Two Electoral Reform bills are currently accepting submissions, and each contain one particularly large flaw.
Firstly, as I commented on the Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill: getting rid of the 3 month election period is a very dangerous move. National have now decided that the election period only starts on the day they tell us it does. Governments will be able to start their election campaign before announcing it, and have a whack of spending and media coverage free from restrictions. And any reform that allows some unconstrained election spending will always favour the rich and those parties supported by big business; rather than letting voices be heard with democratic equity.
Simon Power snuck this in just before the first reading after earlier announcing he was keeping the 3 months. Typically this government is trying to avoid scrutiny of its dodgy moves. You have until 17 June to submit your complaints about this change, or to lobby MPs over it.
Secondly, the MMP referendum bill is also before select committee. The referendum is largely worded well, but once again the bill has a terrible fault; once again it’s on campaigning finance. There is no limit whatsoever on campaigning time and money for the referendum as it currently stands. Expect to hear little else other than Peter Shirtcliffe for most of next year.
Apart from letting only National’s preferred Supplementary Member be heard about on the airwaves, this free reign of spending may well act as a fifth column in the election campaign. Not only with having Supplementary Member supporting National Party people everywhere to get all those extra votes familiarity brings; but also drowning out the proper election coverage, so the issues aren’t debated, and National’s poor record isn’t highlighted.
You only have until 10 June to submit your opinion and lobby on this bill. Do it.