I can’t think of a fancy-arsed acronym to describe it, but MMP obviously stands for More Marriages of Convenience. The InterMana Party sort-of agreement, should one ever be made and either party (or agreement) stay around long enough to make a difference, is exactly the sort of marriage of convenience the MMP laws, rules and environment not only makes possible, but positively encourages.
Why that should surprise media commentators says more about media commentators than it does about either Mr and Mrs Harawira or Mr DotCon.
Regardless of what the media commentators think, the rules as written do favour deals between small parties with either big policy differences,1 or going for different votes2.
A ManaNet Alliance fits both bills. The groups are different enough that they’re not competing over the same policy ground. And they have sufficiently similar aims (getting rid of National; promoting leaders’ egos) that they have something around which to coalesce.
The rule being exploited is that allowing a victory in a constituency to trigger MPs on the basis of party votes. While the arrangement being discussed by DotConAndHarawira may not have been contemplated by the rule’s writers, again, says more about the writers than it does the negotiators.
That it would suit both Harawira and DotCon and is obvious. For the former, he can trade his potential for electoral success in return for gobs of DotCon’s money (if by then the FBI haven’t got it) and maybe even an extra MP; for the latter, it allows him to parlay his ill-gotten money into MPs – and, thereafter, he hopes, negotiating power in a new Government that might deliver him immunity from extradition.
Both get what they want, they hope, courtesy of MMP.
It may not be what anyone ever contemplated when MMP was begun, but maybe when this jerry-built electoral system was set up, it should have been.
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1. Parties with very similar policies will obviously be fighting for the same voters, and might therefore find little on which to agree organisationally, normally...
2. Whereas parties going for different votes, with one going for party votes and the other for electoral, may be able to accommodate each other to mutual benefit whatever their perceived differences, or similarities.