What has Dotcom got that the Alliance Party hasn’t? He is the founder of a yet unregistered political party which like the Alliance fails to rate a mention in opinion polls. His feelings on the GCSB and our government spying on behalf of the US are the same as ours.
We too recognize that access to information is a vital tool in reducing inequality and support access to better internet services for everyone. We also support fair use of content and a robust public domain. We are no fans of patents and copyrights that allow holders inflate the cost of everything and deny people access to such essentials as lifesaving medications or technologies.
We support his views on prisons. We would insist on humane treatment of all prisoners but we also focus on rehabilitation and restorative justice.
Yet the media, political commentators and other political parties are all over Dotcom and his Internet Party like a rash, while we in the Alliance are left neglected and rejected, sent to political Coventry.
The main difference, lets be honest, is money. Dotcom, and presumably the Internet Party, has loads of it. The Alliance has very little. These days we prefer our political leaders to be very wealthy. It makes them ‘colourful’ and ‘fun’. What politicians, and aspiring politicians, say is apparently much less exciting than how they say it, where they say it, who they say it to and (for women) what they are wearing when they say it.
The Internet Party has yet to indicate whether it will move beyond championing individual rights to policies that would promote the common good. Could they, for example, embrace progressive taxation? Would they want to see wealth distributed much more evenly throughout our community? Would they support government funding of a comprehensive social welfare package and free health and education? Would they agree to less opulent lifestyles for the mega rich if it meant that everyone has a warm dry affordable home to call their own?
Nevertheless if Dotcom does get the Internet Party off the ground and can do serious damage in the electorates supposedly reserved for the Conservatives and ACT we will all be better for it. Even if their policy platform is one dimensional. Keeping a National/ ACT/ Conservative coalition out of government is paramount. We wish it was us – and we can’t see why it shouldn’t be us, if these are the policies the people want. But we also wish them the best of luck.