Last night Te Ururoa went on a bit of a stream of consciousness tweeting spree. It gave an interesting insight into what he is thinking and what we might see coming in the election campaign.
The Maori Party have experience of being on the receiving end of comments like that:
The comments are a reference to Labour leader Helen Clark’s remarks before the 2005 election, when she said the Maori Party would be the “last cab off the rank” for Labour as a potential support or coalition party.
I suspect this will be an element of the Maori Party campaign. Labour are saying the IMP will be the last cab off the rank, therefore a vote for them will not gain as much of a voice at the top table as a vote for the Maori Party.
This tweet continues the theme. It has sparked some debate, with Metiria replying: Click on the image to see the full discussion they had.
However, other MPs have taken a more combative, less debate based approach.
Others, such as Andrea Vance, used the example of Marriage Equality as a success for an opposition party. This is true, however that was firstly dependent on the bill being drawn from the Members Ballot and secondly had support from both the Greens and Labour, who both have more members than the Maori Party, thus more influence both inside and outside Parliament. For a small party such as the Maori party, being in government is going to allow them more chances to have an impact on government policy than sitting in opposition. The Green’s gains from the National party come about because they are sound polices and present an option for good PR for the National Party. A fairer comparison for opposition gains would be New Zealand First. During this term they have no had no real policy gains from the National Government.
However, I believe the underlying tone of the initial tweets are an indication that this is a line the Maori party will run during the coming election campaign. However, as can be seen by the response to Te Ururoa’s Tweets, the issue that the Maori Party is likely to face is that it does not have the band of supporters on Twitter to call on that parties like the Greens and the Internet Mana Party have. So when an MP or candidate tweets something that is likely to illicit a response, there is not the body of supporters to step in and support the MP or candidate. This is a symptom of the lack of effort that appears to have been put into the Maori Party’s social media presence over the last few years.
This lack of support could cause an issue during the campaign, with any message they try to push out via social media not being spread very much.