Yesterday the Internet Party released their environment policy and to me it sounded very similar, if not identical to the Greens. They want to ban fracking, ban deep sea drilling, and bring in a carbon tax.
In the hypothetical Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Mana/Internet Party coalition that voters are being asked to put in charge of the country this election year, its hard to figure out which inter-party relationship is the most poisonous, or who would like to destroy whom the most. But now that Laila Harre’s gone and started pre-releasing Green Party policy on the same day as the Greens and justified it on the basis that she worked for the Green Party for fifteen months, and therefore owns all their intellectual property, somehow, I’m gonna nominate the Green/Internet Mana relationship as, from here on in, probably the most toxic.
What’s the strategy here? The original vision for the Internet Party was that it would be a, y’know, Internet Party, focused on digital issues and changing the government by turning out young non-voters. My guess is that Dotcom’s money has paid for some market research which has found that the number of non-voters passionate about copyright restrictions is close to zero, and that the demographic most sympathetic towards the Internet Party are current Green voters. Harre doesn’t share Dotcom’s interest in digital rights, or his legal problems, so her focus – like any other political leader – is purely on maximising her party vote. Which explains why the Internet Party is now a tiny cannibalistic version of the Green Party.
Now I don’t generally mention family members, but it is no secret that Danyl’s wife is the political director for the Greens. I mention this not to suggest he is speaking on her behalf or writing what she thinks. But to make the context that this isn’t an opinion of someone who has absolutely no idea of what people in the Greens think of the Internet Party.
Since the Internet Party formed the Greens have dropped from 13% to 11.5% in the polls. That is lower than they were polling just prior to the last election, so they run the risk of losing MPs.
The Internet Party looks like it will have a set of policies almost indistinguishable from the Greens. But the one big difference is the $4 million they have had from Kim Dotcom to appeal to people who like Green Party policies.