Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hone is out

And in other news, Hone Harawira has quit the Maori Party, and cut a deal with them to ensure an undisputed run in Te Tai Tokerau. In exchange, he appears to have agreed not to criticise them. It seems like the party got the better deal there; Hone's critique of their sell-out over the foreshore was powerful, and if they have bought his silence (or rather, directed his anger at National rather than them), then they've dodged a serious bullet. OTOH, the idea of Harawira biting his tongue for anyone is pretty laughable, and we'll see how long that lasts.

The real question now is whether Harawira will found or join another party, and compete with the Maori Party for votes. While competition for the party vote means nothing as far as they're concerned 0 it simply adjusts the size of the overhang - competing for electorates could seriously damage the Maori Party. At the least it would erode their majorities and increase Labour's chances of regaining the Maori seats; if Maori opinion is on Hone's side, he could do to his old party exactly what they did to Labour in 2005, and lead a hikoi to the ballot box for a better foreshore law.