John Key and January 1

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, November 27th, 2007 - 11 comments
Categories: election funding, john key - Tags: ,

John Key’s just admitted the election campaign has already begun, adding further weight to the argument that electoral law needs updating to reflect the increased length of modern campaigns.

Here he is on Newstalk ZB today talking about his ‘heartland tour’ around New Zealand, where he’ll be dishing out thousands of flashy DVDs promoting himself and the National Party.

Mr Key says it is a sign election campaigning is already beginning, despite the election still being a year away. He says National is hitting the ground running for what will be a long campaign.

So tell me again, what’s so unreasonable about counting election spending from January 1 on election year given National’s campaign is already well underway in November?

11 comments on “John Key and January 1”

  1. So Tane, isn’t the logic of your argument that we should have such electoral laws starting much earlier than just 1 January of election year? Maybe we should start them in November of the year before? Or maybe we should recognise the existence of the “permanent campaign” and have the rules for the whole electoral cycle? Isn’t it your view that National has already been electioneering?


  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Obviously the taxpayer won’t be picking up the tab for any of these campaign trail airfares and whatnot, seeing the National party is all about principled stands and stuff. Right?

  3. Tane 3

    Bryce, perhaps we should count all electoral spending. Perhaps we should count it from November – it’s not an exact science. But I do think it’s pretty clear the three month rule is archaic in a modern context and January 1 is a far better reflection of when the campaign proper starts. I’m not dogmatic on this – March 1 wouldn’t kill me, nor would November of the previous year.

  4. Patrick 4


    From memory the National party were quite against the EFB’s expanding of the electoral period.

    Perhaps the ideal solution is total state funding of political parties and having the rules cover the entire electoral cycle, but really, I don’t see how Labour would be able to get enough support to legislate for that.

    So I don’t know about you, but I certainly think the EFB’s revised electoral period is far more realistic.

  5. Gruela 5

    Yay! I don’t think I’d be the only one ready to argue that what the average NZ voter really, really want is an Even Longer Election Period.

    John Key really has the common touch. He’s going to get some real political traction from his Heartland tour, as well, because this is exactly the time of year that people are ready to listen to new ideas and contemplate the direction New Zealand is heading.

    Money well spent, I’d say.

  6. dave 6

    Tane, a bit upset that John has more money to spend than Helen, are we?

  7. Lee C 7

    Is this what it has come to? that a political campaign is anathema? What would you prefer, we just all roll over and passively accept a single-party state is best for all of us (as long as it is run by Helen of course)??

    I think it is feasable to make the whole of the parliamentary term open season for electioneering. One thing that sickens me is the total apathy of voters who think that getting to tik a box every three years or so is enough of a placebo to replace their responsibility to be active agents within a democracy that has been hard-won, and which should be protected.

    In my book anyone who starts to advocate limits on the democratic principle that every citizen is intrinsically entitled to state his or her political opinions whenever he or she wishes, is a self-serving anti-democrat.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    Lee some of the comments regarding “free speech” in other threads might interest you – you’re of course aware that advertising is not cheap. What you’re advocating will mean that voters will be affected/influenced most by the group with the greatest financial resources.

    Is this what you consider a fair and free democracy? I’m glad that the rules don’t come out of your book!

    What you have said does speak for itself (limits on the democratic principle) although I doubt in the way you intended. I want to run a full-page ad in the dom post, but can’t afford it – shall I write to the paper criticising them for restricting my free speech, a vital democratic principle? Same for the rest of the media, regarding my TV ads and radio adverts – there’s a lot of self-serving anti-democrats out there Lee, go get ’em!

    As fo your comments about Helen and a single party state, you’ll find than many people here are of the liberal social democratic ilk, or some variation thereof; that sort of facile invective is pretty low. No-one considers that anything resembling an option, whee do you come up with such idea? The same place where thinking that money=democracy comes from I suppose.

  9. Graeme Edgeler 9

    We could always do what Canada does – the spending limit (for political parties, not third parties) applies permanently – from one election to the next.

  10. Ace 10

    Lee some of the comments regarding “free speech” in other threads might interest you – you’re of course aware that advertising is not cheap. What you’re advocating will mean that voters will be affected/influenced most by the group with the greatest financial resources.

    Too right, elections are a marketers dream come true, I would love to do it!!! Advertising objective is to create awareness, plain and simple. I agree with you Matthew, best to restrict the branding exercise and let it be fought on issues rather than brand.

  11. Lampie 11

    Ace comment me 🙂

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