David Farrar has rather cynically authored a misleading poster about Labour’s alcohol policy on his blog and encouraged his readers to print it off, authorise it and distribute it.
Putting aside the fact the posters are dreadfully designed and unlikely to have the effect David would like them to, there’s a problem with the claims made on his poster – they’re false. There is nothing in Labour’s policy which can be fairly regarded as implying the price of a standard drink will rise to two dollars. Which means they’re potential targets for an electoral complaint and, quite possibly, a charge.
Now David gets away with this by claiming they are merely his personal opinion online (which exempts them from being an electoral advertisement under the act).
But as soon as one of his readers authorises them and posts them they’re exposing themselves to a potential charge of corrupt practice (although only on election day and for 48 hours before hand):
99A Publishing false statements to influence voters
Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector, at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, or at any time on any of the 2 days immediately preceding polling day, publishes, distributes, broadcasts, or exhibits, or causes to be published, distributed, broadcast, or exhibited, in or in view of any public place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular.
Frankly, if David Farrar thinks these are valid election advertisements he should authorise them himself and face the music if someone complains and that complaint is upheld.
Instead he seems to think it’s fine to try to get his readers to take the risk for him and his party.