Labour has no realistic chance of forming a Government after 2011 election, unless it is with Maori Party support. The chances of Labour and Greens alone having more seats than National, Maori, United and ACT is remote. However with the Maori Party they have a fighting chance.
So what do they do. The Herald reports:
Labour MP Shane Jones will try to topple Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples in next year’s election by challenging for his Tamaki Makaurau seat.
Mr Jones has confirmed to the Herald he will seek the nomination to stand for Labour in the Maori electorate, which has been Dr Sharples’ stronghold since the Maori Party entered Parliament in 2005.
His challenge will end an apparent tacit agreement by Labour not to stand strong candidates against the two Maori Party co-leaders, who rely on their electorate seats rather than the party vote to be in Parliament.
It will at the least cause Dr Sharples some discomfort in the seat where half the voters gave their party vote to Labour last election.
Mr Jones has taken a no-holds-barred approach to the Maori Party, and especially its leaders, since it became a support partner for National.
Although the Maori Party has consistently expressed willingness to work with either of the major parties in government, Mr Jones said it had become “listless and torpid” with National. He believed it was time for a “more aspirational voice in Maori politics”.
A total strategic blunder that dooms Phil Goff.
In the medium to long term the Maori Party will be mainly in coalition with the Labour Party. But instead of treating them as potential allies, they keep treating them like shit – as they also did to the Greens for many years. This means that their chances of going with Labour in 2011, if they hold balance of power, is significantly diminished.