Mana on: Nact off
In Opotiki today the Mana movement opened an office on the main street - Annette Sykes was out on the hustings doing her thing. One of the things she does quite well - apart from haranging the National government - is singing. Well all the Maori candidates seem to be adept at waiata (except Willie Jackson which is probably why he didn't run in the end :) and to hear their fine renditions of some of the old favourites was a stark contrast to any other political party I know of. It was a good street vibe in this heartland town in the Waiariki electorate and people were signing up left, right and centre.
And speaking of left, right and centre while we were there the latest Horizon Poll came out. It puts the election outcome on a knife edge:
Which main party will have an opportunity to form the next Government may depend on the New Zealand First and the Mana parties, and who 6.9% of undecided voters support.
An October 19-21 RadioLIVE-Horizon poll of 2,200 registered electors who intend to vote shows the current National-Act-Maori Party-United Future coalition could end up with 60 seats in a 122 seat Parliament.
It probably will be as close as this and depend in no small part as to how Winston and his outfit performs, but the interesting thing for me was Annette's reaction to the poll commentary. When she saw the poll had Mana up (to 2.3%) she was delighted, but when she read some commentary that there was a possibility Mana might go with National she was gobsmacked. WTF!? I too was perplexed - what commentator would be calling that? Maybe it was this from Radio Live via TV3 news:
Horizon Research says National may also need an agreement with New Zealand First or the Mana Party.
There ain't gonna be no deal with the Tories and Mana - let's get that straight. That is one of Mana's bottom lines - no deal with National or with Act FULL STOP.
I know this for sure; not because it's as obvious as the oil on Tauranga's beaches, or that it is what Hone would be bound to say or that John Minto and Sue Bradford would rather eat a three course meal of broken glass, poison, followed by more broken glass than go with the Nats, but because at Annette's selection hui a few weeks ago (the Waiariki electorate was uncontested so it was an endorsement rather than a selection as such, but there was a speech followed by a Q&A) I asked her directly: If the election was close and John Key rang you what would you say to him? Her answer was immediate and firm, without any hesitation: "I wouldn't pick up the phone!" There will be no deals with National or with Act. She was quite clear on that, crystal clear.
So any suggestion the 'Maori nationalist' wing is in the ascendency over the 'leftist' wing (if that's even possible to have wings in a movement that is only half a year old) and that therefore some accomodation may be possible with National is just not a starter no matter what factions and personalities might or might not be in a Mana caucus after the general election. If iPredict were to run a book on the chances of the Mana Party (or indeed any Mana MP) having a deal with National it should be at 0%. The Labour Party would be more likely to have a deal with National.
And as for the Greens - they are half way to converting to middle class coalition whoredom already. Proof of the Green's preparing to sell out was one of their MPs - Catherine Delahunty's - public stance that if the Greens went with National after the election she would rather quit as an MP. The telling thing was she was the only one to make that commitment. You would think the rest of them would too - but no, they wouldn't and haven't and won't. And if she did quit then that means there would be no caucus opposition and they can say it was by consensus. A horror scenario for the original Green membership, certainly, but the extra seats they look set to gain at this election will come from voters (and members) outside that group who have different allegiances from the Greens that once had the likes of Sue Bradford, Keith Locke and Nandor as MPs. There is a need, a latent demand, for a viable alternative party that will stand up to National in an uncompromising fashion and anchor future Labour governments to the left - that party is Mana.
The leadership of Mana is staunch and the people involved are thinking about the long term as well so there is no way they will support National.
Labels: Mana Party