Why Hone should consider a new left party
Harawira to gauge interest in new party
Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says he will decide by the beginning of next month whether he will form a new party or "a loose coalition of independent groups" to contest this year's election nationally.
Mr Harawira quit the Maori Party late last month to become an independent MP as part of a deal with the party's national council.
It came after caucus colleague Te Ururoa Flavell made a complaint over his criticism of the party's relationship with the Government and complaints that National was developing anti-Maori policies.
When he resigned, he said he was considering forming a new political party, and yesterday said he was heading out to gauge support.
"I could quite comfortably sit back and focus on the Tai Tokerau electorate but there's a huge amount of pressure coming from people all around the country, not just Maori, who want to see a party that's prepared to fight for the rights of the most vulnerable in our society."
Mr Harawira said Maori would suffer due to the pressure on health, education and welfare budgets signalled this year, which would be worsened by the costs of the earthquake.
"A lot of people can see that if I am successful in fighting back on some of these things, a lot of other people are going to be saved by it."
As the recession deepens and the distance between some communities becomes yawning, the Political spectrum will splinter.
If Hone is serious about stopping an anti-worker, anti-beneficiary, anti-environment Government while actually enhancing the mana of the Maori Party then it is as a New Left Party that he could do that.
Hone's electorate plus 1.9% of the vote would bring in 3 MP's, that would change the MMP Parliamentary math. In a down to the wire election those MP's could be the difference between National forming the Government and not.
A coalition with Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party a New Left Party could mandate a wide ranging progressive legislation platform.
If Maori wanted the staunch political representation they know they need is a recession like this, then those who currently waste their MMP party vote to the Maori Party, (because Maori Party have more electorate seats than Party vote) could put their party vote to a much larger political vehicle that stands for the the exact same issues that touch the lives of the 300 000 minimum wage and 344 000 beneficiaries in this country.
Class is a dirty word in a country that pretends it is as egalitarian as it is clean and green. But Hone as a political leader could go beyond the parameters of representing an electorate to representing a class and the latter has the ability to create real change.
Maori, minimum wage earners, beneficiaries and liberals genuinely concerned about the damage to society inequality produces would ask themselves if they want Hone, Sue and Matt in their corner when their welfare and their aspirations are being assessed in those rooms where the policy decision ramifications as so casually considered.
NZ is not going to get better economically, the global recession has only just begun and this Government are quite blatant about their desires to privatize everything not nailed down while crippling the Welfare state. We have a mainstream media mostly asleep at the wheel, a bored public and the only real growth we gain is the divide between rich and poor.
A loose collection of independents couldn't fix that.
Sue's work on the Alternative Welfare response to the brutal one suggested by the Welfare Razor Gang makes her the perfect candidate to represent class and Matt's own position as the Union Boss of Unite who fight for the rights of the poorest workers in NZ gives a New Left Party the type of tactical framework muscle needed to organize and engage.
If a New Left Party does launch, it could put pressure on the groups currently discussing a Colin Craig's fronted new Right Party in Epsom to also launch.