Electoral Finance Bill Passed

So Labour have rammed through the Electoral Finance Bill (EFB) by 63 to 57 votes, despite the last minute defection of Peter Dunne’s support.

Keith Ng has an interesting take on the EFB, suggesting third parties wanting to campaign could register as political parties to bypass the $120,000 spending cap:

“Political parties” is not a predefined group of privileged elites, it’s a status that isn’t very hard to obtain. More fundamentally, if a group is trying to spend more than $120,000 on influencing an election, then they are clearly parties interested in politics, hence the term “political parties”. If you want to set up a shop, you start a company. If you want to run a election campaign, you start a political party. It’s not a fence to keep groups out, it’s barely a hurdle, it’s an insistence that these groups carry a label that is consistent with their intentions.

However, the Electoral Commission rules for registering as a political party require parties to have “intent to contest elections”, something many groups (think Exclusive Brethren, who explicitly repudiate involvement in politics…err, sometimes; maybe think of Save Happy Valley Coalition instead) would not satisfy, and would not want to satisfy. It would also give what are really political lobby groups the ability to nominate scrutineers, etc, which could open the process up to petty filibusters.

National supporters like David Farrar manage to quote themselves in their hurry to condemn the law.

Overall, I’m glad the EFB passed, but it should have been done with better process and there are many improvements that should be made (most importantly cutting the loopholes round anonymous donations).

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One Response to “Electoral Finance Bill Passed”

  1. jam Says:

    What will be next?

    Helen Clark and all those who are too scared to speak against her, will decide that a Government can change the term of how long they stay in power. Currently it is 3 years but without a constitution they could change this to 20 years and we can do nothing about it. Just as they have done with the Electoral Finance Bill.

    This is communisim at its earliest stages. This bill had nothing to do with money but has everything to do with a Government manipulating the rules to suit themselves and squashing Jo Public from having a say. Look out New Zealand this is only the beginning.

    Winston Peters – the man who didn’t want the baubles of office – now flits around the world and feels important. Of course he backed this bill because he likes his power.

    Peter Dunne – well let’s face it weak – he didn’t pull his vote at the critical stage in select committee when he voted for it – he waited to the last minute after Helen had authorised him to pull because she had enough votes and then he makes out he is on the side of the public – Yeah Right.

    The greens well they are as weak as weasels and they will always do whatever Helen dictates.

    Look out New Zealand we have passed the point of any return………..

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