The Mana Party Executive have extended an invitation to Kim Dotcom to speak to its membership at their upcoming AGM.
Link to post here.
While I’m not a member of Mana, I still find the invitation troublesome.
Perhaps I’m naïve. I’ve never been a member of a political party and as such have never attended an AGM in this respect. Maybe this kind of thing is the norm.
But while Mana insist that any possibility of a merger is to be decided by members and not as a result of a unilateral decision made by the Exec, the image below tells a different story.
Link to post available here.
Given that the image is publicly posted on an Exec members Facebook wall, I get the impression that the outcome of a merger has been predetermined, and that Dotcoms attendance at the AGM is simply a symbolic gesture to give the appearance of a democratic process in play. Also note, the representation of Dotcom rather than any reference to the Internet Party.
The invitation appears to be an intention to reinforce or promote an existing relationship between Mana and Dotcom, rather than to ascertain the concerns of or to understand Mana members as postulated in the media advisory above.
Additionally, Dotcom’s attendance could be seen as an attempt to influence the decisions of the membership.
In my view, members should be free from any influence to discuss the matter with a clear mind and in an environment where members can express any dissent freely and without fear of reprisal. Dotcom’s attendance may actually discourage some members from speaking their minds, moreover, others may not feel comfortable attending the AGM at all.
Because the Dotcom merger issue is the most controversial among Mana’s members, I would have expected the Exec to act more cautiously in handling this matter. As it stands, its possible to construe Dotcom’s attendance as the Exec forestalling dissent to ensure they get their [the Exec’s] desired outcome.