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Electoral Finance Bill back from committee

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, November 19th, 2007 - 47 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

The Electoral Finance Bill is back from Select Committee and can be downloaded here [PDF, 500k].

It’s huge and will take a bit of time to digest, but it doesn’t look like there are any major surprises. The overly broad definition of election advertising has been fixed and the amount of anonymous donations a party can receive has been limited to $240,000, with any donation above $1,000 having to go through the Electoral Commission.

As expected, National have renewed their vow to repeal the bill, largely because it will count their election spending from January 1st and limit their ability to run parallel campaigns as they did with the Exclusive Brethren and the Fair Tax lobby. Predictably, their online mouthpiece David Farrar is spinning like mad.

We’ll have more when we’ve had a chance to read through the bill properly.

47 comments on “Electoral Finance Bill back from committee ”

  1. The Double Standard 1

    Well, if by “so surprise” you mean that it gives maximum advantage possible to Labour, while permitting its pet donors to continue, and pet supporters to participate, then I guess you are correct.

  2. Robinsod 3

    So TDS – can you outline the exact issue you have with the bill? Or are you just aping tory rhetoric without having any real idea about what you’re talking about? Go on – top five problems in summary (shouldn’t be too hard if you really care about the issue enough to have educated yourself on it properly).

  3. Tane 4

    Speaking of aping Tory rhetoric, do you think he realises we actually coined “the double standard” ourselves to show the righties over at Kiwiblog how to come up with a decent mockery?

    They were flailing about with “the average” and “the (low) standard” and it was just getting embarrassing, so we gave them one to help them out.

  4. The Double Standard 5

    Sure Robbo, its easy for anyone with an IQ above a slug’s (which I guess leaves you out) that this is a disgraceful action by Labour to protect its own patch while shafting National. Labour were so pathetically exposed by the Nat’s billboards in 2005 that they will do anything possible to kill off effective political opposition in this country.

    While allowing Labour to get most of its currently anonymous donations in ($315,000 in 2005 I think) it blocks National from doing the same (National received no anonymous donations in 2005).

    The Owen Glen exemption is in place ($200,000 in 2004, $300,000 in 2005, who knows how much last year or this year)

    The limit of $120,000 is ridiculous – didn’t Govt departments spend $59 million in 2005?

    Frankly, when Matt McCarten is trashing the EFB then you should have problems.

    And Robbo, lets hear a better defence from you than tiresome Labour Party talking points like “stop tory’s buying elections”

  5. Wrong, DS. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Government departments spent SIXTY-nine million dollars in 2005. There hasn’t been a year when the Government has spent $59 million on advertising. You might be confusing it with 2004, when the Government spent, from memory, $57 million on advertising.

    You are clearly not confused with this year, however, when the Government will spend $100 million on advertising its policies to voters. Working for families, student loans, sustainability, Labour’s primary health strategy, its tax package–crikey, have I left anything out? There must be some more bribes that Labour comes up with that decides that it must use vast amounts of taxpayers’ money to promote.

    Oh, yes, the SuperGold card. Originally with an advertising budget of $200,000, it was increase six-fold to $1.2 million, as soon as the Government started getting flak for how pointless it was.

    And before the socialists claim that SuperGold card was simply advertising entitlements, this is AFTER recipients of the gold card had already received their card. They don’t apply for a card: they receive it automatically.

    So, apparently $100 million of taxpayers’ money promoting Labour’s policies isn’t buying votes, but $1 million attacking them is.

    Lewis Carroll would marvel at these hollow people.

  6. Daveo 7

    Coalition for Open Government welcomes revised Electoral Finance Bill

    The Coalition for Open Government welcomes the revised the Electoral Finance Bill, saying it is greatly improved by the changes announced today.


    Poor DPF. He’s going to have a hard time spinning this one.

  7. Robinsod 8

    Double Standard (I actually came up with that name – does that make me your dad?). For a start you’ve only provided three points but I suppose I can’t expect a clever bugger like you to be able to count to five:

    Point one: National received no anonymous donations in 2005:
    2005 National The Waitemata Trust $1,254,845
    2005 National The Ruahine Trust $249,948
    2005 National Bell Gully Trust Account $62,000
    2005 National Russell McVeagh Trust Account $50,000

    Nuff said.

    Point two: If you’re so worried about Owen Glenn giving money then perhaps the Nats could use it as a campaign issue. He’s an NZ citizen, he gives money, it’s got his name on it. What’s your problem?

    Point three: The limit of $120,000 is ridiculous – didn’t Govt departments spend $59 million in 2005?
    That’s called a non sequitur. Literally an argument made where one point does not logically follow another. I’m pretty certain I’ve told you this before but you just don’t listen: Govt departments don’t campaign. How about you prove they do and then prove how that is connected to the third-party spending. Hint: you can’t prove either because they aren’t true. Do you really think if the public service was campaigning on behalf of the Labour party you’d be the only one who knew? Fool.

  8. Daveo 9

    And before the socialists claim that SuperGold card was simply advertising entitlements, this is AFTER recipients of the gold card had already received their card. They don’t apply for a card: they receive it automatically.

    Just because you have a card doesn’t mean you know what it is, where it’s come from and what you’re supposed to use it for. That’s a major purpose of government advertising – to let you know about your entitlements. How very hollow IP.

  9. The Double Standard 10

    Tane – I got tired of my nick here being misappropriated by one your gang using it at KB. So a new name that I’ve already registered at KB was necessary. Its a shame that someone here thinks it is necessary to fake comments elsewhere.

    Hence The Double Standard, since this is my 2nd nick here, and it has a simple acronym of TDS which gives Robbo the chance to call me tedious. It also has a nice connection to the KBB concept. I like it.

  10. Robinsod 11

    IP – quick take that story to the herald, your facts are obviously watertight! You’re full of shit prick.

  11. Billy 12

    Robinsod, is it your position that government department advertisements headed “You’re better off with Labour” are not campaigning?

    And please don’t shout at me when you reply. I’m only asking.

  12. Robinsod 13

    DPF Claws – I am your father.

  13. Nih 14

    it has a simple acronym of TDS which gives Robbo the chance to call me tedious.

    I know a freestyle artist who calls himself that. He’s a lot less of a pussy than you are though.

  14. Nih 15

    And please don’t shout at me when you reply. I’m only asking.

    You’re either a simpering bitch or you’re perceiving far too much emotion from simple text. I would say both. You’re projecting your own emotional scale onto the written words of Robinsod. Have you come out of the closet in public yet?

  15. Robinsod 16

    Show me a government department ad that’s headed that way Billy. What’s that? You can’t! Not ‘cos you’re talking out your arse, surely?

  16. So, Daveo. If $1.2 million is such a trifling amount of money to promote one small issue by the Government, then what can you possibly hope to promote or attack with one tenth of that money on a major public issue?

    This Government is more than happy to open the public purse-strings to blow $100 million promoting its policies down voters’ throats, while severely restricting everybody else to spending 0.1% of that.

  17. Tane 18

    It also has a nice connection to the KBB concept. I like it.

    Can you set up a stalker website called the double standard? We’d be flattered, honest. We’ll even invite you to our Christmas Party (7pm on Friday 30 at the Southern Cross bar in Abel Smith Street, just in case you were wondering).

  18. gobsmacked 19

    They’ve had a week of fun. But it’s over. Now we know why the Herald and the self-styled Anti-Fascists couldn’t wait for the bill. They needed to attack a law of straw.


    Suggest the opponents try a new line:

    We fought two world wars for Overseas Corporations! They must not be silenced!

  19. Robinsod 20

    What? Christmas party?? Why haven’t I been invited?! You fuckers. I guess I’ll just have to crash the Kiwiblog do…

  20. Billy 21

    So, Robinsod, if I can find such an ad, what then? You’ll accept that the spending is campaigning?

    Oh and Nih, fuck off.

  21. Robinsod 22

    Billy – If you can find an ad like that I’ll take you out to dinner and a movie (or we could go dancing if that’s what you prefer).

  22. Billy 23

    You know there’s one, don’t ya?


    See under heading: Accusations relating to earlier spending

  23. Robinsod 24

    Damn! I’d forgotten that one – So, you like Italian?

  24. The Double Standard 25

    (What happened to this the first time?)


    Unfortunately the HRC isn’t quite congratulating Labour yet. They support the removal of some of the most egregious concepts, but don’t agree with the very long election period, or the quanta of the spending limits.

    The dodgy process followed by The Party is also criticised.

    “The Commission has stressed throughout, the importance of an open and transparent public submission process given the fundamental changes to New Zealand’s electoral law. We’re disappointed that there will not be a further round of public consultation on a redrafted bill. “


    Looks like not everyone is prepared to tow The Party line on this one yet. What a shame that the Chief Commissioner is not up for re-appointment until 2011.

  25. gobsmacked 26

    Dub Stan

    I couldn’t find the words “We oppose the bill” in that statement. Wasn’t the Saturday march organised in support of the HRC? Will the next one be?

    It’s time to quit the pretence there’s anyone out to “kill the bill” except the usual right wing suspects.

  26. gobsmacked 27

    ACT call this “the most serious assault on free speech and political expression ever seen in the developed world”.

    I call that the most serious assault on historical fact since, I don’t know, the last time an idiot opened his mouth.

  27. The Double Standard 28

    “It’s time to quit the pretence there’s anyone out to “kill the bill” except the usual right wing suspects.”

    Oh, Matt McC will love that label.

  28. The Double Standard 29

    Oh, and so will that Bomber Bradbury dude.

    See gobbo, just because Teh Party says its good, doesn’t mean that all lefties agree, only ones that post here, apparently.

  29. gobsmacked 30

    Like everyone else before today, Matt was commenting on something which no longer exists.

    The Herald’s list of pro’s and anti’s is now meaningless. But then they knew that would be the case – that’s why they had to whip up a campaign quickly, before the bill was amended.

    Their “Democracy Under Attack” page has been silent all day. I wonder why?

  30. the sprout 31

    yes the Herald knows well that saying that a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth has even put on its shoes.
    doesn’t matter that their hysteria campaign has been demolished by subsequent facts, they know their smear campaign has done its job.

  31. The Double Standard 32

    Nice try Gobbo – have you read McCartens column?


    I don’t see anything mentioned there which has been improved by the latest set of backroom deals.

    “Labour’s proposal is that everyone except political parties is neutralised and that parties’ private campaign funds are severely limited. That means the only viable way voters can get their political news and analysis is through the privately owned media, especially television and newspapers. Does it worry anyone that most of these outlets are controlled by a few overseas owners?”

    Still seems entirely valid to me.

  32. gobsmacked 33

    At last there’s support for the bill’s opponents! “Political commentator” David Farrar speaking on Newstalk ZB with Larry Williams, right now.

    And Williams is quoting directly from Kiwiblog (not acknowledging), with the example from DPF’s post re- Kyoto/global warming. Hilarious!

  33. gobsmacked 34

    And Williams finishes the interview: “Thank you for youur expertise”. He makes no mention of DPF’s role in the anti- campaign. None at all, in the whole interview.

  34. the sprout 35

    compared to William’s intellect Farrar’s would seem like expertise though.

  35. Spectator 36

    I would sincerely hope that none of the people who oppose the Electoral Finance Bill on the grounds of a perceived curtailment of their right to speak out would have any support for this particularly pernicious attack on free speech.

  36. The Double Standard 37

    Here that “usual right wing suspect” Bombery Bradbury on the EFB today


  37. Robinsod 38

    DPF/TDS – Bomber doesn’t speak for the left. FFS he fronts a vile “crims getting what they deserve” right-wing TV show and has nothing to do with any left movement. Sorry mate, that freak is one of yours…

  38. Billy 39

    Hey, Robinsod, did you pick Sprout’s misplaced apostrophe. Vile, eh?

  39. The Double Standard 40

    Geez Robbo, I though that even you would know the difference between Bomber Bradbury and Graham Bell.

    Heh, well done in displaying your ignorance publically. What’s that line about opening your mouth and proving your stupidity?

    Here’s a link to help you out.


  40. Robinsod 41

    TDS – I didn’t even listen to your link and I stand by what I said about Bomber. As for proving how stupid one is I’d say you’ve done a pretty good line in that yourself with you lame accusations. Oh and you’ve still not told me why you’re using my witticism as your handle – are you hoping some of my clever rubs off on you?

  41. The Double Standard 42

    Robbo – how typically immature. I suppose you cover your ears and chant “LALALALALA” when someone says something you don’t like in conversation?

    BTW you seem to be having trouble with your possessive pronouns. Perhaps a remedial course is in order?

  42. Robinsod 43

    TDS – Nah, I just don’t listen to you ‘cos when I’ve tried I find nothing worth hearing. It’s called leaning by your mistakes – you should try it, you’d learn a lot (and I do mean a lot). You’ve still not told me why you named y’self after my wee joke. Maybe this time?

  43. the sprout 44

    true billy, i got that one wrong.
    you seem to look very closely at comments on DPF.

  44. Spectator,

    The right to free speech does not include the right to defame or libel. (Unless you’re a politician of course, good old parliamentary privilege).

    I am quite surprised looking at a lot of political blogs (both left and right wing) how seemingly intelligent people can become so personal and vicious. Surely the issues are enough without attacking people?

  45. Nih 46

    That’s just typical internet conversation. It only takes one angry sociopath to get everyone arguing a pretty much non-stop bitchfest from then on.

  46. The Double Standard 47

    “It’s called leaning by your mistakes”

    I guess your mistakes leave you leaning left?

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