Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Rave on to get a vote

Well, when you are lagging along with less thsn 3% in the opinion polls I suppose you have to try something different. So why not a a rave party to disguise a policy speech? That’s the campaign technique of the Manu Internet Party in New Zealand as the 30 September election day approaches.
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Now under the New Zealand electoral system the Internet Mana have to get to 5% of the national vote to gain seats unless they can win one of the single member electorates so there is some way to go from the 2.5% that the latest Morgan Poll gave them. But the Mana part of their organisation currently has a seat that could be retained which would put them in the race for a few more and, who knows, even the kingmaker position.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reports this morning (behind a paywall) that the Internet Party’s flagship policy is to deliver ultrafast, cheaper web connections with greater freedom and privacy.
The combination has the potential to mobilise young people who wouldn’t normally vote, said former Labour Party president Mike Williams. ‘‘ It could change the outcome of the election.’’
Mr Dotcom* has named Laila Harre, a cabinet minister in a former Labour- led government, to head the Internet Party and is holding dance raves across the nation to capture the youth vote.
Internet Mana doubled its support to 4 per cent in a recent poll. Labour was on 26 per cent, the Greens 11 per cent and Mr Key’s National had 50 per cent. No party has won an outright majority since New Zealand introduced proportional representation in 1996.
Mr Dotcom is exploiting a quirk in the system to better his chances. Parties need 5 per cent of the vote to get into Parliament unless they win an electorate. In that scenario, their slice of the national vote determines how many seats they get.
*Wikipedia describes Mr Dotcom thus:
Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz; 21 January 1974), also known as Kimble and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, is a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur, businessman, singer, and political party founder currently residing in New Zealand. He is the founder of file hosting service Mega as well as its now defunct predecessor Megaupload. In politics he is the founder, main funder, and “party visionary” of New Zealand’s Internet Party.
He rose to fame in Germany in the 1990s as an alleged hacker and internet entrepreneur. He was convicted of several crimes, and received a suspended prison sentence in 1994 for computer fraud and data espionage, and another suspended prison sentence in 2003 for insider trading and embezzlement.
In January 2012, the New Zealand Police placed him in custody in response to US charges of criminal copyright infringement in relation to his Megaupload website. Dotcom was accused of costing the entertainment industry $500 million through pirated content uploaded to his file-sharing site, which had 150 million registered users. Dotcom has vigorously denied the charges, and is fighting the attempt to extradite him to the United States. Despite legal action still pending over Megaupload, Mega launched in January 2013, opening to the public exactly one year after Megaupload was shut down. It is a cloud storageservice that uses encryption to prevent government or third-party “spies” from invading users’ privacy.
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