Electoral Commission

Electoral Commission wrong on satirical video

Last weekend the Electoral Commission ordered several of our posts to be taken down because they considered them to be breach the Electoral Act.

I removed them until after 7pm because I simply can’t be bothered with court action to prove I was right and they were wrong.

The Electoral Commission isn’t always right as they found out yesterday.

The High Court has ruled in favour of two music artists, whose Planet Key parody song was placed under a gag order by the Electoral Commission during the 2014 election campaign.

In August, ahead of the September election, the Electoral Commission blocked radio stations and media outlets from playing a satirical Planet Key music video by singer-songwriter Darren Watson and video producer Jeremy Jones.

The commission said it viewed the Planet Key video as an “election programme” and so it could not be broadcast on radio or television without an authorised promoter statement.

But on Thursday, Justice Denis Clifford released his judgment ruling the satirical song was allowed to be broadcast during the campaign.    Read more »

NZ Herald Crowdsourcing: We found nothing, but let’s smear National anyway

The NZ Herald launched a “crowdsourcing” initiative to go digging into political donations after the returns were released by they Electoral Commission.

It is the sort of panty sniffing behaviour we’ve come to expect from the Herald.

Basically they are trying to find  donors and then single them out for this donation or that donation and try to pass some sort of moral judgment on that.

Little wonder then that donors try to remain as anonymous as they can.

Essentially though the Herald has found nothing, but after touting their great initiative with much fanfare they had to write something. David Fisher was obviously busy making up something else so they pulled in Matt Nippert to write the hit job.

An analysis of electoral finance declarations shows more than 80 per cent of donations to National Party candidates were channelled through party headquarters in a loophole described as akin to legal “laundering”.

National’s heavy reliance on funding candidates with donations from the party – shown in a Herald study to account for more than $1m out of $1.2m raised by their candidates for the 2014 general election – was a “striking use of electoral law that appears to be laundering the money”, said Otago University political science lecturer Bryce Edwards.

Electoral law requires candidates to reveal the identity of donors who contribute $1,500 or more, but political parties can keep donors secret even if they give up to $15,000.

Dr Edwards said the channelling of candidate donations through parties had “become a way around” having to disclose more information about the source of campaign funds.

“It’s not illegal and it’s up to different interpretations whether it’s ethical or not, but there should now be heat on politicians to explain what’s going on and to tighten up this loophole,” he said.

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Don’t worry no one ever gets prosecuted for Electoral offences

There are a whole lot of people up in arms over the referral of some sports stars by the Electoral Commission to police for breaches of the Electoral Act.

The Commission has  referred 26 incidents to police.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed it has referred former All Black Jonah Lomu, current All Black Israel Dagg and Olympic champion rower Eric Murray to police for tweets sent on election day supporting the National Party. All three tweets have since been deleted.

The commission says it has referred 26 incidents to police in response to complaints about comments made on social media on election day.

That included 13 incidents involving people sharing an election day video featuring John Key and a Vote National Party message, it said.

Under electoral law it is illegal to campaign on an election day, a prohibition which covers the publishing or broadcasting of anything intended to influence votes.   Read more »

“Some people couldn’t vote once, while I got to vote twice” Bradbury does surrealism

Apparently the Electoral Commission has sent out some letters to people who voted but were not enrolled to do so.  As a result, their vote didn’t count.   As you know, Martyn Martin Bradbury was on the electoral roll twice, so he is well placed to comment on electoral voting irregularities.

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Te Tai Tokerau won out West not in North

Hone Harawira sold out his principles and his party, and if that wasn’t enough he concentrated his campaign up north.

But new figures reveal that he should have looked to West Auckland to secure his votes.

Auckland voters played a big role in kicking Mana leader Hone Harawira out of Parliament, new statistics show.

The newly published Electoral Commission data revealed that Labour’s Kelvin Davis heavily defeated Mr Harawira in polling booths in Kelston, North Shore, Te Atatu and other Auckland spots.

In all, Mr Davis claimed 711 more votes than Mr Harawira in the Auckland polling booths, giving him a huge boost in the marginal seat.

His overall majority in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate was 743 votes.

Mr Harawira was not only beaten in Auckland but on his home turf in Northland.    Read more »

One of our biggest racists calls the Electoral Commission racist

New Zealand Holds General Election

Hone Harawira is a sore loser.

After daring to call European’s “white mother-f*ckers” he now has declared that the Electoral Commission is racist.

Hone Harawira claims as many as 1000 votes in Te Tai Tokerau may have been wrongly discarded.

The claim comes as a recount of votes begins in the electorate he lost to Labour’s Kelvin Davis last month.   Read more »

Breaking election rules comes naturally to “Voted twice” Bradbury

Ok, I can’t prove he voted twice – hence the quotation marks.  That still remains to be seen.  But he certainly enrolled twice.   At the time, I noted him using his daughter as part of his blog boosting election strategy.  But he also held an official voting form.

Here’s the fun part.  Enrolling twice can get you up to $2,000 in fines.

Taking and transmitting photos of voting forms?  $20,000.

The Electoral Commission is putting up signs to prevent voters from taking selfies in polling booths.

Warnings about social media use during the election period have fallen on deaf ears as constituents continue to upload photos of themselves and their ballot papers.

Now the commission says it has had to produce signs banning photography from inside the voting place.

“Photos within the voting place, and particularly those taken of marked ballot papers and behind voting screens, have generated a large number of complaints to the commission already, and as a result we have relooked at our rules around photography,” he said.

People have been told to take their photos down from Facebook and other online places by friends and family, but that doesn’t stop Martyn Bradbury from keeping his photo up on his blog.  He clearly doesn’t care about the law – whatever it takes, the end justifies the means.  We already know that. Read more »

NZ Herald and Internet Mana have no care in the world

Some days ago I ran a story about mobilize.org.nz being promoted as a non-partisan web site by the NZ Herald.  Of course, the web site is an Internet Mana initiative, or more specifically, an Internet Party initiative.  It employs a multi-level-marketing peer-pressure social media kind of reward system if you promise to vote.   The strong inference is, you are expected to vote for Internet Mana.

Judging by previous attempts by Kim Dotcom to game the system, it wouldn’t surprise me if the network of mobile numbers they are collecting is so that they can encourage people “in their tree” to contact their “downlines” to vote.  The more downlines you have, the more likely it is you will get some kind of reward.

Of course, if it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s a duck.  We can all see this.

But the Electoral Commission, which received many complaints over this issue, is taking a “nothing to see here until something actually happens”, and “we have just warned them to be good” kind approach.

This is the letter people have received after having raised this web site and the NZ Herald article (later also promoted via Fairfax)

References to Mobilize in New Zealand Herald Article

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the references to Mobilize in the NZ Herald article entitled ‘In early to make your vote count from today’.  The article appeared online and in the hard copy edition.

It is unfortunate that the article appears to have included information about Mobilize and the mobilize website along with information about the Electoral Commission’s advance voting services and website.

The Electoral Commission is in no way associated with the Mobilize initiative and has not endorsed it.  We have raised this issue with the NZ Herald and we understand that the NZ Herald website has been amended to remove the Mobilize website reference immediately after that of the Commission. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Election rules? Kim Dotcom don’t need no stinkin’ election rules