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Dotcom sets deadline for Internet Party 'self destruct'

There was good news for Kim Dotcom last night. David Cunliffe and Russel Norman said a Labour-Greens government might block Kim Dotcom from being extradicted to the US, should he lose his case (scheduled to start July 31).

LATEST: Does Dotcom realise the perils of buddying up with Winston? Read this, Kim 

"I've always said I didn’t support the extradition process," Mr Norman told 3News. "In a number of respects, I just don’t think it’s fair."

Mr Cunliffe offered more qualified support for the accused pirate, saying, telling the broadcaster, "Prima face, the current government’s operation against Mr Dotcom appears to have been outside the law in a number of respects."

In 3News' report, the Labour leader doesn't voice support for blocking extradition but later, when challenged on social media, 3News political editor Patrick Gower later said Mr Cunliffe said he was open to considering the option.

Prime Minister John Key said while the government could block and extradition, it would jeopardise the US-NZ extradition treaty. He noted that the treaty had been used to repatriate several "abhorrent" criminals from the US to NZ.

Many open to Dotcom, but none committing
A 3News Reid-Research poll found 21% or just over one in five voters would consider voting for Kim Dotcom's Internet Party.

However, Mr Gower said of 1000 people surveyed, zero supported the Internet Party today.

But while a Labour-Greens government could "save Dotcom's bacon" as Mr Gower puts it, the irony is that his political push could potentially strip away 1% or 2% support from the two parties - potentially enough to deny them power in a tight race for the MMP list vote.

According to the 3News-Reid Research poll, of those considering a vote for the Internet Party, 30% supported NZ First; 27% Labour; 23% Green and 11% National.

Internet Party disappearing off iPredict radar
In the latest round of data from Victoria University's political market place, iPredict, the Internet Part has also struggled 

iPredict punters now see  the Internet Party capturing 0.81% of the list vote, down from the 1.28% they were picking on Feburary 7.

Bar a few tweets from Kim Dotcom - who promises an Internet Party app shortly - the Internet Party has slipped off the radar since the Electoral Commission put the kibosh on Mr Dotcom's "Good Times" party, and controversy over Scoop's Alastair Thompson joining then quitting the party.

What's happening?

"Things may look quiet externally," Internet Party general secretary Vikram Kumar told NBR earlier this week.

"But the Internet Party team is hard at work in the 'engine room'. We are very much on track to our internal timetable. Lots to come soon but we are not yet quite ready to detail it yet."

What is the timetable? He won't say.

This morning, Mr Dotcom through a cat among the pigeons, tweeting:

Ballot papers are printed after nominations close, 20 to 27 days before the general election, expected around November.

Which party would the entrepreneur throw his weight behind? It's hard to pick. Mr Dotcom has recently met with political leaders as varied as Russel Norman (who asked him not to run) and former ACT and National Party leader Don Brash.

And while Mr Dotcom's sympathies could naturally extend to Labour and the Greens - who shared his opposition to the two surveillance bills last year, as well as being open to blocking his extradition - some Cunliffe and Norman supporters may wonder if the man who once donated $50,000 to John Banks is a fairweather friend.

Another qualifier: Dotcom has to complete the formal process of registering and launching the Internet Party before he can disbandon it.

iPredict general standings
Elsewhere on iPredict's latest weekly update, Labour and NZ First have made gains at the expense of National, the Greens and other small parties.  Of the major parties, National is expected to win 42.02% of the party vote (down from 42.26% last week), Labour 34.03% (up from 32.94%) and the Green Party 9.08% (down from 9.42%).

Of smaller partiesNZ First is now expected to reach the 5% threshold under the MMP electoral system. It is expected to win 5.07% of the party vote (up from 4.73% last week), while the Conservative Party is picked to win 4.02% (down from 4.14%), Act 2.30% (down from 2.46%), the Maori Party 1.24% (down from 1.28%), the Internet Party 0.81% (down from 1.28%), Mana 0.48% (down from 0.49%), UnitedFuture 0.48% (down from 0.49%), the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 0.29% (down from 0.30%), the Civilian Party 0.1% (steady) and Democrats for Social Credit 0.1% (steady).

On the electorate front, the news continues to worsen for the Conservative Party.  The party now has only a 48.2% probability of winning at least one electorate seat, down from 53.3% last week, 61.5% the week before and 64.6% three weeks ago.  The party has expected representation of just 0.51 electorate MPs, compared with 0.55 electorate MPs last week, 0.63 MPs the week before and 0.65 three weeks ago.  Of electorate bundles launched so far, the Conservatives are not expected to win any specific electorate, with just a 25% probability of winning East Coast Bays (down from 28% last week) and an 8% probability of winning Upper Harbour (up from 5% last week).

Of other small parties, Mana and the Maori Party have made gains with the latter overtaking UnitedFuture as the second most likely small party to win an electorate seat.  Mana now has a 90.9% probability of winning at least one seat (up from 83.2% last week and 73.1% the week before) and the Maori Party an 81.3% probability of winning at least one seat (up from 72.0% last week and 67.5% the week before).  Both Maori-orientated parties now have expected electorate MP representation of above one, with Mana expected to have 1.14 electorate MPs (up from 1.06 last week) and the Maori Party 1.05 electorate MPs (up from 0.89 last week).  Mana has an 89.1% probability of winning Te Tai Tokerau and the Maori Party an 80.0% probability of winning Waiariki.

Act has again gained marginally and now has a 78.0% probability of winning at least one electorate seat (up from 74.4% last week), expected electorate representation of 0.78 MPs (up from 0.77 last week) and a 73.1% probability of winning Epsom.

UnitedFuture is broadly steady with a 79.1% probability of winning at least one electorate seat (down from 80.2% last week), expected electorate MP representation of 0.79 MPs (steady) and a 76.9% probability of winning Ohariu.

The Greens and NZ First continue not to be expected to win electorate seats.

 

Comments and questions
14

That greens guy(cant remember his name) is well out of order undermining the extradition process.
What, are we judge and jury on the US judicial process now? How arrogant do we think we need to get? Kiwis slog it for 150 years, start a flag debate and start telling the superpowers how to do their job. cough.
Its one thing to fumble the ball its another thing to harbour a fugitive. Always has been.

his name is MusselNnorman..born brisbane 1967...landed on our shores early 90's ...joined communist party as an active for quite a few years in Wellington before leaving...worked as a nurse and a sheetmetal worker in the Hutt valley..saw an opportunity to slowly gain power by joining Greens ..destabilisation policy attempts are his forte...good work , comrade !

The whole US case against Dotcom smells. He simply doesn't fall into the 'abhorrent criminal' category that Key refers to. With Key sucking up to the US government and movie moguls he already shows his bias.

Richard you are onto it.
The Labour / Greens chatter is but a sideshow to the very real case evidenced right from the stupid helicopter raid that Mr Key would, and still would prefer Dotcom trussed up and handed to the yanks on a platter.
Now if we are talking about the real al qayda terrorists who we now find out are un named and in our midst I'd approve of a very fast one way permanent expulsion but Dotcom? Give me a break. Govt & cops need to get their priorities right.

In terms of quantum the property at question is worth a lot of money.
NZ attitudes to respect for intellectual property are out of touch.
Just because you can take it doesnt make it right. Nor does one tech startup selling well make our economy an IT/IP expert.
We need a few more runs on the board before we consider ourselves qualified to judge the US.
The basics are if he has broken the law in their country they can extradite him. They are the judge of that not us.

The extradition treaty has specific rules though I don't think 'abhorrent' is one of them. If, and I repeat if, KDC meets the criteria, then he should be extradited.

That should be for a judge to decide, not a politician. The Judges are dong a good job so far, they aren't bowing to pressure as is evidenced by their ruling so far that the raid and spying etc exceeded what should have been done.

Agreed. "That should be for a judge to decide, not a politician."
Politicians (of any party) have this dangerous belief they can over-rule and interfere in judicial processes. Others with that belief include Stalin and Putin.

So on top of all his other hair brain schemes, he now wants to interfere in the judicial process ?

Typical Greens - proposing to interfere in due judicial processes."If we don't like your decision,. we'll unilaterally overturn it"
or, from the playground;
"If you won't play my way I'll take my ball and go home"

I don't like being spied upon, not even by John Key. More revelations to come out from Snowdonia? A Key question there.

Or is it more politically sinister? Is Russel Norman suggesting to Dotcom that he may want to avoid/delay starting his political party (to avoid vote-splitting on the left) and in return the quid pro quo is no extradition if they make it into power as a result?

Blimey!

That is almost certainly what Norman is suggesting.

Look, it's ok when the hard-left does it. Nothing to see here, move along.

Did Russell ever get his flag back?

How can a fair case against Dotcom be mounted when evidence helpful to his defence has been deliberately destroyed?

John Key is trouble in too many areas - and Winston alone keeps asking the questions that should be asked,.