Criticism, disbelief, and a degree of mockery sums up the response to the newly launched Internet Mana Party.
The deal has finally been done, and most commentators and politicians are critical to varying degrees. Yet, the impact of this new force on September's election could be huge. Every political party from the Greens, to the Maori Party, to National could be negatively affected by this rising wildcard vehicle. As John Armstrong says today, in probably the most insightful commentary on the new party, 'The new party could yet be the surprise package of the coming election - especially if the other centre-left parties continue to flounder' - see: Devil of a deal puts Harawira in control.
Armstrong - who seems to be an exception, in terms of his openness towards the new strategy - says that the deal is a major win for Hone Harawira and Mana. He also emphasises the short-term nature of the deal, which only runs until six weeks after the election - a fact that is seemingly missed by most commentators.
There are all sorts of apparent ideological inconsistencies about the new party. But as I emphasise in my statements reported in Tim Hume's CNN article - Kim Dotcom, Maori nationalist: The world's least likely political bedfellows? - the common factor for the new joint venture is some kind of anti-Establishmentarianism.
But for most commentators, it seems the whole project is something to be mocked. To get a sense of this, see my blog post, Top tweets about the Mana Internet Party alliance. Alternatively, see Barry Soper's Dotcommunist, maybe just plain dotty, or Heather du Plessis-Allan's Seven Sharp feature: The Internet Mana Party - is there not a better name!?. For more critiques of the party, see Newstalk ZB's Mana Internet deal a 'poisoned chalice'.