Quote of the week from Joanne Black in The Listener:
“So here we are a mite over six months from the general election, and the idea of Hone Harawira, John Minto, Annette Sykes, Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos et al joining together in a political party induces the same warning bells that used to ring when a group of friends announced they were going to flat together. You could run a sweepstake on whether it would all fall apart once the meat-eaters were told they had to use a separate fridge, or over whether there should be a roster of whose turn it was to write the roster.
In this case, there might also be the potential for seeds of discord, with Minto having led a successful anti-racism group and Harawira being uncomfortable with the thought his kids might date Pakeha. There’s no shortage of passion among the names so far associated with the Mana Party, but it is discipline rather than passion that is the hallmark of the most successful political parties. . . “
Black did omit Matt McCarten from the list of party people and he does have a track record in getting start-up parties going. He was active in the early days of the Maori Party and played an important role in the campaigns which got co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples into parliament under for the Maori Party.
However, one good strategist and organiser isn’t enough. Successful parties also need cohesion and unity of purpose.
The Mana Party looks a lot more like a collection of activists with individual platforms than a group of people united by shared vision and values.