Internet Party New Zealand – Where to from here?

Internet Party - Where to from here?

The 2017 election is over and if you look at the results it has been a dismal election for Internet Party New Zealand with only 499 votes.

The causes of this are manifold. But they can basically be boiled down to,

  • Not enough time for the new leadership.
  • Lack of money.
  • No media coverage.

The last two could almost be considered the same thing in New Zealand elections.

On the brighter side of things some of their policies were adopted by other parties. A couple of examples are,

 

So, where to from here?

There are a number of things that didn’t happen in time for the last election. Having time to complete them should serve the Party well in the run up to the next election.

Internet Party - Where to from here?

Leadership

Party leadership appears to have stabilised with Suzie Dawson at the helm. Ms Dawson has been advocating  and explaining the Parties policy positions on the Internet with a series of live interviews with activists called the #AntiSpyBill events. These are expected to continue over the coming years.

She has also been promoting the Internet Party overseas. This has caused a number of fledgling Internet Party’s to have sprung up with IPNZ’s help.

An alliance has been formed with Pirate Parties International. This should  give the Internet Party access to this political organisations experience and support.

Most importantly, a core team has been formed around which the Party can be expanded and rebuilt.

Technology

Technology has been at the heart of the Party. Now long time member Jo Booth has picked up the reins as Technology Director.

From managing servers to live production he has bought his skills to bear, sometimes having to learn on the job, but always looking at problems from a hackers angle.

Over the next three years Jo can be expected to keep coming up with technological solutions and building his team.

Policy

Finally policy has a stable leader with Daymond Goulder-Horobin. If you look at the Party’s policies there are quite a few ‘Coming soon’. This is due to Daymond having a very high standard before release.

Party policy is raised and ratified by the membership before being released in it’s full form. Unfortunately, this meant not all the member ratified policy could be finalised before the last election. This will now be able to happen.

Candidates

The Party now has candidates to stand for and advocate for it. Some of whom have never been involved in the political sphere before. It is expected they will gain experience over the next few years and stand for the Party in the 2020 election.

2020 Election

A lot can happen in three years but if anything the causes that the Internet Party stands for will become more important as time goes on and the public become more informed as to the dangers of mass surveillance and the purposes it is being used for.

I expect the Party will stand again in the 2020 election and I think we can safely say they will get more than 499 votes when they do.

So where do they go from here? They carry on informing, explaining and improving.

 

 

Internet Party

So, the Internet Party is back again. Well, not really back. It never really left, but after the drubbing it got in the last election it appears to be making serious progress once more.

And drubbing it was. Approaching the last election  the Internet party was the darling of the media but the shine started to go of it in the week leading up to the “Moment of Truth” and post that…..well, all the media concentrated on Kim Dotcoms failure to to provide a smoking gun instead of concentrating on the New Zealand government spying on it’s citizens and being complicit in the deaths of civilians in Iraq.

It was after the last election I joined the party. The day after in fact. It didn’t matter to me that the media was attacking it. It didn’t matter that the general population thought they looked like a bunch of idiots. What mattered was that they were right.

The GCSB was spying on New Zealanders. Why? Well, you tell me. There have been five so called terrorist attacks in New Zealand. The Huntly rail bridge bombing (1951), the Vietnam War protests (1969-70), the Wanganui Computer Centre bombing (1982), the Wellington Trades Hall bombing (1984) and the Rainbow Warrior bombing (1985).

There had been no attacks worthy of the label ‘terrorist’ in New Zealand for almost 30 years and yet now, in the interests of security, the GCSB is able to spy on New Zealanders legally. No charges for the illegal surveillance of at least 85 people during the period of 2003 to 2012. No comeback on the department or the Prime Minister (At that point the Minister Responsible for the GCSB) over lying to New Zealand people from 2012 till 2013 as he said that the agency, “isn’t and will never be wholesale spying on New Zealanders,”

But I rant…..

That was only one reason to vote for the Internet Party. Their support of Education and Health care. Their rejection of the TPPA (Ratified by our cabinet and now being resurrected by them) being forced through. One of the few parties that rejected the destruction of democracy after the Christchurch Earthquake. They had a host of decent policies from saving the Maui dolphin to updating the health system. Policies that were based on fact where possible, hope where needed, and aspiration where applicable.

And now they are back. Some policies have stayed, some have been updated. New policy has yet to be announced. Some policies appear to have been dropped. I hope, however, that they will continue to stand for what is right and true instead of what is politically feasible. We need to stop being #labnats and stand up for what we are, and what we want to be.

 

My submission on the TPPA

TPP countries

I am deeply concerned by the stance the government has taken during the negotiations of the TPPA. There have been multiple clear breaches of the OIA, even after the ombudsman made sure Tim Grosers office was aware of their legal requirements.

I am concerned about any loss of sovereignty of our government, either directly, or indirectly from this agreement. The reason for having a country is to have the ability for a group of people (ie; the country) to make rules for themselves. Any change in this circumstance should be put to a binding referendum at the very least.

We currently face an unforeseen and unprecedented outcome of the form of capitalism which forms the basis of this document. Namely the threats to our planet caused by ‘business’. That this agreement seeks to further embed the very trade which is wrecking large (and small) scale havoc on our planet is blind to say the least. It ignores science and limits our options of environmental improvement in the future.

I oppose the costs to consumers by copyright extension. The taking of free goods and creating artificial scarcity in order to make money from them serves no public good. It should be remembered that the original reason for copyright was to encourage the creation of new works, not to protect the resale price of old works or the rehashing of old works into a new format. Copyright, as it is used at the moment, takes our culture and then makes us pay for it in order to participate in it. This is wrong.

The TPPA also serves to further undermine what freedoms still exist on the internet. It should be a warning to the negotiators that they seek to monetise something that was created freely. It is akin to poisoning the river in order to sell us clean water. That we should be spied on for profit and control is also disgusting. Note that those who use their scale to invade the privacy of others fiercely protect their own networks and databases.

Although the TPPA has provisions to protect the Treaty of Waitangi(ToW) it will be impossible for it to do so. Those covered under the ToW are but a small portion of the country. It will be impossible to say, “Well, 90% of you have to do this but 10% don’t”. Remember that the governments position on ToW is subject to change over time. Fifty years ago it was not even recognised.

I object to the undermining of our democracy. One of the keystones of democracy is an informed public. The TPPA cements in secret tribunals and secret negotiations for business. This does not allow the public to be informed.

Currently (at the time of writing) there is a suppression order on the release of the Serco Report. The TPPA would extent this ability to suppress financially sensitive information and take the decision to suppress information outside the New Zealand justice system. This is unacceptable. I do not support the amount of suppression given by the New Zealand justice system currently (re: Mike Sabin) and allowing extending the ability of business to extend suppression orders is unacceptable.

I object to the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in the TPPA (and in fact all other treaties signed with ISDS provisions). The government of New Zealand exists to benefit the people of New Zealand and can only achieve that by having the ability to freely make decisions that benefit the people of New Zealand. The ISDS provisions in the TPPA inhibit this ability. This is unacceptable.

The TPPA will effect the price and/or availability to public health and medicines adversely as well as diminishing our ability to react to future changes in medical science. This is unacceptable.

Finally I object to the amount of power the TPPA cedes (or reinforces) in either power or influence to corporate entities. The political process should benefit the people of New Zealand and they should decide as an informed public. Not as informed by one, or a small group of entities, but informed as a well and broadly educated public. New Zealand is currently failing at this, in my opinion, and the TPPA will exaggerate this ignorance.