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Electoral finance reform hohum?

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, February 17th, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags: , ,

I’ve been looking for feedback on Simon Power’s electoral finance reform package. I think I heard Russel Norman this morning on Morning Report but I can’t find anything from Labour.

After the hell that rained down on them over the EFA (much of it richly deserved) I can only assume that Labour thinks National’s got it about right. Although to my eyes the fact that third party or parallel campaigns have no limits on what they can spend is disturbing and simply requiring people who spend more that $12K to register with the Electoral Commission is nothing to celebrate. The Exclusive Brethren ads were authorised with a real name, after all.

However I look forward to seeing the new modern clarification of what consititutes election advertising. It was excrutiating to watch the parties tie them selves up in knots over whether this statement from this MP or that was electioneering during the last campaign. Although here’s a tip: you’re in politics, people. It’s pretty much all electioneering, or it should be. There’s nothing more dangerous than politicians who don’t care if they’re re-elected or not. Roger Douglas was one.

11 comments on “Electoral finance reform hohum? ”

  1. Rich 1

    Yeah, because objecting to this matters, unlike most National policies where they can rely on their poodles to get the policy through.

    National asserted (as part of their huge shower of bullshit over the EFA) that electoral legislation like this should proceed by consensus. If Labour opposed having the mega-rich able to buy elections, that would deny National that consensus. Instead, they seem happy to lie on their collective backs on this one.

    When will Labour finally realise they need a new leader?

  2. tc 2

    Here here Rich……Goff appears to have shot the load with a speech and some nice phrases…..then nothing at all to worry the Nats over.

    Plenty of material across the spectrum and the likes of king/mallard appear on cruise control….the 2 rotweillers under helen have been transformed into ageing labradors.

    Looking like another term in opposition unless they get traction and keep moving……sorry to say but they look every bit an opposition rather than the next gov’t in waiting.

    take a leaf from nat’s book after Brash cocked up 2005……renew, replace, regenerate with fresh faces.

  3. Jan Black 3

    “I can’t find anything from Labour.”
    Google found this for me!
    “Lianne Dalziel said Labour also welcomed the Government’s announcement on the process to address New Zealand’s electoral finance laws, and would engage constructively in the process. “National is acknowledging for the first time the need to be transparent about the activities of parallel campaigners.

    “Labour’s Electoral Finance Act was a direct response to the subterfuge and political chicanery that characterised parallel campaigning in the 2005 election.”

    “Exclusive Brethren members were behind a secret parallel campaign on a scale never before seen in New Zealand,’ she said.

    “‘National’s proposals would identify parallel campaigners, but do not limit how much they can spend, or require them to say how much they have spent, or how closely they can work with political parties to essentially tilt the financial playing field in their favour. This still risks creating the sort of free-for-all that occurs in the United States where campaign spending is out of control. New Zealand has campaign spending limits and we must keep it that way.

    “This is where Labour will focus its attention at select committee,’ Lianne Dalziel said.”

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.1

      “Exclusive Bretheren”… “scale never before seen in NZ”… which failed abysmally.

      Not only is it dead but it’s bones have been stripped by maggots, Lianne, but by all means keep flogging it, it may just get up and run another lap for you.

      So Labour will be moving amendments to impose spending limits then? Will those exempt unions again?

      And those measures to determine “how closely [parallell campaigners] can work with political parties”… will those encompass unions also?

      Leaving electoral reform in the hands of politicians from any party is akin to leaving minimum wage law to be decided by employers.

      If Labour breaks the mould this time and not only moves decent amendments but also commits to implementing them when they’re in government and not just when they know they’ll be safely voted down, then I might just buy a hat, solely for eating purposes.

  4. Fisiani 4

    Openness Transparency Fairness and Consensus. The hallmarks of any change in something as fundamental as Electoral Law. Sadly lacking in the infamous Electoral Finance Act rammed home by Labour to try desperately to hang on to office.
    Thank goodness that in Simon Power we have a Minister who exemplifies the best in Politics. His proposals are supported in part or in whole by all parties in Parliament. Well done Sir.

  5. Mac1 5

    Points are rammed home, Fisiani, Bills are rammed through, allegations are backed up by evidence. Still waiting.

  6. Fisiani 6

    MAC 1 Stop flaming and try to use English

  7. Mac1 7

    Fair enough, Fisiani. I understand your frustration. It is similar to the frustration I have felt when you have made unsubstantiated, unreferenced, unlinked claims and then refused to engage in any discussion over them.

    I hope that point has been ‘rammed home’. 🙂

  8. To be fair the Labour MPs and activists are up to our respective eyeballs in campaigns. There are so many challenges on so many fronts.

    This release happened a day ago and I am sure you will see coherent stuff next week but it will not happen immediately.

    For me I need to understand how National can be prevented from shoving $2m into a dummy organisation and then sitting back and getting the benefit.

    New Zealand, the best democracy that money can buy …

  9. Jan Black 9

    “To be fair the Labour MPs and activists are up to our respective eyeballs in campaigns”

    But this just accepts that Labour hasn’t been commenting on this issue. Dalziel, as the Labour Spokesperson, has been.

  10. Tammy Gordon 10

    Mea culpa, I just looked on Labour’s website and Red Alert. Two places, to be fair, that I thought would deliver up a statement or comment.

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