The Ministry gives out some figures about some figures on how many submitters were for or against certain ideas. Of course many submissions did not cover all issues, but the balance of opinion figures are interesting anyway:
§ Twelve submissions said that equity is more important than freedom of speech, while only six placed freedom of speech at the top of the pile, with equity below it.
§ 29 submissions wanted to the cap on anonymous donations to be at or below $1,000 (nine wanted it at $0), while only five wanted the cap raised or eliminated.
§ Nineteen submissions wanted to cap the total of all donations coming from one person, while only thirteen opposed this.
§ 23 submissions favoured public funding for political parties (including thirteen who wanted an increase), while only five said there should be none.
§ 27 submissions wanted spending limits for parties and candidates. Seven did not.
§ 21 submissions wanted spending limits on parallel campaigns. Eight did not.
§ In relation to the regulated period: Ten submitters wanted a 1 January start date; five wanted a six month period; and nine wanted a three month period.
I’m guessing that isn’t really what Simon Power wanted to hear.
If the government drew up its proposal on the basis of this consultation, we would have a system with maximum per-person donation caps and almost no anonymous donations, significant public funding for political parties, a longer regulated period, and spending limits on parties, candidates, and parallel campaigns alike.
It will be interesting to see how the government decides to treat these submissions, given that the submissions tend not to agree with National’s pre-election rhetoric.
– Rob Salmond