Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom is planning to drop an election "bombshell" five days before the election that will obliterate Prime Minister John Key.
If the internet entrepreneur was genuinely concerned about democratic transparency and political accountability, though, he would reveal his information at the earliest opportunity.
Instead, he has promised a well-choreographed expose at the Auckland Town Hall on September 15 - five days before the nation goes to the polls.
The information is expected to focus on Dotcom's long-held claim that Key knew about his presence in the country much earlier than the prime minister has admitted publicly. Key is adamant he didn't know anything about Dotcom until the day before police raided his Auckland mansion in relation to alleged copyright breaches by his website Megaupload. If it transpires he knew more about the case against Dotcom sooner than that, it would be a body blow to the prime minister's credibility.
For that reason, the information Dotcom has should be put before voters to scrutinise now, not stage managed to ensure the greatest political benefit for the Internet Party. The delay seems cynical, and only bolsters Key's claims that it's nothing more than a "attention-seeking stunt".
Leaving the big reveal until so close to polling day could also be counter-productive for Dotcom. While it gives little time for his information to be dissected by the public, it allows even less time to test any explanation offered by Key in response. If the Prime Minister has indeed lied to New Zealand public, Dotcom could be providing him just enough wriggle room to get of the hook before votes are cast.
And while Key seems blase in his dismissal of Dotcom's claims he has proof the prime minister is lying, you can bet his staff are anticipating every possible scenario and are prepared to rebut whatever the German pulls out of the hat.
Dotcom also risks failing to meet the extremely high expectations he has set for himself. By turning his revelations into a political event, the information he says he has on Key will have to be devastating and irrefutable or he risks being a laughing stock. And if the information is so spectacular it could bring down a prime minister, it should be shared with the public immediately.
ONE MORE THING
The scenes beaming out to the world from the site where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine have been scarcely believable.
While the human tragedy is at the forefront of everyone's minds, it's difficult not to also consider the geopolitical consequences that will play out in the coming weeks and months.
Russian president Vladimir Putin will be a very anxious man.
- Manawatu Standard
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