Cunliffe’s Mixed Messages on Mana, hurts Kelvin Davis (CARTOON)

Months ago I compared Labour list MP and candidate for the Te Tai Tokerau to a flea. I meant that he was annoyingly nipping at Labour’s chances at the election by going all out to take Hone Harawira’s seat. Mr Davis believes the Maori of the North are being taken advantage of — being cynically used. This is frankly true. I argued that this was simply the way of politics; an argument which in isolation I stand by, but can no longer accept in this case. An opposition does not have to be the polar opposite of the government, but in an election they do need to provide a positive alternative. To a degree Labour is a genuine alternative government on policy, but I don’t think they show it in their behaviour.

Officially Labour is in favour of amending the rules of MMP to remove the coat-tailing ability. This is a stand of principle. But it is muddied by the shiftiness with which the Party is dealing with Internet-Mana. Labour will need them if in the position to put together a government, but at the same time wants to keep them as distant as possible. In this fit of wanting-it-both-ways, David Cunliffe is trying to chart a middle course by strongly declaring that Internet-Mana would not be part of his government, while Party Secretary Tim Barnett smooths ruffled feathers their in Te Tai Tokerau. Kelvin Davis is part of the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) faction of Labour, and keeping him weak is in Cunliffe’s interests. It is politics, not principle. The current government is shameless with electorate deals for it’s support parties. Labour is trying to do the same thing — while attempting to look like they aren’t. Perhaps their slogan vote positive, actually means vote blind…

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