I agree with David Farrar on the National Party’s proposed law combining the Electoral offices. These appointments are far too important to be decided by a Minister, who is only required to consult on the appointment. The Super-city showed us what little that means.
David is worried about Labour, I’m worried about National.They have made a lot of very political appointments in the past year.
I agree that the best idea is to make the office a parliamentary appointment. If it’s ok for the environment, and for the auditor-general, it is certainly ok for the conduct of elections, so crucial to democracy.
The main reason for haste seems to be that the Nats want it done before the 2011 election. They are using the abysmal performance of the Electoral Commission in 2008 and lack of co-ordination between the Commission and the Chief Electoral Office as an excuse. But the new albeit temporary Electoral Commissioner is the old Chief Electoral Officer, so that should not be a problem next time.
The legislation also provides for the Electoral Enrolment Centre to be incorporated into the office after 2012. It is absolutely critical that the electoral roll is not subject to any question of political interference.
It looks to be another case of indecent haste to legislate.That means more bad law.