Scanning our back catalogue I can’t find a post on the alleged electoral roll fraud in the Auckland local government elections. Let’s start by stating the bleeding obvious. Electoral fraud of any kind is not OK. If the accusations are true then it is good that the perpetrators were caught, and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
What makes this particular incident “juicy” for the political right is an alleged Labour link:
Labour president Andrew Little told Radio New Zealand today he understood one of the accused had links to the Labour party.
Last month he said if the police investigation revealed any member of Labour was involved the party would take appropriate action internally. “The integrity of our electoral system is essential to the genuinely democratic basis of our elections and anything that undermines that integrity needs to be dealt with firmly and forcefully,” Little said.
That’s an entirely appropriate response from Labour. I note also that the right wing Citizens and Ratepayers has been accused of involvement, the situation may be more complex than it seems. Here’s a suggestion, instead of all these overheated blog postings on the topic, why not calm down and wait for the legal system to run its course?
Speaking of overheated blog postings, DPF is having a good wallow, accusing Labour of condoning this activity: “The last time a Labour person was accused of corruption….” and so on. Entirely predictable hypocrisy from this National party hack. If I was going to play that game too I might begin by harking back to the last time the National party tried to rig an election – the public outrage when they were caught cost them their leader, the late and unlamented Don Brash. Ho hummm.
As if all this wasn’t fodder enough for political junkies, there is now a name suppression angle. The accused candidate applied for name supression, was rejected, and has appealed, gaining an automatic 48 hour suppression for the appeal. But this 48 hours comers at a crucial time in the voting cycle, leading those on the right to a further round of breathless accusations. Messy I agree, but the courts are following due process, as they should.
How about the cheek of Banks though:
Last night, Auckland City Mayor John Banks said the turn of events could have an impact on the integrity of the poll results. “We need to make sure this mayoral election is not stolen,” said Mr Banks, who believed the result was going down to the wire.
Unrelated issue for an unrelated post in another ward, and Banks wants to make some kind of legal lifeboat out of it if he loses? Spare me do.
Despite all these angles and issues and all the political posturing, the underlying issue remains simple. Electoral fraud of any kind is not OK, perpetrators should be found and prosecuted. We have one of the most robust and respected democracies in the world. Let’s keep it that way.