Harawira wins so Mana’s a “force to be reckoned with”. What?

A couple days ago, Mana Party president, Matt McCarten, put out a press release that said Hone Harawira won Te Tai Tokerau “against all odds” and he was certainly going to win in November, making Mana “a force to be reckoned with”.

Can someone explain to me how having one seat is being a force to be reckoned with? In terms of the Party Vote, they will most likely get 1% or less. If that’s the case, they get no list seats. If Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau in November, he will be the only Mana MP in Parliament, assuming there’s no other electorates won. If he doesn’t, Mana gets nothing. A force to be reckoned with? The phrase “you and what army?” seems quite relevant about now…

Now, to explain why Mana won’t get more than 1% of the vote. When the Maori Party was formed, this was effectively a split from the Labour Party. I would call the Maori Party a strong left party. They’re not extreme left, but they are not near the centre. They took about 2.5% from Labour. Mana isn’t going to take more from Labour, as they are just a step or two further left of Maori. They will only take from the Maori Party. I would suggest at most, Mana will take 1% from the Maori Party, and I highly doubt that anything will be taken from other parties.

I also don’t see the Mana Party winning any electorates other than Te Tai Tokerau. The Mana Party has been formed around an extreme ideology. The majority of Mana’s support will come from Maori people in Maori electorates. We know that the majority of the extreme left Maori are in the Northland area. This is how Hone Harawira has a chance in Te Tai Tokerau. However, I would suggest that the Maori in other places are not as extreme, and would not necessarily subscribe the Mana’s extremist views.

I also don’t think Te Tai Tokerau’s future is set in stone either. There was less than 35% turnout for the by-election. That means there’s 65% of the population in that area that have not had their voice heard. It is possible that they mirror the same proportions as the 35% who did vote, but it’s also just as possible that they don’t. I think there is a good chance Mana will not win Te Tai Tokerau, will not win any other electorate and there is a 100% likelihood that Mana will not reach the 5% threshold. There’s a good chance Mana will be “gone by lunchtime”.

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About Daniel Farrell

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Posted on July 9, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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