The alliance between the Internet and Mana parties has formally ended. The alliance, which was also supported by the left groups operating within the Mana Party, cost Mana dearly. They lost the Te Tai Tokerau seat and Annette Sykes was pushed back to third place in Waiariki, a seat which Mana previously had a chance of winning.
Laila Harre, meanwhile, is moving on. She has announced her resignation as Internet Party leader and as a party member. This move only serves to point up even more starkly the hollow nature of the IP and the almost surreal nature of the unprincipled InternetMana hook-up.
The farce was further highlighted by the fact that InternetMana had an electoral war chest of somewhere between three and four million dollars, thanks to Kim Dotcom, but they received only 34,000 votes. This meant about $100 per vote! By contrast National probably got a vote for roughly every three dollars they spent! Even Colin Craig’s vanity project got a lot more bang for Craig’s buck.
Unlike the left groups within Mana, we argued against the alliance all the way through and most of us decided not to vote for Mana (or anyone else). We saw the oncoming train wreck, but most leftists involved in Mana were far too caught up in the moment and in illusions about the alliance and what it might achieve to take note of the warning signs, even though they were brightly lit up and alive with bells and whistles: danger, danger, train wreck ahead!
This debacle became another indicator that a new and revolutionary left is needed.
Moreover, the Internet-Mana alliance was not unique. All over the world leftists looking for short cuts have been attempting in recent years to build ‘broad parties’. Almost invariably these parties have either imploded (like Respect in Britain) or turned out to be willing to help run the existing system (like Rifondazione in Italy or the Workers Party in Brazil).
Read the excellent critique of this strategy here: An international balance sheet of the ‘broad party’ strategy
And on the left groups in Mana, the party, the alliance and the election result, see here.
Lastly, see the symposium piece on the radical left and Marxism here.