Monday, August 08, 2011

The Maori Party's death warrant

Over the weekend, Hone Harawira's Mana Party held its AGM in Auckland, and announced that it would be standing candidates in all the Maori seats, as well as several general electorates. The obvious consequence? The Maori Party is going to be in deep trouble. With their party vote split, and facing strong, three-way contests in Tämaki Makaurau and Waiariki, they could be reduced to two or three seats. By refusing to stick to its deal with Hone, the Maori Party seems to have signed its own death warrant. Oh, they'll still be around - but they'll be a rump, not a serious political force.

But the Maori Party's problems are National's as well. While current polling has them looking at an absolute majority, I'm not sure that that will last (it certainly didn't last time a party was in this situation, in 2002). If their vote slips by too much, the shrunken Maori Party won't be enough to provide them with an easy majority by itself. And with ACT also looking at shrinking, they won't be able to rely on them either. Which means the unpleasant prospect of trying to juggle both ACT and the Maori Party in coalition together. Its almost enough to make you feel sorry for them.

Sadly, having shown some brief competence earlier when they announced their Capital Gains Tax, Labour now seems to be doing everything possible to ensure a National majority government. Heckuva job, guys.