With an average age of just 33, the young candidate list for the Internet Party is rather refreshing in the somewhat stale world of grey suit-and-tie politician’s that lurk under todays sun. The list contains many unfamiliar faces and names but all seem fairly talented in their respected fields. Will this new ‘yoooff’ face of politics help sway that demographic that just doesn’t give a toss to vote come the next election? Time will tell although I would put a couple bucks down to say it could well do so. For me, I was interested in the Internet Party until Mana came along and sold its soul out so I regard both with equal suspicion but putting that aside from speaking to friends many do seem to gravitate towards Kim Dotcoms cause like a satellite falling into orbit around a large mass, once locked in to the ideology, they are unable to break away from the gravitational pull that the Internet Party has. I love all their policys, well most of them but if they ever were in a position to put into place any of them, at what cost would it come to the country? That is the question to ponder.
I do also find it weird how Dr Russell Norman did his PhD on the democratic processes of the Alliance Party, to then employ former Alliance MP Laila Harre in the Auckland office, who then leaves to enter politics proper again in a party leadership role for a German multi-millionaire facing extradition charges who has just cozied up to a party from the far left of New Zealand politics. Its just strange but probably one of those ‘only in New Zealand’ type of things.
The youth vote is integral to the Internet Partys ultimate success and credibility. If they cannot harness that then there won’t be much point flogging a dead horse, although with the planned ‘party party’s’ they are organising throughout the country in the lead up to the election featuring many New Zealand music artists who will be performing (at what rate I wonder) it could well be the bread and circus’s that the voting kids out there need to sway them to vote for a voice representing their generation and issues that concern them. Just look at the promo pic. Smartly dressed, intelligent people with a somewhat ‘still in touch’ leader at the helm…it could be a recipe for success as there are no old fogeys to be found, as kids these days seem to distrust old fogeys since they seem the most corrupt and dodgy *cough* John Banks *cough*.
The Internet Party is probably the most exciting thing to happen to New Zealand politics for decades, even if you don’t like Dotcom and his set up here, you have to admit if you follow politics, it has certainly made for some interesting thought experiments on the possible consequences of his political ambitions not only in the short term but for the long term interests of the next generation of voters and politicians to come through the ranks. A changing of the political guard is about to take place age wise as the young replace the old. It started with sort of John Key coming through and you can see it in the Green Party list. A lot of the old tree huggers and activists are gone and in their place are smart academics like Julie Anne Genter and Gareth Hughes etc. Maybe not at this election but certain in the next two to come, more of this younger generation will be coming through the ranks bringing ideas and real world knowledge to issues that will, like it or not, be affecting us all in this digital age.
The latest polls show Labour slumping badly (even before Cunliffes latest cock up)so where are those votes going? Greens? Possibly… most likely some are. Mana? Probably not. The Internet Party? Again could be some spill over from the Labour train wreck but at this stage i guess its a little hard to tell where that support has or will eventually go. The core Labour voter is still with them but those marginal swing voters is what will bring the left across the line, and by having this Mana/Internet Party the dilution is such that the fracturing that has occurred with the left vote will leave them all worse off. National should be pretty pleased with how things are going.
The Internet Party top 5:
1. Laila Harre (Leader), TBA (electorate)
2. Chris Yong, Te Atatu
3. Miriam Pierard, Auckland Central
4. David Currin, Whangarei
5. Beverley Ballantine, Ilam