Is the latest contretemps between Hone Harawira and the other Maori Party MPs the beginning of the end of the party?
Did the Maori Party’s MPs know just how much they were biting off when they decided to take on Hone Harawira?
Maybe not, because the strife now surrounding the party has the potential to tear it apart.
There wasn’t anything very different in what he said but it was the last straw for his colleagues.
This situation is partly the familiar problem small parties have when they sign coalition or support agreements with Labour or National.
To get some of the things they want, they have to go along with most of the Government’s agenda. . .
Sharples and Turia live in the real world of parliamentary politics.
This is the conundrum which faces all the wee parties. They can go into coalition and get something or stay in opposition and get nothing.
That is the real world of parliamentary politics and it’s a hard one.
A party which doesn’t do enough in its supporters’ view faces internal ructions. One which does too much is seen to be the tail wagging the dog, upsets the wider electorate and pays for it at the next election.
Big parties’ supporters become frustrated by the constraints of coalition politics too. But bigger parties achieve more in government than wee ones and have enough support to survive in opposition.
So far no wee parties which have been in government have survived opposition.
So what do they do – accept something in government in the knowledge it might kill them or stay in opposition where they achieve nothing?