding if a new political vehical should be a broad left one or a civil war with the Maori Party, Labour will pick him going into a civl war and will use that civil war to split the Maori Party electorate vote while National will hope for a Plan A (47% outright majority) or a Plan B (which is cut a deal with whatever is left over from the Maori Party).

ACT will fear political death with a new right Party challenge brewing in Epsom while NZ First will fear political death from a falling short of the 5% threshold due to a pavlov dog response from voters turned on by right wing policy but turned off by Key's ultimatum.

United will fear getting kicked out of Ohariu by public service workers who conclude a vote for Dunne is a vote for more public sector cutbacks.

Who knows if the Greens will remember to enroll properly, but their aesthetic left vote is unlikely to hand them 8%.

It will be a razor close election. The real challenge for the Greens and Labour will be to harness the political anger that will erupt as the economy puts pressure on people in a way they've never experienced before. Seeing as minimum wage earners and beneficiaries are unlikely to receive political representation from a new left party, the Greens and Labour will focus on middle class NZers who for the first time in their lives will suddenly not feel middle class.

That political anger will want representation somewhere and this recession is only just starting.


At 14/3/11 9:26 pm, Blogger Marty Mars said...

Why won't you support a left Maori party articulating the aspiration of Maori whilst identifying with beneficiaries and minimum wage earners and environmentalists?

At 14/3/11 9:43 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Well, we have yet to see what the final version of this political party will be, if it has Sue and seeks a wider class electorate then I'm sure many would, but if it's simply locked into a fight with the Maori Party as another Maori Party I don't see it having that wider electorate support.

At 14/3/11 9:53 pm, Blogger Firefly said...

I think Hone's better off without a party - as an independent. He can be a voice for truth and justice in his own way without worrying about what 'the rest' think.

His voters will love him for it and he'll be able to get some legitimate concerns into the national spotlight.

At 14/3/11 11:53 pm, Blogger fatty said...

"Why won't you support a left Maori party articulating the aspiration of Maori whilst identifying with beneficiaries and minimum wage earners and environmentalists?"

Because I already vote for a left Green party articulating the aspiration of environmentalists whilst identifying with beneficiaries and minimum wage earners and Maori...sound familiar?
Same same, but different, only Greens are way more likely not to be a wasted vote.

At 15/3/11 12:09 am, Blogger Marty Mars said...

If it is in a fight for seats it is the same as every other party - the Party votes are the key - if a new party articulated the kaupapa you want, would you support them? Surely the goal is to get seats where the MP's represents the kaupapa and there is no reason that maori couldn't represent those interest within parliment - theose interests don't depend upon ethnicity or skin colour - any person can represent us if they believe in the same values. The Party List would reflect the kaupapa and those values. Isn't this exactly the same as a new left party?

At 15/3/11 8:50 am, Blogger David said...

A New Maori Party, rather than a New Left Party is the right move for Hone, at this stage. Hone’s voters up north back this, and a third of Maori voters apparently back this. So it has a mass support base.

Where is the base for a New Left Party? There’s no indication that a third or even a small fraction of the beneficences, minimum wage workers (or trade unionists) would back this, at this stage. Matt’s results in Mana, the results of left parties at the last election and the failure of the $15 minimum wage petition, all point to the fact that the time is not yet right.

Successful new parties are typically born out of mass movements that unite and mobilise thousands of people, reshaping the political landscape. There is no such movement today.

A party formed on Hone’s coat tails would be totally dependent on him. Having a single dominant figure is not good. It was a disaster for the Alliance. As for the idea that a new party should go into coalition with Labour, or that it would pull Labour to the Left, history suggests the opposite is likely to happen.

Hone’s making the right call in building a new Maori Party. I just hope it remains a leftwing one.


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