Maori in Parliament
MMP was suposed to lead to cooperation between parties, more Maori and more women in Parliament. And it has. Labour has traditionally held on to Maori seats prior to MMP, and has had at least some of the Maori seats since. Now that the Maori Party has spawned and the Foreshore and Seabed Act is passed, Maori in Labour were pretty much made to vote for the bill at the time with the hope that in doing so they would retain their jobs after the election.
It appears they will have difficulty in doing so - not because of the Maori party, but because Labour Maori MPs are out of favour with Maori for supporting the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Dover Samuels is out - he is not standing in 2008, Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa may be standing aside for someone with more 'mana', and list MP Mita Ririnui looks like he will be looking for another job next year. List MP Dave Hereroa is hanging by a thread - he`ll be way down the list. Only Parekura Horomia and Shane Jones look safe, both will be ranked high on Labour's list, and Tainui MP Manaia Mahuta may be in with a chance even though she was initially elected off the list.
What Helen Clark wants to do is to get Maori with 'mana' to stand for Labour and get rid of most of her Maori that supported the Foreshore and Seabed Act like she told them to do - despite the fact that those Maori with 'mana" also oppose the Act - even those in the Ratana church. I wonder how many Maori women with 'mana' she will approach.
The Maori Party is likely to get more Maori seats after the election - possibly all but Horomia's. It will be interesting to see the role played by the Maori Party after the election with a National Government. We could have an even bigger overhang.
NB this post has been substituted - but thats pretty inconsequential.